Board and Partners

Board of Directors L. Bach, Esq.
Mitchell L. Bach, Esq.
Interim Board Chair Mitchell L. Bach graduated with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1968, where he returned to lecture in business law. He received his law degree, also with honors, from the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1971. Before entering private practice, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Masterson, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Mr. Bach is a Member of the law firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, and Chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Division in Philadelphia. He was Chair of the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 2005, and also formerly chaired the Association’s Business Litigation Committee. Mr. Bach is also the former Chair of the ABA Section of Business Law’s Committee on Corporate and Business Litigation, and the former Chair of its Business Courts Subcommittee. Mr. Bach served as a member of the Council of the ABA Section of Business Law, and is currently the Co-Chair of the Section’s Leadership Development Committee. He also formerly served as the Section’s Co-Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Judges Initiative. Mr. Bach played a key role in the organization and development of the Commerce Case Management Program of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in 1999; and is actively involved in the creation of other specialized business courts throughout the United States, a subject on which he writes and speaks about frequently. He served as President of Society Hill Synagogue from 2005 to 2007, and is actively involved with a number of other non-profit organizations in the Philadelphia area. Throughout his life, Mr. Bach has been passionate about music, and was singer-songwriter in the 60’s and 70’s, when he also played with a number of bands as rhythm guitar and lead singer. M. Newmuis
Tiffany M. Newmuis
Vice Board Chair Tiffany M. Newmuis presently serves as Senior Director of Community Engagement and Emerging Markets for Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. She is charged with effectively engaging the community, with a focus on diverse, under-represented populations, to positively impact the health of the communities served by Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. Previously, Mrs. Newmuis was the Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Diversity and Community Engagement for the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention. In her role with the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention, Mrs. Newmuis manages strategy, process, and people while implementing and directing all diversity goals and initiatives with respect to workforce, supplier, and operational diversity. As a direct result of the engagement strategies she has implemented, Mrs. Newmuis is responsible for engaging over 1,500 businesses yielding in a robust vendor directory for the 2016 Democratic National Convention and spending 67% of convention spend with diverse-owned businesses. Mrs. Newmuis’ skills and extensive experience in diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, corporate community relations and business development have enabled her to thrive in each of her positions, making her an important voice in the Greater Philadelphia community. Verrill
Michael Verrill
Treasurer Michael currently directs the marketing and business development efforts for Fesnak and Associates, a regional accounting, tax and advisory firm focusing on the complex needs of growing organizations. He also focuses much of his efforts on local charities, having personally raised over $25,000 for organizations focused on helping raise the awareness for medical cures like the American Cancer Society, Susan Fazio Foundation, American Diabetes Association, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Muscular Dystrophy Association. One of his true passions lies in supporting organizations who are working everyday to improve the lives of children. He currently serves on the Boards of Play on Philly, CADE Kids and PEC. These organizations are serving the needs of under privileged children in distressed neighborhoods in Philadelphia, through musical education, behavioral education and family education. Other professional organizations include the Board of Association for Corporate Growth, Chair of the Membership Committee and Past President of the Fox School of Business Alumni Association. Michael earned his Bachelor of Business Administration with a dual degree in Finance and Legal Studies from Temple University’s Fox School of Business. He lives in Glenside with his wife Megan and their three children. Harden
Chris Harden
Secretary Chris has spent a 21-year career in energy commodities trading, with a track record of building successful businesses. He is also an avid musician, involved in a number of jazz/funk/rock bands. Chris is currently an Associate Director at Susquehanna International Group, LLP (SIG), one of the largest privately-held financial services companies. SIG is an entrepreneurial organization with a rigorous analytical approach to decision making. SIG highly values objective thinking, innovation, and practice as well as team collaboration in its culture. Having experienced this same culture in successful band ensembles, Chris realized that many connections can be drawn between success in music and other problem-solving situations. His passion is to leverage POP’s program into building more confident decision makers both inside and outside of the classroom. Chris and his wife Stacie have two children. When not performing at work or on stage, the Harden family enjoys outdoor adventuring and music. Haas Gravagno
Carole Haas Gravagno
Board Chair On-Leave Carole Haas Gravagno is the proud mother of two sons and several grandchildren. She considers herself a passionate supporter and enthusiast of the arts (theatre and music in particular), education, arts education and education through the arts. Carole is a parenting educator, as well as an impassioned advocate for parenting education – a discipline designed to give the most vulnerable among us the kind of nurturing that can transform an individual, a community and a society. She actively works with parenting educators, social workers and prisoners. Sharing these passions with John C. Haas, Carole was encouraged to help vision the Stoneleigh Foundation, where she continues to provide guidance and support. Carole enjoys classical music, travel, theater, singing, and skiing. Hammond
