Our Founders Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin serve on Vetri Community Partnership’s Board of Directors. Their bios can be found here.
Mr. Forman is the Chairman and CEO of Franklin Square Capital Partners.
Mr. Forman serves as Chairman and CEO of each of Franklin Square’s Funds—FS Investment Corporation (FSIC), FS Investment Corporation II (FSIC II), FS Investment Corporation III (FSIC III), FS Energy & Power Fund (FSEP) and FS Global Credit Opportunities Fund. He also chairs each Fund’s Investment Committee.
Prior to co-founding Franklin Square, Mr. Forman founded FB Capital Partners, a private investment partnership, as well as FB Real Estate Fund, a real estate pooled equity fund whose lead investor is Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB). Mr. Forman has built a number of other successful businesses in the private equity and debt, financial services and investment management industries.
Mr. Forman was previously a senior partner in the Corporate and Securities Department at the Philadelphia-based law firm of Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers LLP where he practiced for over 17 years. He served in a number of leadership positions at Klehr Harrison, including membership on its Executive Committee and as Hiring Partner.
Mr. Forman is also a director of Murex Investments and chairs its Investment Committee. Murex is an SBA-licensed New Markets Venture Capital Corporation and a U.S. Treasury-Certified Community Development Financial Institution. Murex invests in early stage businesses in the Mid-Atlantic with the goal of job creation and employee ownership.
Mr. Forman is also a member of a number of other civic and charitable boards including The Franklin Institute (Executive Committee member), The Vetri Community Partnership (Chairman), and The University of the Arts (Executive Committee member). Mr. Forman serves as the Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign for The Philadelphia School.
In 2013, Mr. Forman was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® for the Greater Philadelphia region and Franklin Square ranked 13th on the Forbes list of America’s Most Promising Companies.
Mr. Forman received his BA from the University of Rhode Island where he graduated summa cum laude and was elected Phi Beta Kappa. He received his JD from Rutgers School of Law.
Mr. Forman is married and lives with his wife and three daughters in Center City, Philadelphia.
Michael is the President, CEO and co-founder of ESF, Inc. ESF (which stands for Education, Sports, and Fun) has been a pioneering force in summer day camps since its humble beginnings in 1982. Since then, ESF has had a profound impact on thousands of children by developing life skills through a dynamic staff, high-quality programs, premier locations, time-honored traditions, and a commitment to safety, learning and fun. ESF has received numerous awards for quality service, safety, and best places to work from several magazines and newspapers.
Michael and ESF are also deeply committed to helping underserved young people in local communities through its social action initiatives – the ESF Dream Camp Foundation and Acting Without Boundaries. The ESF Dream Camp Foundation serves over 550 at-risk children with year-round mentoring and summer camp scholarships in both Philadelphia and Hartford, Ct. Acting Without Boundaries is dedicated to providing children andyoung adults who have physical disabilities with a year-round acting program throughout the greater Philadelphia area.
Michael is a graduate of Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Arts and Communication and was also inducted into the Villanova’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Michael is also a graduate of the Disney Institute’s People Management, Customer Service, and Creative Leadership Programs. He is a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO), Board member of ESF Dream Camp Foundation, AWB, Solomon Fellows and the Vetri Community Partnership.
Sylvia is a certified public accountant. She started her career as a member of the tax department at Price Waterhouse in Philadelphia. She later joined the tax department of Smith Kline, specializing in international tax issues. She co-founded The William Penn Insurance Agency, a commercial insurance brokerage firm, in 1987. After making a career shift to counseling psychology in the 1990s, she worked for several years as a volunteer at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, counseling patients undergoing cancer treatment. Since 2005, Sylvia has been chairman of the board of Fred’s Footsteps, a public charity founded in the memory of her late husband. The mission of Fred’s Footsteps is to support working families who are in a financial crisis due to the costs associated with caring for a critically ill or injured child. Sylvia has previously served on the Boards of ESF Dream Camp Foundation, the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur and The Wellness Community, and is currently a member of the Leadership Council of the Abramson Cancer Center.
Sylvia received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Temple University, and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Rosemont College.
