CPN Board of Directors Election & Annual Membership Meeting, April 22, 2013

(Photo courtesy of http://www.city-data.com/forum/city-vs-city/774124-philadelphia-row-house-vs-boston-triple-6.html) Join us on Monday, April 22, 2013 at Calvary Center for Culture & Community (48th Street and Baltimore Avenue) for CPN's Annual Board of Directors Election and Annual Membership Meeting.  Voting will take place from 6:30 - 7:30 pm.  Program will start at 7:00pm.  (Note that per our by-laws, only those  members whose memberships are current as of April 1 are eligible to vote.)


  • Introduction of nominees and standing Board Members
  • Update on the AVI Townhall meeting
  • Update on "Future of the Neighborhood" survey
  • Featured Speaker:  Iola Harper, Enterprise Center Senior Director of the Acceleration Group
  • Community announcements
  • Representative from Police District
  • Recognition of long dedication to CPN by Karen Allen, Dorothy Berlind, Laurie Friedman,         Victoria Iannotta, and Joanne Pham
  • Announcements of new Board Members (polls close at 7:30 pm)

The Cedar Park Nominations Committee presents the following candidates for Board Election


Michael Froehlich, 500 block, S. 48th Street

I live in Cedar Park with my partner, Susanna, and four-year-old daughter, Zora. What do we love about our neighborhood?  The porches, the restaurants, the play grounds, the trees, and, most importantly, the people!  I have served on the board of CPN for about four years.  I was elected to be President in 2012 and now stand for re-election.  During the day, I work as a legal aid lawyer with Community Legal Services. I am a founder of the West Philly Tool Library and serve on the boards of UC Green and Shakespeare in Clark Park.  I’m excited about the opportunity to continue to work together to improve Cedar Park for long-time residents and newcomers, seniors and school children, and everyone in between.



Monica Allison, 4900 block, Catharine Street

I joined the board of Cedar Park Neighbors a decade ago.  I have lived in this neighborhood closing in on 20 years and have witnessed the change in our community.  Being on the board of Cedar Park Neighbors has given me an opportunity to serve my community, my block and my city. West Philadelphia is my home, and I will continue working towards a cohesive vision of our neighborhood. We are facing challenges within our community that need addressing. Working with Cedar Park Neighbors, and its membership, we can overcome these challenges. Currently, I am a member on the following CPN committees: Park Maintenance, Membership, Jazz, Education and Block Organizing.  I serve as Program Director for Virtual Tutoring and Mentoring, Inc, a nonprofit educational learning center for cyber schooled children. I am entering my second year as President of Pennsylvania Families for Public Cyber Schools and am a BAEO (Black Alliance for Educational Options) Ambassador.  Recently, I began working with Senator Anthony H. Williams on his Violence Reduction Initiative for West Philadelphia and have accepted the position as Community Liaison for Dreamweaverz Inc., a grass roots organization with the mission of addressing some of the basic needs of Philadelphia communities, which involves crime prevention, public safety, education, youth employment and empowerment.  I am looking forward to continuing to assisting my neighbors, my neighborhood and my city in the capacity of First Vice President of Cedar Park Neighbors.


David Hincher, 5000 block, Catharine Street

I have lived in Cedar Park for the past 5 years along with my wife and 4 year old daughter, who attends the Children’s Community School, located within the Calvary Center.   We love the neighborhood with its diversity and community energy, and are excited to see it brimming with activity and amenities such as the new Mariposa Coop grocery store.  I am a licensed architect and leverage that knowledge and expertise to assist Cedar Park Neighbors. I have a particular interest in issues that impact the quality of life in the community, such as the vitality of neighborhood schools, zoning, development, safety, etc. I was the lead volunteer on the Baltimore Avenue Community Corridor design study, completed in 2010.  I joined and now chair the CPN Development Impact Task Force (formerly Property Housing Task Force) to further the strategic vision for Baltimore Avenue and proactively engage community development.  I have been a board member since 2011 and served as 2nd Vice President during 2012. My goal is to assist CPN in achieving the Baltimore Avenue vision to extend prosperity further west along our main street. I am also the CPN steering committee representative for the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s Phila2035 community plan and zoning effort, which will influence future neighborhood investment.   I am a member of the West Philadelphia Coalition for Neighborhood Schools (WPCNS) and have worked with Henry C. Lea Elementary School as part of the Greening Lea Task Force. Last year, we completed a Community Design Collaborative grant-funded strategic plan focused on improvements to the asphalt schoolyard.



