The Philadelphia Tribune: Former Urban League chief McPherson rekindles business flame
The ROZ Group, a strategic marketing and communications and project management company, is up and running again in downtown Philadelphia.
Rosalyn McPherson relaunched the company in September after a two-year stint as CEO of the Urban League of Philadelphia. She stepped down from the organization in June to care for her ill mother.
In February, she restarted the company, opening offices in its old stomping grounds of Center City.
McPherson marked the occasion with an announcement on her Facebook page that read, “We’re back!” It featured a photo of her standing in front of the building at 17th and Sansom streets.
While she acknowledged that leading the Urban League provided new learning experiences, McPherson said she was happy to return to running her business.
“I valued the experience but I am definitely an entrepreneur,” she said. “I think what I am enjoying is the varied nature of the work and the fact that so many people that we worked with before, we are working with again. That is very gratifying and we are project managing some important work.”
The ROZ Group is known for serving clients in such areas as the arts, education and health care.
McPherson enjoys bringing her client’s vision to fruition and is proud to work on what she refers to as groundbreaking projects.
“That’s what we do often — we take a vision and we make it a reality,” she said.
Her company currently is the project manager for the Health Enterprise Zone, an initiative launched in October by the state Department of Human Services. The program was created to address health care disparities in North Philadelphia, an area that has nearly 300,000 Medicaid recipients.
That figure represents 13 percent of Pennsylvania’s Medicaid population, according to the DHS.
The initiative seeks to bring government, health care providers and community stakeholders together to improve medical service for North Philadelphia residents and help reduce health disparities.
“It’s about trying to get people to stop using the emergency room for primary care. Because what they are finding is you have a lot of people who are going to all the different emergency rooms and that care is not coordinated, and also getting folks to follow different practices so that their health outcomes are improved,” McPherson explained.
The ROZ Group is responsible for coordinating public and stakeholder meetings that examine the strengths and weaknesses of current health care services in North Philadelphia. It is working as a subcontractor with Sellers Dorsey, a national health care consulting firm.
The ROZ Group recently completed a benchmark study for the Kimmel Center Inc., which compared how the organization fared in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion with six other performing arts centers in the United States.
The company is currently conducting a similar study for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, which works on behalf of the city’s arts and culture sector. It is also providing communications support for the Museum of the American Revolution, which is slated to open on April 19 in Old City.
The museum, whose scheduled opening coincides with the 1775 start of the Revolutionary War, will tell the story of the nation’s founding through galleries, recreated historical scenes and other features.
McPherson hopes that the ROZ Group is being effective through its work.
“I’m hoping that we will have many opportunities to have a great impact,” she said. “When I look at the legacy that I want to leave, it’s having an impact in these key areas that are designed to improve the quality of life.“
McPherson first established the Roz Group in 2007, working over the years with such agencies as the the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and The Octavius V. Catto Memorial Foundation.
Before starting her business, McPherson had a career in educational publishing and museum administration. The native of New Orleans had served as a senior vice president for the Science Center at the Franklin Institute as well as for Time Life Education Time Inc. She has worked as an editor and marketer for McGraw Hill Inc., Scholastic Inc. and CBS Inc.
When the Roz Group opened its door, Visit Philadelphia, formerly the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, was one of her first clients. She collaborated on its Philly 360 African American marketing initiative.
Meryl Levitz, CEO of Visit Philadelphia, recalls being impressed with McPherson during their first meeting.
“I first met her when she was at the Franklin Institute and I was really impressed at her double background in education [and] marketing and I thought she brought a lot of dimension and depth to an institution that had to be both a learning institution and get people in the door and interested in science,“ Levitz said.
When Visit Philadelphia was seeking to launch Philly 360, Levitz and other officials interviewed McPherson’s agency and competing companies.
“What we wanted was somebody with a variety of disciplines who could bring together people from other disciplines and get everybody working together and contributing ideas and information on how to launch this initiative,“ Levitz said.
“I just found her to be very smart, very conscientious, very collaborative and genuinely interested in what other people had to say. She was able to cross age groups and backgrounds very easily,“ she added.
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