NEPA Philharmonic Executive Director Announces Retirement

Nancy Sanderson will retire from her position as executive director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic on December 31, 2024, according to Carol Nelson Dembert, president of the NEPA Philharmonic’s board of directors.

On behalf of the board and staff, Nelson Dembert expressed appreciation for Sanderson’s service. “Nancy has led the NEPA Philharmonic for ten years, exhibiting outstanding leadership and stewardship,” she said. “Nancy has earned the respect of the region, our partners in the arts and education, our musicians, our sponsors, our board of trustees, and our patrons.”

Sanderson has been the face of the NEPA Philharmonic for a decade. Under her guidance, the orchestra has overcome many challenges, including COVID and economic changes, while still maintaining the Philharmonic’s position as the leading performing arts organization in
Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Also, during Sanderson’s tenure, the orchestra has expanded its educational programs with regional schools, introduced a juried mentoring program for highly talented high school students, and expanded the Music in our Schools program. Recently, Sanderson launched interactive performances in senior centers and children’s libraries.

Nancy shared her feelings about her upcoming retirement. “It is with mixed emotions that I’ve
made the difficult decision to step down from my position as executive director of the NEPA
Philharmonic. Since I joined the Philharmonic’s team in 2014, I have been honored to be a part of some major changes and accomplishments, all of which are positive and promising for the future of our outstanding regional orchestra. I have treasured the opportunity to get to know our incredibly talented musicians, our hard-working board members, and last, but not least, our loyal patrons. I know I leave the orchestra in the capable hands of the entire NEPA Philharmonic team, and I look forward to attending concerts as an enthusiastic and appreciative audience member.”

Nelson Dembert has named Carl Witkowski, chair of the NEPA Philharmonic board governance committee, to chair the search committee. “Nancy has set the bar very high,” Nelson Dembert stated, “and we are confident that with our new executive director in place, we will continue to entertain, educate and enhance life in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”

Outreach Center for Community Resources Welcomes New Executive Director

A new year marks a new chapter in the history of Outreach Center for Community Resources in Scranton as members of the Board of Directors announce Lori Chaffers has been named Executive Director. Outreach is a non-profit organization serving thousands of people of all ages in northeastern Pennsylvania through a variety of programs supporting family stability and economic self-sufficiency.

Chaffers brings a wealth of experience in social services and advocacy to her new position, including a decade of service with Lackawanna County Office of Youth and Family Services, where she fulfilled various roles. Most recently, she was the agency’s program director in the Office of Social Service Research and Development. Prior to that, she was a supervisor for its Independent Living Unit, an independent living coordinator, and a caseworker.

Her career encompasses human services, strategic planning and education at social service agencies, religious organizations and educational institutions in Scranton, Philadelphia and surrounding communities, and New Jersey. A stalwart advocate for social justice, her experience will enhance efforts to fulfill the mission of Outreach, and meet the growing needs of the populations it serves.

Chaffers is affiliated with a number of professional and community organizations. Highlights of her community involvement include serving as board secretary of the Center for Health & Human Services Research & Action, and as executive committee member of Transforming Children’s Future. Past service includes volunteering as chairperson for the Youth & Education Sub-Committee of Lackawanna County Housing Continuum, and as a member of the Lackawanna Recovery Coalition.

She also served as an adjunct instructor and field instructor for the Master of Social Work program at Marywood University in Scranton. In 2017, Chaffers was honored with the Murray Fox Practicum Educators Award presented by Marywood University’s Field Education Department.

Chaffers has participated in numerous professional and educational conferences as a guest lecturer at Temple University, Marywood University, The University of Scranton, SWAN statewide conference, and TCOM/CANS conference, and CWRC: Older Youth Webinar Series Collaboration for Transition Planning.

She holds a bachelor of social work degree from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, and a master of social work degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. Chaffers resides in Dickson City with her husband, Alexander (A.J.), and her two children, Angela, age 9, and Joseph, age 6.

Chaffers begins her service on January 10, following the retirement of Executive Director Linda Ciampi, who joined the Outreach staff in 2014 as operations director. She was named executive director in 2015 and appointed in 2016, marking a period of growth for the organization. Under her direction, the center underwent a name change and rebranding from Employment Opportunity and Training Center (EOTC) to Outreach Center for Community Resources to better reflect the variety of services and programs the center offers. In addition, the organization was recognized by the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce as the SAGE Award Non-Profit of the Year in 2018, and designated a Blue-Ribbon Parents as Teacher® National Affiliate in 2021.

An active member of the community, Ciampi served on multiple non-profit boards during her tenure, including: leadership roles on the Lackawanna County Criminal Justice Advisory Board; the Lackawanna County Opioid Reduction Coalition, as a member of the  Leadership Committee and co-chairperson of the Professional Education Committee; member of Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Women in Philanthropy initiative; coach for The University of Scranton’s Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program; and chairperson of the Pardon Project of Lackawanna County.

Everhart Museum Names Kathy Johnson Bowles as Executive Director

After a nationwide six-month search and with assistance from Arts Consulting Group, the Board of Trustees of the Everhart Museum is pleased to announce that Kathy “Johnson” Bowles has been selected as the new Executive Director. Ms. Johnson Bowles brings with her thirty-two years of experience in museum management and higher education, specializing in fundraising, strategic planning, community engagement, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability.

Ms. Johnson Bowles has worked extensively with educational and not-for-profit institutions creating
philanthropic and revenue-generating solutions as the CEO of Gordian Knot Consulting, as a senior
executive in higher education, and as a museum director. Her advice on management best practices has been published in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Inside Higher Education, the National Association of University and College Business Officers, among others. As a museum director, she has organized more
than 120 exhibitions and has written numerous catalogs and essays for national publications.

” Ms. Johnson Bowles successfully led Longwood University’s Longwood Center for the Visual Art to national accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums and received more than a dozen international, national, and regional awards for excellence in programs and publications. Her experience is extensive, and the Board of Trustees and I have much confidence in her ability to provide the guidance and leadership needed as we look to the future,” said Don Frederickson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Ms. Johnson Bowles has provided service to national, state, and regional boards, including an
appointment by the Governor of Virginia to The Library of Virginia Board, and was a Fellow with the
American Council on Education
, the Harvard Management Institute, and the National Endowment for
the Arts.

“I am passionate about the role museums play in communities. Museums allow us to showcase our history, connect it to our lives today as we imagine the future. I hope to bring my experience to the Everhart, guiding and leading the team to achieve institutional excellence through focused innovation and shared responsibility as we serve the public,” said Ms. Johnson Bowles.

Kathy Johnson Bowles will relocate to the Scranton area from North Carolina. The move will bring her closer to her daughter, who resides in Philadelphia.