EMAN Annual Meeting and Elections

Please join us at our Annual Meeting and Elections. The Nominating Committee will be presenting nominees for Officers and for the Board of Directors. All active EMAN members will be eligible to vote on the slate.

Thursday, July 18th at 7:00 PM
Brossman Center, First Floor Benbow Hall A-C
United Lutheran Seminary Campus
7301 Germantown Avenue

Our Annual Meeting Guest Speaker will be:

Donna J. Carney, Director, Citizens Planning Institute

2019 EMAN Board Nominees

Nominee for President
Tonyelle Cook-Artis

Nominee for 1st Vice President
Brandon Ritter

Nominee for Treasurer
Dutch Klugman

Nominees for Secretary
Janet Amato

Continuing Board Members
Leon King
Vivian Norton
Teri Ranieri
Lansana Sylla

Donna Tretina

New Board Nominees to be Elected
Cherese Akers
John Autin
Linda Bell
Kristin Crandall
Brian Cullin
Michael Galvan
Kendra Gudgeon
Benjamin Litvinas
Kelly O'Day

Nominees for Executive Officers

EMAN President
Tonyelle Cook-Artis
Tonyelle Cook-Artis, well-known to many in the community, first served as the Acting Board President of East Mt. Airy Neighbors, taking over from Jimmie Reed, who stepped down from the position.

Born, raised, and currently residing in Northwest Philadelphia, Tonyelle has always been deeply committed to the area. Before serving for a short time as our State Representative for the 200th District, she served as Chief-of-Staff in the State Rep’s office for over a decade, where, among many other activities, she connected residents to state and city resources.

Tonyelle believes strongly that every resident of Mt. Airy has the right to live, work and attend school in a safe and pleasant environment, and that EMAN and our community partner organizations can play a part in achieving that goal.

EMAN 1st Vice President
Brandon Ritter
Brandon Ritter is a EMAN board member with numerous years of community organizing and volunteer organization experience. As an EMAN member Brandon has organized volunteers at events like Mt. Airy Day, Philly Spring Cleanup and EMAN's Christmas Tree Recycling. Born and raised in East Mt. Airy he has a deep appreciation for tree lined streets, parks and the small town vibes. When Brandon is not working with EMAN you can find him working with Food Moxie or brainstorming about solutions to our neighborhoods biggest issues with neighbors.

EMAN Treasurer Nominee
Dutch Klugman
Dutch Klugman has lived in and been active in the East Mount Airy community for nearly 40 years. He has served as a member of EMAN’s board since the late 1980’s. Over the years he has served as EMAN Secretary, Assistant Treasurer and Treasurer. Dutch is currently EMAN’s Treasurer. He has served several terms as Treasurer over the past 10 years. As Treasurer, in addition to cosigning EMAN’s checks, and preparing a monthly financial report for presentation at each Board meeting, he has been responsible for making sure that EMAN’s:

  • staff gets paid on time each month;

  • Federal, State, and local taxes are paid; and

  • Federal IRS-990 tax return is filed on time each year.

Over the year’s Dutch’s other activities in East Mount Airy have included:

  • Serving on the board of Mount Airy Village Development Corporation (the precursor organization to Mt. Airy CDC);

  • Serving on the Board and as Treasurer of EMAN Community Living, in that role helping to establish the Mt. Airy Community grant fund;

  • Serving as an EMAN representative to (and Treasurer of) the Mt. Airy Community Services Corporation, which acts as the 501(c)(3) organization for the Mt. Airy Learning Tree.

Dutch is also a member of EMAN’s community grant fund committee which reviews proposals for the grants each year.
Dutch’s other volunteer activities include working one day a week preparing dinosaur fossils in the Paleontology Preparation Laboratory at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. He also does volunteer work for the radio station WXPN, and for Philadelphia Reads’ Reading Olympics.

EMAN Secretary Nominee
Janet Amato
A lifelong resident of Mt. Airy, Janet Amato has volunteered with East Mt. Airy Neighbors for several decades. Her involvement began as a member of the Mt. Airy Day (MAD) Committee in the early 1990’s, and she was an active participant, including several years as chair, until 2017.

Because of her MAD work, Janet was invited to join the EMAN Board. Her professional background in management, combined with her countless hours of community volunteer work, allowed her to bring many skills to the Board. She has served on several committees, including MAD, Membership, Special Events/Fundraising, Grants and Nominating. She has also served several terms as an Officer, (1st and 2nd Vice President, Secretary).

