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Posted on October 31, 2018

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@KimmelCenter hosts 1st annual Bill Rouse Symposium, discussing future of #Philadelphia development, business, and leadership, 11/19. #communityconversation More info @


Press Contact:

Lauren Woodard                                               









A distinguished panel of Philadelphians will explore themes of leadership,

development, and the city’s future


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, October 31, 2018) –– The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is proud to host an inaugural Bill Rouse Symposium on Monday, November 19, 2018 in the Center’s rooftop Hamilton Garden. Paying homage to the great legacy of the late Philadelphia developer Bill Rouse, this event, entitled Shaping a City, Then and Now will explore themes of leadership, visionary business and civic development, and the future of the City of Brotherly Love.


Moderated by Brian Tierney (CEO, Brian and Realtime Media), the distinguished panel of Philadelphians includes: John Fry (President, Drexel University); Bill Hankowsky (Chairman, President, and CEO, Liberty Property Trust); Dan Hilferty (President and CEO, Independence Blue Cross); Feather Houstoun (Senior Advisor, Wyncote Foundation); and Joe Neubauer (Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO, Aramark Corporation).


“We are honored to spearhead the first annual Bill Rouse Symposium at the Kimmel Center, an institution whose very existence is due to the determination and vision of Bill Rouse himself,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “Gathering together those who had the privilege to know and work alongside Bill, this panel will look forward, asking who are the leaders of today shaping the future of Philadelphia in ways as big as Bill?”


Willard G. Rouse III (Bill) created and led Liberty Property Trust and its predecessor Rouse & Associates as a unique and visionary developer – launching development projects such as the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Building, the Society Hill Sheraton, the redevelopment of The Navy Yard, and a generation of new skyscrapers to create a modern skyline. A tough-minded civic leader, Rouse’s achievements included We the People, the National Constitution Center; the Pennsylvania Convention Center; and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.


As part of its Comprehensive Campaign, the Kimmel Center is raising $10 million to create and establish The Bill Rouse Fund, aimed at enhancing and improving its Cultural Campus facilities. With $4 million already raised, the Broad Street building entrance will be renamed ‘The Rouse Entrance’ – an expression of welcoming all community members through the doors.


A non-profit performing arts organization, it is the second largest performing arts center in the nation and the most impactful in the Philadelphia region. A home to eight esteemed Resident Companies, the Kimmel Center presents touring jazz, rock, comedy, Broadway, and more. A catalyst for community conversations, the Center hosts yearly residency programs, is dedicated to accessible programming for all ages and abilities, and is a proponent of education programs for Greater Philadelphia school students. Because of Bill Rouse, the Kimmel Center is able to continue pursuing its vision to transform lives daily through the arts.




Kimmel Center’s Hamilton Garden

Monday, November 19, 2018


3:45 PM – Registration

4:15 PM – Shaping a City, Then and Now

5:15 PM – Cocktail Reception with Garces Events


Bill Rouse Symposium panel participants include:

Brian Tierney – CEO, Brian and Realtime Media

John Fry – President, Drexel University

Bill Hankowsky – Chairman, President, and CEO, Liberty Property Trust

Dan Hilferty – President and CEO, Independence Blue Cross

Feather Houstoun–Senior Advisor, Wyncote Foundation
Joe Neubauer – Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO, Aramark Corporation



Full bios of the Bill Rouse Symposium panel participants are below:



Brian Tierney

CEO, Brian and Realtime Media

Brian Tierney is the CEO of Brian and Realtime Media and is a nationally recognized expert in marketing and communications. Prior to Brian and Realtime Media, Brian was owner and publisher of the Pulitzer-prize winning Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News as well as the Chief Executive Officer of its parent company, Philadelphia Media Holdings. Brian has a distinguished record of building brands for some of the largest companies in the United States such as Exelon, Commerce Bank, Marriott, IBM, Deloitte, Aramark and Independence Blue Cross. He has launched several successful advertising and public relations companies, including T2 Group and Tierney Communications, which he grew to $275 million in billings and sold to the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG). He has served as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has presented at the Milken Institute Global Conference and appeared on the BBC, CNBC, CBS, ABC and FOX. Brian serves on the board of NutriSystem (NASDAQ: NTRI) and Republic Bank (NASDAQ: FRBK), as well as several privately held businesses. He has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Thomas Jefferson University, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Episcopal Academy and the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Brian received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law, and a Doctor of Humane letters from Cabrini College.



John Fry

President, Drexel University

John Fry was appointed Drexel University’s 14th president in 2010 and set out to transform Drexel into a private research university with a strong public purpose — an institution that harnesses its strengths to serve its students, its neighborhood, city and the nation. Prior to Drexel, Fry was president of Franklin & Marshall College, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania, and a partner in the management consulting division of Coopers & Lybrand. Under Fry’s leadership, Drexel is setting a new standard for cooperative education, public-private partnerships, and becoming a powerful force for economic development in Philadelphia. Fry has championed major neighborhood initiatives, negotiated a groundbreaking affiliation with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, launched the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship to foster entrepreneurial learning, and forged a series of academic and research partnerships to enhance Drexel’s global connections in China, Israel, Brazil, Chile, India and South Korea. Also, during Fry’s tenure, Drexel has seen a significant increase in fundraising and a growing number of philanthropic partners. As part of Drexel’s role as anchor institution in the region, Fry announced the creation of Drexel Ventures, a subsidiary enterprise to help faculty and students partner with the private sector to build businesses around their inventions. Fry serves on the boards of Lafayette College, Delaware Investments, Community Health Systems, the Wistar Institute, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, and the Kresge Foundation. He also served two years as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, concluding his tenure in October 2018. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Fry graduated from Lafayette College and earned a master’s degree in business administration from the New York University Stern School of Business.


