ABOVE PHOTO: Dr. Elizabeth L. Holder
By Danae Reid
Dr. Elizabeth L. Holder was a young girl when her mother began schlepping her to volunteer/community service events in the area… At the time, Holder didn’t particularly enjoy such long escapades; however, little did she know, her early experiences of service were laying the foundation for the work that she’d do as an adult.
The Philadelphia native is a decorated scholar whose accolades all seem to lead to the same crux… advocacy. Throughout her studies and personal life, Holder has worn many different hats that have allowed her to be a voice for groups that’re are often silenced. Whether it’s doing service projects with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., assisting the Urban League, or working on the board of Together for West Philadelphia, Holder is constantly acting in the interest of her community.
“I grew up in a family that wasn’t always so fortunate, but now I’m in a position to advocate and to give back”. She says.
For persons like her, the work doesn’t stop just because the clock strikes 5. It cannot be disputed that she’s earned her seat at the table and she isn’t planning to get up anytime soon. The published writer, public speaker and business woman remains humble even though she has many reasons to boast.
Holder began working for Aramark Corporation in an entry level position several years ago, but has grown significantly in the company and has used her influence to enact change in multiple ways.
She recently became the first ever Patient Experience Director within Aramark’s Healthcare and Hospitality line of business; a position that she accepted almost parallel to her receipt of the Rashford Award, an award she received for an outstanding dissertation Ed.D thesis in which she both explored and exposed the gender and race bias that Black female nurses often face in the medical field. Even though she is not a nurse herself, she understands the importance of representation and that a positive patient experience is essential in healthcare.
Her research has led her to co-authoring a book How I Got Over: The Educational Pursuit of Black Female Scholars and contributing to the online publication Woman to Woman Talk Magazine.
Aside from her full time position, she’s a member of Aramark LEAD (Leaders & Employees of African Descent) and is a Co-Executive Sponsor for Aramark Ignite (a youth college and career readiness program), something that she’s especially proud of.
The Aramark Ignite Program (A.I.P) is an initiative that aims to enhance optimism, increase labor skills, upsurge high school graduation rates, and encourage post secondary success for students in select Philadelphia High schools. The program is designed to energize the classrooms of select Philadelphia High schools and connect them to Aramark’s higher education partners including Saint Joseph’s University and Drexel University.
A.I.P became fully established in 2018 and is funded by Aramark Corporation and administered by The Urban League of Philadelphia. West Philadelphia High School and Science Leadership Academy at Beeber are the current recipients of this program. A.I.P has cultivated a curriculum in which high school juniors have access to mentors, college preparation courses, Aramark’s post-graduate employment program and more.
Dr. Holder has big plans for her future, including writing for a new publication. She recently participated in the 2019 W.I.M (Women In Media) Conference with a panel of other successful women.
In July of 2019, Dr. Holder created DrLizSpeaks, a program that’s dedicated to reaching out to women of all ages, races, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc., and assisting them in finding and fulfilling their “God given purpose and reaching their full potential.
For more information, please visit www.drlizholder.com