Project 440 Board of Directors
Founder, LeVan Law Group LLC
Tad Levan is an accomplished trial and appellate lawyer who founded LeVan Law Group to change the paradigm for provision of high-quality legal services by offering flat-fee and other alternative financial arrangement in high-stakes commercial litigation matters. A former federal law clerk, Tad has a well-established record of success in a wide variety of legal practices. He focuses on complex commercial litigation, ERISA litigation, and other trial and pretrial matters.
A two-time winner of the Equal Justice Award and the recipient of The Philadelphia Bar Foundation's 2016 Pro Bono Award, Tad has a long history of groundbreaking pro bono and public interest engagements. Most recently, Tad spearheaded a team of talented attorneys who successfully obtained a unanimous ruling from the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, sitting en banc, that declared the lifetime employment ban contained in The Older Adults Protective Services Act to be facially unconstitutional and enjoined the Commonwealth from further enforcement of the law against any Pennsylvania citizen. See Peake v. Commonwealth, 2015 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 585 (Dec. 30, 2015).
Tad teaches courses at The University of Penn Law School and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute on trial and pretrial practice. In addition, he has published articles or been quoted in NPR's All Things Considered, Bloomberg BNA, The ABA Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Bar Journal and The Legal Intelligencer, among others.
When not representing clients, Tad can be found advocating for the arts, singing with Choral Arts of Southern New Jersey, or performing at The Broadway Theatre in Pitman, New Jersey.
Blake has enjoyed a diverse career as an active recitalist and performer with several orchestras and chamber ensembles. He often performs with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Philly Pops, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Blake has been a violinist in La Catrina Quartet, in residence at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. As a member of the quartet, he has performed in more than 35 states in the US and Mexico. The quartet recorded with Cuerteto Latinoamericano on the Dorian Label, which subsequently won a Latin Grammy for best classical album 2012.
In 2007, Blake was invited to become a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL, a professional studies orchestra whose alumni have gone on to join the ranks of professional orchestras all of the US and the world. In this program, he was given the opportunity to act as a rotating concert master, chamber musician, and educator to young musicians in the Miami area.
Assistant Principal Bass, The Philadelphia Orchestra
A 2004 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Joseph Conyers was appointed assistant principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2010. He came to Philadelphia after tenures with both the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony, where he served as principal. He has been a soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Alabama, Flagstaff, Savannah, and DeKalb Symphony Orchestras. A strong advocate for music education and community engagement, Conyers helped develop curriculum for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Sound Learning Program – a program that integrates music into the everyday curriculum of kids in elementary school. In Grand Rapids, he was a member of the Calder Quintet, an educational ensemble.
In 2006, Conyers and two fellow musicians founded Project 440, which uses music as a tool to provide young musicians with the 21st Century career and life skills they need to develop into civic-minded and entrepreneurial leaders in their communities. He has written a great number of successful engagement shows performed by Project 440 Teaching Artists in Savannah as well as musicians of the Atlanta Symphony. In 2010, when Conyers moved to Philadelphia, Project 440 moved with him and is now deeply involved in working with music students in Philadelphia. In February, 2015, Conyers was named Music Director of Philadelphia’s All-City Orchestra, and Project 440 became the principal strategic planning partner for All-City.
Conyers’s social contributions have been recognized by a number of organizations. In 2007, Ebony Magazine named him one of 30 leaders 30 and younger, and Mutual of Omaha featured Conyers in a television commercial for the company in 2010. In 2008, Conyers received the Inaugural Allen Award – a prestigious cash prize in recognition of his extraordinary achievements in the classical music industry both as musician and as public servant. In 2015, Conyers was awarded an MPower award by Sphinx to help fund Project 440’s work with the All-City Orchestra, and he received the first-ever Young Alumnus Award from the Curtis Institute of Music.
Financial Advisor, PIM Portfolio Manager, Wells Fargo Advisors
Chris serves as a financial advocate by building a team designed around individual, corporate and institutional clientele, identifying opportunities of need and optimizing value. He holds himself accountable to providing experiential, impartial advice and top-tiered service. His 20 plus years of experience has enabled him to deepen his knowledge and understanding in asset, liability, tax, risk and cash management.
