Future of education, energy and financial sectors highlight Invest: Philadelphia 2021 Launch Conference

Future of education, energy and financial sectors highlight Invest: Philadelphia 2021 Launch Conference

Writer: Felipe Rivas

Invest Philadelphia 20212 min read April 2021 — A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the light at the end of the tunnel seems a lot brighter for corporations, educational institutions, small businesses and individuals in the Philadelphia market, according to industry leaders speaking at the official launch conference of Invest: Philadelphia 2021 on April 8th.

The conference, hosted by integrated media platform Capital Analytics, was held via Zoom Webinar.

Compiled after eight months of thoroughly researched analysis, the third edition of Invest: Philadelphia highlights the opportunities in Philadelphia’s economy through C-level insights and key business intelligence. 

More than 900 high-level industry professionals registered for the event, which featured three panels centered around education, energy and sustainability, and the future of the financial sector. Capital Analytics’ CEO Abby Melone kicked off the conference with opening remarks followed by the three robust panel discussions. 

Education panel presenter Aaron Walton, president of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, introduced the “Education Innovation: How the pandemic permanently transformed higher education” panel. Moderated by Joel Frank, chairman and managing partner of Lamb McErlane, education leaders Mike Mittelman, president of Salus University; Chris Fiorentino, president of West Chester University; Chris Domes, president of Neumann University; and Margo DelliCarpini, chancellor of Penn State Abington discussed COVID-19’s role in transforming the education sector. “We surveyed our students and looked at the challenges of going fully online for some of them and created the needed support systems,” President Domes said about Neumann University’s transition to the remote learning environment. 

The focus and importance of equity, diversion and inclusion initiatives were highlighted throughout the panel as the leaders discussed how to best serve students and community needs moving forward. “The digital divide has always been present but the pandemic has exposed digital inequity to a much larger audience and has brought the conversation to the forefront,” said Penn State Abington Chancellor Margo DelliCarpini. “Our faculty and staff have come away stronger as a result of having to adapt to new technologies and collaborating in a new digital environment. One of our areas of focus has been holistically building communities in this new virtual world,” she said.  

Clint Zediak, vice president of sales and marketing for WGL Energy, introduced the panel, “How sustainability and environmental resilience are shaping the future of energy consumption,” featuring NRG Retail’s Vice President Mike Starck, PGW President and CEO Craig White, Essential Utilities, Inc Chairman, President and CEO Christopher Franklin, and Vicinity Energy Chief Revenue Officer Jackie Bliss. Cohen Seglias’ Chair of Energy Practice Brian Lawton moderated the conversation as leaders spoke about cost-conscious ways to make energy improvement investments in commercial real estate, COVID-19’s impact on different utilities, and what the future of energy consumption may look like. “What we are working on as an organization is helping to meet the needs of the various organizations that we work with. There are some that may not be able to make the capital investment today as a result of the pandemic, but there are choices that they can make that may help offset their energy usage,” said Vice President Stark of NRG Retail about the organization’s efforts to help businesses with their sustainability goals.  

Steve Meyer, executive vice president and head of global wealth management services for SEI, introduced the day’s final panel, “Finance of the future: A look at rapid digital transformation due to the pandemic.” The panel featured OceanFirst Bank’s Greater Philadelphia Regional President Susanne Svizeny, Tompkins VIST Bank’s Senior Vice President and Business Market Leader James Whitton, Bryn Mawr Bank Corp Philadelphia Market President Christopher McGill, and JPMorganChase Philadelphia Market Director Bryan McCullough. CLA’s Financial Institutions Principal Rick Huff moderated the panel. The leaders spoke at length about the financial sector’s efforts to help small businesses and corporations wade through the COVID-19 challenges, technology and changing consumer behavior, and Philadelphia-related community efforts. “One of the things we have learned is that all communities need to be able to come to the table and talk. One of the things JPMorganChase is doing is building community centers where people will be able to get education and information that they need,” JPMorganChase Philadelphia Market Director McCullough said of the bank’s efforts to help the local Philadelphia community.

World-renowned for its robust higher education system, diversifying industries, strong banking and finance sector, innovative life sciences industry, and home to one of the busiest airports in the United States, Philadelphia is poised for a strong economic bounceback in 2021 despite the challenges caused by coronavirus-related uncertainty. The challenges, and the steps taken to overcome them, are just some of the focal points in Invest: Philadelphia 2021. Featuring exclusive insights from industry leaders, sector insiders, and heads of important institutions, the report analyzes the leading challenges facing the market and uncovers emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators. The 2021 edition highlights economic activity throughout the region, and includes a special focus chapter on Chester County.

“Despite challenges from the pandemic, Philadelphia is still experiencing positive economic activity as individuals and companies eyeing a strong business climate, education system, and quality of life choose Philadelphia as a place to grow or relocate their operations and family,” said Abby Melone, president and CEO of Capital Analytics. “We’re finding that our partners want to participate, want a community connection and want to get the message out that the world continues to move forward.” 

Click here for Capital Analytics’ YouTube page to see the Invest: Philadelphia 2021 conference in its entirety. 


About Capital Analytics & Invest: Philadelphia 2021

Capital Analytics is an integrated media platform that produces in-depth business intelligence through its annual print and digital economic reviews, high-impact conferences and events and top-level interviews via its video platform, Invest: Insights.

Invest: Philadelphia 2021 is an in-depth economic review of the key issues facing Philadelphia’s economy, featuring the exclusive insights of prominent industry leaders. Invest: Philadelphia is produced with two goals in mind: 1) to provide comprehensive investment knowledge on the greater Philadelphia region to local, national and international investors, and 2) to promote Philadelphia as a place to invest and do business.

The book conducts a deep dive into the top economic sectors in the region, including life sciences, healthcare, education, banking and finance, real estate, construction, utilities and infrastructure, transportation and aviation, legal, and arts, culture and tourism. The publication is compiled from insights collected from more than 200 economic leaders, sector insiders, political leaders and heads of important institutions. It analyzes the leading challenges facing the market and uncovers emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

For more information, contact: 

Max Crampton-Thomas

Regional Editor

305-523-9708 Ext: 233