Abby Smith is Team Pennsylvania’s President & CEO. Her work has focused extensively on building strategic public-private partnerships to address long-term issues that no one sector can tackle alone. Abby’s 20-year career includes high-level strategic planning and leading cross-sector collaboratives at the state level in Pennsylvania as well as in several other states, along with ample experience as a grant and project manager overseeing multi-million-dollar grants and serving on various state-level councils. In early 2023, Abby received an Above & Beyond Award, honoring Pennsylvania women of “public and civic mind” who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in their field, combined with having made significant contributions to society.
Formerly the Vice President of Policy & Programs and Senior Advisor to the Foundation, Abby also served as the Director of Education & Workforce Development. Previously, Abby worked as a policy specialist at the PA Department of Education; for Teach For America as a recruitment director; and as a 7th grade social studies teacher and Teach For America corps member. Abby earned her undergraduate degree from Yale University and master’s degrees in teaching from The Johns Hopkins University and in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University.
Abby serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg and JCC and is a board member of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central PA. As Chair of the Federation, Abby spearheaded the acquisition of a new Jewish community campus – the Alexander Grass Campus for Jewish Life – set to open in late 2023. Abby lives in Harrisburg, PA with her husband, twin sons, and dog Comet.
Anita Chandy is Team Pennsylvania’s Director, People & Operations. Anita joined the team in May 2022 and oversees all HR initiatives. Prior to joining Team Pennsylvania, she spent over 10 years building and leading equity-centered people initiatives at nonprofit organizations including: recruiting, hiring, benefits, payroll, performance management, compliance, and coaching and training managers. Anita earned her Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management from New York University and Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Boston University.
Max Crumlich is Team Pennsylvania’s Manager, Board & Investor Relations. He joined the staff in June 2020 after interning for Team Pennsylvania in the summer of 2019. Max graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Corporate Communications from Lycoming College where he was also a member of the lacrosse team. Max is the nexus for all of Team Pennsylvania’s work, from serving as the liaison to the Board of Directors, developing and implementing fundraising strategies, to overseeing Team Pennsylvania events. Born and raised here in Pennsylvania, Max is driven by the thought that together, we can do better.
Contact Max about:
- Becoming an investor
- Board of Directors inquiries
Max Drickey is Team Pennsylvania’s Energy Policy Director. Max leads the Energy Horizons Cross-Sector Collaborative to capitalize on the needs and opportunities inherent in decarbonization to transform our economy, elevate industry and manufacturing, create jobs, and reduce emissions.
Max has been an Energy Policy Fellow with Team Pennsylvania for the past year. Prior to joining Team Pennsylvania, Max worked as a Special Assistant to 13th Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz at the Energy Futures Initiative, a Washington DC think tank. He recently completed his master’s degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University, with a focus on energy and climate policy.
Contact Max about:
- Joining the Energy Horizons Cross-Sector Collaborative
- Energy projects
- Decarbonization and climate initiatives
Andrew Gilstrap joined Team PA in 2023 as Executive Assistant to President and CEO Abby Smith. Prior to joining, Andrew was a copyeditor and executive assistant with marketing firm Bolero Tech. He also moonlights as an opera singer and music teacher. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Houston, from which he graduated in 2018. At Team PA, Andrew supports the office of the CEO in matters of scheduling, travel, and communications. He is based in Atlanta, GA.
Deborah Guida is Team Pennsylvania’s Operations Assistant, joining the staff in March 2022. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bloomsburg University with her bachelor’s degree in Technical Leadership.
Deborah maintains the day-to-day operations of our Harrisburg office ensuring it is a productive space for all staff and visitors. She also provides ad hoc operational support to Team PA & ELIC teams.
Jana Hammerle is Team Pennsylvania’s Finance Director. She joined the organization in September 2022 and manages the financial operations, including policy compliance, audit execution, management reporting, and strategic analysis.
Prior to joining Team Pennsylvania, Jana worked for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and for WETA-PBS. Jana holds a Master of Public Policy from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from West Virginia University. She lives outside Harrisburg with her husband and two daughters.
