Bucks County leaders connect at DelVal
People were teasing College President Dr. Joseph Brosnan, who joined DelVal in 2007, about being an old-timer of Bucks County because so many key positions were being filled by new faces.
"With so many new faces and changing places we thought introductions were in order," said Dr. Brosnan.
On April 4 leaders from not-for-profit organizations, health care and education came together on Delaware Valley College’s Doylestown campus for Welcoming New Leaders to Bucks County: A Community Celebration.
The event was about much more than introductions. It was about a spirit of collaboration in Bucks County. The County's major organizations are coming together and actively working to stay connected to have a greater impact on people's lives.
"There is a movement going on in Bucks County and you're seeing it in this room today," said President and CEO of the United Way of Bucks County Jamie Haddon, a DelVal alumnus, at the event. "We have our own missions, but we have a united mission of making Bucks County better."
Speaking at the event were:
James Brexler, President and CEO of Doylestown Hospital
Dr. Rodney Green, Superintendent of Central Bucks School District
Magne Gundersen, Council Executive of the Bucks County Council Boy Scouts of America
Jamie Haddon, a class of ’95 DelVal alumnus who is President and CEO of the United Way of Bucks County
Lisa Tremper Hanover, Director and CEO of the James A. Michener Art Museum
Jeffrey Marshall, President of the Heritage Conservancy
Zane Moore, President/CEO Central Bucks Family YMCA
Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt, President of Bucks County Community College.
At the celebration, DelVal honored College Trustee Elizabeth Gemmill, with the first ever Helen and Kenneth Gemmill Distinguished Philanthropy and Service Award. The award, which is named for her parents, will be given each year to a person following in the footsteps of Kenneth and Helen by making an outstanding contribution to Bucks County. The award honors a person who demonstrates leadership and has given time and service, plus financial contributions to improve Bucks County.
Kenneth and Helen Gemmill gave millions to organizations in Bucks County including DelVal, the James Michener Art Museum, the Mercer Museum, Doylestown Hospital and the Heritage Conservancy during their lifetime.
After they passed away, Elizabeth Gemmill continued their legacy as president of the family’s Warwick Foundation. In 2010, the Foundation gave the College a transformational gift valued at $30 million. That gift is helping the College move forward with its goal of becoming a university.
Dr. Jim Trainer, who chairs the DelVal Board of Trustees, said people sometimes follown their parents’ footsteps. There are musicians who produce great musicians, business leaders who have daughters who go on to be successful in business. Betsy, he said, was one of these people.
"The influence of her parents is unmistakable," said Dr. Trainer as he presented the award. "...She is a perpetual force for good who has touched the lives of thousands."
"I think my parents would be pleased with what they heard here this evening," said Gemmill at the celebration.
She was particularly thrilled to hear from Haddon about the progress his team is making at the United Way.
"DelVal made me question why and then get people together to solve a problem," said Haddon at the event.
When he joined the United Way in early 2012 he faced a problem. From 2007 to 2011 the United Way lost 19 percent of donor support. The United Way ended 2012 up 23 percent.
The night was just one example of how Bucks County is coming together in a way that is both exciting and inspiring.
"We have our own little niches, but together we can do so much more," said Bucks County Community College President Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt.
County leaders from a variety of organizations came together to plan the event and the event will continue to involve collaboration between various groups in the county in future years.