Board of Trustees Bios
President, Girard College
After serving as the interim president of Girard College, Mr. Armbrister became president of Girard in spring 2014. At the College, he has steered the institution through a Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges reaccreditation; supervised a community celebration of the 45th anniversary of the desegregation of Girard College, which included participation by several of Girard’s first students of color; and is currently overseeing the enhancement of the school-wide curriculum and the adoption of the Common Core State Standards..
Mr. Armbrister’s previous positions in higher education include chief operating officer at Temple University and managing director of the Philadelphia School District. Mr. Armbrister also served as chief of staff to Mayor Michael A. Nutter for three years, where he led the daily operations of the administration and its 23,000 public employees. He was also the Philadelphia City Treasurer from 1994 to 1996, served as a partner in the Public Finance department at the Saul Ewing law firm and worked as an investment banker at UBS.
Currently, Mr. Armbrister is a member of the board of directors of the National Adoption Center, and formerly served as president.
Mr. Armbrister earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Doctor of Law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
Executive Director, University City District
Matthew Bergheiser is Executive Director of University City District (UCD), a nonprofit neighborhood improvement organization with a $10 million annual budget and 85 professional and public maintenance employees. UCD assists the continuing economic and real estate development renaissance of West Philadelphia from 29th Street to 50th Street. Previously, he was regional director of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where he oversaw a grantmaking budget of more than $6 million that funded transformational projects that helped communities reach their highest potential.
To help create employment opportunities for Philadelphians, Mr. Bergheiser co-founded the Job Opportunity Investment Network in 2008, a regional effort to advance low-skilled workers into career ladder jobs through partnerships with employers. He was recognized as one of the "40 under 40" business leaders by the Philadelphia Business Journal and as an Emerging Connector by Leadership Philadelphia.
Mr. Bergheiser earned a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief of Staff, The American Board of Internal Medicine
As chief of staff at The American Board of Internal Medicine, Suzanne Biemiller oversees the operations of ABIM's Government Affairs section, where she is responsible for monitoring and coordinating all activities at ABIM. Ms. Biemiller acts as a key representative of Dr. Richard Baron, President and Chief Executive Officer, by supporting communication among all leadership team members.
Ms. Biemiller serves as a board member of the Urban Policy Advisory Group at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation and Women's Way, and secretary of the board for the Fund for Philadelphia.
Ms. Biemiller earned a B.A. from Williams College and a master's in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University.
Chekemma J. Fulmore-Townsend
President and CEO, Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN)
Ms. Fulmore-Townsend is an energetic thought leader focused on driving transformation in poverty and inequity for youth and young adults. She is the president and CEO of Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), an organization that works to prepare young people for academic achievement, economic opportunity and personal success. As a leader, Ms. Fulmore-Townsend seeks to inspire passion, commitment and collaboration.
Her previous experience includes different positions at PYN, most recently as vice president of Program Services, where she led a team accountable for program design, implementation, evaluation, compliance and continuous improvement. Prior to her work at PYN, Ms. Fulmore-Townsend served at the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation as the senior director of the Emerging Workforce, fusing data-driven decision making with solid project management to implement and improve adult and youth workforce programs.
An in-demand speaker in the Philadelphia region and throughout the country, Ms. Fulmore-Townsend’s awards include being named a White House Champion of Change in 2016 and recognized in the Philadelphia Business Journal as part of Philadelphia’s Got Talent: 40 Under 40.
Ms. Fulmore-Townsend holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.
Lydia Hernández Vélez, Esq.
Deputy Managing Director for Aging, City of Philadelphia
As deputy managing director for Aging, Ms. Hernández Vélez is responsible for developing a 10-year plan to address the changing needs of seniors and creating ways to simplify how seniors can access services. Most recently, she served as head of the regional chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which is dedicated to blood cancer research, education and patient services. Previously she was senior vice president of Community Relations, Atlantic Region, for Wachovia Bank.
Involved with youth education and leadership for the Latino community, Ms. Hernández Vélez has been a member of Aspira, Inc. of Pennsylvania for nearly 30 years and currently serves as chair of their board of directors. In 2007, she was named one of the Most Influential Latino Leaders in the Delaware Valley by Impacto Latin Newspaper.
Ms. Hernández Vélez earned a B.A. from Barnard College and a J.D. from the School of Law at Hofstra University. She also received certificates in Management of Critical Resources from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and in Corporate Responsibility from the School of Business at Harvard University.