Ana Lisa Yoder, 4800 block, Beaumont Avenue

I have lived in Cedar Park for 13 years, currently with my partner Tony and 4½ year old son Jai on a sweet little block of Beaumont Avenue.  I have been on the CPN board for the last year and in that time have served on both the budget and nominations committees. In the last several months I have also supported the analysis of CPN’s Future of the Neighborhood Survey results.  I am grateful for many things about this neighborhood, including its many green spaces and independent businesses and restaurants.  I also recognize that increasing property values and other changes in Cedar Park have impacted neighbors of varying demographics (income level, ethnicity, and length of residency) in different ways.  These changes present both opportunities and challenges to CPN.  I hope to continue supporting CPN’s work to understand and represent the interests of all who live within Cedar Park’s boundaries.   As a Community Impact Manager at The Philadelphia Foundation by day, part of my job involves reviewing applications and making recommendations for funding.  This work has given me an awareness of the importance of good organizational record keeping and I would be honored to support the organization’s ongoing health by serving in the role of Secretary for the next year.


Naomi Fiordimondo, 5000 block, Catharine St.

Naomi Fiordimondo has lived in West Philly for more than 15 years and previously served on the CPN Board for 5 years. Professionally, she is a food marketer and is working on her MBA at St. Joseph’s University Haub School of Business. Additionally, Naomi served as block captain for 7 years at 5000 Catharine Street where she lives with her husband and three rescued cats. As block captain, Naomi organized clean-ups, hosted regular meetings & block gatherings, helped neighbors in need, encouraged Junior Block Captains to get involved, got street signs replaced, organized neighbor-volunteers to maintain and upgrade abandoned and neglected properties and welcomes new neighbors. She facilitated the planting of many trees on the block through UC



DIRECTORS (2 year terms, vote for 8)

Ariel Ben-Amos, 4800 block, Hazel Ave.

I moved to Cedar Park from Spruce Hill in 2012 and I am excited by the opportunity to serve on the Cedar Park Neighbors Board.  While I have significant experience serving on boards across the city, I have yet to serve on one devoted to a neighborhood, let alone my community.  My excitement is peppered by my love for West Philly and Cedar Park.  I am committed to serving my community in a way that builds off of my skills and experience.  I am a senior planner and analyst for the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities.  In this role I have provided policy and project management support for projects ranging from Street Furniture to Pedestrian Plaza and Parklet programs. I have a long history of working in Philadelphia’s CDC (Community Development Corporation) community (from Mt. Airy USA, to UCD and NeighborhoodsNow) and have served on the boards of the Design Advocacy Group, Crossroads Music and the Gershman Y. I served two years in the Peace Corps in Albania before returning to my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania for a dual degree in City and Regional Planning and Government Administration.  I am a Mt. Airy native, but West Philly is my home.

Suzanne B. Anderson, 700 block, S. 49th St.

I’ve lived in University City for the better part of 33 years - in Powelton Village, Spruce Hill, and Cedar Park sections of University City and currently reside on the 700 block of South 49th street with my husband, Kelvyn, our 2 teenage daughters and 2 golden retrievers.  Kelvyn and I bought and moved into our house in 2011, the week of Hurricane Irene!   We’ve been members of CPN since that time. We’ve come full circle, as we lived on the 4900 block of Catharine Street in the late 1980’s.

I joined the CPN Zoning Committee this past summer.  Since joining I’ve been an active participant and consistent advocate for the community in discussions with developers.  I see these discussions as opportunities to negotiate growth that enhances everyone’s quality of life in our neighborhood.

