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Bio – Board

Donna Meltzer

Donna Meltzer, Board of Advisors

Donna Meltzer

Donna Meltzer is CEO of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), a national nonprofit organization that supports the nation’s 56 governor-appointed Developmental Disabilities Councils that work within state government to promote independence, productivity, and integration of people with disabilities through systems change activities. In this capacity, Meltzer oversees the organization’s public policy and advocacy agenda as well as technical assistance to the members. Meltzer joined the NACDD in October 2012.

Previously she was the senior director of government relations for the Epilepsy Foundation, where she worked from 1987-1993. She rejoined the Epilepsy Foundation in July 2005. She also served as director of legislative affairs for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) from 1995-2005. Meltzer began her career on Capitol Hill working for the Honorable Tony Coelho (D-CA), a former member of Congress and House Whip. Meltzer also spent two years as the government affairs director for the National Health Council, where she directed the advocacy agenda for the Council’s Voluntary Health Agency (VHA) members. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s School of Journalism.

Meltzer also participates in several key coalitions including serving on the board of directors of the Coalition for Health Funding. She most recently stepped down from a three-year term as chairwoman of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) where she is an immediate past chairwoman and co-chairwoman of the CCD’s Fiscal Policy Task Force. She also is a past chairwoman of the National Health Council’s Government Relations Affinity Group.

Meet our Boards of Directors and Advisors

Learn about all of the members of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and Advisors: https://www.respectability.org/about-us/meet-our-boards-of-directors-and-advisors/.

Jonathan Murray

Jonathan Murray, Board of Directors

headshot of Jonathan Murray in colorWidely credited with helping to usher in the modern reality television genre with his late partner Mary-Ellis Bunim, Jonathan Murray continues to inspire, influence and entertain television audiences worldwide. Since the launch of The Real World on MTV in 1992 through Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP), Murray has created and executive produced some of the industry’s most innovative, unscripted, entertainment television programs including Born This Way (A&E), which documents the lives of young adults with Down Syndrome and their families. Serving as Chairman of BMP until April 2015, Murray was responsible for guiding the creative process that has distinguished the company’s shows since the early 1990s. In 2007, the company launched BMP Films which sold its first critically acclaimed documentary, Autism: The Musical, to HBO.

Murray currently serves as Executive Consultant, remaining at BMP in a creative capacity to develop series and documentary passion projects, and oversee some of the company’s longest running series. BMP continues to thrive, producing projects for primetime and cable television platforms including the 32nd season of The Real World and the 30th season of The Challenge (MTV); Emmy award-winning Born This Way (A&E), Keeping up with the Kardashians, Total Divas (E!), and Project Runway and Project Runway All Stars (Lifetime). Additionally, their film entity, BMP Films, has produced Valentine Road (HBO), which premiered at Sundance, Pedro (MTV), Shadow Billionaire, and Autism: The Musical (HBO) that received two Emmy Awards and the upcoming They Call Us Monsters, which looks at juvenile justice issues.

Murray graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and currently lives in Los Angeles. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Semester at Sea and previously was on the Board of Governors of the Television Academy. In 2012, Murray was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

Meet our Boards of Directors and Advisors

Learn about all of the members of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and Advisors: https://www.respectability.org/about-us/meet-our-boards-of-directors-and-advisors/.

Aaron Orlofsky

Aaron Orlofsky, Board of Directors

Aaron Orlofsky

Aaron Orlofsky has served as the founding Chairman and CEO of The Orlo Fund, LLC since 2006. He has vast experience and knowledge in all areas of real estate management, acquisition, finance and operation, and has overseen at least a billion dollars of real estate transactions. Orlofsky is very detailed oriented and seeks every advantage for his investors through very favorable financings, astute and prudent operation, and value-added insights that increase the overall return of an investment. He is personally involved with all aspects of the operations, and delegates carefully, while maintaining full oversight of every transaction. While seeking maximum returns, Orlofsky also takes seriously his civic and moral responsibilities so that tenants are well provided for and happy with their rental arrangements. He strongly believes that business operations should be accomplished so that investors, tenants and the general community reap the benefits.

Orlofsky is actively involved in many civic and philanthropic causes throughout the United States and Israel. Among other leadership positions, he currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Sulam, a special education school in Rockville, Maryland, and sits on the Executive Board of the Anti-Defamation League.

