QVNA Welcomes New Board Members

The QVNA Board is made up of five officers of the executive committee and eight at large members, all of whom serve two-year terms. QVNA received nominations for the same number of candidates as open seats this year, so QVNA will not host official elections, but is glad to welcome the following new Board members for the 2018 election cycle. 

Executive Committee

Eleanor Ingersoll, President

I am currently completing my term as acting President after my predecessor stepped down, moving to another neighborhood.

I was appointed to the Board in the Spring of 2014 to fill finish a term for an exciting Member. After being elected to the Board in November that same year, I began my work as Chair of the Schools and Youth Committee in earnest. Not only does the committee support both Nebinger & Meredith schools, but also Shot Tower Rec Center and Weccacoe Playground. For three years, S&Y has also worked to support the summer enrichment program act Courtyard, as well as it’s after school programming.

As President, I plan to continue these works as well as streamline the Website, dispatch a survey to the entire neighborhood to determine priorities and goals for the Board. And, of course, keep accurate and regularly spotted hours at the Weccacoe playground Community Room.

My husband, Scott Koruba, and I have lived in Queen Village for almost 19 years. We have three children who do and have attended Meredith Elementary, where I served on the Auction Committee and lead the School Advisory Council.

Melissa Donnelly, Vice President

I am currently completing my first term as a member of the QVNA Board.

I started as a volunteer with QVNA 6 years ago when I moved to Philadelphia and wanted to be involved with neighborhood initiatives to beautify the streets and sidewalks we all share.  As a Board member, I serve as the Chair of the Quality of Life Committee focused on cleaning and greening our neighborhood. We hosted the first QVNA Community Garden Party this past Spring to raise nearly $1,300 to support these efforts. We also completed the first neighborhood-wide leaf cleanup last Fall.

Professionally, I lead sustainability integration at Campbell Soup Company focused on resource conservation. I strive to be an active member of the communities in which I work and live. Working in Camden, NJ, there are many opportunities to make positive impacts on the local community. I initiated an employee volunteer program with the Camden Aquarium to do monthly cleanups on the Delaware River shoreline removing hundreds of pounds of trash.

I have demonstrated hard work and dedication as a volunteer for community initiatives in QV and as a board member with QVNA. As Executive Vice President, I plan to improve street cleaning, develop programming for tree pit maintenance, and complete a comprehensive tree inventory that will allow us to manage QV’s tree population to remove dead trees, keep new trees alive and thriving, and perform tree maintenance like pruning and trimming. I would love for us all to share a neighborhood that is full of healthy trees, trash-free sidewalks, and well-cared-for tree pits free of weeds and filled with flowers.

Jordan Schwartz, Vice President

I am currently completing my term as Executive Vice President after my predecessor stepped into the role of President.

This winter will mark my 11th year in Queen Village. In those years, I have enjoyed our public spaces, made our businesses part of my routine, and built friendships and professional relationships along the way. In short, I’ve gotten a lot from our neighborhood. For the last year, being a member of the QVNA Board has been a chance to give back to Queen Village.  This year, I am honored to deepen my commitment to our community by serving as Vice President of QVNA.

What makes Queen Village special is our community’s capacity to grow and adapt without compromising our historic appeal and civic character. Having worked with community organizations across the city – both inside City government and in the private sector – I know maintaining that balance in the face of competing pressures is hard work. It takes the commitment of an active, diverse and creative civic association, like QVNA, to act together to move neighborhood priorities forward. I like being a part of that challenge.

I aim to continue to apply my experience as both a neighbor and a lifelong Philadelphian.  I hope I can help us meet the demands of our complex, growing neighborhood, while looking to build new partnerships beyond our borders to support our goals and contribute to our city’s success.

Jeff Hornstein, Secretary

I am currently completing my term as Secretary.

I have been active in QVNA since 2008, having served on the Zoning Committee and on the Board of Directors.  I was president of QVNA from 2012-2016, and currently serves as secretary.  During my tenure as President, QVNA doubled the size of the community parking lot, creating a solid financial base for the organization, which has become a neighborhood-level philanthropy supporting schools, parks, and other worthy projects.

I am also chair of the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition, a citywide organization representing nearly 30 civic associations.  I helped convene the Friends of Neighborhood Education, a citywide network of community groups that support neighborhood public schools, and was a co-founder of the Philadelphia Public School Giving Circle, a donor-advised fund that provides small grants to disadvantaged neighborhood schools.

By day, I am Director of Financial & Policy Analysis for the Philadelphia City Controller, working on issues relating to Philadelphia’s fiscal and economic health.  Since 2005 I have lived with my wife, Pamela Barnett, on the 300 block of Queen Street.

Justin Fishman, Treasurer

I currently completing my first term as a member of the QVNA board.

I have been an active Board member of QVNA since I was elected in November 2015.  My wife and I have lived in Queen Village for 5 years, currently on the 700 block of S. 2nd Street.  We truly love the neighborhood and have made it our permanent home.  We have twin daughters, Olivia and Isabella (5), and a son Jonah (2).  I was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Montgomery County with deep family roots throughout Northeast Philadelphia.  My great grandfather even lived in a basement on 2nd and Bainbridge before moving the family to Oxford Circle.

