Breaking Ground 2018: Transforming a Region Together

By Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (other events)

Thursday, March 22 2018 7:30 AM 3:30 PM

Breaking Ground 2018: Transforming a Region aims to implement the principles and goals of Connections 2045 – the Long-Range Plan for Greater Philadelphia.  While our region is made up of 352 local governments, we will be better-positioned and more economically competitive if we move forward together, as a region.   This year’s conference celebrates regional cooperation and government efficiency. In keeping with that theme, the keynote speaker—Brian Elms—is an expert in management and government performance.

Concurrent sessions will feature government transparency, sustainable environmental  practices, collaboration between businesses and government, the use of data and metrics, and a celebration of age-friendly communities.  Breaking Ground 2018 is expanding to include a  Learning Lounge, which will feature businesses and tech companies that assist municipal governments in better serving their citizens.

This conference is an opportunity for government officials to engage and learn from each other, whether they are local government staff and officials, planning practitioners, community and economic development professionals, civil engineers, architects, and other professionals who work at various levels of government.  Registration rate includes breakfast, lunch, and conference materials. Complimentary copies Brian Elms’ book, Peak Performance, will be available.  Inquiries should be sent to Karen Cilurso, [email protected]  Reservations are binding unless cancelled in writing by 3/18/2018.  

To pay by check or Purchase Order, please fill out and mail this form with your check:

Breaking Ground 2018 Program

 7:30 am – 3:00 pm                 Learning Lounge Open

Using technology to improve the performance of municipal government is not new, but innovations are constantly evolving.  Many cities are using–or expect to use–a wide range of software tools, technology, and readily-available systems to handle a diversity of needs.  Visit the Learning Lounge and discover trends that are changing how local government can save money and better serve its citizens!

7:30 am                                 Registration Open

7:30 am–8:45 am                  Breakfast with Exhibitors (Learning Lounge)         
NTM Engineering, Inc.
I Keystone Aerial Surveys  
Demonstrations will start at 8:00 am and 8:20 am  

8:30 am                                  Welcome

8:45 am–10:00 am                Sunrise Session: What Do Citizens Really Want? 

Have you noticed that people are getting more demanding about everything? Especially services.  Government pressure is mounting to make communities more citizen-centric. This session will highlight innovative strategies the City of Philadelphia is using to improve the city's relationship with its residents using human-centered design and evidence-based practices. Whether it's redesigning the city's website or rewriting mailers to increase the number of seniors who apply for a water bill discount program, the outcome is better government and better customer service.


Moderator: Jeff Friedman

Anjali Chainani, Policy Director, City of Philadelphia
Liana Dragoman, Deputy Director for the Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation, City of Philadelphia 

10:00 am–10:30 am               Refreshment Break with Exhibitors, Sponsored by Boardman-Hamilton Company & WSP    

Azavea I GovPilot I IntelliMap Consulting I Alta Planning I PA Downtown Center Inc.
Demonstrations will be start at 10:05 am and 10:20 am.  

10:45 am–12:00 pm              Panel Discussions

(Environment)  Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head: Stormwater Management Practices to Improve Water Quality

Connections 2045 outlines strategies that sustain the region’s natural resources through open space preservation, improved air and water quality, and better stormwater management.  Water is an essential element for plants, animals, and people. This session will showcase how municipalities are working with technical practitioners, the scientific community, and the general public to improve and protect surface water quality through improved stormwater management practices and land use policies. Participants will learn about efforts to retrofit stormwater basins, implement eye-catching green stormwater infrastructure, start stormwater fees, and meet state and federal stormwater management requirements.

  • Moderator: The Honorable Michelle Kichline, Chair, Chester County Board of County Commissioners & DVRPC Board Member
  • Ms. Courtney Marm Finneran, CH2M/Jacobs Engineering
  • Mr. Paul Leonard, Township Manager, Upper Dublin Township and the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership
  • Mr. Robert Struble, Watershed Conservation Director, Brandywine Red Clay Alliance

 (Equity) Embracing Age-Friendly Communities 

DVRPC encourages equity by promoting planning techniques that increase economic mobility, create racially and socioeconomically integrated communities, improve educational opportunities, and increase transportation access for people of all ages. Communities throughout our region are moving toward becoming more "age-friendly". These are places where older adults can age actively in the physical, social, economic, and civic life of their community. Learn more about how a community can undertake an age-friendly assessment (Princeton), how the business and Main Street community can be involved (NYC's age-friendly business program), and how housing developers are adapting to the changing needs of an aging society (Presby's Inspired Life).

