PAGE Wins Major Foundation Grants To Drive Equitable Growth

PAGE garners local foundation support, major story in Inky 


It’s been a great few months for PAGE.  Recently we won a major grant from the Lenfest Foundation to drive PAGE Prep. The two-year $250,000 grant will enable us to engage with our local Black and Brown-owned businesses and connect them with our anchor partners; crucially, it will also allow us to ensure that local diverse firms have the support they need to build capacity to handle large contracts. We are in dialogue with several major consulting firms to help us build an on-call suite of services tailored to the needs of firms seeking to thrive in institutional supply chains.  The Lenfest grant comes on the heels of a $200,000 grant award from the Barra Foundation at the end of 2020.  Needless to say, I’m thrilled with the support and we are ready to roll up our sleeves! 


Also last week, PAGE was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer highlighting ways that our anchor institutions and their peers are working with intentionality to use their collective purchasing power to boost local Black and Brown-owned businesses. The Inky story features a major PAGE success story, EMSCO Scientific, as well as an innovative approach to capital projects featuring PAGE Real Estate Committee member Craig Williams and Pride Enterprises. 


In other PAGE news, on February 17, 50+ local investors and investment professionals - hailing from banks, CDFIs, funds, foundations, family offices, financial advisories, and early-stage investor groups - joined us for the founding meeting of the PAGE Capital Subcommittee. Led by PAGE Partners Megan McFadden and Cory Donovan of Impact PHL, John Moore of Social Venture Circle, and the Economy League PAGE Team J’nelle Lawrence and Kenyatta James, the meeting outlined the mission of PAGE Capital - an interdisciplinary investor network providing capital-related resources to local Black and brown businesses to win and service large anchor contracts. The agenda included an overview of PAGE and PAGE Capital, a discussion of the Capital Advisory Committee’s role, and a presentation by Alexander Perry, a local Black-woman-owned business that is seeking capital resources to expand the firm. The Capital Committee plans to meet monthly to advance racial equity and justice, map capital opportunities, and connect capital resources to Black and brown-owned businesses.  The work of PAGE Capital is supported by a grant from the US Economic Development Agency’s Build to Scale Program.  


A week later we launched the PAGE Real Estate & Construction Subcommittee, dedicated to expanding participation of Black and brown firms in the real estate and construction projects at anchor institutions.  More than thirty local business leaders, including general contractors, construction managers, developers, and representatives of major anchor institutions convened to discuss PAGE, the mission of the committee, and ways in which the group will build strategies to advocate for equity in the real estate & construction space.  The Committee will advocate for lowering barriers to inclusion in institutional capital projects in four key areas: building a diversity ecosystem, including diversity as a key dashboard metric in the bid process for our anchor partners, creating actionable consequences, and creating support structures with vendors and intermediaries in insurance, bonding, co-bonding and financing.  We will be looking at models from Philadelphia and elsewhere that have proven to grow capacity among local diverse contractors.    


Committee profile pictures

The Committee will be led by 5 esteemed co-chairs: Blane F. Stoddart President and CEO, BFW Group Construction Project Management; Patricia Thomas-LaRoche, CEO of Cameron & Associates 8, LLC; Clayton Mitchell, Senior Vice President, Real Estate and Facilities, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals; Mike Delaney, Executive Vice President of L.F. Driscoll, LLC; and Donald E. Moore, Senior Vice President, Real Estate, Facilities & Operations at CHOP. (See this recent piece in the Philadelphia Business Journal on Don’s hiring at CHOP.)   


Though we only scheduled an hour for the meeting, we quickly ran out of time as the conversation flowed freely and several affinity groups coalesced organically, a great sign of a productive meeting. With so many projects planned in the sector in coming years, we are hopeful that this committee will provide a structured way for project owners and diverse suppliers to build the relationships that we know are key to increasing access and ultimately to success in the sector.    


I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Board members Peter Grollman of CHOP, Jeff Cooper of Penn, Hugh Lavery of Jefferson, and Marcy Rost of IBX for bringing and keeping their organizations at the PAGE table, as well as our amazing co-chairs Maria F. Roberts of MFR Consultants and Harold T. Epps of Bellevue Strategies.  We look forward to a productive 2021 for PAGE!