About the Board
Cedar Park Neighbors is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of five officers and up to 16 directors-at-large. They are elected by the general membership at a meeting held each year in April.
Officers serve for one-year terms and may be re-elected for additional terms. The office of President is limited to four consecutive one-year terms. Officers must be members in good standing of Cedar Park Neighbors and live within the boundaries of Cedar Park (see map).
Directors serve two-year terms and may be re-elected to serve additional terms. Eight directors are elected to serve two-year terms each year. Therefore, in each year there are eight newly elected or re-elected directors and eight directors who are serving the second year of their term. Directors must be members in good standing of Cedar Park Neighbors.
Directory of the CPN Board
Meet the Board Members
RENEE MCBRIDE WILLIAMS
51XX webster Street
A native of West Philadelphia, Renee has become one of the leaders in her humble Cedar Park community. Ms. McBride-Williams received the 2014-2015 Dorothy I. Height Award from the National Council of Negro Women, Philadelphia Chapter for her community service and leadership.
Renee McBride-Williams is the General Manager to West Philadelphia’s only community radio station, WPEB 88.1 FM. While juggling her responsibilities to the broadcasters at the station, Renee is the Project Manager for the 2014-2015, “Arts On Air” projects spearheaded by Scribe Video, Inc. and sponsored by PNC Bank Arts Alive Project. She is also the director of the “Youth On Air” project at WPEB. With all that, Renee McBride-Williams is a mentor and educator to middle to high school students in the Philadelphia school community while still volunteering in the Arts and Broadcasting, Today, Renee is the Senior Executive Producer of a public affairs program called, “The Shed Kitchen” with Karen Dunn.
Above all, she is committed to her 14-year marriage to her best friend, George E. Williams and mother to 5 time Grammy winner, Bassist Christian McBride.
FIRST Vice President
50XX CATHarine Street
David moved from Texas to Philadelphia in 2006 and bought their home in Cedar Park over 10 years ago. He and his wife are raising their 8 year old daughter and are actively engaged in the West Philly Girl Scout troop. They love the neighborhood and are excited to see it brimming with activity and new businesses. David worked with Soccer Shots to bring toddler soccer program to Cedar Park in fall 2013 , which now offers their program to the community year round.
He has 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. David was the lead volunteer on the Baltimore Avenue Community Corridor design study, completed in 2010. He is the chair of the Development Impact Task Force, which produced the “Future of the Neighborhood” survey in 2012. David’s goal is to assist CPN in achieving the Baltimore Avenue vision to re-extend prosperity further west along our main street corridor.
47XX CEDAR AVE
Whitney fell in love with Philadelphia when she first moved to the city in 2010, and she moved to Cedar Avenue in 2016. Whitney hopes to contribute to Cedar Park by strengthening connections between different generations of residents, improving communication and education initiatives to connect neighbors with community resources, and working collaboratively to find practical solutions to neighborhood issues. She is a history professor with a special interest in cities, buildings, and environments, and in her free time, you can find her working on her house, straightening the shelves at Mariposa, or clearing the ever-clogged street drain at 47th and Cedar.
50xx Catharine St.
Amara Rockar has lived in West Philadelphia for over 15 years, most of it in Cedar Park. She and her husband bought their home in 2010, and are raising their family here. Amara is a board member of the West Philly Coalition for Neighborhood Schools. During the day, she works as an admin for the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.
50xx walton Street.
Far McKon is a local resident, who both lives and works in Cedar Park. He was a member of Cedar Park Board during 2014/2015, before leaving for Berlin for 2 years. Back from abroad, he has become involved in local greening and transit issues, including CPN's own Transit Committee. As CTO of a small start-up, he is interested in making technology work for everyone. He is also focused on making sure Cedar Park remains a livable neighborhood, and as diverse as Philly itself.
10XX S 47th St.
Al Airone has lived in West Philadelphia since 1982, having moved here from New York City along with his wife, Carolyn Kelly. Al and Carolyn bought their house on the 1000 block of South 47th in 1984 and have lived there ever since. They have one daughter, now grown, working in Center City and living elsewhere in Philadelphia (but we still talk!).
Al was always impressed by the strong tradition of neighborhood involvement in West Philly and the vitality of the many neighborhood organizations. Al served as an (totally unofficial) block captain for a number of years, and also served on the board of the Squirrel Hill Community Association in the early 1990's. He was active with corner recycling and later was the regular volunteer at the Cedar Park Recycling venue at 50th and Baltimore for a number of years.
Al retired from the Philadelphia Water Department just over a year ago, having worked there for 25 years in the laboratory division, first as a chemist, then as the lab's main IT person. He enjoys walking around the city and the neighborhood, making use of the many coffee-shop reading locations (he can be found at least once a week in the Satellite Cafe), keeping up his IT skills, and generally keeping up with goings-on around the neighborhood. He welcomes the chance to serve a term on the Cedar Park Board.
