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October 07, 2019

Five 'must-attend' events at the B.PHL Innovation Fest

The citywide festival is full of interesting events. We handpick five to attend

B. PHL Innovation Fest Workshops

Content sponsored by Limited - B.PHL Sponsorship Badge

Carroll - City Hall and Benjamin Franklin Parkway Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Philadelphia City Hall from the Parkway.

The B.PHL Innovation Fest, Philadelphia's first citywide innovation festival, is nearly here.

For those who have purchased a badge to attend – or those planning on doing so – it's time to start building a schedule for the jam-packed, three-day festival. 

MORE B.PHL: Find the mattress of your dreams at the B.PHL Innovation Fest

B.PHL will include workshops, speakers and exhibits exploring innovation in health care, science and technology, social impact, the arts, business and education. Named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, the event runs Oct. 15-17 at various locations throughout the city.

Here are five must-attend events at B.PHL:

How a Frito-Lay Janitor Became a Flamin’ Hot Success Story

The Logistics: Oct. 17, 10:30 a.m. at Independence Blue Cross, 1901 Market St.

If you are looking for inspiration for your own career journey, be sure to stop by to hear Richard Montañez share his story.

Montañez is a Mexico native who started his career in 1976 as a janitor for the Frito-Lay Rancho Cucamonga plant in California. He now leads multicultural sales and community promotions for PepsiCo’s North American division. 

His rise all started when he went to company executives with the idea to put chili on Cheetos. He believes that “it’s not about who you know – it’s about who knows you.”

Failing Up: Lessons Learned from Not Winning the Amazon Business

The Logistics: Oct. 15, 11:30 a.m., The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, 200 S. Broad St., Suite 700

Philadelphia failed in its 2017 bid for Amazon’s new distribution center. The bidding process made splashy headlines for a while, but did you know that there is a richer back story here? 

Philadelphia came out ahead despite failing to win the bid by being unafraid to take chances, according to the panelists slated to appear. Learn what goes into such a big proposal and the lessons learned from it. Panelists include:

• Mike Kerlin, a partner at McKinsey & Company’s Philadelphia office, where he leads initiatives involving civic and business communities throughout the region

• John Grady, president and chief executive officer of PIDC Philadelphia’s public-private development corporation, where he helps drive economic growth in Philadelphia

• Rob Wonderling, president and CEO of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

• Rakia Reynolds, founder and CEO of the public relations agency Skai Blue Media

Innovating to the Top (Lightening Round)

The Logistics: Oct. 15, 11:30 a.m., Independence Blue Cross, 1901 Market St.

This session features a lightening round with some of the most prominent people in Philadelphia. They will share how their passion for innovation – and a whole lot of grit and determination – allowed them to forge their own success stories.

Come hear from some of city’s top entrepreneurs:

• Bill Sasso, chairman of Stradley Ronon’s management committee and its board of directors. He also has served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority (PENNVEST) and as a commissioner of the Delaware River Port Authority.

• Dyana Williams, an on-camera entertainment contributor to "Chasing News," which airs on Fox5 in New York, Fox29 in Philadelphia and WWOR in New Jersey.  As CEO of Influence Entertainment, Williams creates media strategies for other celebrities like Justin Beiber, T.I. and Janelle Monae. She also hosts "Afternoon Delight" on Classix Philly 107.9.

• Tiffany Tavarez, vice president of community relations at Wells Fargo. She focuses on strategic philanthropy, stakeholder engagement and team member volunteerism. Throughout her career, she has worked with PECO, Comcast, Temple University and First Person Arts at the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

• Todd Carmichael, co-founder and CEO of La Colombe coffee. He is also a philanthropist, television personality, author and inventor. He is the first American to complete a solo trip across Antarctica to the South Pole on foot. His journey was documented on “Race to the Bottom of the Earth” which aired on the National Geographic Channel in 2010.

Defining Innovation Presents Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph

The Logistics: Oct. 15, 5 p.m., Thomas Jefferson Univeristy, 1001 Locust St.

How does a startup become a household name? Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph offers insights into everything that goes into successfully launching a startup and how he helped to transform the way we experience media today.

Want Better Results in the Workplace? Try Humanity

The Logistics: Oct. 16, 1:20 p.m., Excite Center at Drexel University, 3401 Market St.

Hopeworks, a nonprofit based in Camden, New Jersey, helps youth heal from trauma and break the cycle of violence and poverty. Through a combination of education, technology and entrepreneurship, these youth are given opportunities for a strong future. 

The nonprofit's Youth Healing Team also trains business professionals in its techniques, like the huddle, safety plans and systems checks. Come see how you can integrate these practices into your workplace.

Click here to register for B.PHL Innovation Fest and view the festival's full schedule. 

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