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Power Moves: Community Legal Services hires three for leadership roles

December 13, 2019 Category: ColumnFeaturedLongPeople

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

1. Community Legal Services appoints new development director, new finance director, and new managing attorney.

Community Legal Services filled three high-level roles within the organization. Danie Bendesky is its new development director and will oversee and implement the organization’s individual and law firm giving programs, including CLS’s successful Bar Campaign. An alum of the University of Rochester, Bendesky has a strong background in fundraising for political candidates in Pennsylvania, and has been involved in many aspects of fundraising including managing volunteers, planning events and developing databases.

CLS’s new finance director is Libardo (‘Li”) Clavijo. Prior to joining CLS, Clavijo was CFO at Mission Economic Development Agency in San Francisco. He previously served at nonprofits in New York and Philadelphia, including Congreso de Latinos Unidos and Nueva Esperanza Inc. Clavijo holds a bachelor’s degree from Universidad ICESI in Colombia, a master’s from Eastern University, and completed a senior leadership program at Columbia Business School.

CLS promoted attorney Dawn Williams to the position of  managing attorney in charge of both its North Philadelphia office, at Broad St. and Erie Ave., and CLS’s multi-faceted intake systems. The latter is a newly created position. Williams came to CLS after helping to create and manage the Save Your Home Philly Hotline at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, and after a stint as director of housing for the Urban League of Pittsburgh. Williams also ran her own law practice helping homeowners, and has years of experience litigating mortgage and tax foreclosure cases.

2. GreenLight Fund Philadelphia has a new associate; co-chair of its advisory board is named to the national board.

Left: Garridon Hankins; right: Kat Rosqueta. (Courtesy photos)

In its most recent newsletter, GreenLight Fund Philadelphia introduced Garridon Hankins as its new associate. Hankins comes to the position having served in various capacities at Philadelphia Youth Network, the American Red Cross in Philadelphia, the Nepal Participatory Action Network and South Carolina’s House of Representatives. Hankins holds a bachelor’s from the University of South Carolina, a master’s from Eastern University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Information Systems Management degree.

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Kat Roqueta, who has served as co-chair of the GreenLight Philadelphia Selection Advisory Council since its founding, was recently appointed to GreenLight Fund’s national board of directors. Rosqueta is the founding executive director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP), a collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania and alumni of the Wharton School, and currently serves on the board of Candid (created with the merger of Guidestar and The Foundation Center). She previously served as board president of La Casa de las Madres (San Francisco’s oldest and largest shelter for battered women and their children), and is the co-founder and executive committee member of the Women’s MBA Network.

3. Two chambers of commerce, two awards, two women honored for their leadership.

Eileen C. McDonnell.

Eileen C. McDonnell to receive 2020 Paradigm Award

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia announced that Eileen C. McDonnell, chair and chief executive officer of Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, will receive the 2020 Paradigm Award, the region’s most prestigious award for businesswomen, at a presentation March 20, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Bellevue Hotel Grand Ballroom.

“Eileen is one of our region’s most influential figures and represents our community of outstanding business leaders,” said Chamber President and CEO, Rob Wonderling. “She is a remarkable and inspirational leader with superb personal and professional skills. We are fortunate to have such an exceptional executive in our region.”

McDonnell joined Penn Mutual in 2008 as its chief marketing officer. During her tenure, she has been a passionate advocate for providing financial guidance for women. Penn Mutual launched myWorth, an initiative that offers women of special considerations the option to speak with a financial professional through Penn Mutual’s online community. The initiative is meant to bridge the gap between women and their finances.

McDonnell holds a bachelor’s degree from Molloy College, a master’s from Adelphi University, and an honorary Juris Doctor degree from Molloy College. McDonnell is an active board member of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, a subsidiary of Penn Mutual. In 2013,  McDonnell was named to the board of Universal Health Services, Inc. and is chair of the audit and compensation committees.

Joanne Craig.

Joanne Craig receives 2019 Athena Leadership Award

Earlier this year, Joanne Craig, The Foundation for Delaware County’s vice president for programs, was recognized with the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce‘s 2019 Athena Leadership award. She has more than 30 years’ experience working in public health and nonprofit management, and has spent her career working with underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

Craig founded women and children’s services for the Crozer-Keystone Health System 27 years ago. Through this initiative she was able to acquire a highly competitive and prestigious federal Healthy Start grant and renew it every 4-5 years since 1997. As a result of Craig’s success in reducing the infant mortality and morbidity rates and improving maternal and birth outcomes in the Chester community, she was invited to establish and run what is now considered one of the most effective Nurse-Family Partnership programs in the state. Craig has built on this mission by adding numerous programs, such as, Cribs for Kids, the Storks Nest, and El Centro to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking residents in the Chester area.

Upon the conversion of the health system to for-profit status, the public health programs were moved to the newly created foundation, at which time Craig also assumed leadership of a Drug Free Communities program and Health Resource Center at Chester High School in Chester, and the Women’s and Children’s Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC). She effectively led 45+ staff members as they joined The Foundation for Delaware County, working closely with the new foundation president to build a cohesive, committed, and inspired staff. Craig also oversees the foundation’s grantmaking services.

Craig is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Eastern University, and  holds a master’s of nonprofit management degree.


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