49XX Cedar Avenue
Francesca is a lifelong Resident of Philadelphia. She and her family moved to Cedar Park in 2012 where she has served as Block Captain of 4900 Cedar since 2016. During the day she works as a registered nurse at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and is an adjunct instructor for Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions.
As both an educator and health care provider, Francesca recognizes the importance of community service and engagement. She looks forward to joining the CPN Board and having the opportunity to connect and engage with old and new residents. Building these relationships is pivotal to gaining more stakeholder involvement. Francesca will bring fresh ideas in an effort to help achieve this goal.
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48XX REGENT AVE.
My name is Marilyn Clark and I am your new neighbor, residing on 49th street between Chester Ave and Regent Street. My husband and I moved to the neighborhood in June of 2018. We acquired, affectionately known as Mr. Bill’s house. After extensive renovations, hard work and sweat, we finally became your neighbors.
My husband is a contractor by trade and I am in sales. We have several children, with none of them residing with us. So we are considered empty nesters!
I have an interest in the community and would like to work with Cedar Park Neighbors as a Board Member to be an advocate for our neighborhood. I understand we have involvement in many community events and also pilot several initiatives throughout the year.
Thank you for the consideration of having me join as a Board Member. I can assure you of my level of commitment to the neighborhood we will call home for many years to come.
Since 2011, Angela DiBattiste has been enamored with her neighborhood and community in Cedar Park. Drawn to Cedar Park for its diversity, inclusivity, and uniqueness, Angela has always strived to better understand the nuances of the neighborhood and support those who make it what it is. She has worked with and volunteered for the West Philadelphia YMCA, Philadelphia Folklore Project, Media Mobilizing Project, and the Scribe Video Center, to learn, educate, and advocate for youth, the queer community, and people of color. In 2015 Angela bought her first home in Cedar Park. While she has learned a lot through this experience, she eager make her investment meaningful through the advocacy of her neighbors and local business owners as a part of CPN.
Currently in graduate school for her Masters in Early Childhood Education and Infant/Toddler Mental Health, Angela DiBattiste has worked exuberantly as a Preschool Teacher at Belmont Academy Charter School for the past five years. She is excited by the opportunity to take her passion for teaching and learning to the CPN board and ultimately, to her community in Cedar Park.
50XX Cedar Avenue
I am a West Philadelphia native, my family moved to Cedar Park in the early 1990s. When we moved here there were many families with children my age and we walked to school, played and help each other with outside chores. I knew most of the people by name (if only their first) and felt safe to explore my neighborhood as I believe children should. I have always loved this neighborhood, and I have always been proud to call Cedar Park my home.
Now I am a certified a housing counselor with the Unemployment Information Center, a non-profit agency working help homeowners experiencing mortgage or real estate tax foreclosure and other financial crisis.
I am currently filling an interim board position, and am seeking my first official term. My goal is to use my talents and skills to help Cedar Park continue its mission of inclusion and diversity. In addition, I am deeply committed to helping to the residents of Cedar Park both old and new to engage in open dialog about the shift of our more diverse community. I believe that long-time resident and new higher income resident are primary seeing the same thing, a safe, decent, affordable place to live, shop and enjoy. Over the past ten years, I have witnessed the increase in property values that makes some of the long-term residents feel they are being forced out of the neighborhood by the higher income investors. Most of the families that I grew up with did not have the financial means to keep the homes they inherited due to rising real estate taxes and the cost burden of repairs. Living in this area is also becoming unaffordable for rents as well as landlord have increased the rent to keep up increase of the same issues.
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5XX SOUTH 48TH STREET
Michael lives in Cedar Park with his partner, Susanna, and eight-year-old daughter, Zora. He is has served as the past-president of Cedar Park Neighbors and is running for re-election as an at-large board member position. During the day, Michael works as a managing attorney practicing consumer and housing law with Community Legal Services. Michael is the co-founder of the West Philly Tool Library, is a Democratic party committee person in the 46th Ward, and has previously served on the boards of UC Green and Shakespeare in Clark Park. Michael is 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.
49XX catharine Street
Ashton grew up in the far western Philadelphia suburbs on a small goat farm. Coming first to University City in 2000 to attend college, Ashton has lived in Cedar Park since 2008. As it relates to CPN, Ashton's interests are community economic development, infrastructure improvements throughout the city, and issues surrounding planning and zoning. While professionally a city planner, Ashton would rather spend his time, hiking/camping with friends, working on house renovations or planning the next trip. He is running for an open position on the CPN board with the hope of playing a more active role in balancing neighborhood growth, improving access to community resources and establishing additional avenues for resident interaction.
46XX Chester Ave
We have lived in the West Philadelphia since 1997 (minus a few years living in Morris Park), and currently reside at 46th and Chester. I am the proud single mom of an 18 year old son, due to graduate this year from The Philly Free School.
