Five of La Salle University’s most distinguished alumni have been named to the 2017 Philadelphia Business Journal POWER 100 list: William Sasso, ’69, Chairman of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young and current member of La Salle University’s Board of Trustees; Dwight Evans, ’75, U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s Second District; Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, ’80; Steve Zarrilli, ’83, President and CEO of Safeguard Scientifics and Chairman of La Salle’s Board of Trustees; and John Grady, ’89, President of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. The POWER 100 list recognizes the most influential people with the most impact in the Greater Philadelphia region, as determined by the PBJ’s editorial board. The complete list can be found here.
Steve Zarrilli, ’83, is President and CEO of Safeguard Scientifics, which provides capital and expertise to fuel the growth of technology-driven businesses in healthcare, financial services, and digital media across. Zarrilli’s leadership in the entrepreneurial ecosystem can be seen throughout Pennsylvania. He is Vice Chairman of the Board at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, which is the leading funder of technology growth companies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is also the current Chairman of La Salle University’s Board of Trustees, a position he has held since 2013. In 2009, he was the recipient of La Salle’s Michael A. DeAngelis Award, honoring individuals for outstanding achievement in the accounting profession. Zarrilli graduated from La Salle University with a bachelor’s of science in accounting. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jim Kenney, ’80, is the 99th and current mayor of Philadelphia. Prior to becoming mayor, Kenney served as a member of Philadelphia’s City Council for 23 years, serving as Councilman at Large from January 1992 to January 2015. Since being elected, Kenny implemented the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, which has helped to enroll 2,000 students in pre-kindergarten, launch 11 community schools, and rebuild Philadelphia parks, recreation centers, and libraries. Kenny’s first year as mayor also saw improved labor relations, pension reform, and glowing reviews for hosting the Democratic National Convention in 2016. Kenney earned a degree in political science at La Salle; he was the first in his family to graduate from college.
Congressman Dwight Evans, ’75, made history when he became the first African-American Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in 1990, holding that position for 20 years. In the true Lasallian spirit of serving the underserved, he has dedicated his career in public service to providing economic and educational opportunities to the poor. He helped to form the West Oak Lane Charter School, which, since its opening in 1998, has educated thousands of students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Most significantly, during his time in the Pennsylvania State Legislature, he created the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, expanding and building grocery stores in food deserts throughout our state. Since 2004, it has brought nearly 100 grocery stores to underserved areas across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that previously had limited access to fresh produce. Congressman Evans earned a bachelor’s degree in English from La Salle University. He was the 1993 recipient of the Warren E. Smith, M.D., ’54, Award, recognizing an outstanding African-American leader in the community.
William Sasso, Esq., ’69, is Chairman of Philadelphia law firm Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young. He currently serves on La Salle University’s Board of Trustees, a position he’s held since 1999. A recognized leader in the law profession, Sasso was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Legal Intelligencer in 2014, which honors “the best the Pennsylvania legal community has to offer.” Recipients of this prestigious honor have “moved forward the legal profession in the state, helped foster the legal education of younger attorneys and stood as examples of some of the best virtues of Pennsylvania attorneys.” Sasso was also the recipient of La Salle’s 2005 Lasallian Leadership Award, an annual award given to an individual who demonstrates outstanding leadership in the corporate, civic, governmental, or religious communities that shapes quality of life in the Philadelphia region. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from La Salle, and his Juris Doctor from Harvard University.
John Grady, ’89, is President of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, the city’s public-private economic development corporation. Tackling one of the largest office/industrial redevelopment projects in the city, Grady oversaw the acquisition and revitalization of Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, a 1,200-acre development offering the region a waterfront business campus committed to smart energy innovation and sustainability. He is active on a number of boards across the City, including the Board of Trustees at La Salle University, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Real Estate Advisory Board, and the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development. Grady graduated from La Salle with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. He is also a graduate of Wharton’s Advanced Management Program.
The POWER 100 list is the work of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s editorial team, “who has about 200 years of combined experience covering business,” according to the complete list published on October 16.