President: Mary Peller
Mary Peller’s experience with the Junior League began in Mobile, Alabama, where she volunteered and chaired community placements focusing on at-risk youth. Mary transferred to the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2005 and worked on the community and fundraising committees of Books Aloud!, HIP Kids, and the American Girl Fashion Show. In 2011, she served on the Management Council as Treasurer-Elect and the following year, she served on the Board as Treasurer. For a year, she served on the Community Council as Sustainer representative. Last year she served as President-Elect. Mary is honored and excited to serve as President for the 2017-2018 League year.
Mary has lived in Pennsylvania for more than 10 years, after time spent in upstate New York, Arizona, and Alabama. She attended Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, where she obtained her MBA. Mary has extensive experience in finance and is presently employed as a financial analyst. She is a certified public accountant. Mary lives in Center City Philadelphia and enjoys the sites and adventures that Philadelphia offers. She stays active with running and yoga and you may even spot her early Saturday morning powerwalking throughout the city.
President-Elect: Meredith Nissen
Meredith Nissen joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2005. Over the past 10 years, Meredith has served in several leadership roles including New Member Advisor, New Member Course Chair, Education & Volunteer Training Committee Co-Chair, Vice President of Fundraising, Nominating Committee Member, Parliamentarian, Director of Development, and Chief Operating Officer.
Meredith is an attorney specializing in the defense of complex products liability litigation and has been practicing law for the past 12 years. She graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations and obtained her law degree from Villanova University School of Law. She lives in a 300-year-old farmhouse with her five-year-old son, Charlie. She enjoys hot yoga, cooking, gardening, and home improvement projects.
Secretary: Elizabeth Moyer
Elizabeth Moyer joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2008 after encouragement from her sister who was a member of the Tampa League. Elizabeth’s interest quickly developed to a strong focus on community projects. She served as Chair for the RESPECT Nature Committee and inaugural Empowering You Health Fair. Elizabeth served on the Management Council as Vice President of Community in 2013-2014 and as Treasurer-Elect the following year. She completed a term as Board Treasurer in the 2015-2016 League year.
Elizabeth attended Penn State University for her undergraduate studies and St. Joseph’s University for her MBA. Professionally, she is a Relationship Director for corporate retirement plans for Great West Financial. In her spare time, Elizabeth loves to stay active with walking, yoga, and barre. She also has a passion for cooking and travel.
Treasurer: Katarina Sweeney
Katarina “Kat” Sweeney joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2012 seeking to give back to the community into which she was settling and to build friendships along the way. She served as Co-Chair for the 2016 American Girl Fashion Show before being nominated as Treasurer.
Kat moved to Philadelphia in 2010 after graduating from Penn State University with a degree in Finance. She is a Finance Manager at Johnson & Johnson and is currently based in the Customer & Logistics Services Division. Kat began her career at Johnson & Johnson in the Finance Leadership Development Program and has held roles of increasing responsibility across the Pharmaceutical and Consumer sectors. She and her husband, Kyle, are avid sports fans, enjoy traveling, and enjoy spending time with family and their dog, Poppy.
Sustainer Chair: Jeannette Schlegel
Jeannette Schlegel joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2003. After serving on Computer Literacy and the Laws of Life Committees, she began her leadership in the League in 2008 as Treasurer-Elect and Treasurer the following year. The high point of her JLP career to date was serving as AJLI Conference Site Chair in 2011 when Philadelphia hosted the event during our Centennial year. As a Sustainer, Jeannette has served as Co-Chair of DIAD, Evening Sustainers, and Sustainer Chair-Elect.
A real-life Midwestern farmer’s daughter from Indiana, Jeannette obtained both her Bachelor of Science in Management and Master of Science in Economics from Purdue University. She moved east via Cincinnati and Procter & Gamble, later joining General Electric in Princeton, New Jersey. She has enjoyed a career that has spanned cookies to toothpaste to communication satellites and is currently a “techie-nerdy” Systems Analyst for a defense contractor. Following a desire to move away from the New York City congestion, Jeannette moved to Devon, PA in 1996. She enjoys the fact that Valley Forge National Historical Park is her playground and she lives for winter when she can spend her weekends teaching skiing to beginner and intermediate skiers at Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie, PA.
