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The Advisory Committee consisted of members from both the Widener and Chester communities. These members advised the Core Team on any upcoming events, details, processes, communication, promotion strategies, and were allies of the project. The titles and positions listed below are titles that were held at the time of the Boundaries and Bridges project.

Penelope Reed

Executive Director, Hedgerow Theatre

Penelope Reed (Theatre School Director/Actress/Executive Director of Hedgerow Theatre) her Carnegie BFA with honors and Marquette University MA prepared her for decades as theatre actress, director, playwright, master teacher, at The Milwaukee Repertory (12 years) , McCarter Theatres (9 years); Her passion for the transformative power of theatre arts led to administration of theaters and chairing Alverno College and The Lawrenceville School Theatre theatre departments. Hedgerow invited Penelope to return to Hedgerow to bring back Hedgerow to fiscal, infrastructure and artistic success after a devastating fire. As the company grew the theatre, Penelope launched an expansion of the Education wing. Having spent a lifetime finding ways, rooted in theatre arts, to transform lives through connectivity, creativity and innovation.


For over a decade, Penelope Reed has been instituting and coordinating educational programs in the city of Chester for people of all ages. She has forged partnerships with the Nia Center, Chester Arts Alive, Artists’ Warehouse, The Boys and Girls Club of Chester, Unity Center, The Chester Public School System, and the Chester Senior Apartments. Penelope has worked with the Nia Center’s Delores Freeman on a variety of projects bringing arts and services to Chester. She has created residency teaching programs with Hedgerow Theatre for organizations such as Chester Community Charter School and Toby Farm Elementary. Penelope has also been an active participant in the Six Strong Cities Initiative, as well as Writing, Directing, and Producing the original play “Dream and We Can Make it Happen” about the City of Chester for Alfred O. Deshong Commemoration Day, which featured people of all ages and backgrounds. Penelope is currently serving as the Past President of the Rotary Club of Media and a board member of the Delaware County Transportation Management Association. 

Laurie Zierer

Executive Director, Pennsylvania Humanities Council

As executive director at the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Laurie has been responsible for designing, funding, and marketing new programming and special projects like Chester Made. Laurie holds a B.A. in English from Temple University and an M.A. in rhetoric from Penn State. She is an alum of Leadership Philadelphia, a graduate of the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College, and holds certificates in Fund Raising and Executive Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s College of General Studies. 

Mark Winston

Engagement Officer and Librarian, Widener University

Mark Winston is the Engagement Officer for Widener University’s Wolfgram Memorial Library. He has held prior positions of librarian, library administrator, academic affairs administrator, and teaching faculty member. His scholarship focuses on various aspects of leadership, diversity, access to information, and economic inequality. His undergraduate degree is from Hampton University and his masters degree and doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.

Linda Braceland

President, Art on Avenue of the States


Gretchen Mielke

Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement, Widener University


Ola F. Cannon III

Artist, Modern Dance Instructor, Choreography

Ola is a lifelong resident of Chester. He has taught dance to K-12  grade school students in the Chester Upland School District through the Chester PAL after school program and local community centers.  Ola has also exhibited original art work in Delaware County and Philadelphia County.

Latifah A. Griffin, MS, GISP

Director of City Planning

Latifah Griffin is the Director of City Planning for the City of Chester. Ms. Griffin brings 12 years of Community Planning and GIS experience and expertise to the City of Chester. She previously worked 5 years for the University of Pennsylvania as a Community Research Coordinator in various neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Ms. Griffin’s primary role for the City of Chester as Planning Director is to manage a city-wide planning and zoning program consistent with the Chester City’s goals and initiatives. Ms. Griffin is proficient in GIS mapping and analysis and works diligently at applying GIS on a variety of community planning initiatives. She received her BS in Geographic Information Science from Cheyney University and her Master’s degree from Neumann University.

Marcy Morris

Artist, Writer, Entrepreneur


Marcy Stein Morris graduated with a BFA from Syracuse University and received her Art Education Certification through Moore College of Art. Marcy taught drawing and painting at The Community Arts Center in Wallingford, PA and was offered a position in 1991 as a teaching artist at Toby Farms Elementary School, through their Chester Arts Outreach Program. Marcy was also the head of an arts afterschool program at the Deshong Museum, and collaborated with artists, Van Buren Payne and James Thomas of Chester. Marcy strives to showcase prominent and master artists who express the theme of personal encouragement throughout her lessons, and highlights African American artists as well as the cultural diversity of arts as a whole.


