Power Moves: Wharton and CultureWorks have new directors - Technical.ly Philly

Professional Development

Mar. 12, 2020 12:45 pm

Power Moves: Wharton and CultureWorks have new directors

These Philly pros are making leadership moves in the nonprofit management, esports, education and private equity sectors.
Gabrielle Wanakaker.

Gabrielle Wanakaker.

(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: philly@technical.ly.


Gabrielle Wanamaker has been named CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia’s new chief commons director, the organization announced on Thursday.

The native Philadelphian and Wharton School grad brings 15 years of experience in business strategy and leadership development, including most recently as VP of business programs at The Enterprise Center, where she focused on growth strategies for high-potential minority-owned businesses, according to CultureWorks.

CultureWorks is an artist- and nonprofit-focused hub that provides coworking as well as access to flexible staffing, advisory services and classes. The space is home to CultureTrust of Greater Philadelphia, which acts as a fiscal sponsor for nonprofit, cultural and social impact efforts.

The role’s responsibilities had been managed by Co-Management Director Beth Warsaw since the August departure of Jamaine Smith, who is now working as senior manager of mission nurture and community life at Project HOME.

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Katrina Denk Gonzalez and Na’Tosha Wyles joined the Technically Media team in February.

Gonzalez, the new marketing and partnerships manager, was previously director of marketing for Strata Company in addition to running her own branding, marketing and design business. She’s behind much of the promotional work you see for Philly Tech Week 2020 presented by Comcast.

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Wyles, who joined as office manager, comes after working as an order management specialist for Comcast Business and retention specialist for Comcast Cable. She also previously served as a radio co-host and producer at UE Radio Live.

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University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School announced at the end of February that it had hired Erika H. James as its dean — the first woman and first person of color to hold the position in the school’s 139 year history.

James will succeed current dean, Geoffrey Garrett, beginning on July 1. She’s currently the dean of Goizueta Business School at Emory University, where she has been stationed for six years.

Erika James. (Courtesy photo)

She’s held tenured faculty positions as an expert in organizational behavior, gender and racial diversity, and leadership development. While at Emory, she grew the school’s faculty base by 25%, built an innovation and entrepreneurship lab for students, created a research-based corporate think tank and lead workshops on unconscious bias and building trust, Wharton reported.

“Erika is an award-winning scholar and teacher and a strong, proven leader who serves as dean of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann in a statement. “She is exceptionally well prepared to lead Wharton into the next exciting chapter of its storied history.”

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Sandra Maro Hunt is Wharton Social Impact Initiative’s new managing director — a position that has been held by Sherryl Kuhlman since the initiative’s inception nearly 10 years ago — as reported by Generocity. Hunt served as the senior director of the initiative under Kuhlman’s direction.

Sandra Maro Hunt. (Courtesy photo)

Hunt is a host of the social impact podcast, “Dollars & Change,” has co-authored reports including “Can Investing in Public Equities Improve the Lives of Women?” and has served as an investment committee member and judge for many impact groups and competitions.

“We have bold ambitions for the decade to come,” she said in her online introduction to the WSII community. “We want our programs to be bigger and better. We want to accept more of the eager students we currently turn away and give them even richer learning experiences. We want to put out more actionable, relevant research and tools on critical topics — climate, gender, race, health, impact measurement and more. We want to help Penn and Wharton be the greatest forces for good possible.”

Hunt served in several leadership positions at the nonprofit Back on My Feet during the three years she was with the organization, and has worked as a consultant at Accenture.

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Tucker Roberts, the president of Comcast Spectacor’s gaming division and the Philadelphia Fusion, is joining the board of directors at Nerd Street Gamers, the startup announced.

“Nerd Street Gamers has a strong vision for the development of gaming infrastructure across the U.S.,” Roberts said in a statement. “The company is growing a community that connects gamers from all walks of life, while providing an amateur talent pipeline to the pro-gaming ranks.”

Park Jung-Ho, CEO of SK Telecom CEO (left) and Comcast Spectacor's Tucker Roberts,

Park Jung-Ho, CEO of SK Telecom CEO (left) and Comcast Spectacor’s Tucker Roberts, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 2019. (Courtesy photo)

Roberts joined Comcast Spectacor in 2017 as a strategic advisor, and lead the development of the Fusion’s roster and operations. He was named president of the Fusion in 2018, and played an important role in the development of the Fusion Arena, slated to open in 2021.

“Tucker had the foresight to see that Nerd Street Gamers would be an expansionary market force in our earliest days,” said John Fazio, Nerd Street Gamers’ CEO. “We are honored to have him join us on our mission to bring esports to everyone.”

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Philadelphia Business Journal reported that David Abrams, who’s worked for years in investment banking and private equity, will become head of investments at Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HSBE), the company that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.

He’ll lead the company’s global investment and future acquisition strategies from startups to real estate. The 52-year-old Wharton grad’s responsibilities will include working with HBSE Ventures and the Sixers Innovation Lab as both continue investing in early-stage and established companies that have the potential to expand or complement HBSE’s existing businesses.

Abrams told the Biz Journal that the position was created for him. The idea was to create an in-house investment team to to explore investment opportunities and and partner with other investors, he said.

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Graham Company, the insurance and employee benefits broker with headquarters at One Penn Square, hired Michael McIntire as its inaugural CTO in January. The creation of this role comes from the company’s vision to be at the forefront of innovation.

Michael McIntire. (Courtesy photo)

McIntire, who based in D.C. but commutes to the Philly HQ, will lead and execute the development of technology strategy for employees and clients. He joins the company from MorganFranklin Consulting and has more than 20 years of experience transforming technology operations.

“With the insurance industry at a crossroads in its pursuit of technological advancements, Graham Company has a unique opportunity to pioneer the brokerage community into new and promising territory,” McIntire said in a statement.

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Harold T. Epps, who left his post as the City’s commerce director earlier this year, joined government relations firm Bellevue Strategies this week as an adviser on economic development projects. He’ll be assisting Bellevue’s business clients in dealing with state and local government, the Biz Journal reported.

Bellevue’s clients have included Starbucks, Shift Capital, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers the Philadelphia Parking Authority and Mike Bloomberg 2020.

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