Thirteen candidates vie for seven 2024 CHCA board seats

Posted 6/6/24

The following people are running to represent the community on the board of the Chestnut Hill Community Association.

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Thirteen candidates vie for seven 2024 CHCA board seats


The following people are running to represent the community on the board of the Chestnut Hill Community Association. For extended versions of these biographies, go to

Tony Banks

Tony Banks, a vice president at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, leads WCRE's retail practice in Pennsylvania. He focuses on multiple areas of commercial real estate in the Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania markets. Banks has worked with local and national retail tenants, landlords, community and neighborhood development groups, investors, and startup companies throughout his career. 

"I want to continue on the board so that I can continue to give back to a community that inspires me to be the best version of myself while being part of a diversity of collective voices where ideas, beliefs, efforts and people meet to protect this community we all call home," Banks said. "Chestnut Hill finds a way to shine brightest when everyone is heard."

Joel Barras

Joel Barras, his wife, and teenage daughter are proud to call Chestnut Hill home. In their 10 years here, they have rooted themselves in the community. Professionally, Barras is an experienced labor and employment attorney.

Barras served as a board member for the Chestnut Hill Local for eight years, his final year as president, until his terms expired. "I was proud to act as a steward of that local institution, working alongside many dedicated and talented board members and staff," he said.

Barras' focus as a CHCA board member will be to improve the quality of life in the community. "We must preserve what is special about Chestnut Hill while helping our community evolve to meet the changing lives of all of our residents, business owners, and visitors," he said. "Northwest Philadelphia is a beautifully diverse community, and the CHCA and its programs should reflect that beauty. If elected, I will advocate to increase the level of discourse within our community and work to expand the CHCA's offerings to appeal to everyone."

Elizabeth S. Brennan

Elizabeth S. Brennan has a diverse background in government affairs and corporate relations, bringing almost 20 years of experience in navigating the intersection of politics, advocacy, and business. Most recently, she worked for The Boeing Company, where she managed the Boeing Political Action Committee (BPAC). Through collaborative programming and strategic engagement, Brennan positioned Boeing as a valued contributor to the communities it serves, leveraging the company's resources to drive meaningful impact and foster enduring relationships.

"Outside of my professional endeavors, I embrace the joys of family life in Chestnut Hill, having relocated from Washington, DC in 2021 with my husband, Bob, and dog, Payton, said Brennan, whose family has expanded to include a 1-year-old son, Finley. "As a part of the Chestnut Hill community, I believe in the Chestnut Hill Community Association and have long admired its mission and the impact it has within the community.

Valerie Brown

Valerie Brown, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP, has dedicated her public interest and pro bono activities to serving the Philadelphia community throughout her legal career. She has served on the board of nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia and has often represented those organizations pro bono when legal needs arise. Brown has been involved in the Chestnut Hill community since moving to the area in 2016 and is currently on the board of the Chestnut Hill Local newspaper.

Brown is a parent of two young children, and active community engagement is a core value in their family. Her family is active in many aspects of the Chestnut Hill community, including youth sports, religious fellowship, and social and professional networking.

"My service to the Local has shown me the many ways that the CHCA has positively impacted this community, and I want to assist," she said. "I believe my legal background and experience providing strategic legal advice will be an asset to the Board when addressing challenging issues and determining the path forward that best serves our community."

Jim Bruno

Jim Bruno has lived in Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy since he was 10 years old. He and his wife Maureen Pié were married in 1990, and live on Summit Street, where they raised their three children. The family has been active in this community for decades. Bruno served on the Chestnut Hill Youth Sports' Board and spent over 30 years with that organization, 25 years as a little league baseball coach and five years as the baseball commissioner. He was also one of the parents who founded the girls' intramural soccer program and was the first president of Teenagers Inc., helping them obtain their 501 (c)(3) status.

As next-door neighbors to the proposed apartment building at 10 Bethlehem Pike, Bruno and his family have been working closely with members of the Community Association Board and LUPZ Committee.

"I have been impressed by the effort and dedication the CHCA brings to improving the project so that it will be better incorporated into the fabric of our vibrant and beautiful neighborhood. I want to serve alongside these community-conscious people," Bruno said. "Thank you for considering my candidacy."

Lindsey D'Angelo

Lindsey D'Angelo is a current resident of Chestnut Hill, having moved here nine years ago with her husband, Ryan Umberger. They are enjoying raising their 5-year-old daughter, Margot, and newborn, August, on the avenue, at Pastorius Park, Jenks playground, and of course, frequenting all local cafes and restaurants. Professionally, D'Angelo has been a governance, risk, and control professional within the financial industry for 14 years. She has done one prior term on the CHCA board from 2017-2020.

"As a member of the community and raising two children here, I'd like to be as involved as possible – whether it be through green space initiatives, organizing events and family activities, or just providing a voice for our community members."

Jeff Duncan

Jeff Duncan has lived on Summit Street in Chestnut Hill with his wife, Kristen Regina, since 2016. Currently, he volunteers as site manager and curator at the Woodford Mansion, a 1756 National Historic Landmark in East Fairmount Park. He also volunteers as ward leader of the 9th Ward Democratic Committee.

