About the Trustees
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 grant-making 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.
Suzanne Biemiller, Vice Chair
Founder and Principal, Highland Strategies
Suzanne Biemiller is the founder and principal of Highland Strategies, a consulting firm focused on assisting nonprofit organizations, foundations and government agencies with their strategic planning and program design needs.
Prior to starting Highland Strategies, Biemiller served as Director of Policy and Planning and First Deputy Chief of Staff to Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter. She has also worked as Chief of Staff at the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and as a Senior Program Officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Biemiller’s work focuses primarily on urban policy issues. She developed and wrote Greenworks Philadelphia, the city’s first-ever sustainability strategy, which won a Siemens Sustainability Award and led the team managing the proposed sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works. She also developed PhillyCounts, which engaged Philadelphia residents in the 2010 census, and created Pew’s Philadelphia Research Initiative. At ABIM, she helped plan and lead a shift in strategic direction and managed the attendant financial and internal culture changes.
In 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf appointed Biemiller to the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Board, a fiscal oversight board, which she chaired.
In addition, in 2017, Biemiller was named a Senior Advisor at Econsult Solutions, an economic consulting firm.
Biemiller received a master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree from Williams College. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two teenage daughters.
Chekemma J. Fulmore-Townsend
President and CEO, Philadelphia Youth Network
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.
Mr. Herzog earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington and an M.B.A. from Villanova University.
Mary Horstmann, Secretary
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.
Ms. Horstmann earned a B.A. from Wellesley College.
Joseph S. Martz
Chairman and CEO, NHS Human Services, Inc.
Joseph S. Martz is the chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of NHS Human Services, Inc., a $500 million nonprofit organization that provides a full range of services to individuals in the areas of behavioral health, education and autism, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Previously, Mr. Martz was the executive director and board secretary of the board of directors of City Trusts, where he managed a $650 million investment portfolio that benefitted 118 testamentary trusts bequeathed to the city of Philadelphia. Mr. Martz was Secretary of Administration in the cabinet of Governor Edward G. Rendell, and he served the city of Philadelphia for eight years during the Rendell Administration in various positions, including deputy commissioner of Public Property, first deputy managing director and chief operating officer.
A lifelong resident of Philadelphia, Mr. Martz serves on the boards of the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA), the Mother of Mercy House, Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association, and NHS Human Services. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Medal from the Pennsylvania National Guard—the highest commendation the Guard can bestow upon a civilian.
Mr. Martz is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and received an M.B.A. from Saint Joseph’s University.
President and 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.
Judith Rényi, Ph.D.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., Vice Chair
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.
Michael D. Soileau
Vice President of Planning and Strategy, Comcast Cable
Soileau brings more than 20 years of cable and telecommunications experience to his position as Vice President of Planning and Strategy for communications, data and WiFi products at Comcast. In this role, he is responsible for the planning and design of initiatives for deploying Comcast technology to deliver innovative solutions in Comcast markets. He is also responsible for understanding the company’s competitive market pressures and developing strategic plans to navigate this landscape. Michael manages industry research, developments and needs from new and emerging providers and for future products that are yet to be publicly available.Previously, Michael served as the Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Customer Experience at Innovative Communications, a multiservice provider (MSP) of phone, data, video and wireless for the United States Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and St. Maarten. Prior to his assignment in the Virgin Islands, Michael spent 10 years with Comcast, serving in various leadership roles throughout the company’s footprint. Additionally, Michael held several leadership positions at OpTel, a MSP in the multihousing segment.
Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Texas at Austin. This is his eighth year sitting on the board of the National Adoption Center and he is also on the Steering and Advisory Committee for Philadelphia Fight. He is on the board of the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, and is a member of Lambda Legal’s National Leadership Council. Michael resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Honorable Stella M. Tsai
Judge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Trial Division, PC
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.
Ms. 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. Ms. 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.
Ms. 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., Chair
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 the Entrepreneur Works Fund 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.