More than 1,200 attendees gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 31, 2023, for the Chamber’s 223rd Annual Meeting, one of the region’s largest gatherings of executives, elected officials, business owners, and civic leaders. The message from the Chamber’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Chellie Cameron, was clear, “The Chamber intends to make a bigger impact than ever before.”
Together with Chamber Board Members Gregory Deavens, President and Chief Executive Officer, Independence Health Group, parent company of the event’s Title Sponsor, Independence Blue Cross, and Mike Innocenzo, President and Chief Executive Officer, PECO, an Exelon Company and Chamber Board Chair, Cameron outlined key components of a bold new five-year strategic plan, Chamber 2028: Amplify. Advocate. Grow (abbr. Chamber 2028).
“Central to Chamber 2028 is our vision to make the Greater Philadelphia region a top global destination for business and a leader in inclusive growth. And there are three enduring strategic priorities that support our vision,” she said before outlining them:
- Amplify the impact of business in the region;
- Advocate for a competitive business climate;
- Grow a vibrant and diverse business community.
“Under this new strategy, we are thinking big and engaging in issues that really, really matter,” Cameron elaborated.
Alongside a new Chamber video, “Shaping the Future of Our Region Together,” which debuted at the meeting, she called for the region’s business leaders to join in making an impact, posing the question, “What will your contribution be?”
Chamber 2028: Amplify. Advocate. Grow.
Inspired and guided by its vision, the Chamber’s work centers on engaging and collaborating with members, investors, and stakeholders as a convenor to drive the positive impact of business and growth in our region and leading efforts to amplify that impact with a collective voice. These contributions will enhance Greater Philadelphia’s reputation as a great place to live, work, and do business.
“We will continue to showcase our strengths to the global business community, shining a spotlight on the people, the businesses, and the culture that make Philadelphia exceptional.”
Policies that Start and Grow Businesses, Attract and Retain Talent
Deavens, who chairs the Chamber’s Policy, Research, and Legislative Committee, told attendees, “We’re focused on policies that lead to people starting and growing businesses, attracting and retaining talent, and building Philadelphia’s profile on the national and global stage. That includes making it easier to do business here, getting our fair share of the funding that our government set aside to make Philadelphia and Pennsylvania more competitive, as well as tax reform so that entrepreneurs and families can build wealth.”
He called for bringing the business community together through the Chamber to “Make the case for what an economically strong, innovative and inclusive region can be for all of its citizens. That is our best opportunity to instill hope in our young people, build deeper connections, and ensure the health and happiness of Greater Philadelphia.”
He then shared his personal theme for this moment in our region: “Carpe Omnia: Seize Everything. Every opportunity to improve and grow. Every opportunity to collaborate. Every opportunity to make our city and region more competitive.”
Inclusive Growth and Attracting New Businesses
Innocenzo discussed major investments by the Chamber over the past year to attract new companies and talent to the Greater Philadelphia region. “These investments have enabled us to quadruple the business expansion over the past year and more than double the average activity over the prior seven fiscal years.”
“Just last Monday, the Biden Administration designated our region a Precision Medicine Tech Hub. Federal grants like this one, as well as the Good Jobs Challenge, hydrogen hubs, and tech hubs, provide momentum, and we’ll continue to play a critical role in these types of efforts,” he announced.
Strengthening Our Workforce and Providing Inclusive Opportunities
“Across this region, we have a diverse community of employers with an increasing need for talent. Investing in the workforce of the future is one of the single most important things we can do. As a Chamber, we’re committed to retaining and attracting talent through our Young Professionals Council and the launch of the Greater Philadelphia Talent Network. And through these programs, we’re committed to educating and training young minds and equipping them with the skills they need to succeed long term.”
To read more about Chamber 2028, visit the Chamber’s website. Not a Chamber member? Contact a membership advisor to learn more and join. Are you a Chamber member that wants to join us in this work? To discuss engagement opportunities, contact our membership engagement team for more information. And be sure to watch “Shaping Our Future Together” on the Chamber’s YouTube channel.