Our Team – Philadelphia
Senior Program Director
Precious Mines, M. Div., B.A. has committed her life to giving back to her community and building a career in education to help low-income students acquire the knowledge and resources necessary to successfully navigate higher education and obtain a college degree. Since matriculating into the higher-ed landscape, Precious has worked at the Community College of Philadelphia, where she was able to serve as the program coordinator for the ACE+ (Ace Plus) program, a pilot that provided accelerated high school students a dual enrollment opportunity similar to what their peers attending traditional high schools were afforded through Community College’s ACE program. This program was revolutionary in that it allowed youth who were labeled “at risk” and were notoriously marginalized, an opportunity to redeem time and college credits while pursuing a high school diploma.
For the past 5.5 years, Precious has served as the senior program director at College. In her role, she is able to exercise her passion for building beneficial relationships with key stakeholders as well as advocating for the needs of students to colleges and universities. Precious served on the #ReachHigherPhilly team for four years, in which she was an integral part of planning Philadelphia’s College Signing Day and she has been called on to bring her voice to the table and share her knowledge at the Philadelphia Prep Roundtable, Sara Goldrick-Rab’s #RealCollege conference, and the statewide PACAC conference. Precious’ strategic leadership in equipping low-income students to achieve their educational goals will result in more students being empowered to steer their future in a way that will break generational cycles of poverty and allow students to achieve their greatest desires.
M. Anthony Barrett
Managing Director - Raymond James & Associates, Inc.
M. Anthony (Tony) Barrett is a Managing Director for Raymond James & Associates, Inc., a Florida-Based investment firm, where he oversees the business in the Delaware Valley (Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania, Central and South New Jersey).
For 24 years, Tony has worked in the Wealth Management business, first as an analyst and then as a financial advisor. For 18 years, he also has held various leadership/management roles. He received a B.A. in Economics from Colgate University.
Tony joined College Possible Philadelphia’s Board in February 2017 because he recognizes that educational inequality is one of the most significant impediments to economic empowerment.
When Tony is not working, he enjoys cycling and spending quality time with his family.
Assistant VP, Charitable and Community Relations Manager - M&T Bank
Cassandra Bell is M&T Bank’s Charitable and Community Relations Manager for the Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey Market. She has served in this position since 2012. Responsibilities include building partnerships in the community, cultivating relationships with non-profit organizations, and managing the Bank’s visibility in the community. Bell has been with M&T Bank for over 14 years.
Currently Mrs. Bell serves on the board of the RW Sorrell Scholarship Fund and recently joined the Philadelphia Site Board of College Possible. She is a mentor and connector to several schools in Philadelphia. She is part of the Leadership Team of M&T Bank’s Philadelphia Region Women’s Resource Group, focusing on impacting the success of the bank, through philanthropy as well as recruiting, retaining, and professionally developing female talent. She is also part of the Leadership Philadelphia Core Class of 2018.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Chestnut Hill College. Mrs. Bell resides in Cheltenham, PA with her husband, Rasaan, and children Nadiyah and Rasaan Jr. Hobbies include spending valuable family time and learning the game of golf.
Vice Chairman, ImageFIRST
Jeffrey Berstein is currently the vice chairman of ImageFIRST Healthcare Laundry Specialists Inc. and has been associated with the company for over 25 years. After graduating from Boston University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, he founded ImageFIRST Professional Apparel Inc. He led that business to become a national provider of uniforms and corporate apparel before eventually selling it in 2006. In 1999, Jeffery became president of ImageFIRST Healthcare Laundry Specialists Inc. He is still in that role today and has assisted in growing the business into the nation’s leading provider of linen services to outpatient medical facilities, serving 39 markets in the United States.
Jeffrey is active in Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Philadelphia Israel Network, TRSA, The Philadelphia Chapter of WPO, The Greenlight Fund, AIPAC, College Possible and Jewish Children’s and Family Services. He lives in Radnor, Pennsylvania with his wife and two sons. ImageFIRST supports over 20 local charities in the markets in which they operate and is a national sponsor of the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Global Process Steward - The Dow Chemical Company
For more than 19 years, Eric Bryant has worked at The Dow Chemical Company at its Northeast Dow Center in Collegeville, PA. Currently, he works as a global process steward for the company’s acrylic polymer franchise, supporting global manufacturing responsibilities for nearly 200 different aqueous acrylic polymer products across four of the company’s business segments.
