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Philly Who?

Author: Kevin Chemidlin

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Telling the stories of the doers, thinkers, and performers of Philadelphia. From up-and-coming game-changers to well-known legends, you'll dive into their past, present, future, and how it all contributes to The City of Brotherly Love. Hosted by Kevin Chemidlin.

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Kevin Neghandi was watching a basketball game on TV when he was 15 years old. The announcers mentioned that one of the players was studying broadcasting, and that would one day be the player's career. Kevin's mind was blown. "You can do that? You can get paid for that?" That night, as he went to bed in his home of Pheonixville PA, he made a vow: He would became the first ever Indian-American to anchor the legendary ESPN sports newscast, Sportscenter. One day years later, in the summer of 2006, after years of grind and burnout, he got a call. "We need an anchor for the 1am Sportscenter tonight."
In which Kevin shares a powerful lesson he has learned about allyship.
Carlos Aponte is a history teacher at One Bright Ray Community High School and the creator of We Love Philly. We Love Philly is an Out-of-school time program that provides an ownership based education through community service projects. Students volunteer for local organizations, interview the leaders of those organizations on their podcast, and learn how to edit and produce that podcast. Carlos' journey to becoming an expert in helping Philly kids learn to love Philly was turbulent, as he moved around a lot and was on ADHD medication since the age of four. His own personal awakening came just three years ago, and in the time since he has already impacted hundreds of Philly youth. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
After serving families with disabilities at Easterseals for 17 years, state budget cuts left Kendra Brooks without a job. While she searched for a new one, she became a parent leader of her children's public school in the neighborhood of Nicetown. When a local charter school made a bid to take over, she organized the school's parents to make their voices heard. This fight lead to national media attention, and gave Kendra a taste of what victory on behalf of her community feels like. She had "taken the pill from The Matrix," and in 2019 ran for a Philadelphia City Council at-large seat. She campaigned as a member of the Working Families Party. Winning that election would mean that she would be the first at-large city councilmember in history to represent a party other than Democrat or Republican. It would also mean that her and her family's life would be changed forever. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Steve Charles serves on the Board of Trustees at Temple University, where he’s spent years providing scholarships and other financial resources to expand opportunities at Temple. His commitment to Temple is obvious as soon as you walk into the elaborate, cutting edge structure that is the Charles Library: named after Steve himself. Before entering the world of philanthropy, Steve struggled, hustled, bounced around, and spent years trying to find the business plan that would transform him into a successful entrepreneur. His answer came in the form of immixGroup, a company Steve co-founded that distributes a tech products to different facets of the federal government. That idea took years to develop, along with a lot of twists and turns. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Over two decades ago, one wardrobe stylist had an ambitious dream to see her beloved hometown become the movie metropolis she always knew it could be. Now, after more than $5 billion of economic impact to the southeastern Pennsylvania region, Greater Philadelphia Film Office Executive Director Sharon Pinkenson has successfully elevated the GPFO from the little-known permit office it once was to one of the most well-respected film commissions in the industry. In doing so, Sharon has cemented Philadelphia’s reputation as one of the best media production centers in the country, and has helped Philly land such hits as Philadelphia, The Sixth Sense, and National Treasure, among countless other films, TV shows, and commercials. Support Philly Who? Venmo: @podphillywho, Donate via Paypal, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Dan Berkowitz is the Founder and CEO of CID Entertainment. CID offers enhanced live music and travel experiences for many different events, festivals and tours worldwide, including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Kenny Chesney, MUSE, Blake Shelton, Bassnectar, My Morning Jacket, and Kendrick Lamar, among others. Before founding CID, Dan got his start in the music industry while being the tour manager for the Disco Biscuits, and then later with Electric Factory Concerts. In 2015, the company launched CID Presents, a boutique end-to-end event production branch of the company that offers superfans once-in-a-lifetime music destination events, including Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa, Phish: Riviera Maya, and more. