Life sciences companies looking to locate in Greater Philadelphia consider many factors in their decision making, from accessibility and connectivity to opportunities to collaborate and achieve their company’s vision. Another factor is the quality of life available to their employees. The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia is developing a series of testimonial videos with Greater Philadelphia’s leaders describing the region’s attributes.
Among the region’s leaders who have already shared their perspectives are Chellie Cameron, CEO, Philadelphia International Airport and Northeast Philadelphia Airport, Chief Aviation Representative, City of Philadelphia – Division of Aviation; Roland Kolbeck, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Spirovant Sciences, Inc., a gene therapy company located in University City that is focused on changing the course of cystic fibrosis and other genetic lung diseases.
Anne Brooks, vice president of Global Commercial Operations, and Sumit Verma, senior vice president of Commercial Manufacturing, are both at Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc., a late-stage biotechnology company developing novel T cell-based cancer immunotherapies (tumor- infiltrating lymphocyte, TIL, and peripheral-blood lymphocyte, PBL) for patients with cancer. The company, which is headquartered in San Carlos, California, recently opened its Iovance Cell Therapy Center at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
Their comments about culture, cuisine and quality of life in Greater Philadelphia echo characteristics described by two high-profile publications – TIME magazine in its “World’s Greatest Places of 2021” article (July 20, 2021) and The Wall Street Journal in its travel piece, “An Insider’s Travel Guide to Philadelphia – Courtesy of an ‘It’s Always Sunny’ Star and Other Notable Locals” (October 21, 2021).
Regan Stephens wrote for TIME about the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s redesign led by Frank Gehry that unveiled last spring. He said, “The space now includes access to a previously off-limits vaulted walkway and a stunning floating staircase to rival the iconic steps out front, made famous by Rocky.” About dining, he said, “The local culinary scene is as vibrant as ever too, with chef Omar Tate crowdfunding the forthcoming Honeysuckle Community Center in West Philadelphia, sprouted from his award-winning dinner series of the same name that centers on Black culture and history.”
For The Wall Street Journal, Janet O’Grady looked to four famous Philadelphians – actor Rob McElhenny, academician Adam Grant, playright Quiara Alegria Hudes, and restaurateur Stephen Starr – for their Philadelphia highlights. She also wrote, “This historic heavyweight of a city is a booming cultural and culinary destination, too.”
Read below to see what our own interviewees (pictured clockwise from top left) –Chellie Cameron, Dr. Roland Kolbeck, Anne Brooks and Sumit Verma –had to say about the region’s quality of life and what attracted them to Greater Philadelphia. To add your voice to the Chamber’s outreach effort, contact Sarah Steltz, the Chamber’s Cice President of Economic Competitiveness, at [email protected].
Chellie Cameron, Philadelphia International Airport
“I can walk to – I can’t even count how many restaurants – directly from my home. We have the most amazing food scene of anywhere that I’ve ever lived. You can get any kind of food — some of the best Italian I‘ve ever had – in South Philly. And I just think that the walkability and the accessibility to all of these different cultural places really, really make Philadelphia shine.”
Anne Brooks, Iovance
“Philadelphia has a great quality of life, and for people who are interested in culture and the arts, Philadelphia is second to none.”
Sumit Verma, Iovance
“There’s a reason why so many developers and innovators are coming into the region because of this benefit of having cultural, social and culinary experiences that match their interests and needs for their family and social well-being.”
Dr. Roland Kolbeck, Spirovant
“It’s a really great place. The density and the compactness of the city make it very easy to get around. There is a very accessible public transportation infrastructure that can be used. And certainly, I mean at least for me, I enjoy the wonderful culinary scene in Philadelphia, as well as the art scene in the city. It’s a very livable place to be in, and I can’t say enough about the quality of life in Philadelphia. It’s a great place to be.”