Power Moves: The long, winding journey of one dev manager

Plus, healthcare pro Marion Leary changes focus, and how did 1776 lure a company away from WeWork?

Meet companies at NET/WORK Philly. (Photo by Neal Santos)
On Jan. 11, Senior Engineering Officer Ben Garvey closed out his last day at Adobe, closing out a six-year journey that began at a small data analytics startup called RJMetrics.

In a Medium post, Garvey gave a heartfelt recounted of his journey from the early startup years to the company’s 2016 acquisition/spinout move and then a second acquisition process led by Adobe, which opted to shutter the Philadelphia office in January of 2019.

“I spent years fixing axes, formatting tables, cleaning lines, scaling bars, parsing formulas, debugging queries, scaling databases, and everything else you can do with a powerful data visualization system,” said Garvey. “When asked what RJMetrics did by family and friends, I used to joke, ‘We take our customers’ data and sell it back to them’ which was true. But we did it to empower them.”

The exec, an avid data visualizer and side-project builder in his spare time, also unveiled what his next move will be. Though he was offered an opportunity to continue working with Adobe in Austin, Garvey said there was more to the Philly story. Next month, he’ll join New York-based financial services company called Betterment as to help them set up a satellite office in Philadelphia.

Arielle Sobel, senior PR manager at Betterment, told the company looks to grow an upcoming Philly beachhead to 20 staffers, and Philly made sense on both proximity and affordability.

“We wanted to open a remote location for geographical diversification of talent and to augment our CX team in a city with a lower cost of living,” Sobel said. “We hadn’t opened a remote office before so wanted to do it somewhere where we could be close by to best set ourselves up for success. We also know that not everybody wants to live in NYC forever so we wanted to choose a location that would potentially be appealing for current employees looking to move to a smaller city and stay working for us.”

One more example of founders looking to Philly for an attractive East Coast hub location.


Marion Leary, former director of innovation research for the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of Pennsylvania, is taking on a new role after 11 years: that of director of innovation for Penn’s School of Nursing.

As of Jan. 1, Leary is tasked with cultivating a role of innovation in nursing. She’s working with both faculty and alumni around the development of innovation curriculum and projects, and how to educate “the next generation of nurses,” she said.

We asked Leary, a staunch advocate for resuscitation training who even started a company around that idea, how she made the decision to go after a broader title within innovation.

“With my public health background there were a lot of things I could focus on, but because I was in resuscitation I couldn’t expand on,” Leary said. “This position allows me to be working on innovation but not have a specific topic area. Resuscitation is a very narrow field and it was coming to a point where there was only so much I could do.”

First order of business? A Nursing Story Slam hosted by Penn Nursing and Penn Medicine Nursing. On Feb. 13 at The Rotunda, 10 nurses will share their true, personal stories about their nursing experiences.


Dev and design thinking agency OpenForge struck a partnership with coworking company 1776: The company will move its 15-person team out of WeWork in Northern Liberties and into 1776’s Rittenhouse Square campus.

As per the partnership, OpenForge will receive office space in exchange for becoming a resource to 1776 members, holding “regular office hours to help 1776 members determine the right technologies and process that will put them on a better path to success,” per the joint press release.

“With our focus on transparency and technology in the startup sector; a partnership with a mission-aligned organization such as 1776 made perfect sense,” said OpenForge CEO and founder Jedidiah Weller. “We hope that our expertise in digital experiences can help to empower and expand the entire community at 1776.”

Additionally, Weller’s company will host its Startup Junto, Angular and Ionic meetups at 1776 locations.


How about a Power Move of your own?

You can meet 50 tech companies all at once on Feb. 26, at out yearly NET/WORK job fair. We’ll even give you a free success guide.

Find your next tech job. RSVP for NET/WORK Philly hbspt.cta.load(2084427, ‘1c772cee-56ed-4000-9c9e-527680893d3e’, {});

Companies: 76 Forward
Series: Power Moves

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