Atif Bostic

Atif Bostic is the current Executive Director of Uplift. In his role as Executive Director, Mr. Bostic is responsible for the organizations three areas of focus: the creation of sustainable food access, access to health care, and access to capital in underserved communities. Prior to joining Uplift, Mr. Bostic held the position of Vice President and Sales Manager of the YourPIace Banking program for Citizens Bank. In this role, Mr. Bostic was responsible for the development and management of a 12 state business-development division. In addition, Mr. Bostic supported Community Reinvestment Act and internal colleague training initiatives; and for his leadership roles, Mr. Bostic was recognized for his outstanding work in 2012 with the Chairman’s

Award for “Employing a High-Performing and Engaged Workforce,” and again in 2014 with the “Community Development Business Partner Award.”

Throughout his career Mr. Bostic has been very active with not-for-profit organizations. Mr. Bostic has served as Interim President and CEO of the Philadelphia OIC; provided strategic planning support for multiple organizations to include The Mayor’s Office of Community Service (MOCS); provided marketing support to the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute; and partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Chester Housing Authority, and the School District of Philadelphia to create and host a series of community open houses to increase health awareness and provide access to free health screenings in Chester and Philadelphia. Mr. Bostic currently serves as Board Chair for the Philadelphia OIC, Vice-Chair of PathWays PA, and sits on the Board Directors for the Urban League of Philadelphia, and the Main Line Chamber of Commerce.

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Ron Berman, CPA

Ron Berman is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Credit Officer of Uplift, a not-for-profit consultancy with a mission of “delivering entrepreneurial solutions that support underserved communities for the joy of a healthy life.” Mr. Berman is a Certified Public Accountant. In his role as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Credit Officer, Mr. Berman is responsible for the organization’s financial and lending activities.

Prior to joining Uplift Solutions, Mr. Berman held the position of Manager of Taxation and Compliance at Wakefern Food Corp. In this role, Mr. Berman was responsible for the tax and accounting issues for the cooperative and its members. Mr. Berman also provided financial support for the Wakefern Site Development Committee that reviewed and approved potential supermarket sites for the Wakefern members. Mr. Berman has assisted the Wakefern members in developing business plans and preparing proformas to support new stores.

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Lauren Vague

Lauren Vague is the Program and Project Manager for Uplift focusing on healthcare innovations. Ms. Vague has spent most of her career working with anti-poverty organizations focusing on vulnerable populations dealing with housing insecurity and food insecurity. Ms. Vague worked for over a year with Broad Street Ministry doing volunteer and program management and then moved to doing development and fundraising with LIFT Philadelphia. Her work with both programming and corporate partners allows her to see both the big picture and the day to day issues facing those she serves. Ms. Vague holds an Associate’s Degree in International Studies from Community College of Philadelphia and is currently working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Eastern University.

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Elisha B. Morris

Born and raised in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, Elisha is a 1975 graduate of Germantown High School and a 1984 graduate of Cheyney University of PA.

Elisha is the Community Engagement Manager with Uplift, whose mission is delivering entrepreneurial solutions that support underserved communities for the joy of a healthy life with clients across the country. Uplift strives to accomplish this mission by working with community leaders, grocery operators, community development financial institutions (CDFI), government, and nonprofits to bring innovative, sustainable supermarkets to low-income urban communities by overcoming financial barriers and developing entrepreneurial innovations. Elisha was employed at Cheyney University of PA as the Assistant Director, Center for Career & Professional Development and the Coordinator of Internships for a number of years. In this capacity he was responsible for developing partnerships with businesses and placing students in internships and jobs. He has worked with students with the specific aim to engage students in meaningful career services and internship experiences while building industry partnerships. It was the goal of his office to have every graduate leave with a degree and work experience as an intern. He hosted “The Accountability Factor” on WDAS 1480 AM Radio for over five years before the station was sold in 2007 and he hosted “Sunday School Time” on WNJC 1360 AM Radio for four years. Elisha wrote a weekly column for the Sunday Sun for over 4 years.

Involved in numerous community organizations, Elisha served the Philadelphia NAACP as Assistant Secretary, and Advisor to the Philadelphia NAACP Youth Council.  He was elected in October of 2007 as the State of Pennsylvania NAACP Youth Advisor, responsible for all Youth Councils and College Units in Pennsylvania, including Units at Cheyney University, Temple, Drexel, Widener and the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held for over 10 years.  Elisha’s current and former board affiliations include: Community Advisory Board at Philadelphia Public Health Center #5, National Association of Sales Professionals, Philadelphia Police Clergy, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, Cheyney University National & Philadelphia Alumni Associations, COGIC of Memphis, TN.

Elder Elisha was licensed to preach in 1986 by Pastor Earnest C. Morris at the Mount Airy COGIC. He was Ordained in 1994 by Bishop O. T. Jones, Jr., during the Commonwealth of PA’s 75th Annual Holy Convocation. Elder Elisha is a COGIC Historian and teaches the Ordination Classes. Elder Morris served as the Church Administrator and Director of Christian Education at the Noville Memorial COGIC in North Philadelphia from 2007 to 2010, where Elder Jon Drummond is the Pastor. Elder Morris was the Youth Pastor at Christian Tabernacle COGIC under Bishop R. T. Jones, Jr. and Assistant Youth Director at Mount Airy COGIC under Pastor Ernest. C. Morris.

Elisha is frequently called upon as a motivational speaker on issues of health care, religion, politics, youth, males, and education. He also conducts many seminars and workshops for colleges, churches and non-profits in the Tri State Area covering topics such as: Gun Violence & It’s Cost, Fathers & Their Effect on Student’s Education, Manhood 101, Pre-Marriage, Marriage & Family, Leadership Training for Youth, What to Look for in a Future Husband/Wife and specific topics requested by organizations.

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