White Rose Ventures announced today its closure of an $11.9 million White Rose Impact Fund aimed at investing in South Central Pennsylvania entrepreneurs.
A regional venture capital firm, White Rose Ventures is led by Martin Fedorko and Alexa Born.
According to a company press release, the closure of the venture fund “marks a significant stride towards revolutionizing the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Fedorko said that as Central Pennsylvania has a rich history of entrepreneurship, White Rose deems it a privilege to invest in visionary entrepreneurs.
“We extend our utmost gratitude to our esteemed investors – the very embodiment of dynamic, progressive institutions,” Fedorko said in a statement. “Through entrepreneur-led economic development, we are poised to forge a future that generates and attracts the jobs of tomorrow for our region.”
The White Rose Impact Fund is backed by a consortium of institutions, including the Powder Mill Foundation, J. William Warehime Foundation, Fulton Bank, WellSpan Health, Arthur J. Glatfelter Foundation, Select Capital Group, York County Community Foundation, and York College of Pennsylvania.
The White Rose Ventures team began investing in 2021, and through investments totaling $4.98 million, has helped fuel the growth of local companies such as Naqi Logix, Reflexion, cyberconIQ, Pledge It, EVERMIND, TEAMology, ReturnLogic, Gilson Snow, and The Pretzel Company.
CyberconIQ announced recently that White Rose Ventures is one of the co-investors in a $4.5 million Convertible Debenture placement.
“White Rose Ventures is consistently impressed by cyberconIQ and their unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence within the cybersecurity industry,” said Fedorko. “We are honored to invest in a company that is dedicated to making a meaningful impact across the business world.”
White Rose’s nonprofit arm, Braided River Collective, supports organizations such as Keystone Merge and WayFinder EcoMap.
The president and CEO of United Way of Lancaster County is leaving at the end of June to lead the Alliance for Health Equity in Coatesville.
Kevin Ressler, who became CEO in January 2020, was identified after a nationwide search for Alliance’s CEO position and will be responsible for focusing on racial equity through the perspectives of Social Determinants of Health in Chester County, among other needs. Ressler will succeed interim President and CEO Nicholas Torres.
The Alliance for Health Equity was created in 2001 as a health conversion foundation (HCF). HCF’s are nonprofit organizations dedicated to advancing the charitable work of a community hospital, such as the Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville, after it is sold to a for profit hospital system.
“I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to lead United Way of Lancaster County during one of its most critical times through its nearly 100-year history,” said Ressler.
“Joining the organization three months before the COVID-19 shut down meant immediately pivoting from the long-range strategic goals of the organization to the kind of crisis response United Way has been known for worldwide beyond any of our living memories, Ressler said. “This organization is seen as a shining star in the movement and as a lifelong Lancastrian, there are few honors higher than holding this position.”
During his tenure at United Way, Ressler helped lead the organization into many new projects and initiatives such as Project SOS, a mutual aid effort involving COVID-19 stimulus check sharing; the Level Up & Launch community empowerment grants; and the recently revamped Project Blueprint, a training program which aims to create more equitable and inclusive organizational boards, United Way said.
Ressler was also instrumental in creating One United Lancaster, United Way’s affiliated news website, which has won three Pennsylvania NewsMedia Awards, one by Kevin himself, and recently celebrated three years of publication.
“While we are saddened to see Kevin go, we are grateful for the dedicated service and leadership he has provided to our organization and the Lancaster County community,” said Steve Nieli, chair of the board of United Way.“
The United Way of Lancaster County board of directors have hired TriStarr Staffing, to assist in the search for Ressler’s successor.
Girls on the Run received a $1 million grant to support its continued inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) work.
Etters, York County-based Rite Aid Healthy Futures renewed its partnership with Girls on the Run (GOTR) to ensure its mission to combat health disparities and advance fitness and friendship among adolescent girls, it said.
The announcement comes as local GOTR councils prepare for their spring 5Ks, end-of-season events that are well known for their powerful positivity and celebratory atmosphere, Rite Aid Healthy Futures said.
“As we continue to empower girls to reach their full potential, we remain committed to ensuring that our programming reaches all communities and provides a place where all participants feel like they belong,” said Elizabeth Kunz, CEO at Girls on the Run. “Reaching girls at a young age helps them learn healthy habits and life skills that will support them into adolescence and beyond. For girls from communities facing challenges such as poverty and health disparities, the need is even greater.”
