Board of Trustees


 

Benjamin B. Rogers '95

Chair

Ben Rogers, a Benchmark School alumnus (Class of 1995), is a Senior Vice President—Corporate Banking Relationship Manager at Citizens Bank NA. He has nearly 20 years of relationship and portfolio management experience with public and private companies in the middle market. Prior to Citizens Bank, Ben held similar roles at HSBC PLC and Truist Bank.

Ben is an active Board Member of the Association of Corporate Growth (MD chapter), and AdHoc member of Agawam Council Board of Directors (non-voting), a non-profit youth development organization.  He also volunteers with Common Impact to support social equity through skill-based volunteerism. 

Ben graduated from the University of Richmond with a BS in Business Administration with a Double Concentration in Accounting and Finance. 

Ben holds the role of Chair of Benchmark School’s Board of Trustees, and his daughter Addison currently attends Benchmark.


 

Wendi Chase

Vice Chair

Wendi Chase, a parent of a 2006 Benchmark graduate, has held various roles in Benchmark’s Board of Trustees since 2016. 

Wendi’s professional work includes over 10 years in elementary education, as well as time in private wealth management and work for the U.S. Department of Defense. 

Wendi is a Baldwin School graduate and earned a BA in geology from Wittenberg University. She and her husband, Charlie, live in Radnor and have two sons.

Wendi holds the role of Vice Chair on Benchmark School’s Board of Trustees, and she also serves on the Executive and Development Committees.


 

Charles Bramley

Treasurer

Charlie Bramley is a Partner at the accounting firm of Withum, based out of Philadelphia. 

Charlie specializes in providing accounting, audit, tax, and advisory services to both public and privately-held middle-market business enterprises, including employee benefit plans. He also assists clients in the design and implementation of budgeting, forecasting and performance measurement systems.

Charlie holds a BS in accounting from the University of Dayton and has spoken at numerous seminars dealing with accounting and auditing issues. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and was a founding member of the Private Company Financial Reporting Committee, a joint committee sponsored by the AICPA and Financial Accounting Standards Board. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants where he serves on the Committee on Accounting and Auditing Procedures.

Charlie holds the office of Treasurer of Benchmark’s Board of Trustees, and also serves on the Executive and Marketing & Admissions Committees. He is the Chair of the Finance Committee. 


 

W. Greg Coleman

Secretary

Greg Coleman has spent his career in education, teaching French at several independent schools before settling in at The Shipley School, where he spent 32 years. At Shipley, Greg taught French, chaired the department of foreign languages, and at various times served as a class dean, Dean of the Faculty, Head of Upper School, and Director of Admissions. 

After retiring from Shipley, Greg took up the role of Transition Counselor at Benchmark School, where he worked for five years before retiring for good in 2014. Greg had been a Director (trustee) at Church Farm School since leaving Shipley and also joined the Benchmark School’s Board of Trustees in 2014. 

Greg studied French at Yale and Princeton Universities, where he received a B.A. and M.A. respectively.

Greg holds the role of Secretary and serves on the Governance Committee, as well as the Chair of the Marking & Admissions Committee on Benchmark School’s Board of Trustees. 


 

Dan Berger '93

Dan Berger, a Benchmark School alumnus (Class of 1993), is President of Berger Rental Communities. After earning his JD and MBA degrees from Temple University and being licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Dan returned to his real estate and property management roots because of his love of working with people.

At Berger Rental Communities, Dan focuses on championing the company culture, building relationships, acquiring and developing multifamily properties, securing financing, and setting the company’s strategic vision.  Dan has grown Berger Rental Communities to a top 5 largest multi-family management company in Pennsylvania. 
 
Dan is an active member of the YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) Philadelphia Chapter, the President of the Pennsylvania Apartment Association, serves on the Executive Committee of the Jewish Federation of Real Estate, a member of the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia Board of Trustees, and a member of the Benchmark Board of Trustees. In addition, Dan has founded and is President of Hope & Door, a non-profit charity dedicated to providing support to families facing homelessness due to an unexpected financial emergency. 
 
While not at the office or a property, Dan is with his wife, Ashly, and their two children, Isabella and Hudson. (Hudson is a current Benchmark student.) He also enjoys long-distance running, Philadelphia sports teams, and spending summer weekends at the Jersey shore.