  • Moderator: Ms. Jody Holton, Director, Montgomery County Planning Commission
  • Ms. Ahsia Badi, Senior Policy Associate, New York Academy of Medicine
  • Ms. Susan Hoskins, Executive Director, Princeton Senior Resource Center
  • Ms. Sarah Jolles, Executive Director of Sales and Marketing,  Presby's Inspired Life

(Transportation) Impact of Downtown Deliveries 

A well-maintained transportation network provides access to our region’s livable communities and results in local economic development, including increased tourism. Recent revitalization in downtown communities has been aided by the current food and beverage tourism trend.  While this increases activity in the downtown, it often is an operational dilemma for vendors who need to service food establishments. This session will highlight the issues and opportunities created by the growing amount of freight activity that accompanies just-in-time delivery,  e-commerce trends, and the food economy.  Speakers from the private sector will share experiences on what drives the delivery activity that sustains a livable downtown rich with commerce.

  • Moderator: Mr. Michael Carroll, P.E., Deputy Managing Director, Office of Transportation and Infrastructure, City of Philadelphia
  • Mr. Gerry Dougherty, Vice President, General Manager,  Gretz Beer Company
  • Mr. Tom Madrecki, Director of Urban Innovation and Mobility, UPS   

(Economy) Who, Where, and Why on Attracting Younger Workers to Government

Expanding the region’s economy is predicated on increasing employment opportunities with the right workforce.  The millennial generations, adults 34 and younger, have dominated the workforce and are not being shy about their preferences.  Attracting and retaining workers to government needs a new strategy! What can government agencies do to remain competitive in the workforce? Hear experts speak about innovative workforce strategies and the benefits to generational differences in the workplace.  

  • Moderator: Ms. Nedia Ralston, Director, Governor's Southeast Regional Office, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania & DVRPC Board Member
  • Mr. Dave Nast, Managing Partners, Nast Partners
  • Ms. Alissa Carpenter, Owner, Everything’s Not Ok, and That’s ok!
  • Ms. Amber Snowden, Communications and Project Manager, Center for State and Local Government Excellence 

12:15 pm– 2:00 pm                Lunch & Lecture

Innovate, Elevate, Repeat by Brian Elms, Peak Performance Expert 

Brian Elms is the Director of Denver’s Peak Academy, an organization that aims to make government fun, innovative, and empowering to citizens and employees!  By training city employees how to eliminate waste, improve efficiency and ultimately create a higher standard of government. Through Peak Academy, trainees learn techniques and strategies for implementing Peak Performance throughout their department, taking personal investment in the city’s continuous improvement initiatives. Lunch and learn about how to take these small innovations to your community. 

Introductions by Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, Bucks County Commissioner  & DVRPC Board Member

2:15pm – 3:30 pm        Panel Discussions                    

(Economy) Internet of Everything: The Future of Work 

DVRPC’s vision for 2045 includes Greater Philadelphia competing on the global stage with increased entrepreneurialism and an expansion of our region’s technology sector.  The Digital Revolution enables this vision to evolve while consumers are demanding more sustainable goods and timely services. As a result, the nature of firms, employment, office space, communications, culture, and workplace practices are changing quickly.  This session will focus on key trends affecting the workplace environment and how to highlight strategies that our region's major employers have used to attract a new workforce.

  • Moderator: Mr. Mark Remsa, Director of Economic Development & Regional Planning, Burlington County Bridge Commission & DVRPC Board Member
  • Ms. Katherine Kish, Executive Director, Einstein's Alley
  • Mr. Josh Sevin, Acting Executive Director, Economy League of Greater Philadelphia
  • Mr.  H. Patrick Clancy, President & CEO, Philadelphia Works

(Livable Communities) Preserving & Expanding Affordable Housing                                                                 

One of the five key principles in the Connections 2045 plan focuses future development in vibrant, healthy, mixed-use livable communities with walkable main streets and downtowns that provide access to green space, live/work opportunities, and preserving and expanding affordable housing options.  Strategic actions must be taken to resolve the maintenance, design, and funding issues that plague our aging public housing facilities to ensure that our housing remains diverse and meets the needs of all populations. This panel will bring together housing experts and municipal officials to discuss recent examples of success in redeveloping outdated public housing, all while preserving affordable residential options.

