The Peggy Browning Fund Summer Newsletter 2021

Summer 2021 Educating Law Students on the Rights and Needs of Workers A Major Change At PBF! Assuring Continued Strong Leadership by Richard J. Brean, PBF Board chair Last summer the PBF Board was informed that our Executive Director, Mary Anne Moffa, intended to retire. Mary Anne joined PBF in 2001 and, working alongside President Joe Lurie, built our flagship Summer Fellowship Program and inaugurated our annual National Law Student Workers Rights Conference. Faced with the daunting task of replacing the irreplaceable Mary Anne, the board established an Ad Hoc Committee to begin succession planning and a Search Committee of nine board members, chaired by John Pierre, chancellor of Southern University Law Center. To assist it in its work, the Search Committee retained Isaacson Miller, the leading search firm in the country for nonprofit organizations seeking to fill leadership positions. Following a national search that produced a diverse, extraordinarily talented pool of applicants, the Search Committee interviewed six candidates and recommended that two finalists be interviewed by the full board. I’m pleased to announce the Board’s choice for PBF’s next executive director is Rachel Del Rossi, who accepted the position and started work on July 19. Rachel’s background is strikingly like that of Mary Anne’s. Both are advocates for social change who, before coming to PBF, spent their careers leading nonprofit organizations in the mental health field and serving as consultants to nonprofits. For the bulk of her career, Rachel lived in the Bay Area and spent 6 years at the Mental Health Association (MHA) of San Francisco, 2 of them as executive director. At the time of Rachel’s appointment, MHA was a financially troubled eighty-year-old nonprofit, with a fifty-person staff. Within 2 years, Rachel had restored the organization to solvency by securing an additional $10 million in funding, which allowed MHA to begin innovative outreach to San Francisco’s homeless population. She left MHA in 2018 to enter the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC-Berkeley, where she received her Masters of Public Affairs in 2019. In 2020, Rachel established a new career as an independent consultant to a range of Philadelphia non-profits and moved with her family to Greater Philadelphia due to family concerns. San Francisco is a strong union town, and unions were a major part of the progressive coalition of which MHA was a member. That put workers’ issues at the forefront of social justice concerns in the Bay Area. At Berkeley, her links to the union movement were solidified through the connections forged with her student colleagues and professors, such as Robert Reich and Jennifer Granholm. This is also where Rachel became a union member for the first time. Because of the union movement’s overlap with her own values, Rachel sees the opportunity to become executive director of PBF as advancing the same goals of social justice to which she has devoted her entire career. Rachel is coming to a strong and successful organization, which has continued to flourish despite the pandemic by moving not only its Summer Fellowship Program and Workers Rights Conference, but also its fundraising events, to virtual formats. She will inherit an intact and talented staff consisting of Rhonda Gelman Kelley, CFRE, director of development and marketing; Ruby Tumasz, program coordinator; and Laura Rosenthal, development associate. She will also be working with PBF’s president and founder, Joe Lurie. Rachel will benefit from Mary Anne’s wisdom and experience by being able to work through a six- month transition period with Mary Anne, who has agreed to remain on a limited basis through December 31st. We all welcome Rachel and wish the best to Mary Anne in her well-deserved retirement. PBF’s Mary Anne Moffa (left) working with new executive director, Rachel Del Rossi (right).