Board & Staff

PACDC Board

Rose Gray

President
Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha

Rose Gray is Senior Vice President of the Community and Economic Development Division at Asociación Puertorriqueños En Marcha (APM), where she oversees the day to day operations, focusing on real estate planning and development.  Under her leadership, APM has taken the community’s vision and leveraged over $180 million in public/private funding to assist in the transformation of Eastern North Philadelphia.  Over her 26 year career at APM, she has served on many boards and commissions, and currently serves as an Advisory member of the Reinvestment Fund’s NMTC program, Advisory member of the Rose Co. NMTC program, is a member of the Commission on Aging, Advisory member for the Pennsylvania DCED program, is a member of the Affordable Workforce Housing Task Force for the Urban Land Institute, and lectures at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania on various industry topics several times a year.  Ms. Gray is President of the PACDC Board.

Maria Gonzalez

Vice-President
HACE

Maria Gonzalez is President of HACE (formerly the Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises), a CDC in Eastern North Philadelphia, where she is responsible for day-to-day operations and the development agenda.  Prior to coming to HACE in 1996, she was an underwriter for the PHIL Loan program for First Union National Bank, Senior Financial Specialist for the Philadelphia Rehabilitation Plan, an employment counselor for Aspira, and Assistant Manager for the Norris Square Economic Development Corporation.  She has served as Chair of the Community Trust Board of the American Street Empowerment Zone since 2005.  Ms. Gonzalez is Vice President of the PACDC Board.

Marcus Allen

Treasurer
Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region

Marcus Allen is CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region, the Greater Philadelphia region’s largest and most experienced youth mentoring organization.  Previously he served in a range of capacities, including CEO of ACHIEVEability, COO for VisionQuest, was the Founder/Director of the Marcus Allen Basketball Camp, and served in the US Army National Guard.  He serves on the Boards of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation and the United Way, the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity Oversight Board, and has received numerous awards, including Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEO.”  Mr. Allen is Treasurer of the PACDC Board.

Janet Stearns

Secretary
Project HOME

Janet Stearns is Vice President of Real Estate Development and Asset Management for Project HOME, where she focuses on mission driven projects to create new permanent supportive housing for the homeless and other projects, such as the new Wellness Center in North Philadelphia and the preservation of the existing affordable housing.  Janet has almost 30 years of experience in working in affordable housing and real estate development.  In addition to her JD, she has a master’s degree in Public Policy and Public Administration.  Janet practiced law in Boston, MA with a focus on housing and related permitting and financing matters, and was a principal in a housing consulting firm in Cambridge, MA, prior to entering the nonprofit sector as in-house counsel and Director of Real Estate for an organization in the Boston area.  Ms. Stearns is Secretary of the PACDC Board.

John Chin

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation

John Chin is Executive Director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, a CDC committed to the preservation, protection and promotion of Chinatown as a viable ethnic, residential and business community.  He serves on the Boards of the PHL Diversity and PHLCVB, and is the Board President of Friends Select School. He serves on the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs and Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Community Empowerment and Opportunity.  Mr. Chin is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Michael Davidson

Turner Law, P.C.

Michael Davidson is a Partner at the law firm Turner Law, P.C., where he focuses on municipal finance, affordable housing and community development finance and real estate transactions.  Prior to his current firm, Mr. Davidson served as a Partner at Fineman, Krekstein & Harris, Counsel at the law firm Wolf Block LLP, was an associate with Duane Morris LLP, and served as a congressional aide.  He is a board member of Federation Housing and Mission First Housing Group, and is a Democratic Committeeman in the City’s Fifth Ward, and has been active with the Washington Square West Civic Association.  Mr. Davidson is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Bryan Fenstermaker

Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation

Bryan Fenstermaker is Executive Director of the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation, which has a dual mission as both a non-profit real estate development/management company and a public space maintenance and enhancement organization.  Prior to joining PARC, he served as Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at The Enterprise Center CDC, and had an additional ten years of experience as a paralegal with law firms in New York, DC and Texas.  He serves on a number of Councils/Committees, including the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council and Urban Land Institute’s NEXT Philadelphia.  Mr. Fenstermaker is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Nora Lichtash

Women's Community Revitalization Project

Nora Lichtash is Executive Director of the Women’s Community Revitalization Project, a CDC in Eastern North Philadelphia recognized for the quality, innovation, and effectiveness of its housing and community development strategies; and as an organization which involves low-income women and their families in the process of community building, self-empowerment and change. She worked with WCRP since its inception – first as a volunteer, and then as its director since 1990.  She’s managed the organization’s growth from an operating budget of $50,000 to its current annual operating budget of $1.5 million.  Ms. Lichtash is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Wanda Mial

Mialstones Consulting

Wanda Mial is Principal of Mialstones Consulting, and has been a national leader in the non-profit, governmental, and philanthropic sectors for more than twenty-five years.  Prior to her current consulting work, she served as Executive Director of ACHIEVEability; Senior Vice President of the Philadelphia Education Fund; Senior Program Associate of the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Christian Alliance; Chief Deputy Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services; and Deputy Director of Congreso de Latinos Unidos.  Ms. Mial is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Cicely Peterson-Mangum, Esq.