Sandy has been a leader in the Jewish community of Southern New Jersey. While serving as board chair or committee chair she has developed skills in board governance, strategic planning, funds development and organizational structure. Currently, she serves on theBoard of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and is an Advisor to Kellman Brown Academy. In recent years she has served on the Board of Trustees of Moorestown Friends School, Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Community Center, Congregation Beth El and Kellman Brown Academy.
Sandy is married to Sid Brown and has three children. They live in Philadelphia.
Lisa C. Dykstra is a partner in the firm’s White Collar Litigation and Government Investigations Practice Group. Lisa primarily represents healthcare and technology companies in connection with federal and state criminal and civil government investigations, False Claims Act litigation, antitrust litigation, and class actions. In addition to her focus on False Claims Act litigation, Lisa manages internal investigations and litigates cases involving government contracts, the federal Anti-Kickback Act, Medicare Anti-Kickback Statute, Medicaid Rebate Statute, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and federal and state civil and criminal fraud laws. Lisa also extensively advises on compliance issues, Corporate Integrity Agreements and supervises compliance audits.
Lisa represents major pharmaceutical companies and other organizations in federal and state government investigations involving product marketing and pricing, marketing and promotional activities, FDA regulatory matters, and class action litigation. She has also negotiated compliance agreements with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.
She serves as National Discovery Counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, overseeing the company’s discovery across its ongoing litigations and investigations. Among her technology clients, she represents a Fortune 50 California-based computer manufacturer in FCA litigation, government investigations, and consumer class actions. Lisa also provides public sector contracting and compliance advice.
Lisa handles a variety of pro bono matters, has served on the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and is a participant in the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.
Lisa regularly lectures on FCA litigation, compliance issues, white collar crime, ethics, and internal investigations. She frequently participates in seminars and advises in-house counsel on managing internal investigations, creating and implementing compliance programs, and decisionmaking around indemnifying employees. Lisa is also a frequent panelist at educational events.
A former Assistant US Attorney, Lisa served as a prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.
Marlene joined Vetri Community Partnership in October 2015 as CEO. Prior to VCP, Marlene worked as the Deputy Commissioner for Performance Management and Accountability for the City of Philadelphia, Department of Human Services. Marlene spent over 12 years with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the premier youth mentoring organization, serving as the CEO of the Southeastern PA affiliate (BBBS SEPA) for over ten years, and as the COO of the National Office, Big Brothers Big Sister of America.
At Big Brothers Big Sisters SEPA, Marlene led a team of 80 and built the organization into the 5th largest affiliate in the nation, providing a carefully screened adult mentor to over 4,000 youth in the region. Under her leadership she created an innovative program called “Beyond School Walls” which partners a local corporation with an inner city school, allowing mentoring to occur in the workplace. This program has subsequently been rolled out nationwide and partnering with such esteemed corporations as Urban Outfitters, Comcast Corporation, and Bentley Systems.
Marlene started her career in the private sector in the fashion retail business, serving as Vice President, Stores for national chains such as Children’s Place and Aeropostale. In 2011, Marlene was recognized as a “Leader of Distinction” by the Greater West Chester Rotary Club, and in 2009 was recognized with the Humanitarian Award by B’Nai Brith, Philadelphia. She currently serves on the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Judicial Review Board.
Marlene is a graduate of Temple University and resides in Center City Philadelphia with her wife, Mindy. When she is not working, Marlene can usually be found dining at a Vetri Family restaurant.
Kelly Herrenkohl is the Chief Operating Officer of the Vetri Community Partnership, which empowers children and families to lead healthy lives through fresh food, hands on-experiences and education. She joined the organization in 2011. Under her leadership, the Foundation has grown to serve more than 5,900 students in 45 schools in the Philadelphia region. Kelly brings 15 years of sales and marketing experience to her role, having served as a partner at Herrenkohl Consulting, an executive recruiting firm and as regional sales manager at Supplies Network, the country’s largest privately-owned IT supply wholesaler. Kelly is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, holds a master’s degree from the University of Missouri and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Kelly lives with her husband and four children just outside of Philadelphia and laughs when people ask her what she does with her free time. Gardening, hiking and being outside with something good to read would be the answer if, indeed, free time ever became available.