I am a commissioned Naval Officer in an expeditionary reserve battalion based in Lakehurst, NJ.  I have a finance degree from the George Washington University and an MBA from the University of Michigan.  In my civilian career, I am a First Vice President at Stifel Financial Corporation.

For the past three summers, I have been actively involved in Queen Village’s “Summer at Courtyard” program, providing a tremendous opportunity for children from the Courtyard apartments and beyond to attend a sponsored summer camp.  I focused on the athletics and as well as connecting with local professional teams including a visit to Lincoln Financial Field and a Phillies Game.   I am honored to serve as the treasurer on the QVNA board and represent this vital community.

At-Large Board Members

Dahvia Dalton

My name is Dahvia Dalton and I’ve lived in both Philadelphia and Queen Village for over 10 years. As a homeowner on the 500 block of Carpenter for eighteen months, I’ve watched the neighborhood progress and am excited to be a part of that change. I am running for a position on the QVNA Board.

As a native of New Orleans, I was thrilled to feel instantly at home in Philadelphia. I felt inspired to get more involved in the community and I’ve done that by volunteering with QVNA, PAWS, Weavers Way, and West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WEPAC). I also serve on the Parent Association and Auction Committee at Friends Select School, where my son Beckett is in first grade. My background is in television production; but after becoming a mom, I followed my passion for health and wellness and became a Yoga teacher. I am honored to work with various members of the community from children to pregnant women to the elderly. I also organize and teach wellness workshops for Diversified Community Services, which serves low income community centers in Philadelphia.

My desire to be a positive influence in the community by keeping our streets safe and clean is what drives me to run for the QVNA Board. I look forward to the opportunity to serve.

Mark Grabarits

I am a proud resident of Queen village who resides on the 900 block of S. 2nd St. with my wife, Alicia. Alicia, a native of Philadelphia, and I have been residents of Queen Village for the past five years.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Business Administration from Lehigh University and a Juris Doctor from Widener University-Delaware Law School.  Currently, I am employed as Vice President, Corporate Counsel for a private investment firm and have experience in the banking, real estate, and food manufacturing and distribution sectors. Prior to that, I served as Corporate Counsel for an educational consulting company. I also previously served in several volunteer organizations including as a board member and officer.

I hope to bring my professional and practical experiences to the QVNA Board and help it continue fulfilling its mission statement: providing a safe forum for public discussion; supporting improvements to our neighborhood; facilitating understanding of the available public services; and arranging opportunities for residents to communicate with city officials and our elected representatives. Most importantly, I want to support QVNA as it continues to serve and unite the community, making this the best place to live.

Inez Green

My name is Inez “Kandi” Green and I am beginning my second term as an At Large Member. I have been a Queen Village resident for 30 years. For 22 of those years I served on the Board of Directors of Southwark Development Corporation (SDC), which is now Courtyard Residents Council, from Board member to Secretary, Vice President, and now to my current role as Council President. My responsibilities there are much the same for my service on the QVNA Board: to advocate for and provide resources to Courtyard residents. This helps the surrounding community become more self-sufficient and builds community relationships to improve the quality of life for everyone.

I worked very closely to coordinate and mentor the Summer at Courtyard enrichment program in partnership with QVNA. It was truly a wonderful experience. I am excited now to look ahead to other programs such as after-school, GED, adult literacy and computer literacy.

My vision is to build a strong community of solid partnerships that can be an example to other communities; how being unified can better the quality of life for all neighborhood residents. As a member of the QVNA Board, I will continue to work and grow the partnership we’ve started and strive to be an inspiration for positive change and a positive community.

Latasha McKnight

My name is Latasha McKnight, I am excited to serve as an At Large Member on the Board of the Queen Village Neighbors Association.

I am a lifelong Queen Village resident. My daughter is a student at Nebinger Elementary, where I went to school. It is because of her, and my love of kids, that I got involved in volunteering at the Courtyard’s after school program, before its partnership with QVNA. When that partnership launched the Summer at Courtyard Enrichment Program, I was a volunteer from day one.  If I can reach them, I will teach them and show them love and respect.

I look forward to learning and helping to form new partnerships for our entire community and all of its children.

Emily Perschetz

My name is Emily Perschetz and I’ve lived in Queen Village for almost ten years. I love it here. I lived here first as a renter and now as a homeowner with my husband, two (loud) toddlers, and two dogs. I don’t plan to live anywhere else, so I want Queen Village to be the best it can be. I think it’s close, but we’re not there yet.

I’ve been an active member of my neighborhood community groups in the historic, mixed-use, waterfront neighborhoods in the previous cities in which I’ve lived (I guess I have a type), and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves here. I chose my block because it’s so close to South Street, not in spite of that fact. I think QVNA can and should do more to actively engage with our northern neighborhood border and the South Street Headhouse District, both as an advocate for residents and as a good neighbor.

I hope to work with the board to find new ways to engage with neighbors, and to encourage more people to be active participants in our community!

 

Written by Amy Grant

Amy Grant is a graphic designer and web developer. She is the founder of the Southwark Historical Society, a volunteer based group that studies the Southwark Historical District located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.