About Barra


Matthew Bergheiser serves as President of University City District (UCD), a partnership of universities, health systems, business leaders and community groups dedicated to the notion of a vibrant University City. Matt joined UCD in July 2009 and, during his tenure, UCD has developed and opened The Porch at 30th Street Station, launched the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, and created Project Rehab to focus on the rehabilitation of derelict properties.  He is a former chairman and current member of the Board of Trustees for the Community College of Philadelphia.

Donna Marie De Carolis, Ph.D., is the founding Dean of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship and the Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership at Drexel University, where she has initiated a pioneering approach to entrepreneurship education at the nation’s first independent, degree-granting school of entrepreneurship at a university. Donna was the 2015 recipient of the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs’ Iris Newman Award given each year to a woman business leader who has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping advance women entrepreneurs, and her research has appeared in journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Management, and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. Donna is the recipient of the prestigious Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award from Executive MBAs. She frequently speaks to companies about leadership and innovation, and her commentaries have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Business Journal, and Forbes On-line. She earned her doctoral degree in strategic management from Temple University and holds an MBA from Villanova University.

Michael DiPiano is Managing General Partner and co-founder of NewSpring.  He is a General Partner of the Firm’s dedicated growth equity funds and serves as a member of the investment committee of all NewSpring funds. Before co-founding NewSpring in 2001, Mike was a serial entrepreneur and investor.  Mike has led or co-led investment into companies in the business services, healthcare and information technology industries.  Previously, Mike was affiliated with Safeguard Scientifics Inc. and was a division CEO and Director of Chemical Leaman Corporation.  Mike began his career in 1980 with Baxter Healthcare Corporation.  He held numerous positions at Baxter, culminating as Vice President responsible for Operations and Sales of the Industrial Scientific Products Division. Mike received a BS from Penn State University and an MBA from the Stern School at New York University.

Valerie V. Gay is deputy director of audience engagement and chief experience officer for the Barnes Foundation. She plays a leading role in growing and sustaining the Foundation’s relationship with all audiences in the Philadelphia region, and embedding visitor-centered thinking into every aspect of the Barnes. Val oversees public and community programs, leads the visitor experience team, and is working to expand diversity and inclusion initiatives to cultivate new ways for visitors to have meaningful and long-lasting relationships with the Barnes. A Creative in several industries, Val has held senior and executive positions, including executive director of Art Sanctuary, vice president and investment portfolio manager at PNC Advisors and assistant dean for Institutional Advancement for Temple University’s College of Education. She also serves on the boards of directors of The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, is a member of the Arts and Business Council’s Advisory Board and the Mayor’s Council for the Arts. Previous board membership includes serving as vice chair of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and chair of Women’s Way.  As an active performer as a solo recitalist and multi-genre vocalist, some of her recent performing highlights include singing in concert with renowned soprano Kathleen Battle and a solo performance at Carnegie Hall. Val earned degrees in Vocal Performance: A Bachelor of Music from the University of the Arts, a Master of Music and Professional Studies Certificate at Temple University, completed degree coursework at Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and has achieved the professional designation of Certified Financial Planner.

Stacy E. Holland, Ed.D., has nearly 30 years of experience developing and implementing educational solutions for children. As Executive Director of Philadelphia School Partnership, Stacy is fostering a positive approach to aligning the education community of Philadelphia on a common vision. Prior to Philadelphia School Partnership, Stacy was founder and principal of The Holland Group, a boutique consulting firm that served as a strategic advisor to public/private educational systems and philanthropic organizations. Previously, as Executive Director of The Lenfest Foundation, Stacy managed the foundation’s endowment and annual grant budget, and was a content expert and leader within national, regional and local civic and philanthropic communities. Before The Lenfest Foundation, she served as Chief of Strategic Partnerships for the School District of Philadelphia, where she built a new system for promoting the District’s fundraising initiatives and external relationships. Stacy also co-founded the Philadelphia Youth Network, growing the organization to a citywide entity dedicated to integrating services across more than 100 partners providing programming to nearly 20,000 youth annually. Stacy earned a doctoral degree in learning and development from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She also holds a bachelor’s in marketing from The College of New Jersey and a master’s in student personnel administration in higher education from Columbia University.

Joanna McNeil Lewis graduated from Princeton University with a BA in Art History, worked at Christie’s Auction House in New York City for five years, and since has been a consultant in Bucks County Impressionism. For the last 38 years, Jody has volunteered at numerous non-profit organizations and served on the boards of The Philadelphia Zoo, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Kimmel Center and The Agnes Irwin School, among others. She was President and CEO, and Chair of the Board of the Academy of Music from 2007 until 2013, and is currently Board Chair of the Philadelphia Zoo where she is assisting with the introduction of a young friends group and mentoring the next generation of volunteers and philanthropists.  She helped to create an academic scholarship, which includes support services, that enables students from the Community Partnership School, a PAIS accredited school serving children from Pre-K to 5th grade in a north central Philadelphia neighborhood, to attend SCH Academy. Jody has also established a foundation, The Joanna McNeil Trust, which supports the arts and education, with a primary focus on projects that restore or augment specialized lighting at historic properties. She is currently working on the design of a National Light to commemorate USA250.

