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New appointees bring invaluable private and public sector experience to the table

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Philadelphia Works, Inc., the city’s workforce development board, has announced the appointment of four accomplished, local professionals to its Board of Directors. The four new members, as determined and appointed by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, are: Emily Bittenbender, owner and managing partner of Bittenbender Construction, LP; Brigitte Daniel, Executive Vice President of Wilco Electronic Systems; Douglas Oliver, Vice President of Communications at PECO; and April Walker, Director of the Microsoft Technology Center. Each appointee will serve a three-year term on Philadelphia Works’ Board.

Philadelphia Works’ Board of Directors is comprised of a mandated mix of leaders from the business, non-profit, labor, and government sectors. They are responsible for making the strategic and financial decisions that provide economic opportunities to all Philadelphians and sustainable growth to regional employers.

“On behalf of Philadelphia Works and the city’s entire workforce system, I would like to welcome the new appointees to our Board of Directors,” said H. Patrick Clancy, President and CEO of Philadelphia Works. “Their knowledge and experience in both the private and public sectors will advance our efforts in improving Philadelphia’s professional talent pool and connecting our skilled workers with local employers.”

The new appointees to Philadelphia Works’ Board of Directors are:

Emily Bittenbender Owner and Managing Partner, Bittenbender Construction, LP

Emily Bittenbender is the Owner and Managing Partner of Bittenbender Construction, LP, a 100% woman-owned and operated commercial general contractor and construction management firm specializing in new construction, renovation, and restoration projects. In 2015, Bittenbender was named chairwoman of the General Building Contractors Association’s Philadelphia chapter, becoming the first female to hold the position in the organization’s 124-year history. She also received the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s Paradigm Award in 2016, the region’s most prestigious award for businesswomen. Bittenbender serves as a board member of The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, the GBCA Executive Committee, Drexel University’s Close School Advisory Board, and the M&T Bank Director’s Advisory Council.

Brigitte Daniel Executive Vice President, Wilco Electronic Systems

Brigitte Daniel is the Executive Vice President of Wilco Electronic Systems, an integrator of intelligent access platforms. For over 40 years, Wilco Electronic Systems has been dedicated to providing cable television, telecom, and technology services to underserved communities throughout the Philadelphia region. Daniels is an award-winning thought leader with a focus on addressing inclusion inequities within innovation ecosystems across the nation. Daniels was appointed to the FCC’s Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment in 2017, awarded a 2011 Eisenhower Fellowship, and was recognized as one of the “Top Women in Technology” in 2016 according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Douglas I. Oliver Vice President of Communications, PECO

As Vice President of Communications at PECO, Douglas Oliver leads the company’s brand and reputation management strategies, message development, media relations, advertising, strategic communications, and company social media platforms. Oliver also leads the team responsible for developing and executing the company’s internal communications and employee engagement strategies. Prior to joining PECO, Oliver served as Vice President of External Affairs for Philadelphia Gas Works, Press Secretary for the City of Philadelphia under Mayor Michael A. Nutter, and Director of Communication for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Oliver serves on the boards of Philadelphia Youth Network, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the Philadelphia Ad Club.

April Walker Director, Microsoft Technology Center

April Walker is the director of the Microsoft Technology Center in Malvern, PA. She oversees Microsoft’s state-of-the-art innovation center where corporations throughout greater Philadelphia are provided direction and tactical guidance in developing digital transformation strategies and solutions for their most complex business challenges. She is an accomplished executive with more than 25 years leading global organizations for some of the country’s largest media, financial services, technology, energy, and insurance companies. Walker is not only a proven enterprise leader, but also a technology champion, advocate, and a catalyst for driving cultural change for the advancement and inclusion of women and people of color in the STEM fields.

About Philadelphia Works: Philadelphia Works is the city’s Workforce Development Board, investing in solutions and services to grow Philadelphia’s economy by connecting employers to workforce talent and career seekers to jobs. We influence the public policies that support economic growth and optimize funding and resources to invest in regional solutions to build a skilled and thriving workforce. For more information about our dedicated board members and staff, workforce research, labor market data, services and initiatives, and to view current opportunities to engage, please visit

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