The $1 million grant will benefit the Girls on the Run headquarters as well as the 50 local councils in Healthy Futures’ footprint, with funding focused on the continued development of GOTR’s inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) work, Rite Aid Healthy Futures said.
Local councils will use the funds to diversify their coaching staff, increase program access to girls of color and further enhance programming that acknowledges the needs and realities of their communities, GOTR said. Funds will also go to strengthening the organization’s core programming and training while supporting sustainability across local councils, many of which are still recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.
GOTR is a leader in positive youth development, and its experience-based curriculum integrates running to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. The organization currently operates 171 local councils across the United States and Canada, serving nearly 200,000 girls annually.
The latest funding marks the third year of partnership between GOTR and Rite Aid Healthy Futures, the public charity affiliated with Rite Aid that seeks to advance equity and opportunity for children and youth, Rite Aid Healthy Futures said. The grant supports the two organizations’ shared commitment to strengthening and empowering local communities.
“We remain inspired by the commitment of Girls on the Run to create a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams,” said Matt DeCamara, executive director of Rite Aid Healthy Futures. “Our partnership will ensure that more girls have access to their innovative programming that addresses health disparities and racial inequities in communities, enabling girls to reach their full potential and futures.”
The Clinic for Special Children, a nonprofit comprehensive medical practice for children and adults with rare genetic disorders, broke ground on its new medical clinic Tuesday.
The more than 28,000 square foot clinic will occupy a 10.27-acre site at the intersection of Old Philadelphia Pike and Hatville Road in Intercourse.
The event launched the clinic’s public $12.5 million Keeping the Promise: Building Hope fundraising campaign to raise funds for the project.
“Due to our growing patient population and lack of expansion options at our current Strasburg facility, we quickly realized that we need to build a larger facility so we can treat patients into adulthood and serve an ever-increasing number of families,” said Adam Heaps, executive director. “This project is about keeping our promise to seek life-saving treatments for children with rare genetic disorders, providing care for our patients as they age, and continuing to be here for families when they need us.”
The new three-floor center will be larger and more accessible than the previous clinic and will include 12 exam rooms designed to accommodate whole families, discussion rooms where patients and their physicians can speak comfortably, a community room to host patient-focused educational events, and a small fully accessible playground.
Jane Conover, president of The York County Community Foundation (YCCF), announced her retirement, effective Nov. 30.
Conover joined the Foundation in 2010 as vice president of Community Investment and was promoted to president in 2015.
“We are very grateful for Jane’s leadership and congratulate her on a well-earned retirement after 40 years in the fields of community development and human services,” said Holly Mayer, YCCF board chair. “Jane has been a tremendous leader and has broadened YCCF’s relationships in the community, built a strong team of employees and volunteers, and strengthened YCCF’s voice on the important challenges facing York County.”
The Community Foundation has established a search committee headed by Mike Glezer, who serves as a member of the board’s executive committee. The committee is in the process of identifying a search firm and expects to launch the national search for a new president this spring.
“It is an honor to work for the York County Community Foundation,” said Conover. “YCCF’s strong and capable staff and volunteer leadership work hard to achieve our mission of engaging donors and supporting organizations that fuel community transformation. I’m inspired by all those working for a vibrant York County, and I will continue to seek out ways to help our community thrive.”
In 2010, Conover refocused the foundation’s grants to specific community priorities to have greater impact. Since then, YCCF has awarded $63 million in grants to the community, YCCF said.
Of those grants, $1.2 million was awarded to assist families struggling during the COVID pandemic thanks to a fundraising initiative launched by the Community Foundation in partnership with the United Way of York County.
Conover also played a critical role in growing YCCF’s community leadership through cross-sector collaboration, YCCF said.
During her tenure at YCCF assets nearly doubled and surpassed the $200 million mark in 2021. Conover assisted in establishing the Memorial Health Fund in 2015, which to date has awarded over $5 million in grants to improve community health.
Conover also increased diversity among the board and staff, and in 2021, the Foundation established the Racial Equity Fund, distributing more than $125,000 towards racial equity initiatives in York County.
Conover also launched YCCF’s Embracing Aging Initiative in 2013, resulting in $2.3 million in grants to improve the lives of older adults, the organization said.
“YCCF’s priority is to continue to engage donors in philanthropy, be outstanding stewards of gifts entrusted to us, and expand the impact of YCCF on our community,” said Mayer.