V. Steve Herzog
Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Philadelphia Energy Solutions
Mr. Herzog has been the senior vice president of Strategic Planning at Philadelphia Energy Solutions since October 2012. He previously served as director of Strategic Planning and Execution and as refinery general manager at Sunoco. Throughout his career, he has held operations, maintenance and technical positions at refineries, and has assisted with the sale of refineries in different locations around the country.
Committed to assisting students in meeting their educational goals, Mr. Herzog served on the Board of Governors of Philadelphia Academies, a nonprofit organization that helps prepare Philadelphia public school students for careers and postsecondary education, for twelve years. Mr. Herzog also created a training program with high school students, where they learned how to become operators in the process industry.
Chief of Staff
Mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, City of Philadelphia
As deputy director of Policy Planning and Coordination, Mary Horstmann's responsibilities include overseeing policy and planning for the city's anti-poverty measures, and leading the reorganization of the city's workforce development system. She is also the project lead for Digital On-Ramps, an initiative designed to provide a digital framework for delivering comprehensive education and workforce training to youth and adults. Her previous positions include deputy recovery officer in the City of Philadelphia Recovery Office and interim state director/Pennsylvania program director at the Center for Progressive Leadership.
Ms. Horstmann is a fundraising trainer for Teach for America, a Pennsylvania faculty member for the Center for Progressive Leadership and a young friend of Project H.O.M.E.
Joseph S. Martz
Chairman and CEO NHS Human Services, Inc.
Rosalyn J. McPherson
President & CEO
The ROZ Group, Inc.
Rosalyn McPherson is President and Founder of The ROZ Group, Inc. Highly regarded as a natural cross-pollinator, builder of strategic relationships, and cross-cultural content enthusiast, she leads her company in providing project management, market research, strategic marketing and communications, custom publishing, and product development to corporations, governmental agencies, and nonprofit institutions. Cultural arts, education, health care disparities, science and history are among her key areas.
Roz has had a long-term career as a senior level executive in the corporate and nonprofit sectors that includes educational publishing, museum administration and marketing. Many of her major projects have revolved around the development of legacy experiences that celebrate the accomplishments of the world’s diverse people. She recently served as President & CEO for the Urban League of Philadelphia. She also served as Senior Vice President for the Science Center at The Franklin Institute. Time Warner, McGraw Hill and Scholastic are among the companies where she served as a publisher and marketer. In 2016, The ROZ Group celebrated its 10th year as a certified minority business in the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia.
Among the boards that Roz sits on are: National Philanthropic Trust; Community College of Philadelphia; Mental Health Association of Southeastern PA; and First Person Arts.
Dr. Rényi retired from a 42-year career in educational innovation and policy change in October 2015. As Executive Director of the Mayor's Commission on Literacy in Philadelphia (2010-15), she instituted the country's first city-wide electronic registration system and first interactive online courses for low-literate adults. As the Dean, she guided the faculty at Rosemont College's Schools of Graduate and Professional Studies to create a completely new suite of online courses and updated all programs, (2007-2010). She worked to create fully online graduate education degree programs at American College of Education where she was Vice President for Academic Affairs (2003-2007). Among her accomplishments in her career was building a national model for K-12 curriculum change as Executive Director of PATHS/PRISM in Philadelphia (now called the Philadelphia Education Network), on which national standards in the social studies were based, and was invited by The Rockefeller Foundation to replicate her model in 20 other major urban school systems and three states (1984-94). She was also President of the NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education, where she worked on education policy and technology in education at state and national levels throughout the country. She served as a Dean at New York University where she assisted the faculties of all undergraduate schools to establish university-wide liberal education requirements (1980-83). Over the course of her career she raised $130 million for education innovations at the K-12 and higher education levels.
The Honorable James R. Roebuck, Jr.
Pennsylvania State Representative, 188th Legislative District
Rep. Roebuck has served in the state House of Representatives since 1985. He has been a board member since 1993 and served as vice chairman from 2003 to 2006. His legislative committee service and appointments include first vice chairman of the Democratic Ward Executive Committee, a member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and member of the Legislative Office for Research Liaison. He is also the Democratic chair of the state Education Committee. For 14 years, he taught in the History/Politics department at Drexel University.
