Our Board

Angela Marks M.Ed

Angela graduated from University College, London with a degree in Latin and Greek. She received her Master’s in Education and Pennsylvania Reading Specialist certification from Cabrini University. She is a Wilson Reading System® Dyslexia Practitioner and is a Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Interventionist accredited by the International Dyslexia Association.

Before founding Reading Allowed, Angela spent 14 years working as a Reading Specialist and a Learning Specialist in Philadelphia.

Michael Gary

Michael Gary is the head of Friends Select School. Prior to this appointment, he served as director of admissions at Phillips Exeter Academy. Before joining Exeter, Michael served as director of admissions at The Peddie School, where he also taught economics. He also served as associate director of admissions and director of multicultural affairs at Pomfret School.

Michael received a BA from Trinity College in Connecticut and a Master of Education from Harvard University. Michael also serves on the boards of Trinity College, the Independent Trust, and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. He is the founder of Inner City Lacrosse and former board member of both Pomfret School and The Association of Boarding Schools.

Valerie Brand Pipano

Valerie Brand Pipano lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University School of Law.

Valerie currently serves on the Education Security Committees at Society Hill Synagogue. She is the mother of two sons.

Meghan Fotopoulos

Meghan Fotopoulos is a retired Managing Director from Accenture’s Health Consulting Practice and spent over 20 years in “Big 4” management consulting. Meghan received her BBA from the University of Georgia in Management Information Systems. She is an active member on the UNICEF Greater Philadelphia board of directors and is a former board member of the Barnes Foundation.

Cathryn L. Kaufman

Cathryn Kaufman is an elementary school librarian in the Lower Merion School District. She received a BA in English from Barnard College and a Masters in Library Science from St. John’s University in New York. Cathryn is also a Wilson Certified literacy instructor. In addition to serving on the board of Reading Allowed, Cathryn was the chair of the development committee at First Up, a Philadelphia nonprofit dedicated to high quality early care and education for children from birth to age 8.

Dr. Zell Kravinsky

Dr. Zell Kravinsky bought his first investment property in 1978 for less than $10,000. He built a portfolio of apartment buildings in the following years while studying and then teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. He began his involvement in larger commercial properties by purchasing 1m square feet of department stores and distribution centers leased to a discount retailer in the American Midwest. His portfolio has included Walmart stores, AT&T office buildings and call centers, Cargill meat packaging plants, Johnson Controls manufacturing plants, drug stores, retail centers, hyperscale data centers, corporate campuses, and similar high-credit double- and triple-net leased properties, as well as apartment communities both small and 1,000+ units. He is currently the general or managing partner in approximately 1,500 apartment homes and the majority investor in 1.5m SF of corporate office, industrial, and retail space.

Dr. Kravinsky is recognized as a philanthropist for having given most of his wealth away in the early 2000’s, as well as being one of the first Americans to donate a kidney to a stranger. In his bestselling book “Giving”, President Bill Clinton praised Dr. Kravinsky’s activities in philanthropy. Dr. Kravinsky holds two PhDs from the University of Pennsylvania, and served on the board of directors at both the Ohio State University Foundation and the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation.

John Santangelo

John is currently a Senior Vice President of Finance for CrossCountry Mortgage Inc. (CCM), where he is responsible for all finance and accounting for lending branches along the east coast. Prior to CCM, John was the CFO at GMH Mortgage Services, LLC and was responsible for finance, accounting, reporting, loan servicing and marketing. John’s career has also included senior finance roles in banking, insurance, capital markets and brokerage. John started his career as an audit manager with a Big 4 public accounting firm. John is a CPA and belongs to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. John received his B.S. in Accounting from Saint Joseph’s University.

Meredith Jermann

Meredith is an Underwriter at PNC Bank, where she supports financing needs of corporate clients within diverse industries in the Philadelphia / Southern New Jersey geographic area. She was formerly a Relationship Manager at PNC from 2004 – 2013, and held a similar role at The Bank of Nova Scotia from 1994 – 2004. Meredith received a BA from The University of Northern Iowa in 1990 and an MBA from the University of Rochester in 1994.

Stephanie Gambone

Stephanie currently serves as President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. Her career has been dedicated to ensuring young people have access to opportunities to help them succeed in life. During her twenty-two-year tenure at the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), Stephanie held a variety of positions, and she was instrumental in the organization’s ability to serve over 200,000 young people since its inception in 1999. Since 2014, she was the Executive Vice President where she led the organization’s programmatic and external relations efforts. Stephanie has built a record of success as an accomplished leader, fundraiser, team builder, and collaborator.

Stephanie received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from LaSalle University, a Master of Science Degree in Administration from West Chester University, and a certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from Bryn Mawr. She has also been named a Connector by Leadership Philadelphia. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she continues to enjoy the many benefits of city living with her husband and daughter.

Skip to content