Staff Bios

to reach the administrative staff, dial 215.243.0555 and the appropriate extension

Administrative Assistant

Dispatcher / Receptionist • X221

Matt Bergheiser

Executive Director • x224

Matt BergheiserMatt Bergheiser joined UCD as Executive Director in 2009. In his previous work as Philadelphia Regional Director of the Knight Foundation, he gave away money for a living. As a result - in stark contrast to his time at UCD – everyone treated him nicely and laughed at all his jokes. He is a trustee of Community College of Philadelphia, and a member of the Mayor’s Council on College and Career Success. Matt also ran downtown Trenton’s business improvement district for five years, and served as Executive Vice President of The Enterprise Center, an accelerator for inner-city entrepreneurship. He believes passionately in cities and in creating opportunities for people and places to thrive. Matt holds a B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Matt and his wife Jen spend sleepless nights chasing two very young children around their house. He is an avid photographer who used to travel the world before the aforementioned kids came along. A native New Yorker who has called Philadelphia home since 1994, Matt is thankful that the sports gods made him the world’s biggest Yankees’ fan; unfortunately, to even things out a bit, they also made him the world’s biggest Jets’ fan.

Queen Aniatang

Program Coordinator, West Philadelphia Skills Center for Economic Advancement

Queen Aniatang has joined UCD as the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative’s Program Coordinator. Before working at UCD, Queen worked at the Health Federation of Philadelphia, Early Head Start Program as its Data Specialist and as a bail interviewer for the Pre-Trial Services department of the First Judicial District of Philadelphia. Queen graduated from Drexel University with an MS in Human Resources Development and from Temple University with a BA in Pre-Law Philosophy. When Queen has free time, she enjoys long walks with her Westie, retail therapy, espresso, reading, listening to all and every possible genre of music, and is a self-proclaimed movie, television, and Netflix aficionado.

Seth Budick

Senior Manager, Policy and Research • x222

Though he has a graduate degree in the study of insect behavior, Seth Budick’s primary interest is in creating livable neighborhoods for people.  As part of the Planning and Economic Development department, Seth applies his extensive programming and GIS experience towards the analysis of data related to community and economic development.  Seth has been a resident of University City since 2007, when he rekindled his love affair with the soft pretzel and returned to Philadelphia after a long absence.  In his spare time, Seth enjoys exploring new neighborhoods, as well as hiking, and vegetable gardening.

Sarah Davis

Director of Development • x226

Sarah DavisSarah joined University City District as Director of Development in October 2012. Before coming to UCD, she served as WHYY’s Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager, raising critical resources  across diverse program areas, including:  NewsWorks.org, the nation’s first online public media journalism platform; renowned WHYY-produced NPR radio program Fresh Air; feature documentary, The Barnes Collection, aired nationally on PBS; and the Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons youth media programs.
 
In her capacity at University City District, Sarah fosters philanthropic and corporate citizenship relationships with individuals, businesses, and foundations to help fulfill UCD’s mission to invest in world-class public spaces, address crime and public safety, bring life to commercial corridors, connect low-income residents to careers, and promote job growth and innovation.
 
Sarah grew up in Central Massachusetts and lived in Chicago and upstate New York before arriving in West Philly. Her lifelong love of language and environment has led her to assist a socioeconomic study in the cloudforests of Ecuador, propagate native seedlings in Northern Scotland, write poetry and fiction at Antioch College, and raise some pretty decent tomatoes in Cedar Park.

Nick Edelman

Finance Director • x225

Nick EdelmanNick Edelman handles all of the accounting, budgeting, and other financial needs for University City District. Before deciding to trek across town in 2014, Nick worked in the Northern Liberties neighborhood as the General Manager at Pig Iron Theatre Company where he oversaw the budget, managed the accounting, and created the financial plan for the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training. Nick attended Susquehanna University and graduated with a B.S. in Economics and dual minors in Theatre and Music-Vocal Performance.

Currently Nick is a member of the Philadelphia Chorus and can sometimes be seen on stage at The Barn Playhouse in Norristown and Narberth Community Theatre. Nick and his wife Amanda live in Manayunk with their two crazy cats. He enjoys being outdoors, hiking, camping, grilling on his back deck, craft beer, listening to music, going to concerts of all varieties, and seeing live theatre. While growing up in the Lehigh Valley, Nick became a diehard Philadelphia sports fan and has a dream of one day going to every Phillies home game in a season.

