CEO and Founder, Saxbys
Nick Bayer has always been in the business of bringing people together, whether it’s as one of Philadelphia Business Journal’s Most Admired CEOs or as a consummate team captain since Little League. So when he created Saxbys in 2005, he never really considered it to be a coffee company — instead, it’s a hospitality company fueled by great coffee. Saxbys has since grown from one corner café to a 30-unit, Philadelphia-based hospitality business with a mission: Make Life Better.
Driven by deep-seated core values and O.D.D. (outgoing, detail-oriented, and disciplined) team members, Saxbys is headquartered in Center City Philadelphia with cafés in six states and on many college campuses — and growing fast (30% a year fast). In April 2015, Saxbys opened its first experiential learning café. The product of a partnership between Saxbys and Drexel University’s Close School of Entrepreneurship, it’s the nation’s first entirely student-run café where students earn full academic credit through a university cooperative education (co-op) program.
Mr. Bayer is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and an adjunct professor at Drexel University, where he teaches a course in entrepreneurial franchising. As a frequent guest lecturer at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, Nick loves supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs and encouraging everyone he meets to believe in the Saxbys mission and core values.
He serves on the Board of The Franklin Institute, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region, the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, Drexel University Steinbright Career Development Center and is a Corporate Council Member for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2017, he was named the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce as well as EY’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year. He resides in Center City Philadelphia with his wife and son.
Donald Generals, Ed.D.
President, Community College of Philadelphia
Dr. Donald Generals, a resourceful administrator and recognized advocate for community colleges providing an affordable means for students to achieve academic and career success, is the sixth President of Community College of Philadelphia. He began his tenure on July 1, 2014.
An educator and seasoned researcher, Dr. Generals is an expert on the roots of the progressive education movement in America. This concept is advanced by leading educators who believe schools must be effective agencies of a democratic society. In 2013, Dr. Generals authored a book titled, Booker T. Washington: The Architect of Progressive Education. As he is drawn to the democratic mission of community colleges, he said, “Our mission demands that we pursue strategies that enable our students to achieve their goals, with the understanding that their successes serve the best interest of our economy and our community.”
A native of Paterson, N.J., Dr. Generals previously served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, N.J. In that capacity, he led the development of new academic programs and the college's Education Master Plan, including an expanded mission for its Trenton campus. He also increased the programming and course offerings of the college's online instructional programs (MercerOnLine); developed its Study Abroad program; implemented an extensive redesign of its developmental education and ESL programs; and created a mini-grant program that enables faculty to design progressive educational initiatives. In New Jersey, he led the statewide effort to redesign the community college sector's General Education curriculum.
In partnership with Quad Learning, Dr. Generals introduced and implemented the American Honors Program to provide honors courses and a national transfer network to highly motivated, exceptional Mercer students seeking to enroll in top four-year colleges and universities.
Previously, Dr. Generals served as Provost at the Katharine Gibbs School in New York City from 2003 to 2008, where he developed and supervised all associate degree and certificate programs. From 2000 to 2003, he was Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at SUNY Rockland Community College in Suffern, N.Y. He initiated and led the development and adoption of that college's Core Educational Values; led the development of two new degree programs; and served as Acting President whenever necessary. Between 1984 and 2000, Dr. Generals worked at Passaic County Community College, serving as the Dean of Student and Cultural Affairs beginning in 1995.
Dr. Generals has been active in numerous professional and service organizations, including: the New Jersey Academic Affairs Affinity Group, as chair; the National Alliance of Community and Technical Colleges, as a Board member since 2010; the College Board, Middle States Regional Council; and the Paterson Board of Education as a former Commissioner.
A veteran teacher and student-centric administrator, he has been a featured speaker on behalf of community colleges for nearly 20 years, including a presentation to the College Board Middle States Forum titled, "Rising to the Challenge: Supporting Student Success and College Completion at Democracy's Colleges;" and earlier, another titled, "New Jersey's Developmental Education Initiative: Focusing on Student Success."
Dr. Generals earned his Ed.D. in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education at Rutgers University after earning both his M.A. in Urban Education/Community Service and his B.A. in Political Science at William Paterson College. Additionally, he earned certificates in administrative leadership and educational management at Cornell and Harvard universities.
Managing Director at Siebert Williams Shank & Co. LLC
Rasheia R. Johnson, City Treasurer was appointed as Treasurer to the City of Philadelphia on January 19, 2016. She received her Bachelor of Science from Albright College in Accounting. She is also an alumnus of Parkway High School (Northwest), class of 1994. With over 15 years of financial experience and accomplishments, Ms. Johnson decided to leave the private sector and serve the public with the appointment as City Treasurer by Mayor Jim Kenney.
