GPLEX 2024 San Diego

We are headed to sun-soaked San Diego for the 19th annual Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange (GPLEX) conference! We'll be convening there on October 18th-21st, 2024.  Stay tuned for more!

The GPLEX 2024 application will be open April 12th to July 12th. 

Click here to apply!

Graphic of La Jolla with GPLEX San Diego announcement spread over beach

A few words from our Director...

GPLEX 2024 co-chair headshots layered on top of beach graphic.

Meet our 2024 Co-Chairs!

For our 19th GPLEX, we were honored to have four distinguished leaders and GPLEX alumni at the helm, each leaving a significant impact across various sectors. Serving as Co-Chairs, they are the visible faces of GPLEX, driving cohort recruitment and selection, shaping discussions, and guiding our cohort of outstanding leaders throughout the conference week. These individuals, hailed as "leaders of leaders," boast impressive credentials and offer valuable insights on driving tangible change for our region through the GPLEX program. Explore their profiles below to learn more about them!

Photo of Mari Gonzalez

Maridarlyn Gonzalez, known as Mari, is a senior researcher with Pew’s Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative (PRPI), focusing on immigration, neighborhood development, equitable infrastructure, and the annual State of the City report. Aside from her work, she takes great pride in being an immigrant, a product of Philadelphia's public school system, and for being raised in North Philadelphia.

Gonzalez has prior experience in housing, transportation, public engagement, and community development. Before coming to Pew, she worked in shelters and managed a bi-state housing and energy conservation program. Gonzalez also worked at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, supporting public participation, transportation related projects, and English proficiency initiatives.

Mari is member of the Urban Land Institute and serves as the ULI Americas, Young Leaders Group DEI co-chair. ULI YLG steering committee oversees programs in Canada, the US, and Latin America. In this role, she advocates for equitable development and challenges people to consider cities and their neighborhoods as ecosystems. She serves as the President on the Board of Philadelphia's League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) council. While serving on LULAC's board, Mari brought meaningful programming through the Cafe Con Leche Series. Through her leadership and knowledge of geospatial information, LULAC Philly created a map of people whose first language is Spanish and provided that map to poll office volunteers to better place interpreters. Mari also serves on the Board of Dominicans in the Delaware Valley, an organization celebrating the Dominican community's culture and contribution through panel discussions and the city's annual flag-raising event.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in geoscience, energy, and policy from the Pennsylvania State University and a master’s in geospatial technology and geodesign from Thomas Jefferson University.

Photo of Neferteri Strickland

Neferteri Strickland is a Cybertechnology Strategist, military officer and adjunct professor who aligns with her communities through emerging technology initiatives in K-20 Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education. Neferteri’s current projects include establishing a K12 Cybersecurity Career Ambassador Program with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s NICE Community of Interest and serving as the 2024-2025 Haub School of Business Innovation Center Director.

At the start of the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic Neferteri launched TEACHERS & the Design to Disrupt community to support education stakeholders navigating the future of education.
She, her loving husband, and two amazing children, reside in the Greater Philadelphia Region where she serves as an adjunct professor in Blockchain Technology at Saint Joseph’s University and a lecturer at The Wharton School of Business.

Headshot of Beth Diffley

Elizabeth Diffley is a partner with Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, where she serves as a leader of the firm’s full-service environmental, social and governance (ESG) practice.

Beth advises companies and their boards on corporate and securities matters and transactions, including public company governance and reporting compliance, ESG issues, capital raising transactions, shareholder proposals and activism, executive compensation, and executive and director succession matters. She has advised clients on major transactions, sensitive disclosure matters, and complex governance issues, with a particular focus on Delaware and Pennsylvania corporate law and financial matters. She serves on the Title 15 committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, through which she has been involved in drafting amendments to the Pennsylvania corporations and nonprofit corporations laws. Prior to law school, Beth worked in audit for a Big 4 accounting firm.

A dedicated listener and life-long learner, Beth is committed to gender justice, education, inclusive economic development and shared prosperity, and civic and community engagement. She supports these efforts through board service and leadership in local nonprofit organizations.

Her personal interests include speaking and studying French and traveling and exploring cultures through their food, architecture, art and history. Beth is always game for a new adventure, especially if it involves high quality chocolate.

Image of Phil Rhym

As a Manager at MFR, Philip Rhym serves as Project Manager on engagements within the IT practice area. He has a strong background in the analysis and documentation of business processes as well as strategic planning and implementation skills. At MFR, his responsibilities include requirements research and gathering, document analysis, conducting requirements workshops, developing use cases, and preparing task and workflow analysis.

Phil attended the Johns Hopkins University and is a Certified SCRUM Master. Phil also served 3 years as a Pennsylvania State Trooper.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange is comprised of 200 Philadelphia area leaders who are mission driven and encompass the region's biggest sectors. Attendees are selected through a fairly competitive application process that takes into consideration; company, title, personal identifying demographics, and intention. 

Meeting demographic goals that reflect the larger demographics of the city and region are crucial in being able to maintain a truly equitable space for collaboration.

+ Do you know someone who currently lives in San Diego who would be a great attendee at this conference? Let us know so we can invite them to our on-site programming!

Attend intimate networking opportunities with a +200-person cohort and an alumni network of +1250 attendees. Establish social capital by deepening your network cross-industry and cross-sector, thus creating more opportunities to attend in-person events, foster collaborations, develop new programs, and make local friends. Learn about the best practices, programs, and policies in other organizations, Philadelphia, and other regions to evolve. Grow your understanding of issues that affect our region by learning how other cities handle similar challenges.



Rooms will be available at our hotel between the Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy in Downtown San Diego. A group block link to our hotel booking platform will be provided upon acceptance. Rooms are limited to the first 140 signups. Attendees will pay for their own hotels, but at a discounted group rate.


  • American Airlines - AA2327 

    Friday, October 18th, 2024 

    8:20 AM : Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

    Travel time: 5 h 34 m

    10:54 AM: San Diego International Airport (SAN)

  • American Airlines - AA 1489

    Friday, October 18th, 2024

    3:30 PM: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

    Travel time: 5 h 28 m

    5:58 PM: San Diego International Airport (SAN)


  • American Airlines - AA 1160

    Monday , October 21, 2024

    1:57 PM: San Diego International Airport (SAN)

    Travel time: 4 h 53 m

    9:50 PM Charlotte Douglas International Airport

    30 min layover

    10:20 PM: Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

    Travel time: 1 h 39 m

    11:59 pm: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

  • American Airlines - AA 2051

    Monday, October 21, 2024

    10:43 PM: San Diego International Airport (SAN)

    Travel time: 5 h 17 m

    7:00 AM: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

We worked hard to keep costs down without sacrificing quality, pleased to report we are charging 2023 prices for the 2024 conference. 

Ticket prices are as follows:

$2600 for representatives from companies <$10M

$3200 for representatives from companies >$10M