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Kyron Banks, Mayoral Aide, City of Philadelphia
Kyron Banks, 23 years old and originally from New Jersey, received his Bachelors Degree in Political Science from The Pennsylvania State University. Kyron entered into his current role as Mayoral Aide in July 2013 as the youngest member of Mayor Michael Nutter's administration after successfully completing multiple government internships while in college. Over the last 18 months as Mayoral Aide, Kyron has expanded his role from handling correspondence and tracking gifts to making a difference through projects that he is passionate about. KyronÕs top 3 accomplishments include organizing a Youth Against Gun Violence Forum with students from two Philadelphia Charter schools and key stakeholders in Philadelphia, Project Manager for the first ever Forbes Under 30 Summit and served as the Social Media Director for the Office of the Chief Integrity Officer.
Prior to joining the Nutter administration, Kyron secured three government internships. First, he interned with Pennsylvania State Senator David G. Argall, primarily focused on constituent services and the legislative process. Afterwards, he was accepted to the Pennsylvania Legislative Fellowship program. He was placed with the PA Democratic Whip State Representative Michael Hanna ; KyronÕs final projected consisted of drafting, presenting and defending a bill on Early Voting in Pennsylvania. His final internship was with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania as a government relations intern where he focused and assisted with research on local issues affecting Pennsylvania's 67 counties.
Kyron is a supporting member and involved with Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP) as a member of YIP's advocacy committee. Kyron is also a 2015 New Leaders Council Fellow. He also enjoys all things millennials, participating on twitterchats and going to conferences and summits on millennial engagement and youth advocacy and policy.
Michelle Baxter, Marketing & Communications Specialist, National Liberty Museum
Michelle N. Baxter, Marketing & Communications Specialist, National Liberty Museum Originally hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, Michelle has traveled across and outside the U.S. thanks to her theatre degree, which she received from William Carey University. After working for renowned international companies such as Royal Caribbean International and Cirque du Soleil, Michelle eventually found herself in Western Massachusetts, working for FoodPlay Productions - a small but very important children's theatre company. It was during her time there that she fully realized the power of arts and culture and the importance of arts education.
Having spent years in the artistic side of theatre, Michelle found she had much to learn about the business side of running a successful arts organization and came to Philadelphia in September 2012 as a student in Drexel University's Arts Administration Graduate Program. Michelle has found her time at Drexel and in Philadelphia to be some of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences of her professional career.
A fellowship with the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance offered Michelle the chance to build upon her passion for arts and culture while also teaching her the importance of creating and sustaining a strong sector through effective advocacy. In her current position at the National Liberty Museum, Michelle works to help raise awareness about the Museum's dynamic and unique education programs, which teach visitors and students about the crucial intersection of civics and character education. She is thrilled to bring her experiences to NLC and knows her time with the Institute will be another rewarding and important milestone in both her career and personal life.
Meghan Blickman, Organizing Director, Enroll America
Meghan Blickman, a native of Silver Spring, MD discovered her passion for community organizing while working with Promise Arizona on a voter engagement campaign in response to the anti-immigrant law, SB1070. She fiercely believes in the collective power of people and story telling to effect change in communities. Organizing has taken her from AZ to Birmingham, Alabama, to work further on immigration reform, to Washington, DC, and finally to Bucks County, PA for President Obama's 2012 campaign.
Meghan is currently the PA Organizing Director for Enroll America, where she runs the statewide field program to connect Pennsylvania's 1 million uninsured to the options made available by the Affordable Care Act. She was recently named to PoliticsPA's 2014 Rising Stars: 30 Under 30 list. An alumnus of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, Meghan spends her free time helping plan her class' 5 year reunion, seeing theatre, reading, and exploring Philadelphia.
Rachael Eisenberg, Law Clerk, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania- Honorable Michael Erdos
Rachael Eisenberg currently works as a law clerk for the Honorable Michael Erdos of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division. Rachael also serves as a coordinator for the MENTOR Program, an initiative of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania that seeks to reduce criminal recidivism by providing mentoring to individuals involved in the criminal justice system and returning to the Philadelphia community. Rachael received her law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2014 and received her Bachelor of Arts in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University in 2009.
Prior to law school Rachael worked as a MacArthur Foundation Models for Change Project Assistant with the Defenders Association of Philadelphia- Juvenile Unit. During law school, she was a Staff Writer for the Temple Law Review, authoring an article on the sentencing of juvenile offenders in adult criminal court. Rachael was also the Director of the School Discipline Advocacy Service, a law student- run organization that provides representation for Philadelphia elementary, middle and high school students in transfer and expulsion proceedings.
In addition, Rachael served for five years as a board member, Grants Committee Chair and Vice-President of the Spruce Foundation- an all-volunteer foundation that redefines philanthropy and cultivates the next generation of philanthropists through community giving and grant-making in support of Philadelphia's youth. Rachael is a Philadelphia native and is working to find new and innovative ways to give back to her hometown community.
Michelle Feldman, Executive Director, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful
Michelle currently serves as Executive Director of Keep Philadelphia Beautiful (KPB), a nonprofit organization dedicated to community building through community greening. A proud affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, KPB is focused on litter abatement, waste reduction, and recycling education and promotion.
Prior to her time at Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, Michelle served as Commercial Corridor Manager and Communications Director for the Frankford Community Development Corporation, where she primarily worked to assist small businesses along the Frankford Avenue commercial corridor as well as attract new ones to the area.
