The Rider-Pool Foundation


The Rider-Pool Foundation has announced the second class in its intensive nine-month Fellowship program that trains and equips non-profit leaders to better meet the community needs of a rapidly developing downtown Allentown.

The Collective Impact Action Learning Fellowship was created last year to effectively address and measurably improve complex quality of life challenges within neighborhoods surrounding the downtown Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) through a new system of non-profit leadership.

It brought together leaders representing a diverse range of community-focused issues. It increased effectiveness by encouraging collaboration among organizations, provided tools for meaningful collaboration, and created win-win strategies driven by a comprehensive approach to community development.

The seven fellows represented the Allentown Art Museum, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lehigh Valley, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Allentown, Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley, Lehigh County Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center, Lehigh Valley Health Network and Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley.

The following leaders have been selected to participate in the second Fellowship class:
• Hasshan Batts, CSW, CADC, Trainer and Trauma Specialist, Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley
• Kimberly C. Brown, MD, Pediatrician, Lehigh Valley Health Network
• Samantha A. Goodrich, PhD, Senior Research and Evaluation Scientist, Lehigh Valley Health Network
• Veronica Gonzalez, MBA, Director, Center for Women’s Medicine & Interpreter Services, Lehigh Valley Health Network
• Miriam Huertas, Senior Vice President, Allentown Initiatives, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce
• Dan R. Kunkle, Executive Director, Wildlife Information Center, Inc.
• Stacy Milo, Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of the Lehigh Valley
• Timothy Mulligan, MDiv, President and CEO, Communities in Schools of the Lehigh Valley
• William B. Vogler, PhD, President, Pinebrook Family Answers

Seated from left: Samantha, Hasshan, Stacy and Tim Back row from left: Veronica, Bill, Miriam, Dan and Kim

Seated from left: Samantha, Hasshan, Stacy and Tim
Back row from left: Veronica, Bill, Miriam, Dan and Kim

The new Fellows will receive approximately 180 hours of training through June 2016 from a faculty of national experts. Topics will include in-depth knowledge and application of collective impact strategies; community engagement; effective project design and evaluation and leadership skills for broad-based collaboration.

At the conclusion of the program, fellows will have an opportunity to proactively work with The Rider-Pool Foundation to access funding for a collective impact effort that addresses community needs.

The early success of the first class of Fellows is demonstrated by their ability at attain a grant from Provident Bank for The Building Bridges Project. This collective effort will engage diverse members of the community by using photography to capture Allentown’s struggles, triumphs, celebrations and aspirations. These photographs allow residents to share their perceptions of their neighborhoods and the impact the changes in Allentown have on them. The initiative expects to launch a website in February 2016.

“We are pleased with the collaboration created by the first class of Fellows and eagerly await the launch of its new initiative while the second class of Fellows begins its learning experience,” said Edward F. Meehan, Executive Director of The Rider-Pool Foundation. “The Rider-Pool Foundation is proud to continue this effort that supports the city’s ongoing downtown revitalization as it impacts the health, safety and quality of life within the adjacent neighborhoods.”

In other news, The Trustees of The Rider-Pool Foundation, at their November meeting, provided a total of $265,000 in grants to 48 organizations in the Lehigh Valley.

The Rider-Pool Foundation’s intent is to serve as a means to improve the quality of life in the community, to build on the community’s strengths and add to its vitality, and to increase the capacity of the community to serve the needs of all its citizens. The Trustees of The Foundation have carried forth Dorothy Rider Pool’s wishes and are particularly sensitive to her interests in education, disadvantaged children and the development of future leadership in our society.