(Photo courtesy of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia)
Philadelphia needs to fight to hold on to its best and brightest. One way the city can do that is by creating a network of young leaders and connecting them with legacy leaders, like the president of the Eagles and the CEO of PECO.
That’s the thinking behind LEADERSHIP Philadelphia’s latest cohort of “Connectors and Keepers,” a group of 55 young Philadelphians nominated by the city. Nearly one-third of the names had connections to the broader tech scene, including entrepreneurs like Wash Cycle Laundry’s Gabriel Mandujano and city officials like Luke Butler, chief of staff to Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger.
“While we cannot create jobs or fix the School District, LEADERSHIP Philadelphia has a track record of retaining the region’s talent,” the organization wrote. “In order to keep young professionals here, we need to cultivate and connect them to create lasting ties.”
LEADERSHIP received nearly 1,200 nominations for the list (in response to questions like, “Which young leader do you want to stay in Philadelphia?” and “Which young leader has the integrity, concern for the common good, and guts to help get things done?”) and chose the 55 people who were nominated the most times, spokeswoman Molly Chrnelich wrote in an email.
Below, we list the tech leaders named “Connectors and Keepers.” (Full disclosure: Technical.ly cofounder Christopher Wink is on the list.)
- Morgan Berman, Milkcrate
- Luke Butler, City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce
- Katherine Gajewski, City of Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability
- Michelle Freeman, Witty Gritty
- Jon Geeting, PlanPhilly
- Alex Hillman, Indy Hall
- Matt Joyce, Greenlight Fund
- Jennifer Kates, who has worked on transparency-focused bills at Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez’s office
- Michelle Lee, Textizen
- Christine Knapp, formerly of the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub, now at the City of Philadelphia’s Water Department
- Gabriel Mandujano, Wash Cycle Laundry
- Nick Marzano, Young Involved Philadelphia and Digital Learning at the Society of Hospital Medicine
- Robert Moore, RJMetrics
- Yasmine Mustafa, ROAR and Girl Develop It Philly
- Archna Sahay, DreamIt Ventures
- Lindsay Scannapieco, behind a project to turn Bok Technical High School into a live/work makerspace
- Lansie Sylvia, Here’s My Chance and Philly Give & Get