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14 May 2008, Alexandria, Virginia – The American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) announced that Steve Wray, Executive Director of the Economy League of Philadelphia, was selected as a Fellow of its Ford Foundation Regional Sustainable Development program. Fellows were chosen from a pool of distinguished candidates representing diverse communities and backgrounds. Beginning this fall, 50 Fellows will meet in small groups over a 12-month period to learn about the key concepts, policies, and practices that support regional approaches to creating long-term, competitive economies. During the course of the Fellowship, each participant crafts a "regional action plan" that outlines strategies to tackle a specific regional challenge to sustainable economic growth and prosperity.


"Spurring regional, sustainable development is one of the major issues facing civic organizations," noted ACCE President Mick Fleming. "This program immerses regional leaders in integrated economic and community growth strategies that foster greater equity of opportunity for all sectors, neighborhoods, and individuals." 


Wray commented, "The program underscores the important role that business-led civic organizations can play in shaping regional public policy. I look forward to working with and learning from leaders across the country and offering my experience leading a regionally-focused policy and economic development organization." 


"We are pleased that Steve will participate in the Fellowship," said Fleming. "Professionals like Steve are in a unique position to convene, lead, and facilitate regional approaches to economic development and entrepreneurship, as they are the connectors between the business community, public sector, and ordinary citizens."


 Economy League Board Chair James R. Waddington, Jr., remarked, "This is a great opportunity for the organization to advance its knowledge of important development issues, particularly as we focus on making Greater Philadelphia a world class region."





About the Fellowship

The Regional Sustainable Development Fellowship is a 12-month program for regional leaders who build communities and economies. ACCE and FutureWorks are partnering in this initiative with the assistance of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship and The Citistates Group. Primarily through three in-person meetings, the Fellowship provides hands-on training, peer knowledge exchange, research, and examination of working models covering a wide range of growth and sustainability issues. These issues include infrastructure, immigration, land use, housing, education, environment, and social inclusion.


About the Ford Foundation

Over the Foundation’s 70-year history, more than $15 billion in funding distributed world-wide has supported programs related to asset building and community development; peace and social justice; and knowledge, creativity, and freedom. This is the second year the Ford Foundation has funded this program.


About the American Chamber of Commerce Executives

Established in 1914, ACCE is the only national association serving the professional development needs of individuals managing chambers of commerce throughout the United States and Canada. Representing more than 6,000 professionals, ACCE enhances the knowledge, leadership skills, and management effectiveness of chamber executives and their staffs through education, trend analysis, benchmarking, and best practices. ACCE promotes the highest standards of professional excellence and integrity within the chamber profession. For more information, contact Cathy Lada, Vice President, Community Advancement at the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, at (703) 998-3560 or


About the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia

Founded in 1909, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to research and analysis of the region's resources and challenges with the goal of promoting sound public policy and increasing the region's prosperity. The Economy League serves as a civic catalyst—a place where in-depth analysis and committed regional leaders come together to develop new ideas, conceive creative strategies, and forge meaningful partnerships to make Greater Philadelphia a world-class place to live, work, and play.