Meet our Board of Directors
Dr. Thomas Vernon
Dr. Tom Vernon is a retired public health physician who joined the POP board in 2015 and became board chairman in October 2018. Tom is a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Medical School and completed internal medicine training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He spent several years with the Centers for Disease Control as an epidemiologist, including two years in Nepal in the global malaria eradication effort. In 1972 Tom joined the Colorado Department of Health as State Epidemiologist and was appointed cabinet level Executive Director of the department in 1983. After more than seven years as Executive Director, Tom moved to Philadelphia to become Director of Health and Human Services for the Pew Charitable Trusts. In 1993 he joined Merck as the Vaccine Division’s Vice President for Policy, Public Health and Medical Affairs. Tom is a member of the board of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and chair of its Audience Engagement Committee. He serves on the Development Committee of the Curtis Institute of Music. He and his wife Pat West Vernon are avid skiers, bikers and travelers and are devotees of classical music, social justice, and good government. They live in Center City and have a second home in Colorado where live two children and four grandchildren.
Steve MacRae is the Managing Director of the SEI Global Investments Solution Team. In this role, he manages the internal and external resources employed to deliver investment solutions to the U.S. and Global markets. His primary role includes operational oversight of the SEI Funds (U.S., 40 Act) and the SEI Global Funds (Ireland, UCITS), as well as the Securities Lending programs in both complexes. In addition to ensuring efficient fund operations, he and his team coordinate fund launches, sub-advisor modifications, and other organizational fund activities. Before joining SEI in 2000, MacRae worked in the finance organization of Unisys Corporation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., and a Master of Business Administration from The Pennsylvania State University.
Traci-Ann Delisser is Director of Finance at Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) responsible for negotiating and closing corporate and property level financings. Before joining PREIT in 2003, Traci-Ann worked for 8 years as a real estate and commercial attorney with the firm Myers, Fletcher & Gordon in their offices in Kingston Jamaica and London, England. Traci-Ann graduated from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Laws and earned her Certificate of Legal Education from the Norman Manley Law School and M.S. in Real Estate Finance and Investment from New York University. She currently resides in Fort Washington with her daughter, Arielle.
Mitchell L. Bach, Esq.
Mitchell L. Bach graduated with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1968, where he returned to lecture in business law. He received his law degree, also with honors, from the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1971. Before entering private practice, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Masterson, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Mr. Bach is a Member of the law firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, and former Chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group in Philadelphia. He was Chair of the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 2005, and also formerly chaired the Association’s Business Litigation Committee. Mr. Bach is also the former Chair of the ABA Section of Business Law’s Committee on Corporate and Business Litigation, is currently Co-Chair of its Diversity Clerkship Committee, and was the former Chair of its Business Courts Subcommittee. Mr. Bach served as a member of the Council of the ABA Section of Business Law, and was the Co-Chair of the Section’s Leadership Development Committee. He also formerly served as the Section’s Co-Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Judges Initiative. Mr. Bach played a key role in the organization and development of the Commerce Case Management Program of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in 1999; and is actively involved in the creation of other specialized business courts throughout the United States, a subject on which he writes and speaks about frequently. He served as President of Society Hill Synagogue from 2005 to 2007, and is actively involved with a number of other non-profit organizations in the Philadelphia area. Throughout his life, Mr. Bach has been passionate about music, and was singer-songwriter in the 60’s and 70’s, when he also played with a number of bands as rhythm guitar and lead singer.
Samantha Butts, MD MSCE is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine. In this role, she specializes in treating individuals and couples who require fertility treatments to achieve pregnancy and treating hormonal disorders affecting reproductive functioning in women. She has also dedicated her research career to studying the impact of nutritional and environmental factors on fertility, factors associated with reproductive changes as women age, and the impact of race on reproductive functioning and access to care.
