HOME IS WHERE HIS HEART IS
John Grady, ’89, is a Philadelphia native. He grew up in the city’s Olney and East Oak Lane section, not far from La Salle University’s campus. He has spent most of his professional career improving Philadelphia with an ambitious strategy built around business growth, investment, and development throughout the city.
So why would he ever leave?
“The short answer is I’m not,” Grady said with a chuckle. “That’s the question I’ve been getting a lot of lately.”
In January, Grady stepped away from his role as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) after 22 years—including the last nine as its top executive. The move allowed Grady to serve in a leadership capacity with Wexford Science & Technology, a development group based in Baltimore. At Wexford, Grady will continue the firm’s work to establish mixed-use knowledge communities around leading universities, and medical and research centers in Philadelphia and beyond.
“My passion and my relationships are right here in Philadelphia, and that’s where my office will be, too,” said Grady, Wexford’s Senior Vice President and Northeast Region Executive.
While with PIDC, Grady oversaw the reimagining of commercial districts in Center City and throughout the city’s neighborhoods. Most notably, he and PIDC took the blank canvas at South Philadelphia’s Navy Yard and converted it into a destination that since has been branded by Politico magazine as “the coolest shipyard in America.” It’s become a business hub for the likes of Tasty Baking Company, Urban Outfitters, and GlaxoSmithKline, and a place where visitors can enjoy public parks, engage with art installations, and grab a meal at one of a half-dozen restaurants.
Humbly, Grady does not accept singular credit for any of these development initiatives.
“Whether it’s around redeveloping a place like the Navy Yard or whether it’s supporting development in a neighborhood or the downtown or helping businesses grow, it takes a lot of partnership,” said Grady, who serves on the University’s Board of Trustees.
That partnership, he said, occurs at what Grady calls “the intersection of government and development.” Populous East Coast cities like Philadelphia, more than a half-century ago, had experienced significant declines in work—particularly around manufacturing. At the time, Philadelphia’s workforce identity crisis got Grady thinking about ways in which he could contribute toward improving the city in which he was raised—and apply the educational foundation he had built at La Salle.
His La Salle roots took hold quite early in life.
Grady’s father, John “Jack” Grady, taught economics at the University for nearly 50 years and helped develop the Honors Program. With Grady and all four of his siblings (along with his wife, three in-laws and a niece) graduating from La Salle, “the Christian Brothers’ ethic and ethos was present in my house from a very early age,” he said, crediting his La Salle experience with the development of his academic and civic interests.
Those interests immeasurably impacted his professional career.
His work at PIDC produced a number of pride points: 13 consecutive years of population growth in Philadelphia, the addition of 90,000 net jobs over the last eight years, more than $800 million of neighborhood development, and $60 million in small business loans to businesses in 98 percent of the city’s zip codes—and particularly to minority- and women-owned businesses “who don’t always have access to these types of resources,” he said.
Grady said he hopes to build upon those successes in the next chapter of his career, at Wexford Science & Technology.
“This move (to Wexford),” he said, “will give me perspective on other cities while I continue to focus on Philadelphia and what we can do to make sure this city remains a great place to live, work, and raise families.”
Father Joseph L. Coffey, ’82
Father Joseph L. Coffey, ‘82, a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and active military chaplain with the U.S. Navy since 2001, was appointed as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, on January 22 by Pope Francis.
Since graduating as an alumnus of La Salle University with a bachelor’s degree in English and French, Coffey has served from Japan to Afghanistan to Cape May, NJ, and everywhere in between. He was named Navy Chaplain of the Year in 2004, and has gone on to receive numerous awards including the Meritorious Service Medal.
Thank you, Jim Butler
The Alumni Relations office would like to give a special thanks to James A. Butler, Ph.D., ’67.
After graduating from La Salle College, Butler receive his Ph.D. from Cornell University and then returned to La Salle to teach in the English Department. Over the years, Butler’s contributions to the University include Chair and professor of the English Department, Director of the Honors Program, and curator of the Wister Special Collection in Connelly Library. He also authored the book, “Charles Wilson Peale’s ‘Belfield’: A History of a National Historic Landmark 1684-1984,” which is prominently displayed in the Alumni House at Peale House. Without Butler’s tireless dedication and commitment as an Explorer, La Salle wouldn’t be what it is today. His interest, research, and tireless contributions to the Wister and Peale history helped make the new Alumni House at Peale House come to fruition. Butler recently gave a talk about Frankenstein at his new residence, Sunrise Assisted Living in Abington, Pa.
