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Philly Power Moves: Meet the 4 honorees of the 2023 Nucleus Awards

Plus, Dave Silver stepped down from Amplify Philly and Comcast announced 100 more local businesses that will receive RISE grants.

3675 Market St., home of University City Science Center and Quorum. ( Zeglen)
Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, gig or promotion? Email us at
Full disclosure: Comcast is a Ecosystem Builder client. That relationship is unrelated to this report.

The University City Science Center announced the honorees of this year’s Nucleus Awards. These awards recognize leaders in the science and technology space in Philadelphia. They are:

  • Dr. Daniel M. Skovronsky, the EVP and chief scientific and medical officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories at Eli Lilly and Company. Skovronsky won the commercialization award, which recognizes an individual for their work to commercialize science and technology. Skovronsky was previously the founder and CEO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals which was based at the Science Center. In 2010 his company was acquired by Eli Lilly where Skovronsky went on to be the VP of tailored therapeutics, VP of diabetes research, and SVP of clinical and product development.
  • Margaret Berger Bradley is the VP of strategic initiatives for Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Berger Bradley won the Capital Award, which recognizes someone who is intentionally investing in diverse startups to expand the STEM community. Berger Bradley has over 25 years of experience working with philanthropic investments and economic development. 
  • Sheila D. Ireland is the president and CEO of Philadelphia OIC. Ireland won the Cultivator Award, which recognizes an individual who is creating inclusive STEM talent pipelines and encouraging workforce diversity. Before her current role, Ireland was the executive director of workforce development for the City of Philadelphia, where she managed the first citywide workforce strategy. 
  • Sulaiman W. Rahman is the president and CEO of DiverseForce. Rahmon won the Convener Award, which goes to someone who is a strong connector of diverse people,  networks and ideas. In addition to DiverseForce, Rahmon also founded BBEx Network which brings together professionals of all stages and backgrounds. 

“Our 2023 Nucleus honorees represent the legacy of our past, the strength of the present, and the potential for an even more equitable future. We couldn’t imagine a more representative group of leaders to celebrate during our 60th anniversary,” said Tiffany Wilson, president and CEO of the Science Center, in a written statement. “On behalf of the Science Center, I congratulate Dan, Margaret, Sheila, and Sulaiman on their incredible contributions across commercialization, capital, cultivation, and convening. They have each played a pivotal role in making our community a better place, while inspiring the next generation of life sciences and technology leaders.”

The award ceremony will be held at the Science Center on Sept. 26.

Last year’s Nucleus Awards winners were Jeff Marrazzo, cofounder and former CEO of Spark Therapeutics; James Burnett, the executive director of community development financial institution VestedIn; Jimmy White IV, formerly the director of engineering for Four Seasons Philadelphia; and Shannon Morales, founder and CEO of Tribaja.

Dave Silver leaves Amplify Philly

Dave Silver, cofounder and CEO of REC Philly, announced that he would be stepping down from his roles as chairman and board member of Amplify Philly. Silver was a cofounder for Amplify Philly in 2015 and helped transition the org to a formal nonprofit.

“Amplify Philly came solely out of passion to want to represent all of the great people, things, and initiatives happening in Philadelphia on an international stage — specifically at SXSW,” Silver wrote in a LinkedIn post. “So many amazing memories with Amplify that have made me who I am today, and have even helped get REC Philly get to where it is today.”

Michelle Freeman will continue to lead Amplify Philly along with new board members Heidi Franklin, Kristen Fitch and David Zellers, Jr. The organization recently announced that the annual B. PHL event will be Oct. 13, and this year’s theme is “creative thinking.”

These Philly companies are Comcast RISE grant winners

Comcast announced late last month that 100 more Philadelphia-based companies had won grants from its Comcast RISE program. This award includes a $5,000 grant along with business consultations, education resources, media support and a “technology makeover.”

Comcast RISE (standing for representation, investment, strength and empowerment) has been supporting small businesses since fall 2020. The program started as a way to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is now supporting companies to achieve economic growth.

Comcast reports that the program has supported 13,500 companies to date, including 716 in the Philadelphia region. This latest group of 100 Philly companies received grants along with 400 other companies in other cities across the country. The grants will be awarded in September.

“By offering grant packages that include complimentary marketing, technology, financial grants, business consulting, and entrepreneurship training, we can further our efforts to positively impact small businesses, into 2024 and beyond, and help them to shift from pandemic recovery to long-term growth,” said Loren Hudson, SVP and chief diversity officer for Comcast Cable, in a written statement.

Here are a few of the companies from this round with a tech tie:

More Moves:

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: Ben Franklin Technology Partners / Comcast / Economy League of Greater Philadelphia / Philadelphia OIC / University City Science Center
Series: Power Moves

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