As women’s history month begins to wind down, we would like to take the opportunity to thank some of the women who serve on our Board of Directors here at SeniorLAW Center. These women work countless hours behind the scenes, to advocate for older Pennsylvanians every day.
We cannot thank them for everything that they have done because there are simply too many great things. Last week during the monthly board meeting, board member Mike Peterson said the following in regard to our women board members: “Professionally, each of you is at the leading edge of the Philadelphia legal community as partners or principals in law firms of all sizes and specialties. You are leaders in other professional roles, as well, in both private and public organizations and in the community service roles you have assumed. You also demonstrate considerable accomplishment outside your professional life, as writers, poet, craftswomen and athletes.”
Let’s start with our female board of director that hold executive positions, Secretary Beth Rubin has been serving on the board for the last five years and executes her role with excellence. Beth comes to our board as the Chief Counsel of Healthcare for PNC Bank here in Philadelphia. Graduating from Brown University for her undergraduate and Columbia University School of Law to obtain her legal degree, Beth brings years of expertise and advice to help us at SeniorLAW center every day. Thank you for everything that you have done and will continue to do for us Beth! Your leadership on the Program and Personnel Committee and through strategic planning was amazing.
Catherine Beideman Heitzenrater is one of the newest members of the board of directors here at SeniorLAW Center, who graduated from Colgate University for undergrad and Boston College Law School in 2007. Catherine is a bankruptcy litigator and partner for the Duane Morris law firm located here in Philadelphia. When Catherine was asked why others should support SeniorLAW Center she said this: “Secure neighborhoods for older people are secure neighborhoods for everyone. SeniorLAW Center’s mission focuses on justice for all which is critically important at this time in our history.”
Deanna Jenkins has been a part of the SeniorLAW Center board of directors since 2015 and works with our Resource Development Committee. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College Magna Cum Laude, and received her MHSA from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. We asked her why she wanted to be involved with the SeniorLAW Center and she said this: “As a woman who was raised by her grandmother, the mission of SeniorLAW center is very personal to me and I am truly inspired by their work.”
Caitlin McKenna is another fantastic board member here at SeniorLAW Center, and has been part of the board since 2019, and brings with her many years of experience from Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP here in Philadelphia. A graduate of Episcopal Academy High School, undergraduate studies from Georgetown University, before coming home to Philadelphia and getting her law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law. Caitlin is part of our Media and Communications Committee and is Co-Chair of the 2021 Gala. We asked her what the highlight of her board membership has been, and she said this: “I am excited to assist the SeniorLAW Center accomplish its goals of bettering the lives of our older generations and strengthening the Philadelphia community by working together with a group of diverse and dedicated Board Members and SeniorLAW Center staff.”
Shari J. Odenheimer is another leading member of our board of directors. As the lead attorney of her own firm, the Law Office of Shari J. Odenheimer, she brings years of experience and is the co-chair of the Resource Development Committee, Co-Chair of the 2021 Gala and former Board Chair. Receiving her undergraduate education from the University of Michigan and her J.D from Boston University School of Law she continues to pass the skills and knowledge she learns onto our staff in new and enlightening ways. We asked her what are some of the other ways that she helps at SeniorLAW Center, and she reflected on her beginning here over two decades ago: “I started my relationship with SLC in 1992 as a volunteer attorney preparing life planning documents. I also assist in training others to prepare documents for SLC clients.”
Gay Parks Rainville is another tenured member among many who have paved the way for SeniorLAW Center over the last several years. Service the board since 2006, she is the Board Development Committee Co-Chair when she is not busy as the co-founding partner of Dailey LLP as a commercial litigator. She has been the Co-Chair of the Gala in previous years and is also a former Board Chair. We asked her what was one of her highlights being a part of the SLC Board and she said this: “Under my leadership as Board Chair in 2013-2015, SeniorLAW Center expanded its programs, staff and services, including its statewide services through its 67-county Pennsylvania SeniorLAW HelpLine. In March 2019, I was inducted into SeniorLAW Center’s Hall of Fame.”
Courtney Schultz in a Philadelphia native who has been a part of the SeniorLAW Center board for the last two years and comes with many years of experience as an attorney at the Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr firm in Philadelphia. Receiving her undergraduate education at Ursinus College in Montgomery County before attending The Delaware Law School for her J.D. We asked Courtney why she wanted to be a part of the team at SeniorLAW Center, and this is what she said: “Ensuring that the SeniorLAW Center remains poised to provide meaningful information, education and legal resources to seniors across Pennsylvania to help them navigate potentially life-altering issues, improving their lives and the lives of those closest to them.” Courtney is also the Co-Chair of the 2021 Gala.
Julia Swain has been a part of the SeniorLAW Center Board since 2017 and is a practicing member at Fox Rothschild LLP in Philadelphia. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and her Law Degree at the Delaware Law School (formerly known as the Widener School of Law). We asked Julia on why other should support SeniorLAW Center and she said this: “The SeniorLAW Center provides an incredibly wide array of protection, service, advocacy and information to and for our senior citizens. SLC makes a very meaningful difference in improving their lives.”
Last but certainly not least is board member Cyndee Wishkovsky. One of the founding members of the board of directors here at SeniorLAW Center she continues to provide a meaningful impact for all of our members. We asked her why she wanted to get involved and she said this: “SeniorLAW Center is a critical organization that focuses access to justice solely on the most invisible of constituents in this society – those that are old, poor and oftentimes frail. Older people carry an increasingly difficult burden today, and they need specialized help and assurance that someone cares and is in a position to help.”