Staff Bios

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

Administrative Assistant

Dispatcher / Receptionist • X221

Matt Bergheiser

President • x224

Matt BergheiserMatt Bergheiser joined UCD as Executive Director in 2009 and was promoted to President in 2016. 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.

Click here for Matt Bergheiser’s professional biography.

Joyce Bacon

Program Manager, West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, x307

Joyce Bacon joined the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative as a Program Manager in January of 2017. She worked for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for four years after graduating from the Skills Initiative in 2013. Since that time, she has returned to the Skills Initiative first as a guest speaker and then as a professional coach before being hired to join the staff. Joyce brings a wealth of experience to the position and will serve as an instructor, coach, and workshop facilitator. She lives in West Philadelphia with her three children, and enjoys traveling to tropical islands and snorkeling.


Lt. Sean Cobette

Commanding Officer, UCD / Philadelphia Police Substation • x241

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:, 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

Director, Green City Works, x236

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.

Rachel Feigenbutz

Urban Design Associate • x250

Rachel Feigenbutz joined UCD in May 2017 as an Urban Design Associate. Prior to working at UCD, she consulted for a landscape architecture firm where she planned community driven, ecological landscapes for public spaces and institutions and a residential design build firm where she worked on high-end horticultural gardens. Her experience includes ecological restoration/stormwater design, agriculture/permaculture design, master planning, historic site development, site analysis, project management, plant identification, education, and instruction.

Rachel has worked on a variety of unusual and interesting projects: managing a gentleman’s farm; offering sustainability consulting for large scale agricultural sites; design consulting at Central Park’s Tavern on the Green; working on an earthship style greenhouse; and illustrating a book about biodigestors.

She has a 5 year Bachelors of Landscape Architecture degree from Philadelphia University, as well as a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild. In 2013 Rachel completed Isaiah Zagar’s Mosaic design course, where she received a scholarship personally from Zagar. She is very interested in the products that come from plants and enjoys foraging native edibles, has processed black walnuts, tapped maple trees and enjoys weaving baskets from invasive vines.

Caitlin Garozzo

Program Manager, West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, x303

Cait Garozzo has been a part of Philadelphia workforce development for the past 8 years. She started as a case manager for the EARN program, then wrote and implemented case management training programs, and eventually served as the program director of an area non-profit focused on providing professional support. Her experience and passion is in designing holistic and responsive programs aimed at preparing people for the modern workforce. Creating sustainable partnerships across organizations and individuals as well as constantly seeking new opportunities for collaboration are cornerstones of her professional philosophy. Cait holds a Bachelor’s degree from The College of New Jersey and recently completed the Executive Program for Social Impact Strategy at Penn.
Cait spends her early mornings weightlifting and drinking serious coffee. The rest of her free time is spent collecting and reading literary fiction, taking her perfect dog swimming and hiking, listening to podcasts, cooking with her husband, and eating lots of ice cream.

Alan Garry

Director of Public Safety and Community Services • x233

alanAlan Garry heads University City’s Public Safety Ambassador and Public Space Maintenance 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. He also oversees the Public Space Maintenance team that cleans and enhances more than 160 University City commercial and residential blocks.

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. 

Maggie Langdon

Office Manager/Program Assistant • x221

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.

Margaret Leidy Starke

Event Planner, x227

Margaret LeidyMargaret joined the UCD team in April of 2014 and has been instrumental in organizing signature UCD events as well as coordinating the food truck program at The Porch at 30th. Prior to joining UCD, Margaret worked at Tyler Arboretum as the Special Events Manager. She loves to deploy her event-planning skills in a vibrant city- landscape. Margaret is an active member of the Philadelphia Race for Hope Planning Committee for the National Brain Tumor Society—a cause close to her heart. Captain for Team PVL, Margaret and her team members have raised over $60k for the RFH in the past 6 years. A graduate from Gettysburg College with a B.A. in Management, Margaret enjoys cooking, yoga, and color-coding everything possible.

Chris O’Keeffe

Production Supervisor, Green City Works • x220

Chris O’Keeffe has worked in the landscaping industry for over 11 years and has a strong passion for urban landscapes and beautification.  Chris started landscaping young with Mack Landscape Management, a design build firm specializing in high end residential installation, maintenance and storm water management.  Chris worked his way up from crew member to operations manager in his time at his old firm. At Green City Works Chris takes pride in sharing his knowledge with the crew and training them to become seasoned professional landscapers.   In his spare time he enjoys camping, fishing and hiking with his girlfriend Erin and Australian Cattle Dog Kodi.

Joshua Park

Program Manager, West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, x301

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 young son.  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 manages eight social media accounts and writes content for the UCD website, for UCD communications, and for much of the organization's print publications. Prior to working at UCD, Chris spent time writing jokes, acting in a dinner theater, working in children’s books, and 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.

Morgan Rogers Burns

Development Associate • x247

Although she joined University City District as Development Associate in October of 2017, Morgan Rogers Burns has been a part of the neighborhood for nearly two decades. Prior to joining UCD, she worked at the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC), first as Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator and then as External Relations Manager. It was there that her passion for fundraising and development emerged. In those roles, Morgan took on the mission critical tasks of growing volunteer infrastructure, developing relationships with partner organizations, expanding individual giving and redesigning the donor database for the literacy nonprofit.


Morgan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts and double minors in English and Jazz Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her husband, Morris, and their young daughter, driving to new places without GPS and vending her handcrafted wares at festivals around the city.

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!

Sarah Steltz

Vice President of Workforce Solutions • x304

As VP of Workforce Solutions, Sarah Steltz oversees University City District's nationally renowned job training program the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative and leads UCD’s efforts to connect talented local residents to University City’s explosive economic growth.

Prior to joining UCD, Sarah spent ten years working at Drexel University, most recently as Director of Workforce and Economic Inclusion on Drexel’s University and Community Partnerships (UCP) team. She brings rich experience in organizational dynamics, talent management, program development, training, and adult education. Sarah started as a consultant in Drexel’s Human Resources Department, and created Drexel’s first workforce development role, focusing on the recruitment, training, hiring, and retention of West Philadelphia residents. Upon joining UCP in 2014, Sarah’s portfolio expanded beyond workforce to include construction inclusion and supplier diversity. Sarah served on the launch team for the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, Drexel’s urban extension center, and she oversaw all adult education, technology, and workforce programming offered in the 3 computer labs on-site. Sarah worked in the corporate sector prior to joining Drexel in 2008.

While working with Drexel, Sarah was a key collaborator with the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, facilitating partnerships that led to the creation of a Medical Assistant pipeline program that the Skills Initiative ran for the Drexel University College of Medicine, as well as a training program for positions with the Chesterbrook Academy Preschool located on Drexel’s campus. 

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.

Tyler Tran

Data Scientist • x222

Tyler Tran joined UCD as their Data Scientist in 2018. Prior to UCD, Tyler’s work took him to Greenland, France, Washington State, Alaska, and finally to Philadelphia, where he worked as a research associate at Temple University’s Integrative Ecology Lab. Broadly speaking, Tyler is interested in landscape and global change ecology, and evolving urban landscapes, both in terms of land use in urban areas and changing human demographics of cities. He enjoys using spatial analysis and quantitative analysis to support research on these topics. Outside of research, he enjoys reading, playing volleyball, kayaking, dancing, and hiking, and is also interested in increasing LGBTQ representation in STEM fields.

Alissa Weiss

Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications • x251

Alissa Weiss joined University City District in October 2015 as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications 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.