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Power moves: BDT names a new CTO, a new director of healthcare innovation, and new director of technical services

July 17, 2020 Category: FeaturedLongPeople

1. Benefits Data Trust names Leona Thomas its new chief technology officer, Burt Miuccio its new director of healthcare innovation, and Macaire Jackson its director of technical services.

Benefits Data Trust recently announced that it has hired Leona Thomas as its new chief technology officer. Thomas succeeds the interim CTO, Sam Rastin, who will resume his position as director of software engineering, as part of Thomas’s team.

BDT, a national nonprofit organization that connects people to public benefits, wrote in its announcement of the appointment that,  “as CTO and as a biracial, lesbian executive with over 25 years of industry experience, Leona will bring diverse perspectives to both BDT and the tech for good space.”

Thomas told reporter Michael Butler, from Generocity‘s sister site Philly, that her strategy for supporting BDT’s mission comes from her engineering background and here lived experience — her family relied on benefits like the ones BDT helps people secure when she was growing up.

“I am actually one of those people 40 or years ago whose family needed that help,” she told “We didn’t have Medicaid back then. These social programs are critical for those who need a helping hand. That’s not a ‘hand out.’ It’s a hand up.” (Read Butler’s full interview with Thomas here.)

Before joining BDT, Thomas served as president and strategic advisor for Enabling Investments, the second company she has founded (she founded LJT Management Consulting in 2001).

Earlier in her career she served as chief operating officer at Wylei; as global transformation director and director of business architecture at hibu; as principal, business transformation and architectural expert at Computer Sciences Corporation; as operations manager/CIO consultant at Virtual Information Executives; as director of engineering at FIOS; as turnaround leadership and director of application technology at Norm Thompson Outfitters; and as director of technology at BaseSix.

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Described in the announcement as “a strong proponent of fostering community and inclusivity beyond her professional endeavors,” Thomas is a board member and co-chair of strategic planning for the William Way Community Center; a current member of the DiverseForce on Boards community; and a member of the Women’s Leadership Advisory Council of the Society for Information Management. She also served for five years as the professional development co-chair of the Portland Chapter of Women in Technology International.

Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree from Drexel University, and a master’s degree from Drexel’s LeBow College of Business.

BDT earlier announced, via its newsletter, that it had hired Bert Miuccio as director of healthcare innovation, and promoted Macaire Jackson to director of technical services and cloud engineering.

Bert Miuccio.

Miuccio was the CEO of HealthTeamWorks before joining BDT. He also worked as senior solutions lead at TransforMED (a subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians); and as CEO of the Center for Internet Security (CIS), which he cofounded.

Miuccio also previously served as the president of CentraCare, and in executive leadership roles at the Adventist Health System and at several acute care hospitals affiliated with the Catholic Health Association.

Macaire Jackson.

Jackson, formerly an information security manager at BDT, was recently promoted to director of technical services and cloud engineering.

Before joining BDT in 2019, Jackson served as senior security engineer at Qurate Retail Group; as senior information technology auditor at Comcast; and as senior threat and vulnerability officer, as well as senior systems engineer, at The Bancorp.

Jackson’s alma mater is Temple University, and he holds multiple specialized tech certifications.

2. Dr. Mellissia Zanjani becomes VP of institutional advancement and executive director of the CCP Foundation.

Mellissia Zanjani.

Community College of Philadelphia recently announced that  Dr. Mellissia Zanjani has been named the college’s vice president of institutional advancement and the executive director of the College Foundation.

“As a first-generation student, I received scholarship support from donors who did not know me, yet they sought to make a difference in the life of another person and I am forever thankful for their investment,” Zanjani said via the emailed announcemnt. “My chosen profession allows me the privilege and honor of making a difference in another person’s life and to help them accomplish their pursuit of obtaining an associate degree or workforce development certification.”

Prior to joining CCP, Zanjani was VP of institutional advancement at Lincoln University. She previously served at a number of universities and colleges, including the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Georgian Court University, Tacoma Community College, Mercer County Community College and Harford Community College.

She holds degrees from Chatham University, Towson University, and Oregon State University.

3. Hazami Sayed announces she will retire from Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture at the end of the year.

Hazami Sayed.

In its most recent newsletter, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture announced that Hazami Sayed, the organization’s founder and executive director for the past 18 years, will be retiring at the end of 2020.

“I’m grateful to the many people who have helped Al-Bustan grow — to my family and the amazing staff members, community members, teaching artists, guest artists, board members, volunteers, funders, and participants who have believed in our mission and contributed to this journey over the years since 2002,” Sayed said in the newsletter announcement. “I’m heartened by the impact our programs have had in the Philadelphia community and beyond, especially among youth whom I’ve seen grow into mature young adults. I look forward to Al-Bustan’s next chapter with a new leader.”

