Professional Development
Career development / Tech jobs

Philly Power Moves: Philly Startup Leaders finds new board leader

Plus, the Chamber of Commerce hires a chief operating officer and Wistar Institute gets a new director of bioinformatics.

Gloria Bell at the 2022 holiday party for Women in Tech Summit and Philly Startup Leaders in December 2022. (Courtesy/Shawn Reid)

There’s a slew of new leadership in Philadelphia this summer.

The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia welcomed a new chief operating officer and released its Civic 50 Greater Philadelphia list. Philly Startup Leaders announced its next board, complete with newbies and veterans. The Wistar Institute brought in an experienced director of bioinformatics. Plus, Drexel University’s president John Fry is rumored to be leaving for the president position at Temple.

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PSL announces new board president

Philly Startup Leaders announced its 2024 board of directors, including Gloria Bell as board president. Bell is taking over the role from Rudy Ellis, who served as board president for five years and will continue with the organization as an advisor.

Bell founded the Women in Tech Summit and the Inspiring Tech Foundation. Bell has been involved with PSL since it started 15 years ago and was previously a board member and events director about 10 years ago. Bell is also chairperson of PSL’s Legacy Leaders Council, a group of alumni supporting the nonprofit.

“I am extremely excited to continue to contribute to the future of Philly Startup Leaders,” Bell said. “Philadelphia and PSL kept pulling me and most of the other current board members back with its energy, innovation, and most importantly, sense of community and collaboration.”

PSL’s full board includes Bell, Michelle Berkoben, John Cardone, Michael Crossey, Antonia Dean, Dan Gardner, Ryan Ramkhelawan, Rich Rogers and Mara Schwartz.

Chamber welcomes new COO

The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia hired Soledad Alfaro as its new chief operating officer, succeeding Andrea Allon who was with the organization for almost 20 years.

Alfaro previously served as the COO for the Surge Institute, a national nonprofit that provides leadership training for young people of color. Before that, Alfaro worked at the Philadelphia International Airport for almost four years, first as chief of staff and then as the chief administrative officer.

"I am honored to join an organization so deeply committed to the prosperity of Greater Philadelphia,” Alfaro said. “I look forward to working with the talented team at the Chamber to continue advancing our goals and supporting our vibrant business community.”

Wistar Institute appoints new director of bioinformatics

The Wistar Institute announced Josef Madzo will join the research facility’s faculty as an assistant professor and director of bioinformatics. In this role, Madzo will oversee bioinformatics, which combines computer science and biology, across all of the institute’s research programs.

“I’ve always admired the exciting work at The Wistar Institute, so it’s a special opportunity and honor to join such stellar researchers,” Madzo said. “I look forward to joining my colleagues in their daily fight against cancer and disease by providing them with collaborative bioinformatics support.”

Madzo established his own lab at Wistar to continue researching the epigenetics of cancer. Before this, Madzo taught as an assistant professor and director of bioinformatics at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in Camden, New Jersey. He previously worked as the head of bioinformatics core at the Fels Institute at Temple University’s medical school.

More Power Moves:

  • John Fry, president of Drexel University, is expected to become Temple University’s next president, reported the Inquirer.
  • The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia recognized 50 organizations for being “community-minded employers” as this year’s Civic 50 Greater Philadelphia. Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA, Comcast, Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania were among the honorees.
  • Gianna Grossman is the new deputy commerce director for workforce development in the city’s Department of Commerce. Grossman was previously the senior director of workforce development.
  • Sam Woods Thomas started a new role as the assistant vice president of membership for Life Sciences PA. Thomas previously worked as the senior director of business attraction at the city’s  Department of Commerce.
  • The University City Science Center welcomed Jun Beom Pyo, Chinaemerem “Chinae” Daniel, Cole Hagen, J.M. Kim and Afsaneh Razi as the newest class of its Founders Fellowship. The fellowship is a 12-month program that supports life sciences researchers and provides startup resources.
Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Companies: Wistar Institute / Drexel University / Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia / Philly Startup Leaders / Temple University / University City Science Center
Series: Power Moves

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