Board & Staff

PACDC Board

Maria Gonzalez

President
HACE

Maria N. Gonzalez is President of HACE, and heads HACE’s development team managing over $100M of commercial and housing development projects that have contributed to the stabilization and revitalization of the Fairhill and St. Hugh Neighborhoods.  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 serves on the Philadelphia Planning Commission, is Chair of the Community Trust Board for the American Street Empowerment Zone, is Chair of the Oversight Board of the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, and serves on the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund Oversight Board.  Ms. Gonzalez is currently President of the PACDC Board.

Michael Thorpe

Vice President
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 Secretary of the PACDC Board.

Bryan Fenstermaker

Secretary
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.

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.

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.  His practice also involves advising non-profit and governmental clients in connection with their corporate structure and governance issues.  Prior to his current firm, Mr. Davidson served as a Partner at Fineman, Krekstein & Harris, P.C., Counsel at the law firm Wolf Block LLP, and an associate with Duane Morris LLP, and, before law school served as an aide to Congressmen Robert Torricelli and Thomas Downey.  He is a board member of Federation Housing and 1260 Housing Development Corporation (a member of the Mission First Housing Group). He has served his community as a Committeeman in the City’s Fifth Ward, and is an active member of the Washington Square West Civic Association.  Mr. Davidson is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Rose Gray

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 an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Jamila Harris-Morrison

ACHIEVEability

Jamila Harris-Morrison is the Executive Director of ACHIEVEability, a nonprofit in West Philadelphia dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty for single-parent families, and a member of the Mission First Housing Group.  She has over 15 years of nonprofit experience, which includes community and economic development, counseling, educational and evaluative services for children and adults, and previously served as Deputy Director and Director of Self-Sufficiency of ACHIEVEability.  She volunteers as a mentor for Philadelphia Futures, and is a member of Women’s Way–Young Women Initiative, and the National Association of Black Social Workers. She also serves on the board of Together for West Philadelphia and the Continuum of Care Advisory Board.  She earned an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice and graduated from Clark University with a BA in Psychology.  She has received numerous awards for leaders under 40, including a PACDC 2018 Rising Star.  Ms. Harris-Morrison has not previously served on the PACDC Board.

Nora Lichtash

Women's Community Revitalization Project

Nora Lichtash is Executive Director of the Women’s Community Revitalization Project, a CDC working in Eastern North, Northwest and South 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.

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 Land Health Institute Board, and is a Temple University Community Ambassador.  Ms. Rashid is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Dina Schlossberg

Regional Housing Legal Services

Dina Schlossberg is Deputy Director/Senior Attorney for Multifamily Housing at Regional Housing Legal Service. She has more than 25 years of experience in the area of real estate, non-profit and community development law, concentrating primarily on affordable housing and community development initiatives utilizing the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.  She has extensive experience working with nonprofit organizations in the application and maintenance of federal and state tax exemption.  Ms. Schlossberg is a current adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She is the immediate past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law; is a graduate of Miami University and earned her law degree from the Temple University Beasley School of Law.  Ms. Schlossberg is currently an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Janet Stearns

Project HOME

Janet Stearns is Vice President of Real Estate Development and Asset Management for Project HOME.  For the past seven years she has focused on developing Project HOME’s mission driven projects to create new permanent supportive housing units and commercial space, working with the low income housing tax credit and new market tax credit programs.  Janet has over 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 in 2008. Ms. Stearns is an at-large member of the PACDC Board

Felix Torres-Colon

New Kensington Community Development Corporation

Felix Torres-Colon is the Executive Director of New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC).  He is a veteran leader in the community development field and brings several decades of real estate development experience to his work.  Prior to joining NKCDC, he served as Director of Program Development at Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society (SJCS), a nonprofit devoted to improving quality of life and creating safe neighborhoods through homeownership in Camden, NJ.  Prior to that, he led Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) agencies—in Baltimore, MD and Manchester, NH.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Harvard University, and completed graduate coursework in City Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Torres-Colon has not previously served on the PACDC Board.

Kim Washington

Frankford CDC

Kimberly Washington, Esq. is Executive Director of Frankford Community Development Corporation, which is focused on providing residents with affordable housing resources, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities.  Previously, she served as Coordinator for the Northeast EPIC Stakeholder Group, where she addressed quality of life issues in the Lower Northeast through prevention based programing, and as a Consultant for the Frankford Neighborhood Advisory Committee.  She has also served as attorney for children and families involved in the Philadelphia child welfare system and families involved in child custody and support matters.  Kimberly was raised in the Frankford section of Philadelphia, graduated with honors from Temple University’s Fox School of Business & Management and obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School.  Ms. Washington 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.

Staff Members

Colleen Boyd

Administrative and Program Assistant

Colleen Boyd is a recent graduate of Temple University, where she majored in Philosophy and Environmental Studies. Starting her professional advancement during college, she has taken on multiple roles in the community development field. She was the Marketing Director/Board Member/Committee Head for The Rad Dish Co-Op Cafe, a sustainable-food-systems development group. As a Canvasser for Clean Water Action, she worked on the frontlines to educate the community about environmental policy issues and the candidates who support just policymaking. As an Assistant Development Coordinator for GreenAllies, she was the writer of a community development guidebook. Moving forward, Colleen will continue to play an active role in community development as the Administrative and Program Assistant for PACDC.

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.

Zakya Hall

Membership and Communications Coordinator

Zakya provides support to our Community Development Leadership Institute and communications efforts. Prior to joining PACDC in 2018, she was a Leadership and Community Action Fellow at Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. She recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, and she also studied abroad in Seville, Spain. At Penn, she led planning for ten events held during Women’s Week and oversaw a massive voter engagement project in fall 2016.  Zakya is a lifelong resident of North Philadelphia.

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 graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies with a bachelor’s degree in  Urban Studies.  Beth 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 Business, and sits on the Employer Advisory Board of the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies.

Garrett O'Dwyer

Health Programs & Special Projects Manager

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.

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 (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.

Advisory Board

Bernard Anderson, Ph.D.

University of Pennsylvania

Amanda Beswick

Oak Foundation

Stephen Briggs

Wells Fargo

Paige Carlson-Heim

TD Charitable Foundation

John Chin

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation

Tom Corcoran

Andrew Frishkoff

Philadelphia Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Ira Goldstein

Reinvestment Fund

Maria Gonzalez

HACE

Rose Gray

Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha

Don Haskin

Lee Huang

Econsult Solutions Inc

Joe Kriesberg

Massachusetts Association of CDCs

Kafi Lindsay

PNC Community Development

John MacDonald

Alan Mallach

Center for Community Progress

Sharmain Matlock-Turner

Urban Affairs Coalition

Deborah McColloch

Joe McNeely

Wendell Pritchett

University of Pennsylvania

Pedro Ramos

The Philadelphia Foundation

Mark Schwartz

Regional Housing Legal Services

Theresa Singleton

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Joan Straussman-Brandon

NeighborWorks America

Frederick Strober

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP

Kira Strong

City of Philadelphia

Lamar Wilson

Wilson & Associates