About the Pennsylvania Commission for Women
The Pennsylvania Commission for Women, which was created by Executive Order and consists of volunteer members, is responsible for advising the Governor on policies and legislation that impact women; supporting economic and civic opportunities for women; encouraging mentoring programs for girls and young women; identifying programs and opportunities for the benefit and advancement of women; and serving as a resource center for Pennsylvania women. The Commission also acts as an advocate for policies and legislation it feels serves the best interest of women and girls in Pennsylvania. Read more about the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.
Commission for Women Urges House to Vote Against Senate Bill 3
Governor Wolf Names 13 New Members to the Pennsylvania Commission for Women
Wolf Administration Hosts Forum on Women in Public Service, Transportation
Governor Tom Wolf, First Lady Frances Wolf Join Commission for Women to Honor Female Veterans During Women’s History Month
Governor’s Advisory Commissions Stand Against Hate
Pennsylvania Commission for Women Statement on PA House Bill 1948
Pennsylvania Commission for Women Statement on the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s Sexual Harassment Investigation
Pennsylvania Commission for Women Statement on House Bill 1948
First Lady Frances Wolf, PA Commission for Women Host Girls on the Run Sleepover at the Governor’s Residence
BLOG: Honoring the Women Who Keep Us Safe
BLOG: Fighting for Pennsylvania’s Women and Girls
PA Commission for Women Joins PCAR, State System of Higher Education to Host Campus Sexual Assault Film Screening and Panel Discussion
Governor Wolf Names New Members to the Pennsylvania Commission for Women
Randi Teplitz – Commission Chair
Im Ja Choi
State Representative Madeleine Dean
Leslie Anne Miller
Deborah Melamut Minkoff
Rosa Clara Stroh
Randi Blackman Teplitz
Randi Blackman Teplitz has been an advocate for women and other vulnerable members of our community for her entire adult life. She is currently a Professor in the Legal Studies Division at Central Penn College in Summerdale, and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg.
A lawyer by training, Randi began her career by representing victims of domestic violence in protection from abuse, custody, divorce and economic support cases. She served as a Staff Attorney at Central Pennsylvania Legal Services (now Mid-Penn Legal Services) and then as the founding director of the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg’s Domestic Violence Legal Center.
While Randi was proud of her work as a lawyer, she sought to expand her impact by training the next generation of public interest lawyers, which led her to move into teaching paralegal, pre-law, and law students. Her work over the past decade with those students – many of whom are themselves from vulnerable and underserved communities – has convinced her that the best way to make a positive impact is to lay the foundation at a much earlier age.
Randi is a graduate of Temple University and the Widener University School of Law. She was named one of the 50 Top Lawyers in Pennsylvania “On the Fast Track” by the Pennsylvania Law Weekly and the Legal Intelligencer, and received a “Woman of Distinction” Award from the Soroptomist Club International. She was nominated for Central Penn College’s Todd A. Milano Faculty Excellence Award in May 2008 and May 2013.
She resides in Susquehanna Township with her husband Rob, two sons, and a rescued whippet dog. She is an active volunteer with her sons’ public schools and other community organizations.
Anne K. Ard
Anne K. Ard has served as Executive Director of the Centre County Women’s Resource Center (CCWRC), a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center, since 1997. In that role, she has provided leadership at both the state and local level.
Anne was appointed by Governor Rendell to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency in 2007 and served until 2010 on the Commission and as Chair of the Victims Services Advisory Committee. Anne has also served on the Board of both the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. Locally, she serves as the Chair of the Centre County Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force and as a member of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board. She writes a monthly column, Healthy Relationships, for the Centre Daily Times newspaper.
Prior to her work at the CCWRC, Anne was a Senior Diversity Planning Analyst in the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity at Penn State. In that role, she worked with the Commission for Women and the Commission for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Equity. An ordained Presbyterian minister, Anne came to State College in 1981 as a campus minister specializing in women’s issues and social justice, a position she held for nearly ten years. Anne received her BA from Centenary College, a Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary, and her Ph.D. from Penn State. She lives in State College with her husband, Tom Poole, and has two adult children, Katy and Russell Jordan.
Biography to come.
Dana Brown began her tenure as the executive director of the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics and assistant professor of political science at Chatham University in July of 2010. Dr. Brown earned her doctorate in American Politics and Women and Politics at Rutgers University where she also received her master’s degree in political science.
