Power Moves: Growing a local beachhead, a CEO's exit and other shifts in the Philly tech force - Technical.ly Philly

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Apr. 12, 2019 7:05 am

Power Moves: Growing a local beachhead, a CEO’s exit and other shifts in the Philly tech force

Tracking the ups and downs of the local ecosystem — or, how a Federal Donuts lunch helped this New York company build its Philly team.

Part of the Betterment team.

(Courtesy photo)

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.


Financial services firm Betterment, headquartered in New York, just made its 10th hire at its Philly hub inside MakeOffices in Center City.

The local team began by tapping RJMetrics/Magento/Adobe engineering chief Ben Garvey back in January, in a bid to build the robo-advisor’s first beachhead outside of New York. Now, with Garvey’s help, the company expanded that team in customer experience and engineering.

How does a company manage to attract the talent it needs in a new city? It doesn’t happen by accident.

“I think it’s because they didn’t try to do this from afar,” Garvey explained. “Betterment put in the time by sending four to six people to every Philly.rb meetup, talking to everyone there, participating, and generating buzz in that community. Six people came down from NY to look at office space with me in January. The CX team did training sessions last week and hit up Federal Donuts for lunch and Tradesman’s for dinner. They’re showing up and it’s working.”

Here’s the breakdown of some of the new hires and the companies they hail from:

Customer experience:

  • Peter Nettl, ROAR for Good
  • Dana Trentalange, Vanguard
  • Zack Peak, Cultural Landscape Foundation
  • Mara Nissley, ALS Hope Foundation
  • George Bonnewell, a long-time Philly-based Betterment employee who no longer has to commute to New York (!)

Product and engineering:

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  • Matt Edlefsen, Rosetta Stone
  • Dionne Stanfield, Weblinc
  • Artem Chistyakov, Wildbit

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After 13 years at the helm, CEO Ginger Zielinskie has stepped down from Center City-based Benefits Data Trust, our sister site Generocity reports.

From the story:

The organization is conducting a national search, and Zielinskie has said she will stay on for six months or more, until her successor is selected. “I will take a little time off to recharge and rebalance before exploring what comes next,” she added.

We last heard from Zielinskie and the public assistance nonprofit she runs in December, when BDT was announced as one of the 10 winners of the Communities Thrive Challenge, a joint grant program created by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Rockefeller Foundation. Zielinskie also told us about the organization’s push to include machine learning in the process of signing up people for SNAP.

In an email to Technical.ly, the company said the internal push to leverage machine learning would continue.

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The Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technology (PACT) added a handful of new members to its board of directors, including a couple of names you might have read before on this site.

Jennifer Maher and Sylvester Mobley, the CEOs of coworking company 1776 and coding nonprofit Coded by Kids respectively, were added to the venture capital organization’s governing body. Paul Marvel, who helms consulting firm RSM’s Pennsylvania and South Jersey offices, was also added to the board.

“PACT could not function without the support and leadership of its Board of Directors,” said PACT President Dean Miller. “Their ideas and collaboration lay the groundwork for PACT’s ultimate success. Each set of expertise helps drive PACT’s continued evolution into providing top notch programs and services for the community.”

Here’s a look back at the group’s history in the region.

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Code for Philly co-director Toni McIntyre has stepped down from the organizing role as she moves into a full-time role as a digital communications associate with the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.

“My personal goal going into this job is to just learn all I can about the work from the AG’s office is doing and help them amplify that good work,” McIntyre told Technical.ly.

Prior to joining the state AG’s office, McIntyre was part of the Digital Transformation Fellowship program at the City of Philadelphia, helping to guide the Phila.gov makeover at what was at the time the Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation.

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Looking to upgrade your own career? We have a few suggestions, courtesy of Philly Tech Week 2019 presented by Comcast:

  • At Dev Conference, experts within their respective fields will be discussing trending topics such as AI and machine learning, cloud computing, React components, cybersecurity, Agile development, leadership, soft skills and more.
  • And at Introduced by Technical.ly, we’re bringing three tracks (Grow, Message and Impact) chock-full of lessons applicable to any industry.

Professional development, anyone?

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