Anne Papageorge

Anne Papageorge

Senior Vice President for Facilities and Real Estate Services, University of Pennsylvania

Anne Papageorge

Anne Papageorge is the senior vice president for facilities and real estate services at the University of Pennsylvania. Anne joined the University of Pennsylvania in October 2006, and is responsible for planning, design and construction, facilities operations, maintenance, and utilities, and real estate operations and development.  She oversees a department of approximately 1,000 staff, $200 million in operating expenses, and a capital budget averaging approximately $350 million per year, the Penn Connects campus development plan, and the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee responsible for developing and implementing the Climate and Sustainability Action Plan for the university. 

Anne is a licensed landscape architect and was previously the senior vice president and memorial design director for the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., managing the planning, design and construction of the nearly $1 billion project encompassing the World Trade Center Memorial, Memorial Museum, Visitor’s Center, and related facilities.

Prior to joining the LMDC in 2004, she worked in design and construction for the City of New York, where she served as first deputy commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, managing a staff of 1,200 and overseeing 750 projects valued at $4.4 billion.

Anne holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry School of Landscape Architecture and an M.B.A. from the City University of New York Baruch College.  She serves on the executive Boards for Longwood Gardens, the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, the University City Science Center, and the Schuylkill River Development Corporation; she also serves on the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team.

Cherelle Parker

Councilmember, Philadelphia City Council

Councilmember Cherelle Parker serves the ninth Councilmanic District in Philadelphia. She is also the chair of Council’s Labor and Civil Service Committee, where she focuses on guaranteeing that workers have financial security in their retirement. Before being elected to Council, she served as a state representative for the 200th District. Councilwoman Parker has secured over $5.85M for capital projects and community-based organizations in her district. Finally, she is also a member of various service-oriented organizations, including the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the National Congress of Black Women, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. 



Darisha Parker

Darisha Parker

State Representative for the 198th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Darisha Parker

Darisha Parker represents the 198th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She is a graduate of Bennett College with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. Representative Parker worked as a legislative assistant for her predecessor Rosita C. Youngblood, and is the subcommittee chair for Women and Girls of Color with the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. She sits on the House Committees of Aging and Older Adult Services, Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, and Commerce.

Who is a woman that inspires you?
My mother, Linda J. Miller, inspires me on a daily basis. She is the matriarch of our family. Before retiring, she was the deputy executive director and a spokesperson for PPA. She also was a legislative assistant for a former legislator.

What do you think needs to be done to level the playing field for women in the workplace?Equal pay is what will level the playing field in the workplace. We’re working four times as hard as men but we’re not properly compensated, which means we’re unable in many cases to provide for our families.

What are some challenges you have faced as a woman in the workplace/in general?
The challenges, especially for women of color, is that we’re judged by the color of our skin and not by our character or integrity. It’s a stereotype we face on a daily basis. Black women don’t receive support for all the hurdles they climb daily.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
My advice is love yourself no matter what anyone says. Begin and end your day with prayer. Protect and guard your peace and solitude. Seek a therapist to discuss uncertainties you face daily. Seek a mentor to advise your career path in life.

Rosemary Phillips

Rosemary Phillips

Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, GMH Communities

Rosemary Phillips

Rosemary Phillips serves as chief people officer at GMH Communities, a real estate company specializing in the acquisition, development, and management of exceptional living communities throughout the US. She plays a major role with diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at GMH and helps to spearhead the company’s platform GMHgo, which helps put this mission and company culture into action. Since 2016, Rosemary has worked with Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, working with senior leadership on organizational design and change management initiatives.

Who is a woman that inspires you?
My late aunt Theresa Dunn, whom I was very close to, was a grade school principal and she lived and worked internationally. Upon her retirement she continued to work part time and sat on several boards until she passed at the age of 90.

What do you think needs to be done to level the playing field for women in the workplace? I think that a company culture of inclusivity is critical for women to thrive and add value to any organization.

What are some challenges you have faced as a woman in the workplace/in general?
I have worked with managers that needed to be coached on gender bias and I would make it a point to address those situations immediately.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
First make sure that you find a company culture that you are comfortable in. Talk to as many female employees as you can at all levels in an organization before making a decision to dive in.

Maria Quiñones Sánchez

Maria Quiñones Sánchez

Councilmember At-Large, Philadelphia City Council

Maria Quiñones Sánchez

Maria Quiñones Sánchez is serving her fourth term representing the seventh Council District. She made history in 2007 as the first Latina elected to City Council, and has successfully advanced a bold, progressive agenda. Maria chairs the Council’s Appropriations and Education Committees, co-chairs the Council’s Special Committee on Poverty Reduction and Prevention, and serves on the Philadelphia Tax Reform Working Group. Maria created the Land Bank and established Philadelphia’s internationally-recognized water affordability program. She is dedicated to building a more equitable Philadelphia, where the government is effective, transparent, accessible, and accountable to all.

Who is a woman that inspires you?
My mother, Bienvenida. She was the matriarch of my large, extended family. She was a community organizer in her own right. She was my foundational model for community leadership and service.