PetersonMangum LLC

Cicely Peterson-Mangum is Principal of PetersonMangum LLC, which she recently launched to provide leadership services and strategic support to organizations, especially those in transition.  Cicely has worked in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, including education, economic development, government, and law.  She most recently served as the Executive Director of Drexel University’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.  Previously, she served as Interim CEO of Imhotep Institute Charter High School, Executive Director of Logan CDC, worked in various commercial corridor revitalization capacities at Mt. Airy USA, worked with the law firm of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP, taught law, and clerked for three judges in Pennsylvania’s First Judicial District.  Ms. Peterson-Mangum is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Majeedah Rashid

Nicetown CDC

Majeedah Rashid is Chief Operating Officer of Nicetown Community Development Corporation, which serves Nicetown and surrounding communities through the development and repair of affordable homes, commercial corridor revitalization, open space management, supportive services, and community outreach and engagement.  She joined Nicetown CDC in 2002 while studying community economic development from a resident-driven perspective at Southern New Hampshire University’s CED Master’s Program.  Majeedah serves on the Philadelphia Land Bank Board, LaSalle University President’s Community Advisory Council, the Natural Creativity Art Center Board, and is a Temple University Community Ambassador.  Ms. Rashid is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Mark Schwartz

Regional Housing Legal Services

Mark Schwartz is Executive Director of Regional Housing Legal Services, which is a non-profit law firm with expertise in affordable housing, and its related components – community and economic development, utility matters, and preservation of homeownership – that provides innovative project and policy solutions that help create sustainable communities for lower-income families in Pennsylvania.  He serves on a number of Boards, including the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the National Council of State Housing Boards, the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, and the executive committee of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia.  He is also a co-founder and immediate past Board President of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, and has 3 very cute granddaughters; pictures available upon request.  Mr. Schwartz is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Michael Thorpe

Mt. Vernon Manor CDC

Michael Thorpe, Sr. is Executive Director of Mt. Vernon Manor CDC (MVM), which was established in 1977 to address the need for quality, affordable housing in the West Philadelphia neighborhood of Mantua.  In that capacity, he oversees the rehabilitation of affordable apartment units and the day-to-day operations of MVM’s community engagement and resident leadership initiatives.  He previously served as Board Chair of MVM, was a full-time real estate investor and partner in Thorpe & Thorpe Investors, and has decades of experience buying, rehabilitating, managing, and selling homes.  He is also a licensed realtor and elder at The Resurrection Center Church in Delaware.  Raised in Mantua, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Dakota State College.  Mr. Thorpe is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

James Wright

People's Emergency Center CDC

James Wright is Director of Community, Economic & Real Estate Development at People’s Emergency Center (PEC), a social services and economic development nonprofit located in West Philadelphia, where he oversees the economic development and revitalization of Lancaster Avenue through business-community capacity building, corridor marketing, business development assistance, and façade improvements.  Prior to his arrival at PEC in 2008, he worked at New Kensington CDC doing similar economic development work along the Frankford Avenue commercial corridor.  He is an active member of PACDC’s Commercial Corridor Working Group and Member Services Committee, and is a 2016 PACDC Rising Star Awardee.  He is a Philly native, and holds an MBA in Urban Economic Development and a B.A. in Urban Studies, both from Eastern University.  Mr. Wright is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Advisory Board

Bernard Anderson, Ph.D.

University of Pennsylvania

Amanda Beswick

Oak Foundation

Stephen Briggs

Wells Fargo

Tom Burns

Urban Ventures Group

John Chin

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation

Tom Corcoran

Tina Forbes

TD Bank USA

Andrew Frishkoff

Philadelphia Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Ira Goldstein

Reinvestment Fund

Rose Gray

Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha

Don Haskin

Lee Huang

Econsult Solutions Inc

Joe Kriesberg

Massachusetts Association of CDCs

Kafi Lindsay

PNC Community Development

Alan Mallach

Center for Community Progress

John MacDonald

Sharmain Matlock-Turner

Urban Affairs Coalition

Deborah McColloch

Joe McNeely

Wendell Pritchett

University of Pennsylvania

Pedro Ramos

The Philadelphia Foundation

Theresa Singleton

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Joan Straussman-Brandon

NeighborWorks America

Frederick Strober

Saul Ewing, LLC

Kira Strong

City of Philadelphia

Lamar Wilson

Wilson & Associates

Staff Members

Pamela Bridgeforth

Director of Programs

Pamela brings more than twenty years of leadership experience in non-profit cultural arts management, with particular emphasis on strategic planning, fundraising, collaboration building and community outreach.  In her role as Director of Programs, she oversees PACDC’s Member Services programs, including managing the Philadelphia Community Development Leadership Institute.  Prior to joining PACDC in 2007, she worked at the Walt Whitman Arts Center, serving as Executive Director for nearly ten years.  She currently serves as Board President for the Camden Repertory Theatre and is a member of the Philadelphia LISC Program Committee.