Prior to being appointed Treasurer, Ms. Johnson worked at Siebert Brandford Shank L.L.C as Senior Vice President and head of its Philadelphia office. She also worked in the municipal finance department at Loop Capital Markets in Philadelphia and previously worked for Public Financial Management in Philadelphia. Throughout her career, Ms. Johnson managed over $7 billion in transactions and has provided complex technical and analytical expertise for a variety of municipal issuers.
As City Treasurer, Ms. Johnson overseas the cash management and investments of all City funds, all custodial and commercial banking relationships, and the disbursement of City funds. In addition to overseeing the issuance of all notes and bonds on behalf of the City’s General Fund and Enterprise Funds (Airport, Gas Works, Water and Wastewater) to finance capital projects and major equipment acquisition in adherence with the City’s debt management policy, she ensures that all principal and interest is paid in a timely and efficient manner.
In addition to her financial career, Ms. Johnson finds time to give back to her community by serving on the finance committee of her local church and serving as a mentor to young women who are interested in pursuing a career in finance.
Gerald K. Jones
President and Founder, Union Core America LLC
Gerald Jones is president and founding partner of Union Core America LLC, a startup focused on retailing and distributing next generation transportation fuel products based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Union Core America (formerly Alternative Fuel Distributors Inc.) is an early stage company focusing on creating the bridge in the market between today’s petroleum dominated fuels and the transportation fuels of tomorrow (electric, hydrogen, etc.) by focusing on delivering the lowest priced alternative fuel products to retail consumers when compared to gasoline.
Mr. Jones is also a founding principal in Broadway Properties, Inc., an affordable housing development firm. At Broadway, Gerald is responsible for the company’s strategic direction, project finance and deal negotiations. Prior to the founding of Broadway Properties, he held vice president and director roles with First USA Bank, BlackRock Financial Management, Verizon Communication and Meridian Bancorp. He has directed various financial and operational areas during his career developing a broad array of experience and knowledge in strategic planning, accounting, finance, business modeling, information systems and project management.
Gerald has served on various education focused non-profit boards including the board of trustees for the Walden School in Media, Pennsylvania, the Cost Containment Committee of Brandywine School District in Wilmington, Delaware, and various charter schools. He also has been a board member of various USA Track & Field related organizations. Mr. Jones is a native of Philadelphia and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Drexel University.
President, Fairmount Ventures, Inc.
Mr. Kligerman's in-depth expertise in strategic planning and resource development for nonprofits enables Fairmount Ventures' clients to reposition themselves in times of significant change. He's also the resident authority on evaluating and brokering nonprofit mergers and affiliations. His encyclopedic knowledge of the Philadelphia region combined with his extensive mental rolodex make him a great connector of people and ideas in the nonprofit sector. He is a frequent facilitator and presenter at conferences and retreats for fundraising and nonprofit professionals as well as nonprofit boards of directors.
Prior to founding Fairmount, Mr. Kligerman was Philadelphia's Commissioner of Licenses and Inspections, Deputy Managing Director and Manager of Housing Rehabilitation Programs. He is the past Board Chair of Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, past President of Philadelphia Parks Alliance, and has served on innumerable boards to include Philadelphia's Zoning Board of Adjustment, The Reinvestment Fund, Women's Way, and the Lower Merion Conservancy, among others. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation.
Mr. Kligerman earned a Master's degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Brandeis University. He also spent a year studying Urban Design from some of Great Britain's renowned planners at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
An avid cyclist, he is happier on a bicycle seat climbing a hill than behind a desk pounding a keyboard, but manages to balance the two.
Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, MGA, FAAN
President, Independence Blue Cross Foundation
Lorina Marshall-Blake serves as the president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, where she leads the Foundation’s strategic, programmatic, and operational efforts to fulfill its mission of leading sustainable solutions to improving the health and wellness of our neighborhoods that can be replicated on a national scale. This includes overseeing grantmaking work for the $65 million Foundation.
Outside of work, Marshall-Blake is devoted to her church and community. She serves as an associate minister at the Vine Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia. In addition, she is affiliated with more than 30 professional and civic organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the United Negro College Fund, and is the past president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
She also serves on 25 non-profit boards and committees of local, state, and national organizations including Albright College, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association -- Corporate Responsibility Committee, Pennsylvania Conference for Women, the Urban Affairs Coalition, and the Urban League of Philadelphia.
