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Atlanta trip will reverberate

September 26, 2008

Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia Business Journal


Greater Philadelphia is on the cusp of becoming one of the greatest regions in the world. That is, provided that we as citizens, employers, educators, elected officials and thought leaders strive to continuously improve the wonderful assets we have. And we can do this, in part, by leaving behind our day-to-day and immersing ourselves in another city and region to learn how we can do things better. That’s what this week’s Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange visit to Atlanta was all about.


I’m tremendously proud to co-chair this experience with Bill Marrazzo of WHYY and Sharmain Matlock-Turner of the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition. The initiative is the brainchild of Steve Wray and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, a group that has been at the forefront of regional organizing for years.


We all understand that our organizations depend on a healthy region. Citizens Bank is a perfect example. We do our best to provide great service. But to truly thrive, our bank and our customers need a region full of smart, educated workers. We need safe neighborhoods, green parks, well-paved roads and well-planned public transportation. Whatever families, investors and job-hunters need, Citizens Bank needs too.


So this week we brought more than 100 Greater Philadelphia leaders to spend three days in the company of Metro Atlanta’s best thinkers and doers. Employers, politicians, advocates and philanthropists learned about Atlanta’s challenges over water, schools, traffic and minority business development. We saw how collaboration and smart planning help their region thrive, even as it faces the same obstacles as our region... [paid subscription]