Lorne Hammond
Board Member Lorne Hammond is a Unit Sales Manager for Windsor Financial/ MassMutual Life Insurance Company. He has extensive experience in the areas of public affairs, sales, and community relations for profit and non-profit companies with a wide background in communications, outreach, event planning and marketing, with special focus on pro-social and grassroots campaigns. Delisser
Traci-Ann Delisser
Trustee Traci-Ann Delisser is Director of Finance at Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) responsible for negotiating and closing corporate and property level financings. Before joining PREIT in 2003, Traci-Ann worked for 8 years as a real estate and commercial attorney with the firm Myers, Fletcher & Gordon in their offices in Kingston Jamaica and London, England. Traci-Ann graduated from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Laws and earned her Certificate of Legal Education from the Norman Manley Law School and M.S. in Real Estate Finance and Investment from New York University. She currently resides in Fort Washington with her daughter, Arielle. Lawson
Khalilah Lawson
Trustee Khalilah Lawson is Vice President and Senior Associate of Diversified Search based in Philadelphia. Khalilah joined Diversified Search in 2005 and is part of the firm's higher education/not-for-profit practice. During her tenure, she has worked across the firm’s practices with a specialization in not-for-profit/higher education executive search. She is involved in the complete range of executive search services. Additionally, she has successfully completed searches for both publicly traded, privately held organizations across a broad array of management functions, including CEO, President, CFO, Human Resources, Fundraising/Development, and Operations. Khalilah lives with her husband Jonathan and daughter in Philadelphia. Loeb
William Loeb
Trustee William A. (Wally) Loeb is a born and raised Philadelphia who is a retired teacher, writer, non-profit children's camp leader and owner-operator of an RV campground in Lancaster County. He is a graduate of William Penn Charter School and Trinity College. As a child, Wally played piano and cello and won the Philadelphia Orchestra's competition for young composers. His composition, "Circusland", was performed that season by the orchestra under the baton of Eugene Ormandy. He has been an avid patron and supporter of the performing arts scene in Philadelphia, served as a volunteer at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and is a board member of Dolce Suono Ensemble. Mr. Loeb established the Loeb Performing Arts Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation in 1993 and has awarded more than $200,000 in grants in the fields of instrumental and vocal music, dance and theater. His Loeb Student Education Fund of The Philadelphia Orchestra supports the orchestra's School Partnership Program. Wally's relationship with POP's Founder, Stanford Thompson, began in 2005, when Mr. Thompson held the William A. Loeb Fellowship throughout his student years at The Curtis Institute of Music. Tripodi-Bhise
Gianna Tripodi-Bhise
Trustee Gianna Tripodi-Bhise is Director Foundation and Corporate Relations for WHYY. She has 27 years of experience in leading the development efforts of a variety of nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining WHYY in 2013, she spent seven years as Director of Development for Parkinson’s Action Network in Washington, DC. She also led development efforts for the Metropolitan Center for Assault Prevention, the National Center for Policy Research for Women and Families, Easter Seals of Southeastern Pennsylvania, World Game Institute, and Radio Bilingue, Inc. Her areas of specialization include Corporate and foundation giving; individual giving; special events management; and public relations. A native of Philadelphia, she holds a BA in English Literature from Saint Joseph’s University and an MBA from Drexel University. Thomas Vernon
Dr. Thomas Vernon
Trustee Dr. Thomas Vernon is a new addition to the POP Board.He graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and subsequently from Harvard Medical School. Board-certified in internal medicine, Dr. Vernon spent several years with the Centers for Disease Control as an epidemiologist, including two years in Nepal as a part of the global malaria eradication effort. In 1972, Dr. Vernon joined the State Health Department in Colorado as State Epidemiologist. He was appointed Executive Director of the department in 1983 and 1987. After more than seven years as Executive Director, Dr. Vernon moved east to become Director of Health and Human Services for the Pew Charitable Trusts. He joined Merck in 1993, where he remained until his retirement, as the Vaccine Division's Vice President for Policy, Public Health, and Medical Affairs, responsible for policy matters as related to public health agencies, including state health departments, CDC, WHO and the Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Vernon is a member of the boards of the National Center for Healthy Housing, the Edna G. Kynett Memorial Foundation in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and the Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment. He is an avid listener to classical music, an active supporter of the Curtis Music Institute and loves to ski. He lives in Center City with his wife Pat West Vernon and has two children and four grandchildren.

Our School Partners Francis de Sales School
St. Francis de Sales School
917 S. 47th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143
215-387-1749 Charter Middle School
Freire Charter Middle School
1026 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
267-670-7499 Catholic Preparatory High School
West Catholic Preparatory High School
4501 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139


Play On, Philly! (POP) provides intensive music education to K-12 students, who would typically lack access, as a vehicle for life skills and academic achievement

For 2½ hours every day, students enjoy instrument instruction and ensemble practice completely tuition-free