In addition to advocating, connecting and educating high net worth individuals, Chris also focuses his practice on employee benefit plans which include qualified retirement plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plans and executive compensation, with emphasis on defined benefit, defined contribution and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Chris was recently named as a finalist for the 2015 Philadelphia SmartCEO Money Manager Award. Prior to joining Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, Chris worked for Morgan Stanley (formerly Smith Barney), Berkadia (formerly GMAC Commercial Mortgage), Comcast and PHH Mortgage (formerly Cendant).
Chris makes use of his personal time mentoring and engaging young professionals, advocating financial literacy and working with underserved youth in Philadelphia.
Publicist, Alist Events Marketing, LLC
Aalyah Duncan is a multi-talented professional with two degrees in music. She provides services as a violin instructor, and as a consultant for clients in the arts community. A native of Philadelphia, Aalyah began her professional career in Atlanta, working in the Marketing Communications Department as Manager of the Friday Jazz Series at the prestigious High Museum of Art. While at the High Museum, Aalyah has worked with international musicians such as Ike Stubblefield, Steve Dancz, Kevin Bales, Julie Dexter, Joe Gransden, and Takana Miyamoto to name a few. She has also served as Violin Instructor for the Atlanta Public Schools Youth Orchestra, where she taught violin, theory, and technique. Her previous teaching endeavors also include working for Cathedral Arts Project, a nonprofit organization that provides arts programs to students who reside in underserved communities.
More recently, Aalyah has embarked on her own business, providing public relations and marketing services as publicist to various renowned artists and musicians in the music industry, including: Grammy Nominated and multi-platinum saxophonist and flautist Najee, award-winning trumpeter and producer Joey Sommerville, Grammy award-winning saxophonist Kebbi Williams, and Grammy award-winning songwriter and producer Carvin Haggins. She has recently expanded her network into the political sector, serving as Communications Director and Deputy Campaign Manager for Councilman Derek Green – City Council At-Large race - which resulted in a win for the 2016 General Election in Philadelphia, PA.
Aalyah has served as mentor for the Big Brother Big Sister program, and continues to provide mentorship and guidance to inner-city youth.
Founder, Senior Environment Consulting, LLC
Joe is an environmental scientist. He manages the remediation of contaminated brownfield sites, provides expert services (including testimony) in environmental litigtion, and assess the viability of regional water supplies. In the 1980s, Joe chaired Disaster Services while on the Board of the American Red Cross, Lower Bucks County Chapter. During that period, Joe founded and oversaw the first year's operations of the Bucks County Homeless Shelter, one of the first suburban shelters of its type in the country. Joe is also the past President of The Counseling Center of Bucks County, which itself was an early provider of counseling services to shelter residents.
For the past 10 years, Joe has been President of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County, where Don Liuzzi served on the Board. Through that relationship, Joe worked with Don and Joe Conyers to develop and manage the 2015 All City Orchestra tour of Italy, which used YOBC’s own 2014 Italy tour as the model. He recently assumed a new position for YOBC, Vice President for Development.
Joe also serves as the Secretary of the Board for Bristol Riverside Theatre, Bucks County’s professional theatre on the Delaware in historic Bristol. In that position, Joe also oversees BRT’s summer camp program for at-risk youth, ArtRageous.
Music has been a life-long passion for Joe, particularly jazz and contemporary singer-songwriters.
Practice Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education Adjunct Associate Professor, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Martin Ihrig is a Practice Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and President of I-Space Institute, LLC. He holds professorial appointments at both the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education (PennGSE). At PennGSE, he serves as the founding Academic Director of the nation’s first executive master’s program in Education Entrepreneurship. He received his Master of Business Studies (First Class Honors) from University College Dublin and his Doctorate in Business Administration (Summa Cum Laude) from Technische Universität Berlin.
Dr. Ihrig consults on the strategic and entrepreneurial management of knowledge (SEM-K) and directs the SEM-K research initiative at Wharton's Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center. In developing strategy tools for corporate and public sector decision makers, he has worked with organizations such as BAE Systems (USA), The Boeing Company (USA), Vale (Brazil), and Merck (USA). His research projects have been funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (UK), the ATLAS Collaboration at CERN (Switzerland), Tekes (Finland), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (USA).
