This article was originally featured in Philadelphia Gay News on August 1, 2023. Read on to learn more about Michael Ticzon (he/him) and Nic Knepp (they/them), the first LGBTQ+ leaders to helm our Board of Directors simultaneously.
The board of a local nonprofit organization recently elected two LGBTQ+ board leaders. Michael Ticzon and Nic Knepp will take the helm as president and vice president, respectively, at the Spruce Foundation, a volunteer-led nonprofit that provides grants for organizations that give back to Philadelphia’s youth. Most recently, Spruce awarded grants to Achieve Now, Collective Climb, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers and We Love Philly. The four organizations will be honored during a showcase at the end of September.
While Ticzon and Knepp began these new roles on August 1, they are not new to the work of Spruce. The two leaders have had numerous roles on the board. Ticzon’s tenure dates back to when he applied for a position on the board’s Development Committee in fall 2020. He then switched to Strategic Operations before becoming vice president last year. Ticzon said he is most proud of the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives of Spruce.
“From our board matrix to our trainings, and just how [we] talk about [DEI], it’s woven in all aspects that we do as an organization, and we’re continuing to progress forward on those efforts,” Ticzon said. “We’ve also celebrated 15 years as Spruce just last year — [It’s] 100% volunteer-led and driven — and 15 more years to come.”