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 institutional bigwigs — and each other — for mentorship and learning.
Leadership Philadelphia, the civic-minded professional development nonprofit, launched its Keepers program in 2015 to do just that in the hopes of encouraging impressive millennials to stay for the long haul. The seven-month, invite-only program involves team building and presentations from the likes of Philadelphia Eagles President Don Smolenski and Mural Arts founder and Executive Director Jane Golden.
The Keepers class of 2021 kicked off yesterday, and as usual, the group includes several tech and entrepreneurship pros, in addition to folks from the worlds of economic development, social impact, local gov and more.
This year’s class is two-thirds of its usual size, Executive Director of Engagement Jacqueline Lewis told Technical.ly, “so we can better focus on meaningful one-on-one connection in this year of virtual bliss.” Indeed, the cohort will be meeting via Zoom, as well as using a custom meetup app designed by Jarvus Innovations CTO and past Keeper Chris Alfano.
We recognize a number of names in this year’s class, including Code for Philly co-directors Michael Chow and Marieke Jackson, City of Philadelphia Director of Innovation Eliza Pollack, technologist Lloyd Emelle, ChopDawg CEO Joshua Davidson — and, full disclosure, Technical.ly reporter Michael Butler.
We also spot representation from well-known tech-oriented companies and organizations such as Comcast, Think Company and NextFab. (Lewis didn’t answer questions about whether Comcast, with seven Keepers this year and 10 in the 2019-2020 class, has any special partnership with Leadership, though she did say “we deliberately reach to knit technologists into our network.”)
Here’s the full 2020-2021 cohort:
- Alex Balloon, director, Tacony Community Development Corporation
- Kaela Blanks, senior specialist for diversity and inclusion, Aramark
- Kait Bowdler, director of sustainability, Philabundance
- John Brady, deputy executive director, Philadelphia Democratic Party
- Aaron Briggs, resident, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Michael Butler, reporter, Technical.ly
- Emily Callaghan, independent consultant
- Charlotte Castle, deputy chief of staff, City of Philadelphia Managing Director’s Office
- Michael Chow, co-director, Code for Philly
- Cari Dam, senior manager of sales operations systems, Comcast
- Joshua Davidson, CEO, ChopDawg
- Marisa Denker, director, Connect the Dots
- Le’Yondo Dunn, principal, Mastery Charter School
- Rachael Eisenberg, director of policy and planning, Office of Criminal Justice
- Lloyd Emelle, independent technologist
- Jessica Eskow, head of partnerships and community sales, NextFab
- Amy Eusebio, executive director, Office of Immigrant Affairs
- Menghan Fu, director of product management, Comcast
- Jason Hachadorian, senior associate, Pew Charitable Trusts
- Garridon Hankins, associate, GreenLight Fund Philadelphia
- Joseph Hill, principal of Cozen Public Strategies, Cozen O’Connor
- Alex Hoffmaster, private philanthropy officer, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
- Marieke Jackson, co-director, Code for Philly
- Brittany Jean-Baptiste, manager of reliability engineering, Comcast
- Chanelle Jones, associate, Ballard Spahr
- Eli Klein, assistant district attorney, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
- Filiz Leigh, senior individual giving officer, Curtis Institute of Music
- Marcos Lomeli, program coordinator, Ceiba
- Supriya Malapati, manager of software development and engineering, Comcast
- Lizzie Manning, senior experience designer, Think Company
- Miguel Martinez-Valle, bilingual city reporter, NBC10 and Telemundo 62
- Carlos Masip, builder, Northwest Holdings LLC
- Jason Mitchell, sourcing manager for supplier diversity and data analytics, AmerisourceBergen
- Michael Petruzzelli, director of policy and advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health
- Eliza Pollack, director of innovation, City of Philadelphia
- Eli Prosper, site coordinator, PlayWorks
- Lorraine Marie Simonis, law clerk, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Masamba Sinclair, principal architect, Comcast
- Kathryn Stracquatanio, director of UX Engineering and experience design, Comcast
- Oscar Wang, founder and CEO, College Together
- William Weber, senior software engineer, Comcast
- Charity Wells, senior labor and employee relations analyst, City of Philadelphia
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