In 2016, Marshall-Blake was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as an honorary fellow and received an appointment to the National Advisory Council on Nursing Education and Practice in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Marshall-Blake graduated from Antioch College with a B.A. in Human Services and holds an M.A. in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. She also received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Albright College. She is pursuing her master of divinity degree from Palmer Theological Seminary.
Jill M. Michal
Former Vice President of Business Transformation, Independence Blue Cross
Jill M. Michal previously served as the Vice President of Business Transformation at Independence Blue Cross, Inc. where she oversaw a set of multi-year business initiatives that served as a basis for achieving the organization’s strategic financial plan. Prior to joining Independence in 2015, Ms. Michal was the President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (United Way). During her 13-year tenure, Ms. Michal led United Way through an economic recession and spearheaded the merger of seven United Ways in the Philadelphia and South Jersey regions in 2012. Prior to joining United Way, Ms. Michal spent eight years as a CPA at accounting firm Arthur Andersen in several management positions. At Andersen, she specialized in healthcare and not-for-profit clients, and performed financial statement audits, due-diligence work, bond offerings, and feasibility studies.
Ms. Michal is the parent of two young children and is actively involved in her community, serving as Chairman of the Board and as Chair of the Development Committee of the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, and on the Board of Directors of Child’s World America, the Healthcare Executives Group, the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation and the Campaign for Working Families.
President and CEO, DiverseForce
Sulaiman W. Rahman is the President and CEO of DiverseForce, a data driven recruitment and retention solutions firm that specializes in diversity, inclusion, and impact. DiverseForce works across all sectors and has collaborated with the University of Pennsylvania to develop DiverseForce on Boards, an innovative leadership development program that trains professionals of color on board leadership, governance, and matches them with nonprofit boards in the region.
Prior to DiverseForce he founded a professional network, UPPN, and quickly made it one of the Greater Philadelphia area's most respected professional networks with 18,000+ local subscribers and 5,000+ active members. In 2015, UPPN was named the Philadelphia Business Journal's #1 networking organization. UPPN is now a DiverseForce subsidiary talent community. Rahman currently serves on the Board of Directors at Community College of Philadelphia Foundation (Board Vice President), Mastery Charter Schools, Lendistry, and TeenSHARP. Also serves as an advisory board member for YearUP Greater Philadelphia and others.
In the past, Rahman has served in various business and civic leadership roles. He served as Chairman of the Board for the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ & DE (2010-2012), was appointed by the Mayor of Philadelphia to serve on the Board of Directors for PIDC (Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation), served as Chairman of University of Pennsylvania’s inaugural Black Alumni Gala, was appointed by the DNCC (Democratic National Convention Committee) in 2016 to serve as Co-Chair of the DNC Volunteer Committee, and was awarded in 2016 the President's Gold Volunteer Service Award during the Obama Administration for his commitment to service.
Rahman is the recipient of many honors and awards over the years. A few include OIC Game Changer Award (2019), YearUP’s Urban Empowerment Award (2018), Philadelphia Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award (2017); Philadelphia Tribune’s Most Influential African American Leaders (2009, 2011, and annually from 2015-2018); Philadelphia NAACP Business Leader Award (2015); BMe’s Community Leadership Award & Grant (2015); Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40 under 40”; VisitPhilly 360 Creative Ambassadors (2010); Urban League of Philadelphia “Urban Young Leader” Award (2009); Leadership Philadelphia’s “101 Next Generation Connectors” (2009); Philadelphia Tribune’s “10 People under 40 to Watch” (2008).
Associate, Ballard Spahr LLP
Ms. Roy is an associate in the White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations and Commercial Litigation practice groups at Ballard Spahr LLP. As a member of these practice groups, she conducts internal investigations and advises and defends companies and individuals facing criminal and civil investigation, and has participated in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice and federal regulatory authorities. Ms. Roy's practice includes counseling clients in Anti-Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy Act matters, as well as matters involving allegations of tax fraud, violations of the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute, violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, securities violations, and other fraud and regulatory offenses. She is a frequent contributor to Money Laundering Watch, Ballard Spahr's blog focused exclusively on money laundering issues and has been named by Super Lawyers as a "Pennsylvania Rising Star" for business litigation for 2016-2017.
Ms. Roy is a 2006 graduate of Emory University and a 2011 graduate of University of Virginia Law School. After law school, she clerked for Judges Robert S. Ballou and Michael F. Urbanski of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Before entering law school, Ms. Roy was an elementary school teacher in Atlanta Public Schools with Teach for America.
