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Power moves: 10 top level moves and recent hires

February 18, 2020 Category: FeaturedLongPeople

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

1. Sandra Maro Hunt is the new managing director of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.

Sandra Maro Hunt is Wharton Social Impact Initiative‘s new managing editor — a position that has been held by Sherryl Kuhlman since the initiative’s inception nearly 10 years ago. Hunt served as the senior director of the initiative under Kuhlman’s direction.

Hunt is a host of the social impact podcast, Dollars & Change, has co-authored reports including  Can Investing in Public Equities Improve the Lives of Women?, and has served as an investment committee member and judge for many impact groups and competitions.

Sandra Maro Hunt. (Courtesy photo)

“We have bold ambitions for the decade to come,” she said in her online introduction to the WSII community. “We want our programs to be bigger and better. We want to accept more of the eager students we currently turn away and give them even richer learning experiences. We want to put out more actionable, relevant research and tools on critical topics — climate, gender, race, health, impact measurement and more. We want to help Penn and Wharton be the greatest forces for good possible.”

Hunt served in several leadership positions at the nonprofit Back on My Feet during the three years she was with the organization, and has worked as a consultant at Accenture.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University, and is currently completing her master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania.


2. Steven Larín is the new deputy director of Nationalities Service Center.

Steven Larín. (Courtesy photo)

Nationalities Service Center recently announced the appointment of Steven Larín, as the agency’s new deputy director. In this position, he will serve as the top diversity, equity and inclusion officer for the organization as well as expand NSC’s role in the policy and advocacy realms.

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Larín joined NSC in April of 2006 as a staff attorney. He has served in several capacities during his tenure, including legal director, interim executive director and senior director of legal and Immigration policy.

“As the child of El Salvadoran immigrants, Steven is uniquely aware of the challenges immigrants today are facing,” said Margaret O’Sullivan, NSC’s executive director, “and inspires us by his authentic empathy and extraordinary commitment to help other families in need.”

Larín has served as an adjunct professor for the immigration law clinic at Temple University – Beasley School of Law and for the political science department at La Salle University. He is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association – Philadelphia Chapter.  Larín conducts community presentations and CLE trainings on various immigration topics, most recently lecturing on the immigration executive actions and on immigration relief for unaccompanied children.

Larín holds a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and and a law degree from Loyola Law School – Los Angeles.


3. Max Selver joins Juvenile Law Center as a staff attorney.

Max Selver. (Courtesy photo)

Juvenile Law Center recently announced that Max Selver has joined the organization as a staff attorney. In his new role, he will focus on litigation and advocacy to combat the prosecution of youth in the adult criminal justice system.

Before joining Juvenile Law Center, Selver was a litigation fellow at Youth Represent and served as a facilitator of the Youth Justice Research Collaborative (a participatory action research project studying the implementation of New York’s Raise the Age law). Prior to working at Youth Represent, he was a law clerk to the Honorable Analisa Torres and the Honorable James C. Francis IV in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Selver holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, and a law degree from New York University School of Law, where he was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Fellow.


4. Prema Katari Gupta to become the vice president for Parks and Public Realm of Center City District.

Prema Katari Gupta.

Center City District (CCD) recently announced that Prema Katari Gupta will assume the role of vice president for parks and public realm, effective February 24. Gupta replaces Steven Bussey, who retired from the position in mid-2019.

Before joining CCD, Gupta served as senior vice president of the Navy Yard at the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC).

Prior to her work at the Navy Yard, she was the director of planning and economic development at University City District. She also worked for PIDC in the real estate services group, and at Yale University and at the Urban Land Institute.

Gupta is the author of a book, Creating Great Town Centers and Urban Villages, published by the Urban Land Institute in 2008. She serves on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and Fairmount Park Conservancy.

She holds degrees from Bowdoin College and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and the Wharton School.


5. Allegra Derengowski, owner of Birchtree Catering, becomes the chief operating officer of the Sustainable Business Network.

Allegra Derengowski.

The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) announced that Allegra Derengowski has become its first chief operating officer.