In the past, Marcy has worked for Philadelphia Public Schools, The Village of Art & Humanities, IDEA Performing Arts Center, has worked for summer programs and projects, and has been a set designer for a number of productions in both NJ and PA. She is also a member of DaVinci Art Alliance in Philadelphia. Marcy founded Marcy-Marcy Cookies LLC in 2012, doing business as DIVERSITY COOKIES, offering cookie varieties meeting diverse diets through the sweet mix of cookies and creative stories embracing diversity themed morals and values.

La’Kesha C. Logan

Head of Children & Youth Library Services, J. Lewis Crozer Library. Artist, Change Agent & Visionary

Ms. Logan has been a native of Chester PA for over 35 years. She is the daughter of both the late Joseph James Logan Sr. and Jacqueline Juanita Genwright-Logan, the eldest of 3 siblings, and the proud mother of one son, Zion E. Logan. 


Ms. Logan attended Chester Upland School District, graduated from Chester High School in 1992, as well as Delaware County School of Computer Training in 1993. Several years later Ms. Logan enrolled in and graduated from the I-LEAD program through Harcum College, with an Associates Degree of Science in Organizational Leadership. Ms. Logan continues to further her education in C.E.C. through the Delaware County Library System in Youth Services.


Ms. Logan is passionate about the Performing Arts as well as Community Empowerment. She has been performing, writing, and serving communities (families, women, youth, and various nonprofit organizations) in a myriad of ways throughout the TriState area for well over 20 years. Ms. Logan has also been dedicated to the Community of Chester as the Head of Youth Services at the J. Lewis Crozer Library for the past 10 years.


Several years ago Ms. Logan envisioned and manifested her own women’s network known as the Phenomenal Women’s Movement Network, which focuses on the empowerment of women, thus empowering families, and communities. In doing so, P.W.M.N. continues to grow its brand by forming healthy collaborations, daily networking, as well as providing exceptional information, programs & events for the direct market served.  


Last but not least, Ms. Logan is currently working on a myriad of book projects (1 collaborative and 2 independent), in hopes to inspire and transform the lives of those that may need it the most. She is also playing an effective role in partnering with local businesses and organizations in the City of Chester in hopes to generate more business opportunities, resources, services, and support for ALL parties involved. 

Antoinette C. Truehart

Managing Director, Entrepreneur Works of Delaware County

Antoinette has 36 years of experience in the lending industry.  She was introduced to community involvement as a child by her parents and continued the pattern into adulthood, working with young people in various capacities through the Girl Scouts of Delaware County, her church and other community organizations.  The world of Community and Economic Development opened up for her in 1994 when Antoinette began serving the low/moderate income communities of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties as the Community Development Officer for Jefferson Bank.  It soon became evident to her that this was not a profession, but a ministry, and other opportunities to help the community soon followed.  Antoinette began volunteering on various outreach projects with her church and other non-profit organizations and serving on the boards of organizations such as the Media Fellowship House (MFH) and the Delaware County Family and Community Services (DCFCS).  In February 2000, MFH’s board of directors offered her the executive director position, which she accepted.  Antoinette’s commitment to promoting economic opportunities for low and moderate-income people brought her to ENTREPRENEUR WORKS (formerly known as Philadelphia Development Partnership) in August 2004.  In July 2005, she assumed the Managing Director position of the Delaware County office (formerly known as Chester Microenterprise Partnership.)  


Antoinette resides in Yeadon, PA with her husband.  She continues to follow the example set by her parents and supports the community and economic development in the Delaware Valley area and beyond through community development and outreach activities with ENTREPRENEUR WORKS, as an ordained minister at The Chapel of the Good Shepherd and as a board member of various community organizations.

Councilman Nafis Nichols

Deputy Major: Director of Accounts, Finance & Human Resources, City of Chester, PA

Nafis J. Nichols has been with the Crozer Wellness Center for the past eight years working in different capacities altering the lives of both youth and adults within the Chester community and is currently the Senior Program Coordinator overseeing the Chester Youth Collaborative’s Drug Free Communities initiative.  In this position Mr. Nichols coordinates efforts that reduce substance abuse among youth as they transition successfully into adulthood and networks with key sector representatives to assist in improve opportunities for CUSD students.


Mr. Nichols previously was a Community Coordinator for the Chester Weed & Seed program where he acted as a liaison between residents and community organizations to address needs that help improve the overall quality of life for resident in the Weed & Seed community.  Within both organizations, Mr. Nichols has served on sub-committees/workgroups on regional, state, and national levels representing the city of Chester.


He also currently serves on the board of directors for the College Access Center of Delaware County, Brothers of Concern, Chester Youth Collaborative, and participants on various workgroups within Delaware County.  Over the years he has received numerous awards and recognition for his commendable efforts and passion of community service.


He was educated in the Chester-Upland School District, at Delaware State and Neumann Universities, and LaSalle University’s Non-Profit Center and resides in Chester with his family.

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