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SDHP Conference - Housing as a Human Right

Conference Speaker Biographies

Meg Snead
Acting Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Meg Snead is currently the Acting Secretary for the Department of Human Services (DHS). She previously served as Gov. Wolf’s Secretary of Policy and Planning overseeing the administration’s development and implementation of policy priorities, including the COVID-19 pandemic response, ensuring access to health care, and breaking barriers to critical human services. Prior to joining the governor’s office, Meg was an executive policy specialist at the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, focusing on Medicaid, mental health, and substance use policy. Meg comes to the position with a background in affordable housing, homelessness, and health care policy, having spent 10 years working in the nonprofit industry in the Denver, Colorado area. Meg has a bachelor’s in government from the University of South Carolina and a master’s in political science from the University of Colorado. 

Caitlin Chasar
Grantwriting & Policy Development Coordinator, Liberty Resources
Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania, 2022

Caitlin Chasar is a young woman who was born with spina bifida.  She currently lives in North Wales, Pennsylvania. She is an advocate for disability rights and is very active within the disability community, serving on several disability advocacy organizations. At the age of ten, she started playing wheelchair basketball and other adaptive sports. She attended Edinboro University as a wheelchair basketball scholar athlete and earned a Masters of Art in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2017.  Around this time, Caitlin started her advocacy journey. Currently she serves as the  Grant writing and Policy Development Coordinator at  Liberty Resources in Philadelphia. In October 2021, Caitlin was crowned the 2022 Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania Titleholder. Her platform is based on advocated for accessible spaces for people with disabilities to engage in recreation and physical activity.  
 

Robin L. Wiessmann
Executive Director & CEO, PA Housing Finance Agency

As head of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), Executive Director and CEO Robin L. Wiessmann oversees employees in 16 divisions that work to expand affordable housing across Pennsylvania. She manages the operations of the agency while directing multiple initiatives that promote affordable rental housing, support homeownership, provide no-cost housing counseling, fund local housing efforts and reduce home foreclosures. 
 
Under her leadership, PHFA is continuing its commitment to renters, homebuyers and homeowners while employing new strategies to operate the agency efficiently, effectively, and deliver housing programs in the most fiscally responsible manner. A top priority during the pandemic has been Wiessmann’s emphasis on modernization of the agency’s business practices and the strategic shift to a flexible work environment. This has included embracing new business models, technology updates and changes to workplace operations, to ensure the agency is well poised for success in the coming years.
 
Wiessmann’s previous public service positions included Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, Treasurer of Pennsylvania and Deputy Director of Finance for the City of Philadelphia. During her private career, Wiessmann was a founding Principal and President of Artemis Capital Group, the first women-owned investment banking firm on Wall Street and held leadership positions at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. She is a recipient of the Arthur E. Armitage, Sr. Distinguished Alumni Award from Rutgers Law School, from which she earned a law degree, and is a graduate of Lafayette College. In 2021 Wiessmann received the NASAA Outstanding Service Award. Wiessmann is a Qualified Financial Expert.

 

Pamela Rae Schuller

As a teen, Pamela had the worst-diagnosed case of Tourettes in the country, a touch of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and a whole lot of pent-up anger. She spent years depressed, suicidal, and wishing her differences away. Over time, she started looking at her life differently and turned her obstacles and challenges into the very fuel that propels her.

Now an internationally known disability and mental health advocate and professional stand-up comedian, Pamela’s stories of growing up in a body she had no control over are engaging, powerful, a little bit heart-wrenching, and unapologetically funny.
Pamela has performed in six countries, almost every state in the US, and for more than 100,000 kids, teens, and adults. She holds a BA in Psychology and Youth Outreach Through the Arts, an MA in Child Advocacy and Policy, where she focused her studies on creating comedy and improvisational theater programs as a tool for youth with disabilities to improve self-advocacy skills and a certificate in Executive Coaching focused on leadership in the digital age from MIT. She has grown that skillset into a repertoire that teaches kids and teens to be proud of who they are, communities to be deeply inclusive, and corporate teams to be innovative and learn to make smart, bold moves.  From squeaky clean to working blue, she gets audiences of every age comfortable and laughing through storytelling and humor.

Pamela was recently honored alongside Ed Asner for her work with comedy and inclusion and spoke alongside Matthew Broderick and Michael Douglas. Pamela opened for Pete Holmes, Lynne Koplitz, Joan Rivers, and in a weird turn of events, Fetty Wap (because God has a sense of humor). You can see her on BuzzFeed and the Dr Mike Channel, hear her on SiriusXM, check out her writing on Mayim Bialik's Grok Nation, or catch her live on her upcoming tour of the US and Canada with her one woman show, “What Makes me Tic.”

Pamela doesn’t just “tolerate” what makes her different; she embraces it, loves it, and finds the funny in it... while challenging her audiences to do the same.