Achievers Hall of Fame Inductees 2023

Nahreen Ahmed, Class of 2002

Dr. Nahreen Ahmed is an SHS alum from the class of 2002 after which she attended Widener University and then went on to attend Drexel University College of Medicine. Here is where she had her first experience in global health while visiting Bangladesh and working in the largest public hospital in the capital city of Dhaka. She went on to complete her Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois where she simultaneously obtained a Masters in Public Health. 

From Chicago she ventured to New York City where she completed her subspecialty fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care and it was there that she officially launched her career in Global Health, starting a new medical training in Dhaka, Bangladesh at the same hospital where she rotated as a medical student. This program is now known as Bangladesh Ultrasound Initiative, a training course that has certified over 1,000 ICU physicians in the use of portable ultrasound, an old technology used in a new and innovative way, providing diagnostic imaging in a part of the world where X-rays and CT scans are not always readily available. 

She then went on to take a faculty role, as an Assistant Professor in the department of Pulmonary and Critical Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has remained committed to her Global Health Career, volunteering her time to teach and provide direct care in Ethiopia with Colombia and Brown University’s East African Training Initiative, and working with a nonprofit called Bridge to Health to build training programs in Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda. When the Covid pandemic emerged, she was a frontline health care worker both here in Philadelphia and then on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico, where she returns regularly to provide support and medical training. Her most exciting role to date, however, is as the Medical Director at an NGO called MedGlobal, which has taken her to crisis and conflict zones from Yemen to Ukraine. Most recently she traveled to Syria after the deadly earthquake, as well as to refugee camps in Bangladesh, and also to Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico to aide in the ever-growing mass migration crisis. Nahreen is committed to creating a world without health inequities and her work over the last 13 years as a physician has mirrored that goal. 

John McLaughlin, Class of 1973

After graduating from Springfield High School, John attended Bucknell University where he lettered in football and graduated with a major in accounting. John started his career in New York City as an International Auditor with Manufacturers Hanover, at the time one of the world’s leading banking and financial institutions. Subsequently, John passed the CPA exam and worked for two years as a CPA in New Jersey.

In 1980, John began his long and successful career in the Casino/Hospitality/Development industry. John worked at the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City over the next 12 years, working his way up to the Executive Director of Finance and was responsible for a $270 million sale/leaseback financing that helped finance the second tower at the property.

John then moved on to become Senior Vice President and CFO of a newly formed public gaming company called President Casinos, Inc. where he raised public debt and equity to fund the future growth of the company.

After John’s success with President Casinos, he was recruited to join a newly formed public company called Harvey’s Casino Resorts in Lake Tahoe as Vice President/CFO. John was part of a three-person executive team that was responsible for increased revenue, operating income, and operating margins over a five-year period. John developed an LBO model which led to the resort becoming private, and doubled the financial return in a three-year period. John was then promoted to co-CEO and executed a successful sale of the company to Harrah’s, resulting in a 51% return to the private equity sponsors.

John then joined Centaur, Inc. as CEO of the gaming group where he raised $1 billion in financing to fund new gaming developments. John then formed a consulting firm that assisted Goldman Sachs with several of their resort portfolio investments that were in default during the financial meltdown of 2008.

John is currently President and CEO and board member of Edgewood Companies in Lake Tahoe, where he led the design, construction, and financing of a luxury hotel resort. The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe opened in 2017 and in 2018 was voted the #1 resort hotel in the continental US by Travel and Leisure Magazine and in 2019 was awarded a 4-star rating by Forbes Travel Guide and voted Hotel of the Year by Preferred Hotels and Resorts. In addition, in 2021 the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course was recognized as a Top 100 Golf Course by Golf Digest.

Jeanne Pemberton, Class of 1972

Jeanne Pemberton is a Regents Professor and the John and Helen Schaefer Professor of Chemistry at the University of Arizona. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Delaware where she received a Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology in 1977. She received her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1981 and then started as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Arizona later that year, rising through the ranks to the level of Professor. She was appointed the John and Helen Schaefer Professor of Chemistry in 2001 and Regents Professor in 2005. 

Her scientific research interests lie in the area broadly defined as surface and interfacial chemistry. She is known for her efforts in the development and use of a variety of molecular spectroscopic probes to understand chemistry within complex interfaces. Her scientific research has resulted in over 250 scientific publications, 10 patents and patent applications, and the successful establishment of a small business, GlycoSurf. 

Her research has been recognized with multiple awards and honors, most notably the American Chemical Society Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal, the American Chemical Society Award in Analytical Chemistry, and the American Chemical Society Award in Spectrochemical Analysis. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an inaugural Fellow of the American Chemical Society, and a Galileo Circle Fellow of the UA College of Science. She currently serves as Executive Editor for the journal Analytical Chemistry and has served as co-Editor of the monograph series Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry. 

In addition to her scientific interests, Dr. Pemberton has served on numerous scientific advisory committees and panels, having chaired most notably the ACS Committee on Professional Training, The National Science Foundation Advisory Board to the Directorate for Mathematics and Physical Sciences, and the scientific review panel for early-stage career grants for the European Research Council. She is passionate about and has served at the national and international levels in numerous professional activities related to chemical and science education and women in chemistry. She is a dedicated educator at all levels, with almost 100 Master of Science and PhD degree recipients having received their training under her mentorship, and she has received multiple awards for teaching excellence and innovation while at the University of Arizona.

Matthew Seavey, Class of 1988

After graduating from Springfield High School in 1988, Matt worked his way through college by working as a landscaper, construction worker, bouncer, and event security for Spectaguard at Eagles’ games, The Mann Music Center, and other local concert and sporting events. He then graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. After serving seven years as a Pennsylvania State Constable, Matt was certified by the Minor Judiciary Education Board prior to winning his first election as Magisterial District Judge in 2009…the first of several contentious and hard-fought campaigns, particularly for a “Delco outsider” to become victorious in Chester County. Matt soon gained the respect of approximately 12 local supporters who also served as his campaign committee in 2015, and again in 2021. Now 14 years later, those original supporters have remained faithfully by his side, as his work has proven to be fair, efficient, productive, and caring. During his first ever truancy hearing in 2009, Matt had a very troublesome, but likable kid, come before him. After sentencing, Matt informed the young man to expect regular visits to his school in order to check on his progress, but first, being still a curious rookie judge, turned his head to the truancy court officer and asked, “can I do that?” Upon receiving a response of “absolutely,” Matt followed through with that first case, much to the student’s surprise, and developed a truancy/visitation program that is second to none in Chester County. 

Judge Seavey is now a staple in local schools, frequently leaving the bench to visit a minimum of 20 students each year, as well as conducting group discussions. Because of Judge Seavey’s attention to youth and establishing the truancy court, his jurisdiction has witnessed a dramatic decrease in high school dropout rates and Matt is most proud and humbled to help create positive change, productive futures, and successful members of society. Like that initial young man from 14 years ago, new youths who come before the Seavey bench are surprised by his compassion, his attention, and his continual care for their well-being. The 6’5” imposing figure dressed in all black, with a deep stern booming voice, will likely turn out to be a turning point in their education and their life.