Eric earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Dayton in Ohio.
A strong advocate for STEM education, Eric is also a lifetime member of the National Society of Black Engineers. Eric’s passion for education comes for his mother, who was the first person in his family to attend college. Understanding the impact of earning a college degree, Eric hopes to give more students that same life-changing opportunity. “I was attracted to College Possible because of my affinity for evidence-based approaches to solving the world’s challenges.”
In his spare time, Eric enjoys playing the trumpet and listening to jazz and classical music.
Chief Communications Officer - PJM Interconnection
Susan Buehler is the Chief Communications Officer at PJM Interconnection where she is responsible for media relations, employee communications, creative services and PJM’s online presence. She earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University.
Prior to joining PJM Interconnection, Susan worked at Bellevue Communications, PECO Energy and was an Emmy award-winning television news reporter and editor at Fox News.
She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Board of Governors for the Philly Ad Club. She is past president of the board of the mid-Atlantic chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and is active in the Philadelphia Public Relations Association and the Public Relations Society of America.
Assistant Vice President, External Affairs - AT&T Services, Inc.
Joseph Divis is assistant vice president of external affairs for AT&T in the mid-Atlantic region. In this role, he works with local elected and appointed officials and business, community and civic leaders to promote AT&T's legislative, public policy and philanthropic initiatives in Delaware, southern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. Divis is a 22-year veteran of AT&T and its predecessor companies. He chairs the Site Board of College Possible Philadelphia, and sits on the Board of Directors of Jobs for Delaware Graduates and the Advisory Board of the Strawberry Mansion Learning Center. He is a member of the New Castle County (DE) Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee, the Civic Affairs Steering Committee of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (including vice chair of the Education Subcommittee), the Government Affairs Committee of the Main Line Chamber and the Public Policy Committee of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Divis’ diverse professional experience includes legislative work in 16 states and the District of Columbia; corporate communications and media relations assignments; a Congressional press secretary appointment; and news gathering as a reporter. He is a graduate of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.
Joe Divis joined the College Possible Philadelphia site board in April 2015. Divis served as interim site board chair from March 2016 to September 2016 and was then voted in as board chair in September 2016.
Managing Director, Boenning & Scattergood
Joel P. Feldman is the managing director for the private client group at Boenning & Scattergood. Before that, he was senior vice president of investments at Raymond James & Associates West and a first vice president with Paine Webber. Feldman graduated with a bachelor’s in finance and a minor in criminal justice from The American University.
Feldman has been active with College Possible Philadelphia as an advisory board member, volunteer and fundraiser since 2015. During that time, he helped raise the second largest individual gift and first planned gift of $1.4 million. This bequest has been structured as an operating reserve for the Philadelphia site—a vital gift to College Possible students in the Philadelphia region. He is passionate about everything as it pertains to those in need.
In addition to his board work with College Possible Philadelphia, Feldman is active with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Delaware Valley where he is a board member, volunteer and fundraiser. In 1984, he created and chaired the Stairclimb event, raising several million dollars over 25 years.
He also serves on the Presidents Leadership Council at Penn Future and is active with the National Hemophilia Foundation, Delaware Valley Chapter. He previously served as a board member with the McKaig Nature & Education Center and Beth Am Israel Synagogue.
Feldman and his wife, Liz, have three children, Sam, Andrea and Leah.
Dr. H. Judy Lee
Penn Wood High School Principal - William Penn School District
Dr. Judy Lee has spent her career focused on education as a high school math teacher and more recently as principal at Penn Wood High School in Lansdowne, Pa. Judy holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and mathematics education, a master’s degree in mathematics and secondary mathematics education, and a doctorate in education administration with K-12 principal and superintendent certifications.
Working at Penn Wood for the last five years, Judy was impressed by College Possible’s work and the support the program provided to students. She wanted to join the site board to help contribute to College Possible’s mission. “I understand various educational systems, including the struggles that first-generation students and parents face. I hope to contribute to making the board stronger and to implement different strategies to expand the site’s partnerships and network.”
