09/20/2021: PYN Board Of Directors Has New Leadership

PYN’s Board of Directors appoints new board chair, vice-chair and adds new member

PHILADELPHIA (September 20, 2021) — On Thursday, September 16, 2021, the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) Board of Directors approved changes to the PYN board. The board appointed a new Chair and Vice-Chair as well as added a new member to the board. Debra S. Friedman will serve as PYN’s new Board Chair, Douglas Oliver will serve as the new Vice-Chair and Hayward West will join the board. 

Friedman has served on PYN’s board since 2013, and previously served as the Vice-Chair under PYN’s previous Chair, Jeffrey Brown. Professionally, Debra is a member of Cozen O’Connor and has worked for more than 23 years to provide legal and business solutions to a myriad of human resource issues in her role. Friedman previously served as the secretary of the board of directors for the Valley Forge Chapter of the National Charity League, Inc. She is also engrained in employment and workplace issues and is deeply committed to managing and solving them. 

“It is my honor to take on this new role as Chair of PYN’s Board. Over the past 8 years, I have been fortunate to see the progress of the organization, and I look forward to continuing to be a champion for Philadelphia’s young people,” said Debra S. Friedman, Member, Member, Cozen O’Connor. “My experience in employment law and workplace issues will continue to influence the work of the organization, and I know that stepping into this role will enable me to make a lasting impact on the lives of young people in Philadelphia.” 

Oliver joined PYN’s Board of Directors in 2016 and has remained an education, community investments and youth advocate since then. Professionally, Doug has more than two decades of experience leading communications and marketing efforts for companies such as PECO and Philadelphia Gas Works. He also served as Press Secretary for the City of Philadelphia under former mayor, Michael A. Nutter. Oliver currently serves on the boards of Philadelphia Works, Leadership Philadelphia, Philadelphia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the Philadelphia Ad Club. He also sits on the Corporate Leadership Board of the Barnes Museum and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated. 

“As a Germantown native who grew up in Philadelphia, it means so much to me to be able to give back to the community. I know what it was like to be a young person learning and finding work in the city, and am proud to be part of an organization that works tirelessly to provide education and employment opportunities to young people like myself,” said Douglas Oliver, Vice President, Government and External Affairs, PECO. “In my new role as the Vice-Chair of PYN’s board of directors, I look forward to contributing towards the organization’s mission of providing diverse and equitable opportunities to young people.” 

Hayward West will also officially join PYN’s Board of Directors. Professionally, West is a Technical Architecture Lead for Deloitte Innovation and Platforms at Deloitte Consulting LLP, and has been a long-time supporter of PYN through his involvement with PYN’s OIC Committee. West is a champion for mentorship and educational opportunities, and believes that providing opportunities for young people creates stronger, thriving communities. 

“PYN is delighted to have such dedicated and talented Board Members, and we are excited to work closely with Debra and Doug in their new roles. They have both been steadfast supporters of PYN for nearly a decade, and their expertise will position PYN for success now and in the future,” said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO of Philadelphia Youth Network. “While we are excited for this transition, we are also grateful for the leadership of Jeff Brown in his capacity of Board Chair. Under his leadership, PYN ushered in a new era of youth service programs, and we plan to build upon his legacy under this new leadership.”   

About the Philadelphia Youth Network  

The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) creates education and employment opportunities for youth and young adults. We believe every young person deserves the chance to cultivate their talents and to achieve their dreams. To make more opportunities available to youth and young adults, we: 

  • Build systemic solutions that close gaps in youth serving systems,  
  • Support and train youth-serving organizations to deliver high quality programs that develop academic and career readiness skills,  
  • Engage employers and system leaders to ensure that today’s young people will be prepared to join tomorrow’s workforce, and  
  • Design comprehensive service networks to prepare youth for successful futures in school, work and life. 

For more information, visit www.pyninc.org

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