Before entering the world of community and economic development in Philadelphia, Michelle spent the 2008 and 2010 election cycles working for two top tier political consulting specializing in media.
In her free time, she also serves as Outreach Chair for Young Involved Philadelphia, dedicated to building relationships and civic engagement to empower and connect young Philadelphians. A Philadelphia native, Michelle holds a B.A. in Political Science from Brandeis University, and a Masters in Public Policy from Drexel.
Jon Geeting, Engagement Editor, PlanPhilly
Jon Geeting is the Engagement Editor at Plan Philly. He has covered city and state politics, land use, transportation, and economic policy for Next City, Keystone Politics, This Old City, Philadelphia Magazine, and City Paper.
Jon grew up in Bethlehem, PA and moved to Philadelphia in 2013 after an 11-year detour to New York City where he studied linguistics at New York University and worked in the President's office at the Open Society Foundations.
Bridget Gibbons , Business Analyst , Solutions for Progress
Bridget is a business analyst at Solutions for Progress, a public policy and technology company that designs software products that seek to improve access to public benefits by facilitating outreach and enrollment. In her role, she is involved in the development process, designing questions and logic that make benefits screenings and applications as comprehensive and efficient as possible for the user.
Bridget is passionate about community development by promoting, reviving and improving systems of different scales, and doing so through innovative avenues. Before her time at Solutions for Progress, she engaged in this work as a paralegal in the public housing unit at Community Legal Services, through her involvement as an advocate at LIFT Philadelphia--a community resource center in West Philadelphia--and as a Tech Tutor for the Mayor's Commission on Literacy.
Additionally, she is currently part of the Innovation Advisory Committee for the Philadelphia School District Office of School Improvement and Innovation. Bridget is a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and after receiving a BA in Political Science from nearby Haverford College, she was excited to take up residence in Philadelphia.
Bridget enjoys getting to know the city via ""cafe tourism"" throughout Philly's neighborhoods, spending time with the wonderful people in her life, and trying to spell words backwards with increasing speed.
Jordan Poole, DJ, Media Artist, Event Curator
Jordan Alexander Poole was born in Trenton, New Jersey on January 13th, 1986. He is the first child to his then 18 year old mother and 21 year old father, neither of whom had college degrees or very much money. His inner city experience growing up as a child exposed him to various cultures, igniting in him a strong curiosity and imagination.
Jordan began playing sports at a very young age and additionally learned to play the violin, and later the clarinet. Throughout middle school and high school, he maintained an extremely busy schedule filled with music, sports, various student organizations, as well as extracurricular activities outside of school. It was in high school that he developed an interest for video and editing, which would then take him to Temple University to complete his BA in Film & Media.
During college, Jordan expanded on his love for music and culture by DJing house parties and quickly found his way into bars and clubs. It wasn't until after studying abroad in Rome his junior year and DJing at notorious clubs that he would return to fully pursue a professional DJ career. Now nearly 7 years after completing undergrad at Temple University, Jordan Poole has established himself as one of the premier DJs within the country. He's held residencies at some of the top venues in New York, Philly, and Atlantic City as well as being featured on VH1's Master of The Mix and competing in other high level competitions. Equally important as his skills and creativity within the profession, Jordan has built a reputable brand (DJ Royale) through unique marketing, strong communication, and his never ending entrepreneurial spirit. He believes that DJing has afforded him a greater perspective on society, from rich to poor and black to white.
Jordan has always maintained a large social network & encompassed leadership qualities from a young age and now truly wishes to use them for social good.
Lindsay So, Research & Policy Associate, City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy
Lindsay Tucker So is the Research & Policy Associate for the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE). She is responsible for policy and research initiatives and publications that support and promote arts, culture and the creative industries as essential components of Philadelphia's economic and social fabric, and manages additional projects developed by Creative Philadelphia or the Mayor's Office including the Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate programs and CultureBlocks, the City's, a free online mapping tool that visualizes the city's cultural assets and activity alongside local geographic, social, economic, and demographic data. Prior to Creative Philadelphia, Lindsay was the Manager of Fiscal Sponsorship of CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia, where she helped develop Philadelphia's first Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship program for the cultural community.
Lindsay has a strong interest in the development of sector-wide organizational effectiveness and integrating arts and culture into the city's landscape. She is a member of the American for the Arts Emerging Leaders Council and a 2015-2017 co-chair, and holds BA in Art History from New York University and an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University.
A native Philadelphian, Lindsay and her husband reside in South Philadelphia.
Julie Wertheimer, Deputy Director of Public Safety, City of Philadelphia
Julie Wertheimer is the Deputy Director of Public Safety for the City of Philadelphia. She is currently charged with financial and programmatic oversight of initiatives linked to the Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments, Prison System, Office of Emergency Management, and the Mayor's Office of Reintegration Services for Ex-Offenders, as well as policy development and grant management.
Prior, Wertheimer served as Pennsylvania Finance Director for Senator Arlen Specter's 2010 re-election campaign, Assistant Budget Director for the City of Philadelphia, and Deputy Finance Director for Mayor Michael Nutter's 2007 mayoral campaign.
Julie is native to the Philadelphia area. She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in Diplomatic History and her Masters degree in Government Administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. Julie is one of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia's Connectors and Keepers and a member of PhillyCORE Leaders.
Additionally, she serves on boards and committees of several non-profits, including as Vice President for Governance of the Spruce Foundation, and with Emily's Entourage, and Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy. She is also an avid Phillies fan and frequent patron of many of Center City's best restaurants.