More than 150 guests attended City & State PA’s inaugural 50 Over Fifty event on Wednesday at Pipeline Philly’s coworking space overlooking the western expanse of Philadelphia City Hall.

The event, which brought together and recognized the most influential Pennsylvanians in government, business, culture and social services to have passed the half-century milestone, drew people from across the commonwealth to honor the recipients and to hear a keynote speech by Ed Rendell, recipient of the event's Distinguished Service Award.

The former governor and author/pundit/sports columnist/2016 DNC chair, after first explaining how his day starts with letting his dog outside and then scrolling through City & State PA’s First Read while his dog watches him from the other side of the window “and wonders what could possibly be more important than being let back inside,” spoke about the accelerating loss of civility in American politics. Drawing from examples like former Sen. Tom Daschle – “The nicest guy I ever met in politics,” Rendell recalled – only drawing four GOP colleagues to wish him well on his last day in the Senate in 2005, and Sen. John McCain’s legendary rebuke of a woman calling then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama “an Arab” in 2008,  Rendell called upon those present and those in power across the country to step back from the abyss and toward comity. “We need to get back to making politics civil and bipartisan,” he emphasized.

Rendell was introduced by David Boardman, dean of the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University, who used media organizations like Billy Penn and City & State PA to paint a brighter future for journalism than the media itself has led people to expect. In addition to his speaking role, Boardman is one of the 50 Over Fifty recipients. The rest of the honorees:

  • Dr. Nina Ahmad
  • Gene Barr
  • State Senator Camera Bartolotta
  • Representative Stephen Bloom
  • State Senator Michele Brooks
  • Craig Carnaroli
  • Archbishop Chaput
  • John Chin
  • Donna Cooper
  • Steve Crawford
  • Representative Mary Jo Daley
  • Representative Tina Davis
  • Councilman Allan Domb
  • Elizabeth Dow
  • Patrick Eiding
  • Harold Epps
  • Donna Frisby-Greenwood
  • Judge Susan Gantman
  • Jim Gardner
  • Michael Heller
  • Jerry Jordan
  • Andy Kassner
  • Kelly Lee
  • Paul Levy
  • Charlie Lyons
  • Gary Masino Sr.
  • John McNichol
  • David Morehouse
  • Henry Nicholas
  • Denis O'Brien
  • Daniel Onorato
  • Mona Pappafava-Ray
  • Pedro Ramos
  • Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown
  • Governor Tom Ridge
  • RoseAnn Rosenthal
  • Peter Shelly
  • Michael Smerconish
  • Dr. Stephen Tang
  • State Sen. Christine Tartaglione
  • Representative John Taylor
  • David Thornburgh
  • Ken Trujillo
  • Judge Sallie Updyke Mundy
  • Roy Wells
  • Secretary Robin Wiessmann
  • Judy Wicks
  • Rob Wonderling
  • Judge Dwayne Woodruff

The evening's honorees assembled for a group photo after being recognized for their achievements

 

L-R, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Mollie Mcenteer poses with honorees PA Sen. Christine Tartaglione and Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown

 

From left: Kristin Crawford, her husband, honoree and SR Wojdak President Steve Crawford, honoree and Triad Strategies President/Managing Director Roy Wells and his wife, Sharon

 

Honorees John Chin, executive director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, and Ken Trujillo, of Chamberlain Hrdlicka Law Firm

 

Honorees Donna Frisby-Greenwood, president/CEO of the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, and David Thornburgh, president/CEO of Committee of Seventy

 

A crowd of 150 people packed Pipeline Philly to hear Ed Rendell speak about the loss of civility in American politics

 

David Boardman, Dean, Temple's Klein College of Media and Communication, was one of the evening's honorees as well as one of the speakers