Meet our Boards of Directors and Advisors

Learn about all of the members of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and Advisors: https://www.respectability.org/about-us/meet-our-boards-of-directors-and-advisors/.

Richard G. Phillips, Jr.

Richard G. Phillips, Jr., Board of Directors

Headshot of Richard Phillips

Richard G. Phillips, Jr.

Richard Phillips’ career has taken him from the U.S. Department of Justice, to the halls of the U.S. Senate, and back to his hometown of Philadelphia to run Pilot Freight Services. As an undergraduate and graduate student, Richard focused on the impacts of a fast-changing post-World War II U.S.-European relationship on the rise of nationalism and terrorism in the Middle East. In 1997, with degrees from Yale, Cambridge and Georgetown, Richard went to work at the Justice Department, where he served as lead counsel for the United States in constitutional litigation involving sensitive national security and high technology issues. In that capacity he was the government’s lead counsel for the Department of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and other national security entities in several ground breaking cases. He defended federal gun control legislation and helped ensure critical health care for veterans. He also handled high profile diplomatic immunity cases. He then served as Senate Judiciary Committee Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and later to Senator Patrick J. Leahy. While on Senate staff, Mr. Phillips was responsible for advising Senators Kennedy and Leahy on matters involving civil rights, technology, free trade, intellectual property, and privacy. He later served as Senior Transatlantic Fellow for the German Marshall Fund, a global organization dedicated to strengthening transatlantic cooperation on regional, national, and global challenges in the spirit of the Marshall Plan. In 2005, he returned to Philadelphia to become more involved in the family business. Richard came on as Vice-Chairman of Pilot Freight Services, supervising the company’s top executives. In 2007, Richard took over as CEO of Pilot.

Under Richard’s leadership, Pilot has seen remarkable growth. Revenue rose from $250 million in 2005, to approximately $850 million in 2015. Earnings have grown almost thirty-fold. The company now services the most mission critical shipments for the U.S. military, supporting both combat and relief operations around the world, including critical shipments into war theaters. It also handles supply chain and logistics for various other federal agencies, as well as the world’s largest and most complex corporations. It has increased its international capabilities, and opened overseas offices in Hong Kong, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, and Mexico. The company has also become a global leader in e-commerce fulfillment and is the carrier of choice for the largest e-commerce companies in the world. It has opened automotive, as well as value-added logistics and warehousing divisions, as well as its own customs brokerage. It has greatly expanded its national accounts program, nearly tripling in size from 2008, at $108 million in revenue, to nearly $300 million in 2017. This diversification has helped the company to prosper even through difficult economic conditions. In 2012 Richard was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year for the Philadelphia Region. In 2016, Richard led the sale of Pilot to a private equity consortium. He remains as Chairman of the Board, guiding the company to its next level of success.

In 2018, Richard accepted a fellowship at the Yale Divinity School, where he leads their initiatitive to place human dignity at the center of private enterprise and entrepreneurism.

Richard is heavily involved in the community. In 2007 he was appointed by Governor Edward G. Rendell, and confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate, to the Pennsylvania State Planning Board. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Melmark Home for Developmentally Disabled Children, where his brother was a student and as a board member of Uplift Solutions, a national non-profit that works to enhance access to healthy food in low income communities. He is a trustee of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and serves on the Commission on Civility and Effective Governance. He has also served as Chairman of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization. He is the recipient of numerous awards for service to the community, starting with the Lawton M. Calhoun Prize “for doing the most to make the College a happy place” which he received as an undergraduate, to the 2013 Maguire Award for Outstanding Service to the Philadelphia Community. He has been selected as a delegate to the U.S.-European Young Leaders and U.S.-Spain Young Leaders programs. In his free time he enjoys flying, rowing, and long distance triathlons.

Meet our Boards of Directors and Advisors

Learn about all of the members of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and Advisors: https://www.respectability.org/about-us/meet-our-boards-of-directors-and-advisors/.

Vincenzo Piscopo

Vincenzo Piscopo, Board of Directors

Vincenzo Piscopo smiling

Vincenzo Piscopo

Vincenzo Piscopo works as Community and Stakeholder relations director for The Coca-Cola Company where he manages the relationships with disability, veterans and Hispanic organizations as well as United Way and Hands-On Atlanta. He has worked for The Coca-Cola Company for the last 22 years in different areas of the organization: Finance, IT, Marketing and Innovation. He has a bachelor degree in Economics, an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, a Master in Creativity from Buffalo State College and is currently working in a Master in Rehabilitation Counseling. He is the president and founder member of the This-ABILITY BRG for The Coca-Cola Company and the president and founder of the “Wheels of Happiness Foundation” where he uses his expertise to help people with motor disabilities in disadvantaged areas of the world.

