CAMDEN, NJ — Virtua has announced leadership appointments and recognized recent member additions to the Virtua Foundation Board of Trustees, representing the philanthropic arm of the health care system.
Named to the top positions are John J. Parker, Sr., chairman; Damien Ghee, vice chairman; and Richard Silpe, treasurer.
Parker previously served as vice chairman of the Virtua Foundation board. He is managing director of Parker Private Wealth Management Group, Wells Fargo Advisors in Philadelphia. Parker, who first joined the board in 2016, also serves as a chairman of the American Association for Cancer Research’s “Party with a Purpose.” He is a lifelong resident of Voorhees, still residing there with his wife, Veronica, and their three children.
As vice chair, Ghee offers philanthropic experience gained through his involvement with many regional nonprofits. Ghee is senior vice president and team leader for the PA-NJ Middle Market and Public Finance Lending Group at TD Bank in Philadelphia. He lives in Cherry Hill with his wife, son, and two daughters.
Silpe brings a wide range of legal and financial expertise to the board and role of treasurer, the health care system said. He is a member of the law firm Cozen O’Connor and serves as co-chair of the firm’s tax practice group. Silpe also practiced as a certified public accountant. He lives in Cherry Hill with his wife and two children.
“It takes a team to build healthy communities. Under the leadership of John Parker, our donors and philanthropic partners are well-positioned to make a true and lasting difference in the lives of South Jersey residents, particularly those from economically distressed neighborhoods,” said David Kindlick, chairman of the Virtua Board of Trustees.
Additionally, Virtua welcomed Marques Colston, John Gillespie, Brenda O’Brien, and Bob Platzer as the newest members to join the foundation board.
Colston spent several years as a wide receiver with the New Orleans Saints in the National Football League. He was a member of the Saints' Super Bowl XLIV winning team and holds franchise records in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, total touchdowns, and total receptions. After retiring from football, he founded Dynasty Innovation, a consulting firm focused on delivering growth strategy and execution services for small to mid-sized companies in the sports, technology, and health and wellness sectors. Colston holds a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University and a certificate in entrepreneurship and venture investing from Columbia Business School. He now lives in Medford with his family.
Gillespie is an attorney and executive committee member with the Parker McCay law firm, with strengths in the areas of municipal law, governmental defense litigation, land use, and redevelopment. He has been active in numerous nonprofits, including Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice, the Burlington County Chamber of Commerce, Church of St. Isaac Jogues, and Crossroads Runaway Program. He holds an undergraduate degree from Trinity College and a law degree from Villanova University School of Law. Gillespie and his family reside in Marlton.
O'Brien is a vice president at SJI, an energy services holding company based in Folsom, New Jersey. In the role, she oversees the accounting, tax, and payroll functions. Prior to SJI, she worked in public accounting for Deloitte’s Philadelphia Audit practice. O’Brien earned a master’s degree from Temple University, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and is a certified public accountant. She lives in Gibbsboro with her husband and two daughters.
Platzer is the founder and executive chairman of the PJW Restaurant Group, which operates 24 restaurants and casual dining locations across South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania. He has been involved with a number of charitable organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House, JDRF, Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation, and the Catholic Partnership Schools. This year, the Virtua Foundation recognized Platzer with its annual Humanitarian Award. He and his wife, Donna, have two daughters and two grandchildren.
“Marques, Brenda, Bob, and John [Gillespie] bring distinct skills and experiences to the board, and possess a shared, deeply felt commitment to helping our community,” Parker said. “We look forward to the positive and significant impact they will have on enhancing Virtua’s mission through philanthropy.”