Named ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce named my Technical.ly cofounder Brian Kirk and I the ‘Young Entrepreneurs of the Year’ in their 32nd annual small business excellence awards.

We were proud to get on stage, following another dozen winners in different categories, at the Crystal Tea Room in the old Wannamaker Building in front of past attendees, Chamber members and service providers. I will likely share the recognition for years to come, so I wanted to share some initial thoughts here too. (Find pics of or presentation here)

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Take aways from the Future of Local Politics and the Web panel

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A panel held by Refresh Philly on the Future of Local Politics on the Web at the Comcast Center in Center City Philadelphia Nov. 2, 2009. From left: Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce CEO Rob Wonderling; pa2010.com contributor Benjamin Barnett; Young Philly Politics contributor Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg and myself who moderated. Photo by Sean Blanda

Whether Web technology and social media can have a major impact on local politics in a place like Philadelphia or if they remain secondary tools, became the major topic and a divided one at a panel that served as the November Refresh Philly meeting.

The hour-long panel discussion, which I moderated, was entitled the Future of Local Politics and the Web.

  • Panel member Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg, a co-founder of progressive policy online forum Young Philly Politics, seemed dogged in his assessment that the Web remains a supplementary tool to traditional campaign field operations.
  • Panel member Benjamin Barnett, the micro-blogger for statewide campaign news site pa2010.com spoke about the role the Web could have in boosting the profile and followship of otherwise limited candidates, most notably citywide Republican candidate in heavily Democratic Philadelphia.
  • The third panel member Rob Wonderling, the new CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, was careful not to overstate the role the Web can play on a municipal level but split somewhere in the middle by noting its role in championing transparency and responsiveness of government.

While that discussion remained most present during the event, there was plenty more to be had. Below some other take aways, video of the event and questions I didn’t have time to ask.

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TP Features: Interview with Chamber of Commerce chief

A big obstacle for developing a respected online news startup is access.

That’s why having a feature interview with the new president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce was another in  a continuously more consistent stream of serious, originally-reported material for Technically Philly.

Rob Wonderling is losing his office in the Harrisburg State Capitol complex.

On Aug. 1, the two-term Republican state senator from Delaware County will report to the Avenue of the Arts as the new president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, as the private, 5,000-member organization announced last month.

By taking the helm of the region’s largest business advocacy organization, he says he’s eager to rebolden the region’s new business community.

“We’ve really lost the language of entrepreneurship [in the region],” Wonderling, 47, says. “Risk taking and capital and job creation are almost scurrilous terms in some political quarters. I feel very passionately that for a free democratic society, we need all of that.” Read the rest here.

After the jump, see some quotations that didn’t make it into the story, in addition to what helped me grab the interview.

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