Bill Hankowsky

Chairman, President, and CEO, Liberty Property Trust

William P. Hankowsky is Chairman, President, & CEO of Liberty Property Trust. Mr. Hankowsky joined Liberty in January of 2001 as Chief Investment Officer, in 2002 he was named President, and in 2003 appointed Chief Executive Officer and elected Chairman of Liberty's board of trustees. Prior to joining Liberty, he served for 11 years as President of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and before that served as the City of Philadelphia's Commerce Director. In 2016, Mr. Hankowsky was honored with the 2016 Community Hero Award by the Heroes Among Us organization, and in 2014, he received the William Penn Award, the highest honor presented to a business executive in Greater Philadelphia. Mr. Hankowsky currently serves on the boards of Aqua America Inc., Citizens Financial Group Inc., the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Philadelphia Shipyard Development Corporation, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Mr. Hankowsky previously served as Chair of the Kimmel Center’s Board of Directors. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Brown University.


Dan Hilferty

President and CEO, Independence Blue Cross

Daniel J. Hilferty is president and chief executive officer of Independence Health Group, parent of Independence Blue Cross, one of the nation’s leading health insurers. Since Mr. Hilferty became CEO in 2010, the company has tripled in size, expanding through its affiliates to 27 states and the District of Columbia and serving 8.1 million people nationwide. Mr. Hilferty’s vision for Independence is to lead the transformation of health care in the region, seeking innovative technologies and new models of care that will increase the quality and lower the cost of care. He led the creation of the Independence Blue Cross Center for Health Care Innovation and has built business collaborations with world-renowned institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania to foster innovation in health care. Mr. Hilferty is a sought-after speaker on leadership, transforming health care, and the role of technology and big data. He is among a select group of nonpartisan health care leaders called upon by government leaders for advice on health care reform. Mr. Hilferty is the immediate past chairman of the board of directors of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and serves on the executive committee of America’s Health Insurance Plans. In addition, Mr. Hilferty is a member of the board of directors for Aqua America, the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, and FS Investment Corporation III. In October, Mr. Hilferty began his tenure as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. In 2015, he served as co-chair on the executive leadership cabinet of the World Meeting of Families, which brought Pope Francis to Philadelphia. Mr. Hilferty earned his undergraduate degree from St. Joseph’s University and master’s degree in public administration from American University.


Feather Houstoun

Senior Advisor to the Wyncote Foundation

Feather Houstoun is the senior advisor for public media and journalism at the Wyncote Foundation. Prior to joining the Wyncote Foundation, she was president of the William Penn Foundation from 2005-2011. During her tenure at William Penn, the foundation worked with other philanthropies to support the growth of leading cultural institutions in Philadelphia, including the Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Opera, and championed the development of high quality public space along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers.  During a long career in the public sector she served on the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, and has worked at every level of government, serving in Cabinet posts as Pennsylvania's Secretary of Public Welfare, Treasurer of the State of New Jersey, and as chief financial officer of SEPTA, and a local elected township committeewoman. Houstoun was an executive with United Health and a senior visiting scholar at the Fels Institute, and writes regularly on public management issues. She is a graduate of the Universities of Arizona and Texas.


Joe Neubauer

Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO, Aramark Corporation

Founder and Trustee, Neubauer Family Foundation

Joe Neubauer was Chairman of the Board of ARAMARK Corporation from April 1984 until February 2015. Mr. Neubauer joined Aramark in 1979 as Executive Vice President of Finance and Development, Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. He was elected President in 1981, CEO in 1983 and Chairman in 1984. He held the title of CEO until May 2012. Prior to Aramark, Neubauer held senior positions with PepsiCo, Inc. and Chase Manhattan Bank. Mr. Neubauer has been recognized throughout his career for civic and professional achievements. He was conferred with Papal Honors, Knight in the Order of St. Gregory The Great in 2016. In 2015 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In 2013, Neubauer received the William Penn Award, the highest honor presented to a business executive in Greater Philadelphia. For his civic involvement he received the prestigious Philadelphia Award in 2012. Also in 2012, Neubauer was a Great Immigrants - Pride of America Honoree by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.  In 2010 he was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal from the University of Virginia.  He received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship and was named a Financial Times Outstanding Director in 2005.  In 1994 he was inducted into the prestigious Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. He has been a member of the American Philosophical Society since 2007. Mr. Neubauer serves on the Board of Directors of Mondelēz International. He is Chairman of the University of Chicago’s Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Barnes Foundation’s Board. He was formerly a director of Verizon Communications, Macy’s, Inc., and Tufts University. Mr. Neubauer received his Bachelor’s Degree from Tufts University and his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago.


The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, the Kimmel Center’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience through diverse programming, arts education, and community outreach. The Kimmel Center Campus is comprised of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, SEI Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center), the Academy of Music (owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association), and the Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center is also home to eight Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is the region’s most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is the season sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2018-2019 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit


For a PDF version of this press release, click here.

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