Thank you, Jim.
KATE HARPER RECOGNIZED FOR DEDICATION TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND GOVERNMENTS
Kate Harper, J.D., ’78, Pennsylvania State Representative of the 61st Legislative District, was awarded the 2018 Joe Ibberson Government Award by the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. Harper was chosen for her focus on preserving the environment and work to protect and enhance the state’s Growing Greener program, Keystone Recreation, and Parks and Conservation Fund, which supports open space, historic preservation, and improvements to state parks and forests.
In September 2017, Harper was presented with the Distinguished Legislative Service Award from the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association (PMAA) at its annual conference in Hershey, Pa.
Though Harper is a dedicated public servant, she continues to work in her field as a lawyer, for over 30 years and is a partner with the Fort Washington-based firm Timoney Knox LLP where she represents individuals, families, entrepreneurs, and municipal agencies. Harper and her husband, Paul J. Kelly, CPA, still reside in Lower Gwynedd Township and have two sons, Paul and Tom.
LA SALLE ALUMNAE NAMED 2018 DISTINGUISHED TEACHERS
The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation established the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teachers to honor 60 teachers from Philadelphia public schools who demonstrate excellence in promoting learning at the highest levels.
Dana Cohen, ‘13, Greenburg Elementary
Cohen is an educator who works beyond the call of the classroom and truly invests in her students. An energetic and bubbly personality, Cohen strives to challenge her students in any way she can. Cohen coaches school sports teams and runs an after-school musical theater program.
Paula Crawford, ‘07, The U School
Before entering the U School, Crawford was a dedicated teacher at Martin Luther King High School. She is a National Certified Counselor from the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates and has served in the Philadelphia School District since 2002.
Jennifer Gallagher, ‘00, Widener Memorial School
Gallagher has a call to work with students with special needs. She enters the classroom with optimism and a love for serving her students. Gallagher’s ultimate goal is to help each of her students reach their full potential.
LAUREN JUSZCZUK, ’11, MBA
Jack Reardon Young Alumni Award Recipient
Exactly how does one become a recipient of the Jack Reardon Young Alumni Award? The most recent honoree, Lauren Juszczuk, MBA ’11, will tell you she doesn’t know the answer, but that’s just modesty talking.
Lauren may have just graduated from La Salle in accounting in 2011, but she’s already making waves.
Lauren began her professional career with PwC. “My first few years at the firm, I worked in our assurance practice,” she said. “Then I realized I was ready for a change.” Lauren switched to one of the advisory practices where she focuses her time on management consulting for PwC’s financial service clients. “The ability to always be traveling, meeting new people, and working on new challenges with my clients—it fits my personality perfectly,” she said.
Although her dad was also an accounting major at La Salle, Lauren says that what really solidified her decision was her acceptance in to the four-year BS/MBA Program. “To be able to complete your undergrad in three years with a fourth year for your MBA is phenomenal!” she said.
Lauren says the BS/MBA and Business Scholars Program helped to get her where she is today. “I also had a few internships and was involved in several case competitions at La Salle which really helped me prepare for the real work and groom my public speaking skills,” she said. Lauren also credits Penny Grob, the Business Scholars Advisor, as being instrumental in her journey.
Her advice to recent graduates who are hoping to make waves, too, is to work hard, to not make any irrational decisions. “Someone gave me great career advice once to never make any decisions during your highs or your lows,” she said. “I’ve tried to live by that.” She also stressed the importance of not getting too caught up planning every move out. “It’s good to plan and have goals, but you also want to be flexible and open-minded to change.”
Lauren also says while hard work is important, she values her social life. “I love traveling, hiking, and being a foodie, which really go together nicely with my career choice,” she said.
FLY, EXPLORERS, FLY!
As Philadelphia breathlessly watched the Eagles bring the first Lombardi Trophy home to the City, La Salle alums working hard behind the scenes had the unbeatable experience of actually holding it in their hands. A total of 20 La Salle Communication alums worked Super Bowl LII this February. Seventeen work for the Eagles, two work for the NFL, and one works for Gameday.