Duncan's interest in the Chestnut Hill Community Association grew out of his love for the beautiful and historic architecture of the neighborhood and his work with CHCA and neighbors concerned about the proposed redevelopment at 10 Bethlehem Pike. He has also been a member of the CHCA executive committee and served as vice president of operations.

"I would like to be reelected to the CHCA board because I believe that the CHCA plays an essential role in helping to ensure that new development in Chestnut Hill is compatible with the communities' historic architectural fabric," Duncan said. "I am committed to helping the organization carry out that mission in a fair and transparent manner, and also to helping us grow the CHCA so that it brings in new neighbors who are not presently Members."

Karrie Gavin

Karrie Gavin, who grew up in Mount Airy and lives in Chestnut Hill with her husband and two sons, is a partner at Elfant Wissahickon Realtors and team leader of the Karrie Gavin Group, one of the leading real estate teams in Greater Philadelphia. Her first job was at Bredenbeck's Bakery and said she would bring a large professional network and deep local roots to the role of board member. She is also the author of the Philadelphia guidebook, "Moon Philadelphia."

"I serve neighborhoods throughout the city and suburbs, but there is no place I enjoy working more than Chestnut Hill, because it is home," she said. "I hope to have the opportunity to contribute to making our fine neighborhood even better, while helping residents new and old fully engage in this glorious community."

Gregory Lattanzi

Gregory D. Lattanzi has been a Chestnut Hill resident for years. He and his wife fell in love with the community, people, and culture of this historic slice of Philadelphia and are raising their two children here.

Lattanzi is an archaeologist with training in cultural resource management, historic preservation and museum studies. Currently, he serves as curator of the Bureau of Archaeology at the New Jersey State Museum and is the New Jersey state archaeologist. He is also a member of the East Mermaid Lane neighbors group.

Lattanzi's knowledge and experience in the field of historic preservation has been a great asset to the CHCA board at a time when the community faces new challenges in preservation and development. He also serves on the LUPZ committee and has been instrumental in being a community advocate.

Mil Niepold

Mil Niepold is the founder and president of The Mara Partners (TMP), a global facilitation, research and training organization that works at the intersection of gender, racial equity and the environment to solve complex social issues in the U.S. and globally. Niepold works with Fortune 500 companies, governments, the United Nations and civil society organizations to structure equitable long-term solutions that balance the needs of all stakeholders. She is co-president of the International Cocoa Initiative, a climate and women's rights advisor to the International Center for Research on Women and the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and was founding co-chair of Amnesty International USA's first business and human rights group. She is also a frequent public speaker, including for the World Bank, IFC, Climate Investment Fund, the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society, and various universities.

Niepold is a bilingual French-English speaker. She is interested in joining the board to help this remarkable community continue to thrive at a time of unprecedented societal and environmental challenges.

Sue Nocero

Sue Nocero was born and raised in Chestnut Hill and has multi-generational links to the community. She is an accomplished financial services executive with over 40 years in mortgage servicing and credit card operations.

Now retired from banking, Nocero is a founding member of Bravehearts for Strong Minds (BHSM 501 (c)(3), a nonprofit organization started in 2012. The walk's mission is to raise funds for the 529 Education Plans of children who have lost a parent. As a member of the Philadelphia Flying Dragons, she enjoys paddling on the Schuylkill River and playing golf at local courses during the spring and summer.

"I desire to take those skills used in my corporate career and apply them as a volunteer on the many projects underway to improve and sustain the CH community," she said.

Camille Peluso

Camille Peluso has been a resident of Chestnut Hill for 30 years and a practicing architect for 40 years. She is currently a member of the Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee (LUPZ) and a member of the working group of the Germantown Avenue Neighborhood Commercial Area.

As the principal of a full service architectural and interior design firm, Camille Peluso Architects, LLC., we are dedicated to creating sustainable and innovative environments which embrace the past as well as the future.

"I greatly respect the unique quality and history of our village and would work tirelessly to maintain the character of this community which has made it one of the most desirable places to live in the city," she said. "Having chosen Chestnut Hill as my home to raise a family, I am dedicated to the stewardship of this historic urban village."

Eric Shelton

Eric Shelton has been a resident in the Chestnut Hill community for the past four years, where he and his girlfriend make Abington Avenue their home.

Professionally, Shelton is a strategist and designer with Vanguard and an adjunct professor at Rutgers University. His work with Vanguard focuses on large-scale, long-term strategic decisions that unite diverse stakeholders in pursuit of common goals. He teaches interaction design at Rutgers, or rather, how to effectively communicate via the web.

Both experiences require a deep level of understanding, problem-solving and empathy that he will bring to the CHCA and to the wider community.

"I have been fortunate enough to watch our community grow, have fallen in love with the Wissahickon, and am a regular at our local restaurants and coffee shops," he said. "I'm running for the CHCA board because I feel the shared responsibility to contribute to our community, and feel I can contribute a unique skill set."