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Office Space

by Philly Biz-- Editorial Staff
SUPPLIES IN DEMAND

Get Organized in the New Year
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has passed. January is a great time to clear away the clutter and start 2016 with all of your information organized and at your fingertips. These gadgets are designed to help you do just that.

Executive Keyboard Tray
For a higher standard of comfort and maneuverability, the Fellowes Professional Series executive keyboard promotes neutral hand/wrist position while moving your keyboard and mouse off the desktop to save space. A simple one-handed motion instantly repositions keyboard height, and a single lever adjusts tilt by sliding from left to right.
(OfficeDepot.com, $299.99)

CardScan Sheetfed Scanner
The DYMO CardScan executive scanner features a desktop card scanner and full-featured contact\ management software. It synchronizes easily with Outlook, Outlook Express, PDAs, smart phones, ACT!, Lotus Notes and GoldMine v. 6.7.
(NewEgg.com, $199.99)

Thinnest Smart Wallet
The Thinnest RFID Travel Wallet uses special technology inside the leather to block the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) signals embedded in your credit cards, driver’s license and passport to keep you safe from hackers and identity thieves. It holds 10 credit cards, with pockets for cash, boarding passes and travel documents.
(SharperImage.com, $99.99)

CORNER OFFICE

World Heritage is Good for Business
On Nov. 6, 2015, Philadelphia became a World Heritage City, thanks to a three-year joint effort by the city administration and the Global Philadelphia Association. Until then, none of the globe’s 268 World Heritage Cities were located in the United States. Philadelphia accordingly became the first—and to date the only—U.S. city to have this prestigious designation.

A feel-good event? Of course. But a businessperson might ask: “What is the designation’s practical business value?” The answer to this question is multi-layered but unambiguous. In addition to being good for cultural and historical appreciation, World Heritage is good for business.

In a report issued in October 2015, Econsult Solutions Inc. analyzed the designation’s consequences for tourism. Domestically, the effect was found to be light given that most Americans already know something about Philadelphia’s history. Nevertheless, Econsult estimated that there would be a 1-2 percent increase in the number of domestic tourists with proper marketing. The effect on international tourism was expected to be much greater, an increase of 6-8 percent. This was particularly meaningful because the typical international visitor stays longer and spends more than his/her domestic counterpart.

All told, the economic impact from this enhanced tourism is expected to be very substantial, amounting to $150 million dollars per year. The designation is therefore excellent news for the hospitality industry, downstream business stakeholders and the employees they will all need to hire.

The benefits of the World Heritage City designation do not end there, however. With this unique global attribute in hand, Philadelphia is positioned to think and act as a truly global city in many other respects and to benefit accordingly. Some examples:

• As the only U.S. member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities, Philadelphia has a unique relationship with the 268 other member cities. We will be able to forge connections and find ways of doing business with many of them, attracting both commerce and investment.

• Possessed of their own heritages, our ethic communities will be further empowered. Already an important part of the Philadelphia business landscape, they will be able to use the designation to foster relationships with corresponding communities overseas and develop new international business relationships.

• The designation will help to enhance export activity. While the region has numerous export- friendly assets, a lack of the awareness and self-assurance needed for local firms to become exporters has limited our performance. As Philadelphia’s World Heritage status sinks in, this will change, facilitating an improvement in regional export activity.

• Our manufacturing and service sectors are replete with industries with long and honorable histories. These are another heritage asset. As part of the larger heritage story, we will be able to use them as still another way to attract new investment.

In conclusion, we can be proud of Philadelphia’s recent recognition as one of the most important cultural and historical cities in the world. If we are smart, we will find in that recognition a plethora of business-related opportunities.

John F. Smith, III serves as Board Chair, Global Philadelphia Association.

Take 5

Maximizing Organization Performance in the New Year
Companies and employees often go into holiday mode in December. Then the calendar turns and suddenly executives must maximize their organization’s potential to get things off to a strong start. Jim Geier, founder and CEO of Human Capital Consulting Partners, a full service consulting firm in Trevose, Pa., has identified five tips for employers to create a more efficient workplace in the new year.

1 At the start of the New Year, craft a game plan for January.

2 In that plan, detail the goals and projects that are of particular importance to the overall business plan for 2016, and prioritize how the organization should attack these tasks in the new year.

3 Make sure all employees know about the plan and their part in it so they can prepare themselves to be mentally ready to return from the holidays and dig in to work.

4 Be sure to send out a company-wide communication setting the tone for the year.

5 On a monthly basis, continue to provide positive feedback and additional motivational support to keep the focus on the goals.

Jim Geier is a writer, speaker and adviser. As founder and CEO of Human Capital Consulting Partners, he helps companies align organizational performance with stakeholder expectations. HCCPartners.com

Comings and Goings

Openings, closings, hirings and retiring in our region.
LeadiD announced the addition of two senior professionals to its team: Bill Slackman as Vice President of Sales and Jaimie Pickles as Director of Strategic Accounts for the Insurance vertical. Both will be based in LeadiD’s Ambler office and report to Chief Revenue Officer, Paul McConville.

