For PYB board member, Dick Voith, basketball is a family business. He and his wife Daniela both played collegiate basketball at Haverford College and Bryn Mawr College. Their only child, Nina Voith, also played at Haverford College where she was the Women’s All-Time Leading Scorer, a title she shares with her Father for Men’s Basketball. Dick was also named a Division III All-American with the Fords and later received tryout opportunities with both the 76ers and the Golden State Warriors.
Dick is the youngest of four siblings, three older sisters, all of whom played sports. Despite his short stature, 5’5” and 110 lbs as a sophomore in high school, Dick had a passion for basketball and saw his success as a satisfying way to disprove anyone who doubted his abilities.
Growing up in Towson, Maryland – the first suburb outside of Baltimore – Dick’s first exposure to the Philadelphia basketball community was in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament where his high school, DeMatha Catholic, played Philadelphia powerhouse, Roman Catholic.
After high school Dick was recruited by Haverford College, thus began his induction into Philadelphia’s basketball community.
Reflecting on his career in Philadelphia and dedication to the game, Dick remarks: “ I have had a lot of fun. Basketball has been really great to me and I have really enjoyed it. I have played in innumerable amounts of rec centers in the city and become a part of a rich community of basketball enthusiasts who view the sport as more than just a game.”
Though injuries have taken their toll, “This past year [he] has really slowed down due to years of wear and tear”, basketball will always play a majority role in Dick’s life, even as he expands his professional and philanthropic endeavors.
Early in his professional career, Dick held the position of Economic Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in the Urban and Regional Planning Section. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Rendell. Now Dick is the President and Principal at Econsult Solutions, a company he started with his partner, Steve Mullin. A small, but mighty team in its inception, Econsult now has a staff of 23 employees and is highly regarded for its consulting in urban economics, real estate economics, transportation, public infrastructure, development, public policy and finance.
Dick has utilized his expertise as the proud leader of PYB’s Real Estate Committee. His decision to join the PYB board was “an easy sell, given that Kenny had the experience that he did and that he has an organization that continues to make impressive strides towards its mission with the support of a terrific board and a motivated staff.”
In his leadership role on the Real Estate Committee, Dick has spearheaded efforts to build relationships with the Goldenberg Group to ensure that PYB’s state-of-the-art youth sports complex reaches fruition in a timely and professional manner.
When asked about his involvement as Chairman of the Real Estate Committee, Dick candidly explained the dedication and passion that goes into such a role. “Being the Chairman of the Real Estate Committee is easy because there is so much expertise on the committee, there’s a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of passion for making it work, plus the fact that basketball junkies, although friendly, tend to be a competitive edge amongst all of the people involved here so it’s really easy to watch these guys work and contribute. Sometimes you don’t see eye to eye and you sort of just stand up and make your case and hope to get convinced one way of the other way. By in large, the committee has been consistent in terms of the directions that people wanted to go. We all come with different perspectives, but mostly there has been agreement on the Real Estate Committee. Sometimes the committee has to put up with some of the the more challenging aspects of real estate, but, overall it is a great group and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity be a part of it.”
Dick is an indispensable member of the PYB Board and is largely motivated by the belief that PYB has the potential to have a profound impact on youth. “It’s so easy to be committed to [PYB] because it gives a concrete reality that people are investing in kids. It’s not going to save the world, but it’s going to provide another aspect to the city that is vital for youth development.”
As PYB continues to grow and forge forward in finalizing plans for the youth center, Dick’s involvement will continue to play an integral role in shaping the future of the organization. With the continued commitment of all PYB board members and supporters, we are confident that PYB will achieve its goals.
By MaryKate O’Brien, Community Engagement Coordinator