• Chamber on Flickr
  • Chamber on Facebook
  • Chamber on Twitter
  • Chamber on LinkedIn
  • Chamber Videos on YouTube

News Archives

Press Releases

Looking for Chamber Press Releases?

View Press Releases »

Diversity & Inclusion: A Year in Review

Posted Friday, June 16th, 2017

Programs & Events, Diversity & Inclusion

The Chamber’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiative positions diversity as an invaluable element for business maturation and growth and strives to make D&I a priority for our region’s entire business community. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished this year to further this goal:

Executed four CEO Access Network breakfasts

CEO Access Network creates an informal network of relationships between large business CEOs and minority, LGBTQ, and women entrepreneurs in order to drive business and create economic opportunity for urban businesses and residents. This year, the Chamber cultivated 14 large business and minority partnerships:

Large Business Partners:
Tim Abell, President, Firstrust Bank
Anthony Campisi, President & CEO, Annodyne, Inc.
Varsovia Fernandez, Senior Vice President & Philadelphia Market Leader, Customers Bank
John A. Fry, President, Drexel University
John Grady, President, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation
Susan Jacobson, President, Jacobson Strategic Communications
David H. Lipson, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Philadelphia Magazine; MetroCorp
Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President & CEO, Urban Affairs Coalition
Scott Mirkin, President, ESM Productions
Siobhan A. Reardon, President & Director, The Free Library of Philadelphia
Tim Reeves, Principal, Allen & Gerritsen
Molly D. Shepard, President & CEO, The Leader’s Edge
Joan Waters, CEO, COFCO Office Furnishings
Rob Wonderling, President & CEO, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

Minority Partners:
Jude Arijaje, CEO, Minuteman Press
Pamela Fly, CEO/Founder, P.A. Fly Contracting
Peggy Gionta, Principal, Partner’s Consulting, Inc.
Venita Hill, Founder/CEO, Up Hill Marketing
Antoinette Marie Johnson, CEO, At Media
LeRoy Jones, President & CEO, GSI Health
Tracy Levesque, Co-President, YIKES, Inc.
David Mason, President & CEO, David Mason & Associates
Oswaldo Quintero, CEO, Jigsaw Pest Control
Shaunak Roy, CEO, Yellowdig
Shalimar Thomas, Executive Director, North Broad Renaissance
Michael Tolassi, President & CEO, Agio Brand Solutions
Zachary Wilcha, Executive Director, Independence Business Alliance
Meg Wise, Executive Director, Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse


Hosted three conversations around the benefits of diversifying key business areas

Beyond being a moral imperative, the Chamber illustrated why diversifying the boardroom, supply chain and talent is crucial to enhancing businesses’ bottom line.

L to R: Judith M. von Seldeneck, Founder and Chair, Diversified Search; William J. Marrazzo, President and CEO, WHYY; and Charisse R. Lillie, Fellow and Vice President, Community Investment, Comcast Corporation discuss the importance of board diversity on December 12, 2016.

A special thanks to our featured speakers:

Transforming the Board Room (December 12, 2016)
Charisse R. Lillie, Fellow and Vice President, Community Investment, Comcast Corporation
William J. Marrazzo, President and CEO, WHYY
Judith M. von Seldeneck, Founder and Chair, Diversified Search

Diversifying the Supply Chain (February 7, 2017)
Iola Harper, Deputy Commerce Director, Office of Economic Opportunity, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia
Victoria Hosendorf, Director, MBDA Business Center-Pennsylvania, The Enterprise Center
Ajamu Johnson, Executive Director, Supplier Diversity & Strategic Procurement, Comcast & NBCUniversal
Marie Witt, Vice President, Business Services, University of Pennsylvania

Diversity & Invitation (April 17, 2017)
Eva Montalvo, Executive Coach, Leadership Consultant, and Speaker, Evalution Leadership
Marc Coleman, Founder, President, and CEO, The Tactile Group
Michelle Goglia, Vice President of Sales and Account Management, United Healthcare of Pennsylvania & Delaware
Amber Wynne, Inclusion Specialist, Human Resources, Vanguard

Presented an event around the LGBTQ community (a first for our Chamber)

On June 8, 2017 the Chamber hosted CNN political commentator, New York Times bestselling author and former White House spokesman Keith Boykin to discuss past LGBTQ business trends. In this culminating Diversity & Inclusion event of the year, Boykin detailed how this work can shape future equitable strategies that lead to stronger institutions.

L to R: David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corproation; Rob Wonderling, President & CEO, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia; Steve Rosen, Managing Director — Philadelphia, Aloysius, Butler & Clark; Keith Boykin; and Varsovia Fernandez, SVP, Philadelphia Market Leader, Customers Bank pose for a photo at The Next Frontier: A Diversity & Inclusion Program and Reception on June 8, 2017.

At the Chamber, we strive to develop and encourage best practices that benefit our members. Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to the growth and sustainability of our region’s economy, which is why it is so important to host these programs and create this dialogue. We look forward to what’s to come in the fall — stay tuned for new programming, opportunity and thought leadership. A special thanks to our Diversity & Inclusion committee for their support, hard work and effort for this upcoming years and all past:

CHAIR: Varsovia Fernandez, Customers Bank
VICE-CHAIR: Mike Pearson, Union Packaging, LLC
Robert Bogle, Philadelphia Tribune Company
Marc Coleman, The Tactile Group
Larry Dubinski, The Franklin Institute
Ric Harris, NBC 10
Hon. Renee Cardwell Hughes, American Red Cross-Southeastern PA Chapter
Kevin R. Johnson, Philadelphia OIC
William Marrazzo, WHYY
Diane Melley, IBM
Angelo Perryman, Perryman Building and Construction Services
Nick Shenoy, Asian American Chamber of Commerce
Nicole Tranchitella, Accenture LLP
Manuel Trujillo, Swain Techs
Rob Wonderling, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

Learn more about the Chamber’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiative »»

Follow #DiversityPHL »»

Share a comment