The Foundation for Enhancing Communities earmarked $222,405 in grants to 32 greater Harrisburg and surrounding area nonprofit organizations.
Projects will start between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023. Grant recipients are registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits or utilize a fiscal sponsor.
Here’s who received funding:
Children’s Home Foundation Fund awarded eight grantees a total of $25,500: Dauphin County CASA ($5,000), Gamut Theatre ($2,000), HANNA Foundation ($2,500), Harrisburg Symphony Association ($4,000), Join Hands Ministry ($2,000), Left Out Organization Program ($4,000), Setebaid Services Inc. ($3,000) and Tri County Community Action ($3,000).
The Kids Trust Fund awarded $71,659 total to 10 organizations: Children Aid Society, Southern PA District-Church of Brethren ($6,000), Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County ($15,000), Dauphin County CASA ($6,000), Harrisburg Area YMCA ($7,412), Hoffman Homes Inc. ($2,500), Leg Up Farm Inc. ($4,692), Perry County Council of the Arts ($3,000), Sexual Assault Resource & Counseling Center of Lebanon & Schuylkill Counties ($11,000), Summer Program for Youth ($12,955) and the YWCA of York ($3,100).
Perry County Community Foundation awarded a combined $58,747 to 15 organizations: Capital Area Girls on the Run ($2,312.90), Central Pennsylvania Food Bank ($2.912.90), Duncannon Senior Citizens Center ($2,000), Employment Skills Center ($3,000), Historical Society of Perry County ($3,125), Join Hands Ministry ($3,500), Junior Achievement of South Central PA ($2,413), Keystone System Services ($6,198), Leaf Project Inc. ($7,000), Marysville-Rye Library Association ($182), PennCares ($1,611), Perry County Council of the Arts ($6,800), Setebaid Services Inc. ($3,192), Tri-County Community Action ($10,000) and United Way of the Capital Region ($4,500).
Harold M. Greaney Fund awarded a total of $19,500 to 12 organizations: Central Perry Community Senior Citizens Center, Inc. ($2,250), Historical Society of Perry County ($1,500), Homeland Hospice ($2,000), Keystone System Services ($500), Marysville-Rye Library Association ($1,600), New Hope Ministries ($2,000), Newport Public Library ($1,511), Perry County Council of the Arts ($2,500), Rebuilding Together Greater Harrisburg ($1,000), Setebaid Services Inc. ($1,004), Susquenita School Band ($2,000) and The Perry Historians ($1,635).
Pennsylvania Disability Advocacy Fund awarded $45,000 total to three organizations: Disability Rights Pennsylvania ($15,000), Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation ($15,000) and The Arc of Pennsylvania ($15,000).
Emerging Philanthropist Program EndowmentFund awarded $2,000 to Westshore Wildlife Center.
Community First Fund, an independent nonprofit community loan fund, hosted an official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for the first branch of its Community First Fund Federal Credit Union.
The goal of the credit union at 51 S. Duke St., Lancaster, is “to create financial equity and economic mobility for individuals and families, especially African Americans, Latinos, immigrants and women,” according to a release. “The credit union’s mission is supported through access to consumer financial products and education that improve personal financial stability and provide opportunities to obtain quality, affordable housing.”
Community First Fund started the credit union because national research shows 27% of U.S. households are unbanked or underbanked, including nearly 50% of African American and 46% of Latino households. In addition, almost 50% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and cannot come up with $2,000 for a financial emergency.
Unbanked people are those without a savings or checking account, while underbanked people possess bank accounts but also rely on alternative financial services such as money orders, check cashing stores or pawn shop loans.
Daniel Betancourt, president and CEO of Community First Fund and the credit union, added, “We’ve been serving Lancaster for 30 years by providing access to credit to entrepreneurs who want to make a positive change in the community. With the credit union, our mission is to provide a pathway to financial stability for families. We’re excited to expand our service in the community and celebrate this milestone.”
Community First Fund Federal Credit Union was chartered by the National Credit Union Administration in June 2021 and is one of few credit unions to have been established in the last five years.
To launch the credit union, Community First Fund has received funding from private donors; local foundations such as the Calvin and Janet High Foundation, Lancaster County Community Foundation, the High Foundation and Feree Foundation; and national partners such as Santander Bank and M&T Bank.
Community First Fund has offices in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Reading, York, Harrisburg and Allentown.
