Board Member Bios

Board of Directors


Michael Drennan – President
Co-owner, Carolyn's Shade Gardens

Michael Drennan spent over 30 years in the investment management business before retiring to join his wife, Carolyn Walker, as the co-manager of Carolyn's Shade Gardens in Bryn Mawr, PA. Their boutique plant nursery specializes in shade perennials and native plants. Mr. Drennan has served on several boards and is excited to assist the Philadelphia Orchard Project to help further their mission.


Anne Taylor – VP/President-Elect

After serving on the POP board from 2009-2015, Anne rejoined the board in 2017. An attorney by day, Anne loves turning her non-work time to POP, and remains impressed at the continued growth in the breadth and depth of POP's partnerships and educational programming, as POP consistently pursues its mission of planting and supporting community orchards in the City of Philadelphia.


Bertina Whytehead – Treasurer
Recreation Therapist, Mercy LIFE West Philadelphia

Bertina is a Recreation Therapist with Mercy Life West Philadelphia. Motivated by a desire to serve her adopted community, Bertina joined The Junior League of Philadelphia in 2003, and has served in various leadership positions in the league. She learned about POP through its community partnership with The Junior League by attending a Junior League Wide Service Day at a POP orchard. She joined POP in 2013 as a board member and served as POP Board President in 2017.


Michelle Lawson – Secretary
Educator-Practitioner, Jefferson University and SHARE Food Program

A true Renaissance woman – artist, professor, manager, and farmer – Michelle is interested in sustainability, change management, food systems, risk management, human resources management, information systems, and training and development among other things. Michelle joined the board in 2015 and supports POP’s community and educational programs and other governance related issues.


Heather Zimmerman –
Program Director, Awbury Arboretum

Heather Zimmerman is currently the Director of Education at POP partner site Awbury Arboretum, where she coordinates and teaches environmental, horticultural and homesteading classes for people of all ages. She has worked in urban education for the last 20 years and for the last 7 worked as a horticulture and farmer educator for Penn State Extension and various sites in the neighborhood of historic Germantown where she lives. A graduate of the Barnes Foundation Horticulture Program, Heather is passionate about growing both ornamentals and edibles. She has worked with POP for the last 4 years as a volunteer and orchard liaison.


Chloe Cerwinka –
Landscape Planner, UPenn

Chloe Cerwinka is a Landscape Planner at the University of Pennsylvania, where she's spearheading efforts to make Penn more sustainable through improved landscape management methods, bicycle infrastructure and increased diverse and productive plantings. She is devoted to her hometown of Philadelphia, returning in 2010 to farm for her childhood food co-op at Weaver's Way Farm, and later co-founded Heritage Farm, a 1.5 acre urban community farm. Chloe is also a member of the Horticulture Committee at Bartram's Gardens. She received her B.A. in Design of the Environment from Penn, and worked as an architectural designer for ten years before seeing the light.


Julie Ulrich –
Director of Urban Conservation, Nature Conservancy

Julie Ulrich oversees a new initiative for The Nature Conservancy that researches, designs, and implements nature-based solutions for cities. She is committed to the belief that built and natural environments are deeply tied and must equitably benefit all communities. Julie has extensive experience in sustainable planning and design and has worked at the intersection of urbanism, ecology, and the public for over ten years. Julie is a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program and was named as one of Next City’s Vanguard. She speaks nationally and internationally on sustainable design, green urbanism, and the link between social and ecological resiliency. She has a Master’s of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering.


Angelina Conti –
Director of Digital Learning, UPenn Arts & Sciences

Angelina Conti is an educator with over ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She works in digital learning at the University of Pennsylvania and also volunteers with literacy and urban agriculture nonprofits in Philadelphia. Angelina is a Master Gardener in Pennsylvania and completed her Permaculture Design Certificate while working at a small independent school in California. She's a third generation Philadelphian and feels enormously lucky to be rooted here.

Jane Mackie –
Sustainer, Junior League of Philadelphia