Leveraging Collaborations to Strengthen Capacity-panel Russell Johnson Cheif Executive Officer, North Penn Community Health Foundation



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Leveraging Collaborations to Strengthen Capacity-panel

Russell Johnson

Cheif Executive Officer, North Penn Community Health Foundation

Russell Johnson is the President, CEO of the North Penn Community Health Foundation. He has more than 25 years of health and human services experience. He has held leadership positions in both public and private sector health and human services agencies working in the fields of child welfare, aging, and behavioral health. During his career, Mr. Johnson has also held positions with Bucks County Children and Youth Agency, Horsham Clinic, PNR Systems/Allan Collautt Associates, The Pew Charitable Trusts, United Health Group and The Hartford Insurance Company. In addition to these positions, Mr. Johnson provided consulting services, including strategic and business plan development and project assistance to foundations and various health and human services agencies in the Delaware Valley, Washington, DC and New York City.


Since joining the foundation, Mr. Johnson designed a leadership academy and continues to offer support and guidance on issues related to strategic and business planning. He is a contributing author to Annual Review on Gerontology and Geriatrics Focus on Managed Care and Quality Assurance Integrating Acute and Chronic Care, published in 1996 by Springer Publishing Company and recently co-authored “Transformative Organizational Change through Hybrid Capacity-Building: He has also published several articles in various journals including Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal, Spring 2011, Winter 2012..
Mr. Johnson serves as a special advisor to the board of the Greater North Penn Collaborative for Health & Human Services; is co-chair of the Pennsylvania Health Funders’ Collaborative, a statewide membership group of health philanthropies; and serves as a board member and board secretary of Delaware Valley Grantmakers. He is an advisor to the Pew Children’s Oral Health Initiative and the North Penn United Way’s Community Investment Team; serves as a founding member of the Pennsylvania Coalition on Oral Health; and as a member of the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board’s Medical Subcommittee and the Gwynedd Mercy College School of Nursing Advisory Committee. He previously served on the board of Northern Home for Children holding various positions including board chair; and the Montgomery County CAP Executive Board.
Over the past decade, Mr. Johnson has spearheaded formation of partnerships with several philanthropic organizations serving Montgomery County Pennsylvania communities including the North Penn United Way; the United Way of Western Montgomery County; the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania; the Claniel Foundation; The Philadelphia Foundation; Independence Foundation; the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation; the Montgomery County Foundation, Inc.; the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation; and others. Much of this work focuses on system transformation and quality improvement activities including the visioning and development of Your Way Home Montgomery County, a public/private initiative.

Robin Burstein

Executive Director, The PEAK Center

Robin Burstein is a seasoned nonprofit and fundraising executive. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and has earned numerous awards through participation in various continuing education programs.


She is an active participant in numerous community groups including the North Penn United Way and The Pennsylvania Association of Senior Centers. She has served as a board member for Transnet of Montgomery County, the Southeast Region for the Pennsylvania Association of Senior Centers and the Women’s League at Tiferet Bet Israel Synagogue. She has volunteered for the Jewish Outreach Project, Hadassah Women’s Organization and The American Heart Association. She is a participating member on the National Council on Aging’s Economic Security Task Force. Robin currently serves as vice-chair of the Greater North Penn Collaborative for Health & Human Services and will assume the position of chair in July 2013.
Robin has served as the executive director of Encore Experiences at Harleysville since 2006. When hired to this position, the senior center was at serious risk of closing due to lack of community support and dwindling membership. Robin has provided a vision and guidance to her board of directors and inspired the community to refocus on the mission of the senior center and its value to the community and the people it serves. Through her efforts, the senior center has regained financial stability, grown its membership and is considered one of only a handful of model senior center programs in Montgomery County.
Since the spring 2012, Robin has also served as “acting director” of The PEAK Center while continuing her leadership role at Encore Experiences. Robin has provided stewardship to both boards of directors as they have conducted a due diligence process to determine if the two senior centers could be merged. She has gained the trust and respect of the PEAK Center board members and the membership served by The PEAK Center. Through Robin’s leadership The PEAK Center has implemented numerous cost-cutting strategies while enhancing its program offerings. Among her many recent accomplishments is the tripling of the participation rate in the noontime meal program.
Robin seeks partnerships with others who can leverage her competencies and opportunities for the improvement of the whole community. In collaboration with a neighboring senior center and The TCC Group, Robin has developed a creative learning and evaluation tool for senior centers. The tool tracks how well agreed upon outcomes are being achieved using data to inform decisions at the board and executive levels and to craft changes in programs and services. This tool is expected to roll out nationally in the spring of 2013.

Suzan Neiger Gould

Executive Director, Manna on Main Street

Suzan Neiger Gould brings to Manna on Main Street 17 years of nonprofit management experience in the fields of education, recreation and community service. Her areas of expertise include organizational management, strategic planning, program development, property management, and fiscal oversight.


Suzan began as Manna’s Executive Director in October, 2013 and assumed the responsibilities for the coordination of all programs, administrative functions and fiscal activities. She tracks organization revenue, expenses and financial position, and shares donor development responsibility with Manna’s Development Officer. Using her extensive experience in organizational management and strategic planning, she is coordinating board, staff and constituent collaboration in program design and an upcoming strategic planning process. Representing Manna at professional and community events and participating in all meetings of the Lansdale Collaboration Project has allowed her to quickly learn about the unique nature and needs of the North Penn community and be actively engaged in planning to meet those needs.

Previously, Suzan was the Executive Director of Friends Camp Association of PA, Inc., which owns and operates Camp Onas, a residential camp, retreat center, and outdoor education facility. She held this position for 17 years and was responsible for professionalizing the board and administration, advancing year-round programming, developing an environmentally sustainable building and land use plan, and building a financial aid program for campers from poor families.


She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Penn State University and a M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University. She is a member of Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, and the Penn Suburban and Indian Valley Chambers of Commerce. As a member of the American Camping Association, she is a certified camp accreditation visitor and a speaker on nonprofit issues at the Tri-State Camping Conference.
Suzan’s enthusiasm for working at Manna on Main Street was captured in an article written by Tony DiDomizio for the Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch:
"I think one of the things that really astounded me was the way in which Manna as an organization was created within the community by residents of North Penn and Lansdale to serve the people that live amongst them," she said. "They do it all by themselves; they are not a large social services agency and they are not a government agency. We are people deciding that hunger exists in the community and we want to do something about it. I find that very organic and inspiring."

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