Entrepreneurs / Leadership

Power Moves: Philly’s Chamber of Commerce to lose chief Rob Wonderling next year

Plus, a city commissioner steps down, two local entrepreneurs are honored by EY and a handful of folks from Philly's tech scene make Generocity's impact list.

Rob Wonderling. (Photo via LinkedIn)

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After more than a decade leading the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, President and CEO Rob Wonderling will be stepping away from his role in 2022, the org announced Tuesday.

Wonderling had previously been in the role in the form of three-year contracts, and informed the organization in 2019 that he intended to end his tenure in 2022, per the Chamber. He’ll stay in his role through June 2022. The former two-term Republican state senator joined the organization in 2009 with some entrepreneurship-minded strategies in tow.

Over the last year and a half, Wonderling and the organization have been tasked with assessing and attempting to renew the economic stability of the region throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Early this year, when vaccines had been newly introduced, he called them key to economic recovery. He also acknowledged technology’s acceleration because of the pandemic, whether forced or as an experiment to bend to the future of work, as one “silver lining,” he said in January.

In its announcement, the Chamber did not lay out plans for a replacement.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve our Chamber, business, and civic community,” Wonderling said in a statement. “Together, we have accomplished much, and I have no doubt that we will continue to achieve much more. Our business community’s caring capacity and innovation never ceases to amaze me, and I am grateful to have been in service to such an outstanding organization.”


Al Schmidt, the only Republican on the City of Philadelphia’s Board of Elections, is resigning from his role. He’ll do so to become the next president and CEO government watchdog group, Committee of Seventy, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Last year, amid election week scrutiny, Schmidt defended the integrity of Philadelphia’s general election amid claims of mail-in voter fraud. The official already confirmed in January that he would not be seeking reelection as a city commissioner in 2023. Schmidt is about halfway through his current term on the board, and fills the one seat reserved for someone of a political party outside the majority party in Philadelphia.

In July of this year, current Committee of Seventy CEO David Thornburgh announced he’d be leaving his role in January 2022 to become a senior advisor, with a focus on guiding C70’s flagship reform efforts like fair redistricting and opening Pennsylvania’s primary elections to independent voters. The nonprofit, which advocates for ethical and fair government, said it tripled its use of nonpartisan online voter education resources, reaching more than a quarter million voters in 2020, under Thornburgh’s tenure.

Schmidt confirmed the upcoming transition on Twitter Tuesday:


Abhi Ramesh. (Courtesy Photo)

The leaders of two local companies were recently selected as winners of EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 National program. Misfits Market founder and CEO Abhi Ramesh and Shift4Payments CEO Jared Isaacman made the list of 12 winners this year, representing Philadelphia and Allentown, respectively.

The “ugly” produce and food delivery service has had a big year, raising $225 million with a more than $2 billion valuation this summer. The company was founded in a North Philly warehouse in 2018 with a focus on sustainability, and has seen explosive growth since 2020, when the pandemic forced many to complete food shopping online.

“We believe Misfits Market has a deep understanding of the inefficiencies in the food supply chain and are building their own from the ground up to radically change the way food makes its way to the consumer,” SoftBank investor Lydia Jett said in a September statement about SoftBank’s investment in the company.

Allentown-based Shift4 Payments is a payment processing company built by Isaacman when he was just 16. He and Ramesh were both among the EY winners because they are “like-minded visionaries, each on a transformational journey to create, innovate, grow, learn and build a better world,” the company said.

Check out the full list of 2021 Philadelphia-area finalists.


And a handful of local technologists and tech-adjacent folks landed placements on the 2021 RealLIST Impact list from Generocity,’s social impact-focused sister site. The list, curated to honor people who are “working to solve problems, build solutions (sometimes from scratch and against all odds) and whose impact is very real.”

We spotted Marion Leary, director of innovation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing; Sylvester Mobley; founder and CEO of Coded by Kids; and Maura Shenker, director of the Temple Small Business Development Center.

“Some of them are well-known and work for orgs whose names we all recognize; others are less visible, flying under the radar even when their service is crucial to the communities they serve,” former Generocity Editor Sabrina Vourvoulias wrote.

Marion Leary celebrates her 2017 Geek of the Year win. ( photo)

Companies: Misfits Market / Coded by Kids / Committee of Seventy / Generocity / Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia
Series: Power Moves

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