Meet our Board of Directors
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.
Gabrielle Kazze Rinaldi
Vice Board Chair
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.
Steve MacRae is the Director of Global Investment Product Management at SEI Investments. 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.
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.
David Esqueda is a Managing Director at Accenture within the Infrastructure Engineering practice where he advises clients as they embark in large transformations of their technology infrastructure including cloud, network, digital workplace, and IT service management. Over the last ten years, his primary area of focus has been Merger and Acquisition programs within IT and Security organizations, having being part of over 30 transaction teams in that period of time. Prior to joining Accenture in 2011, David held a number of engineering roles in the Aerospace and Data Center Facilities industries. He graduated from Penn State University, where he studied Electrical Engineering. Prior to that, he attended Valley Forge Military Academy and College where he also served as a member to the Board of Trustees of Valley Forge Military Academy (2012-2019). While growing up in Caracas, Venezuela he participated in El Sistema at the Conservatorio de Musica Simon Bolivar, and later was a member of the Orquesta Sinfonica Pre-Juvenil de Chacao, and the Chacao Youth Strings Orchestra as a violinist. David is currently a member of Orchestra Concordia in Wayne, PA.
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.
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.
Dr. Jason Karlawish
Jason Karlawish is a professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy, and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He was educated at Northwestern University, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and the University of Chicago. He is co-associate director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and co-director of the Penn Memory Center, where he cares for patients and their families. Dr. Karlawish also directs the Penn Program on Precision Medicine for the Brain (P3MB). A writer, Dr. Karlawish is committed to translating science into society. He’s the author of The Problem of Alzheimer’s: How Science, Culture and Politics Turned a Rare Disease Into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It and the novel Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont. His essays on ethics and aging have appeared in publications such as The Hill, The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, StatNews and The Washington Post. In addition to POP, he serves on the Board of Directors for The Greenwall Foundation, a grant making foundation dedicated to expanding bioethics knowledge to improve clinical, biomedical, and public health decision-making, policy and practice.
Michael Schuldt is a technology executive for the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. His areas of focus include strategic planning, business development, strategic alliances and partnerships, and project planning and execution while leading a team of technical experts to deliver digital service offerings. 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.
Trina Smith is a Director at PFM Financial Advisors, where she advises governments and 501(c)(3) organizations on the issuance of debt to fund capital projects. She specializes in higher education but has worked with many other sectors, including utilities and municipal governments at the state and local level in the mid-Atlantic area.She holds a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Public Administration from Rutgers University. She has a lifelong interest in music, and started playing the piano at 8 years old.
Amy Snyder is a member in the law firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC. She works with public and private employers on a wide range of traditional labor and employment law matters, including representing clients before administrative agencies and in federal and state court litigation. Amy frequently advises employers on issues related to leaves of absence and accommodating employees with disabilities. She also works closely with business leaders and Human Resource professionals to develop and implement employment policies and training tailored to their workplace needs.
Amy and her husband are the proud parents of three boys who appreciate listening to vinyl and enjoy playing the guitar, drums, and piano.
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.
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 locally and online. Lee is a graduate of The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History.