Director of Professional and Community Engagement, Curtis Institute of Music
Mary’s goal as an artist is to use music to create positive social change in communities. She works towards this goal as a performer, curator, teaching artist, and mentor. A double bassist, she performs frequently with the Philadelphia Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra, and numerous orchestras throughout the country. She has performed and recorded with Network for New Music, the Dolce Suono Ensemble, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, and the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music.
Mary has won fellowships with the Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Verbier Festival, and the National Symphony; and is a Maryland Distinguished Scholar. A passionate advocate for music education and community engagement, she has consulted for the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Savannah Music Festival, and Project 440. As a curator for LiveConnections, she programs an innovative concert series at World Café Live. She has also curated for Intercultural Journeys, an organization that promotes peace and cultural dialogue through music.
A 1999 graduate of the Curtis institute of Music, where she studied with Harold Robinson, Mary joined the Curtis faculty in 2011 to lead the Community Artist Program and became the school’s director of professional development and community engagement in 2014.
CEO/Co-Founder, Kali, LLC
Will has been a pioneering developer innovating on behalf of such firms as American Express, Dun and Bradstreet and the Better Business Bureau. He was an early open source advocate in the corporate environment and has a record of architecting technical solutions for complex, extremely high volume, mission critical functions using ope source technology and commodity hardware. Most recently, Will co-founded a company, Integral Ad Science, and was critical in its growth from a seven person team to a multi-national corporation with a hundred employees around the world, raising $50M in venture capital funding.
Director of Music Education, School District of Philadelphia
Frank holds a bachelor's degree in music composition and a master degree in music education from the University of the Arts. He has studied with numerous musicians and has shared the stage with many accomplished professionals. He possesses a wealth of experience teaching music at schools in the Philadelphia area, and has taught instrumental music at Grover Washington Jr. Middle School, integrating digital music and popular music into a traditionally strong jazz program. His substantial management experience includes previously overseeing daily operation at Saxophone Mouthpiece Heaven. Frank is a founder and board president for Limelight Arts, which offers innovative, culturally relevant, student interest-driven, world-class music performing arts education for students in the Greater Philadelphia Area.
Program Manager for Youth Arts Education, The Village of Arts and Humanities; Sanctuary Coordinator for "Project Safe Neighborhoods"
Mike earned his bachelors of music from The University of The Arts and works as both a humanitarian artist and youth development advocate. His teaching and professional artistic experience includes theatre, music, and songwriting in the Philadelphia tristate area and on projects with The University of Miami's Community and Educational Center for Well-Being, ASTEP, and The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, among others.
Throughout his work history, Mike has serviced a cross section of people exposed to trauma including adjudicated youth, youth and families experiencing homelessness, youth involved in the foster care system, and migrant farm-working youth. He was awarded “Child Advocate of The Year, 2014” for the Philadelphia Region by The Pennsylvania State Department of Education for his work assisting youth living in emergency housing. Taking his love for art and youth development to new personal territories, Mike was also awarded a 2013 Social Entrepreneur Seed Grant from Mobilize, and named a 2014 BMe Leader and grant recipient to start a youth-based media publishing company entitled "Built4Us". Currently, Michael serves as Program Manager of Youth Arts Education at The Village of Arts and Humanities, and as a Project Coordinator and Sanctuary Facilitator on a collaborative initiative between The US Attorney's Office of Eastern PA and The Sanctuary Institute to bring Trauma Informed Care to the Strawberry Mansion Community of North Philadelphia. In April, 2016, Mike was recognized by the readers of One Step Away, a monthly street paper focusing on social justice issues in Philadelphia, with a Steppy Award for his work empowering Philadelphia's youth through art and creativity.
CEO and Founder, Buzz Marketing Group
Tina is the CEO and founder of Buzz Marketing Group, which creates marketing strategies for clients within the beauty, entertainment, fashion, financial, and lifestyle sectors. In addition to serving on the Young Entrepreneur Council, the UN’s Global Entrepreneurship Council, and the Franklin Institute's board of directors, Tina has authored the youth marketing handbook Chasing Youth Culture And Getting It Right and the tween series Mackenzie Blue. Tina’s long list of honors include Essence’s 40 Under 40, Billboard’s 30 Under 30, Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business, and Inc’s 30 Under 30.