Dan serves on the Facilities and Finance Committees of Benchmark School's Board of Trustees. 


 

Michelle Bogosian

Michelle Bogosian grew up in Villanova and attended Villanova University, studying English and Business. In 1998, Michelle assumed a leadership role in her family’s business, The Camera Shop, founded in 1920 by her grandfather.

During Michelle’s tenure at The Camera Shop, she has overseen operations through the retail photo industry’s most turbulent era. Michelle’s methods and success in rebranding, transitioning to digital, and managing e-commerce have been recognized by imaging industry leaders such as the Photo Marketing Association, PRO, Photofinale and Hewlett-Packard. Her approach has been emulated by other independent retailers worldwide.  
    
Michelle has spent many years volunteering locally, having served as Director of the Bryn Mawr Business Association and as Director of “Bryn Mawr Day,” a free annual community event, during which time she grew the attendance from a couple of hundred to more than 5,000. Michelle has served on committees with the Philadelphia Zoo, the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.    

While her daughter Emma Heckmann ‘19 was a student at Benchmark, Michelle was active with the Benchmark Parents’ Association, helping with many events including the Parent Social, the annual play, and Grandparents’ Day.

Michelle’s number one hobby is driving and flying Emma (who currently attends The Shipley School) around the country for fencing training and competitions. Michelle also enjoys cooking, hiking, flatwater kayaking, or walking with her three dogs and fiancé, Greg.

Michelle serves as the Chair of the Development Committee of Benchmark School's Board of Trustees. 


 

Amanda Bruno

Amanda Bruno is the Global Chief Business Development Officer at Morgan Lewis. She earned a BS at Syracuse University and her JD from Villanova University School of Law.

Amanda joined Morgan Lewis in 2004 as an associate in the firm’s litigation practice group before moving into client service and business development roles. As Morgan Lewis’s chief business development officer, Amanda leads the firm’s global business development function, enabling stakeholders to drive growth while at the same time championing the voice of the client. In this role, Amanda is responsible for working with the firm’s Chair and its senior leadership team to develop and execute on business development priorities aligned with the firm’s objectives, including client-focused aspects of the firm’s practice, industry, and regional strategies. Amanda serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee and is an essential component of ML Women.

Amanda continues to practice law pro bono by representing abused and neglected children, and she is active in various local and national organizations.

Amanda’s daughter Rachel currently attends Benchmark.

Amanda serves on the Development Committee of Benchmark School's Board of Trustees.


 

Betsy Cunicelli

Betsy Cunicelli dedicated the majority of her career to Benchmark School. From 1974-2018, Betsy occupied a number of key roles supporting the school’s growth, including as a teacher, the first Math Department Head, Lower School Supervisor, and manager of the James S. McDonnell Foundation grant. 

The James S. McDonnell Foundation grant that Betsy managed was a transformational milestone in the development of Benchmark School. The McDonnell grant named our founder Irene Gaskins as one of the ten primary professionals to develop a national research network of investigators and collaborative teams committed to applying the theoretical results of cognitive behavioral science for the improvement of learning, teaching, and teacher preparation. In 1989, Benchmark was named a James S. McDonnell Demonstration School. 
 
Betsy earned her PhD from Fordham University. In her retirement, Betsy enjoys gardening and spending time with her children and grandchildren. 
 
Betsy serves on the Marketing & Admissions and Development Committees of Benchmark School’s Board of Trustees.


 

Len DeStefano 

Len DeStefano is the father of Benchmark student Christopher, Class of 2023. Len joined the Benchmark School Board of Trustees in 2022, and has already taken an active role in the work of the Benefits and Compensation Committee. 

Now semi-retired, Len was a founding partner of McKean Defense Group Inc, a consulting firm that provided information technology and naval engineering services to the US Navy. 
   
In August 2021, Len formed Pomerado Technologies LLC (holding company) and is the Managing Partner, President & CEO. Len had both private and public sector industry experience prior to establishing McKean Defense, working as a senior executive for market leaders in the power generation industry, including Koch Industries, John Zink, and TODD Combustion. Prior to that, he spent seventeen years supporting Naval Sea Systems Command.

