Writer: Ryan Gandolfo
3 min read October 2022 — Capital Analytics celebrated the release of Invest: Philadelphia 2022 with an in-person launch conference this morning at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. With an increasingly diverse economy in Philadelphia, leaders shared not only their excitement for the future but also how they will navigate the challenges that lie ahead.
In her opening remarks at the launch conference, Capital Analytics’ President and CEO Abby Melone welcomed the return of in-person events in Philadelphia and echoed the excitement in the room to discuss the highlights and opportunities across the region’s strong sectors. “Looking at the landscape, this is an exciting time for Philadelphia,” said Melone. “Despite the uncertainty that looms over the national and regional economies, our research suggests that the region has positioned itself for future growth. One reason for that is economic diversity. Sectors like healthcare and education, biosciences, technology and innovation emerged from our interviews and research as important drivers for the Philadelphia MSA.”
One of 20 annual business intelligence reports produced by Capital Analytics Associates, Invest: Philadelphia 2022 is a holistic overview of the trends, challenges and opportunities in the local economic landscape.
In her opening remarks as the keynote speaker for the event, Anne Nadol, commerce director of the City of Philadelphia, painted the picture of Philadelphia’s growth before the pandemic and its resilience in the aftermath. “Philadelphia is rebounding at the same rate as 2019 and surpassing those figures in many industries,” said Nadol. “More than 1,800 life science companies in the Greater Philadelphia region have employed more than 70,000 people since 2021,” Nadol added, touching upon the ways in which the city is growing in each sector from tourism and commercial development to other areas.
Nadol was followed by the event’s first panel, ‘Risks and Rewards: Sound decision-making in an uncertain and volatile economy’ which was presented by Jordan Kendall, partner of tax and business services at Marcum LLP. The panel featured Bradley Fouss, senior vice president and market president for Greater Philadelphia of OceanFirst Bank, Ryan Hicke, CEO of SEI, and Eisner Advisory Group LLC Director Jason Juliano. It was moderated by Binney Wietlisbach, president of Haverford Trust Co. Innovation and collaboration emerged as the central themes, and further leveraging technology would be key for companies in Philadelphia and across the country, as well as utilizing the current time to best prepare businesses for a potential downturn.
“One big advantage that businesses have is that the economy is still very strong. Businesspeople have had a heads up on things that they can do which is different from prior recessions,” said Fouss. Hicke added, “This is a perfect time for businesses to be bold about areas where they want to invest. It’s not a time to hunker down and do nothing. It’s a time to look at the business model and see how sustainable it is going forward.”
Following the discussion, the second panel was introduced by Temple University Health System’s President and CEO Michael Young. ‘Balancing Act: Aligning education with economic development and student demands’ included a number of presidents from well-established local universities, discussing the evolving student needs in education and the value proposition of higher education versus workforce development. Moderated by David Jacobson, principal of higher education and nonprofit at CLA, the conversation included Penn State – Brandywine Chancellor Marilyn Wells, Salus University President Michael Mittelman, Chris Domes, president of Neumann University, and Lincoln University President Brenda Allen.
The evolving educational landscape, academic programs experiencing the highest demand and higher ed’s impact on student lives were touched upon.
On value proposition, Allen explained that HBCUs have the statistics to back up the investment and highlighted their importance for African American students. “If we look at the power and impact of HBCUs, there are about 105 and we make up only about 3% of higher institutions, but account for 20% of degrees earned by African Americans. We outperform our size among the pack,” said Allen.
Neumann University’s Chris Domes wrapped up the discussion on a powerful note. “Keeping the talent in Philadelphia is really important and the key to success,” said Domes.
The afternoon’s final panel centered on Philadelphia’s energy sector and renewables. ‘Energy Crunch: The growing demand for energy amid global instability and how it’s fueling green innovation’ was moderated by Capital Analytics’ CEO Abby Melone, and featured Larry DePompei, senior director of commercial and green initiatives at WGL Energy Services, Ernst & Young’s Partner for strategy and transactions Ken Gardner, Vicinity Energy Chief Customer Officer Jackie Bliss, and Leonard Gardner of NRG Home East as panelists.
The panelists particularly agreed that in the short run people are handling their energy needs much differently than in the long run.
“What’s going on right now is a bit of a perfect storm. When COVID started you had a ramping down of natural gas production and then you add the Ukraine crisis, so now you have global energy production in flux,” said DePompei. “This is a long road to make a transition to green initiatives.”
Bliss identified two key areas to improve in the energy sector: education and affordability. “The challenges are still on education and letting people know that this equipment is an option to go green both fast and cost-effectively,” said Bliss. “Making it affordable is the most important thing, especially in this market with the volatility. We’re thinking of what kind of incentives programs to make the investments in infrastructure.”
The closing address was provided by Invest: Philadelphia’s Senior Executive Director Joshua Greenberg who thanked the business community. “It’s definitely been great to work with all of you. Throughout this time, I’ve gained an incredible wealth of knowledge about this great region we live, work and play. This is a community that leans in and rises above — instilling that theme of a rising tide lifts all boats,” said Greenberg.
Capital Analytics welcomed a packed house with approximately 300 attendees at the event.
To read Invest: Philadelphia 2022, click here.
For more information, visit: https://www.capitalanalyticsassociates.com/
To watch the Invest: Philadelphia Conference in full, please visit our Youtube Channel.
About Capital Analytics & Invest: Philadelphia 2022
Capital Analytics is an independent and 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 2022 is a deep analysis of the economic trends and leaders that are shaping the future of Philadelphia’s economy. Featuring over 200 exclusive insights of local leaders and thinkers, Invest: provides unbiased investment research for readers. All the Invest: reports seek to provide comprehensive investment knowledge to local, national and international investors, and to promote our markets as places to do business.
Every report dissects each industry that composes the economic puzzle of market economies. The Invest: series covers professional services, real estate, construction, infrastructure, banking and finance, legal, healthcare, education and tourism. Invest: provides its readers with a trustworthy source of information regarding every major trend and development in the economy of the markets it covers.
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