Public Relations Manager (East Retail Division) - NRG Energy
Dave Schrader has 20+ years of experience in multimedia, journalism, and public relations. Dave started as a small market reporter before moving behind the scenes as a producer. After working in various sized markets all over the country for 15 years, Dave transitioned to communications/public relations in 2009.
In addition to working for small market newsrooms in places like Redding, CA and Huntington, WV, Dave has worked for Fox News in New York City, CNBC, and Comcast. Prior to his current role as PR Manager for NRG Energy, a Fortune 500 company, where he’s been since 2014, Dave was Chief Communications Officer for the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania and served as Public Affairs lead for the Red Cross on major disasters like the Joplin and North Carolina tornadoes, Hurricane Sandy and Irene, Arizona Wildfires, the northeast ice storm.
Principal (Partner), ZS Associates
Romit Shahani is Principal (Partner) at ZS Associates where he enjoys working unstructured problem solving and loves to work at the at the intersection of Consulting, Data Sciences, and Technology. Romit and aims to develop and deliver solutions that enable his clients to drive efficiencies and effectiveness for solving their toughest challenges. He enjoys leading large-scale transformational programs with cross-functional teams to drive data driven decision making for commercial and R&D organizations to drive change and consensus to enable their multi-year journeys.
Romit has a MS in Engineering Management from Northeastern University and BS in Electronics Engineering from Mumbai University.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his daughters (2 and 7) and enjoys hiking, traveling and reading.
Sameer S. Somal
Chief Financial Officer - Blue Ocean Global Technology & Blue Ocean Global Wealth
Sameer Somal is the Chief Financial Officer at Blue Ocean Global Technology and Blue Ocean Global Wealth. Prior to Co-Founding Blue Ocean Global Technology, he was a Senior Investment Analyst at The Bank of Nova Scotia and a Financial Advisor and Intermediary at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch & Co. Sameer is a CFA Charterholder, a CFP® professional, and a Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSM. He currently serves on CFP Board’s Council on Education and the CFA Institute FAS Board of Regents, as well as hosts the CFA Institute talk show, The Topic @ Hand. Sameer is a frequent speaker on the reputation management, digital expungement, succession planning, technology, diversity, entrepreneurship, and leadership. He is also an Online Reputation Management subject matter expert witness and authors CLE programs for attorneys in collaboration with the Philadelphia Bar Foundation. Fundamental to his work at Blue Ocean Global Technology, Sameer helps clients build, monitor and repair their digital presence. He proudly serves on the board of the R.J. Leonard Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating, initiating careers and personally mentoring young adults who are aging out of the foster care system. In May of 2017, Sameer was named an Iconic Leader Creating a Better World for All by the All Ladies League & Women Economic Forum. Sameer joined the College Possible board because he is passionate about empowering today’s students with the confidence, knowledge and education to become tomorrow’s global leaders.
Brian Walsh, Jr.
Financial Advisor, Walsh & Nicholson Financial Group
Brian Walsh, Jr. joined Walsh & Nicholson Financial Group in 2017 after a successful career as a Senior Vice President of Investments at Lincoln Financial Group, covering Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. His professionalism in the financial services business, focuses in wealth management, financial planning, retirement income planning, along with insurance and annuity strategies. Brian holds the esteemed Certified Financial Fiduciary (CFF) designation, as well as being a Certified Fund Specialist (CFS); Brian holds Series 7,6,63,65, Life, and Health Insurance Licenses.
Brian received his MBA in Finance and Portfolio Management from Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. He received his undergraduate degree from Cabrini College in Radnor, Pennsylvania.
Brian understands that each client has a different set of goals and objectives, which is why Brian takes a holistic approach to Financial Planning. Brian works diligently with his clients to understand their needs to help build a custom financial plan unique to their individual goals.
Prior to joining Lincoln Financial Group, Brian was a Police Officer in Prince William County, Virginia. Brian was nominated as squad leader by his peers and led responses to high risk calls and violent crime. He was twice nominated to be Officer of the Month—once for his work tracking down the victim and suspect involved in a kidnapping, and once for assisting a victim of domestic abuse.
Brian lives in Wayne, PA with his wife, Lisa, and two daughters, Ella and Joie.