Volunteer Spotlight

PennPAC is privileged to work with many great volunteers and is thrilled to recognize their accomplishments!

Mindy Ong

Like many PennPAC volunteers, when Mindy Ong SAS ’10 discovered PennPAC, she wanted to get involved because she was looking for an opportunity to apply her skills through volunteer work. PennPAC’s work called out to her, and the fact that it was affiliated with her alma mater Penn seemed almost providential.

However, unlike the rest of PennPAC’s volunteers, Mindy doesn’t live in the U.S. Despite this potential obstacle, the Singapore resident was determined to participate with PennPAC. So, while serving on a project team wasn’t an option, Mindy offered up her graphic design skills and PennPAC was happy to have them!

Read Mindy’s full story.

David Field

While David Field came to PennPAC with limited volunteer experience, the marketing analytics specialist had advised non-profit organizations on digital marketing strategies in connection with his role at Bedrock Media Ventures (confirm with David). Through this opportunity, he became familiar with many of the challenges non-profit organizations face and was eager to get more involved in helping nonprofits.

David first participated with PennPAC at an ImPACt event in February 2018 and really enjoyed the experience working with the students from Harlem Educational Activities Fund as well as interacting with Penn alumni from diverse backgrounds. Accordingly, he wanted to become more active with PennPAC right away and offered up his expertise in social media.

Read David’s full story.

Caroline Lau

As a Global Program Manager at Amazon, Caroline Lau SAS ‘06/Eng ’06 “designs, builds, scales and streamlines products to deliver delightful customer experiences and improve the lives of others,” she explains. Caroline has successfully transferred these same skills that have generated unprecedented revenue at Amazon to create value for organizations such as Renaissance Youth Center, as a PennPAC volunteer!

Most recently, Caroline served as Deputy Team Leader for the ITAC project, which provided the manufacturing industry organization with a web redesign strategy, inclusive of an updated design, positioning, and messaging. However, she credits her first foray with PennPAC as being among the most rewarding.

Read Caroline’s full story.

Ian Cohen

A relatively recent Penn grad, Ian Cohen SAS ’14 has already felt the impact of his PennPAC service on his career. More specifically, he credits the opportunity to take charge on various projects that have expanded his leadership reach as having a positive influence on his role as an Associate in Accounting at Goldman Sachs. Starting as a volunteer consultant in 2016, Ian has since served in leadership roles on two other consulting projects; he was Team Leader for The LAMP and Deputy Team Leader for Pace University.

Read Ian’s full story.

Jerry Rothstein

Jerry Rothstein, a Wharton MBA and former Wall Street equity research analyst retired eight years ago. Like many retirees who are interested in leveraging their skills and brainpower, he sought volunteer opportunities to put his background to work. When he received an email about PennPAC, he was instantly interested in applying to volunteer. He saw the opportunity to not only help nonprofits, but also help reinforce Penn alumni’s commitment to service.

In his four years with PennPAC, Jerry has served as a pro bono consultant on three projects and volunteered at two ImPACt events. One of his favorite consulting efforts was helping Jumpstart, a nonprofit that provides language, literacy, and social-emotional programming for preschool children from under-resourced communities, to improve their marketing.

Read Jerry’s full story.

Karen Finkel

In just over a year as a volunteer, Karen Finkel has become an integral member of the PennPAC team by seizing leadership opportunities and joining the contingent of generous donors.

In 2016, Karen sought a volunteer opportunity that would allow her to make meaningful social impact.  She chose to volunteer with PennPAC because the work “would use my professional experience and appealed to my interests. What I found compelling in PennPAC was the opportunity to contribute using skills that I had already polished and developed over a long business career.” She felt it would be a privilege to volunteer alongside her fellow alums.

After her career on Wall Street as an investment manager, Karen found many opportunities to volunteer, including as a tutor for middle and high school students. But when she attended her first PennPAC one-night ImPACt event at the Manny Cantor Center, she realized the satisfaction of putting her professional skills to use to support young people planning for their futures, who might not otherwise have access to mentoring. “It’s a beautiful thing, sitting around the table with kids with real aspirations and being able to give them guidance.”     Read Karen’s full story.

Eugenia Gomez

PennPAC leadership role supports career transition
Eugenia Gomez’s appreciation for the importance of service began at a young age. Her father runs the US chapter of a Colombian based nonprofit, Children of the Andes.  She began collecting school supplies and running clothing drives for the nonprofit when she was still in high school. A 2012 Penn Huntsman Program graduate (earning a BS in Econ and BA in International Studies), Eugenia is now in a career transition bolstered by her PennPAC volunteer leadership role as Team Leader for the Concilio project in Philadelphia. As the next step of her transition, she will study marketing research and consumer behavior in a one-year program in Madrid this fall.  Read Eugenia’s full story!

Howard Seibel

Howard Seibel had a wealth of consulting experience when he came to PennPAC. A Cornell undergrad who earned his MBA at Wharton, Seibel founded his own consulting company, Wharton Strategic Services. But Seibel was still apprehensive before his first involvement, an ImPACt project. Next Seibel served as a consulting engagement Team Leader, working with 5 other Penn alums to help Competent Kids, Caring Communities increase their sales penetration and grant-based funding.  Most recently he served as the PennPAC Liaison for the team working with A Caring Hand, which offers counseling for kids who have lost a parent or sibling. Seibel sees PennPAC as a way for alumni to expand their skills and gain exposure to different aspects of the business world. He particularly appreciates how PennPAC projects fit around the volunteers’ schedules.


Maxine Zhang

Maxine is a marketing Consultant at Accenture who specializes in data analytics for tech companies. She moved to San Francisco the summer of 2015 after living and working in Tokyo for 2 years. Upon moving to California, Maxine sought the right opportunity to “be more involved in the community.” She read about PennPAC and thought it would be “a good place to grow [her] consulting skill set and to meet different people from different industries.” Her first PennPAC project delivered on those expectations and more!

Sumedh Hastak & Neha Soni

Husband and wife power couple, Neha Soni and Sumedh Hastak, met at Penn and have both been very involved with PennPAC. Neha initially got involved with youth development nonprofits as a teenager and discovered that the nonprofits that PennPAC works with strongly appealed to her interests. For Sumedh, going to Penn had a big influence on his life. After graduating, he actively looked for ways to stay in touch. He helped recruit at Penn for his employer and mentored ‘hack’athons back at Penn, so PennPAC was just the next natural thing to do. While they both have different elements that they find rewarding, they agree that, “PennPAC offers a very well-rounded experience. Volunteers have the opportunity to create real measurable impact on nonprofits while connecting with and learning from the strong and diverse Penn community here in New York. It’s a win-win.”

Sarah Jiang

Sarah first learned about PennPAC via an email from the PennNYC alumni club and felt that PennPAC really stood out to her as an organization that could truly provide a meaningful volunteer experience. She has now worked on numerous PennPAC projects, including serving on consulting teams for City Lore and The LAMP and taking on the Team Leader role for Breakthrough NY. Since getting involved, Sarah truly sees that PennPAC is making a real impact on nonprofits, noting that, “The quality of the final presentation is always high, and you can tell the clients really appreciate it.” Additionally, she has enjoyed working on a very diverse set of projects and with a diverse group of alumni from different industries, of different ages and backgrounds.