Cormac Ferrick

Membership & Communications Coordinator

Mac Ferrick provides support for PACDC’s communications and member services, including the Community Development Leadership Institute and crafting PACDC’s funding alerts and other electronic communications, and oversees our integrated database.  While an Intern at PACDC, he helped collect data to update our Collective Strength CDC impact report.  Before joining PACDC, he oversaw a research project investigating the status of foreclosed homes in New Castle County, Delaware.  A native of Philadelphia, he returned home after receiving a degree in Public Policy from the University of Delaware in 2015.

Lawrence Green

Director of Resource Development

Larry has 30 years’ experience in resource development.  He comes to PACDC following a 12-year stint at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, where he most recently served as Assistant Vice President for University Advancement and External Relations and, previously, as Interim Vice President of Advancement and Director of Sponsored Programs.  Larry worked in the non-profit sector as a Director of Development for twenty-five years in California and in Philadelphia prior to entering the field of higher education.  He has experience in virtually all areas of advancement including individual and leadership gifts, grantsmanship, capital campaigns, special events, corporate sponsorships, annual giving, direct mail, marketing and public relations.  Larry has raised funds for disease-related organizations, a child welfare residential facility and multigenerational community centers.  He received his B.A. in Speech Communications from Case Western Reserve University and his M.S. in Television-Radio from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University. Larry currently serves as a member of the Governance Committee of the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations.

Rebecca Hui

Administrative Assistant

Rebecca Hui provides administrative support to PACDC’s staff.  She is also currently earning her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at Temple University.  Previously, she worked as a 3rd grade teacher at Folk Arts Cultural Treasures School in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, an urban farm educator with Grow Philly in South Philadelphia, and as an elementary school teacher in Chicago, Taiwan and Spain.  She earned her Masters degree in Elementary Education at Loyola University Chicago and her Bachelor’s degree in theology at Boston College.

Beth McConnell

Policy Director

Beth joined PACDC in 2013, bringing twenty years’ experience in advocacy and coalition building.  She leads PACDC’s efforts to advance city, state and federal policies that help CDCs revitalize Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and rebuild communities.  Prior to her work at PACDC, she was the Executive Director of the Media and Democracy Coalition, where she brought more than three dozen consumer, social justice and public interest organizations together around policies that make technologies more accessible and hold media corporations accountable.  Beth was also the director of the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group (PennPIRG), where she won victories to protect consumers from unfair practices and strengthened air quality rules.  She is currently enrolled in the Urban Studies program at the University of Pennsylvania, and serves as Board President of PennPIRG and the PennPIRG Education Fund, Board Secretary of PennEnvironment, and is a member of the Advisory Boards of PlanPhilly and the Community College of Philadelphia’s Power Up Your Small Business.

Garrett O'Dwyer

Policy and Communications Associate

Garrett assists the organization with its policy and advocacy, data and GIS analysis, as well as external communications work. His primary areas of policy focus are on affordable housing, vacant and abandoned properties, and the intersections of community development and healthcare systems. Garrett serves on a number of boards and committees including Philadelphia’s Vacant Property Review Committee, Philadelphia’s Open Data Advisory Board, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Community Advisory Board, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals’ Community Health Needs Assessment Advisory Board, and the Executive Committee of the Vote for Homes Coalition. Prior to joining PACDC in 2009, he worked on campaigns for candidates seeking offices of Congress, the Pennsylvania State House, and Philadelphia District Attorney.  He studied Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rick Sauer

Executive Director

Rick has over thirty years’ experience in the non-profit housing and community development field.  He has served as Executive Director of PACDC since 1999, providing overall organizational management.  Prior to coming to PACDC, he was Associate Director of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, a statewide association of non-profit developers, and Assistant Editor of Shelterforce magazine for the National Housing Institute.  He is a recipient of a 2007 Eisenhower Fellowship on Urban Challenges and a NeighborWorks America Northeast Region 2013 Visionary Leader in Community Development, holds a Masters Degree in Urban Planning and Policy Development from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and is a graduate of the NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence program.  He currently serves on a number of housing and community development-related boards and committees, including: the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations Board; Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania Board (Vice President); Urban Affairs Coalition Board and Community Economic Development Committee (Co-Chair); Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund Oversight Board (Vice-Chair); and Philadelphia Land Bank Board.

Suzanne Sheeder

Director of Administration and H.R.

Suzanne brings over twenty years of administrative and financial management experience in the non-profit sector to her job, as well as an extensive background in event management.   Prior to joining PACDC in 2002, she served as Administrative Director and Event Coordinator for the award-winning, internationally syndicated Consider the Alternatives Radio.  During her eight years there, she managed both financials and membership and coordinated the National Sane Peace Award which included the Right Rev. Desmond Tutu, Jesse Jackson, and Joan Baez among its awardees.  Her academic studies centered on English and Liberal Studies at Arcadia University.