PennPAC Volunteers (L to R): Mary Crawford, Liz Titus, Augusta Sterne
Three longtime friends find PennPAC as a new way to enjoy time together and make a positive impact on NYC. PennPAC volunteers Mary Crawford, Augusta Sterne, and Elizabeth Titus met while they were getting their MBAs at Wharton three decades ago and today they are all still close friends living near each other on the Upper West Side of New York City.
All three worked for American Express, Mary for 25 years in finance, strategic planning, and operations, Augusta for 13 years in marketing, and Elizabeth for 15 years in advertising, marketing, and communications. While not a requirement for PennPAC, they also have extensive consulting (in their years post-American Express) and nonprofit experience, making them extremely well prepared for working with PennPAC clients and being attuned to their distinct needs.
Mary was the one who found out about PennPAC and recruited her two friends. She became interested in skills-based volunteering because her husband, Calvin Mew, is on the board of Community Partners of the Harvard Business School Club of NY, and she wondered if Penn had something similar. An internet search led her to PennPAC’s website, and she volunteered for her first project in the Fall 2014 season for National Medical Fellowships (NMF), which funds minority students in medical school.
“The reason I like PennPAC,” Mary explains, “is because it makes so much sense. There’s all this latent talent out there, and Penn alums are excited about contributing. Sure, they could just write a check to a nonprofit, but giving time and talent means more. PennPAC makes it easy.”
Shortly after learning about PennPAC Mary brought both Augusta and Elizabeth on board. Augusta also joined her first project team in Fall 2014, consulting for the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation. In the Spring 2015 season they recruited Elizabeth to join them to consult for the Dave Nee Foundation (DNF), which addresses the issue of depression among law school students. Mary stepped up to Team Leader and Elizabeth served as Deputy Team Leader.
“The model that Jackie and her team set up works well,” Augusta believes. “Clients like PennPAC because it is easy to work with. There’s quality control, and PennPAC management set up clear procedures. Our DNF team was made up of creative, diligent people, and the client has said that our recommendations are being used as a blueprint for the future.”
Mary, Augusta, and Elizabeth plan to remain involved with PennPAC and support its mission. Mary is currently Team Liaison on the Thyroid, Head & Neck Cancer Foundation (THANC) project. Elizabeth is Deputy Team Leader on the Riverdale Neighborhood House (RNH) team, and she also helps PennPAC with communications. Augusta serves on the Nonprofit Relations Committee.
“It’s a chance for me to work with old friends like Mary and Augusta,” Elizabeth says, “as well as meet new Penn alums. I love to be a mentor, and working with recent grads, as I’m now doing with RNH Team Leader Ranti Odujinrin (Wharton ’13), is extremely fulfilling for me.”
Interested in more? Read our previous volunteer profile here.