Prior to her work at the Center she completed a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Allegheny College where she earned her BA in political science.
Dr. Brown has presented research on women in politics, political psychology, political media, and political participation by women of color. The White House has acknowledged her work at the Center by inviting her to participate in a conference on girls’ leadership and civic education.
Dr. Brown is currently a member of the Community Advisory Board for the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s Center for Race & Gender Equity, the Executive Women’s Council and its Women on Boards Committee, and 74% Kitchen Cabinet at Robert Morris University Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management. Dr. Brown is also a Pennsylvania delegate to the Vision 2020 program at the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University, the Ellis School’s Council on Innovation, and serves on the Pennsylvania Advisory Committee to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. In 2014 Dr. Brown was recognized in Pittsburgh Magazine as one of Pittsburgh’s “40 Under 40” and served on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Transition Team for the Department of State.
Jessica Brubaker has a background in nonprofit consulting, specializing in strategic and business planning, and is the co-founder and board president of Keystone Kidspace, a new venture that will provide innovative and collaborative learning opportunities for York County families and children. She has extensive governance experience, having led the board of York’s Central Market during its recent multi-million dollar revitalization efforts and served as a trustee of the Cultural Alliance of York County, the York Jewish Community Center, and Working Class, an emerging community makerspace.
She was deeply involved in the start up of York Academy Regional Charter School, a multi-district International Baccalaureate school located in downtown York. She is also an active member of the Women’s Giving Circle and was a founding member of the YorIT Social Venture Fund of the York County Community Foundation. Jessica grew up in Montreal, Canada and is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School. She currently resides in York, PA with her husband and two sons.
Im Ja P. Choi
Ms. Im Ja P. Choi is a Korean American entrepreneur who founded Penn Asian Senior Services (PASSi), a nonprofit home healthcare organization serving the needs of homebound Asian American seniors with language barriers. After her daunting experience caring for her own mother with cancer, she realized a critical gap in homecare services and founded an agency for Korean American seniors, but later expanded her program to all Asian Americans and other underserved seniors.
Ms. Choi also established, in 2006, Penn Asian Vocational Institute (PAVI), a vocational school to train entry-level healthcare workers. In December 2013, PASSi opened a culturally considerate adult day care center, Penn Asian Jubilee Center which serves over 90 seniors as of September 2015.
Ms. Choi has been active in her community as a board member and council member for many organizations, including Temple University College of Health Administration, President’s Advisory Council of the Montgomery County Community College, Diversity Council of the PA Department Aging, and the Philadelphia Asian American Women’s Coalition.
Ms. Choi was recognized as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania in October 2014, and received the nationally acclaimed Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2013. The New York Times featured Ms. Choi in January 2014 as a leader in the field of culturally considerate aging, as well as the organization’s significant work. She is also a special lecturer on the issue of cultural competence in long term care at the University of Pennsylvania and Changwon University in Korea.
Ms. Choi earned a MS degree in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Montgomery County Pennsylvania with her husband, Jung Choi, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.
State Representative Madeleine Dean
State Representative Madeleine Dean was elected in 2012 to represent Pennsylvania’s 153rd Legislative District. She brings with her nearly three decades of experience as a lawyer, writer and teacher.
Madeleine served 11 years as an assistant professor of English at LaSalle University, in Philadelphia, where she taught composition, persuasive writing and rhetoric, business writing, legal writing, and ethics. In addition, Madeleine is a writer and is a contributor to the Philadelphia Daily News and other publications.
Prior to teaching, Madeleine practiced law in Philadelphia. She also served as in-house counsel to Cunnane Bicycle Company, Inc., and later opened a small three-woman general law practice in Glenside.
Madeleine earned her undergraduate degree at La Salle University, Philadelphia and enjoyed classes at Montgomery County Community College; her law degree at Widener University School of Law, in Wilmington, Delaware – and attended the University of Pennsylvania, Fels Institute of Government.
Within her role as state representative, Madeleine sits on several important committees, including Appropriations, Judiciary, Policy, Ethics, and Finance, of which she is Vice-Chair.
Before becoming a member of the General Assembly Madeleine served as Abington Township Commissioner, Ward 7.
She is a lifelong parishioner of St. Luke the Evangelist Church in Glenside, and has served as a board member for the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Madeleine and her husband, PJ Cunnane, live in Jenkintown, Abington Township and have three grown sons and one granddaughter.
