The group came to Philadelphia because this region is dealing with many issues that Charlotte faces, said Paul Grube, chairman of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and regional president of Wachovia Bank.
The Charlotte metropolitan area, he said, has to foster collaboration between two states - North Carolina and South Carolina deal with public-school restructuring, work on a master plan for the arts, boost tourism, and use strong higher-education institutions to strengthen economic growth.
The group was welcomed at a Union League luncheon by Mark S. Schweiker, president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and Hugh C. Long II, chairman of the chamber's Select Greater Philadelphia job-growth initiative.
The visitors spent the afternoon at the Constitution Center, meeting with tourism officials and visiting historic sites. Later, they were to attend the Phillies-Yankees game at Citizens Bank Park.
Tomorrow, they are scheduled to meet with Thomas G. Morr, chief executive of Select Greater Philadelphia; Paul Vallas, chief executive of the Philadelphia School District; and leaders of the region's universities and arts organizations.
They fly home tomorrow, after a breakfast discussion of what they learned, aboard a chartered US Airways flight.
In his welcome, Long said that 15 years ago, Philadelphia faced a turning point. "Those who were here then knew things had to change, and they set out to play to the region's strengths."
One of the trip's organizers, Curt Farmer - who worked in Philadelphia for Wachovia Corp. from 2001 to 2004 but now is in Charlotte - said: "Philadelphia is a very different city now. . . . Young people really want to live in the city."
Contact staff writer Henry J. Holcomb at 215-854-2614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.