  • Moderator: The Honorable Mark Squilla, Councilman, City of Philadelphia & DVRPC Vice Chair
  • Mr. Paul Leonard, Township Manager, Upper Dublin Township
  • Mr. Jack O’Byrne, Executive Director & Curator, Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum/Waterfront South Artist Residency
  • Mr. Christopher Trevisani, Director of Development,  Housing Visions

 (Government Efficiency) Making your Municipality Mobile & Tech Savvy                                                                       

DVRPC’s Connections 2045 plan provides examples of government efficiency through more transparency, innovative practices, and the use of data and technology.  Making municipalities mobile beyond the use of websites and email is fundamental today and for the future.  This session will feature strategies on how to include more interactive features for viewers as well as dynamic ways to conduct government business digitally—either through the internet or social media. Learn how you can ensure citizens find the information they seek quickly and effectively given time and budget constraints.   

  • Moderator: Mr. Sean Thompson,  Director, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs & DVRPC Board Member
  • Mr. Steve Ressler, Chief Marketing Officer, Granicus, Founder and President of
  • Mr. James Delmonico, Vice President, GovPilot

3:30 pm                                  Adjournment 

AICP CM Certification Maintenance Credits are approved. (Event ID #9133972)

This event has been approved for AIA Credits.

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Available Sponsorship Levels and Benefits

Wi-Fi Sponsor ($5,000)

Exclusive branding on Wi-Fi landing page
Recognition on introductory slides at educational sessions
Opportunity to make remarks at opening plenary session
Three (3) registrations
Complimentary display space
Full page ad in the program booklet
Recognition on DVRPC website

Millennium Room Sponsor ($2,500)

Recognition on introductory slides at educational sessions
Name on Millennium Room Table Centerpieces 
Two (2) registrations
Complimentary display space
Half page ad in the program booklet
Recognition on DVRPC website

Beverage Break Sponsor ($1,000)

Complimentary registration
Signs placed on all water/coffee tables
Quarter page ad in the program booklet
Recognition on DVRPC website

Registration Sponsor ($1,000)

Complimentary registration
Name on Lanyard Name badges
Quarter page ad in the program booklet
Recognition on DVRPC website

Direct all sponsorship inquiries to Karen Cilurso at 215-238-2876 or [email protected]

Exhibit in the Learning Lounge!

Showcase your organization or service in front of an audience of municipal officials, federal and state employees, non-profit staff, planners, architects, engineers, economic development professionals, and consultants at this one-day conference on government innovation and regional transformation.  The conference will feature dedicated time in the Learning Lounge for attendees.

Benefits Include: 

10x10 display space with 6’ foot skirted table and 2 chairs 
Power supply and Wi-Fi included
Two registrations to conference  
Listing in the Breaking Ground Program, social media feeds and website, and promotional emails ( if submitted by 12/31/17
Pre and post conference lists of attendees
Dedicated demonstration time

Early Bird (ends 12/31/17)
 $350 Nonprofit/Government 
 $450 Private Sector 

Regular Rate (ends 3/15/18)
 $500 Nonprofit/Government 
 $600 Private Sector

To register as an exhibitor, visit

Thank you to our Confirmed Exhibitors and Sponsors!

Alta Planning


Boardman-Hamilton Company


Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance

Downtown NJ



GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. 

Keystone Aerial Surveys

NTM Engineering

PennDOT Connects

Pennsylvania Downtown Center, Inc.

Traffic Planning and Design, Inc.

Signal Service, Inc.

WSP (formerly Parsons Brinckerhoff)


The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice, and related nondiscrimination statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. DVRPC's website,, may be translated into multiple languages. Publications and other public documents can be made available in alternative languages and formats, if requested. DVRPC public meetings are always held in ADA-accessible facilities and in transit-accessible locations when possible. Auxiliary services can be provided to individuals who submit a request at least seven days prior to a meeting. Requests made within seven days will be accommodated to the greatest extent possible. Any person who believes they have been aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice by DVRPC under Title VI has a right to file a formal complaint. Any such complaint may be in writing and filed with DVRPC's Title VI Compliance Manager and/or the appropriate state or federal agency within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory occurrence. For more information on DVRPC's Title VI program, or to obtain a Title VI Complaint Form, please call (215) 592-1800 or email [email protected]

Mailing Address

190 N Independence Mall West 8th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19106