Exciting News!

Fairmount Park Conservancy welcomes new Board Members

by Grace Romo on June 10, 2024

Fairmount Park Conservancy is pleased to introduce four new Board members! The Conservancy’s Board of Directors oversees planning, policies, and finances to further our mission, working with the CEO and staff to ensure that the Conservancy operates and manages resources effectively. Board members are not compensated for their service, and are all advocates and champions of Philadelphia’s public parks system. 

Obra S. Kernodle, IV is the Director of Government Affairs for American Airlines. Obra has previously served as Commissioner on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Tom Wolf, Political Director to Mayor Nutter, , and the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the Delaware River Port Authority. Obra is also a Board member of Welcome America, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, and the Delaware River Waterfront Board of Directors.

Matthew N. McClure is Team Leader for Ballard Spahr’s Zoning and Land Use Team. He counsels developers, nonprofits, and universities on a full range of real estate matters. His practice heavily emphasizes development, land use, zoning, and historic preservation matters. Matt has represented developer and institutional clients in significant urban redevelopment efforts, with high-profile historic preservation issues, and in successful land use appellate matters. Before joining the firm, Matt handled media relations for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and worked in the Office of then-Mayor Edward G. Rendell.

Brett Nedelkoff began her career in Austin, Texas, where she served as an Outreach Coordinator for the City of Austin under the AmeriCorps Vista Program. She then accepted a role within the City of Austin’s Planning, Zoning, and Development Services Department. In 2018, Brett relocated to Philadelphia in 2018 to pursue a graduate degree. During this time, she worked as a governmental relations intern at Wojdak Government Relations, and subsequently, she joined another Philadelphia-based lobbying firm known as Philadelphia Strategies Group as their Research Director. In 2020, Brett began serving as a legislative aide in the office of Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson. Here, she contributed to diverse legislative initiatives and eventually assumed the role of Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives in 2024. Brett holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the University of Texas, earned in 2014, and completed a Master of Science degree in Public Policy at Temple University in 2020.

Susan Slawson is the City of Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation Commissioner, a role that holds a designated Ex Officio seat on the Conservancy’s Board of Directors. 

In 2024, Mayor Cherelle Parker appointed Susan Slawson to the position of Parks & Recreation Commissioner.  Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Geneva University and received an Executive Coach certificate from Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine. After joining the Philadelphia Police Department, Susan rose through the ranks to attain the position of Lieutenant. Her professionalism and community involvement positioned her to be selected as a representative for the Department in the public affairs division. 

As the Commanding Officer of the Police Athletic League, Susan led the opening of three new PAL facilities, which created more athletic, recreational, educational, and cultural opportunities for young Philadelphians, especially girls.

She was appointed Recreation Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia in 2008 by Mayor Michael Nutter. During the financial crisis in 2008, Susan raised millions of dollars to ensure that pools remained open during a global economic crisis and secured federal grants to improve digital access in the parks and recreation system for underserved communities. She also oversaw a seven-million-dollar capital renovation of the Dell Music Center, an outdoor amphitheater.