Patricia Blakely joined The Merchants Fund in 2007 and was appointed Executive Director later that year. During her 25-year career in the non-profit sector, Patricia has led projects for an impressive range of area organizations, including the Charles Ellis Trust, the White-Williams Scholars program, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and others.Notable accomplishment include managing a $1 million program to distribute laptops to high-achieving, low-resource, Philadelphia-area students and developing guidance materials for “Student Success Centers” in eight of the most under-served and racially isolated high schools in the City of Philadelphia. From 1995 to 2006, Patricia was lead administrator for a tuition/scholarship program targeting low-income girls from single parent homes, resulting in support for some 2000 students in over 200 schools and academic enrichment programs. She has also been a consultant to the Philadelphia School District, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and served as a program evaluator for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. As the Executive Director of The Merchants Fund, a Philadelphia charity established in 1854 to provide charitable gifts to business persons facing financial hardship, she oversees the distribution of small grants to small business in Philadelphia. Patricia considers herself an “accidental food funder” as many of TMF’s grantees are small food businesses. Patricia holds a Master Degree in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in the History of Art from Bryn Mawr College.