Jennifer Wheeler, originally from Delaware County, joined Vetri Community Partnership in Fall of 2014. A graduate of Millersville University, Jennifer taught for 10 years in the classroom working with court-appointed youth, English language learners, and children and families with refugee status.
Jennifer joined the nonprofit sector in 2006 and spent eight years as Manager of Educational Programs and Services at WHYY Public Media. During her tenure at WHYY, she worked on many initiatives and had diverse experiences including program and grant management, fundraising, teacher professional development, radio and television production, and mission focused events facilitation. She is the recipient of the Southeastern Regional Key Professional Development Champion of the Year Award for 2008, the International Reading Association 2010 Broadcast Media Award for Television for WHYY I LIKE THIS BOOK, and a Mid-Atlantic Region Emmy Nominee.
In her free time Jennifer spends time with her four godchildren, friends, and family. She tries never to miss a chance to enjoy great music or a well-written television series. She likes to read, manage her fantasy football teams, do crossword puzzles, and explore the city of Philadelphia, Paris, or a beach.
Carla Norelli spent 12 years in the hospitality industry, working nearly every possible position before deciding to follow her dream to attend the Le Cordon Bleu culinary program at the Orlando Culinary Academy. Her passion is cooking ‘real’ food, creating dishes that are not only good, but good for you, and developing recipes that are easy to navigate and execute.
After receiving her A.S. in Culinary Arts, Carla remained in Orlando for five years, working primarily for Loew’s Hotels, starting a small-scale catering business of her own and obtaining her Bachelor’s in Culinary Management. When Carla returned to her hometown of Philadelphia, she spent a year as the assistant kitchen manager in a small café, executing fresh, from-scratch dishes and developing menu items and recipes. She moved on to a corporate kitchen setting after having her first child, and although the company was great to work for, she missed being more hands-on and working with foods that were made with freshness and healthfulness in mind.
Having a child only heightened her interest in the foods that are being produced and served to our youth and this coincided perfectly with finding a position at the Vetri Community Partnership. In 2015, she was recognized as one of Billy Penn’s “Who’s Next in Health” winners. In addition to working at the Vetri Community Partnership, Carla is working toward a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources.
Genevieve enthusiastically joined Vetri Community Partnership in December 2013. Before taking the opportunity, she spent three years as a stay-at-home mom. When she was ready to return to full-time work, Vetri Community Partnership was an easy decision because its mission incorporates so many of her own personal philosophies.
Prior to joining VCP, Genevieve spent 4.5 years working as an Advancement Consultant with the Catholic School Development Program (CSDP) in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey and five years at the School District of Philadelphia as the Operations Manager at Samuel Fels High School. At CSDP, she worked with schools to implement best practices in development, enrollment management, constituent relations, board development and governance. As a development professional, it is her job to match a person’s passion with opportunities.
Fortunate to have grown up in a close-knit family that valued the time that they had around the table, Genevieve makes a point to continue the tradition by catching up with and enjoying a good meal with her family almost every night. Depending on the season, you can find her in and around the Philadelphia area with her family, hanging out on the water on their boat or heading to the beach!
Gregory J. Allen, Ph.D. is a lifelong resident of Philadelphia who has committed himself to helping people help change themselves, their families and their communities. For more than 30 years, he has worked primarily in urban communities with low-income families and young people, helping them to access education & training, jobs, and to improve their lives and the lives of their families.
Greg’s professional experiences have been concentrated within educational, public and nonprofit environments. He first learned about the Vetri Community Partnership as a Founding Board Member and Director of Development for People for People Charter School (PFPCS) and was instrumental in bringing the Eatiquette program to the students there.
In addition to Eatiquette, Greg promoted the school’s healthy agenda to secure support from a USDA Farm to School Program Planning Grant, the PA Department of Education Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program, and finally, with the generous support from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s (IBC) Building Healthy Communities grant program, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Vetri Community Partnership, to provide the North Street Community Garden and a culinary classroom using the herbs and vegetables that were grown by the students in the local community garden.
