LGBTQ&A: Zachary Wilcha

Zachary Wilcha

Zachary Wilcha

Zachary Wilcha is the first-ever executive director of the Independence Business Alliance (IBA), Greater Philadelphia’s LGBT chamber of commerce. We chatted about the organization’s recent award wins and how it is planning to improve diversity efforts within the city’s LGBTQ business community.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in the tiny town of Peckville, Pa., and made my way to Philadelphia for college and law school. I can’t believe I’ve been in the Philadelphia area for 20 years now. While I’ve been in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, I think I’ve been a pretty decent son, uncle, boyfriend, boss, and friend. I’ve also worked as a lawyer and fundraiser before becoming the executive director of the IBA. I love the city, and I love finding ways to give back to it. I’m on the Young Professional Board for Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia. Read more »

Aramark Says It’s Staying in Philly

Aramark Headquarters

Aramark is keeping is headquarters in Philadelphia, the company announced this morning. It might not, however, stay in the same Center City skyscraper currently topped with a sign bearing its name.

“The company’s global headquarters will remain in Philadelphia with the selection of an office site pending,” the company said in a press release.

Reports emerged last month that Aramark was considering a move. The news was alarming to local leaders: Aramark is one of just three Fortune 500 companiesComcast and Crown Holdings are the others — that make its home inside the city limits (though the metropolitan area contains a few more). Read more »

Comcast-Backed Firm Invests in Groupon

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Honestly, we’d long thought Groupon had passed from being an exciting new thing to a stale joke about spending too much money to buy a coupon for a product or experience you’ll never end up using. But apparently Groupon’s still a thing.

We know this because this week a new company called Atairos announced it’s making a $250 million investment in Groupon. Why this matters in Philadelphia: Atairos was created by former Comcast CFO Michael J. Angelakis — and Comcast has a 10-year agreement to be the Atairos’ sole outside investor. Read more »

Philly Firm Picked to Renovate the Alamo

Daniel Schwen | Wikimedia Commons

Daniel Schwen | Wikimedia Commons

Remember the Alamo?

The old Texas mission is historic, but the area surrounding it feels less so — overgrown with hotels and office buildings. Now a Philadelphia firm has been hired to oversee a renovation of the site, with the aim of restoring a sense of reverence and history to the popular landmark.

Preservation Design Partnership will lead that effort, San Antonio officials announced Thursday. Read more »

BioTelemetry Makes $15.5M Offer for VirtualScopics

Alex Proimos | Wikimedia Commons

Alex Proimos | Wikimedia Commons

BioTelemetry, the Malvern-based company formerly known as CardioNet Inc., has announced it its intention to buy VirtualScopics Inc., a leading provider of clinical trial imaging solutions, for $15.5 million.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016. Read more »

Pa. Unemployment Stays at 4.6 Percent

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate stayed at 4.6 percent in February — unchanged from the month before, and lower than the 4.9 percent national unemployment rate. Read more »

Philadelphia Scientific’s Owner Has a Bright Idea: Electric Roads

Frank Hebbert | Flickr | Shared under a Creative Commons license.

Frank Hebbert | Flickr | Shared under a Creative Commons license.

With the exception of Tesla, electric cars haven’t gotten very far with the American car-buying public — or manufacturers for that matter. One reason? Keeping them on the road is hard. They either need big, cumbersome batteries, or more recharging stations than currently exist. And the conundrum gets more pressing when you consider the coming advent of driverless — yes, driverless — cars that advocates envision will be on the road perpetually, never parking.

Will Jones, the owner of Montgomeryville-based Philadelphia Scientific, has helped offer a possible answer: Electric roads.

No, the entire road wouldn’t be electrified: Instead, a metal charging strip would be embedded in highways — creating miniature trolleys of a sort — ensuring travelers don’t run out of juice far away from home or civilization. The proposal just won an innovation award from the Smart Transportation Alliance. Read more »

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