Janet received the Edgar A. Baker Award from EMAN in 2005. Widely known for her tireless work in the neighborhood, including at various non-EMAN community activities, she was named one of WMAN’s “50 Good Neighbors.”

Janet’s ongoing willingness to jump in to help with any and all EMAN activities, and her experience and “institutional memory” make her an excellent candidate for Secretary.

EMAN Board Nominees
Names with * identify board members seeking to extend their term.

Cherese Akers
Cherese Akers currently serves as the Communications Management Fellow at First Presbyterian Church in Germantown. Before her transition into this newly developed role at FPCG, Cherese worked in Academics at Drexel University College of Medicine and Salus University. With two beautiful daughters, 11 and 9 months, the decision to cut her work hours in half was necessary for personal development and for her family.

Helping people has always been Cherese’s passion. The revitalization of her community, with the focus on our future leaders, our youth, is very important to her. Cherese is the founder and chair of a non-profit mentoring program called We Heard You. We Heard You is geared toward young males, welcomes all races and is culturally sensitive; encouraging inclusion in all facets of life.

Cherese proudly serves as the Vice-President for Pleasant Playgrounds’ Advisory Council, is an active member of The Prestige Society, a membership organization where women have the opportunity to network and build business acumen while striving for success together. She founded “Still I Birthed”, a foundation that provides resources to bereaved families who’ve experienced pregnancy or infant loss.

Serving hundreds of community service volunteer hours in her community and completing two internships with two prevalent non-profits in our community was when Cherese realized she wanted to be a leading part of the change she hoped for. Cherese assisted in facilitating mentoring groups, outreach in the community, advocating for violence, HIV, sexual assault, and STD prevention, identifying resources for various client populations, and so much more.

John Autin
After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Child Psychology, John Autin joined Teach For America to teach middle school math in New Orleans Public Schools immediately following Hurricane Katrina. After three years in New Orleans, he followed his future wife to Washington, DC and continued teaching in the Anacostia neighborhood. As the school he worked at began to expand, he moved into an Operations/HR position to assist withthe logistics of the expansion.

After getting married, John moved to Philadelphia to start his family. He is the father of a one-year-old and three-year-old and seek to be active in the Mt. Airy community, which his family decided to make their home for years to come. Currently, he is the Operations Director at Mt. Airy Nexus, a local co-working business.

In addition to work, his family works closely with Families for Houston, a local non-profit supporting the public school that his kids will eventually attend. He has an active social media presence, moderating the local Buy Nothing Group, a Mt. Airy Community Board and, of course, the Mt. Airy Nexus business
page. Through the Mt. Airy Nexus he help support the community by loaning space for meetings and events to local groups and though these events, he developed strong relationships with other neighbors who are active in our community.

He would like to join the EMAN Board to more directly contribute to making positive change in Mt. Airy. He has experience in many different areas including accounting, marketing, fundraising, and operations/logistics. Furthermore, his connections from a diverse background of organizations can be an asset to the board to continue EMAN's great work.

Linda Bell
As a third generation Mount Airy native, Linda Bell attended public school, was on the Pep Squad and was titled Art editor of her high school yearbook. After attending several colleges and universities, she finally found peace in a southern Baptist Seminary. But her purpose was realized when she received her BS degree in Ministerial Science.

A wife, a mother of 3 and grandmother of 3, 5 generations strong, she is invested in the culture of East Mount Airy. Her numerous occupations in Allopathic Medicine as Pharmacy Technician and Respiratory Therapists; Commercial Real Estate with the Kaiserman Group as assistant to Mall Management Operations of Ole Sproul Village and Springfield Mall, later to become manager of The Bourse Professional Suites; Event Planner and Wedding Coordinator; Licensed Cosmetologist and trained Instructor; Certified Integrative Nutrition Coach; Travel and Tourism Industry as an Upscale Agent, Manager and Travel Instructor has afforded her vast opportunities to observe and assist people from all walks of life. As a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and current training in Traditional Chinese Medicine as it pertains to female health, further compliments her being self employed as a Certified Health and Lifestyle Transformational Coach.

She enjoys the Arts and interaction with people from diverse backgrounds. Peace and harmony that has characterized our quaint little Mt Airy Village internationally for years, is very important to her. We are a grass roots community of people with values and integrity. In joining the EMAN board she will continue to observe, assist and be the voice for those grass root neighbors as well as for herself who need to be heard in matters that affect the quality of life in this Mount Airy community.

