Kenny Holdsman – President & CEO
Kenny has devoted the past two decades of his career to the empowerment of urban young people through education, leadership, and character development, mentorship, family involvement, and high quality opportunities both in schools and in communities. He has held senior positions in a major urban school district, a global nonprofit, and a local sports-based youth development organization, most recently serving as the President of Legacy Youth Tennis and Education (formerly Arthur Ashe) from February, 2009 to June, 2015. In addition to his passion for young people and social justice, Kenny has a proven track record in nonprofit leadership including strategic planning; fund development; board development and engagement; community partnerships; program design, implementation, and evaluation; budget and finance; and operations. Kenny is a co-founder of the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative, and for eight years served as a volunteer coach and program founder/coordinator of Rise Up Basketball in Mt. Airy. He also has spent many seasons coaching young people in the Mt. Airy Baseball program and the Phillies Reviving Baseball in the Inner City program. Born in Elkins Park, P.A., Kenny is a graduate from Cheltenham High School, Lehigh University, and Temple University School of Law.
Eric Worley – Program Director
A Philadelphia resident who grew up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Eric has served as an educator and principal in the Philadelphia School District for almost 15 years. He grew up playing basketball on the city’s playgrounds and has used the game as a vehicle to help him through life, playing on every level from recreational leagues, to Central High School, and then at West Chester University. For the past 10 years, Eric also serves as the Executive Director at Philly Triple Threat, a sports-based youth development program.
Diana Venezia – Director of Development
Diana Venezia has served as PYB’s Manager of Fund Development and Operations over the past year and a half. Prior to her time with PYB, she worked within Temple University’s Owl Club, the Athletics Development Department. Originally from Westfield, N.J., Diana attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and was a member on the Seahawk’s women’s basketball team. Raised in a family full of Villanova graduates and Wildcat fans, Diana is now finishing up her graduate degree at Temple University where she is studying Sport Business.
Tajh Jenkins – Operations Coordinator
Tajh J. Jenkins, M.S. is a proud native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who grew up in the city’s West Oak Lane section. He attended The Science Leadership Academy for high school before enrolling at Penn State University (Main Campus), where he earned his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Sports Journalism in 2015. Mr. Jenkins furthered his education by enrolling into Drexel University, where he obtained his Master’s of Science degree in Sports Coaching Leadership – Athletic Administration in 2017. Currently, he’s pursuing his Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership, Learning & Innovation from Wilmington University. He’s expected to graduate from Wilmington as early as 2021.
Tajh has demonstrated a lifelong passion for working in sports. Prior to Philadelphia Youth Basketball (PYB), he served as the operations director at Olympus Sports Academy in Williamstown, New Jersey. At Olympus, he played a vital role in building the organization from the ground up while assisting young athletes to achieve their personal, social, academic, and athletic goals. Tajh has also held various positions with other organizations such as the Special Olympics of Philadelphia, the City of Basketball Love, and Athletes USA, to name a few. In addition to his current position as the operations coordinator at PYB, he’s also the proud founder of Transcend Sports Firm, an up-and-coming athlete representation firm that specializes in representing professional basketball players.
Kyle Lafferty – Program & Human Resources Manager
A local Philadelphia native was born and raised in the Northwest section of Philadelphia. He grew up in the Philadelphia basketball community being apart of programs such as Hunting Park Warriors AAU program and Philadelphia Central High School boys’ varsity basketball team. His experiences with basketball has been a major contributor to his development in all areas of his life. After graduating from Central High School, he went on to study Sociology at Rosemont College as well as being a 4-year student-athlete in the Rosemont Men’s Basketball program. Kyle first became involved with PYB as a corporate and camp-based intern in the summer of 2016 and has been an integral member of PYB ever since.
Randy Butler – Manager of Programming
Randy Butler started working for PYB in September 2017. Randy was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois before attending Colgate University in New York where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Education in 2016. Randy played Women’s Basketball for the Colgate Raiders and continued to play overseas in Ireland, while she simultaneously completed a masters program in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Ulster University Jordanstown in 2017.
Peter Kaffenberger – Social Impact Manager
Pete Kaffenberger went to college at Temple University after working in construction for several years. His time away from the classroom made him value his education much more once he finally returned. As a result, he feels an increased sense of purpose when it comes to the education of vulnerable middle school students, an age group that PYB places so much emphasis upon. He wants these young people to enthusiastically seize the opportunities that they have in the classroom and on the court the first time they get the chance. Pete’s intention when going back to school was to become a licensed counselor in Pennsylvania. Through tutoring his peers in different classes throughout his college career, he felt he’d been called to explore a career as an educator. As someone who additionally has a love for the game of basketball, he felt that the game would be a great tool to relate to students while guiding them academically. His time with PYB has only strengthened this belief.
Di’anna Thomas-Palmer – HoopHers Program Lead
Di’anna joined Philadelphia Youth Basketball in the spring of 2018 and currently serves as the Program Lead for PYB’s HoopHers (girls empowerment) Program. Di’anna, “Dee” as her PYB colleagues call her, was born and raised in Philadelphia. She attended William Penn Charter and Hofstra University where she played for their Women’s Basketball Team. She has a long family history of education and community service and is devoted to continuing this legacy through her work at PYB.
Dear Friends of PYB, June 1, 2019, marks the beginning of the 5th year of operations for Philadelphia Youth Basketball, and we are proud to report that the start-up phase of building a robust and relevant organization has been achieved. This foundational work, which...