Len grew up in the Philadelphia area and completed a four-year curriculum of apprenticeship training for a US Naval Shipyard in just three years, graduating first in his class. He is a member of the Surface Navy Association, a Life Member of The Naval Institute, National Defense Industrial Association Del Chapter Board Member, and is a Life Member of The Union League of Philadelphia, Aronimink Golf Club, and The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (Certified Instrument Rated Pilot).  

Len currently resides in Newtown Square with his wife Elaine and two children, Jessica, and Christopher. He has a second home is Sea Isle City, New Jersey where he and his son Chris enjoy golfing at UL National. He spends his spare time enjoying his family, playing golf, doing Knights of Columbus service work, and coaching (U12) little league baseball at Newtown Edgmont Little League (NELL).


 

Nicholas Kemp, Jr.

Nick Kemp is Partner and Private Wealth Advisor at Clarity Financial Planning Group and an advisor of Northwestern Mutual’s Private Client Group. Nick has a BS in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance from Widener University, and is a Certified Financial Planner. 

Nick enjoys helping people identify their financial goals, and then partnering with them to navigate a course of action to achieve them particularly rewarding. He prides himself on making sure his clients are well-educated on all of their options so that they are empowered to make the best possible financial decisions for themselves, their families, and their businesses. 

Nick lives in St. David’s with his wife, Dawn, and three children Audra, Nicholas, Haley, and he enjoys fishing, hiking and camping.  
 
Nick serves on the Executive and Finance Committees as well as the Chair of the Governance Committee of Benchmark School’s Board of Trustees. 


 

Anne Rice-Burgess

Anne Rice-Burgess is the President and CEO of Methodist Home for Children and Services. Anne has developed a career devoted to helping children and families as they face the challenges of limited resources, increased poverty, homelessness, disabilities and deficits in education. 
 
Anne is a product of Philadelphia Quaker school education, a graduate of Georgetown University with a BS in Psychology and an MS in Counseling Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy from Chestnut Hill College. She obtained professional certification as a Human Resources professional at Villanova University and a certificate in Executive Leadership from Bryn Mawr College.
 
Anne began her career with Methodist Services 22 years ago. Of the work that Anne holds most dear will always be the many families whom she helped become whole through adoption leading to a 2015 Kathy Taylor Award for Mission and Community Service, the housing programs for homeless women and families she helped to create, and the organic urban farm for which she won the 2016 Social Innovations Journal Award. Anne was recognized by a Strong Families Commission – Supporters of Change Award in 2017.
 
Anne’s professional philosophy is that no matter a person’s circumstances, they deserve the best, and once that person has had the opportunity to experience something better than what they’ve known, they will work hard to keep it. Most people need support and those that are underprivileged should be given a helping hand, without hesitation.
 
Anne is the parent of a 2018 Benchmark graduate, Krista, who currently attends Friends Select School. 
 
Anne serves on the Facilities Committee of Benchmark School Board of Trustees.


 

Andrew B. Rogers '93

Andy Rogers '93 is Chief Counsel to Commissioner Andrea Lucas at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, DC. In this capacity, Andy provides legal advice with respect to all business, including regulations, guidance, policy, proposed litigation, subpoena determinations, amicus participation, and federal sector administrative appeals. Prior to this role, Andy served as an attorney specializing in employment law at the law firms of Littler Mendelson P.C. in Tysons Corner, VA and Paul Hastings LLP in Washington, DC. 

After graduating from Benchmark School in 1993, Andy attended the Episcopal Academy. Andy earned a BA in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, and his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. 

Andy serves on the Facilities and Governance Committees of Benchmark School's Board of Trustees. 

 


 

Charles Ryan

Charlie Ryan is Chairman and Managing Partner of UFG Asset Management, an investment management firm based in Moscow. Charlie has top level expertise and deep knowledge of both Russian and international markets.

Charlie began his professional career in 1989 with CS First Boston, where he was a Financial Analyst. From 1991 to 1994, Mr. Ryan was an Associate and Principal Banker with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, where he played a role in the city of St. Petersburg’s privatization program for industry and real estate. In 1994, Mr. Ryan co-founded the United Financial Group, an independent investment bank in Moscow. UFG Asset Management was founded as part of the United Financial Group in 1996.

