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Philly Forward: A Tourism Symposium

November 12, 2022

A few in-person spots have become available. If you are interested in attending, please sign up in the APT Store

The Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides (APT) is planning an all-day event on Saturday, November 12, with speakers and panels covering current topics of interest in Philadelphia. In this new post-covid world, how will Philadelphia retain its global importance? What initiatives are on the horizon and what impact will they have on tourists and residents? What information can be shared with tour guides, other tourism professionals, and members of the public to enable them to promote the city to visitors in the best possible way?

Panel and speaker sessions will focus on current trends and upcoming initiatives involving tourism, development and revitalization, arts and culture, the nation’s 250th birthday celebrations, and the food scene. The event will be held at the First Unitarian Church (2125 Chestnut Street). It seems appropriate for tour guides to learn about Philadelphia’s current initiatives in a building designed by Frank Furness who would have certainly thought he was meeting the needs of the rising industrial city – and the event falls on his birthday! Click here for the official event flyer: Philly Forward Flyer.

The following panels and speakers are confirmed:


Keynote: “Philadelphia Tourism”
Angela Val, President and CEO of Visit Philadelphia

Development & Revitalization
Joseph A. Forkin, President of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Waterfront Reborn: Public Spaces, Connections, and Development
Sandra Dungee Glenn, Founding Partner, The Growth Collective, “Philly Forward: Real Estate as a Portal to Equitable Growth for All”
Alan Greenberger, Vice President of Real Estate & Facilities at Drexel University, “The Emergence of Philadelphia as a Center for Life Sciences”

“Beyond Old City: Philly Arts Outside of Downtown”
Peter Crimmins, WHYY Arts and Culture Reporter


The Nation’s 250th Birthday Celebrations
Michael Norris, Executive Director of Carpenters’ Hall, “2024–Planning a Collaborative Anniversary Commemoration”
Rep. Jared G. Solomon, 202nd District/ Philadelphia County, “America250PA: Pennsylvania’s Leading Role in the Planning and Coordination of the Nation’s 250th Birthday”
Danielle DiLeo Kim, Executive Director of PHILADELPHIA250, The 250th in Philly: By the People, For all People
Cynthia MacLeod, Superintendent, and Leslie Obleschuk, Head of Interpretation and Education, Independence National Historical Park, More Than Brick and Mortar; How Inspiration from Independence Hall Lives On in Big and Small Ways

“Hot Meals: Philly’s Food Scene”
Marilyn Johnson, Founder of Philly Grub, “Come for the History, Stay for the Food”
Vance Lehmkuhl, Director of the American Vegan Center, “Vegan Innovations: Past, Present, and Future


The closing reception features vegan treats from  Christina Pirello of Christina Cooks (Baci di Dama cookies); from Alice Leung of Soy Cafe (various plant-based wraps); from Mark McKinney of Primary Plant Based (jackfruit carnitas); and from Chef Reeky of Cheezy Vegan (eggrolls and crab cakes). Plus we’ll have a vegan cheesesteak hoagie tray from Campo’s and then vegetarian but not vegan – two tomato pies from Rione’s as well as eggplant supra bites from Saami Somi in Reading Terminal Market. Plus birthday cake for Frank Furness complete with sponsor logos and a photo of Ben Franklin!

Other highlights include a lunchtime peek at the First Unitarian Church’s sanctuary; book sales and signings with APT authors; door prize of a basket from Reading Terminal Market which includes a $100 gift card; and ample opportunities to network.

As the birthplace of America, Philadelphia has no equal among historical attractions in the United States. Yet the city has retained its appeal beyond history, as demonstrated by its winning National Geographic’s Best City to Visit in 2020, one of two American sites on the magazine’s best trips list. Philadelphia has been paving the way for new ideas and practices even before the country’s founding. As the world emerges from covid isolation, how is Philly poised to move forward? As has always been its modus operandi, how is it carrying a torch into tomorrow? Join us to find out!

Doors open at 8:30 am. Coffee and breakfast snacks will be available. The event starts promptly at 9 am and runs until 5:30 pm. Tickets are available for full and half-day attendance at APT member (individual and corporate) and non-member rates. Livestream Zoom tickets are also available. The event will be recorded on zoom and the recording will be made available to all in-person and zoom attendees.



Full day: $50 member/ $60 non-member/ $80 corporate member (2 members can attend)

Half day: $30 member/ $35 non-member. (Either before lunch, 9 am – 12:30 pm, or after lunch 1:30-5:30 pm). Attendees must email to indicate which time slot they will be attending as space is limited. There is no half day option for corporate members. Single person tour companies who are corporate members can register as an individual member. 

Zoom: full day access ($25 member/ $30 non-member). Zoom is only available for full day accessibility. The event will be recorded on zoom and the recording will be made available to all in-person and zoom attendees. 

Purchase tickets in the APT Store. In-person space is limited so register today!

Currently in-person seats are SOLD OUT. We encourage those interested in attending to sign up for zoom. If in-person spots open up (sponsors not using their complimentary tickets, etc.), we’ll offer them to the zoom attendees first. 

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides (APT) is extremely grateful to all of its sponsors!

GOLD level:
* Jim Murphy, author of Real Philly History, Real Fast – published by Temple University Press
* Jim Houliston author of Big3MMD: History’s Ambidextrous and the Benefits of Mirror Movement Development
* Mitchell Kramer, Philadelphia’s Premier Benjamin Franklin Impersonator

SILVER level:
* Global Philadelphia Association
* WeVenture Philadelphia Tours
* Dialogue Institute of Temple University 
* Campo’s Philly Cheesesteaks
* Free Tours by Foot Philadelphia

BRONZE level:
* Mike Teti
* PA State Representative Mary Isaacson, 175th District/ Philadelphia County
* First Person Tours with Ned Drinker
* Toni Levitt
* Delaware River Waterfront Corporation
* Philadelphia Historic Architecture Tours, phillyPHAT.com, with Reid Addis
* Nick Cvetkovic Tours, tourguidenick.com
* America250PA and PA State Representative Jared G. Solomon 202nd District/ Philadelphia County
* Reading Terminal Market
* Al Cavalari
* Alan Greenberger
* Philadelphia250 with Danielle DiLeo Kim
* The Angelo Pizza
* Soy Cafe with Alice Leung

* Dunkin Donuts
* Federal Donuts
* Christina Cooks with Christina Pirello
* Primary Plant Based with Mark McKinney
* Rione Pizza
* Trader Joe’s
* Iovine Brothers
* Cheezy Vegan with Chef Reeky

Click here for a list of the sponsors: Philly Forward Sponsors


Sponsor the Symposium and get the word about your products, services, or sites out to the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides (APT), the premier organization of guides, docents, and those interested in all things Philly. Visitors to the city trust APT guides for the best, most up to date information on what to do, see, eat, and try. APT’s nationally recognized certification program and continuing education sessions ensure its members represent the city and its character in a truthful and enthusiastic light. Help APT advance its mission while making an impression on those who can carry your message to thousands of people. We are very loyal to our supporters!

Sign up for a sponsorship level in the APT Store. For a printable format of sponsorship levels click here: Philly Forward Sponsorship Levels.

Donations may be cash, the equivalent in food donations, or a mix of both. Please be advised that as APT is a 501(c)(6), donations are NOT tax deductible.

Volunteer Opportunities


There is still plenty of work to be done! Any APT members interested in assisting on the planning committee should contact and All help is welcome and appreciated!




November 12, 2022


First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
2125 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
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