Derengowski’ Birchtree Catering has been a  longtime SBN member, and she has served on SBN’s board of directors for two years.

“Allegra has a proven track record of mission-focused and process-oriented leadership, sustainably scaling an organization, and leading a diverse team of passionate and talented individuals,” SBN’s newsletter announcement stated. “These accomplishments, along with her tenure as a triple bottom line business owner and expertise in brand building, marketing, and events will all be instrumental in SBN’s ability to more fully serve our mission, improve your membership experience, and realize the impact that our members and our region need us to have.”

Before establishing her own business, Derengowski worked as a staff writer at the Maui Weekly; she has publication credits at multiple other publications. In addition to serving on the board of SBN, she is a member of the board of advisors of the Enterprise Center ScaleUp Program.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Drexel University.


6. At the City: Kimberly Ali and Sean Perkins join the Office of Children and Families; Sarah Stevenson will head the Office of the Chief Integrity Officer.

The Office of Children and Families recently announced the appointment of two key leadership positions: Kimberly Ali as commissioner for the Department of Human Services (DHS) and Sean Perkins as chief of early childhood education.

Kimberly Ali.

In her role as DHS commissioner, Ali oversees both child welfare and juvenile justice operations, including the child abuse hotline, child abuse prevention, juvenile justice diversion efforts, as well as the City’s juvenile detention center. She leads a department of 1,500 employees and oversees a budget of $770 million.

Ali joined DHS in 2000 as a social worker, and rose through the ranks of DHS, serving in leadership positions that included director of provider relations and evaluation of programs and operations director for ongoing services in the children and youth division. Most recently, she was deputy commissioner for child welfare operations.

Ali holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Temple University.

Sean Perkins.

As chief of early childhood education, Perkins is responsible for setting the vision and executing the strategic development of a system of early childhood education (ECE) for Philadelphia.

Perkins was previously the executive director of citywide education initiatives for New Orleans Public Schools (NOLA Public Schools), and also worked years creating and executing the plan for unifying the two school districts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Perkins holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The George Washington University.

Sarah Stevenson.

Sarah Stevenson, the deputy commissioner of policy and strategy for the Philadelphia Water Department was recently named the chief integrity officer for the City of Philadelphia.

The Office of the Chief Integrity Officer (CIO) is charged with promoting integrity, transparency, and accountability throughout the executive branch of government. CIO educates City employees and the public on City’s ethics rules; develops policies to make sure the City operates responsibly and with integrity; and improves access to City resources.

Stevenson began her career with the City of Philadelphia in 2009 as an attorney for the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD). In 2014, she was appointed PWD’s director of enforcement, and in 2016 was appointed director of government affairs and policy. After the retirement of PWD Commissioner Debra McCarty in 2019, Stevenson was appointed acting commissioner, resuming her role as deputy commissioner of policy and strategy after the appointment of Randy Hayman as PWD commissioner.

During the past four years, Stevenson has served as PWD’s integrity officer and acted as a liaison to the Office of the Chief Integrity Officer.

Stevenson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a juris doctor and master of public administration degree from Villanova University.

Prior to her tenure with the City, she worked for the nonprofit Committee of Seventy.


7. Katrina Denk Gonzalez and Na’Tosha Wyles join the Technically Media team.

Katrina Denk Gonzalez.

Katrina Denk Gonzalez was recently named the marketing and partnerships manager for Technically Media.

Gonzalez was previously director of marketing for Strata Company, marketing project manager for Thomson Reuters, marketing director for Sonobond Ultrasonics, and marketing and PR client services for Malvern Communications, in addition to running her own branding, marketing and design business.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College and a certificate in digital media and web design from Moore College of Art.

Na’Tosha Wyles.

Na’Tosha Wyles recently joined Technically Media as the firm’s office manager.

Wyles comes to Technically media after serving as an order management specialist for Comcast Business and retention specialist for Comcast Cable. She also previously served as a radio co-host and producer at UE Radio Live.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Rider University. Originally from New Jersey but now a Philadelphia resident, when not working Wyles does stand up and sketch comedy and creates indie films.


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