In 1993, he received his Master of Education from Temple University College of Education in Psychoeducational Processes with a concentration in Training and Organizational Development. In 1999, he earned his Doctorate of Philosophy from Temple University in the same program. Other organizations that Greg has worked with include the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County, Camden Center for Youth Development, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the City of Philadelphia. He has provided consulting to numerous groups including Plus Ultre, LLC, Temple University, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Rutgers University, William Penn Foundation, Camden City and Cumberland County Empowerment Zones, Haverford College, and the Ford Foundation.
Stacey joined Vetri Community Partnership as an Administrative Assistant in January 2016. With a degree in Art, she previously used her organizational skills to support a catering and event planning company.
Growing up, she never was much a fan of school lunches, so she loves what Vetri Community Partnership is doing and wishes she had tasty, scratch-made Eatiquette lunches.
In her free time, she experiments with cooking at home, checks out new restaurants, brews her own beer and explores Philadelphia as an avid runner.
Danielle joined the Vetri Community Partnership in September 2014. As a lifelong Philadelphian who grew up in the public school system, Danielle is excited to work at an organization that does so much to educate and improve the lives of school-age children in her beloved city.
Before finding VCP, Danielle worked in publishing and as a freelance writer for a variety of Philadelphia publications. She is a Temple University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She has always been at home around fresh, healthy food, whether in her home kitchen or in restaurants, where she’s occupied various front-of-house positions over the years.
When not at work, Danielle can typically be found on her bike en route to one of Philadelphia’s many farmers’ markets or outdoor festivals.
Sarah Cullen began cooking professionally almost by accident. After graduating with a degree in fine arts, she took a kitchen job with the hopes of having a job which wouldn’t take up all her time and attention in order to devote herself to art in her spare time. She ended up falling in love with kitchen culture and fine dining, eventually working in many wonderful Philadelphia restaurants, such as Gayle and Xochitl.
Sarah is also passionate about social justice and strives to better her community. Working for the Vetri Community Partnership allows her to combine her love of food and her desire to do good. She believes that food is the key to good health, strong relationships and community stewardship, and is thrilled to be sharing this philosophy with children – one plate at a time.
In her spare time, she can be found at her local farmers market looking for inspiration for her next meal or menu plan, relaxing with her husband and son, or working on her latest needlepoint project.
Amy’s love of cooking started at a young age. Standing on her tiptoes on a wooden chair in the family’s South Jersey home, she watched and helped her mother in the kitchen. Together, the entire family helped her foster that love of cooking throughout her childhood.
In 2007, Amy attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, a year earlier than her peers. She fell in love with the small city and quickly settled into the New England scene. After two years, she’d earned her Associates Degree in Culinary Arts and was accepted into the Nutrition Program. In 2011, Amy graduated with a Bachelor’s in the Science of Nutrition.
Upon returning to her hometown, she found herself swept away by the restaurant community of Philadelphia. Amy immediately established her place at Fork Restaurant in Old City where she honed her skills as a young chef. Two years later and with the help of her mentors in Philly, Amy joined Vetri Community Partnership as a Program Coordinator in August 2014. This role has given her the opportunity to combine her love of cooking and knack for sharing this knowledge with others.
In the summer of 2016, Amy moved into the position of Community Outreach Manager. She’s ecstatic to be a part of the growth of the organization and spearheading the Mobile Teaching Kitchen project where she’ll continue to combine her passion for cooking and nutrition and use it toward helping children become more aware of what they are eating.
Maddy Booth joined the Vetri Community Partnership in November 2014. As a server on the opening team at Pizzeria Vetri and member of the Vetri Family since September of 2013, Maddy was inspired by the impact VCP has on the region, its children, and their food knowledge and curiosity.
Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Maddy was very fortunate to have a family who valued eating dinner together, at least when it could be arranged around soccer, basketball, or lacrosse practices. Her mother’s “leftover soups” inspired reactions ranging from awe to revulsion, but undoubtedly led to the creativity she now enjoys in her home kitchen.