Susan Jacobson is President of Jacobson Strategic Communications a public relations and public affairs company based in Philadelphia with offices in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Boston and South Florida. Susan and her company have won numerous awards including the Most Admired CEO Award and the Women of Distinction Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal.
The Company received the Wharton SBDC Philadelphia 100 designation as the fastest growing woman owned business in the region, and the PA Public Relations Society Award for best public affairs campaign. Jack and Suzy Welch recently profiled Jacobson Strategic in their New York Times best-selling book.
Before working in the communications sector, Susan served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Philadelphia. In 1999, the Mayors of Pennsylvania presented Susan with the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities Award for Outstanding Service.
Susan is a member of the Board of the Committee of Seventy and serves on the Executive Board of Settlement Music School. She is the Pennsylvania State Lead to the White House Office of Public Engagement and is a Commissioner on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the National Business Forward Board.
Denise Johnson has served as the Chief Medical Officer of Meadville Medical Center (MMC) since 2008. She has been responsible for all aspects of the hospital’s quality management program, the osteopathic family practice residency, patient experience, and physician recruiting.
While she has been in this role, MMC has been awarded many state and national honors for hospital quality and patient experience. Dr. Johnson led the further development of the quality management system resulting in MMC becoming the first hospital in Pennsylvania to be DNV accredited and ISO certified.
Before the Meadville Medical Center, Dr. Johnson spent 13 years in private practice as co-owner and physician at Meadville OB/GYN Associates.
She currently serves on the PCAR Board of Directors as the Vice President. Dr. Johnson was formerly on the boards of Family Health Council (Now Adagio), The Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund, The Vantage Quality Board and others. She has been an active participant in many community and civic groups related to women’s issues especially sexual violence prevention and victims’ services, In addition, she had travelled abroad to provide women’s health care on mission trips in the Caribbean, South America and in Africa.
Dr. Johnson completed her undergraduate degree at Boston University in Massachusetts, medical school at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ms. Jazelle Jones has held the positions of Deputy Managing Director and Director of Operations for the City of Philadelphia since 2005. She is responsible for the oversight, coordination and execution of City services for the hundreds of parades, festivals, concerts, athletic events, fundraisers and major motion picture film productions held each year in Philadelphia.
As Deputy Managing Director and Director of Operations, Ms. Jones is also responsible for monitoring and analyzing the departments’ performance, cost analysis and reimbursements, and serves as a catalyst to encourage cooperation and collaboration both internally and externally. Other special projects have included: Presidential Visits, British Monarchy Visits, Project Brotherly Love (Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort), FEMA liaison (recovered $4M in reimbursements to the city), Democratic Presidential Debate at Drexel University, Extreme Home Makeover, Lebanese Repatriation Effort, Liberty Medal Ceremony, 150th Anniversary of the Academy of Music and the Philadelphia Crime Summit Conference.
Ms. Jones was originally appointed by the Mayor in November of 2001 as the Director of Planning for the Mayor’s Office of Community Services, the City’s Anti-Poverty Agency. Prior to joining the City of Philadelphia, Ms. Jones held numerous managerial positions in the private sector. She is the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence, the American Red Cross Humanitarian Award, the Mayor’s MVP Award and the NAACP National Voter Fund Award. She and her husband, 4th District Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. have four children and live in the Wynnefield neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Leslie Anne Miller
Leslie Anne Miller is an attorney, community leader and philanthropist. She has served as an advisor to Mayor Michael Nutter in Philadelphia; General Counsel to the Honorable Edward G. Rendell; acting President of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, when it opened in 2001; and as a practicing litigator for more than 25 years.
She is active in a wide variety of non-profit and cultural organizations including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Committee of Seventy, The Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, The Penn Medicine Board of Directors, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and Mount Holyoke College, where she was Chair of the Board of Trustees. She has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career which include honorary degrees from Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University and Wilson College, and selection as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania.
She and her husband, Richard Worley, live in Bryn Mawr.
Biography to come.
Deborah Melamut Minkoff
Deborah Melamut Minkoff enjoys a nationwide coverage litigation practice. Deborah also devotes a significant portion of her practice to counseling clients on evaluating and reducing risk in complex liability coverage disputes.