Chief Operating Officer: Elizabeth Downey
A member since 2006, Elizabeth “Liz” Downey has held roles on fundraising committees including placements on the Harvest Hustle and Casino Night Committees. Liz served twice as the League’s Website Chair and twice as the League’s Vice President of Communications. Liz has also twice been nominated as the JLP’s Volunteer of the Year.
Liz currently works at Torchlight Technology Group, a digital marketing services firm. An attorney by training, she previously held attorney roles in state and municipal government. She has also worked as an independent consultant providing legal guidance and operations support to a number of small businesses in the region. Liz grew up in Bangor, Maine and has lived in Philadelphia full-time since 2005. She is a regular runner and cyclist and enjoys cooking and travel when time allows.
Director of Development: Lauren Zabel
Since joining the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2010, Lauren Zabel has held numerous leadership roles, including Co-Chair of the Thrift Shop Committee, Vice President of Fundraising, Vice President of Community, and is serving a second year as Director of Development.
Professionally, Lauren is a commercial restructuring and bankruptcy attorney at a law firm in Center City Philadelphia. Lauren grew up in southern New Jersey and attended college in New York City, where she obtained an art history degree from Barnard College. Lauren returned to Philadelphia to attend Temple University Beasley School of Law, where she met her husband Mike. She enjoys spending time with her husband and children, trying new craft beers, and traveling.
Nominating Chair: Victoria Cox
Victoria “Vicki” Cox joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2010 with the goal of giving back to the community and gaining leadership experience. She spent several years on various community committees, including BOOST Camp, Eatiquette, and Farm Explorer. She then spent two years as the Vice President of Marketing, and served on several ad hoc committees, including the Centennial Project Committee and Headquarters Renovation Committee. In 2015, she was selected as JLP Leader of the Year.
Vicki graduated from Temple University’s Fox School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. She also obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from West Chester University, as well as an MBA from the University of Phoenix. By day Vicki is employed by Atkins Nutritionals as a Nutrition Communications Manager, where she serves as a member of the public relations team responsible for media relations, government advocacy & policy engagement, and healthcare professional outreach. Vicki enjoys playing golf, tennis, gardening, cooking, and traveling with her husband and daughter.
Parliamentarian: Shauna Itri
Shauna Itri joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2010 seeking to volunteer, network, and develop friendships with like-minded women in the Philadelphia area. Since that time, Shauna has held a variety of roles in the League, including serving as the Director of Development for two years, Chief Operating Officer, and Secretary.
Shauna is originally from Huntington Beach, California and graduated from Stanford University in 2000. While at Stanford, Shauna was the captain of the women’s soccer team for two years and pursued a degree in Biology and Psychology. Wanting to experience life on the East Coast, Shauna went to law school at Villanova University, and upon graduation, she ended up moving to Philadelphia where she has spent most of her “adult life.” Shauna is a shareholder at a law firm representing whistleblowers. She lives in Queen Village and enjoys traveling, being active, and spending time with her husband, Dan, and stepchildren, Cole and Ben.
Nikki Lynne Stephanou: Assistant to the President
Nikki Lynne Stephanou joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2013 after moving back to the region after time away for college and graduate school. She was motivated to join the League to get reconnected with the city and give back. Nikki has held a variety of roles within Membership Development, most recently serving as the Vice President of Membership Development.
Nikki began her professional career working on college campuses in Residence Life. She has experience in retention, training & development, and large scale events. Nikki is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Leadership Coach, helping people explore how they can maximize working effectively on a team. She currently works for The College Board, working with higher education institutions. A native of the Philadelphia area, Nikki is an alumna of The Catholic University of America with a Bachelor of Arts in History and the University of Maine with a Master of Education in Student Development in Higher Education. She lives in Hatboro, PA with her boyfriend, Eric, and enjoys crafting, traveling, summers down the shore, and her dog, Gunner.