BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Rona Buchalter
Rona is the director of refugee programming and planning for HIAS-PA. Before taking this position, Rona was the founding director of Drexel's Fellowship Office. She's held numerous other positions in education as well, including instructor at the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College and board president at Independence Charter School.

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Angie Ortiz
Angie graduated from Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School in 2017. She is currently attending Fairfield University pursuing a major in Public Relations with a minor in Spanish. Angie is one of two youth members of the advisory board and a 2017 JMB Award recipient.

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Vicktoria Phanthavong
Vicktoria attended Academy at Palumbo and is currently attending Dickinson College. She interned at Philadelphia Futures in administrations, where she learned about what happens behind the scenes of a small nonprofit organization. Vicktoria is one of two youth members of the advisory board and a 2017 JMB Award recipient.

Fran Melmed
Fran is the initiator of this award and the board president. She's also the founder and CEO of context, a communication consulting firm specializing in workplace wellness, and a Vetri Cooking Lab instructor for Vetri Community Partnership. Previously, Fran worked with Hewitt Associates (now Aon Hewitt) as a management consultant. Jill was Fran's mother.

Rosina Miller
Rosina is the founding director of Stanford in New York. She was the former executive director of The Philadelphia Center and was a founder of Independence Charter School, a K-8 school in Philadelphia, where she also served on the board.

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Lisa Nelson-Haynes
Lisa is the Executive Director of Philadelphia Young Playwrights (PYP), where she helps young people discover their potential through the art of the play. Prior to coming to PYP, Lisa spent 16 years at the Painted Bride Art Center and fostered her hands-on approach to arts education.

Cameron Voss
Cameron is the project coordinator for the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation's Skills for Community-Centered Librarianship Initiative. Cameron was previously a program officer for American Paradigm Schools and the deputy director for Children's Literacy Initiative. She has worked in the fields of nonprofit human resources, fundraising, evaluation, and management.

 

Team Members

Tia Hall: Mentoring
Tia is a climate manager at Bartram High School, coming to the school after working as a program manager for the Philadelphia Education Fund Philadelphia Scholars program. During her time with the program, Tia helped establish its mentoring approach. She'll be helping us with the same.

Stephanie Malsbury: Financial Empowerment
Stephanie is a strategic account manager with Trion Group and a volunteer with Clarifi, a nonprofit dedicated to building financial literacy. Stephanie is bringing her financial cheerleading (as she calls it) to JMB Award, supporting recipients as they build basic money management skills.

Elena Shomos: College Search
A graduate of the London School of Economics and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Elena has been active in education advising and policy through engagements with EducationUSA and a Fulbright Fellowship in Albania. Most recently she served as a college and career advisor at West Philadelphia High School in a position facilitated through the Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity. Elena is joining JMB Award to support recipients through their college decision-making process.

Photo by Conrad Benner / Streets Dept