Recruited to play Division 1 lacrosse, Maddy attended Lafayette College in Easton, PA, graduating in 2008 with a degree in American Studies focusing on Social Justice. As a student-athlete, healthy eating was vital for maintaining performance both in the classroom and on the field. After graduating, Maddy moved abroad for four years to live, work, and study in the United Kingdom. While a lacrosse coach and PE teacher at a boarding school in Canterbury, England, she received her Master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Kent.
Now that she’s home in Philadelphia, she enjoys exploring restaurants and markets, watching Jeopardy, spending time in Stone Harbor, NJ, and completing the Sunday crosswords.
Chelsea Schmidt joined the Vetri Community Partnership in August 2016 after moving to Philadelphia from New York. Previously working as a nonprofit program manager, Chelsea was excited to join VCP’s growing team to help with the launch of Vetri Cooking Lab in the fall of 2016. Her interest in working with children combined with her passion to make the world a better place made VCP a great fit!
Chelsea was raised in northern New Jersey in a family of teachers whose educational values pushed her to succeed academically from a young age. Chelsea now has an innate understanding of the importance of education and she is eager to help spread this understanding to the children in VCP’s after-school programs.
She graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.A. in Anthropology in 2012, and returned to New Jersey to teach preschool before joining the nonprofit world in 2014. Now in her second nonprofit position, Chelsea sees herself staying in this sector throughout her career!
Growing up, Shalika Sprowal was always around food. Born in New York and raised in New Orleans, she learned to help her grandparents and mother in the kitchen at a young age. Healthy eating was always important in her family, so by age 5, she’d already developed a strong appreciation for what she was putting in her body.
Her first restaurant job was as a server/bartender at Devon Seafood Grill, but she often found herself hanging out in the kitchen asking about the food in order to better serve her customers. When an expeditor called out, she was asked to fill in. She never looked back and within three years, she was promoted to lead line cook. She left for opportunities where she could gain more diverse experience, including briefly relocating to New Orleans to work for a James Beard award-winning chef and taking a position at Honey’s Sit N’ Eat, where she developed a Southern menu that would go on to win a “Best of Philly” award, before returning to Devon Seafood Grill to become their first female sous chef.
As a mother whose child once became sick (salmonella poisoning) from a school lunch, Shalika understands that many school lunches served to children lack quality and freshness. Working as a program coordinator for the Vetri Community Partnership allows her to challenge that status quo and work toward a mission that is near and dear to her heart.
Mary Bullock joined Vetri Community Partnership in 2016. She is a graduate of New York University’s Steinhardt School and L’Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise- Ferrandi, in Paris, France. Her past roles in the food service industry include baker for The Flying Monkey at the Reading Terminal Market, chief steward for the Ocean Classroom Foundation, school chef at the AIM Academy in Conshohocken, chef de partie at Fork Restaurant in Philadelphia and kitchen manager of the Henry Public, a gastro-pub in Brooklyn, New York.
Mary grew up in the western suburbs of Philadelphia and returned to the area in 2011. She participates in her community as a blogger for Philly Foodworks, as well as through her own personal website. She has volunteered for Bartram’s gardens in southwest Philadelphia and enjoys attending meetings for the Food Policy and Advocacy Committee. Mary is an active supporter of the growing Philadelphia food scene, and the neighborhoods surrounding her current residence in Cobbs Creek.
In her spare time you will find her working in her garden, learning Muay Thai or hosting game night with her husband Matt.
Cristal joined Vetri Community Partnership as a Chef Mentor for the Eatiquette program in February 2017.
Originally from Lambertville, NJ, Cristal studied early childhood development at Mercer County Community College and moved to Philadelphia where she’s been for the past 11 years. After working food prep at Whole Foods, she ended up at The Olde Bar where she was responsible for baking fresh parker house rolls. This spurred a baking/pastry career.
As a lifetime member of the Clean Plate Club, Cristal looks forward to working with the kids that Vetri Community Partnership serves to introduce them to healthy foods and the joys of cooking. She believes in giving children tools and information to control and understand what to eat and why for the benefit of their long-term health and wellness.
When she’s not working, Cristal can be found hanging out with her old smelly dog, reading afrofuturism, sci-fi dystopian teen lit and science cookbooks.