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The Fund for Women and Girls’ Fifth Annual Champions of Change Event Leaves Local Business Community Inspired to Elevate Women in the Workplace

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Press Release

WEST CHESTER, PA (November 9, 2021) - The Fund for Women and Girls hosted its fifth annual Champions of Change Event on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at The Farmhouse Bistro at People’s Light. The event raised over $45,000 in support of local women and girls.

Nearly 75 business leaders, community supporters and elected officials gathered to honor Dr. JoAnne Reifsnyder, Phd, MSN, MBA, FAAN, the Executive Vice President, Clinical Operations, and Chief Nursing Officer at Genesis HealthCare, for her efforts to support and uplift women in the nursing and healthcare fields. MacElree Harvey, Ltd. was also honored for its commitment to advancing gender equity in the workplace and providing career development opportunities for female employees.

The event began with networking, as attendees had the opportunity to meet and connect with fellow business leaders and professionals over breakfast. The program opened with remarks from The Fund’s Board Chair Denise Wine and Interim Executive Director Mary Beth Morrissey, who collectively spoke about The Fund’s current Executive Leadership search and its upcoming Blueprint Report, a comprehensive study of how women and girls are faring at the local, state, and national levels. 

MacElree Harvey partner Ashley Stitzer accepted the Corporate Champion of Change Award on behalf of the firm and spoke to the strength of its robust development programs. The law firm offers work schedule flexibility, including the opportunity to work from home, to support work-life balance among its attorneys. Its Paid Medical Leave of Absence Plan provides paid time off for maternity leave, illness, or injuries. MacElree Harvey partners with the Chester County Bar Association to promote their Diversity Program, designed for first year law students who identify with groups historically discriminated against on the basis of gender, disability, race, or ethnicity. ​

Dr. JoAnne Reifsnyder accepted the Gladys Black ‘Woman of Distinction’ Award for her efforts to support and uplift women in the nursing and healthcare fields. Before giving her remarks, Dr. Reifsnyder’s impact in her community was showcased in a heartfelt video detailing her dedication to her work, community and family. Dr. Reifsnyder highlighted the commitment to care demonstrated during the ongoing pandemic by health care professionals caring for older adults:

“In the early days of the pandemic, nursing homes were not prioritized for testing, for PPE, and people started to get sick. And yet, the healthcare workforce showed up, every day, mostly women, every day. Nursing assistants, those who were at entry level and on the nursing team, showed up, every day. These are people who are taking care of families of their own, often without very much support. They had to find care for the children to be able to come to work to care for older people whom they love and they consider their family. They did it day after day after day. People kept asking me, “Aren’t you having a terrible work force shortage? Aren’t they quitting? Aren’t they staying home?” No. They weren’t. And they’re still not. They’re still there. Showing up every day.”

“It’s an honor to highlight the hard work and success of MacElree Harvey and Dr. JoAnne Reifsnyder in advancing the ability of women to thrive. We will learn from their lead and continue to ignite change,” said Mary Beth Morrissey, The Fund’s Interim Executive Director.

Thank you to our generous partners who made this event a success: Barbara M. Jordan | West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. | Judi and Tim Bell | M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust | WSFS Cares Foundation | Connie and Tom Fogarty | Denise Wine and Neil Kinch | CCRES | Genesis HealthCare | Jackson Cross Partners | MacElree Harvey, Ltd. | Mill Creek Capital Advisors | West Chester University | Pattie and Mike Diggin | Cate and Tom Sennett | Chester County Intermediate Unit | CTDI | Roberta Torian | Lisa Passante and Mike Kaplan | Mary Beth Morrissey | Carroll Engineering Corporation | Countryside Consulting | Dave’s Automotive Repair Enterprises | Northwestern Mutual | Pam and Jeff Bryer | Marybeth DiVincenzo | D. Daniele Hager | The Freckled Strawberry | SEI | Nora Alvarez  Beauchamp Consulting and OpExecs | Jennifer Duff | Nicole Tecco Reece | Ingrid Tomlinson

Click here to watch a full recording of the program or video tributes to honorees on our YouTube channel. The event program book is available for download on The Fund’s website.


The Fund for Women and Girls: Igniting Change in Chester County leads and unites the community through philanthropy and advocacy to ensure that women and girls have resources and opportunities to thrive. Over the past 25 years, The Fund has awarded over $3.8 million to 82 local non-profit organizations serving women and girls.

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