Kristin Crandall
Kristin Crandall has been a proud resident of East Mt. Airy for a year and a half. She has a background in neighborhood involvement and community development that is both personal and professional. She has worked with organizations like Unite Oregon, Juntos, and Reclaim Philadelphia on labor and political campaigns. Currently she work as a Senior Data Analyst for PolicyMap, an organization that maps data on demographics, real estate, health, jobs and more in communities across the country. She believes we can use data to see where and how we can increase EMAN’s membership base.

During her time here she fell in love with the neighborhood and wants to commit her energy and personal and professional skills towards ensuring it remains a great neighborhood and that people who live here continue to be able to do so. She believes strongly that serving on the board of East Mount Airy Neighbors would be a fantastic way for her to contribute towards the betterment of our community. Working with people (especially my neighbors) is something that she would enjoy, and she posses a range of professional skills related to community development that would help inform her board service with EMAN.

Brian Cullin
Brian Cullin has resided in East Mount Airy with his wife, Katy, and their dog, Luna, for one year.
Since moving to East Mount Airy, he has demonstrated a commitment to EMAN’s work. His family quickly became EMAN members, he attended multiple board and zoning meetings, sponsored and attended the Toast to Mount Airy, and joined the Membership Committee. He is prepared to build on his prior, active engagement with EMAN if he is chosen to serve on the Board.

He possess the skills to be a strong asset to the Board including event planning and fundraising skills, along with management and project planning experience. He wants to join the EMAN Board because he believes strongly in the value of community. A vibrant community doesn’t build itself, and it requires people willing to give their time and energy to make it work. As an attorney in the City’s Law Department, has has chosen a career centered on service to the City, generally, and its many vibrant communities. He views membership on the EMAN Board as an extension of his service-centered life.

Michael Galvan
Michael R. Galvan is the Associate for Education and Workforce Policy and Strategy with the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), and has spent his career dedicated to community outreach, advocacy, and education.
Prior to his time with the Philadelphia Youth Network, Michael worked as an educator and guest lecturer for high school and collegiate courses focusing on American Government, Foreign Policy, Constitutional Law, and Education Policy at institutions across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In addition, Michael served as a grassroots organizer for Wendy Davis’s campaign for Governor of Texas, the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, and Jim Kenney’s campaign for Mayor of Philadelphia.

Additionally, Michael has served as the Deputy Policy Director for the Jim Kenney for Mayor campaign in Philadelphia and worked as the Policy Director for the Mayor’s Office of Education for Mayor Jim Kenney. While working for the Kenney Administration, Michael helped secure funding for the Administration’s signature initiatives, expanded quality pre-K and Community Schools. He also worked in partnership with the Department of Commerce and the School District of Philadelphia to expand Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities for high school students.

In his current role, Michael has worked with collective impact organizations, like Project U-Turn, to improve educational outcomes for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable youth. He also serves as a mentor for JEVS Human Services and volunteers his time with Gay-Straight Alliances with the School District of Philadelphia and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Kendra Gudgeon
Kendra Gudgeon has spent the last ten years working with vulnerable populations throughout
Philadelphia area. She served 8 years with Philabundance as the Deputy Director of Programs

where she managed targeted programs, partnership development, and new initiatives that
distributed 10 million pounds of food to local communities. Some of the projects she managed
include, launching a hybrid food pantry in North Philadelphia, establishing a partnership with the
Chester County Food Bank, and redesigning school based programs to be high impact and low

Currently, she is a project manager at the Vanguard where she is streamlining procurement
processes across the enterprise. She has extensive program and community development

Kendra holds a Bachelor of Arts, in International Relations and Spanish minor from Northern
Arizona University and is PMI-PMP certified. She is a board member of the Philadelphia County
Emergency Food and Shelter Program. In her free time, you’ll find Kendra outdoors running,
hiking or volunteering with local organizations. She is an avid traveler and is always interested in
hearing recommendations for new place to explore.

Leon King*
For the last 28 years Leon A. King II, Esquire has been a civil rights attorney who has spent equal amounts of time representing average citizens and members of law enforcement Mr. King also served as general counsel for the Philadelphia Prison System, and from 2002 to 2008 served as the Commissioner of the System. Mr. King also served on Philadelphia City Council as Director of Legislation for former Councilman Frank Rizzo (although Mr. King is a Democrat). Mr. King currently serves as a deputy commissioner for the Maryland Department of Public Safety.

Mr. King is a past member of the Boards of the William Way Community Center, Attic Youth Center, chairing the Board Committee on Race. He also has served on the Board of Mother’s in Charge and currently serves as President of the Board for Renewed Heart Ministries, a Christian, LGBT welcoming ministry out of West Virginia. Mr. King has leads a LGBT Christian fellowship that meets twice a month in his home called F.U.E.L. (Faith Utilized in Everyday Living). Mr. King currently serves on the Board of East Mount airy Neighbors where he has been active in interaction with the city government and political structure (reducing police fees for M.A.D.), Mounty Airy Day, and various opportunities to volunteer over the years.

