(Photo by Kevin Monko)
Halloween was Rebecca Lopez Kriss’ first day at a new office.
The former staple of the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce since 2011 — where she helped lead the push to get StartUp PHL up and running and later went on to head up the agency’s communication efforts — is now a policy wonk at the Department of Revenue, where she has taken the role of Senior Policy Analyst & Director of Taxpayer and Water Customer Outreach.
Whoa, try saying that three times fast.
The offer to take a step up in the local government ranks was presented to her in early October. On Monday, just as she was settling into her new job, we checked in to see how things were going.
“There is so much going on at Revenue,” Lopez Kriss said. “I was already pulled in a million directions. It’s exciting, it’s nerve-racking. I missed lunch. I think things will smooth out once I’m settled, but for now it’s ‘go’ time.”
In her new role, Lopez Kriss will maintain the strategy of outreach to the Philly business community, but this time centered on some of the city’s tax policies.
“Essentially I’ll be helping them understand what resources are available to them, and also working on internal tax policies,” she said.
The pressing question for the tech scene, though: Have we seen the last of the fun-but-focused Lopez Kriss?
“I’m definitely going to be around,” she said. “What I’m hopeful is that I’ll be able to continue the outreach that I’ve already started but talking about the positive tax changes the city has made and some of the ones we hope to make.”
Aspirations for that continued outreach include participating in things like Code for Philly and other civic-minded spaces where tech and policy meet.
“There’s a lot of places where I see myself still being an active part of the startup and tech communities,” Lopez Kriss said.
As you read this article, Commerce is in the process of reviewing candidates to find her replacement. Once they find that person, Lopez Kriss has some advice.
“We worked really hard to let folks know we were here to bolster the community,” Lopez Kriss said. “Like in any role, the challenge will be to keep the momentum going.”