Brian English

General Manager, Green City Works

Brian English joined UCD in 2016 as the General Manager of Green City Works. Brian has worked in the landscaping industry for over 20 years. His experiences range from managing start-up and established design-build landscape firms to serving as Director of Property Management for a land trust. At the land trust, Brian was responsible for enacting environmentally focused initiatives on sites owned by the land trust, in addition to assisting regional land owners with productive and sustainable land management strategies. Brian has long been active in the promotion of native horticulture and urban greening and sees Philadelphia as the ideal place to express these interests. After spending time managing a company serving the New York City region, Brian recently returned home to the Philadelphia area, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Alan Garry

Director of Public Safety and Community Services • x233

alanAlan Garry heads University City’s Public Safety Ambassador and Community Services program. He oversees the day-to-day deployments of safety ambassadors, acts as a liaison to the other major law enforcement agencies in the city, and assists in the execution and safety of major events in University City. Alan possesses over 10 years of law enforcement experience after serving as a corrections officer in Montgomery County, attending Montgomery County Police Academy, and through his involvement in community policing with the Abington Township Police Department as a community service officer. He has also been training in emergency management with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

Lt. Derek Hawkins

Commanding Officer, UCD / Philadelphia Police Substation • x241

Nathan F. Hommel

Director, Planning and Design • x245

Nate HommelNate joined UCD in 2012, and has served as the Director of Planning and Design since Summer 2015. Nate uses his urban design expertise and dedicated enthusiasm to further enhance urban quality of life issues throughout University City. Nate was instrumental in launching Green City Works, UCD’s new landscaping social venture, and serves as a quality and design consultant for all landscaping projects that the venture executes. Before UCD, Nate worked as a landscape architect/urban designer for two firms in Philadelphia, and from 2010-2015, he served as an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at Philadelphia University, heading the urban design and community design studios. Nate is also one of the founding members of Open Streets PHL and has served as the External Communications Director for the organization. Nate holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY. 

Sheila Ireland

Vice President of Workforce Solutions • x228

Sheila IrelandSheila Ireland’s hallmark of success is her ability to translate the  context and content of organizational problems and to re-align people and processes with organizational objectives. Her ability to create tactical and innovative business strategies and initiatives produces programs that drive performance improvement and produce bottom line results in intensely competitive and highly regulated markets. With more than 30 years of management experience, Sheila has been responsible for the successful leadership of the human resources and/or training functions in the non-profit, healthcare, consulting, government and manufacturing fields. She has leveraged the experience that she has gained in these endeavors to craft a unique approach to workforce development that is gaining wide-spread recognition as a leader in best practices. Currently Sheila leads Workforce Solutions for University City District.  Workforce Solutions incorporates and expands the work of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative by including the development of innovative approaches to building new social enterprises within UCD.  In five years she has taken this program from the conceptual stage to a program that has been recognized nationally and locally for innovation and effectiveness.
 
A Chicago native, Sheila moved to Philadelphia as a teenager, and after living in several neighborhoods including University City she and her family have settle in Mount Airy for the past 9 years. She has over eighteen years of experience in human resources, training and organizational development, which includes her time as Human Resources Director for Encore Healthcare LLC, where she worked just prior to joining UCD. Previously Sheila also directed training for the 5th largest public utility in the country and for the City of Philadelphia. Sheila graduated from Community College of Philadelphia with a A.A.S. in Finance, Temple University with a B.B.A. in Human Resources Management, and LaSalle University with an M.S. in Human Capital Development.
 
Sheila is a passionate collector of books and shoes, and struggles to be a patient gardener in her home in Mount Airy. She is wife to her better half Charles and mother to the light of her life Chuckie.

Maggie Langdon

Office Manager/Program Assistant • x225

Maggie LandgdonMaggie Langdon, a native Philadelphian and one of seven children, was born into stardom when she and her sister arrived as the largest set of twins born in world history. After school Maggie worked as a travel agent and she loves to travel, especially to the islands. Her passion for math ultimately led her to accounting, which she enjoys as one of her many roles at UCD. She joined UCD in July of 2000. Maggie has three wonderful boys and loves sports.

Joshua Park

Training Center Manager, West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

Joshua joined University City District as the Training Center Manager for the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative in October 2015. Previously, as the Executive Director of Sylvan Learning’s Philadelphia territory, Joshua passionately promoted educational programs and services to parents, schools, and the community. He developed strategic partnerships to promote Sylvan’s brand and build awareness of programmatic services. Cultivating a strong school culture through employee development strategies and consistent staff engagement were of the utmost importance to Joshua.  He eagerly brings this wealth of experience in educational supports and teaching to the table at the University City District.

Currently, Joshua lives in Fishtown with his wife, Kerri, two frustrating cats, and his very inquisitive three-year-old.  He enjoys listening to local music, watching the Phillies, and finding new family adventures with his son.

