The Economy League’s leadership conference had its biggest tech showing to date

It's another sign of the tech scene moving into the city's mainstream business community.

City Hall. (Old theatre and modern skyscrapers in Philadelphia by artemis_lady via Shutterstock)

Philly’s tech scene is making its way to halls of the legacy business communities in Philadelphia.
The Economy League’s annual leadership conference, the Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange (GPLEX), had the biggest group of tech-related leaders to date, according to Economy League managing director Josh Sevin. It took place Thursday and Friday of last week at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Old City.
Still, the attendee makeup was largely from other sectors, like higher education, philanthropy and banking. About twenty participants out of more than 200 had tech ties.
The summit, which features talks on leadership and city tours, alternates between Philadelphia and other cities. Last year, it was in Boston. The event costs $550-$800, depending on how big your company is, and is by application only.
Sevin said the tech cohort has been growing each year and credited GPLEX alumni (and selection committee members) like Comcast’s Danielle Cohn, TechGirlz founder Tracey Welson-Rossman, Witty Gritty’s Michelle Freeman and SeventySix Capital’s Chad Stender for getting the word out to the tech scene.
Cohn was a co-chair for the event this year.
“Over 10 years of the Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange, innovation has emerged as the theme and Philadelphia has become a leader in this space,” Cohn wrote in an email. “It’s an opportunity for developing relationships among corporations, nonprofits and startups, amplifying areas of opportunity, and finding ways to innovate together for the greater good of Philadelphia.”
Below, find a list of the tech folk who participated this year. Additionally, My MilkCrate founder Morgan Berman spoke on a panel of “future leaders” and Comcast hosted a reception on the first day.

  • Anita Andrews, RJMetrics
  • Chris Cera, Arcweb
  • Gabriel Mandujano, Wash Cycle Laundry
  • Kristen Fitch, University City Science Center
  • Jeanne Mell, University City Science Center
  • Joanne Ferroni, Drexel University (Ferroni played a big role in KEYSPOT, the city’s internet access effort)
  • Arun Prabhakaran, Urban Affairs Coalition (Prabhakaran also played a big role in KEYSPOT)
  • Bjorn Henriques, FOX 29 (Henriques also helps run
  • Bret Perkins, Comcast
  • Geoff DiMasi, P’unk Avenue
  • Jeff Friedman, Microsoft
  • Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg, Zivtech
  • Fran Pierce, Data Systems Analysts
  • David Cohen, Ben Franklin Technology Partners
  • Kamilah Weems, Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Liz Sytsma, CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia
  • Karen Stellabotte, TechGirlz
  • Danielle Cohn, Comcast
  • Chad Stender, SeventySix Capital
  • Michelle Freeman, Witty Gritty
  • Tracey Welson-Rossman, TechGirlz/Chariot Solutions
See all the participants
Companies: Ben Franklin Technology Partners / Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia / CultureWorks / Economy League of Greater Philadelphia / TechGirlz

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