Power Moves: Nerd Street Gamers CEO John Fazio made Newsweek's top disruptors list - Technical.ly

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Power Moves: Nerd Street Gamers CEO John Fazio made Newsweek’s top disruptors list

Plus, Houwzer hired a chief people officer, OIC of America has a new top exec and Philadelphia Gas Works picked two energy-minded startups for its incubator.

Nerd Street Gamers CEO John Fazio.

(Courtesy Nerd Street Gamers)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Email us: philly@technical.ly.


In the final days of 2021, John Fazio, the CEO of Center City-headquartered Nerd Street Gamers, was named to Newsweek’s 50 Greatest Disruptors, a list of visionaries and innovators who are “changing the world.”

Fazio shares the list with some huge contenders in the tech, business and entertainment spaces. Musical artist Lizzo, Tesla founder Elon Musk and Katalin Karikó, the molecular biologist whose research on mRNA technology spurred the COVID-19 vaccines, all share spots alongside him this year. Roblox founder David Baszucki is also named in Fazio’s gaming category.

The magazine was looking for people who exemplify disruption within their industries: “What truly sets these pioneers apart, however, is their humanity,” the publication wrote of the December list. “The disruptors on our list are largely driven by a desire to contribute to a greater good, often inspired by personal experience — and, so far at least, their work seems on a path to fulfill that promise.”

Fazio landed his spot on the list for his work making esports more accessible. The magazine notes that 200 gamers have gone on from Nerd Street programming to professional careers or earned college scholarships. In 2021, Nerd Street also raised $11.5 million (on top of tens of millions from earlier raises) and opened its HQ-slash-esports campus on North Broad Street.

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In conversations with Fazio before and during the pandemic, the accessibility of gaming and of internet access came up over and over again.

“It’s a privileged industry,” Fazio told Technical.ly in 2020. “I think the reality is there’s a lot of folks who would love to get involved but they can’t afford consoles.”

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Bennett Andelman. (Courtesy Houwzer)

Real estate tech company Houwzer welcomed a chief people officer at the end of 2021. New hire Bennett Andelman will focus on building strategies to scale and retain the company’s workforce for its long-term business objectives.

Andelman will also work on talent acquisition, employee engagement strategies and culture building, the company said. He’ll also play a role in leadership development, career growth mapping and succession planning. He comes to the company from another quickly growing Philly tech company, Power Home Remodeling, where he served as the company’s VP of marketing and communications.

In a statement to Technical.ly via a company spokesperson, Andelman said he was excited to work with Houwzer because its values aligned with his own.

“Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work alongside incredibly gifted people who bring their whole self to work, unafraid to showcase who they are, have fun and even be a little weird,” Andelman said. “What they have taught me is that great companies are the sum of all of their parts, led by a diverse portfolio of amazing individual stories that when unleashed can impact the world around them, including their customers.”

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Last year, Philadelphia Gas Works and Temple University put out a call for energy entrepreneurs whose product or service ideas “have the potential to reimagine the future of the energy industry.” The institutions were partnering for an incubator called the Energy Innovation Lab, a two-year incubator program receiving business, financial and technical support as well as mentoring, a cash stipend up to $30,000 and dedicated office and meeting space at Temple’s Small Business Development Center.

After a virtual pitch competition in December, two companies were chosen for the incubator: biomass and bio-energy company ATP-PA, LLC and clean power company Metal Light.

ATP-PA’s winning project is an economical method of capturing carbon dioxide, which then converts the harvested material into bio-products for use in the circular economy. Metal Light’s winning concept is aiming to develop the first portable power generator fueled by metal and air that can be used as a backup power source for urban households.

“The Temple SBDC was interested in hosting an energy incubator to add to our services for small, energy focused businesses like ATP-PA and Metal Light,” said Maura Shenker, director of Temple’s SBDC, in a statement. “We’re excited to see what the future holds for these outstanding energy entrepreneurs and the impact their solutions will have on making Philadelphia a cleaner, greener city.”

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Louis King. (Courtesy photo)

Louis King will be the next president and CEO of OIC of America, a national job training and educational nonprofit org that’s headquartered in Philadelphia. King steps into the role on Jan. 4, the organization announced at the end of 2021.

OIC of America has 31 national affiliates across 19 states, and King is experienced within one of the org’s most successful affiliates, the Summit Academy OIC in Minneapolis. There, he served as its president and CEO since 1995. He’ll remain CEO of Summit Academy while stepping into his new national role, the org said.

“OICA provides an incredible opportunity to solve the labor crisis by engaging people of all ethnic backgrounds and geographic locations. Whether people come from a rural community or the inner city, it’s going to take all of us to solve the labor crisis,” King said in a statement. “OICA is uniquely positioned to provide a scalable solution by providing direct access to communities that America can’t afford to overlook any longer.”

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Inspira Health, a nonprofit healthcare organization in South Jersey, announced it was appointing a new chief administration officer in Lydia Stockman, effective Jan. 10. Stockman has a long tenure in healthcare, with more than 20 years of experience in healthcare management. She’s held roles as SVP of clinical operations at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and began her career as a nurse at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. In her new role, Stockman will be overseeing hospital operations and strategic plans.

“I am looking forward to leveraging Inspira’s regional presence as a leading health care network in South Jersey and to identify new opportunities for business development and strategic growth, which will attract top physicians and health care professionals to ensure that we provide the highest quality of safety and care to our patients,” she said in a statement. “I am honored to serve Inspira Health in this role and to advance the network’s new strategic plan without ever losing sight of providing a positive environment for all our patients, visitors and employees.”

Lydia Stockman. (Courtesy photo)

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