EducationWorks has selected Miles Wilson as its Executive Director. Wilson will become the organization’s second Executive Director, following its founder, Martin Friedman. Prior to joining EducationWorks, Wilson was the Director of Talent & Collaboration for the Philadelphia School Partnership, a non-profit organization working to create and expand great schools in Philadelphia.

Customers Bank has named H. Elaine Dovas Senior Vice President and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Officer. In her new role, Dovas is responsible for managing and directing the Bank’s CRA Compliance Program, including tracking, monitoring and reporting Customers’ CRA financial services, lending, community development and community service. Dovas has more than 35 years of experience in community reinvestment and community development.

The Board of Directors of the Chester Water Authority (CWA) named Robert A. Judge, Sr. to serve as the organization’s new Executive Manager where he will oversee the operations of the municipal authority. Judge previously served as the Secretary of Revenue for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for more than five years. For the past eight years, he worked as Exelon Generation’s Manager of Communications for the Mid-Atlantic Region.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has chosen Matt Rader as its new president. PHS had been operating without a permanent leader since Drew Becher stepped down last April to relocate to San Francisco. Among other duties, Rader will be charged with handling the Philadelphia Flower Show from an operational side. Prior to PHS, Rader was a leader of nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia and a management consultant at McKinsey & Co.

Lauletta Birnbaum is pleased to announce the addition of corporate and securities lawyer, Eric D. Schoenborn, as a member of the firm. Prior to joining Lauletta Birnbaum, Schoenborn was partner with Stradley Ronon and served as the Chair or Co-Chair of the firm’s Public Company Practice Group for over nine years.

Campus Philly welcomes several new members: Florence Zheng, Chief Talent Officer at Bentley Systems, joins the Campus Philly board of directors. Michael Scales, Associate Vice President of Business Services at Temple University is now the vice chair of the board of directors and Ebony Staton Weidman, Assistant Vice President at Fairmount Ventures, assumes the role of secretary of the board.

DULY NOTED
Citizens Bank announced a $25,000 sponsorship of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. The partnership will enable the museum to develop special programs, events and workshops.

AlliedBarton Security Services has been named one of the Best Companies for Leaders in 2016 by Chief Executive Magazine, coming in at No. 2 on this year’s Private Companies List, moving up from No. 7 in 2015.

R. Robert Franks, DO, F.A.O.A.S.M, sports medicine physician, Rothman Institute, Co-Medical Director, Jefferson Comprehensive Concussion Center, has won the 2016 Dr. David G. Moyer— Physician Award from the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association (EATA). The award is given to a team physician that has served the profession of athletic training as an educator and an advocate and has also served the community in which they live and work.

Opportunity Finance Network, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and The Surdna Foundation have selected PIDC Community Capital as a finalist in the 2015 Small Business Leader Award (SBLA) for Mission-Driven Lenders. PIDC Community Capital is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the United States Treasury Department.

Have some business news to share? Email us at info@phillybiz.net

NEWS BRIEFS
The Chester County Conservation District recently named the Chester Water Authority (CWA) a key Conservation Partner for the Chesapeake Bay basin, in recognition of its environmental commitment and support for educational efforts to reduce pollutant runoffs in the watershed.

City of Philadelphia General Fund tax revenues for Fiscal Year 2016 are up $85 million over last year, according to a monthly economic report released by City Controller Alan Butkovitz. General Fund tax revenues through the first five months of the current fiscal year totaled $892 million compared with $807 million collected during the same period last year, a year-over-year increase of 10.5 percent.

In 2015, JFS Wealth Advisors closed on two strategic mergers with Weathervane Wealth Management, an RIA firm in Berwyn, Pa., and Comprehensive Investment Solutions (CIS), an RIA in Doylestown and Yardley, Pa. Together, the mergers equaled over $570 million in additional asset under management and added 14 new team members to the company, for a total of over 50 employees across six locations.

Ace Ltd. will complete the $29.5 billion acquisition of property and casualty insurance carrier Chubb, taking on the Chubb name. The combined company will be the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurer with a market capitalization of $51.2 billion, annual gross written premiums of $37 billion and total assets of $150 billion.

The Graham Co. has renewed its lease on 76,812 square feet at the Graham building, signing a 10-year lease on the top eight floors of the 25-story building located at 30 S. 15th St. The company cited rising Center City rents and a shrinking supply of quality, well-located office space as a reason for the early renewal.

The law firm Reed Smith has laid off 45 lawyers in offices in the U.S. and worldwide, around 2.5 percent of the 1,650 lawyers at the firm, more than 200 of whom are in Philadelphia, citing the need to ensure efficiency and to match legal staffing with the needs of clients.

Philadelphia-based Tmunity Therapeutics raised $10 million in an equity financing from Penn Medicine and venture capital firm Lilly Asia Ventures, the proceeds of which will be used to develop novel products to treat a wide range of diseases.

Keystone Property Group has completed the purchase of One Belmont Ave., a 12-story, 245,000-square-foot office building in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., for an estimated $46 million. The company reportedly plans to spend $13 million making a series of upgrades to the former Germantown Savings Bank building.

Published (and copyrighted) in Philly Biz, Volume 1, Issue 2 (January, 2016).
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