Mission In Action
Some experiences stay with you. For Explorers, those experiences often manifest in many forms. But so many agree, the service trips students are able to embark on through La Salle Immersion and Volunteer Experience (LIVE) are one of them. But for one group in particular, the experience they gained from their service trip stayed with them so much, they’ve continued to go back, even after graduation.
In 2015, Erin Herman, ’16, Shannon Heydet, ’16, Rebecca Long, ’16, and Odile Ta, ’16, Community Service Coordinator Sean Hutchinson, ’10, and Rebecca Hutchinson, ’11, MA ’15, participated in Project Mapendo, an annual three-week service project in Kenya. While there, participants live and teach at the St. Mary Secondary School for Boys. They are given the chance to teach and help at the school in any way they can.
“The projects that students do range from teaching and assisting nursery, painting, cleaning, home visits, and hospital visits,” explained Heydet. “Projects change from year-to-year and even day-to-day while the groups are there.”
The trip is usually only offered to students as a one-time experience, but a fortunate few are chosen to help coordinate the next year’s excursion. That’s why when given this opportunity to return to St. Mary’s in 2016, this cohort of Explorers jumped at the chance. Unlike other service trips, Project Mapendo gives students the opportunity to get to know the people and spend real one-on-one time with their host school.
“Project Mapendo has more of a cultural immersion aspect,” said Heydet. “We go to St. Mary’s, live within the compound and try to spend as much time with the boys and in the culture as we can.”
But the experience didn’t end there.
When approached by one of the Christian Brothers to extend their help to the neighboring girls’ schools, the students accepted without hesitation, only asking what problem the schools needed help with the most. That’s when they were informed that girls were missing school due to what was touted as “personal reasons.”
The La Salle students were intrigued and confused by this statement and felt the need to dig deeper. “We had to dig and dig to find out the problems,” said Long. “They didn’t want to tell us it was their menstruation.”
They learned that like most girls in developing countries, the Kenyan girls were suffering from lack of feminine hygiene resources, but were also forced to miss school because of it.
Finding their way to help, the students got straight to work. One of the staff members at the school introduced them to a nonprofit called Days for Girls.
Days for Girls is an incredible organization that offers re-usable kits containing items a young woman would need to maintain proper care during her cycle, allowing them to continue their education and studies uninterrupted.
Though their time in Kenya was coming to an end, and they were graduating seniors, the La Salle students would not let go of their goal to help the Kenyan girls. When they arrived back in the states three young women, Heydet, Long, and Ta, vowed to return the next year and finish what they had started.
After doing some research, Heydet said they were able to open a fundraising page, allowing them to order more kits. “With the help of so many donors, we were able to order 280 kits.” The original plan was to return to Kenya and distribute the kits to one school. However, in surpassing their need they were able to provide kits at Githwariga Primary School, D.E.B Muslim Primary School, and Hill Farm Primary School. A year later the students returned to their second home, and conducted a three- day workshop for the girls at each of the three schools.
The first day consisted of kit distribution and an explanation of what the items were. Each kit contains two pairs of underwear, one bar of soap, one washcloth, two waterproof shields, eight absorbent liners, two sealable bags for washing and storage, and a drawstring bag to hold all the components. Day two consisted of a health education class, specifically focusing on women’s health and reproduction. The last day was an open discussion and one-on-one conversations about anything the girls wanted to talk about.
“The biggest reward from this project was the one to one conversations with the girls,” said Long. “It wasn’t about race or where we came from it was just one girl to another.”
Seeing the difference they made in the lives of the Kenyan girls was rewarding, but a one-time trip wasn’t enough for this cohort of women from La Salle. They plan to continue returning to Kenya to make an impact and expand Days for Girls into a sustainable program in the area.
“La Salle really did a good job of integrating me into the faith, community, and service mindset and letting me branch off from there,” said Long. “And I think they do that for every student.”
Men’s Lightweight Eight
ROBERT MCNAMARA, ’78, MD
Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Temple University Hospital
“To win like we did was an amazing rush,” Robert McNamara, ’78, MD, recalls of the 1977 Dad Vail Regatta. Over 30 years later, he runs Temple University’s emergency room and still races boats, noting that the two have a lot in common.
“As a physician, you’re the captain of the team, which I was at La Salle, so it’s an experience derived from that where you lead by example,” he says.
As a La Salle student, McNamara studied biology on the pre-med track and was a member of the crew team. He attributes much of his success to being a student athlete surrounded by a team of hardworking people. He worked as an orderly at Misericordia Hospital in West Philadelphia. It was there that he found his love for emergency medicine.