Active in the community, Rep. Roebuck is on the board of managers for the Alumni Association of Central High School, a member of the board of overseers for University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, a member of the board of trustees of the Garden Court Community Organization and member of the board of directors for the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP.
His honors and awards include a citation from the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education and the Dr. William Ross Jr. Scholarship Fund Service award.
Rep. Roebuck earned a B.A. from Virginia Union University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He also completed the University of Virginia—Darden School State Legislative Leaders Foundation's Advanced Management program and the John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University.
Executive Director, HIVE
Simran Sidhu is the inaugural Executive Director of the HIVE, a youth-focused initiative that supports organizations and projects poised to change the narrative around young people and their potential. Prior to this, Ms. Sidhu served as executive director of YouthBuild Philly, a life-changing opportunity for young people who have dropped out of school, for more than a decade. YouthBuild Philly blends academics with industry-recognized vocational training and community service, and sees young people through to postsecondary pathways.
Ms. Sidhu was named to the 40 Under 40 list by the Philadelphia Business Journal in 2009 and was a TEDx Philadelphia speaker in 2014. She served as the elected president of YouthBuild USA’s Affiliated Network from 2010–2016 and was YBUSA’s Director of the Year in 2008 and again in 2016.
She serves on the board of the Reinvestment Fund, a national leader in the financing of neighborhood revitalization, and on the Selection Advisory Council of the Greenlight Fund, which identifies innovative and high-performing nonprofits from across the country and supports them locally. Previously, she served on the board of Moonstone Preschool and as co-president of the Meredith Elementary Home and School Association.
Ms. Sidhu holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College.
Michael D Soileau
Vice President of Planning and Strategy, Comcast
With more than 20 years of cable and telecommunications experience Michael Soileau is responsible for the planning and design of initiatives for using Comcast technology to deliver innovative solutions in Comcast markets for 3-, 5- and 10-year roadmaps. Previously, he served as the senior vice president of Marketing, Sales, Employee and Customer Experience for Innovative Communications, a $110 million multiservice provider (MSP) of phone, data, video and wireless for the United States Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and St. Maarten. He also held several leadership positions at OpTel, a managed service provider in the multihousing segment.
Mr. Soileau serves on the board of the National Adoption Center, is a member of the Steering and Advisory committee for Philadelphia Fight, and is a member of Lambda Legal’s National Leadership Council.
Mr. Soileau holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Texas at Austin.
The Honorable Stella M. Tsai
The Honorable Stella Tsai is serving as a judge in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia on an interim basis until January 2018. Hon. Tsai will have the opportunity to stand for election in 2017 for a full term. Hon. Tsai is a former partner at Archer & Greiner, P.C., where her practice emphasis included commercial litigation, government affairs and civil rights. At the firm, she is was a member of the Diversity Committee and chair of the Commercial Litigation Subcommittee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Previously, she focused on business litigation at Christie, Pabarue, Mortensen and Young.
Hon. Tsai is a member and past president of the Asian Pacific Bar Association of Pennsylvania, member and past president of the board of managers of Penn Law School's Law Alumni Society, member of the City of Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission and member of the board of directors of CHOICE, or Concern for Health Options-Information, Care and Education. Hon. Tsai's accolades include the Alumni Award of Merit from the University of Pennsylvania Law School Law Alumni Society, being named a Woman of Distinction by the Philadelphia Business Journal and listed in the Inaugural Class of Best Under Forty by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
Hon. Tsai earned a B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Jeremiah J. White, Jr.
Chief Executive Officer, White and Associates
As chief executive officer of White and Associates, Jeremiah White, Jr. leads the development of consulting strategies, such as business development and fundraising, designed to help midsized business and nonprofit organizations overcome market challenges and pursue growth. Most recently, he was president and CEO of Osiris Group, Inc., a marketing and business strategy firm. Mr. White is co-founder and past president of Intercultural Family Services, Inc., a nonprofit health and service organization for Philadelphia's in-need and ethnically diverse citizens.
Currently, Mr. White is the board vice president of the Glaucoma Service Foundation at Wills Eye Institute and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, board member of bioscience companies Transdermal Specialties, Inc. and FlowMetric, Inc., and member of the Wistar Institute Leadership Council.
Mr. White earned a B.A. in Education and an M.A. in Planning and Administration in Health Services from Antioch College.
Robert S. King (d.)
Rhonda R. Cohen, Esq.