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Power Moves: Michael Norris will head historic Carpenters’ Company, Carpenters’ Hall

May 22, 2019 Category: ColumnFeaturedLongPeople

Power Moves is a semi-regular column chronicling leadership movements within Philly’s social impact community. Send announcements to

1. Michael Norris is named executive director of the Carpenters’ Company.

The Carpenters’ Company of the City and County of Philadelphia, housed at Carpenters’ Hall in Old City, has announced that Michael Norris will serve as its new executive director. He starts June 24.

Norris, a native of Chester County, most recently served as the chief strategy officer at the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Earlier he worked at Art Reach and at the Arden Theatre Company. Norris holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University, a certificate in fundraising from the University of Pennsylvania, and he completed an executive program for nonprofit leaders at Stanford University Business School.

(Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

The Carpenters’ Company was founded in 1724 as a guild. A historically significant nonprofit, it preserves and interprets Carpenters’ Hall, which hosted the First Continental Congress in 1774 and housed Benjamin Franklin’s Library Company, the American Philosophical Society, and the First and Second Banks of the United States.

“The prospect of leading one of Philadelphia’s most venerable cultural institutions into a new era of relevance is very exciting to me,” Norris said in the release announcing his appointment. “Carpenters’ Hall is not only the cradle of American democracy. It’s also the original incubator of Philadelphia’s cultural community.”

2. The Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement hires two new directors.

Eric Westbrook

The Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement — charged with improving the City’s community outreach and engagement efforts — administers both the Office of Black Male Engagement (OBME) and Office of Youth Engagement (OYE), whose new directors are Eric Westbrook and Jeanette Bavwidinsi, respectively.

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Westbrook, who holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Temple University, has worked for the past seven years improving graduation and retention rates for Community College of Philadelphia. At CCP, Westbrook coordinated recruitment efforts for the Center for Male Engagement, partnering with dozens of schools, community-based organizations, businesses, and nonprofit agencies.

Jeanette Bavwidinsi

Bavwidinsi has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Howard University. She most recently served as the volunteer engagement manager in the Office of Civic Engagement & Volunteer Service, where she created and launched the Summer of Service Initiative that connects Philadelphia youth with curated volunteer and service opportunities. She is the recipient of the New Era Tip of the Cap Award from the Philadelphia 76ers for her outstanding service to the community, and is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

3. Seneca Joyner becomes manager of community organizing at Women’s Medical Fund.

Seneca Joyner

Women’s Medical Fund recently announced that it has hired Seneca Joyner as its manager of community organizing. Joyner has served on WMF’s board of directors, and has been a lead organizer with the Philadelphia Reproductive Freedom Collective (PRFC) which is housed under WMF.

Joyner, who has a doctorate in history, designed and executed the advocacy platform for Black Lives Matter-Boston and Safe Hub Collective, and founded Nousotros, a research, education worker’s cooperative.

4. Community Legal Services names Brenda Marrero  its first chief diversity and inclusion officer.

Brenda Marrero.

Community Legal Services recently announced that deputy director of operations Brenda Marrero has been appointed as CLS’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer. In that capacity, Marrero will oversee policies, trainings and initiatives to foster an open and inclusive work environment. She will also ensure the development of policies and programs to attract, retain and promote a diverse workforce and establish and strengthen relationships with leaders, key stakeholders, and organizations that support CLS’s commitment to organizational equity and diversity.

5. Cynthia Corbin joins ACHIEVEability.

ACHIEVEability has named Cynthia Corbin its new family self-sufficiency director. Corbin is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 30 years of experience in leadership, management and service. She has previously worked at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Temple University, and has taught in the schools of Social Work at Temple, Widener University and Rutgers University.

6. Two local men and an organization receive special recognition.

Steven Scott Bradley.

Maternity Care Coalition announced that it will honor Steven Scott Bradley, the president and CEO of Bradley & Bradley Associates, Inc., with its Driving Fatherhood Community Leader Award June 17. The award recognizes and individual or organizations that plays a role in advancing fatherhood locally, regionally or nationally. A supporter of Early Head Start, Bradley is also a 30-year veteran in the insurance industry and serves on a combined 24 boards and commissions.

NJM Insurance Group, a Mid-Atlantic teen driver safety advocate, announced that its public affairs director John Hardiman has been selected to chair the Children in Autonomous Vehicles Consortium’s Public Information and Education Working Group.

John Hardiman

In this role, Hardiman will direct the committee as it works to provide guidance to those who are developing regulations, legislation, policies, and best practices around autonomous vehicles. Organized by Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries, the consortium will pioneer a joint effort between traffic safety advocates, researchers and other experts to ensure the safety of children in the evolving field of autonomous vehicles.

Community Legal Services is the 2019 recipient of the NLADA Innovations in Equal Justice Award, from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. The award is presented annually to an individual or group; CLS is being recognized for its contributions to, and innovations in, advancing second chances for individuals with criminal records and for its work in conceiving of and advocating for Pennsylvania’s new Clean Slate law, which will automatically seal certain old and minor criminal records — a first-in-the-nation program.

The CLS team accepting the NLADA Innovations in Equal Justice Award May 10, 2019 in Louisville, KY. (Courtesy photo)


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