Victoria (Vicki) McNeil Le Vine, is an artist and lifelong resident of Philadelphia. She received a B.A in Studio Art from Mount Holyoke College and began her career as a Freelance Graphic Designer. With additional study, she evolved into an exhibiting artist, primarily known for her watercolor and oil landscapes. Her work is shown in the Philadelphia region, and she has also shown on Nantucket and in Park City, UT. She and her husband Chris own The Inn at Grace Winery in Glen Mills, PA. They oversaw the renovation of the historic malting barn on the property, planted several acres of white and red varietals, and founded the Winery. The Inn hosts travelers, weddings, corporate events and weekly events for local visitors. Ms. Le Vine served as Board Chair of The Broadway Dreams Foundation for several years, a national nonprofit that mentors and trains aspiring performers. She is Vice Chair of The National Committee of the Performing Arts of the Kennedy Center, representing PA, and was formerly Education Committee Chair. She serves as Trustee for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, currently on the Architecture and Facilities and Education committees.  Ms. Le Vine is an ongoing supporter of The Princess Grace Foundation, USA, and recently established a scholarship and mentoring program for students entering the profession. She is a Director of The Barra Foundation. She founded and oversees The Victory Foundation, whose mission supports visual and performing arts education in the Philadelphia region. The Victory Foundation Award for Excellence in Arts Education is given annually at the Barrymore Awards. She is married to D. Christopher (Chris) Le Vine, and they have three adult children.

Clayton Gates C. McNeil graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South with a BA in Economics and History. Both during and following his time at Sewanee, he was involved with Bomoda, a New-York based data analytics company, where he worked on product development, digital marketing and client acquisition. Gates then returned to Drexel University, where he received his MBA with a focus in entrepreneurship, sparked by his experience working at a startup business. Following his MBA, he has turned his attention towards the Philadelphia area, serving on various boards and in volunteer roles. This includes a seat on the Board of the Arthur Judson Foundation, an organization focused on promoting classical music and the arts in Greater Philadelphia. Gates is passionate about helping improve the quality of life in the region through targeted investing. He believes this can be accomplished through grants that help spur growth in up-and-coming sectors, as well as financial investments in real estate and businesses that encourage others to follow suit.

Rory McNeil is President of Kisimul Management, LLC, a small venture capital and management company. Kisimul is also the parent company for Thistlewood Properties, LLC, a real estate development company that specializes in high-end residential redevelopment. He served on the board of Germantown Academy and the Agnes Irwin School. In addition, he has served as a board member at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and as Board member/VP of the Children’s Country Week Association.

Emily L. Turner, CFA is an investment advisor in the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs where she advises wealthy individuals, family groups and nonprofit organizations. Emily joined Goldman Sachs in 2013. She graduated summa cum laude from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a BS in Economics. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Society Philadelphia. Emily serves on the Board of Directors and Finance Committee of Salus University and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. Additionally, Emily is Co-Chair of 100 Women in Finance in Philadelphia and a member of the Forum of Executive Women.

Kristina L. Wahl joined The Barra Foundation as a Program Officer in 2010 and became President in 2013.  Prior to joining Barra, she worked at The Pew Charitable Trusts as a Program Officer and spent three years as the Managing Director of Development and Marketing at the Transitional Work Corporation.  After graduating from La Salle University, she joined the Vincentian Service Corps and served as a volunteer at Covenant House in New York City.  Following that formative experience, Kristina earned an MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  She currently serves on the Boards of the Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia and the Center for Health Care Strategies.  She also is a member of PIDC’s Capitalization Committee.

John C. Williams, Jr. is Senior Vice President – Wealth Management at UBS Financial Securities where he has worked for the last three decades of a career in finance that has spanned more than 40 years. In addition to his work advising clients on strategic wealth management, he was responsible for establishing and managing UBS’s Philadelphia Suburban Complex in the early 1990s. A graduate of The Episcopal Academy, John earned his BS in Business Administration at Roanoke College. John has brought his experience in the financial sector and his leadership acumen to bear on his work as a trustee at Woodlynde School, a K-12 independent school on the Main Line that welcomes and serves students who learn differently. He currently serves as Vice Chair of Woodlynde School’s Board of Trustees, a role he stepped into following his successful tenure as Co-Chair of the school’s first-ever capital campaign, which realized a $12m campus transformation project. Driven by a genuine concern for the under-resourced, a desire to affect positive change, and a deep understanding of the role philanthropic investment plays in both, John is honored to be part of The Barra Foundation Board.

Laura A. Williamson most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for Glenmede, a privately-held investment and wealth management firm. In this role she was responsible for business management functions including finance, human resources, technology, client servicing support and operations. Now retired from her professional role, Laura is an avid traveler and eager to resume exploring culture and natural beauty around the world.  Laura is also Chair of the Finance Committee for the Board of the Stoneleigh Foundation and serves on the Investment Committee for the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.  She is a past-president of the Board for Philadelphia Futures and was a lead director in its merger with White Williams Scholars and the subsequent strategic planning process. She is a graduate of Bucknell University and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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