Fair trade retailer Ten Thousand Villages has named longtime volunteer Dan Alonso as its new CEO.
The nonprofit, based in Akron, Lancaster County, announced that Alonso began the job May 1.
A graduate of Messiah University, Alonso said in his LinkedIn profile that he joined Ten Thousand Villages after 20 years at The Giant Co., holding leadership positions in brand strategy, business development, operations support and technology.
He has served as a board member of the Mechanicsburg Ten Thousand Villages store, a member of the Board Store Council and most recently a member of the national board.
“I became involved in Ten Thousand Villages because of my passion to connect my vocation – retail – with my purpose: serving an organization that supports the country of my birth, Colombia,” Alonso said in a release.
“… Once I began volunteering 10 years ago, I fell in love with the way the people on the board and the store staff pursued ‘business as mission.’”
Ed Diller, board chair of Ten Thousand Villages, added: “Dan’s passion for Ten Thousand Villages and the work it does around the world is clear. … Because of that birthright, Dan has a special interest in working with artisan groups around the world to ensure those artisans – a majority of whom are women – can earn a fair living wage, free of exploitation in their countries of origin.”
Ten Thousand Villages U.S. connects artisans in 25 developing countries with North American consumers through its 51 stores and 300-plus retail partners, in addition to an online shop
Following the announcement that Tenfold’s chief impact officer, Shelby Nauman, will be taking the role of CEO next month, the Lancaster-based affordable housing nonprofit announced a new chief impact officer.
Jake Thorsen, director of Tenfold’s SoWe initiative, will be taking Nauman’s former role when she takes the helm as CEO on May 27.
Tenfold, formerly Tabor Community Services and Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership, announced earlier this year that Mike McKenna, the current CEO of Tenfold would be resigning from his role in May, to be replaced by Nauman.
Thorson will be taking the role of chief impact officer, which Nauman has held for over a year.
“Under Jake’s leadership, the SoWe initiative has continued to grow and evolve to advance neighborhood revitalization efforts that are critical to a thriving community and can serve as a model for neighborhood revitalization efforts in other areas,” said Nauman. “After witnessing Jake’s demonstrated expertise, leadership and deep commitment to our Tenfold mission, Mike and I are confident in his abilities to take this next step in leading at an executive level. I look forward to seeing how his impact will continue to multiply as he gains executive oversight.”
York-based economic development agency Downtown Inc. will be offering $15,000 in grant funding to community-wide activities such as festivals and live arts.
Downtown Inc. announced this week that it will soon be taking applications for its third annual round of Welcoming Community Grants.
The program, which is open to any individual organizations putting on large-scale community event in York City, will award individual grant amounts of up to $2,000 with a total of $15,000 available for the 2022 round.
Welcoming Community Grants is administered by Downtown Inc. and backed with financial support from Better York, Powder Mill Foundation, the York County Community Foundation and in partnership with the Cultural Alliance of York County.
“The goal of the Welcoming Community Grants grant program is to identify and provide financial support to sustainable community events that contribute to creating a welcoming and connected community for all in York City – through diversity, accessibility and cultural representation,” said Eric Menzer, Better York chair.
The program’s letter of interest portal opens on Friday with a deadline of March 18th. Selected applicants will be invited to apply in early April.
Since 2019, Lancaster City Alliance’s Façade Improvement Grant Program has provided $600,000 in grant funding to homeowners, small business owners and residential landowners to improve the façades of Lancaster’s building stock.
This month, Lancaster City Alliance funded its 100th project through the program with the funding of up-lighting fixtures for the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church at the intersection of Strawberry, Manor and West King streets in Lancaster.
The up-lighting fixtures are expected to highlight the church, which acts as a doorway to Lancaster’s downtown and SouthWest (SoWe) neighborhood.
The program has become an important tool in increasing neighborhood pride and creating an attractive environment in key locations outside of Lancaster’s downtown, said Jeremy Young, director of community and economic development at Lancaster City Alliance.
Recipients of the grant receive up to a $5,000 match on repairs to the front of their building, such as masonry repairs, new railings, painting and more. Since its founding, the program has focused on commercial hubs in Southern Lancaster such as West King, Manor, South Prince and South Queen streets as well as Columbia Avenue.
“Each property that is transformed provides the foundation to further enhance our community and provide more opportunity for everyone to share in the city’s success,” said Young. “It fits with our mission of wanting to see a Lancaster that flourishes for everyone.”