In 2005, when Deutsche Bank acquired UFG’s investment banking business, Charlie was appointed as the Chief Country Officer and CEO of the Deutsche Bank Group in Russia. He stepped down as the CEO of Deutsche Bank in Russia in September 2008 and in October 2008 became the Chairman of UFG Asset Management. In addition to his role as the Chairman, Mr. Ryan is also responsible for the overall management of UFG's private equity business.
Charlie earned his undergraduate degree in Government from Harvard College. 

Charlie serves on the Finance Committee of Benchmark School’s Board of Trustees.


 

Michele Todd

Michele Todd grew up in Havertown and attended The Pennsylvania State University, where she was VP of The Penn State Marketing Association and earned a BS in Accounting. She interned with Coopers and Lybrand, LLP during her senior year at Penn State and went on to work full-time as an auditor with Coopers and Lybrand after graduation. 

While working at Coopers and Lybrand, Michele earned her Certified Public Accountant designation. Michele left Coopers and worked at Comcast Metrophone and at Pet Valu International, Inc. 

Michele moved to Paris, France with her husband Michael, where she worked for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLC. After her son Michael Jr. was born she returned to the Philadelphia area. Michele rejoined Pet Valu International, Inc. as an Accounting Analyst before moving to The Haverford School as Controller in August 2002. As human resource requirements for schools continued to change, Michele filled a need and became the Director of Human Resources at Haverford in September 2010. She currently serves as a Trustee of the PAISBOA Health Benefit Trust, Chair of the PAISBOA TPA Ad Hoc Committee, and is a member of the PAISBOA Human Resource Steering Committee.

Michele’s son, Michael Jr., graduated from The Haverford School in 2019 and currently attends the University of Richmond. Her daughter Madeline attends The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr. Michele likes to spend her time at the beach in the summers, and enjoys movies, travel, tennis, and general fitness/wellness.

Michele serves on the Finance Committee of Benchmark School's Board of Trustees.

 


 

JAMES Viner

Jim Viner is the President of HSC Builders & Construction Managers. Jim oversees the company’s preconstruction, project management, field operations, information technology, business development and marketing operations. Jim has been at HSC Builders since 1998, and has 30 years of experience in healthcare, higher education, and biotech/pharmaceutical construction management. 
 
Jim has a BS from Lafayette College. His son Will is a 2021 Benchmark alum.
 
Jim serves as the Chair of the Facilities Committee of Benchmark School’s Board of Trustees.


 

Sarah Willie-LeBreton

Sarah Willie-LeBreton is the Provost and Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College. She earned a BA from Haverford College, and an MA and PhD from Northwestern University, all in sociology.  

Sarah began her tenure track teaching career at Colby College in Maine and Bard College in New York state, moving to Swarthmore in 1997 where she assumed the coordination of the Black Studies Program and was awarded tenure in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology. Before becoming Provost, Sarah served the College as a department chair, interdisciplinary studies coordinator, Task Force on Sexual Misconduct chair, and Associate Provost. 

She has been active in the Eastern Sociological Society, Sociologists for Women in Society, the Association of Black Sociologists, and the American Sociological Association. In addition to Benchmark School, Sarah’s Board service has included the Executive Office and Budget of the ASA, Pendle Hill Quaker Center, Haverford College, and the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, D.C. 

Interested in social inequality, higher education, social theory, and African American culture, Sarah considers herself an applied sociologist, and works with a broad range of groups and organizations to understand social dynamics and to develop strategies to move toward organizational self-awareness, transformation, compassion, and inclusivity.  

Sarah’s son Jeremy LeBreton graduated from Benchmark in 2019. 
 
Sarah serves on the Governance and Marketing & Admissions Committees of the Benchmark School Board of Trustees. 
 


 

Kristin Yerger

BPA Liaison

Kristin Yerger is parent to Madaline ‘24 and Matthew ‘21 and is the President of the Benchmark Parents Association, a position she has held since 2020. This is her second term on the Board of Trustees.

