Paul R. Levy is President & CEO of Philadelphia’s Center City District (CCD), serving in that capacity since January 1991. Mr. Levy planned, received property owner and legislative approval for the $18.7 million downtown management district, which provides security, hospitality, cleaning, place marketing, promotion, and planning services for the central business district of Philadelphia. To date, the CCD has also completed $56 million in streetscape, park, lighting and façade improvements.
James R. Pearlstein is the founder and President of Pearl Properties, a full service investment real estate company focused on the development, acquisition, ownership and management of residential, commercial and mixed-use properties throughout Philadelphia and Chicago. With more than 15 years of real estate experience in Center City, Philadelphia, Mr. Pearlstein's company has completed nearly 100 acquisitions. As a long term owner of real estate, Mr. Pearlstein's company is known for its A+ locations, its dedication to high quality property management as well as its unparalleled commitment to the neighborhoods where it invests.
Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Pearlstein has been a leader in the redevelopment of several important properties in Philadelphia's most prestigious locations, including Rittenhouse Square, Wash West, Fairmount, Olde City, Logan Square and along the Avenue of the Arts.
Prior to founding Pearl Properties, Mr. Pearlstein spent 4 years in senior management at Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE: TOL) where he directed special acquisitions, including the acquisition of land and investment properties. Mr. Pearlstein, a graduate of Georgetown University (BA) and Temple University's Law School and Business School (JD-MBA), grew up in the Philadelphia area and presently resides in the area with his wife and three children.
Sara Doelger is an Associate Director of Redevelopment at Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust. Sara is responsible for redevelopment projects within the company’s portfolio, with a focus on urban projects in downtown Philadelphia, PA. Sara’s experience prior to joining PREIT includes the development of multi-family, retail, and mixed-use properties.
Sara holds a B.A. in Urban Studies and Classical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Masters of City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Sara also earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Palmer Scholar and Co-President of the Wharton Real Estate Club.
Sara is active in the Urban Land Institute’s Philadelphia District Council as the chair of the Roundtable Series, and she founded the Indiana District Council of ULI in 2007. Sara also serves on the Boards of the Philadelphia Civil War Museum and Summer Search Philadelphia. She is the chair of the Retail Caucus of the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance, and is a member of the events committee of Philadelphia Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).
Chris Terlizzi is a Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for Commercial Real Estate Lending at First Niagara Bank where he is responsible for Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New England. His career in commercial banking and real estate lending spans more than 37 years and includes executive leadership positions at Citizens Bank, Fleet Bank and Fidelity Bank in addition to founding principal roles at Laurier Capital Advisors, LLC and PREIT Capital Advisors.
He is expert at building and operating commercial real estate lending platforms, specializing in project specific transactions as well as enterprise level debt capitalization. As a senior banking executive, Chris has had full P & L responsibility for over 15 years in enterprises that have topped $3.5 billion in commercial real estate assets with net annual earnings of more than $80 million. In this capacity, he has been responsible for managing business origination, underwriting, approval, closing, servicing, restructuring, workouts, policy, compliance and portfolio management with a focus on the Mid Atlantic region.
Chris is the current chairman of ULI Philadelphia, a non-profit education and research institute whose mission is to provide responsible leadership in the use of land. ULI Philadelphia encompasses more than 1,100 members throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, the southern half of New Jersey and the State of Delaware. In addition, he serves on the boards of Central Philadelphia Development Corporation, Center City District, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania and the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. He is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration.
Dan and his wife, Alison Fritz, moved into the Passyunk Square neighborhood in 2008. Born in the Roxborough section of the city, Dan grew up in Upper Darby, attended St. Joseph's Prep and has a bachelor's degree in Government from Harvard University. Throughout his career, Dan has been a teacher, coach, and roofer as well as the Policy Director on a statewide U.S. Senate campaign, and the head of multi-year journalism project at WHYY, He is currently Vice President, Digital for a major political consulting firm. In his spare time he helps with outreach for the South Philly Food Co-op and is on the vestry of Christ Church Philadelphia.
Jim Gallo is a lifelong resident of South Philadelphia. He attended South Philadelphia High School and soon after graduation began a 5 year apprenticeship with a local cabinet maker. In 1983, Gallo opened his own cabinet business, which he sold in 1998 to move onto other endeavors.
That same year, Gallo and his wife opened their first daycare center. With her 17 years of experience in daycare center operation and management and his success with running a small business, they grew that daycare into four establishments on the East Passyunk Avenue Corridor. They started out with just 30 children and now offer care to over 230, including some children of alumni from their early years. This growth created 37 jobs, with most of their employees drawn from the neighborhood.
With the daycare running smoothly, Gallo was able to dedicate some time to his love of the arts and ran an art gallery on East Passyunk from 2005-2008. While the gallery has closed, he is still an avid collector.
In 2004, Gallo joined the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District, which offers services, including street cleaning and greening, business recruitment and retention, promotion and marketing for 300 commercial properties and 200 businesses located on a 10-block commercial corridor in Philadelphia. He was elected Treasurer in 2005 and Chair in 2009 and also serves as the organization’s Promotions Committee Chair, which oversees all marketing initiatives and over 30 special events each year.
Gallo and his wife reside on East Passyunk Avenue above one of their daycare centers with their two daughters.
Maria is a lifelong resident of South Philadelphia and East Passyunk Avenue business and property owner. She has a keen interest in seeing the absolute best for the business district and surrounding community. She and he husband currently own and operate Reliable Floor Covering Company along with 1600 Below Vintage located at 1600 East Passyunk Avenue.
Reliable Floor Covering Company is a family owned business that has been in operation since 1895. Her father, who has worked for the company since he was a young boy, purchased the business from the original owners in the early 1980's. Maria’s husband joined in operating the business in 2003. Early in 2009 she noticed a change in area residents. Homeowners were getting younger, “hipper” and coming from many diverse backgrounds. Since the flooring industry was not flourishing at the time, she decided to transform her lifelong hobbies of collecting vintage clothing, art, and house wares, and creating and handcrafting costume jewelry into a second business. Her hope was to appeal to the new neighbors. A quick renovation in the basement of their store became 1600 Below Vintage.
This location has afforded Maria a bird's eye view of the many changes that have occurred in the past few years. She sees this as only the beginning of the renaissance of the Avenue and realizes the potential of this ever growing and expanding area. She believes there is still much work to be done. So many new and exciting stores and restaurants are opening up and down the Avenue and she will work to implement many more organized activities on a regular basis and raise the profile of East Passyunk Avenue throughout the City and region.