I earned my MSW from Temple University 20 years ago and have been involved with various civic groups since then.  I was a former board member of CHAT-Consider Homelessness A Tragedy, am a member of Friends of Clark Park and an active supporter of our daughters’ schools.  My particular civic interest is in greening and cleaning the community. I’m a regular participant in block cleanups, negotiated an agreement with the owner of a multi-unit rental property across the street from us and planted a Juneberry tree in that plot and have begun to plant native plants there as well.

I recently earned my J.D and am very interested in real estate and contract law and applying my skills and interests to reduce blight and litter and increase the amount of trees and green space in the Cedar Park section of University City, believing a cleaner and greener neighborhood will enhance the quality of life for everyone in Cedar Park.

Sean Dorn, 5000 block, Catharine Street

I have lived in Cedar Park since 2000 and live on Catharine Street with my wife, Emily, and our daughter, Nora. My wife and I own VIX Emporium at 50th and Baltimore. VIX, besides featuring handmade gifts by local residents, is a co-sponsor of the GO WEST Craft Fest in Woodland Cemetery. I'm an advocate for a diverse and active commercial corridor on Baltimore Avenue and very interested in neighborhood history. I helped to design and re-launch CPN's website on a more interactive, user-driven model and participate on CPN's Development Impact Task Force and on the Membership Committee.

Ivana Dussell, 5000 block, Baltimore Avenue

I have worked for Philadelphia Federal Credit Union (PFCU) for 11 years and at the 50th and Baltimore location for 6 years and am the Branch Manager.  I do not live in this community, although I spend most of my days here, which makes it my home away from home.  PFCU cares about the community and its people and we want to see them thrive. We donate money and staff through the year to help communities and less fortunate by collecting winter coats, and collecting for our troops overseas. PFCU also sponsors Friday Night Jazz in Cedar Park every summer.

I was born and raised in former Yugoslavia, now Serbia, and came to the USA as an exchange student my senior year in high school. I returned to Serbia to attend the University of Belgrade for one year when my host family invited me back to attend school here. I came back in 1993 and have been here ever since. I graduated from Temple with the degree in International Business.  I have been in banking for over 16 years and it is my 11th year at PFCU.

I did a lot of volunteer work in Serbia where the unemployment rate has always been high and there are not really paying jobs for young people. I used to volunteer with the younger kids as a tutor, help the gym teacher with activities and organize fund raising activities in the elementary schools.  Now that I am married and have a family and two wonderful kids with busy lives, it is more difficult to do voluntary work, but I volunteer at my kid’s school and participate in fundraising and community service.

I come from a diverse culture and have been exposed to a variety of situations and issues that I had to deal with.  All of my banking experience, customer service experience, leadership and management experience would make me a great candidate for your board.  There are many reasons I would like to be an active board member of CPN.  I have worked for PFCU for the past six years in the West Philadelphia branch. During that time I have had the pleasure of meeting and helping some wonderful individuals. My primary desire is to use my business acumen and knowledge of people to move from helping individuals to contributing to the larger Cedar Park community.

Margaret Ferrigno, 5000 block, Cedar Avenue

I moved to West Philly in 2008 after seven years of volunteer work in Asia. Currently, I am pursuing my doctorate in Sustainability Education and work for the University of Pennsylvania Netter Center, directing the Huey community school on 52nd Street.  This past year, I founded the Ahimsa House, a center for nonviolence, through my nonprofit, the Pureland Project. Ahimsa house offers free yoga, meditation, dance, non violent communication and gardening classes to the community.  I co-ordinate the Block Leaders Committee for CPN and am becoming the block captain for the 5000 block of Cedar Avenue.


Michelle Lewis, 5000 block, Willows Avenue

I moved to Cedar Park in 1984 when I migrated from the island of Trinidad and Tobago. I attended St. Francis De Sales Elementary school, graduated from West Catholic Girls High and hold a Bachelors of Science in Sociology from St. Joseph’s University. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Organizational Development and Design. I also work at St. Joseph's University as the Assistant to the Vice President of Student Life/ Associate Provost.  I am married with three children, two juniors in college and one in the eighth grade.

