Board & Staff

PACDC Board

Maria Gonzalez

President
HACE

Maria N. Gonzalez is President of HACE, and heads HACE’s development team managing over $150M 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 earned a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Joseph’s University. 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, serves in the St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children and serves on the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund Oversight Board.  Ms. Gonzalez is President of the PACDC Board.

Majeedah Rashid

Vice President
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 also serves as the Lead for Community Engagement on two Rebuild projects, for which the Nicetown CDC is the Project User.  Majeedah serves on the Philadelphia Land Bank Board, LaSalle University President’s Community Advisory Council, and is a member of the North Philly Collective, in collaboration with Temple University & Health System.  Ms. Rashid is Vice President of the PACDC Board.

Bryan Fenstermaker

Treasurer
City Avenue Special Services District

Bryan Fenstermaker is President and CEO of City Avenue Special Services District, which is the first multi-jurisdictional special services district in North America. Prior to joining CASSD, he served as Executive Director of the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation, Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at The Enterprise Center, and had an additional ten years of experience working in city government and law. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and is a graduate of Emerging Leadership Fellows Program with the International Downtown Association. Mr. Fenstermaker is Treasurer of the PACDC Board.

Jamila Harris-Morrison

Secretary
ACHIEVEability

Jamila Harris-Morrison is the Executive Director of ACHIEVEability, a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the generational cycle of poverty for West Philadelphian families. She has over 15 years of non-profit experience, 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 boards of Together for West Philadelphia, Mercy Inc. Catholic Hospital, and HOW Charities. She earned an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Psychology from Clark University. She has received numerous awards for leaders under 40, including a PACDC 2018 Rising Star. Ms. Harris-Morrison 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, PHLCVB, Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, and chairs the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs.  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 Mission First Housing Group. He has served his community as a Committeeman in the City’s Fifth Ward, and as a 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.

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 $1.8 million.  Ms. Lichtash is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Bill McKinney

New Kensington Community Development Corporation

Bill McKinney is Executive Director of New Kensington CDC. He has 25 years’ experience leading nonprofits and public and academic institutions, including two decades directing his own consulting firm, Innovative Solutions Collective. A longtime resident of McPherson Square, Dr. McKinney has researched, written and presented extensively on Philadelphia and Kensington on issues of race, equity and economic justice. He previously served as executive vice president and director of research and evaluation at The Food Trust, and as deputy director and then director of the Howard Samuels Center at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. McKinney received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Temple University, a Master’s in Applied Anthropology from the University of Maryland, a B.A. in Anthropology from Cleveland State University, as well as certifications in Non-profit Management and Trauma Informed Care and Enhanced Trauma Awareness. Dr. McKinney is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Stephanie Michel

North 5th Street Revitalization Project

Stephanie Michel is the Executive Director of the North 5th Street Revitalization Project (N5SRP). Stephanie is a tenacious and mission-driven leader with expertise in advancing community development programs with high quality returns. She applies creativity and analytical skills to design and manage effective systems and processes for addressing complex social issues. Stephanie offers planning, coordination, and implementation support to the four of N5SRP’s components: cleaning, safety, business assistance, and community. As the Executive Director, Stephanie applies her passion and talent toward engaging and inspiring community pride amongst North 5th Street’s residents and merchants. Stephanie is a 2019 Next City Vanguard Fellow and a 2020 Leadership Philadelphia Fellow. She also serves on the Charlotte Cushman Foundation Board. Ms. Michel 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 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 nine 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.

Walter Toliver

Esperanza

Walter Toliver is Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Esperanza, overseeing legal matters, human resources, and the housing and economic development department. Prior to coming to Esperanza, he was in private practice as an attorney specializing in corporate and real estate law, and in civil litigation with an emphasis on the representation of affordable housing developers. Mr. Toliver is a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. He holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the Villanova University School of Law. He currently also serves on the board of the Philadelphia Senior Center II (PSC II). Mr. Toliver is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Kim Washington

Frankford CDC

Kimberly Washington, Esq. is Executive Director of Frankford CDC, which is focused on providing residents with affordable housing resources, employment, entrepreneurial opportunities, and the sustainable improvement of public space. Previously, she served as community engagement Coordinator for CORA Services and a consultant for Impact Services. Kimberly is also a member of the Community Design Collaborative and serves as Vice Chair for the Philadelphia Historical Commission. 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 and Real Estate Development at People’s Emergency Center (PEC), a social services and economic development non-profit located in West Philadelphia. He previously served as Commercial Corridor Manager at PEC where he oversaw the economic development and revitalization of Lancaster Avenue. Prior to that, he worked at New Kensington CDC doing similar economic development work along the Frankford Avenue commercial corridor. He holds an MBA in Urban Economic Development and a B.A. in Urban Studies, both from Eastern University, and is a 2016 PACDC Rising Star Awardee. Mr. Wright is an at-large member of the PACDC Board.

Staff Members

Deb Bentzel

Programs and Member Services Coordinator

Deb (she/her) joined the PACDC team in 2022 and serves as its Programs and Member Services Coordinator, providing strategic and project management support to the Community Development Leadership Institute, PACDC’s conferences, events, publications, and podcast, and engages and supports members old and new, as they strive to reach their goals. Before her time with PACDC, Deb spent fifteen years in non-profit program development and management, including seven years with The Food Trust as the Associate Director of Community Food Systems where her work focused on equitable food and farming policies and practices on the local, state, and federal levels. While Deb earned an MPH from Boston University in 2004, she is also a trained baker. She most recently spent two years up to her elbows in flour and butter at Mighty Bread in South Philly. Deb serves as a member Urban Tree Connection’s Board of Directors and supports other neighborhood food distribution and community organizing efforts.