Deborah’s representative cases include disputes under claims-made liability policies, medical professional liability coverage, employers’ liability coverage, commercial general liability coverage, retention and allocation issues, and sexual misconduct claims under both professional liability and commercial liability coverages. Deborah has obtained important holdings for the insurance industry in cases of first impression, and lectures on claims-made coverage, self-insured retentions and large deductible policies, negotiation skills, and risk tolerance.
Deborah has been recognized as a Super Lawyer annually from 2008 through 2016, and as a Best Lawyer in America in the area of Insurance Law. In December 2012, Business Insurance recognized Deborah as one of its 25 “Women to Watch.” In October 2015, Governor Tom Wolf appointed Deborah to Pennsylvania’s Commission for Women.
Deborah graduated from Franklin and Marshall College. She is a graduate of Villanova Law School. While in law school, Deborah was a member of the Villanova Law Review and received the Pulling Award for outstanding student authorship. Deborah is an adjunct professor at the Drexel University School of Law, where she teaches Client Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation.
Tina joined PinnacleHealth System (PHS) May 2015. Prior to coming to PHS Tina was Director of Resource Development from 2000 until June 2004 when she was promoted to Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Greater Harrisburg.
In her new role at PHS Tina ensures that all business and clinical programs and services delivered by PHS are consistent with the PHS mission and aligned with the strategic plan and community benefits programs. As Chief Diversity Officer Tina is responsible for developing and managing staff trainings to enhance understanding of diversity and inclusion; manage best practices and identify and improve diversity trends, plans and goals.
Tina is a native of Harrisburg and a graduate of East Stroudsburg University, with a B.S. in political science and sociology. Her career started in the Pennsylvania State Legislature working for former Speaker of the House K. Leroy Irvis. She has worked in the human service field for over 22 years, collaborating on issues dealing with hunger, homelessness, the welfare-to-work program, health care, domestic violence, sexual assault and childcare, and is compelled to make sure those less fortunate have a voice.
Although Tina’s career has allowed her to travel and work around the country, she is happy to be living in Harrisburg with her husband, James Nixon, and their 18 year-old twins who are now college bound.
Lesley Ridge is a writer and digital devotee with a penchant for social media. Ridge started Socialution Media, a digital marketing agency, to help business owners and professionals build online communities around their brands.
Her work landed Ridge on Erie Reader’s “40 Under 40” list in 2014 as well as a nomination for Innovation Collaborative’s Disrupt Erie award for “startup of the year” in 2015. Prior to starting Socialution, Ridge worked for a consumer marketing agency in Boston, building online communities for brands like Nasoya, Trendy Top, Safety 1st, and VO5. She was also the digital services manager for a public affairs startup in Washington, D.C., strategically fusing traditional and digital media and raise awareness of clients’ initiatives, resulting in increased revenue and brand recognition.
When she’s not tweeting, pinning, and posting for clients, Ridge is active in the Erie community. This past year, Ridge graduated from the inaugural Erie County Civic Leadership program and was recognized with the Jefferson Leadership Award by her peers and program directors. She serves on several boards including: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Meals on Wheels Metro Erie, Young Erie Professionals, The Women’s Roundtable, and the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition. Ridge is a contributor for the local chamber magazine, ERIE, and can be found on Presque Isle State Park, often training for her next half marathon race.
Abaigeal Rooney’s experience lies in the field of human services. Abaigeal received a degree in Psychology / Women’s Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in May 2014.
Upon graduating, Abaigeal worked as a residential counselor at a youth shelter which served homeless, abused, neglected, and underprivileged children in the New Hanover County, NC.
Abaigeal returned to her hometown of Bethlehem, Northampton County, in the spring of 2016 and worked in the community as a family based therapist serving children and families with high mental health needs. She is currently perusing a career in real estate.
Jessica Rothchild is originally from Hazlet, NJ and is currently living in Scranton, PA. She received her Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees from the University of Scranton. Jessica works as a physical therapist for Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network in an outpatient setting with both adults and pediatric patients.
She is an activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and has been President of the board of Equality Pennsylvania for two years. She previously served as the President and Founder of Scranton Inclusion, the University of Scranton’s first student LGBT organization. She regularly speaks on campuses and across the state on issues affecting the LGBT community.
Patti Stirk began her career as a junior programmer contracted to the U.S. Naval Avionics Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her career rapidly progressed, as she became a software engineer with a private software development firm focused on Quality Control in the automotive and manufacturing industries.
