By Anne McNiff
Executive Director, CHCA
The Chestnut Hill Community Association begins a new term in August with a slate of seven new and returning members to its board of directors. The CHCA typically holds community elections for board seats, however, this year the number of nominees is equal to the number of open seats, thus negating the need for an election.
New to the board are Alexander Hemphill Burns, Michael Harding, and Lindsey Toconita. Returning board members are Kathi Clayton, Lynn Schroeder, Lucy Daigle and Susan Bray.
All seven members were asked to submit a brief bio with information on who they are and their interest in serving on the Chestnut Hill Community Association board of directors.
Current CHCA members are asked to vote on a proposed change to the CHCA by-laws. The Ballot can be found on page 6
Susan Bray is a practicing palliative care physician working with patients to offer comfort and support.
She lives and works in the community and has long worked to support the businesses and activities of beautiful chestnut hill. She is committed to being an active member of the board.
Alexander Hemphill Burns
Alexander Hemphill Burns is the founding Artistic Director of Quintessence Theatre, now in its tenth season in residence at the Sedgwick Theater in Mt. Airy. Alexander is also a freelance theatre director and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. He was born at the Chestnut Hill Hospital and graduated from Germantown Friends School and Northwestern University.
I am a relative newcomer to Chestnut Hill. My husband and I had the opportunity to move to the area seven years ago. We were drawn by its village atmosphere, walkability and the proximity of our grandchildren. Living here is even better than we thought it would be and more. Recently retired from a business I ran for almost 20 years ago and teaching part time at Penn State Brandywine and Great Valley. I began volunteering with the Chestnut Hill Community and Business Associations as I have always believed it is important to be involved with your community. Communities are the bedrock of society.
My name is Lucie Daigle. My husband Richard Tuttle and I have been residents of Chestnut Hill for a little over 4 years (we lived within three miles of the top of the Hill for 32 years before that) and are enjoying life on the Hill and the people around us tremendously. The strong sense of community that we have found here, and the tangible history in the public and private spaces make Chestnut Hill a very special place. Joining the Board of the CHCA has been a remarkably rich experience. It’s been an opportunity to work with friends and neighbors – from many backgrounds, and with varying perspectives – to develop, preserve and enhance life on the Hill. During my service on the Board for the past three years, I’ve learned – or I’ve been reminded – that Chestnut Hill will not preserve and reinvent itself. Those of us who live here must work toward that goal. That’s what CHCA does. Similarly, events and programs and fund drives don’t happen by themselves, and I’ve made a serious effort to participate in as many I can. I plan to continue those activities, and, indeed, am looking forward to the opportunities.
Michael Harding is a resident of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Politics. His service and scholarship have taken him abroad to nearly 20 countries, including places such as Spain, Ghana, and Tanzania. He is fluent in Spanish and worked in the respective offices of Pennsylvania State Rep. Stephen Kinsey and State Senator Art Haywood. Michael recently returned from a life-changing opportunity conducting research as a Fulbright Scholar in Santiago, Chile. He is a member of Equal Justice Works’ National Advisory Committee and is currently pursuing his law degree as a Public Interest Scholar at Villanova University. Michael is also a Student Fellow at Justice at Work, a legal aid organization, supporting civil litigation and immigration casework in Pennsylvania. As an aspiring civil rights lawyer and servant leader, he aims to leverage law and policy as tools for a lifetime of work committed to social and environmental justice. He loves living in Chestnut Hill and hopes to tap into the potential of young people to effect meaningful change in the community.
What a great pleasure to live in our Chestnut Hill neighborhood, and a privilege to serve and contribute to the Chestnut Hill Community Association Board of Directors. Our urban village is a diverse and vibrant part of the Philadelphia scene. The CHCA serves to strengthen our community voice and encourages and welcomes input from all members.
I hold degrees from West Chester, Lehigh, and Arcadia University and have been rewarded with a 32 year career in the field of Special Education as both a teacher and administrator. As a retiree and empty nester, my husband JR and I love strolling the Avenue with our dog Murphy.
I grew up in the Hudson Valley, NY and attended the University of Delaware. Upon graduating, I relocated to the greater Philadelphia area for my career and for the past 9 years, I have been proud to call the magical place that is Chestnut Hill my home. After spending more than a decade in financial technology sales for a global banking institution, I now co-own Lock & Key Group which is a boutique collective of like-minded Keller Williams real estate agents serving Philadelphia and the surrounding areas – one of my favorite parts of my job as a real estate agent is getting to experience and tour all of the unbelievable homes in & around our neighborhood, and getting to know the people who live in them. My children currently attend Norwood-Fontbonne Academy, where I served as the Treasurer of the Parent’s Association for the past two years. Raising my two children with my husband, Marcus, in this community is an absolute joy and I look forward to being one of the voices that makes our community so special.