Coded by Kids named me a ‘Champion for Change’

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Coded by Kids, leaders of the youth engagement nonprofit honored others. I was flattered to be among them.

I remember hearing about Sylvester Mobley spending time at a South Philly rec center to offer basic computer and coding classes to young kids there. Soon after Technical.ly profiled his work, and I later joined their first board of directors, where I also met his wife and partner Danae Mobley. I’ve worked closely with both, especially Danae of late in her role leading 1Philadelphia.

Since I’ve known them both for so long, and challenged and collaborated them too, it meant a lot for Danae to say nice words and call me a “champion for change” at an event last night filled with other stakeholders and partners. Thanks friends.

I was honored with the 2024 IBIT “Innovators Award”

I proudly accepted Wednesday the “Innovators Award” from the Temple University Fox School of Business’s Institute for Business and Information Technology. The award is “given annually to a person or persons for innovation in applying IT to create business opportunity.”

The award was timed with the launch of the 14th annual Philly Tech Week, which I founded, and the 15th anniversary of Technical.ly, a local news org that has adapted in this strange economic period for community journalism. The transfer of Generocity.org last year was also a relevant example of my work.I was proud that my references for the award were my friends journalist-turned-college-dean David Boardman and entrepreneur Bob Moore. I formerly emceed these very awards, which are led by the thoughtful and analytical Munir Y. Mandviwalla and Laurel Miller. Knowing what they put into these awards made it all the more special. I was certainly in good company: My fellow award-winner was Jeff Hamilton, who was the CIO of Pfizer while the company rolled out its covid-19 vaccine.

Below, I share my remarks from the award event.

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Named an ‘Advocate for Equity’

Though I was confident I wasn’t going to win, this really was one of those times where I felt honored to be nominated.

I was listed among five collaborators and genuine friends as a nominee to be called a top “Advocate for Equity” by 1Philadelphia, a new initiative focused on inclusive innovation in the region. My bud Michael O’Bryan, who runs a consultancy and is a popular champion of equity efforts, took the honor at an event Saturday. It was part of what the group calls its Innovation Weekend.

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Named among the 100 Pennsylvanians having the biggest mission impact

It meant something real to be named by City&State as among 100 Pennsylvanians making the deepest impact toward their mission. I run a news organization, so I know how erratic nominations can be from publishers, but I also know lots of people put real effort into acknowledging serious work. Thank you.

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Technically Media honored for a commitment to diversity

Technically Media, the news organization I cofounded a decade ago, was honored back in November for its commitment to diversity.

It was unexpected — and may be one of the most important honors our organization has received. The praise came from Philly Startup Leaders, a respected nonprofit helmed by Kiera Smalls, during an event PSL organized with advocate Brigitte Daniel, who has known our work for a decade and spoke directly.

“Many of us would not even be in this room if not for Technically Media… “[They] brought us together. They have magnified our work. For a technically-orientated news site, this was never even heard of, never heard of to make an intentional effort to be inclusive.”

We were called for our diverse leadership team and and overall organization – gender parity, age range and racial diversity. It wasn’t empty praise, as we also do benefit by seeking the widest and most representative perspective.

Watch video of the presentation below.

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I was given the ‘Community Leadership Award’ by the Urban Affairs Coalition

I was given a ‘Community Leadership Award‘ by the Friends of the Coalition, a young leaders group associated with the influential Urban Affairs Coalition.

Knowing UAC’s reputation, I would have already been proud, but I was also surrounded by impressive company. My longtime friend Helen Ubinas, an Inquirer columnist, also received an award. That’s us smiling together in the above photo.

In introducing me, Kevin Harden, Jr. cited my work over the last 10 years in local journalism and community organizing, with a special focus on our adding Generocity.org to our existing Technical.ly work. He thought Generocity’s work was of particular importance.

Thanks also to Brandon Johnson, Felicia Harris and the other Friends of Coalition members, and UAC Executive Director Sharmain Matlock-Turner and the entire UAC team.

Here are the simple remarks I jotted down and shared to a group of 100 or so, at a reception following UAC’s 50th annual breakfast.

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Temple University’s Fox School honored me with the ‘Self Made and Making Others’ award

I’m proud to say that the Fox Business School of my alma mater Temple University honored me with their third annual ‘Self-Made and Making Others’ award during the Be Your Own Boss Bowl.

The honor is a recognition for entrepreneurial work that helps others do the same. I gave a keynote address to students and other alumni, which I wrote out and shared below but mostly just used as notes.

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A few additions to Philadelphia magazine’s profile of Technical.ly

Ahead of the fifth annual Philly Tech Week, Philadelphia magazine profiled Technical.ly, the local tech news site I cofounded that helps to organize the calendar of more than 150 events.

The piece is fair, largely flattering but challenging, too. It was written by Joel Mathis, whom I’ve come to know some through Philadelphia media circles but got to speak to more at length during the interview process (thanks for the interest Joel). I can admit that I was nervous how the piece would land after I found out the magazine announced plans to launch a vertical focused on “innovation,” but I’ve seen the piece and their plans for Biz Philly appear to be a wider business blog.

It’s still a strange time here for the local news media environment.

Still, though I think Joel did a fine job, I wanted to share a few more background thoughts for those who might be interested. Read the item here, or find a PDF of the article here or buy the mag if you can, then check out below.

(Also, check out this cool blog post of a mutual friend who reached out to make sure the typewriter I’m using in the photo was authentic — it was a gift from my grandfather.)

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