Upon returning to her home state of Pennsylvania, Stirk joined a small family-owned software firm based in York, Pa. She created a regional consulting business segment that became the firm’s leading profit center which she then spun off as a separate company four years later.
She successfully led Star Systems Engineering, Inc. for the next 21 years. She was named one of the “Pennsylvania 50 Best Women in Business” in 2004, and her firm was a finalist for “Small Business of the Year” several times. After selling her business a year ago, Stirk is now involved with three start-up technology companies. Stirk also serves as a free-lance photographer and part-time voice artist.
Stirk holds a bachelor of science from the York College of Pennsylvania, with dual majors in computer information systems, and business management. She also earned a master’s in business administration from York College. She served two terms as the president of YCP’s Alumni Association, and currently serves on the school’s Collegiate Council. Additionally, Stirk serves the school in various advisory positions in: the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, the Engineering Department, the Business Department, the Graham Innovation Scholars program, Athletic Department, and the Communications Department. Stirk was named to the Sigma Iota Epsilon Business Honors Fraternity in 2006, and she was awarded the “York College of PA Distinguished Alumni Award” in 2007.
She resides in downtown York City along with her husband Jeff Hines and two street rescue cats.
Rosa Clara Stroh
Rosa Clara Stroh is vice president and treasurer of The Hershey Company, the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America. Stroh is responsible for managing the company’s corporate liquidity, the financial risks of the company, the relationship between the company and commercial banks, pension managers, and insurance providers.
Stroh’s other responsibilities include implementing the appropriate capital structure of the company and providing leadership to Hershey’s Enterprise Risk Management activities. Prior to joining Hershey, Stroh was an international lending officer for The Hamilton Bank and previously worked as a credit officer in the banking industry. She joined The Hershey Company in 1982 in the Pension Asset Management Group and held other increasingly responsible positions in her career within the Finance organization.
Stroh serves on Penn State Harrisburg’s Board of Advisors, and as a mentor at Penn State. Stroh is a board member to Hershey Netherlands B.V., Amsterdam, Netherlands, the Network of Executive Women, Chicago, IL and the National Association of Corporate Treasurers. Stroh has contributed to financial risk management articles published in Treasury and Risk magazine, as well as being featured in the book, The New Woman Rules. Born in Ecuador, Stroh remains connected to her homeland by supporting charitable organizations that benefit children. She also serves as a mentor at The Hershey Company’s Women’s Council.
Stroh and husband, Brady, live in Hummelstown, Pa. They have two children, Adriana and Antonio.
Michelle Zmijanac has had a long career in both medical and business environments. She currently serves her community as a Stephen Minister, Church Elder, Family Promise cook and Produce for People volunteer.
Her professional experience includes positions in administration as a PR Liaison at Mercer County School District; as a Regional Marketing Director at Sawyer School; Business Development Director at TRACO; Business Development Director and HIPPA Compliancy Officer at Aliquippa Community Hospital and Pharmacy Inventory Control Tech at Allegheny General Hospital.
She is married to Michael. They have 2 grown children. 1 granddaughter, a rescued pit bull named Jada and a one-eyed kitty named Zymba. Mike is a retired English Teacher and continues work as the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Aliquippa High School. For fun, the couple volunteer as gardeners for an “Uptown Garden” in Mt. Lebanon.
Mrs. Zmijanac is a 32-year resident of Mt. Lebanon and a life-long resident of Allegheny County. She is a graduate of Duquesne University with a BA in English. Current community service activities include: Vice Chair of the Mt. Lebanon Historic Preservation Board and Board Member of the Veterans Planning Board of Mt. Lebanon, The Veterans Breakfast Club, Women on the Move, MS Society of Pittsburgh and Lebo Brew Fest Committee.
Michelle is active in politics as well and serves as Chair of the Mt. Lebanon Democratic Committee where she helped increase Democratic voter registration to 53% in the district since 2008 and an increase of overall voter participation by 3.6%; Vice Chair of the Chartiers Valley Democratic Chairs Committee, and Member of League of Women Voters.
January 17, 2018
For more information, call 717-831-3224 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR)
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV)
Women’s Law Project
Pennsylvania National Organization for Women
Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics – Chatham University
Girls on the Run
It’s On Us
PA Breast Cancer Coalition
PA Conference for Women
Megan Healey — Executive Director
Phone: (717) 831-3224
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