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    In late September, Billy Penn asked why 140+ Philadelphia leaders were heading to Seattle for the weekend.  Armed with an excellent briefing book and a deep sense of curiosity, for 3 days a diverse group of cross-sector Philadelphia leaders dug deep into how Seattle works, moves, and thrives - and critically, how it deals with major challenges. 


    Economy League staff, led by GPLEX Director Jennifer Egmont, created a top-flight experience that included opportunities to meet with and learn from key business, civic, and political leaders, to see first hand what happens when a tech behemoth like Amazon...






GPLEX 2018 Seattle


  • emge john
December 5th 2018

Emge: Bringing the Learnings Home

Admittedly, my initial thoughts about what I might learn from participating in the Economy League’s GPLEX trip to Seattle in early October 2018 were far from what is now in my lasting impressions, more than a month later. From my perspective as someone who has spent his career with United Way, a... Read More
  • briggs amara
October 23rd 2018

Briggs: What Seattle Has Taught Us About Wealth Creation

Bringing technology jobs to Philadelphia is not enough.  True wage security comes with providing balanced skills—technical and financial literacy skills—to all.   On my flight to Seattle to attend GPLEX, I reviewed my Briefing Book, which provided statistics on median income and employment.... Read More
  • rhodes william
October 19th 2018

Rhodes: Washington State’s Citizen-Led Referenda are an Advantage for Solving Local Problems

    During our recent visit to Seattle through the Economy League's Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange, we heard about the challenges and successes experienced by civic leaders there in addressing local needs such as transportation, homelessness, and affordable housing.  We listened to... Read More
  • reid
October 9th 2018

Reid: Thinking About What Success Looks Like

“Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before” – The Smiths   This week in Seattle I had a great opportunity to soak in the perspective of the many Seattle representatives that stepped on stage this week – while wielding the universally feared “5 Minutes/2 Minutes/1 Minute/STOP!” placards... Read More
  • addimando leo
October 9th 2018

Addimando: Seattle GPLEX Exhilarating & Thought-Provoking

The GPLEX visit to Seattle was simultaneously exhilarating and thought provoking. Coming from Philadelphia where we have just crossed the Red Sea of managing decline to managing (some) growth, we were thrust into the hyper-loop of Amazonia. All of a sudden dogs outnumber people, strollers are... Read More


  • coles uva

Uva Coles

Vice President, Institutional Advancement & Strategic Partnerships, Peirce College

  • dunleavy nancy

Nancy Dunleavy

Founder and CEO, Dunleavy and Associates

  • gupta anuj

Anuj Gupta

General Manager, Reading Terminal Market

  • markham james08

James Markham

AVP, Pennoni

2018 Recruitment and Selection Committee Members


Steven Scott Bradley, President, Bradley & Bradley Associates 

Malik Brown, AVP, Workforce Solutions & Community Impact, Peirce College 

John Emge, VP & Regional Executive Director, United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey 

Joanne Ferroni, Director, University and Community Partnerships, Drexel University 

Michelle Freeman, President, Witty Gritty 

Matt Goldfine, Executive Director, Lead PA 

Russell Johnson, President & CEO, HealthSpark Foundation 

Christine Knapp, Director of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia, Office of Sustainability 

Lauren Nestler, Chief Communications and Strategy Officer, Public Health Management Corporation 

Jay Spector, President & CEO, JEVS Human Services

Thaddeus Squire, Chief Commons Officer, CultureWorks Commons Management 

Ashlie Thornbury, VP, Partnerships, Campus Philly  

Ed Trainor, Principal, Deloitte 

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg, Cofounder & CEO, Zivtech / Probo.Ci 

William Valerio, The Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director and CEO, Woodmere Art Museum 

Jean Wang, President, Quantum, Inc.


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Visit Philadelphia

American Airlines is the official airline of the 2018 Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange



African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, DE

CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Episcopal Community Services

Holy Redeemer Health System

Key Bank

Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations

Seattle Magazine

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Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians