Unique Spaces, Unique Communities
Time & Location
Hear from a lineup of Philly leaders helping to shape community across neighborhoods and sectors - lightning talk style.
Sally J. Guzik, Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC)
Sally J. Guzik is director of CIC Philadelphia, Cambridge Innovation Center’s newest campus. Her passion is creating opportunities for innovation communities to balance global and local priorities and perspectives through growth, strategic partnerships, community engagement, and outreach programs. Sally is responsible for expanding CIC Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and amplifying its good works by recruiting innovative, civically-minded organizations to CIC and the region. Her expertise in understanding DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and the process of community engagement and development uniquely qualifies her for this role. Sally created CIC’s first Social Impact Cohort, a strategic partnership that nurtures select, innovative local non-profits by providing space, resources, and networking opportunities to accelerate their impact and develop Philadelphia’s talent pipeline. Sally previously served as CIC Philadelphia’s Senior Community Engagement Lead and helped launch CIC Miami.
Christopher Plant, Move to Philly
Christopher Plant is passionate about art, business, community and connection. He transplanted to Philadelphia in 2002 and immediately found the city to be more hospitable, affordable and friendly than NYC. To that end, after embarking on a successful career in residential and commercial real estate serving both traditional and non-traditional markets, he founded MOVETOPHILLY.com to help promote those concepts to individuals and businesses across the States and abroad. He founded KISMET COWORK in Philadelphia in 2017 with a specialty of serving tertiary markets and has opened locations in Chestnut Hill, Spring Arts and the newest location in Manayunk that just launched on March 1st, 2019. His backround in residential and commercial real estate provided a great framework for a successful launch in the shared office space world with a strong focus on learning and content programs. Christopher graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design for his BFA, participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and recently obtained a Strategic Design MBA from Jefferson University. He also served on the Boards of of Hidden City Philadelphia, CultureWorks of Greater Philadelphia and Paines Park (at 2.5 acres and at a cost of $4.5M it is the largest urban skatepark in the US). In November of 2018, Christopher and his KISMET team launched GREATPHL, a yearly immersive ideas festival that celebrates the unique experience of living, working and thriving in Philadelphia. Later this year will see the launch of the podcast and interview concept: RADIOKISMET. Christopher lives with his wife, two children and a cute dog in a historic 1899 stone home in West Mount Airy, Northwest Philadelphia.
Melissa Alam, Founder of FearlessCon
Melissa Alam is a multi-passionate entrepreneur, brand strategist, and photographer based out of Philadelphia. She works with creative entrepreneurs and bold brands to create, design and execute strategies that increase sales, gain more exposure and inspire communities. Melissa is also the brains behind FearlessCon, an annual conference held in Philadelphia that hosts inspiring panels and business workshops for women who get sh*t done. She and her businesses have been featured in publications and outlets such as BuzzFeed, The Everygirl, Philly.com, CBS Philly, World Women Foundation and more. You can follow her digital footprints where she talks about random, daily adventures on social media over at @RingTheAlam.
Mont Brown, Founder of Kickback Foundation
The special thing about Mont is he has devoted his life is to provide personalized attention and mentoring for youth in inner-city communities through music, art, and creative expression. He continues to support our youth in formulating impactful ways that encourages them. His accomplishments are driven by his childhood experiences. His mother was incarcerated for the majority of my life and my father died at an early age. His grandparents raised him while his grandmother battled breast cancer. At age 13 Mont had a son of his own. While losing two of his best friends to gun violence. Mont as a youth conquered the odds against him, while overcoming so many additional barriers. As a result of this determination he has made it his responsibility to impact his community and peers.
Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg, Zivtech
Alex has over 16 years of professional technical experience and has always had a knack for technology and a love for teaching it to non-technical users. As CEO, Alex is responsible for all of the business aspects of Zivtech while balancing his time between large-scale client Drupal implementations. Alex brings a unique perspective to these engagements, leveraging his deep understanding of business and technology to improve top and bottom line growth.
Lyonzo Vargas, GLBL VLLG
Lyonzo Vargas is Social Entrepreneur, Community Architect , Urban Wellness Advocate and Urban Maestro, on an unstoppable mission. Lyonzo currently resides in Philadelphia, however entered the world in the melting pot of the Bronx, NY. Living in a culture filled with people suffering from stress and anxiety due to poor mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional diet, motivated Lyonzo and his two co-founders to create an entertainment and wellness company called GLBL VLLG (Global Village). Lyonzo dedicated his life to people from all walks of life, focusing primarily on millennials, encouraging the incorporation of wellness through interactive entertainment and wellness events into daily lifestyles. He is creating this new social form of community connection through the rapidly growing Vllg Jam. Lyonzo is on his way to building/manifesting/ a mainstream platform encouraging holistic healing for marginalized communities, inevitably changing the world.
Marc Wilken, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Over the last ten years, Marc has managed and expanded the department's revenue generating concessions, including cafes, food trucks, bike and boat rentals, a new aerial adventure course, and the wildly popular Parks on Tap traveling beer garden, raising over $10 million. He has also created the Oval, an annual transformation of an 8-acre parking lot into an annual park and beer garden with an array of free events and activities for several weeks each summer, and more recently converted a tropical greenhouse into a winter getaway for all ages, while also binging a giant, occupiable present to the park’s downtown Christmas Village that doubled as a fundraiser for charitable causes “the gift that keeps on giving”.