I was an active member in good standing at Calvary United Methodists Church, and was often asked to do prayers near the conclusion of service. My son was christened there, and I taught Sunday School in the Samaritan Room. I was on the pastoral search committee and participated in the selection of the last two pastors (including the current Pastor, Rev. John Prichard). I chose the bricks that currently grace the ground in front of and around of the building. There were many activities we participated in and much I was responsible for over the next 10 years. Although we no longer worship at Calvary, the memories are priceless.
In addition, I was a board member and secretary for the Early Head Start program through CHOP and on the board of the Christian Association at University of Pennsylvania.
We have happy memories of days at Clark Park, Cedar Park, and around the neighborhood with our rolling lemonade stand. My son rode in the wagon with the lemonade while mommy pulled. I would like to be a part of the Cedar Park Neighbors because I am sure that I could become a vital part of the organization, due in part to my long history with the area and my desire to continue working toward true diversity.
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49XX Baltimore Avenue
Jas Morrell is the founder of the Spirited Tattooing Coalition, which set out to make a creative and respectful space that makes all of its patrons feel positive, supported and free. A safe space for people to express themselves. We want to make changes in the industry and help people grow and feel accomplished in their bodies in ways that make them feel connected and at home with themself. It builds a space for artists from the immediate community of West Philadelphia and all over the world to be a part of the shop and have the tools and platform they need to express themselves, where they otherwise might not have one. We want marginalized voices, artists and identities to have sanctuary while making those connections and baring down to their deepest layer.
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49XX Baltimore Ave
I am a lifelong resident of West Philadelphia. My mother is a retired special needs teacher and my father is currently a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. I retired from FedEx as a courier after 21 years at the age of 52. I am also an entrepreneur, having owned and operated a small cafe in South Philadelphia for more than ten years and remain an owner of the building.
I became a valued employee working at Cedar Park Safe Haven for Women a little over three years. I have grown to know alot about West Philly, Cedar Park, Garden Court associations along with the everyday folk, business owners, and neighbors. I am self motivated, loyal and have an enormous passion for building relationships with folks from all walks of life. I believe that the Cedar Park Neighbors would be a great to work with and I would be an asset. I am also a self taught drummer, certified cook, and am pursuing my realtors license. I hope to become part of the CPN board.
48XX BALTIMORE ST.
Franchon is owner/operator of Hair Vyce Studio at 4828 Baltimore Avenue. H V S was born here, in Cedar Park late summer of 2013. For 16 of her 24 years in cosmetology, she worked in Rittenhouse Square located in the heart of Center City. West Philly was her first choice of a location for the salon, because: (1) she owns a home in the neighborhood, (2) the location is close to Center City and close proximity of New Jersey, (3) diversity of businesses in the surrounding community.
Community service is a key qualification for consideration to become a Cedar Park NeighborsBoard member. With 24 years of cosmetology, customer service and community service come hand in hand. Her strong interpersonal skills make Franchon a great communicator. For over two years, she has served on the Baltimore Avenue Business Association, BABA Marketing, and most recently, was chosen to be its vice president. In becoming a Cedar Park Neighbors member, her contribution will be to strengthen the bond between the neighbors of Cedar Park and rejuvenating CPN’s outreach to the community. Sitting on the board would also strengthen communications between BABA and CPN. Dual seating brings the voice of the community to the ears of business owners.
49XX Walton Avenue
Carly Rapaport-Stein moved to Philadelphia 10 years ago, and settled in Cedar Park in summer 2017. She lives with her partner, Andrew, and two playful kittens, Hobbes and Hermione. Carly is interested in the ways that we come together as a community, particularly in how art and culture connect neighbors and neighborhoods, and how a sense of belonging and community well-being affects community safety. She is the executive director of Intercultural Journeys (a performing arts nonprofit with an office in Cedar Park), and an adjunct instructor in Drexel University’s Entertainment and Arts Management program. In her free time, Carly enjoys dissecting politics and policy, drinking coffee, taking photographs, and trying new recipes.
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Growing up in Glenside with friends and family living throughout the city for generations, John moved to Cedar Park in 2014 at the suggestion of his brother and sister-in-law, both also residents for several years. He now lives on Beaumont Ave with siblings, cousins, and lifelong friends all living in West Philly.
A software developer by occupation, John also has an avid interest in infrastructure and infrastructure access; he sees West Philly in particular as a leader in Philadelphia’s transformation into a true 21st century city. As the city continues to grow, he wishes to see Cedar Park and Philadelphia as a whole become a place where all residents can enjoy equitable access to spaces where they can move, breathe, and live freely.
Emil Steiner was born and raised in West Philadelphia. He is an assistant professor of journalism at Rowan University. Prior to joining the academy he served as a reporter and editor at The Washington Post. As a long-term resident of Cedar Park, he is focused on creating sustainable growth in Philadelphia’s most beautiful residential neighborhood.
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49XX Walton Avenue
Newly appointed as an interim Board member. Welcome, Matt!