The board of the organization has opened a search for someone to fill the role of executive director when Sayed vacates it; you can see the job description here.

4. Elwyn appoints Len Kirby as chief operating officer.

Len Kirby.

Elwyn, the human services nonprofit with locations across the state and nation, made an announcement from its Media offices, that it has promoted Len Kirby to chief operating officer of the national human services organization. Kirby most recently served as senior VP of the intellectual and developmental disabilities division.

According to the announcement, “Kirby, a 25-year veteran of the behavioral health and disabilities services field, began his career as a direct care employee working the overnight shift and has since held the titles of counselor, supervisor, director, executive director, vice president, COO, and CEO.”

Chuck McLister, Elwyn’s president and CEO, said that throughout his tenure Kirby has turned around distressed units and programs, and called him a “great clinician, a smart businessperson, and a resolute humanitarian.”

Prior to joining Elwyn, Kirby served as the VP of acute behavioral health at Bancroft; as the CEO and COO of UHS; and the facility director for Abraxas Youth and Family Services. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

5. Curio Theater names Rich Bradford artistic co-director.

Rich Bradford,

The Curio Theatre Company in West Philadelphia recently announced that Rich Bradford, a longtime member of its company, will assume the role of co-artistic director of the company alongside Paul Kuhn.

“I am overwhelmed with hope and joy about this change at Curio and bringing the full representation of meaningful storytelling about the joys and pains of BIPOCs, LGBTQ and women’s rights by way of published and also new works,” Bradford said in the emailed announcement. “This is very important and close to my heart. Let’s begin the conversation, open up the stage and give a voice and platform of love, respect and power.”

On the company’s website, Bradford is listed as having taken acting classes with Johnnie Hobbs Rich in North Philadelphia’s Freedom Theatre. He studied at Stella Alder Conservatory, and has performed at the Walnut St. Theatre, Society Hill Playhouse, and other venues throughout the East Coast.

6. A. Hassan Charles appointed VP of workforce initiatives and development at Peirce College.

A. Hassan Charles.

Peirce College has named A. Hassan Charles as the institution’s vice president of workforce initiatives and development.

“We are honored and excited to welcome Hassan as a member of the college’s senior leadership team,” Dr. Mary Ellen Caro, president and CEO of Peirce College said via the emailed announcement. “Emerging adult student needs and market trends both here in Philadelphia and across the country are pointing to the growing importance of shorter, stackable educational components that lead to jobs. Hassan will play a pivotal role helping us re-envision and better integrate our workforce initiatives and accelerate the development and implementation of new offerings and services.”

Before joining Peirce, Charles was the executive director of Year Up Greater Philadelphia. Previously, he served as the executive director of partnerships, communications and community engagement at the Baltimore City Public Schools; as director of communications for the District of Columbia Public Schools; and as director of communications for PA Representative Tony Payton Jr.

Earlier in his career Charles worked in the for-profit sector as senior VP of operations for Urban Insights; VP of operations of Wachovia Bank; and senior business development analyst for MBNA America.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Virginia.

7. The Foundation for Delaware County promotes Katy Lichtenstein and Mischico Warren.

L to r: Katy Lichtenstein and Mischico Warren. (Courtesy photos)

The Foundation for Delaware County recently announced that it has promoted Mischico Warren to the role of director of grantmaking, and Katy Lichtenstein to the role of director of communications.

Warren has worked at the Foundation for nearly three years, starting as a program director, moving into the role of associate director of grantmaking service, and now director of grantmaking. Warren’s alma mater is Albright College.

Lichtenstein joined the Foundation in 2018, after having served as the development and communications manager at Rebuilding Together Philadelphia. She previously served as the acting associate director of student affairs at the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania; as a marketing consultant for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; as Fels Fund marketing and PR intern at Summer Search; and as associate media director at OMD USA. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels School of Government.

8. Brandywine Health Foundation announces new board officers, new member.

L to r: Dave England; Hannah Hill; Isabel Pryor; Valerie K. Martin; Richard C. Clark. (Courtesy photos)

The Brandywine Health Foundation in Chester County, recently announced that Richard C. Clark has been named the organization’s board chair.

In addition to Clark, who is the senior VP for Pillar Wealth Advisors, the new officers of the board are:

  • Vice chair: Valerie K. Martin, the chief financial officer for the Connelly Foundation
  • Treasurer: Isabel Pryor, chief administrative officer and senior VP at Key National Trust Company – Delaware
  • Secretary: Hannah Hill, a business analyst at ArcelorMittal

Along with the officers, BHF announced that Dave England, an associate broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, will be joining the board as a member.

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