The program began as an effort to duplicate the revitalization that had already begun in the northern half of Lancaster city to areas that hadn’t yet seen that kind of investment.
Lancaster City Alliance looked at private dollars to make that a reality and found a partner in the High Foundation which gave an initial $75,000 toward the fund. Additional funders for the program today include BB&T now Truist, the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and Tenfold.
Those investments have now totaled $600,000 in grant funding. Counting the match paid by recipients of the grant, investments in the city’s façades through the program are over $1.25 million.
“This really is a private-public partnership, and it wouldn’t be possible without the funders. Lancaster has a tremendous reputation for its collaborative nature. It’s responsible for the success we’ve seen.” said Marshall Snively, president of Lancaster City Alliance.
Along with the impact the program has on the aesthetics of Lancaster’s building stock, it also has had a positive impact on contractors in the area, 70 of which have worked on the 100 façade projects.
So far recipients of the program have hired 21 contractors based in the city, 12 person-of-color owned contracting businesses and five women-owned contracting businesses.
“Something we are proud about regarding our program is that we have had the ability to work with a large number of contractors, many of whom are city-based businesses,” said Young. “We have had the ability to be really inclusive in working with BIPOC-owned contracting businesses and LGBTQA+ contracting businesses.”
One goal of the program that the alliance would like to see get more traction was a workforce development segment of the program, said Snively.
“At the beginning of this program we were hopeful that this would be more of a workforce development program,” he said. “We developed the program with the goal of not only using local contractors but using it as an opportunity to employ residents and trainees to assist and potentially work for larger contractors.”
Snively said that training neighborhood residents to help with the project was a challenge during the pandemic, adding that while the alliance did place dome folks, that end of the program was very challenging.
“While this program was still a major success, we do think there is still opportunity down the road for this to not only enhance neighborhoods but be a workforce development program as well,” he said.
Making the program accessible
A key piece of the program, according to Young, is that it is not just open to residential landowners and small business owners but can also be accessed by homeowners so they can build equity in their properties.
To ensure that the program’s grant match isn’t a barrier, recipients of the grant can pay a 10% match if they meet certain requirements. Recipients can also leverage other programs, like Lancaster’s led abatement program, to act as the match for the façade program.
Demand for the project has been high across the city with many property owners now on a waiting list. Snively said that the nonprofit has yet to approach other areas because they don’t want people to be excited for a program that doesn’t exist yet, but they are aware of the high demand.
Looking toward the coming year, the focus for the program will be to secure funding first and foremost, said Young.
“We have the model right in terms of how the program works and we have found efficiencies and ways to streamline it. For us it’s a matter of funding it again and ensuring that it can continue,” he said. “Looking at other corridors and neighborhoods we haven’t grown into would be a goal from our perspective and continuing how to be creative about leveraging those funds.”
Lancaster-based affordable housing nonprofit, Tenfold, announced on Friday that CEO Mike McKenna will be resigning from his role on May 27.
McKenna was previously CEO of Lancaster-based Tabor Community Services, which merged with Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP) last April, forming Tenfold.
McKenna will be leaving the position to be a full-time stay-at-home dad.
“The past three plus years at the helm of Tabor, now Tenfold, have been truly an honor, as we leaned into our legacy of racial justice, navigated a momentous merger, and rallied to meet unparalleled needs during the pandemic,” he said. “This job has been fulfilling and challenging, I am proud of what we have accomplished in transforming two organizations with strong legacies, shifting the community conversation about housing equity, and delivering meaningful results for those facing housing and financial challenges. With our strong leadership and talented team, I’m confident Tenfold’s success will continue after my departure.”
Tabor and LHOP first announced that the two organizations would be merging in March 2020. The combined entity, named Tenfold last year, provides financial counseling and housing services, including workshops and transitional housing.
Tenfold Chief Impact Officer Shelby Nauman will succeed McKenna as CEO when he leaves in May. Nauman worked alongside McKenna during the pandemic, helping the organization make critical decisions while navigating the merger, said Jeff Scheuren, chair of Tenfold’s board of directors.
“It has been a pleasure working with Mike over the past few years, and we will miss working with him very much,” said Nauman. “I feel honored that I was given the opportunity to step up as CEO of Tenfold and I am excited to lead this next chapter. We have an incredible team that is passionate about empowering people in our community to access a safe, stable and affordable place to call home, and I know we will continue to accomplish amazing work together in this next phase.”
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