What do you think needs to be done to level the playing field for women in the workplace?When they go to work, women bring their diverse experiences, as heads of their households, caretakers, and problem solvers. Workplaces that recognize this value are better places because of it. Women in the workplace need fair compensation, access to parental leave and family-friendly policies, access to opportunities for growth and development, and colleagues who listen to and value their input. 

What are some challenges you have faced as a woman in the workplace/in general?
As a woman of color, I have been in many rooms of powerful people where my perspective, lived experience, and insight were not valued. To counter that, I have learned to be prepared, learn the history and background, and be ready to get into the weeds. Ultimately most people want to get things done, and when I’ve shown up ready to do that I have made myself heard. 

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Prioritize your personal life, family, and privacy. Treasure the real friends that you make. Remember that even with your friends you’ll disagree sometimes, but don’t let that stop you from seizing every opportunity to work together on a shared goal.

Leslie Richards

Leslie Richards

CEO and General Manager, SEPTA

Leslie Richards

Leslie Richards is the CEO and general manager of SEPTA, a regional public transportation authority with services in five counties in and around Philadelphia. She formerly served as a member of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. As PennDOT Secretary, Leslie founded PennDOT Connects, an initiative to increase PennDOT’s collaboration with local governments. 

Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley

Associate Vice President of Communications, Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board

Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley is an award-winning multimedia storyteller with 18 years of experience in the news and tourism industries, and has created events to attract visitors to Montco, such as Crave Montco Month, Arts Montco Week and Jazz Fest, and the Freedom from Hunger Food Drive. Rachel was named a 2021 Philadelphia Business Journal 40 Under 40, and a 2019 PR News Top Women in PR. A Philadelphia native, she graduated from Holy Family University.

Who is a woman that inspires you?
Amanda Gorman.

What do you think needs to be done to level the playing field for women in the workplace? I think all employers across the board need to make sure they’re providing training, education, equal pay, and career growth opportunities to level the playing field for women in the workplace.

What are some challenges you have faced as a woman in the workplace/in general?
I don’t think anyone wants to feel stereotyped, have assumptions made about them, and/or decisions made about them based on their gender.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Empower each other. Support each other. Build each other up. Show them what you can do. And never be afraid to take credit for your own ideas.

Jazmin Rae Feb 2022 Team Headshots

Jazmin Rae Rodriguez

Owner and Cosmetologist, Jazmin Rae and Co.

Jazmin Rae Feb 2022 Team Headshots

Jazmin Rae Rodriguez graduated high school at the age of 16 and started cosmetology school right away, obtaining a professional license by the age of 18. By the age of 22 she was completely self-employed and working as a professional makeup artist who specialized in commercial print and weddings. She ensured her growth by always holding herself and her business to the highest standards. Now, almost a decade later, the standards she once held for herself still hold, and have translated into a one-of-a-kind experience for her clients. 

Who is a woman that inspires you?
My mother–she taught me the importance of independence and taught me how to be a successful entrepreneur.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Take the leap of faith and lead with your gut. With determination and perseverance success will come naturally.

Jennifer Rodriguez
Provided

Jennifer Rodriguez

President and CEO, Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Jennifer Rodriguez
Provided

For over 20 years, Jennifer has worked to support economic development, wealth creation, and empowerment of underrepresented groups at the city, regional, and national levels. As president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and as region five representative at the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she focuses on ‘closing the gap’ for Latinos in the economy. She advocates for the 22,000+ Hispanic-owned businesses in the Philadelphia region and the advancement of Latinx professionals in the corporate sector.

Who is a woman that inspires you?
I am inspired by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

What do you think needs to be done to level the playing field for women in the workplace? To level the playing field we need more women in positions of influence: as elected officials, as corporate executives, as investors and fund managers, and in the boardroom.

What are some challenges you have faced as a woman in the workplace/in general?     There were times in my career when I felt that I did not belong. I did not share the same interests or experiences as my peers and superiors, like playing golf. Sometimes, it still happens because as a Latina, I am the exception in the room.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
To emerging female leaders I would say: do not ask for permission, ask for forgiveness. Gaining the self-confidence to believe that you belong in a space, whether you have been invited or not, takes some courage, but it is well worth it.

Marcie Turney (left) and Valerie Safran (right)

Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney

Owners, Safran Turney Hospitality

Marcie Turney (left) and Valerie Safran (right)

Marcie Turney (left) and Valerie Safran (right)

As two of Philadelphia’s most prominent and ambitious businesswomen, Chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran have worked tirelessly over more than a decade to transform the once-desolate strip of 13th Street into a trendy neighborhood now known as “Midtown Village.” Today, Chef Turney and Safran’s Safran Turney Hospitality group owns and operates four wildly popular restaurants in the neighborhood: Barbuzzo,  Little Nonna’s, Bud & Marilyn’s, and Good Luck Pizza Co. Neighboring these businesses are their two lifestyle boutiques, Open House and Verde, and private event space, located above Barbuzzo. Additionally, they operate a Bud & Marilyn’s outpost in the Philadelphia International Airport.