Kristin graduated from West Chester University and has a M.Ed. from Neumann University, and an Autism Certificate and Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate from Penn State and is a licensed Behavior Specialist, BSL. She has worked as a Behavior Specialist Consultant for the past 14 years.  Prior to that, Kristin taught special education in the West Chester Area School District.

Kristin enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with family and friends. She and her family live in West Chester.

Kristin serves on the Marketing & Admissions Committee of Benchmark School's Board of Trustees. 


 

Chris Hancock

Head of School 

Chris Hancock is the Head of Benchmark School. Chris has an extensive background in independent school education. As a mentor and an administrator, an academic advisor and a coach, he has dedicated a majority of his career to supporting children who learn differently. 
 
Chris began his career in 2003 at Eagle Hill School in Hardwick, Massachusetts, where he most recently served as Assistant Head of School for Student Life. Chris has also served as Director of Development at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City; Director of Development and Alumni Relations at The Sage School in Foxboro, Massachusetts; and Assistant Director of Admissions and Diversity Coordinator at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. 

Chris holds a BA in Economics from Haverford College and an EdM in School Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.


 

Irene W. Gaskins

Founder & Trustee Emerita

Irene W. Gaskins is the founder and former Head of Benchmark School. Passionate about learning and writing about literacy and education, Irene authored many research articles and books. Her books include Success with Struggling Readers: The Benchmark School Approach,  Building Exemplary Reading Programs & Initiating Change, and Implementing Cognitive Strategy Thinking: The Benchmark Manual for Teachers, among others. She has been honored as a Distinguished Educator by The Reading Teacher and received the International Reading Association's William S. Gray Citation of Merit for lifetime achievement. In 1987, the James S. McDonnell Foundation granted Irene a research award to study "Development of a Metacognitive Curriculum for an Elementary School." 

Irene’s particular interest in developing strategies for improving word recognition and comprehension led to her creation of the Word ID program in 1983, Benchmark School’s exclusive and renowned phonics/decoding program.

In addition to leading Benchmark School, Irene also served as a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her EdD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in educational psychology. 

Irene serves on the Development and Finance Committees of Benchmark School's Board of Trustees.

Read more about Irene Gaskins and the history of Benchmark School. 
 


 

Howard Marcus

Trustee Emeritus

Howard Marcus is President of HRM Leadership Advisors, a global talent management consultancy providing leadership consulting, executive coaching, and talent management expertise. Howard brings extensive human resources; leadership development; career and talent management; and international and multicultural experience cultivated over 35 years of working in a variety of industries with thousands of leaders. He specializes in developing executives, building high-performance teams, and helping organizations achieve their growth aspirations while creating value for their shareholders, customers, and employees. His work with leaders has resulted in improved core leadership skills, strengthened leadership effectiveness, higher team performance, measurable business improvement, and success in meeting the challenges and opportunities of transition and change.

Howard also serves as a senior consultant and leader coach for Right Management, serving clients across a variety of industries. Previously, at The McGraw-Hill Companies (today known as S&P Global), Howard held the role of VP Management & Organizational Development for 14 years, leading its global talent management efforts and the international HR function. Earlier in his career, Howard held senior HR leadership roles at Golden Books Family Entertainment, KPMG US, The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceutical Corporation, the latter including a two-year assignment living and working in Paris, France. 

Howard was a member of the staff of Benchmark School from 1978 to 1987. Starting as a Psychological Services Intern while completing his graduate studies, Howard later served as the Head of Psychological Services and Director of Admissions. 

Howard received his PhD in Education (Professional Psychology), as well as his MS in Psychological Services and BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Howard is an Emeritus Member of Benchmark School's Board of Trustees.


 

Louisa Hanshew

Ex-Officio

Louisa Hanshew, Director of Development and Parent Engagement, has worked at Benchmark School since 2014. Louisa had a deep background in development, having served as Vice President of Development for the Devereux Foundation, the Kimmel Center, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In the realm of higher education, Louisa held the role of Assistant Dean of the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University. Earlier in her career, Louisa worked in fashion design with Emilio Pucci in Florence, Italy. 

Louisa earned a BS from Drexel University and an MS in Management from Gwynedd Mercy University. 

Louisa loves to travel the world, and has visited 23 countries. She has a daughter, Chelsea, and lives in Wayne with her dog, Barki.