Changes in the CF Board of Directors

With deep gratitude, the Commonwealth Foundation bid farewell to longtime Board Member Kirk Liddell and Board Chair Jane Leader Janeczek at its Board of Directors meeting in Philadelphia on September 19.

Kirk Liddell and Charles Mitchell

Concurrently, the Commonwealth Foundation Board of Directors unanimously elected George Coates to succeed Jane Leader Janeczek as Board Chair. CF Vice President Jennifer Stefano remarked, “Since our first meeting, my respect and admiration for George has only grown. I’ve witnessed time and again his devotion of time and treasure to our cause. But most impressive to me is the integrity of his character—the kindness he shows to everyone, whether major donors or interns. There is no one I could wish for more to lead us on our continued striving towards that ‘shining city on a hill.’”

Jane Leader Janeczek added: “George’s involvement and contributions as a Board Member have already exceeded expectations. His passion for sound public policy will be another driving force behind the Commonwealth Foundation’s ability to transform Pennsylvania into a place where everyone can build a better future for themselves and their families. I could not be more confident about leaving the Board in his capable hands.”

Jane Leader Janeczek, Charles Mitchell, George Coates

“I feel incredibly privileged to succeed Jane Janeczek as Chair of the Commonwealth Foundation Board of Directors,” George Coates said. “It’s an honor to serve on such a dynamic Board that is helping spearhead transformative policy reforms in Pennsylvania, such as recently passed pension reform. I am excited to continue to contribute to the Commonwealth Foundation’s pressing vision to ensure all people have equal opportunity to pursue their dreams and earn success in this great commonwealth.”

We also welcome to the board Elise Westhoff, Brittney Parker, and Bruce Kern.

Meet the Board:

George G.H. Coates Jr., Chairman of the Board, is a veteran of the wine and spirits industry, a member of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry, and a board member of the Chestnut Hill Conservancy.

Gerard Alexander is Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

Thomas E. Beach is founder and managing director of Beach Investment Counsel in West Conshohocken, Pa., and a board member of the Beach Foundation, DonorsTrust, and the Reason Foundation.

John F. Bitzer III is president & CEO of ABARTA, Inc., a private, third-generation family holding company based in Pittsburgh, Pa., and a board member of several other for-profit and non-profit entities.

Jonathan S. DeArment is president & COO of Channellock, Inc., a manufacturer of pliers and hand tools in Meadville, Pa., and a board member of the Precision Manufacturing Institute and the Hand Tools Institute.

Robert L. Ecklin Jr. is president of Stoner Inc., a manufacturing business located in Quarryville, Pa., as well as owner of Ecklin Development and Horsepower Enterprises, both in Lancaster, Pa.

C. Bruce Kern II is president of Curtze Food Service, an Erie, Pa.-based wholesale distributor of food, disposables, equipment, and supplies to restaurants, hotels, country clubs, and health-care institutions.

Brittney N. Parker is a Harrisburg, Pa.-based liaison for State Policy Network, the national confederation of state organizations like CF. She formerly served on the staff of CF and was named one of the Huffington Post's Top 50 Latino Voices to Follow on Twitter and one of City and State PA's 40 Under 40 Rising Stars.

Elise M. Westhoff is executive director of the Snider Foundation, a grant-making foundation launched by the late Philadelphia Flyers owner Edward M. Snider and his family.