Mr. has lived in Mount Airy since 1993, specifically in East Mount for the past 12 years with his husband of 34 years Randy.

Benjamin Litvinas
Ben Litvinas is currently Executive Director, Data & Analytics Solutions at Comcast, a Fortune
40 media & technology company. In this capacity, he leads the development of internally-facing
products that leverage data, AI, and machine learning to improve business functions. Prior to
joining Comcast in 2015, he was a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton and GRA, Incorporated,
where he advised commercial and government clients on strategy and analytics in the travel,
transportation, and tourism industries. He is a proud resident of the Mt. Airy neighborhood in
Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife and two Boston Terriers. Personally, he enjoys sailing,
squash, and golfing.

Vivian E. Norton*
Vivian banks; works part-time; serves, (or has served), on boards of directors; and holds membership in organizations based in Mt. Airy.

As a member of the EMAN Board, Vivian has conducted a Board election, and has staffed tables on Mt. Airy Day. She was a part of the Membership committee, and remains a part of the EMAN Community Fund Committee, where her primary interest lies. Vivian has observed that although there are many Mt. Airy organizations, institutions, agencies and programs which send proposals to the Fund, this Committee has been successful in recommending that grants be given to those which yield most in their positive impact upon the Mt. Airy community. She wishes to help Mt. Airy to serve as a positive model for other communities throughout this city.

Kelly O'Day
Retired environmental engineer with a BS (University of Maryland) in Civil Engineering and MS (Drexel University) in Environmental Engineering. Worked as a professional engineer for 40 years in all phases of water quality, water supply and wastewater disposal in Philadelphia and Boston metropolitan areas. Retired professional engineer (PE) in Pennsylvania.

The USA has made great strides in improving the water quality of our rivers and streams
since his early career days in 1967. As he watched and modestly participated in these
improvements, he realized that the global environmental problems were also
critically severe, with global warming and plastic pollution presenting threats even greater
than water pollution.

In 2005 he started his 1st web site that focused on environmental trends, and he started to study
global warming. In 2008 he started the Climate Charts & Graphs blog to help interested citizen climate scientists learn about climate science and global warming using the R language. As a proud E Mt Airy resident, he believes in thinking globally and acting locally.

Teri Ranieri*
Teri Ranieri was born and raised in W. Mt. Airy. She is a product of the Philadelphia Public Schools, having attended C.W. Henry and Philadelphia H.S. for Girls. She left her beloved home to attend Cornell University in upstate NY. After graduation, her first career sent her to the D.C. area. In the D.C. area she stayed, however, longing to move back to Mt. Airy.

Mt Airy gets into your blood… There is no other place like this! By 2001, she was able to move herself and 2 sons back to Mt. Airy.

Teri has always been involved in many community pursuits. She has been on the Board of Weavers Way for 2 years. She has served on the Board and as the President of Central High School Home and School Association for 3 years. She has been an on-going volunteer for North Light Community Center. Additionally, she does the Cornell Secondary Schools Committee annually (CAAAN).

Having been on the EMAN Board, Teri is now up for re-election. While on the Board, Teri has been the Secretary. Additionally, she has participated in the Annual Christmas Tree Re-Cycling, Mount Airy Day, The Membership Committee, The Gingerbread House decorating, The Dog walk, along with other things…

The financial services business has been her profession for 36 years now, having started with Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley. She is currently with Ameriprise Financial. Since successfully raising her sons, Teri happily lives in East Mt. Airy.

Lansana Sylla*

Donna Tretina*
Donna Tretina is a current Board member seeking re-election. After graduating Temple with a Master's degree in Anthropology (fostering a life-long passion to know "stuff") Donna spent her working life, first in the insurance industry as an adjustor then a programmer, which explains her obsession with liability exposure in all our events, and then a programmer with IBM .

Once retired in 2011, Donna started volunteering at many Mt.Airy events.  She named the Paws on the Pavement event reflecting her love of dogs (and cats) and volunteered at Mt. Airy Day as an assistant to then chairperson Janet Amato.  She also volunteered at the Toast to Mt Airy event, the Night  Market and the supper sessions to promote our events and membership. Because of this interest and effort, she was asked to join the Board.  She finds volunteering at events and serving on the membership committee has been a fun and rewarding part of the total East Mount Airy experience.

EMAN forever!