Janine Spadafore Kaiser
Janine Spadafore Kaiser joined Team PA in August 2023 as Manufacturing Policy Consultant, providing support to the Manufacturing Competitiveness Cross-Sector Collaborative. She is the founder and Principal of Compass Policy Strategies, LLC (CPS), an independent, woman-owned workforce, education and economic development consultancy. Over the last 15 years of her career, Janine has supported more than 25 collaboratives involving companies, public agencies, philanthropy, educational institutions, workforce development, and community-based organizations, in California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada. She has a strong outcomes orientation, and specializes in facilitation, policy analysis and manufacturing.
Prior to the launch of CPS, Ms. Kaiser worked on the economic forecasting team of Eaton Corporation, implemented a randomized control trial research study in Mexico on a Fulbright grant, and served as a senior consultant at Collaborative Economics, based in Silicon Valley. Ms. Kaiser holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Case Western Reserve University, and a master’s of public policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Julia Kait is Team Pennsylvania’s Policy Coordinator, who joined Team PA in June 2023. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Franklin and Marshall College with a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Public Policy, and where she also served as an RA. At Team PA, Julia supports policy staff to advance all cross-sector collaboratives within Team PA’s portfolio. As a life-long resident of Pennsylvania, she is excited to contribute to economic growth and sustainability in PA through policy work.
Kelly Kundratic is Team Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Policy Director. Kelly joined Team PA in 2018 to grow the organization’s partnership with the PA Department of Agriculture and the private sector. She directs state-level, strategic economic growth for Pennsylvania’s food and agriculture industries through the Agriculture Cross-Sector Collaborative.
Kelly’s passion for Pennsylvania agriculture was born at a young age, spending summers on her grandparents’ dairy farm in Wayne County. Before joining Team PA, Kelly worked at the MD Department of Agriculture, and as a high school agriculture teacher. She graduated from The Friedman School at Tufts University with a Master of Science in Agriculture, Food, and Environment focus in Public Policy, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education from West Virginia University.
Away from the office, Kelly competes as a nationally-ranked drag racer in the National Hot Rod Association. She cares deeply about her communities and demonstrates that commitment by raising awareness for organ donation and transplantation and serving as Board Chair of The LEAF Project. Kelly was recently recognized in Drag Illustrated’s 2022 30 Under 30 and Harrisburg Young Professionals 20 in their 20s for her active engagements in her communities.
Tom Murphy is Team Pennsylvania’s Senior Managing Director, Strategic Energy Initiatives. He was previously the Director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research(MCOR) and provided leadership to a range of Penn State’s related energy outreach events and research activities. Tom has 38 years of experience working with public officials, researchers, industry, government agencies, and landowners during his tenure with the Extension branch of the University.
Tom’s work is centered on educational consultation in energy transitions, specifically at the convergence of shale gas, hydrogen, and renewables. His more recent emphasis focuses on a rapidly changing energy paradigm, which includes wider deployment of utility-scale solar, and the decarbonization implications of hydrogen for heavy industry and transportation. Primarily focused on the DNA H2Hub project, Tom has an ongoing partnership with the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors on the local implications of utility-scale solar energy across the Commonwealth.
Jim Neuschwander is Team Pennsylvania’s Director, Information Systems. Jim oversees many aspects of technology, systems and communications for the foundation. He manages the internal technology and security in addition to various IT systems utilized by Team PA and our partners. He is also the lead for Team PA’s communication strategy and execution.
Contact Jim about:
- Technology inquiries
- Communications/Media inquiries
John W. Packer
John W. Packer, CPA, is Team Pennsylvania’s Chief Financial Officer. John joined the staff in 2011 and has over three decades of professional accounting experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. During his tenure at Team PA, John has overseen the development of customized financial reports and reporting systems that meet the unique needs of management and the board of directors. John is a Penn State University alumnus – he earned both a Bachelor of Science and his Masters in Business Administration from the university.
