February 8, 2014 |
The regionally focused $2.2 billion William Penn Foundation reached outside the philanthropic sector and raided the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School for its next top executive, hiring away vice dean Peter J. Degnan. The button-down Degnan replaces outspoken Jeremy Nowak, who had vowed to sharpen the philanthropic impact of the Penn Foundation when the organization hired him in April 2010. Nowak resigned in November 2012 after developing a 10-year plan but drawing disagreement from the foundation's board.
January 31, 2014 |
Time has almost run out for CAPA students' hopes of putting on a musical, the centerpiece of their school year. With just a few days left until the deadline to raise enough money to produce a show, the High School for Creative and Performing Arts' parents group is about $6,000 short. That the city's premier arts school will go a second year without its signature performance breaks senior Maya Bjornson's heart. "When we can't do the biggest performance of the year, what does that say?
December 19, 2013 |
AFTER investigating a complaint from public-education activists, the city Ethics Board ruled earlier this month that an arrangement among the Philadelphia School District, the William Penn Foundation and a consulting firm did not violate the city's lobbying-disclosure requirements - but came close. At issue were contracts with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for financial analyses and operational recommendations for the district that were paid for by the foundation. The complainants, who are wary of private influence over district decisions to close traditional public schools and expand charter schools, said the consulting firm was in effect working as a lobbyist on behalf of the foundation.
November 9, 2013 |
Philadelphia and its suburbs are slowly making good on an ambitious plan to build a 750-mile network of biking and walking paths throughout the region. Mayor Nutter last week opened a 12-foot-wide, 1.6-mile-long asphalt sidewalk along North Delaware Avenue through the industrial heartland of Port Richmond, and this month, Chester County will open a seven-mile segment of the Chester Valley Trail along Route 202 near Chesterbrook. A $10 million, 2,000-foot-long concrete "boardwalk" being built out into the Schuylkill will extend the Schuylkill River Trail from Locust Street to the South Street Bridge in 2014.
October 31, 2013 |
Ed Rendell didn't ask the hundreds gathered Tuesday evening at the Masonic Temple for the Avenue of the Arts Inc.'s 20th anniversary celebration to close their eyes and dream of a vibrant city in the future. That future is now. But he did recall the early days of his mayoralty, and asked those in attendance to remember 1992, when "businesses were trying to get out as fast as they could. " The city faced bankruptcy. Residents were leaving, companies were not moving in. So Rendell grabbed hold of an idea that was percolating at the time and made it a key piece of his economic development plans: transform South Broad Street into an Avenue of the Arts.
October 4, 2013 |
TO GET TO what those in the know called Wal-Mart Beach - a picturesque outcropping along the Delaware River - it used to be you'd have to squeeze through a hole in a chain-link fence behind a mega-retailer before trudging down a narrow, overgrown path. "I think it was mostly a hangout for homeless people and drug addicts," said Steve "The Rock" Johnson, a bicycle mechanic who stumbled upon the South Philly locale this summer. While exploring he noticed that someone had left behind stone steps, seats and fire pits.
September 30, 2013 |
Second of three parts, on successive Sundays. For more than a dozen years, philanthropy in Philadelphia was led by a powerful quartet. In various combinations, the Pew Charitable Trusts, William Penn Foundation, the Annenbergs, and the Lenfests lined up behind arts and culture. They built: Without them, Philadelphia might have no National Constitution Center or new, altered Barnes Foundation on the Parkway. They rescued: Had they not stepped in to cover construction debt, the Kimmel Center would have drowned in red ink. And they preserved: When The Gross Clinic , Thomas Eakins' important canvas, was on the brink of being sold off to the National Gallery of Art in Washington and an Arkansas museum backed by Wal-Mart heirs, calls were made, checks written, a deal was struck, and the painting's continued residency was assured.
September 19, 2013 |
ZRG Partners headhunter Natalie H. Brooks says she has "total confidence" she can find a new leader for the $1.9 billion William Penn Foundation in the next four months. "The board is ready, the staff is ready, everybody externally is ready," Brooks said Monday over coffee in Center City a few blocks from the foundation's headquarters. Brooks said she had interviewed candidates but would not name them. The previous president, Jeremy Nowak, resigned in a disagreement with the board in November 2012 after being hired in April 2011 and developing a 10-year plan for the organization.
September 11, 2013 |
The $1.9 billion William Penn Foundation, which abruptly parted ways with president Jeremy Nowak in November 2012 over "style" issues, says it has retained a head-hunting firm and is searching for a new leader. The search comes after months of board discussions over a new management structure and needs of the foundation, board chair David Haas said Monday. Natalie Brooks, managing partner with ZRG Partners in Philadelphia, has been hired to help find a new leader. She expects to identify one by the end of the year.
July 13, 2013 |
The founder of a Philadelphia nonprofit journalism start-up has resigned because the cash-strapped organization could no longer afford to retain him as CEO, he announced Thursday. AxisPhilly, founded in January 2012 by Neil Budde, 57, is facing dim financial prospects and plans to reduce its yearly budget by half. The reduction includes savings from the departure of Budde, a former Wall Street Journal editor who said only that his compensation was aligned with an organization with a $1 million yearly budget.