2017-2018 Management Council


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 LLC, 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.


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 son, Charlie. She enjoys hot yoga, cooking, gardening, and home improvement projects.



Chief Operating Officer-Elect: Aronté Bennett

Aronté joined the Junior League in 2010 after moving from New York to Philadelphia in an effort to develop friendships while giving back to the community (and to end her love affair with NYC). In her time with the League, she has served as Parliamentarian and worked on the Marketing and Kids in the Kitchen Committees. As the Vice President of Marketing, she assisted in the creation of what became the Apple a Day logo. She served as committee chair during the inaugural year of Kids in the Kitchen. During the 2014-2015 League year, she was awarded the President’s Apple a Day Award.

Aronté is a marketing professor at Villanova University. Her hobbies include travel, patronizing local restaurants, napping, and attempting overly complicated recipes. She hopes one day to be able to honestly include running in that list.


Treasurer-Elect: Alexandra Tancredi

Alexandra Tancredi joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2014 with a desire to volunteer in the local community and meet like-minded women. Alexandra has served on the Finance and House Committees.

Alexandra grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs. She received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University and her Master of Business Administration from Temple University. With previous experience in education and manufacturing, she currently works as an Operations Analyst at Clemens Food Group. She loves reading and spending time with her husband Shane and her Newfoundland Moose.


Sustainer Leadership Council Chair-Elect: Annamarie Geppert Hellebusch

Annamarie Geppert Hellebusch joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 1993. Annamarie served as a committee member and chair of several community and fundraising projects, including chairing the JLP’s Signature Projects in 1998. Annamarie served as the JLP’s President in 2001-2002. In 2002, she chaired the Ad Hoc Committee for moving the Thrift Shop to Ardmore and the renovation team.

Annamarie was born and raised in Philadelphia. She graduated from Germantown Academy, where she now serves as a Trustee.   She earned her BSN and MSN at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Annamarie worked in Private Practice as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner for 25 years. Recently, she started her own real estate investment and renovation business, AGH Holdings, LLC. She lives in Wyndmoor with her husband, Stroud, and their two daughters, Morgan and Grace.


Vice President of Community: Kira Bryers

Kira Bryers joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2010. During her tenure, she has enjoyed working on many of the Apple a Day Healthy Living InitiativesTM, including serving as Co-Chair of Food to Families (SHARE). She also previously served as Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer.

Kira is a native of Philadelphia, and has also lived in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Vermont. She holds Bachelor of Arts Degrees in History, Political Science, and International Relations from Goucher College, and a law degree from Vermont Law School. She is a practicing attorney in the energy industry and also volunteers her time as a Young Friends Board Member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, where she is the Chair of Nominating. In her spare time, she loves running, skiing, sailing, cooking (she authors a food blog when her schedule allows), travel, and spending time with her boyfriend, Ed, and their energetic Wheaten Terrier, Bailey.


Vice President of Fundraising: Ashley Carroll

Ashley Carroll joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2013 after years of viewing friends and family across the country volunteer and meet with women of likeminded values. Before chairing the American Girl Fashion Show, Ashley served two years as a committee member where she found her love for fundraising. She moved on to chair the inaugural year of the JLP’s Sponsorship Committee, developing and cultivating relationships with local businesses on behalf of the JLP.

Ashley graduated from Auburn University. Ashley has extensive financial analysis, process transformation, and project management experience and currently works as a Management Consultant. In her spare time, Ashley loves to travel and sightsee, enjoying the rich history the city of Philadelphia has to offer and is always up for a guided tour.


Vice President of Marketing and Communications: Elisabeth Lubin Ilca

Elisabeth Lubin Ilca joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2013 as a transfer from the Junior League of Phoenix. Initially motivated by a desire to empower women, Elisabeth quickly found a passion for volunteering to bring positive change to her local community. She has served on the Kids in the Kitchen Committee for the past three years, including serving as Co-Chair in 2016-2017. In 2017, Elisabeth was selected as the Apple a Day Award recipient.

Elisabeth is originally from Philadelphia and graduated from St. Joseph’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. She currently works as a Presales Solution Engineer, responsible for solving complex business challenges and driving digital transformation in the Media & Telecommunications Industries. Elisabeth enjoys barre, the arts, cooking, and spending time with her husband and fur children.


Vice President of Membership Development: Kelly Steyn

Kelly Steyn joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2011 on the advice from her older sister who has been an active member in Leagues throughout the South. Kelly’s parents were both heavily involved in their communities and church growing up, so volunteering has been part of her life from an early age. She has served as chair and chair-elect for community committees, former Vice President of Community, and recently transitioned into membership-focused positions as the Placement Chair and currently the Vice President of Membership Development.

Kelly graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and immediately jumped into the real estate industry. Since 2007 her focus has been selling homes in the Philadelphia region and Kelly is currently an independent residential REALTOR with Keller Williams Real Estate. She lives in West Conshohocken with her husband Danie and two rescued dogs and is looking forward to welcoming their first child soon.


House Chair: MB Horvath

A life-long dedication to community service led Mary Beth “MB” Horvath to join the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2011. MB has held leadership roles in the League including Vice President of Fundraising and was Co-chair of the American Girl Fashion Show from 2012 through 2014. She was subsequently commentator for the 2015 and 2016 American Girl Fashion Shows. In 2015-2016, MB held the role of Website Chair and led efforts for a complete JLP website redesign. In 2016 she was honored as Volunteer of the Year.

MB is a Student Affairs professional and has worked in higher education for over 17 years. She holds a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administrative Leadership from Widener University, a Master of Science in Higher Education from Syracuse University, and undergraduate degrees in Environmental Studies and Music from Dickinson College. She lives in Ardmore with her husband Bryan and cats Max and Princess Caroline and enjoys running, baking, reading, and crochet.


Editor-at-Large: Carol Rose

Carol Rose joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 2004. Her League career has been an active one, having served in many leadership positions including JLP Board Treasurer, Secretary, and Chief Operating Officer. She also served on the Management Council as Vice President of Community, and chaired various committees. Carol was awarded the President’s Cup in 2015 for her service to the League.

Carol, a native Philadelphian, graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. She is currently a Senior Associate at STV, where she provides project management and engineering services for rail vehicle procurement, overhaul, and quality upgrade programs. Carol is active in her professional community, serving as Board Treasurer for the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia, Vice Chair of the WTS Northeast Region Council, and member of the WTS International Advisory Board. Carol lives in King of Prussia, PA with her husband and son.



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 Board 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.


Assistant to the COO: Lauren Lieberman Homel

Lauren joined the Junior League of Philadelphia in 1994 and has had the opportunity to participate in many facets of the JLP. Some highlights are: Public Relations, Done in a Day Committee, Project Research & Development, Job Fair for HELP Philadelphia, Children’s Book Committee, RESPECT Nature Committee, Nominating, Hotline, and Website. In addition, Lauren has served as the Development Council Director and, more recently, as Editor-at-Large. In 2017, Lauren was awarded the coveted title of Volunteer of the Year.

Lauren is a Jersey Girl at heart, but moved to the Philadelphia area upon graduation from Penn State. She then went on to earn her MBA at Villanova and, once that was done, promised herself that she would give back to the community with all of the extra time on her hands. Lauren works full-time for a software company as a Customer Success Manager while also trying to keep up with her busy husband and two sons. She currently holds a position on the Board of her sons’ religious school. If there is any free time left, Lauren enjoys staying active through running and hiking.