Board of Directors


A diverse group of men and women join together as the Barclay Friends Board of Directors. At every major turning point in our history, our Board has combined sound business practices and well-stewarded resources to meet the needs of our residents and achieve our mission to honor the spirit, uniqueness and basic rights of each older person.

Board members are dedicated volunteers and represent a wide range of professionals from the local West Chester area. In addition, these individuals spend time serving on the following committees: Development & Marketing, Finance, Governance and Resident Care & Compliance.

Board Members


John Braceland

Secretary, Term III

B.S. in Science/Printing from Rochester Institute of Technology.  Retired executive. Served as President of JB Solutions, LLC., and served as Managing Director of Graphic Arts Alliance for 20 years.  Served for 25 years in varying positions up to President and Owner of Braceland Brothers. A $30 million dollar family printing company started in 1899. Former Board member of the Graphic Arts Association and facilitator for Forum Groups for the Young Presidents Organization.  Past President of the Board of Trustees for Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children and served as an active Board member for nine years.  Completed the Chester County Leadership Connection course in 2007.  A Member of Birmingham Friends Monthly Meeting.

Board Member John Spangler Photo

John Spangler

Term I

B.A. Philosophy, Hamilton College, NY. Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh.  Served in the U.S. Navy Reserve.  Retired lawyer after thirty-seven years of general practice law specializing in municipal law, real estate, and estate planning.  Community involvement includes active member of the Board of Directors of Friends Association, East Bradford Township Park and Recreation Commission and serves as the chairperson on the Trails committee and member of the West Chester Oldtimers Ice Hockey Club.  Former service on the following organizations, Board of Directors for The Hickman, General Committee for Westtown School, Brandywine Ballet Company, the Streitwieser Trumpet Foundation,  & Countrywide Abstract.

Cendrine Gemberling

Term I

Principal of Greenville Partners LLC, with over thirty years of experience in acquisitions and asset management in the Tri-State real estate community.  Currently serving on the board of directors for the Marshallton Conservation Trust (MCT) since its inception in 2009 and serves as Chair of the Events and Marketing & Communications committees.  Acting President of the Marshalton Triathlon Fundraiser and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.  A Member of Bradford Friends Meeting.

Ellen C. Gilbert

Chair, Term II

M.B.A. in Marketing & Finance from Villanova University, PA, and B.A. in History from Colgate University, NY.  Graduate of Westtown School.  Retired executive experienced in marketing, sales and fundraising.  Former Director of Advancement at Westtown School, Group Product Director at Johnson & Johnson, and Sales Manager at Procter & Gamble.  Currently serving on the Board of Managers for the Kirk Plumstock Trust at Willistown Friends Meeting.  A Member of Willistown Friends Meeting.

Ellen Gilbert head shot

Susan Cusack

Term II

Ph.D. from University of the Sciences, M.B.A. and B.S.N. from West Chester University.  Retired from Mercy Health System with extensive experience hospital management and clinical nursing leadership, project management and nurse academics.  Former Board of Trustee for School of the Holy Child and Together for West Philadelphia. Advisory Board, St. Joseph’s University, West Chester University Advisory Board, Executive Committee and Senior Scholar Thomas Jefferson Dept. of Health Policy.  Currently serving on an adjunct faculty at St. Joseph’s University and Advisory Board for Widener University School of Nursing. 

Susan Cusack Headshot

John S. Cigler

Term III

M.B.A. from Villanova University and completed his degree in International Marketing at Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. B.S. from Widener University School of Business, PA. Currently serving as an executive for a major healthcare system.  Former Director of Development for Children’s Beach House, Inc.  Former Chairman of West Chester Human Relations Commission.

Board Member John Cigler Photo

Matt Davis

Term I

B.Arch from Virginia Tech.  MS2 at Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Coordinator, VolunTeen Program at Chester County Hospital. Former AVP at BB&T Bank, managing West Chester Borough and Newtown Square branches. Previously serving on the Planning Committee for Plein Air Brandywine Valley and the ReHAB Committee for Habitat for Humanity of Chester County. Former Secretary of West Chester Historic & Architectural Review Board.

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Matt Davis Headshot

Sony P. John

Term II

Doctor of Medicine from Medical University of Silesia, Poland, M.H.A. from St. Joseph’s University, and B.A. in Biology, Franklin and Marshall College, PA.  Currently serves as a family physician for Pentahealth Family Practice, West Chester, PA.  Former clinical instructor at Drexel Family Medicine. 

John Sony Head shot

Jolie B. Karp

Treasurer, Term I

Bachelor of B.A. in Accounting from Bryant College (Bryant University), Rhode Island. Currently a partner at a regional accounting firm including diversified client experience with privately held businesses in industries including distribution, manufacturing, non-for-profit, automobile dealerships, construction, employee benefit plan audits and professional service companies. An active member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, and Chairperson for the Women Influencing Business Committee of the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. Served on the Board of Directors of the Wanda Bilec Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research since 2013 and has been the organization’s treasurer since 2015.

Marianne Pessognelli

Vice Chair, Term I

Serving as the Director of Finance at FSA since December 2021 and has 30+ years in health care financial management.  Ms. Pessognelli came to FSA from The Highlands at Wyomissing, a CCRC located in Berks County, where she held the position as CFO for eight and half years.  Prior to that, Ms. Pessognelli was the Director of Finance for Barclay Friends, a Kendal Affiliate.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania.  Ms. Pessognelli participated in the Fellows in Leadership Program sponsored by LeadingAgePA, Class of 2015 and is currently on the Board of Directors of Barclay Friends, West Chester and Helping Harvest, Reading.

Marianne Pessognelli

Serita Spadoni

Term II

B.A. Political Science and Spanish, Dickinson College.  M.A. Spanish, Middlebury College graduate program in Madrid, Spain.  ABD Language Learning, The Ohio State University.  Other graduate studies in Spain, also Italy.  Briefly taught Spanish in the US and abroad (secondary and college levels), project management experience in the area of Communications: marketing communications, also as an interpreter and translator, editor, writer, instructor, event planner, various H.R. functions. for international corporations.  Lived and studied abroad (both undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate), mostly in Spain but also Italy, did volunteer service in Mexico. Served on a number of local and national boards, the most recent being Friends for Care and Protection of Children serving on the Executive, Marketing and Development, and Governance Committee. Numerous volunteer activities in the Southeastern PA Region, including Philadelphia Yearly Meeting: Alternate Clerk (Chair); Advisory Committee, Clerk (Chair), plus many other Quaker organizations. Currently serving as Clerk (chair) of Birmingham Meeting’s Oversight & Pastoral Care Committee.  A Member of Birmingham Friends Meeting.

Tim Boyd

Term I

B.A. Philosophy, Hamilton College, NY. Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh.  Served in the U.S. Navy Reserve.  Retired lawyer after thirty-seven years of general practice law specializing in municipal law, real estate, and estate planning.  Community involvement includes active member of the Board of Directors of Friends Association, East Bradford Township Park and Recreation Commission and serves as the chairperson on the Trails committee and member of the West Chester Oldtimers Ice Hockey Club.  Former service on the following organizations, Board of Directors for The Hickman, General Committee for Westtown School, Brandywine Ballet Company, the Streitwieser Trumpet Foundation,  & Countrywide Abstract.

August Gerhardt

Term I

B.A. in Economics and International Relations, Hobart College and London School of Economics, U.K.  Currently a Senior Portfolio Manager in the Finance industry.  Certified Financial Analyst chartholder. Currently serving as board member and treasurer for The Barn at Spring Brook Farm and board member of Summer Search Philadelphia.