Urban League of Philly honors graduates of leadership program

Greg El of TriZen, left, Alexander James of AmeriHealth Caritas, Chan-Elle Vassell of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Tomeka Lee of TriZen and Maddie Baranowski of Comcast Corporation pose during the 2014 Urban Leadership Forum commencement. (Abdul Sulayman/Tribune Chief Photographer)

After participating in a leadership program, some of the region’s professionals are now poised to move forward in their respective careers.

Twenty-eight professionals wrapped up their participation in the Urban League of Philadelphia’s (ULP) Urban Leadership Forum (ULF) during a commencement held on Friday at Independence Blue Cross offices. The ULF is part of the ULP’s commitment to creating a pipeline of knowledgeable and informed corporate and civic leaders.

The 2014 ULF class represented the following companies: AmeriHealth Caritas, Aqua America, Bank of America, Blue Cross, Comcast, Enterprise Holdings, Free Library of Philadelphia, PECO, TD Bank, Teva Pharmaceuticals, The Boeing Company, AmeriHealth DC, AmeriHealth of South Carolina and the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia.

“One of the fundamental things that we want all of our participants to go through is to understand where they are in their career and what they want to accomplish,” said Greg El, co-founder of TriZen, LLC and ULF facilitator.

TriZen, a business consulting and leadership development company, has been facilating the forum for the last six years.

The ULF focuses on four key areas including self, organization, community and legacy.

The forum is geared toward professionals with more than 10 years of experience who seek to move to the next phase of their careers. Members of the 2014 class spent the last seven months learning how to become a more effective leader in their respective workplaces and within the community. During the sessions, participants had the opportunity to hear from about 20 executives and leaders in the region.

Rosalyn McPherson, the new president and CEO of the ULP shared words of inspiration during the commencement event.

“Hopefully this is but one of many forums, programs, classes and seminars and learning experiences that you will have along the way. What we invest in our professional development and the opportunities that we give ourselves for personal reflection are very critical elements of our growth in the business world and in our ability to be impactful citizens,” McPherson told the graduates.

Forum graduates participated in community service presentations on Friday morning. The event also served to highlight regional business leaders and organizations that have supported the forum. During the event, AmeriHealth Caritas was named Sponsoring Corporation of the Year. The award was accepted by AmeriHealth Caritas CEO Paul Tufano.

Established in 1988, the ULF is Philadelphia’s first leadership forum designed to identify and train minority leaders and to develop a forum for promoting leadership in all sectors of society.

The forum’s mission is to bring together African Americans, Latinos, Asians and other minorities from diverse backgrounds who will advocate for those in need, interpret issues and form a pool of knowledgeable and well-informed leaders. More than 500 participants have graduated from the program since its inception.

The next class will begin in January 2015. Recruitment for the next cohort begins in September.

Contact staff writer Ayana Jones at (215) 893-5747 or ajones@phillytrib.com.

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