PHILADELPHIA, P.A. — United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) announced today the addition of several notable figures to its Regional Board of Directors. As members of the Regional Board, these newly elected community leaders will strengthen UWGPSNJ’s efforts to end poverty, while uplifting and empowering underserved communities and individuals throughout Southeast Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey.
“We are thrilled to welcome such a distinguished group to the Board,” said UWGPSNJ’s Regional Board Chair, John Salveson of Salveson Stetson Group, Inc. “Each individual moves our mission forward through a unique perspective, based on a diverse array of skills and expertise, all of which stem from their personal and professional backgrounds. These talented leaders will help us expand our breadth of resources to fight poverty at its core.”
Joining the twenty-three existing Regional Board Members, will be six new members and one returning member, all who represent a wide array of skills, competencies, and experiences. Board recruitment efforts follow UWGPSNJ’s new competency model which was adopted by the Regional Board in September 2020 to further align the Board with United Way’s poverty-fighting mission.
“We’ve been diligently working to evolve our approach to further our efforts to expand opportunity for all.” said Bill Golderer, CEO & President of UWGPSNJ. “We’re excited to welcome these remarkable individuals to our Board who each have demonstrated a strong commitment to our region. Their expertise and skills will serve to strengthen our mission and create a brighter future for our neighbors.”
Effective July 1, UWGPSNJ welcomes the following Regional Board Members: Bill Cariss, President and CEO of Holman Strategic Ventures; Patrick Eiding, President of Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO; Steve Grabell, CFO of NFI Industries; Rakia Reynolds, Founder and CEO of Skai Blue Media; Leslie Richards, General Manager of SEPTA; Marcel Pratt, Managing Partner of the Philadelphia Office of Ballard Spahr; and Chris Woods, President of the National Union of Hospital and Healthcare Employees (NUHHCE) AFSCME District 1199C.
Bill Cariss is President and CEO of Holman Strategic Ventures and has been a Holman employee since 1984 with decades of leadership experience, most recently overseeing Holman’s start-up and venture investment activities. A United Way supporter since 1985, Bill and his wife, Karen, live in Medford, New Jersey.
Patrick Eiding is President of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO representing over 100 local unions in the Philadelphia area. Prior to first being elected President of the Council in January 2002, Patrick served for over 25 years as Business Manager and Financial Secretary of the Insulators and Asbestos Workers Local 14 covering Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey where he has been a member since 1963. Patrick is a returning Board Member to UWGPSNJ and he and his family live in Northeast Philadelphia.
Joining NFI Industries in 2008 as CFO, Steve Grabell is a strategic advisor who leads a variety of financial and administrative functions, as well as corporate initiatives with a primary focus on continuous improvement and strategy development. Steve has been a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and YPO Gold since 2000 and was recently recognized as a recipient of the Philadelphia Business Journal CFO of the Year Award. Steve and his wife, Stephanie, live in Bala Cynwyd, PA.
One of the most sought-after minds in strategic communications and creative business innovation, Rakia Reynolds is the Founder and Executive Officer of Skai Blue Media. With more than a decade of proven experience advising culture-shifters, industry leaders, and globally impactful brands, Rakia Reynolds leads her eclectic team of communication architects and brand strategists. In addition to Skai Blue Media, Rakia is also the Founder and Executive Officer of Evryday Jane and Fan of Your Brand. Rakia resides in Princeton, NJ with her family.
Leslie Richards is General Manager/CEO of SEPTA where she oversees the sixth largest public transportation agency in the United States that includes 9,500 employees. Prior to SEPTA, Richards served as PennDOT Secretary where she instituted new policies based on sustainable infrastructure investments and innovation. Leslie and her husband, Ira, live in Philadelphia, PA.
Marcel Pratt serves as Managing Partner of the Philadelphia Office of Ballard Spahr LLP. Prior to that role, Marcel served as the City Solicitor of Philadelphia, where he led the City’s 330-member Law Department and served as general counsel to the Mayor, City Council, and all City departments. Marcel has served as a trustee and counsel for the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement as well as several nonprofit boards. Marcel lives in Center City Philadelphia.
Chris Woods serves as President of the National Union of Hospital and Healthcare Employees (NUHHCE) AFSCME, District 1199C, which represents over 13,000 employees in the healthcare industry throughout Greater Philadelphia. Wood’s previously led NUHHCE’s Hospital Division, which includes Temple University Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and many other large employers. Chris lives in Philadelphia.
The UWGPSNJ Regional Board provides counsel and a breadth of resources and expertise to the UWGPSNJ organization. For a full list of the UWGPSNJ Regional Board Members, visit here. For more information on UWGPSNJ’s mission to end poverty, its 100th anniversary, and COVID-19 resiliency efforts, visit www.unitedforimpact.org.
About United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
Celebrating 100 years, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) is on a mission to end poverty and expand opportunity for all. Serving Pennsylvania’s Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, and New Jersey’s Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Cumberland counties, United Way creates solutions that break the cycle of poverty. As part of a network of independent local nonprofit organizations, United Way provides countless ways to give, advocate and volunteer. To learn more, visit www.unitedforimpact.org.