Working in a hospital during such a turbulent time in Philadelphia history gave him first-hand experience in the field.
Following his time at La Salle, McNamara went on to study at Jefferson Medical College. Against the advice of others, he chose to follow his passion. “I was actually advised by the dean of my medical school not to go into emergency medicine. He said that I’d be throwing my career away,” he said. But, he took the bold move of trusting his gut and that is what lead him down the path of a successful career that he loves.
When he’s not running Temple’s emergency room, McNamara stays true to his athletic roots by coaching and paddling as a Dragon Boat Racer. As such, he has won over 100 world championship medals. His most recent competition took him to China to compete at the international level. Though his travels take him far, he’s proud to say he’s still a Philly kid at heart.
McNamara spends his life helping the people of the city he has always called home. “To save a young person who’s been shot and hopefully put them back on the road to a good life is pretty cool,” he said. “Not many people get to do that. Even in medicine not many people get to say that they actually helped to save a life.”
DONALD DEGRAZIA, ’78, CPA, ABV, CFF
Gold Gerstein Group, LLC
Donald DeGrazia, ’78, CPA, ABV, CFF remembers his days with the Lightweight 8 vividly. “When theofficials cruised over in their launch after the race to tell us we had won the Vails,” DeGrazia recalls, “I immediately remembered a conversation with Mac (Robert McNamara, ’78, above) at the end of our freshman year… Mac turned to me and said we would win the Vails before we got out of La Salle.”
Two years later, after spending most of his time training and studying, DeGrazia and his fellow crew team did just that, bringing home the gold in the 1977 Dad Vail Regatta.
Following graduation, DeGrazia entered a small firm in Trenton, NJ to begin his career in accounting. Eventually, his love for rowing brought him closer to Philadelphia, where he joined the firm that would later become Gold Gerstein Group LLC. Now a partner, DeGrazia focuses on income taxes and business valuation.
“It’s taken me, really, around the world,” he says. Gold Gerstein Group LLC is a member of Integra International–an international association of independent accounting firms. Integra is composed of 125 members in roughly 61 countries.
DeGrazia served for two years as the Global Chairman and remains an active member of the Global Board. But, looking back, DeGrazia can trace his biggest accomplishments back to his days at La Salle. “We were not afraid of anybody,” he said of his teammates, “whether they were heavyweights or lightweights.”
As for his personal life, DeGrazia says that his love for rowing is what introduced him to the love of his life, his wife, Susan. They met, he said, while he was visiting a nearby college with a friend from the rowing team. “43 years, three kids, and one grandchild later—there was another good outcome from rowing.”
He remains in contact with many of the members of the team. And hopes to do so in the years to come. He explains, “It’s been a lifelong type of thing.”
Amanda Bauman, ’05
We all know someone we compare to a superhero. Rarely do we find anyone with the official title. But Amanda Bauman, ’05, received just that when she was named “Super Woman” by South Jersey Magazine. Being a Super Woman is no easy task. But for Bauman, who has it all under control, it is well- deserved.
For the past 12 years, Bauman has served as the Senior Manager of CommunityAffairs at Campbell’s Soup Company where she implements community affairs strategy and employee engagement initiatives. This includes developing outreach projects between Campbell’s and the city of Camden, leading Campbell’s employee volunteer program, Nourishing Our Neighbors, managing Campbell’s employee giving campaign throughout 15 locations across the country, and handling the Campbell’s Soup Foundation.
This might sound to some like nothing short of an impossible juggling act. But like any true super woman, Bauman gets it all done with grace and a heart of gratitude.
“We do a lot of work around creating a healthy community by working with nonprofits and food banks on building a food economy. That covers everything from providing nutrition education, to supporting community agriculture to improving healthy food selections at corner stores. I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve so far.”
Bauman’s drive to serve can be traced back to her days at La Salle. As a communication major, Bauman was involved with La Salle TV and The Collegian. She also served as president of the PR Club at the time. It was also during this time, Bauman organized a service trip through University Ministry and Service called “Week of Hope.”
Bauman’s unshakable spirit of hope and generosity matured into successful career and earned her the cape of a true super woman.
“I am really lucky to have a job that I love,” Bauman said. “I’m so grateful that I get to wake up every day and do work that has an impact.”