The Historical Society of Pennsylvania Appoints New Chair of the Board of Councilors

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bruce K. Fenton of Pepper Hamilton LLP assumed the post November 15

Bruce Fenton LOGOThe Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) has appointed Bruce K. Fenton as chair of the Board of Councilors. Fenton officially assumed the post on November 15, 2010. He is the first Jewish chairman in the Historical Society’s 187-year history.

Fenton is a partner in the Commercial Department of Pepper Hamilton LLP, where he has practiced since 1990. Before joining the HSP Board of Councilors, Fenton served as a member of the Board of Directors at the Balch Institute of Ethnic Studies. The Balch Institute merged with HSP in 2002.

“I am totally confident that Bruce will be a brilliant Chairman,” said Kim Sajet, president and CEO of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. “Having served as Vice Chair for many years, with a deep love of history, and an eye to the future he has proven his dedication to our organization and a passion for its mission. An added bonus is that Bruce’s own family heritage reflects the Historical Society’s rich array of collections that trace the history of Pennsylvania and our nation, with records pertaining to more than 60 ethnic and religious groups, including those from the Jewish community.”

When the Historical Society of Pennsylvania was founded in 1824, the organization’s members were exclusively white men. Through the years, the Historical Society has become a more inclusive organization; women were accepted as full members starting in the 1860s. The Society is committed to increasing the diversity of its Board of Councilors, to better reflect the population of the state and the depth of the collections at HSP. The current Board, which consists of 36 councilors, includes women, African Americans, Jews, and individuals of Indian and Middle Eastern descent.

At Pepper Hamilton LLP, Fenton is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and secretary of the firm’s partnership. He has been an adjunct professor and lecturer in business planning at area law schools and Bar Association seminars. He is the programming chair for the Philadelphia Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).  His publications include articles on joint ventures, limited liability companies, and two seminar-related books on boundary law and disputes in Pennsylvania. Fenton is a graduate of Haverford College and Harvard Law School.

Fenton succeeds Sarah Price as chair of the Board of Councilors. The other members of the Board appointed in November are: Thomas Moran, executive vice chair; Majid Alsayegh, treasurer and vice chair of the Planning & Finance Committee; Nathan K. Raab, secretary; Robert G. Souaid, vice chair of the Audit Committee; Howard H. Lewis, vice chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee; Page Talbott, vice chair of the Collections & Programs Committee; and Robert J. Rittenhouse and Alice L. George, at-large members.

Also in November, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania welcomed five new members to its Board of Councilors. They are: Lori Cohen, director of Arader Galleries in Philadelphia; Senator Larry Farnese, who represents Philadelphia’s First Senatorial District; Shanta Ghosh, chairperson of Development Consultants (DC) Group; CouncilmanWilliam Green of the City of Philadelphia; and John Pickering, partner and portfolio manager at Cooke & Bieler, L.P, a specialist investment counseling firm. James Malott, regional private banking manager and senior vice president of the Private Bank at Wells Fargo, was named an Ex Officio Councilor. HSP also welcomed back former councilor Henry Lafayette Collins III, who was appointed Councilor Emeritus.