Chris Richman

Communications Manager • x229

Chris RichmanChris Richman joined University City District as Writer and Social Media Manager in 2014. Prior to working at UCD, Chris spent time writing jokes, acting in a dinner theater, bartending, working in children’s books, and, most recently, among the specimens at Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum as their Lecture & Communications Coordinator. Chris holds a BA in English from Elizabethtown College and an MA in Writing from Rowan University.

Chris has lived in and around Philadelphia for most of his life. He’s an avid reader and Philadelphia sports fan, and can often be found in his South Philadelphia neighborhood playing recreational sports or enjoying the rich arts and culture scene.

Shawn Ryan

Graphic Design and Web Development Manager • x230

Shawn lives on a steady diet of design, finding inspiration everywhere from the streets of Philadelphia to the aisles of the grocery store. He joined University City District as the Graphic Design and Web Development Manager in January 2015. Prior to working at UCD, he was Senior Designer for World Cafe Live in University City. Shawn graduated from Millersville University with a BA in Design.

Aside from pushing pixels and crafting compositions, Shawn also enjoys traveling, bicycling, exploring Philadelphia, endlessly searching for rare records & black coffee.

Ryan Spak

Project Rehab Manager, Planning and Economic Development • x201

Ryan SpakBorn in Philadelphia, Ryan has a passion for its neighborhoods, its history and its real estate. Prior to joining UCD in 2010, Ryan was active in construction management. He used that experienced in 2007 to help start and now operate a real estate investment group known as the Spak Group. The Spak Group specializes in rehabilitating and maximizing the value of distressed and under-utilized properties. Ryan has a firm belief that no distressed property should ever remain in an inhabitable condition.

Ryan graduated from Temple University with a degree in Political Science and American Studies. Prior to his construction experience, Ryan worked as a Disc Jockey, a Clerk in Philadelphia Municipal Court, a Paralegal, and a Janitor. Ryan is known in the Janitorial world for his ability to stripping and waxing a floor!

Ryan loves being a resident of University City and loves even more being married to his wife, Jessica. When not engrossed in matters of brick, Ryan is a fanatical basketball enthusiast, bleeds “Flyers” orange, loves saving animals from a cold Philly night and is quite nuts over anything that is related to the decade of the 1980’s – especially movies and television shows!

Andrew Stober

Vice President of Planning and Economic Development • x248

Andrew Stober joined UCD in January of 2016 after working for more than six years for the City of Philadelphia. With the City, he served as the Chief of Staff for the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU), where he had lead responsibility for launching Philadelphia’s Indego bike share program, reestablishing a City energy office that has saved millions of dollars in utility cost, and for raising millions of dollars in competitive public and private grant programs aimed at improving transportation infrastructure.  Andrew also acted as Mayor Michael Nutter’s spokesman on transportation and energy issues.  As Vice President for Planning and Economic Development, Andrew oversees a portfolio that includes public space development and management, commercial corridor development, and transportation improvements for University City.

Sharon Thompsonowak

Program Manager, West Philadelphia Skills Initiative • x243

Sharon ThompsonowakFor the last ten years, Sharon’s career has focused on building capacity in organizations, communities, and individuals through education and program development. She has worked in diverse settings that range from an Anthroposophical farming community to a Beijing public school to an academic research library, and she also spent two years working in Haiti with an education and advocacy program. She managed UCD’s Summer Jobs Program for two summers before joining the WPSI staff full-time in August 2012. Sharon holds graduate degrees from Temple University and Vanderbilt University, as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Management through the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation and the Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University’s School of Business. She and her husband garden and cook in East Kensington, and although she loves treasure hunting at thrift shops and flea markets, her prized possessions are her passport, bicycle, and library card.

Alissa Weiss

Strategic Initiatives Manager • x251

Alissa Weiss joined University City District in October 2015 as Strategic Initiatives Manager, and is thrilled to return to her hometown after a 6 year hiatus. Prior to starting at UCD, she worked in Philadelphia nonprofits and New York City government, and she has had the opportunity to work on a range of urban policy issues, from health care to food access to workforce development. Alissa has a BA in history from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Science from Harvard School of Public Health.  Outside of work, Alissa can be found wandering about Philadelphia by bike and foot, cooking for friends and family, and getting lost in urban parks.  

Daniel Wolf

Planner / Project Manager • x250

Daniel HeadshotDaniel joined University City District as Planner / Project Manager in October 2014 and works to enhance the public realm in University City through placemaking and improving the environment for pedestrians and bicyclists. Originally from the Boston area, Daniel studied Psychology as an undergraduate at Tufts University, and he holds a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Ever since his days as a young Lego builder, Daniel has been driven by his curiosity for how the world around us shapes who we are, and he is inspired by the endless diversity in people, places, and experiences that cities provide. Daniel lives in Spruce Hill and enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, playing music, practicing Judaism, and exploring new places on his folding bicycle.