Michael Rouse, Co-Founder/Executive Director
Michael Rouse is the Executive Director and co-founder of ESF Summer Camps and the ESF Dream Camp Foundation and oversees all operations. Michael created the ESF camp programs at Greenwich Academy (Greenwich, CT), Lawrenceville School (Lawrenceville, NJ), Gilman School (Baltimore, MD), Georgetown Prep (Bethesda, MD) Haverford School (Haverford, PA), Episcopal Academy (Devon, PA), Montgomery School (Chester Springs, PA), Phillies Baseball Academy (PA, NJ, DE), and Philadelphia Union Soccer Schools (PA, NJ, DE).
In 1998, Michael and his brother, Bill, established the first Dream Camp located in Hartford, CT at Trinity College. In 2002, they founded the second Dream Camp location in Philadelphia, Pa which started at Girard College and then moved to Temple University in 2017. Michael is a graduate of Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Arts and Communication. He is also a graduate of the Disney Institute’s People Management, Customer Service, and Creative Leadership Programs. He has a Black Belt in Tang Soo Do karate from the Tang Soo Do Mo Doo Kwan Federation. Michael also competed on the professional tennis circuit for two years as an amateur. In 2004, Michael was inducted into the Villanova University Athletic Hall of Fame. Michael serves on the Board of Directors of The Vetri Foundation for Children, Temple University’s Board of Managers, and Acting Without Boundaries (AWB).
Mark Solomon’s communal interests have been focused on helping at-risk children both locally and in Israel. In 1993, Mark helped to transition the Gesu School from an Archdiocese school on the verge of closing to an independent Catholic school for 400 children in North Philadelphia. In recognition of the role he played in the school’s history, Mark received the school’s first Gesu Medal in 2006. More recently, Mark has been actively involved in CB Community High School which is a high school for children in foster care.
Mark co-founded and chaired American Friends of Yemin Orde, which is an award-winning residential facility in Israel serving 500 children from 22 countries who do not have a suitable home in which to live. He also co-founded Yemin Orde Initiatives together with Dr. Chaim Peri,
Yemin Orde’s longtime director, in order to bring the Yemin Orde methodology and philosophy to schools and children’s villages throughout Israel.
At present, Mark serves on the boards of American Friends of Yemin Orde, Dream Camp & Acting Without Boundaries, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Gesu School, Salvation Army and Save A Mind Foundation.
Mark has been recognized as Philanthropist of the Year by the National Association of Fund Raising Executives. He has received the Community Service Award from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia which is its highest award. He was named Executive of the Year by the United Way and received the Corinthian Award from Girard College.
Rhonda Cohen is currently retired. Prior to retiring, she was a partner at Ballard Spahr, LLP, one of the largest law firms in Philadelphia. Ms. Cohen now serves as a director and/or officer of a number of local boards, including The Christopher Ludwick Foundation, Delaware Valley Friends School, Glenmede Trust Company, Swarthmore College, and Visit Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Penn Law.
Dr. Jim Cornish is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania and is nationally recognized for research and treatment of addiction disorders.
Dr. Steve Piltch
Head of The Shipley School for the past 25+ years, Dr. Steve Piltch has spent his entire career as a public and independent school teacher, coach, counselor, and educational administrator. He is also an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania and has served on the boards of The Gladwyne Montessori School, The Wyndcroft School, Girard College, ADVIS, and PAIS. He is currently on the boards of The Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives (CSBGL), SpeakUp!, Minding Your Mind, DMAX Foundation, The Gesu School, and Chester Charter School for the Arts. Steve holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Williams College, two Master’s Degrees in education, and a Doctorate in education from Harvard University.
Sylvia is a certified public accountant. She started her career as a member of the tax department at Price Waterhouse in Philadelphia. She later joined the tax department of Smith Kline, specializing in international tax issues. She co-founded The William Penn Insurance Agency, a commercial insurance brokerage firm, in 1987. After making a career shift to counseling psychology in the 1990s, she worked for several years as a volunteer at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, counseling patients undergoing cancer treatment. Since 2005, Sylvia has been chairman of the board of Fred’s Footsteps, a public charity founded in the memory of her late husband. The mission of Fred’s Footsteps is to support working families who are in a financial crisis due to the costs associated with caring for a critically ill or injured child. Sylvia serves on the Boards of ESF Dream Camp Foundation, the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur and The Wellness Community, and is currently a member of the Leadership Council of the Abramson Cancer Center.
Sylvia received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Temple University, and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Rosemont College.
Director I Client Advisor at Alex. Brown since February 2022. Prior to joining Alex. Brown, Bill was with Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC as an Executive Vice President for 13 years. He has over 35 years of experience in the financial industry, dating back to 1986 when his career began in New York with Kidder Peabody & Company. He was a Vice President and one of 20 Institutional Portfolio Management Consultants within Kidder Peabody’s Consulting Group. When the firm was sold in 1994, he joined Smith Barney as one of only 50 Consulting Group Directors. In 1997, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette recruited him to join the Firm as the National Manager of DLJ Consulting, which became CSFB Consulting when Credit Suisse First Boston acquired DLJ in 2000. Bill joined Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc. in 2003 as a Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Consultant. Legg Mason’s Private Client Group was exchanged for Citigroup’s Asset Management operation in late 2005 and became part of Smith Barney and then Morgan Stanley during the Great Recession.
Bill is a graduate of The Haverford School and Duke University, where he was a member of the varsity lacrosse team for four years. He is actively involved with the ESF Dream Camp Foundation, a program that affords underprivileged youth in the Philadelphia area the opportunity to attend summer camp and receive year-round mentoring. Bill’s passion for philanthropy has been passed on to his family who have joined him in giving back to the community though participation in Good Works and ESF’s Dream Camp, among other philanthropically inclined organizations. When he is not in the office or actively serving his community, he enjoys spending his time skiing, sailing, working around the family’s farm and vacationing with his family in Ontario and Boca Grande, FL.