Each year, at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, we take a moment to look back at our accomplishments before we look ahead to the exciting new things to come. Over 1,500 business and civic leaders gathered at last week’s event to hear from Chamber leadership including outgoing Chamber Board of Directors Chair John Fry, President of Drexel University; incoming Chair Daniel J. Hilferty, President & CEO of Independence Blue Cross, and the Chamber’s President & CEO Rob Wonderling.
Wonderling underscored the role of our members in the efforts of our region’s business and civic community to create jobs, prosperity, and economic growth for Greater Philadelphia. Wonderling went on to thank Fry for his time as chair, including an appreciation for his “quiet confidence, steely conviction, and a deep sense of unbridled optimism of what our city and region can aspire to be in the 21st century.”
In his final remarks as chair, Fry highlighted the progress Philadelphia has made towards the goal of becoming a top-tier city and challenged the business and civic community to “maintain that collaborative spirit and sense of urgency” that was developed during the Amazon HQ2 bid. He closed his remarks by saying Hilfery is “uniquely qualified to keep the Philadelphia region moving forward – together – and at a brisk pace.”
As his first act as chair, Hilferty welcomed the new members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, view the full list of new board members at the bottom of this post.
Hilferty went on to outline the three key priorities for the Chamber to help attract new business, encourage growth and become a world-class city and region:
- Grow PA – The strength of our region and our state are inextricably connected and we need Big Ideas for building a strong economy by modernizing our infrastructure, transforming post-secondary education, and accelerating health care innovation.
- Health Innovation – Our business community should continue to leverage the research breakthroughs emerging from our robust health care sector as catalysts for regional innovation opportunities and economic growth.
- Building Bridges – As a civically-minded and socially-conscious business community, we should be the model for an inclusive American city that works to reduce poverty and increase opportunity.
Hilferty went on to issue attendees four calls to action to ensure these priorities are well tended in the coming years:
- Build the next Amazon from within
- Be the epicenter of health care innovation, not only in the country but in the world
- Be the new “Ellis Island” for people of varied races, cultures and political ideologies
- Create unexpected partnerships to solve problems, build bridges and grow our incredible region
The program concluded with an interview between Adena T. Friedman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nasdaq, Inc., and Dr. Amy Gutmann, President of the University of Pennsylvania. Friedman discussed her own career path as a woman in finance, innovations, next generation technologies like blockchain, and our region’s excellent talent pool. Follow the conversation on Twitter using #GoodBizPHL.
New Board Members
DR. CHRISTOPHER FIORENTINO
West Chester University
RONALD MATTHEW, JR.
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Aloysius Butler & Clark
JACLYN MCADAMS SOSA
H. MARC TEPPER, ESQUIRE
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
JULIE WOLLMAN, PHD
DAWN HOLDEN WOODS
Turning Points for Children
New Executive Committee Members
University of Pennsylvania
The Tactile Group
COFCO Office Furnishings