Meet our Boards of Directors and Advisors

Learn about all of the members of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and Advisors: https://www.respectability.org/about-us/meet-our-boards-of-directors-and-advisors/.

Gerard Robinson

Gerard Robinson, Board of Directors

Gerard Robinson

Gerard Robinson is the executive director of the Center for Advancing Opportunity (CAO). He is also a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C., a public policy think tank committed to expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity and strengthening free enterprise. Robinson’s research areas at AEI include parental choice in the public and private schools, regulatory development and implementation of K–12 standards, the role of for-profit companies in education, prison education and reentry programs, and the role of community colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities in adult advancement. Before joining AEI, Robinson was Vice President of Partnerships at UniversityNow, Inc., a social venture based in San Francisco that works to expand access to quality higher education options through campus and online programs at Patten University, where he serves as trustee.

Before his work with UniversityNow, Inc., Robinson served as Commissioner of Education for the State of Florida from 2011 to 2012 where he managed several divisions with 3,000 employees. In addition to supporting the education initiatives of Governor Rick Scott, Robinson assisted in the development of a $16 billion education budget, and instituted for the first time in 10 years new achievement level scores for grades 3-10 in reading and grades 3-8 in mathematics. He also created a task force to improve learning opportunities for English language learners and students with special needs, adopted new competency and skill standards for STEM teachers, developed new pre- and post-assessment measures for the Florida Voluntary Pre-K Program, and approved several new degree programs for Florida’s colleges. Robinson also managed the work for Florida’s PARCC, Race to the Top, and Common Core programs, and partnered with the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Council of 100 to strengthen career and college readiness initiatives.

Prior to Florida, Robinson served as Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition to supporting the education initiatives of Gov. Bob McDonnell, he provided guidance to 16 public universities, the Virginia community college system, five higher education and research centers, the department of education, and the state-supported museums. Robinson also managed Gov. McDonnell’s Opportunity to Learn agenda, which produced laws for traditional public schools, virtual education, charter schools, college laboratory schools, and invested an additional $100 million into postsecondary education to support the conferral of 100,000 additional degrees by 2025 to support Virginia’s Top Jobs for the 21st Century Initiative. Robinson chaired the Virginia Early Childhood Advisory Council and partnered with the Virginia to provide military families in active service with access to high-quality early education programs.

Before working in Virginia, Robinson was President of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase access to high-quality educational options for black children by actively supporting transformational education reform initiatives and parental choice policies that empower low income and working-class black families. As the nation’s premier organization for advancement of K-12 public, private and alternative education options for black families and children, Robinson raised money from a diverse group of funders including the Gates, Charles Stewart Mott, George Soros, and Walton Family foundations.

A former legislative aide in the California and Virginia legislatures, he also served as a Senior Research Associate for the School Choice Demonstration Project at the University of Arkansas, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Education Policy at The City University of New York. In regard to scholarship, Robinson co-edited a book titled Education Savings Accounts: The New Frontier in School Choice (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), authored a law review article titled “The Federal Role in Education: Encouragement as a Guiding Philosophy for the Advancement of Learning in America” in 2016, and is working on a book about education and criminal justice reform that is scheduled for publication in 2019. In addition to his published articles, legislative testimonies, and policy papers on K-20 education topics, Robinson has spoken before audiences in the United States as well as at Oxford University in England and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Robinson’s international education tours include travel to China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Gambia, Germany, Haiti, Israel, and Senegal.

Robinson is a board member for the Georgia G.O.A.L. Scholarship Program, which has awarded more than $93 million in tax-credit scholarships to families since 2008, and a founding board member of KIPP STRIVE Academy in Atlanta, which won the Charter School of Year Award in 2016. He is an advisory board member to the Pioneer Institute’s Center for School Reform, Pathways in Education, 100Kin10, and Career Journey, GPS. Robinson earned an Ed.M. degree from Harvard University, a B.A. degree from Howard University, and an A.A. degree from El Camino Community College. In 2011, the Trustees of Bluefield College in Virginia awarded Robinson an honorary doctorate for his commitment to improving education at all stages of life. He is married and has three daughters.