Sam relocated to Philadelphia in 1998 after graduating from Harvard Medical School to complete her medical training and earn a Master’s degree in clinical epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. As a native New Yorker, her appreciation and love of classical music was cultivated at the Harlem School of the Arts where she studied piano along with her sisters (encouraged by gentle parental nudging at lessons and practice time). Sam attributes this early musical education with providing a skill set that has supported her in life and in her career in medicine. As a current resident of Philadelphia and Hershey, PA, she has supported the arts as a member of the Mann Center’s Chairman’s Council, the Philadelphia chapter of the Links, Incorporated, and was previously on the board of the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
Ravonna’s daughter, Akili, was a charter member of POP. Akili performed in several partner music organizations throughout Philadelphia, toured Asia with Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America in 2018. Ravonna has been a constant champion and advocate of POP speaking at several POP parent meetings, fundraising events and staff/Board meetings. She is a respected parent and mentor to many POP families.
Kimberly C. Fields
Kimberly C. Fields is a top-performing Sales Management Professional with 20+ years in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry. Her diverse experience covers the gamut from finance, training, sales, marketing and teaching. She specializes in strategic plan implementation, leading change management and coaching for outstanding outcomes. She has successfully collaborated with all levels of management and diverse personalities on cross-functional teams and matrix organizations within the Johnson & Johnson family of companies and GlaxoSmithKline.
Juliet founded the Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI) in 2001, where she worked as President/CEO for over 17 years, and currently serves as Board Chairman. BMFI is one of the top ten first RIM art house theaters in the country with a unique curriculum of film studies for learners of all ages. Prior to this, she founded and ran one of the largest global marketing research and consulting firms for the pharmaceutical industry for over 22 years with offices in Beijing, Belgium, London and Philadelphia. She sold the company before starting BMFI. She is a frequent speaker for national programs and has published papers for numerous journals on topics such as women and business leadership, ethics, and disability issues. She also developed a course entitled “Business: A Liberal Art,” at Bryn Mawr College and is the founder of NELI, the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College.
Carole Haas Gravagno
Co-Founder and Director
Carole Haas Gravagno is the proud mother of two sons and several grandchildren. She considers herself a passionate supporter and enthusiast of the arts (theatre and music in particular), education, arts education and education through the arts. Carole is a parenting educator, as well as an impassioned advocate for parenting education – a discipline designed to give the most vulnerable among us the kind of nurturing that can transform an individual, a community and a society. She actively works with parenting educators, social workers and prisoners. Sharing these passions with John C. Haas, Carole was encouraged to help vision the Stoneleigh Foundation, where she continues to provide guidance and support. Carole enjoys classical music, travel, theater, singing, and skiing.
As the Founder and CEO of DoubleStar, Harry has led the design, development and execution of over 1,100 talent acquisition and talent management projects for over 450 fast-growing technology-driven organizations. Under Harry’s leadership, DoubleStar has appeared twice on the INC 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies and six times on the Philly 100 list of fastest-growing private companies in the Greater Philadelphia region. Harry has authored and delivered over 100 educational seminars and presentations at regional, national, and international HR industry events and he has provided expert commentary in print and televised media. As a member of Villanova University’s adjunct faculty, he has designed and delivered graduate-level coursework in Workforce Planning, Succession Planning and Talent Management principles. Harry holds his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in English from The Pennsylvania State University. In addition, Harry is an accomplished songwriter who has written over 100 songs and published two CDs of original music.
Tiffany Newmuis presently serves as Senior Manager, within Corporate Administration for Comcast NBCUniversal. Mrs. Newmuis’ skills and extensive experience in corporate community relations, business development, event management, diversity, equity and inclusion, have enabled her to thrive in each of her positions, making her an important voice in the Greater Philadelphia community.
Prior to joining Comcast, Mrs. Newmuis served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Directory of Diversity and Community Engagement for the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention (DNC). During her tenure with the DNC, Mrs. Newmuis managed the strategy, process, and people while implementing and directing all diversity goals and initiatives with respect to workforce, supplier, and operational diversity.
