The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Beth Harper Briglia — 2024
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Beth Harper Briglia Honored with 18th Annual Rebecca Lukens Award

18th Annual Rebecca Lukens Award Recipient

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (CLF) is pleased to announce, together with the National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum (NISHM) in Coatesville,  the 18th annual Rebecca Lukens Award to a longtime philanthropic advisor and community volunteer in Chester County.  Beth Harper Briglia will be presented with the award at a special buffet breaksfast from 8:30 to 10 a.m. May 16, 2024 at the Graystone Mansion in the Lukens Historic District. 

Click here for presentation event details. 

The awards ceremony is supported by several other lead sponsors including the Gunard Berry Carlson Memorial Foundation, PECO and The Stewart Huston Charitable Trust. 

Beth Harper Briglia is a longtime philanthropic advisor and community volunteer in Chester County and the former Executive Vice-President of Philanthropic Services at the Chester County Community Foundation (CCCF) based in West Chester.

Many of the past recipients including last year’s honoree, Mary Holleran of Downingtown, were honored for their work as community-builders. Beth is no exception, although her work strengthening communities could be described as people-driven.  It’s part of her longtime work as a philanthropic advisor, especially at CCCF where she frequently worked with generations of family members who established nonprofit legacy funds there. 

Describing herself as “honored and humbled” to be named this year’s honoree, Beth said that she has personally known several of the previous Rebecca Lukens Award recipients and has felt a kinship with how they have worked to improve the lives of others. She said she first came to know the story of Rebecca’s life through Gene DiOrio, co-founder of the Graystone Society, who gave her personal tours of the Lukens National Historic District as well as nearby historic sites in Chester County. 

At the time, Beth was just beginning her work at CCCF and understanding how one’s values are connected to philanthropy in making life better for others. “I was inspired by her story and what she did,” Beth said of Rebecca, “I was especially taken with the fact that she wanted to have her father’s legacy as founder of the steel mill to live on and she worked to ensure that the mill workers were well served.”

More About Beth Harper Briglia

Beth, the mother of three adult children who lives with her husband Michael Beth in the Kimberton area, grew up in Montgomery County with five siblings. In a recent interview, she said she has had a long affinity with the nonprofit sector but she was encouraged by her father to pursue a career in accounting. She earned her undergraduate degree in public administration from La Salle University and studied to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) before working for the accounting firm, Arthur Andersen & Co. She spent more than a dozen years as an accountant and consultant working in diversified financial service environments including asset management, insurance, and banking.

Beth was able to make the transition to nonprofit work when she became a volunteer with Community Accountants (CA) and became intrigued with Arts administration by helping the Philadelphia-based Clay Studio, now the nation’s oldest ceramic studio. Beth eventually joined the studio’s Board of Directors and served as board president. 

Beth’s 20-plus years at CCCF has drawn on her many skills including her training as a CPA and her work in finance. However, she especially enjoys helping individuals, families, and local business owners engage with and improve their own communities by guiding them through what she calls “intentional philanthropy.” The process enables donors to consider their time, talents, and values to determine their charitable objectives and philanthropic strategies. 

Since retiring from CCCF a few years ago, Beth has continued her volunteer work and now works as an independent philanthropic advisor. She frequently drives to Coatesville to advise the Newlin Foundation, a charitable scholarship fund started in 2010 at the Chester County Community Foundation by a Chester County philanthropic couple.

Beth works closely with Newlin’s professional staff, the board chair, Regina Horton Lewis (a 2013 RLA recipient) as well as with a community-based board of trustees who carry out Newlin’s mission: to provide guidance and scholarship opportunities for high school students living in the Coatesville Area School District. Each year, a select group of “Newlin scholars” not only receive scholarship help, but according to Beth, are given educational, mentoring, and financial support from the college admission’s process through the final goal of attaining and optimizing their post-secondary degree. 

Beth is also involved in numerous volunteer activities focused on education, including those promoting the field of philanthropy. She actively works with those seeking nonprofit career and management advice; professional advisors looking to deepen their understanding of the philanthropic sector for themselves and their clients; and individuals and families who are crafting their current and legacy philanthropic strategies.

Examples of her volunteer work in education include serving as chair of Bishop Shanahan High School’s Board of Directors and as former president of La Salle University’s Alumni Board. She is also a co-facilitator of the Delaware/Greater Philadelphia CAP Study Group for the American College of Financial Services. She has also served as vice chair of the Board of Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia and as a board member of Junior Achievement in Chicago. 

Beth currently volunteers her time with the University of Delaware’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute where she teaches a course called “Intentional Philanthropy: Making Your Gifts of Time, Talent, and Treasure Count.”

The Graystone Society and NISHM thank the following additional sponsors: Ms. Ruth Nunn, Piasecki Aircraft, The Huston Foundation, Unruh, Turner, Burke & Frees, New Heritage Properties, Mary T. Holleran & David J. Proctor, BELFOR, Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Holleran, Gawthrop Greenwood, Herbert E. MacCombie, Jr., Consulting Engineers, Patterhn Ives, Chester County Hospital Foundation, CTDI, Breuninger Insurance, Ms. Joy Rowland, Chester County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Citadel FCU, G.A. Vietri, Chester County Community Foundation, Freedom Village, William Dunleavy Roofing, 18th Century Restorations, Alliance for Health Equity, JGM, The Episcopal Church of the Trinity, TMACC (Chesco Bus), Presidents Fund at The Foundation for Delaware County, Wegmans, Summers & Zims, Inc., Edge Wallboard Machinery Co., Jacobs/Wyper Architects, Presence Bank, Wawa, Mr. & Mrs. Michael Raysor, and United Way.

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