Meet our Boards of Directors and Advisors

Learn about all of the members of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and Advisors: https://www.respectability.org/about-us/meet-our-boards-of-directors-and-advisors/.

Robert Schwartz

Robert Schwartz, Board of Directors

Robert Schwartz

Robert Schwartz is the President and CEO of Food Sciences, Inc., which is a corporation that manufactures and sells weight loss programs and nutritional supplements to Hospitals, Diet Clinics, Individual doctors and Weight Loss companies. He personally funds The Schwartz Foundation which supports nonprofits who serve underserved children, after school education, Israel, people with disabilities and the Jewish Community.Fifteen years ago, Schwartz established and personally funded a national after-school program called Foundations, Inc. that still provides services to school-age, underserved children.

Meet our Boards of Directors and Advisors

Learn about all of the members of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and Advisors: https://www.respectability.org/about-us/meet-our-boards-of-directors-and-advisors/.

Jim Sinocchi

Jim Sinocchi, Board of Directors

Jim Sinocchi sitting with a service dog in front of a window with skyscrapers behind him.

Jim Sinocchi

Jim Sinocchi works closely with senior leaders across JPMorgan Chase to establish consistent standards and processes to better support employees with disabilities. The office also supports employees who care for disabled family members. 
Sinocchi is keenly aware of the issues and challenges facing people with disabilities as he sustained a spinal cord injury early in his business career. He has been active in creating awareness and understanding of disability inclusion through his blog, View from the Chair. He has served on the boards of Jawonio, an organization focused on the well-being and equality of people with disabilities, and the Human Rights Commission in Rockland County, NY. He is also a member of the Viscardi Center Board of Directors — a special education school in NY for severely disabled students.

Meet our Boards of Directors and Advisors

Learn about all of the members of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and Advisors: https://www.respectability.org/about-us/meet-our-boards-of-directors-and-advisors/.

Dr. Dee Soder

Dr. Dee Soder, Board of Advisors

Dr. Dee Soder

Dr. Dee Soder has been one of the nation’s leading advisors to top executives, companies and boards for decades. She saw the need for a service combining business and psychology and started an assessment and advisory firm to fill the void. In the process, she pioneered a new industry, executive coaching. Like her clients, Soder continues to improve, refine and innovate. As the founder of CEO Perspective Group, Soder advises top management and Boards on a wide range of issues.

Her career is full of “firsts.” She was a Vice President at Prudential early in her career; led a key President’s Reorganization Project for the White House; was Staffing Director for the District of Columbia; a chief of the D.C. Police Department; and partner at Rohrer, Hibler, and Replogle (consulting firm). While Senior Research Psychologist for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, she led efforts to ensure legal, valid tests, co-founded the highly regarded Personnel Testing Council.

An Economics Club member since 1990, she also is a lifetime member of the American Psychological Association (former ethics committee member.) To avoid conflicts, Soder is a nonprofit board director, helping to advance women, ensure reproductive rights and promote service dogs. For decades she has routinely donated 20 percent of her time and money to helping others.

Meet our Boards of Directors and Advisors

Learn about all of the members of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and Advisors: https://www.respectability.org/about-us/meet-our-boards-of-directors-and-advisors/.

Thomas “Doc” Sweitzer

Thomas “Doc” Sweitzer, Board of Directors

Doc Sweitzer

Thomas M. “Doc” Sweitzer is a cofounder of The Campaign Group, a Democratic consulting firm with offices in Philadelphia and Washington. His work includes domestic and international political campaigns, as well as corporate and nonprofit clients. Doc is a veteran of over 600 campaigns and has successfully elected more than 50 Governors, Senators, or Members of Congress. His clients include Governors Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Jack Markell of Delaware, and Jay Nixon of Missouri.

Sweitzer is a board member of Respectability, a national organization that advocates for people with disabilities, and serves on the New Leader’s Council Leadership Board of Advisors. He has served as a member of the board of Lock Haven University, where he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Public Service for service to his hometown. He has served on the Board of Governors for the Pennsylvania State Higher Education System, representing 14 universities.

Meet our Boards of Directors and Advisors

Learn about all of the members of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and Advisors: https://www.respectability.org/about-us/meet-our-boards-of-directors-and-advisors/.

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