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 Drexel University’s Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship where she has initiated a pioneering approach to entrepreneurship education. 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. Donna received her doctorate from Temple University; has numerous scholarly research publications; and is an award winning professor.  She was previously an Associate Dean at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business.

Michael DiPiano is Managing General Partner and co-founder of NewSpring Capital.  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 Barra Foundation, 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 Holland, Ed.D. is a passionate educational advocate, who has held several positions in the education and nonprofit sectors, specializing in youth workforce development and building career pathway systems for disconnected youth. Stacy currently serves as the Founder & Principal at The Holland Group and DesignBuildDo Ventures. Both are consulting firms which support philanthropists, schools and nonprofits with strategy development and developing educational initiatives to serve children. Prior to leading in education and philanthropy consulting, Stacy served as the Executive Director of The Lenfest Foundation, where she managed a $100 million endowment and designed a career pathway strategy for the Foundation. Stacy also served as Chief of Strategic Partnerships for the School District of Philadelphia where she built the team responsible for organizing the ecosystem of partnerships for over 200 schools and led the district’s fundraising initiatives. Before this, Stacy served as President & CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), a nonprofit she co-founded in 1999, which promotes positive post-secondary and economic outcomes. Stacy holds degrees from The College of New Jersey; Teachers College, Columbia University; and, a doctorate in organizational learning and development from the University of Pennsylvania.

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 27 years, Jody also volunteered at or served on numerous boards including The Philadelphia Zoo, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Kimmel Center and The Agnes Irwin School. She was President and CEO, and Chair of the Board of the Academy of Music from 2007 until 2013, and is currently a Vice Chair of the Philadelphia Zoo Board 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 a scholarship that enables students from the Community Partnership School to attend SCH Academy.  Jody has also established a foundation, The Joanna McNeil Trust, that supports the arts and education, with a primary focus on projects that restore or augment specialized lighting at historic properties.

Victoria McNeil Le Vine is an artist and former graphic designer. She received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Studio Art, maintains a studio in Haverford, and exhibits primarily in the Philadelphia region. She and her husband own The Inn at Grace Winery, the former Sweetwater Farm B&B, located in the Brandywine Valley. Over the last several years they added a vineyard, full production, and numerous special events that are hosted there annually. Vicki is Chair Emerita of The Broadway Dreams Foundation, a national non profit dedicated to mentoring and training aspiring performers. She serves on The National Committee for the Performing Arts of the Kennedy Center as Education Chair. She is a Trustee for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, serving on the Executive, Facilities, Education, and Major Gift committees. Her former board appointments include The Main Line Art Center, The Please Touch Museum Museum, The Agnes Irwin School, and volunteering for The Princess Grace Foundation, USA. She founded and oversees The Victory Foundation, whose mission supports visual and performing arts education in the Philadelphia Region.

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. Prior to Kisimul Management, Rory served in a number of executive roles with the Philadelphia Phillies baseball organization.  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.

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.

Laura A. Williamson was most recently the 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. Today she remains an avid traveler exploring culture and natural beauty around the world from her Philadelphia home base.  Laura also serves on the Board and Finance Committee for the Stoneleigh Foundation and 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 the 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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