The Historical Society of Pennsylvania recently welcomed five new members to its Board of Councilors. Lori Cohen, Senator Larry Farnese, Shanta Ghosh, Councilman Bill Green, and John Pickering were appointed at the Society’s annual general meeting November 15.
Also at the meeting, the Society appointed Bruce K. Fenton as Chair of the Executive Committee and Thomas Moran as Executive Vice Chair. The other members of the Executive Committee include: Majid Alsayegh, Alice L. George, Howard H. Lewis, Nathan K. Raab, Robert J. Rittenhouse, Robert G. Souaid, and Page Talbott. Henry Lafayette Collins III was appointed as Councilor Emeritus.
Lori Cohen is the Director of Arader Galleries in Philadelphia, which specializes in American and European watercolors, drawings, and engravings from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. During her career, Ms. Cohen worked for the American Historian in Philadelphia, contributing as an educational guide and seminar speaker specializing in Philadelphia history, cartography, and cultural sites; the Bennington Museum, Vermont; and in Venice, Italy, with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Ms. Cohen has authored many articles and catalogues in the field of American and European Art and is a frequent lecturer around the country. In addition, Ms. Cohen serves on vetting committees and panels for museums and several international antiques shows. Ms. Cohen has many professional affiliations, including the American Historical Print Collectors Society, the American Historical Association, and the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Her educational background includes a B.A. in Art History from Bennington College in Vermont and foreign study at the Universita Degli Studi di Firenze in Florence, Italy.
Senator Larry Farnese has represented Philadelphia’s First Senatorial District since January 2009. He serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee as well as the Banking and Insurance, Labor and Industry, Communications and Technology, and Education Committees. He also serves as the Democratic Chair of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. Senator Farnese has championed capital funding for large scale commercial and cultural projects in the First District. He has built a record of reform through legislation and policy initiatives in the areas of public safety, education, and healthcare. During the 2009 budget crisis, Senator Farnese successfully led the fight to stop a proposed tax on arts and cultural institutions in Philadelphia. The Senator earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Villanova University and holds a law degree from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Housing Advisory Committee and also volunteers his time to support many charities and public service organizations.
Shanta Ghosh is the Chairperson of the internationally diversified Development Consultants (DC) Group, in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, which engages in design engineering, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts, manufacturing of ash handling systems, information technology services, drug development, health care services, and real estate development. The DC Group provides direct and indirect employment to a large number of people, with more than 3,000 in India and 300 elsewhere in the world. Ms. Ghosh additionally serves as the Chairperson of the DC Industrial Plant Services Pvt. Ltd., the Principal Partner of Development Architects Pvt. Ltd., the Managing Director of Bengal DCL Housing Development Co. Ltd., and as a Member of the Board of Directors of several companies of the DC Group in the United States, including the Kuljian Corporation and Data Core Systems Inc. She also serves on the Board of several nonprofit organizations, as the President of the Board of Governors of the Economic & Entrepreneurship Development Foundation that runs Sri Aurobindo Seva Kendra, a 150-bed multi-specialty hospital and as a Managing Trustee of the Suresh Amiya Memorial Trust, a Public Charitable Trust. Ms. Ghosh founded Confetti Exports Pvt. Ltd., a company that provides opportunities to local artisans to manufacture their designs and provides them with international exposure to potential buyers. Ms. Ghosh earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Jadavpur University in India, and a Master of Architecture specializing in Urban Design at the University of Pennsylvania. She is one of the first female members of the Calcutta Club, a historical organization from the time of British rule in India.
Councilman Bill Green is a City Councilman At-Large in Philadelphia. As a native Philadelphian, he is continuing his family’s strong commitment to public service: in addition to several other posts, his father served as Mayor of Philadelphia and a Congressman, and his grandfather was a Congressman and Chairman of Philadelphia’s Democratic City Committee. Since taking office in 2008, Councilman Green’s work in City Council has focused on accountability and fiscal discipline, constituent service, economic development, and quality of life for city residents. His initiatives include identifying over $150 million in city budget savings through the use of technology, retirements, and attrition to reduce the size of the city’s workforce as alternatives to tax increases. He also passed legislation to reform the Board of Revision of Taxes, strengthen Philadelphia’s ethics and campaign finance laws, ban the use of cell phones while driving, and enable the City’s Historical Commission to protect historically significant public interior spaces. Prior to seeking public office, Councilman Green traded options and futures in New York, London, and Amsterdam. He attended Auburn University and obtained a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In the years since, he has founded several businesses, represented top Fortune 500 companies and start-ups as a corporate lawyer, and served as President of VistaScape Security Systems. Councilman Green is Of Counsel at the law firm Kutak Rock LLP. He resides in Philadelphia with his wife, Margie, and their two children.
John Pickering is a Partner and Portfolio Manager at Cooke & Bieler, L.P, in Philadelphaia, a specialist investment counseling firm. He works mainly with the firm’s large family clients, based throughout the United States and abroad. Mr. Pickering previously served as the Executive Vice President and Head of Wealth Management at the Bryn Mawr Trust Company. He worked for various divisions of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. from 1981-2004, serving as Managing Director from 2001-2004. He also served as Managing Director of Brown Brothers Harriman Investor Services in London and as Managing Director of Brown Brother Harriman Trustee Services in Dublin. Mr. Pickering’s current and past affiliations include the School at Church Farm, the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, Episcopal Community Services, the Open Space Commission of Charlestown Township, PA, the Philadelphia Club, and the University Barge Club. Mr. Pickering graduated from Harvard College in 1978. He is married with two daughters; his wife is a teacher of American History and Literature at The Shipley School.