I am described by my colleagues and friends as the “organizer.” I enjoy event planning, promotions, creating itineraries, and working under pressure, while staying on budget. I also love researching ways to improve prior events and how to increase turnout.

Prior to July 2012, I had no experience organizing community events. However, last summer I decided to research what was required to become a block captain in Philadelphia. I petitioned to become the official block captain, held two block meetings, added our block to the City’s clean block list and organized our first block party in over 15 years…and I did this in three weeks!

I have a renewed passion for this community. I have witnessed our residents’ desire to improve this neighborhood and I want to be a part of this transformation.  I want to help foster a sense of belonging to neighbors and engage those who don’t feel a part of this community. I want to hear people’s concerns and help them find solution. These are just some of my goals I hope to accomplish while serving on the Board.

Gregg Mohrmann, 4700 block, Springfield Avenue

I'm proud to be a more recent addition to the Cedar Park Neighborhood. A little over two years ago, my wife Rachel and I moved into the former house of Joan Wells. The last two years have been an adventure of remodeling, exploration of local restaurants and a chance to meet great neighbors. I'm originally from Long Island, NY and Rachel from Silicon Valley, CA but moved to Philadelphia for our love of history, warm diverse neighborhoods and incredible food. More specifically, West Philadelphia offered all the benefits of being local to a big city but at the same time the comforts of a cozy suburb with dog parks, B&Bs and street parking! When I get time, I love to garden, cook (you can even see me at our grill in the winter), participate in community fundraisers, and eat at our great local restaurants.

After attending college in upstate NY at Binghamton University for psychology, I received a Masters in Healthcare Administration in NYC. When not enjoying free time in the neighborhood, I am a partner in a healthcare technology consulting firm with local clients that include Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Virtua and Einstein Healthcare.  I am energized to run for the CPN Board so I can continue to give back to our incredible neighborhood and encourage growth in all areas which excite me about living in this neighborhood. My wife and I love University City and think our neighborhood will continue to grow but realize it will take a lot of work from all of us. If you vote for me to join the Board of Directors, I will work hard to continue making our neighborhood a place where families, like ours, and what I am sure future families will see as a great place to live.

Pat Warner, 4800 Block, Windsor Avenue

I have lived in Cedar Park for more than 25 years, both as a renter and, for the past 17 years, as a homeowner.  My partner and I chose to live in Cedar Park for many reasons, primarily the racial and economic diversity of the community; its convenient location to both Center City and Delaware County; and the green and open space throughout the neighborhood.  Those have remained very important to me throughout the neighborhood’s many changes in the past 25 years.   We have built a very strong community of friends in West Philly. We have met them through community activities, through our daughter, and simply from around the neighborhood.

In my professional life, I have worked as a senior manager for non-profit organizations from various disciplines, sizes, and different parts of the city.  I know city politics well and have worked on community organizing and community-based issues in different parts of the city.  I am a good strategic thinker, planner, organizer, and problem-solver.  My experience with community-based issues and non-profit management can be helpful to CPN and the Board.

As a member of the Cedar Park Neighbors board, I would hope to bring energy, enthusiasm, and lots of hard work to help make Cedar Park a better place to live for everyone.  I love this place.  I want it to continue to be one of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia.


DIRECTORS (1 year term, vote for 1)

Karen Allen, 4700 block, Warrington Ave.

I believe that in order for a community to be viable, its residents must play an active role in the life of that community. I have been active in Cedar Park Neighbors and in the larger University City since moving to the neighborhood in 1982. In addition to my duties as CPN Treasurer, I have worked on the CPN Budget, Zoning, and Bylaws Committees. CPN is currently spearheading many worthwhile projects.  I’m happy to have had the opportunity to serve on the CPN Board, and I look ­forward to continuing these efforts during the coming year.