When women join Impact100 Philadelphia, we are told the organization is “guilt-free”. Although it is great to see volunteer events, site visits, meetups, and educational activities jammed packed, members are encouraged to participate only as much as their schedules and individual interests permit.
Some members assume leadership positions on Impact100 Philadelphia’s Board of Directors. Our organization is completely managed by this working board. Although we are grateful for support provided by our part-time administrator, Cari Sundermeier, each member of our board truly functions as “chief cook and bottle washer:” developing strategies, planning events, recruiting members, coordinating communications among our members, nonprofits, and the Philadelphia community and much more.
The end of our eleventh grant cycle also marks the end of board service for five remarkable women. Each of them has contributed to the success of Impact100 Philadelphia.
Claudie Williams is a founding member of Impact100 Philadelphia. She has served on our board for six years, including a two-year stint as President. Claudie worked for decades in marketing and business development in the pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare and personal care industry. She highlights the creation of the Young Philanthropist program as one of her proudest achievements as part of Impact100 Philadelphia.
Sandy Lazovitz joined our organization in 2012. She has served on the board for four years, first as Grants Co-Chair and more recently as the Nonprofit Liaison Co-Chair. By day Sandy works in real estate development, but she has spent countless hours in “in the room where it happened” as our organization shifted to Core Mission Grants and a new Focus Area Committee process.
Allison Schapker, a five-year member, has spent three years as the Co-Chair of Communications for Impact100 Philadelphia. Her career in real estate development focuses on the needs of nonprofits and large institutions, such as Fairmount Park. She is most proud of our organization’s commitment to learning and evolving in the face of changing needs from members and the nonprofit community. Allison proudly represents the voice of the nonprofit in all Impact100 Philadelphia discussions.
Julie Orts joined our organization in 2012 and has served on our board for two years as the Nonprofit Liaison Co-Chair. She works for the University of Pennsylvania as a Systems Analyst which means she helps non-technical people understand technology by helping them to leverage software systems to do their jobs. Julie’s professional skills have been critical to the growth of our organization. She spearheaded many of the “backroom” structural changes to our infrastructure, which allows the board to operate more efficiently and enhances the membership experience. Julie is proud that she and Sandy Lazovitz have expanded engagement with the nonprofit community, before, during, and after the grant making process.
Susan Wirshba became a member of Impact100 Philadelphia in 2011 and has served on the board for the past two years as Programs Co-Chair. Her professional experience was as an auditor and accountant. Her proudest personal achievement precisely reflects the collective nature of Impact100 Philadelphia: leadership for an amazing organization, the knowledge that she made an individual and collective difference in the Philadelphia region through our grant making. Seeing nonprofits engage with our members at our recent Spring Education event and the past two Annual Meetings has been particularly rewarding for her.
Although each retiring board member cites different personal achievements, all report similar lessons from their involvement with Impact100 Philadelphia. Each commented that they have learned from other members: interesting, intelligent, empathetic, impassioned woman they may not have met otherwise. All recognized the tremendous need in the Philadelphia area, and the unflagging work of our nonprofit partners to make our community better. Each woman believes the future of Impact100 Philadelphia is bright and has every hope that our organization will continue to diversify and grow, so that we may become the gateway to philanthropy and community service for every-day Philadelphians.
Our organization thanks Claudie Williams, Sandy Lazovitz, Allison Schapker, Julie Orts, and Susan Wirshba for all of their time and talents. Although they have each concluded participation on the board, they will continue their involvement with Impact100 Philadelphia in various capacities. We are better and stronger than ever, due in no small part to these extraordinary women and their efforts. We are grateful and look forward to continuing our work together.