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.

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.

Martin Sakansong

Administrative Associate

Martin brings his past experience in community development and a passion for the wellbeing of his community to the table. Graduating from the University of Vermont in 2019, he majored in Communications with two minors, one in Community Development and Applied Economics, and the other in Consumer Affairs. Prior to joining the PACDC team, Martin was a remote consultant for the Douglass Community Land Trust, a relatively new organization located in Washington DC, working to preserve affordable housing for DC residents and to prevent longtime residents from being outpriced and displaced from their community. As the Administrative Associate at PACDC, he will be working closely with the Director of Administration and H.R. and other staff on organizational tasks and with the general upkeep of everyday operations.

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; Urban Affairs Coalition Board and Community Economic Development Committee (Co-Chair); Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund Oversight Board (Vice-Chair); and Philadelphia Land Bank Board.

Jen Selpa

Communications Coordinator

Jen joined PACDC in 2020 and currently works as our Communications Coordinator where she guides PACDC’s communication efforts and leads the development and execution of PACDC’s internal and external communications strategy.  Prior to joining PACDC, Jen served two years as and AmeriCorps VISTA with Campus Compact of NY and PA, where she worked in University-community partnerships between Civic House at the University of Pennsylvania and HIAS PA. In this role, she facilitated social justice workshops with undergraduate students in the Community Engagement Program; recruited, trained, and managed students to volunteer with HIAS PA; and provided employment training to newly arrived refugees. In 2017, she was the Collective Impact Fellow with the city’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity. Jen graduated from Villanova University in 2018 with a degree in Political Science and Peace & Justice.

Suzanne Sheeder

Director of Administration and H.R.

Suzanne has over twenty years of administrative and financial management experience in the non-profit sector, as well as an extensive background in event management. She provides administrative guidance to all of PACDC’s initiatives, oversees the Human Resources Department and manages the books of the organization.  Prior to joining PACDC, she served as Administrative Director/Event Coordinator for the award-winning, internationally syndicated Consider the Alternatives Radio.  During her eight years there, she managed financials and coordinated events including the National Sane Peace Award which was given to the Right Rev. Desmond Tutu, Jesse Jackson, and Joan Baez among others.  Suzanne majored in English and Liberal Studies at Arcadia University and has taken extensive leadership, organizational development and financial management courses through the years including the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program through LaSalle University. Her professional affiliations include the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) along with numerous political, environmental and animal-rights organizations.

Andy Toy

Policy Director

Andrew (Andy) Toy comes to PACDC after serving as the Community Development and Communications Director at the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition (SEAMAAC). Andy successfully led the Conceptual Plan effort for Mifflin Square Park moving towards implementing a $4.2 million improvement and an almost completed Neighborhood Plan. Andy and his team also managed the SoPhiE Food Truck immigrant chef incubator, which engages and connects community. Previously, Andy was the Managing Director of the now built Chinatown Community Center mixed-use community project, built a successful Commercial Corridor Initiative at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and developed Philadelphia’s Brownfields Program before that. Andy is recognized as a thought leader and innovator when it comes to community and economic development. Andy’s policy and advocacy work has included efforts to ensure everyone has a voice in their community. He founded United Voices for Philadelphia and still engages in voter registration and voting advocacy. Andy also helped garner support for our public schools by founding the Philadelphia Public School Giving Circle and serving on the Philadelphia Public School Notebook). Andy is currently on the Boards of The Merchants Fund and the Union Benevolent Foundation, as well as a part of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy Philadelphia and the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs. Andy was an appointee on the Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission where he championed mixed income zoning policies as well as Accessory Dwelling Units. In 2006, Andy was selected as one of the top 101 Connectors in Philadelphia.

Joanna Winchester

Neighborhood Economic Development Programs Manager

Joanna brings over fifteen years of experience in community-based economic development and nonprofit management, with expertise in community wealth building strategies, commercial corridor management, program design, curriculum development, project management, and resource development. Prior to joining PACDC in 2021, Joanna co-founded North 4th, a Philadelphia-based consultancy with a focus on community and economic development, where she worked with a number of PACDC member organizations and local partners. She also previously served as Director of Economic Development and Director of Strategic Initiatives at NKCDC, where she received a PACDC Rising Star award in 2017. Before relocating to Philadelphia in 2011, Joanna lived in Oakland CA and Washington, DC, where her work focused on community organizing, leadership development, and environmental justice. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and has secured grant awards up to $5 million for community-based organizations. Joanna received her Master’s degree in City Planning from the University of City Planning, where she currently serves as a first-year Workshop instructor.

Advisory Board

Bernard Anderson, Ph.D.

University of Pennsylvania

Schnearia Ashley

Truist

Stephen Briggs

Wells Fargo

Monica Burch

PNC Bank

John Chin

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation

Andrew Frishkoff

LISC Philadelphia

Ira Goldstein

Reinvestment Fund

Maria Gonzalez

HACE

Rose Gray

Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha

Lee Huang

Econsult Solutions Inc

Joe Kriesberg

Massachusetts Association of CDCs

Dennis Laguex

TD Bank

John MacDonald

Alan Mallach

Center for Community Progress

Sharmain Matlock-Turner

Urban Affairs Coalition

Deborah McColloch

Joe McNeely

Pedro Ramos

The Philadelphia Foundation

Lucy Robson

Oak Foundation

Mark Schwartz

Regional Housing Legal Services

Theresa Singleton

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Bob Smith

Comcast

Joan Straussman-Brandon

NeighborWorks America

Frederick Strober

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP

Kira Strong

City of Philadelphia

Lamar Wilson

Wilson & Associates