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia and is Executive Producer of World Cafe distributed by National Public Radio (NPR). He’s been working for public radio as a DJ and manager for the past thirty one years. He is also an adjunct teacher at the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University, where he got his undergraduate degree, and also teaches social media at University of Pennsylvania, where he got his Master’s Degree in Organizational Dynamics. Before he was interviewing world-famous guests for WXPN, Bruce was a public radio volunteer, sweeping floors and writing newsletters. And before that, he was prepping vegetables in some of Philly’s first farm to table restaurants.  In addition to sharing Bruce's story, Kevin and Bruce also talk about how they approach interviewing and how they balance being audio creators with being audio fans. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Michelle Angela Ortiz is a visual artist, skilled muralist, and community arts educator who uses her art as a vehicle to represent people and communities whose histories are often lost or co-opted. Through painting, printmaking, and community arts practices, she creates a safe space for dialogue around some of the most profound issues communities and individuals may face. Her work tells stories using richly crafted and emotive imagery to claim and transform spaces into a visual affirmation that reveals the strength and spirit of the community. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Steven Rea is journalist, film critic, web producer, and writer. He was a film critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1992 through late 2016. He also is the author of Hollywood Rides a Bike: Cycling with the Stars, Hollywood Cafe: Coffee With The Stars, and Hollywood Book Club, all books showcasing his collection of original photographs of various stars doing everyday things. Steven will be showing a selection of "Hollywood Book Club" film clips at the Ambler Theater in Ambler on Wednesday evening, Oct. 23, and at The County Theater in Doylestown on Wednesday evening, Oct. 30th. He'll also be doing a book signing at Shakespeare & Co. near Rittenhouse Square on Tuesday, Oct. 29. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Madeline Bell is the President & CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Children’s Hospital-- more commonly known as CHOP-- receives more than 1 million visits every year. And Madeline is the one making many of the big decisions: like whether to try and complete the world’s first double hand transplant. But when she first walked into CHOP as an employee, Madeline was a pediatric nurse, fresh out of college, who had just scored her dream job. 35 years and many different roles later, she's the captain of the ship. And while the journey wasn’t always glamorous, for Madeline, it was a way to make life better for kids. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Michael Nutter served as the 98th Mayor of Philadelphia from 2008 through 2015. Before that, he had been a Member of City Council since 1992. When Nutter decided to run for mayor, the odds were stacked against his campaign. That didn’t deter him. In 2007, he ended up winning the election in a landslide, with a plan to boost Philadelphia’s graduation rate, lower its homicide count, and make the city greener. Minutes after he was sworn in, he introduced what he referred to as “the new Philadelphia.” But any plan comes with surprise detours, twists, and turns - especially when the economy unexpectedly collapses. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Rakia Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Skai Blue Media, a public relations agency that's worked with clients such as Serena Williams, Ashley Graham, and M. Night Shyamalan. In the mid 2000s Rakia was a TV producer whose life was turned upside down when she was unexpectedly laid off. With a child on the way and the economy in recession, she decided to bet on herself and start her own firm. Today, she's one of the most sought after communications specialists in the country. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Melissa Alam is an entrepreneur and freelance brand strategist. If you’ve ever grabbed coffee at La Colombe, cracked open a Budweiser beer, or swiped on Bumble, you've interacted with some of her clients. Melissa also founded The Hive, a coworking space for women. And, she started FearlessCon: an annual workshop for women and non-binary entrepreneurs. This episode was recorded live at Indy Hall as a part of the 7th Annual Philadelphia Podcasting Festival. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
