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2016 Year in Review

by Michelle Boyles

As the city’s skyline continues to grow, so too does its population, attracting new businesses large and small as well as a record number of visitors. This has left us with no shortage of important stories to cover.

Professionals such as our Top CEOs and CFOs, Women to Watch, Power 50, Executives and Entrepreneurs of the Year and many others are working from the inside to continue pushing the local economy forward.

Industry leaders in health care, real estate, construction, technology, tourism, nonprofit, education and other sectors who contributed to our Visions of A World Class City edition in September are innovating processes and procedures to benefit those who live and work here. And, the city’s neighborhoods continue to provide an endless array of resources and incentives to boost business even further.

As all of these forces come together, it’s clear that the city’s momentum isn’t slowing down any time soon.

We began the year by speaking with local financial experts about their projections for 2016 and found, even with the uncertainty of a heated presidential election process, the inauguration of a new mayor and federal action (however small) on interest rates, the majority are glad to be in Philadelphia. Those who manage local businesses are instrumental in achieving that. And our Top CEOs/CFOs feature shared the stories of seven of these professionals including insight on what it takes to do the job.

Also in this issue, we took a look at the way the city’s Greenworks initiative has helped make the greening of Philadelphia’s real estate environment a policy priority.

Our 2016 Women of the Year are making an impact on the local economy as well. This month, we presented a snapshot of their experience as well as insights on how the landscape has changed for female professionals and advice for other women on entering and conquering the field. We also took a look at real estate trends in our area and found the City of Brotherly Love has become a hot spot for development. That’s partly thanks to the increasing number of millenials living here. So, we spoke with local man- agers about how to properly onboard, train and retain this group.

Whether it’s in the form of expanding or improving services to local patients, educating the doctors and nurses of tomorrow or bringing groundbreaking research to the medical community at large, our 2016 Best of Health Care winners are doing their part to ensure the city’s health care sector is second to none. This month, we also looked at how the city’s institutions of higher education are making moves to be sure today’s students are prepared to enter the workplace of the future as well as the ways in which the city is drawing more tourists to our area with a growing number of options.

The new administration is expanding on plans to put Philly on the forefront of sustainability. Can Philadelphia be America’s Greenest City? We spoke with leaders of government and industry to find out how these plans are fleshing out. Also in this issue, Philadelphia-area building and construction leaders use terms like bullish and exciting—coupled with caution about schools and taxes—to describe the local market and review the most significant projects this year.

According to the Current Population Survey, 1.2 million attorneys were working in the United States in 2015. Our Top Business Attorneys presented readers with the top legal minds in Philadelphia, for whatever your company needs. Local employers are taking steps to ensure open lines of communication because today’s workers increasingly want to be kept in the loop. Experts told us corporate transparency isn’t just the right thing, it’s the smart thing and shared their insights on implementation.

Philadelphia has long maintained a reputation as a premier provider of top medical care. This month, our Who’s Who in Health Care put the spotlight on 16 nurses, doctors, administrators, researchers and more who are the driving force behind enhancing the scope of medicine and improving care for those who live and work here. Halfway through the year, we checked in with the city’s financial leaders who explained the area is finding new opportunities for financial growth in light of changing dynamics.

From established businesses to emerging influencers and innovative industries on the forefront of technology, there’s no question that our area’s economy has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. This month, our Power 50 list took a glimpse into the stories of the men and women shaping the future of Philadelphia’s business community.

Through business incubators, government incentives, creative venture funding and innovative partnerships, the Philadelphia region has made developing and retaining new companies a priority. As a result, startups in every sector are finding success here. We identified some of the top emerging companies in our area that are poised to continue growing and transforming the future of their industries.

The past year has been a monumental one for the City of Brotherly Love. We continue to strive to expand the scope of health care, encourage technological advancements and enhance the way we educate and embrace our citizens, all while keeping pace with the city's ever-shifting dynamic.

This month, for our second Visions of A World Class City edition, we asked 23 titans of industry to share with you their vision of what it will take to sustain Philadelphia's momentum and assure its legacy on a national stage.

Our 2016 Executives of the Year shared with us insights on what they’ve learned, obstacles that lie ahead and advice for their compatriots. Their stories provide valuable lessons on how to move up the chain of command and inspire others.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “A small body of determined spirits fired by an un- quenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”

This year’s Small Business Award winners utilize every tool at their disposal to drive their industries forward and improve the lives and livelihoods of those who live and work here. And, because any economy is only as sound as its community, Philly Biz recognized 11 organizations for their philanthropic work in our area.

Published (and copyrighted) in Philly Biz, Volume 1, Issue 12 (December, 2016).
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