Lisa Riggs is Team Pennsylvania’s Senior Managing Director, Economic Growth Strategy & Partnerships. She previously served as the President of the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County for nine years, leading a focus on business retention and expansion and economic analytics. Ms. Riggs has served in a number of other economic development roles over her more than two decades of experience, including as the President of the James Street Improvement District, a community and economic development organization focused on parts of the City of Lancaster, and as Vice President of Economic Development for the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore (Baltimore, MD). She also served for two seasons as the President of the Lancaster Barnstormers, a professional minor league baseball team.
A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, Ms. Riggs resides in Lancaster County. She currently serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central PA, the Lancaster STEM Alliance, Discover Lancaster and the Lancaster Clean Water Partners.
RENÉE CUSTER YEMANE
Renée Custer Yemane is Team Pennsylvania’s Vice President of Strategic & External Affairs. Renée joined the team in December 2022 and oversees Team Pennsylvania’s Strategic, Communications and Development initiatives. Prior to joining Team Pennsylvania, Renée spent 5 years as COO of The Custer Group and the prior 5 years as Executive Director of Harrisburg Young Professionals.
In recognition of her work, Renée has been recognized as Central Penn Business Journal 40 Under Forty, Central Penn Business Journal Women of Influence, The Foundation for Enhancing Communities Rising Philanthropist Award, and as a YWCA Woman of Excellence. Renée graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Cultural Communication Studies and Nonprofit Management.
David Bruen is Team Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Policy Fellow. He joined the team in July 2023. In his role, David works alongside the Manufacturing Collaborative and staff to spur growth in Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Team PA, David graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in Political Science and Policy Studies. At SU, David represented his peers as student body president for two terms. David has also previously been very involved in his community as an Eagle Scout and former intern for his State Senator and Congresswoman.
Tyler Faris is a Policy Fellow at Team Pennsylvania. He joined the team in June 2023 to help shape a growing portfolio of work focused on high-growth economic opportunities for Pennsylvania, from manufacturing to life sciences and biotechnology to digital technology and innovation.
Originally from Bridgeport, West Virginia, Tyler graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and earned his Wings of Gold as a qualified Naval Aviator in June 2015. After specializing in the Navy’s primary surveillance helicopter, the MH-60R Seahawk, Tyler deployed to South America and Southeast Asia flying anti-submarine and anti-ship surveillance missions from 2016-2019 before returning ashore as an MH-60R flight instructor from 2019-2022.
Currently, Tyler resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, Elise, where he is fulfilling a graduate education tour at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College as a candidate for the Master of Science in Public Policy and Management program. Using his military leadership experience, Tyler is passionate about accelerating economic growth and prosperity in Pennsylvania and the entire Appalachian region.
PA Early Learning Investment Commission: Andrea Heberlein is the Commission’s Executive Director. Before joining the Commission, Andrea served as the Vice President of Strategic Impact for United Way of Lancaster County, where she helped to lead and support community initiatives focused on improving the educational, health, and financial outcomes for children, youth, and adults.
Andrea has an extensive background and experience around community-building work, service coordination for adults with disabilities, community systems development for children with disabilities, and directing an employer-sponsored, NAEYC accredited, early childhood learning center for Penn Medicine/Lancaster General Health and Franklin and Marshall College. She currently serves on the Governance Committee for the Lancaster County Homeless Coalition and the Advisory Council for Nurse-Family Partnership.
Andrea received her Master of Social Work degree from Millersville University, where she is also an adjunct professor for social work classes. She is a 2018 Policy Fellow alumni under the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning and a 2019 graduate of the United Way Worldwide Leadership Program.
PA Early Learning Investment Commission: Sara Lauver is the Commission’s Associate Director. In her role, Sara works on a wide variety of projects, including strategic communications, working with external stakeholders to share and deepen the work of the commission in communities across Pennsylvania, and cultivating and engaging business leaders and partners in regional strategies to increase access to high quality early learning programs.
Prior to joining the commission, Sara worked for seven years at Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way where she served as Director of Community Impact and Marketing. She also has over 15 years of experience in radio where she has worked as a morning show co-host, news anchor, and reporter. Sara is a graduate of Susquehanna University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and Walden University earning a Master of Science in Leadership. She is a frequent guest performer of the national anthem at Major League Baseball games at Camden Yards in Baltimore.