About a decade ago, Trevor Hayward and Luke Bowen decided to start a business. The result was Evil Genius Beer Company, a brewery that is famous for crazy beer flavors and even crazier beer names, including "Stacy’s Mom," “Ma, The Meatloaf” and the latest ale, "Baby Shark Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo." In this episode, Trevor shares how he grew up on the eastern shores of Ireland, spent time living in Australia, and eventually came to Philly to get an MBA. He started at Villanova the same week that Lehman Brothers failed in 2008. So, with the recession in full swing and his job prospects dim, he and his classmate Luke decided to get into beer making. Today, Evil Genius Beer can be found in bars and stores all over Philadelphia as well as at their brewpub in Fishtown. And, soon, they'll be introducing a low-calorie IPA and Evil Genius brand Spiked Seltzer. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Connor Barwin is an NFL Linebacker who has played for the Houston Texans, LA Rams, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Eagles. In 2014, he lead the NFL in sacks, and was selected to the Pro Bowl. Connor played for the Eagles from 2013-2016. While he has moved on to play for other cities, he and his family have made Philly their permanent home. Here, Connor's Make the World Better Foundation is working to revitalize Philly's underserved public parks. He discovered his passion for local parks while biking around Philadelphia. The 5th Annual MTWB Benefit Concert takes place on September 5th at 7pm at the Dell Music Center and features Future Islands, Hop Along, Strand of Oaks, and Karl Blau. Tickets are available now. mtwb.org @connorbarwin98 on Instagram Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Craig Grossman is a General Partner at Arts & Crafts Holdings, which today is investing in the northern edge of Center City, around Spring Garden Street. But, well before Craig and his team started investing in that area, he worked to invest in another Center City neighborhood which, today, looks nothing like it did when he got here in the early 2000s. Back then, the 13th Street corridor was pretty desolate, with tons of drug use, porn shops, and prostitution. Many people called it Philly’s “Red Light District.” Craig at the time was working in New York City, and he took on 13th Street under the direction of Tony Goldman, who was famous for his previous revitalizations of SoHo in NY and South Beach in Miami. Today, 13th Street is home to trendy restaurants, stores, homes, and nightlife. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Jo Piazza is a bestselling author, award-winning journalist and digital strategist. She is the author of seven critically acclaimed fiction and non-fiction books, like The Knock Off, How to Be Married, Fitness Junkies, and Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, which have been translated into more than ten languages. Jo is the host of her own podcast called Committed on the iHeartRadio Network as well. A former editor and columnist with Yahoo, Current TV and the New York Daily News, her work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Magazine, Glamour, Elle, Time, Marie Claire, the Daily Beast, and Slate.  She holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a master’s in religious studies from New York University. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Julian Brodsky is the original CFO of Comcast, and a Philadelphia native. He and Daniel Aaron were the partners of Comcast Founder Ralph Roberts, and the three began the company in 1963 with the mission of providing cable television to towns who didn't receive antenna reception. Now, Comcast is the biggest company in Philly, and is ranked 32nd on the Fortune 500 list of the biggest U.S. corporations. The company provides phone, internet, and cable TV services to millions, it owns NBCUniversal, Dreamworks, and SKY, as well as the Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center, and soon it will also have its own streaming service. Even in person, Comcast towers over the rest of Philadelphia, as its HQ campus includes the Comcast Center and the Comcast Technology Center, the two largest buildings in Pennsylvania. In the beginning, though, the company mainly provided TV to customers in rural Mississippi who couldn't get television any other way. Julian tells the story of how he, Ralph, and Dan went from these humble beginnings to building one of the most influential companies the world. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
Sarah Schwab is the Senior Director of Marketing for the Philadelphia Flyers. As the Director of Marketing, Sarah oversees the team’s branding, promotional, and media initiatives. Recently, her team was tasked with a huge undertaking: creating a mascot for the Flyers. Much to her and the team's surprise, Gritty would become an overnight internet phenomenon, generating billions of online impressions, and appearing on Good Morning America, Conan O'Brian, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Before working for the Flyers, she worked in PR and Marketing for UPenn and the National Constitution Center. Sarah got her Bachelor's degree in Strategic and Organizational Communications from Temple University. This episode was recorded live at the PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America. Support Philly Who? Donate via Paypal, Venmo: @podphillywho, Become a Monthly Patron, Purchase a T-Shirt or Hat, Become a Sponsor
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