Michael D. Soileau
Vice President Planning and Strategy, Comcast
Michael 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 multi-service 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 multi-housing 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 is also on the Steering and Advisory committee for Philadelphia Fight. He is a Trustee of Community College of Philadelphia, 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.
Senior Vice President of Public Relations, Tierney
Tim Spreitzer is Senior Vice President of Public Relations at Tierney advertising agency where he started in 2008. Among his accounts are Independence Blue Cross, Corporation Service Company and Dow. Mr. Spreitzer leads Tierney's crisis and issues management practice, where he provides communications strategies for clients facing a variety of situations including mergers and acquisitions, abrupt management changes, labor disputes, and major litigation. Spreitzer currently serves on the Board of New Leash on Life USA, a non-profit prison dog-training program.
Mr. Spreitzer's past positions include Communications and Policy Director for Dwight Evans' Philadelphia mayoral campaign and Deputy Chief of Staff at the School District of Philadelphia. Originally from Chicago, Mr. Spreitzer formerly served as an Education and Workforce Policy Advisor for the Office of the Governor of the State of Illinois. He served on The Center for Autism's Board of Directors (2010) and has volunteered for Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Mr. Spreitzer earned his bachelor's degree from Western Illinois University and his M.B.A. from St. Joseph's University. He and wife Cheryl reside in the Point Breeze section of Philadelphia with their daughters Lucy and Amelia.
Mr. Spreitzer has made charitable gifts to The Center for Autism, St. Joseph's University, The Philadelphia Foundation, and the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition.
Principal of The Vanguard Group, retired
Craig Stock is a retired principal of The Vanguard Group in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where he worked from February 1995 through December 2015. From September 1981 through January 1995, he worked for The Philadelphia Inquirer in various roles, including financial columnist, business editor and financial reporter. From May 1975 through August 1981, he worked for The Wichita Eagle (Kansas) as a reporter and editor.
He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1975 with a B.S. degree in Journalism. During the 1979-1980 academic year, he attended Princeton University as a Sloan Fellow in Economics Journalism, a fellowship program overseen by Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School.
Ellyn Jo Waller, Ed.D.
First Lady of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church
Ellyn Jo is a native of Queens, New York and the partner in marriage and ministry of our Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Alyn E. Waller. They are the proud parents of two beautiful and accomplished adult daughters, Elynn Morgan and Eryka Lynn.
Ellyn Jo is engaged in civic and humanitarian efforts. She has devoted herself to education, women’s empowerment and champions the fight against human trafficking, domestically and internationally.
Ellyn Jo served as a Special Education teacher in Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Locally, she taught Life Skills in the Southeast Delco (PA) School District and served as a Special Education Specialist for the Upper Merion (PA) School District. During her doctoral program in Curriculum, Instruction and Technology in Education with a focus in Literacy Education and following, Dr. Waller was privileged to teach Literary Methods courses in the College of Education at Temple University.
Ellyn Jo’s continued commitment to education is witnessed by her service as a Board Member of The City School and the Marian Anderson Award, as well as an Advisory Chair of the United Negro College Fund's Delaware Valley Women of Faith for Education Afternoon Tea.
She currently serves as the President of Community College of Philadelphia’s Foundation.
Arlene M. Yocum
Managing Executive of Client Sales and Service and Executive Vice President, PNC Asset Management, retired
Arlene M. Yocum retired as Executive Vice President and Managing Executive for Sales and Service for the PNC Asset Management Group in January, 2017. In that role she was responsible for the delivery of fully integrated wealth management solutions including fiduciary, estate, trust, financial planning, investment management and private banking services to individuals and their families, as well as fiduciary and investment management services to institutional and ultra high net worth clients throughout the Asset Management Group. Ms. Yocum joined PNC in 1990 where she served as Managing Executive of PNC Institutional Investment Group, Manager of PNC's Private Banking Group (Philadelphia / Southern New Jersey), Manager of PNC's Corporate Trust Division and Senior Legal Counsel for the Investment Management and Trust Division.
Bruce Caswell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science, Rowan University, retired
Stanley S. Cohen, Esq.
Senior Counsel, Fox Rothschild LLP, retired
Richard S. Downs
Vice Chairman, American Foodservice Corporation, retired
W. Scott Magargee, III, Esq.
Of Counsel, Dechert LLP, retired
President and CEO, Glenmede Trust Company, retired
Vice President, Community Care and Development Corporation