Bill Johnson has worked in the non-profit sector for three decades. He’s held development and leadership positions in higher education, the arts, and public media. He is currently general manager of WRTI, Greater Philadelphia’s classical music and jazz public media institution. In this role he leads local and national efforts to strengthen public service through the power of music and public media.
Bill currently serves on the boards of Eastern Region Public Media, Jazz Philadelphia, Greater Public, the Station Resource Group, the noncomMUSIC Alliance Advisory Council, and “Play On Philly”. He holds a B.S. in Policy Analysis from Cornell University.
Gabrielle Kazze Rinaldi
Gabrielle is Executive Vice President, Cultural Partnerships and Concert & Artist Services, at Jacobs Music. Before joining Jacobs, she was a public school music teacher and a private piano teacher. Established in 1900, Jacobs Music has been owned and operated by the Rinaldi Family since 1976. As Steinway & Sons’ representative in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, the company provides instruments and technical services for countless arts and educational institutions and organizations such as the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, as well as universities, schools of music and school districts throughout the region. Jacobs sponsors recitals, master classes, young artist competitions, educational seminars and other events aimed at musical enrichment. Gabrielle serves and has served on boards including the Temple University Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts, the Yun International Music Foundation (presenters of the Philadelphia Young Pianists’ Academy), Astral Artists, the Curtis Institute of Music and the Musical Fund Society.
Michael Schuldt is the Director of Technology Solutions for Pennoni, a multidisciplinary professional engineering firm headquartered in Philadelphia. His areas of focus include strategic planning, business development, strategic alliances and partnerships, and project planning and execution while leading a new team of technical experts to deliver service offerings including GIS, enterprise asset management, data visualization, and integrated project delivery solutions. He is experienced in founding and managing venture-backed companies and is actively involved as an equity partner and advisory board member for two dynamic tech start-up companies. Michael also serves as an advisory board member for Temple University’s Professional Science Master’s in Geographic Information Systems. As a lifelong musician, former percussion instructor and former full-time performer, Michael remains actively engaged and performs with various local bands and ensembles.
Gianna Tripodi-Bhise is WHYY’s Director, Foundation and Corporate Relations. She has 33 years of experience leading the development efforts of a variety of nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining WHYY in 2013, she spent seven years as Director of Development for Parkinson’s Action Network in Washington, DC. She also led development efforts for the Metropolitan Center for Assault Prevention, National Center for Policy Research for Women and Families, Easter Seals/Southeastern Pennsylvania, World Game Institute, and Radio Bilingue. Her areas of specialization include corporate and foundation giving; individual giving; special events management; and public relations. A native of Philadelphia, she holds a BA in English Literature from Saint Joseph’s University and an MBA from Drexel University. She is active in many children’s charities including Play On Philly, where she serves a Board Member and Chair of the Development Committee, and Spark Philadelphia, where she serves as a mentor, Corporate Ambassador and Advisory Board Chair.
Debbie is a professionally trained vocalist from Rutgers University and worked for the Camden County Board of Social Services for over 30 years where the team she managed assisted families with dependent children. She ran her own special events business for many years including coordinating all events for the visit by Prince Edward in 2012 and developing the Philly Pops annual ball. Debbie has extensive experience serving on nonprofit boards, is an active member of several social clubs throughout the region and continues to perform with the Philadelphia Singers Chorale.
Lee is a Program Officer at Eisenhower Fellowships (EF), one of the world’s premier international leadership exchange organizations. She works closely with the International Fellows to research, develop, and implement customized professional experiences to advance global leaders’ impactful projects for peace, prosperity and justice. Before joining EF, Lee worked in Development for the University of Pennsylvania for over 5 years, including 2 years at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. She has dedicated time to several local arts institutions, including the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, InLiquid, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Fringe Festival. Lee also studies and lectures about semiotics and visual culture at Rowan University and online. Lee is a graduate of The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History.