A real estate project designed to support public school teachers is slated for Philadelphia.
D³ Real Estate Development of Philadelphia and Seawall Development Company of Baltimore have announced plans to build the $35 million Oxford Mills – The Center for Educational Excellence at 100 West Oxford St. The 160,000-square-foot, mixed use development will feature 114 apartments and commercial office space created to support educational nonprofits and is anchored by Teach for America’s regional headquarters.
Oxford Mills is a redevelopment of a historically-certified factory complex located in the city’s South Kensington section.
The project was announced during a ceremonial groundbreaking held Wednesday evening that drew education officials, teachers and members of the community.
“This project has a deeper mission and it’s about education. The mission for this project is really to create an environment of support for the men and women, individuals and organizations who are working to improve the quality of education in Philadelphia,” said Greg Hill, principal of D³ Real Estate Development.
“As real estate developers we’re not necessarily experts in education, but it’s our honor and our privilege to be able to use our skills to support this critically important work.”
During the event, Hill gave a brief overview of the extensive process the developers underwent to acquire the property which faced neglect tax delinquencies and defaulted mortgages.
D³ offered educators as well as the South Kensington Community Partners the opportunity to weigh in on the development.
Oxford Mills’ one and two bedroom loft style apartments will feature modern finishes and appliances and washers and driers. The facility will offer amenities such as a fitness center, a courtyard, a resource center with copy machines and free onsite parking. Sixty-eight of the units have been designated for teachers who will receive a discounted rent of under $1,000. The regular rent for an apartment is about $1,300.
The development’s 40,000 square feet of commercial space includes complimentary conference rooms, training rooms, a common kitchen and breakout room. The community will also feature a coffee shop and a nest incubator for emerging educational nonprofits. The commercial space will be available for occupancy in April 2014.
The new development was lauded by Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite.
“I’m glad that some of the teachers in Philadelphia will have the opportunity in this space because this allows us to brand Philadelphia as a place to live, to work, to reflect and to be a part of a community,” said Hite.
Members of PhillyCORE Leaders, a coalition of education leaders working to improve Philadelphia schools, were also on hand to express their support for the development.
Claire Robertson-Kraft, a member of PhillyCORE Leaders said the idea of connection is what resonated with the organization about the Oxford Mills development.
“We don’t see the problem in Philadelphia education being about a lack of engagement or innovation. Rather we think the problem is that too often innovative individuals and innovation organizations are working in isolation across the city in fragmented pockets. We need more efforts to bring together those organizations in a real meaningful way because we all know that the most networked ideas are the ones that are going to be the most successful,” said Robertson-Kraft.
“I think that this space has tremendous potential to connect and leverage the talent that we have here in this region.”
The project is modeled after the Miller’s Court, a Baltimore, Md.-based housing and commercial center for educators and nonprofits that was developed by Seawall Development Company.
The project is largely funded by tax credits. Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. (PIDC) contributed $15 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to the $35 million dollar project; Enterprise Community Investment Inc. provided $10 million in tax credits; and the National Trust Community Investment Corporation chipped in another $9 million.
Oxford Mills was one of the great textile manufacturing companies in Philadelphia. It was once one of the city’s largest dye works factories.
Walter Henry Moss Jr. was a renowned organist who served as White Rock Baptist Church’s minister of music for more than 40 years.
Moss died Wednesday, April 10, 2013. He was 90.
He was born April 14, 1922 to the late Walter Henry Moss Sr. and Carrie Lawrence Moss. He attended Philadelphia public schools.
At the early age of four, Moss demonstrated a serious interest in the piano. When his father purchased a violin for him the very next year, he began to take lessons under the tutelage of such musical greats as Herbert Siegal, Alexander Harris and Margaret Garret. He continued his work in piano and added the bass violin and the organ.
After graduating from Simon Gratz High School, he pursued advanced musical education at Philadelphia Musical Academy, now the College of the Performing Arts, and studied the organ at the Guilmont Organ School in New York City. He continued studying the organ under the late Robert Elmore, a famous 20th century organist, composer and teacher. In later years, Moss studied music at Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.
Moss’ first church membership was at the Wayland Baptist Church. He began to play for worship services there when he was 18 and continued as church organist under his early 30’s. It was also at Wayland Temple that he married the late Martha Ann Mason Moss in 1949. She was a one-time member of the Katherine Dunham Dance Troup.
It was not unusual for Moss to serve two churches concurrently.
While at Wayland Temple, Moss played for the Bethel Presbyterian Church, where he organized a concert choir. In the 1950s, Moss began serving the Sanctuary Choir of St. Paul Baptist Church of Cinnaminson, N.J. as accompanist. He later assuming the position as choir master/organist in which position he served for 25 years.
“Wherever he served, Walter has profoundly touched and markedly improved the musical life of that congregation,” his family said.
Moss’ musical career has included work in the public service sector as well as the religious arena.
He has performed at the New York World’s Fair, at the Academy of Music, at Fort Dix, N.J., and other military installations. In 1950, when the National Baptist Convention met in Philadelphia, he trained and directed a 1,000-voice choir. He also frequently worked with biracial groups promoting black culture.
Since 1967, Moss served White Rock Baptist Church as its minister of music. His service to his church, church community, and the city of Philadelphia, found him even more engaged with progressive activities in church music ministry, including the use of piano, voice, organ, hand bells and other instruments. During his years at White Rock, he also served as organist at Redeemer Moravian Church and Ebenezer Seventh Day Adventist Church.
For a number of years, he also served as national vice president and director of Branches for the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM).
Moss’s accomplishments over his lifetime were many and immeasurable, including many honors and national acclaim.
“These stand in tribute to the labor of one who was faithful in the ministry of music for close to 80 years,” his family said.
He is survived by his sisters, Carrie Moss Cannicle, Dr. Edith Moss Jackson (Dr. Wendell Jackson); nieces, Robin Cannicle (Charles Pinkett), Renee Jackson; godson, Kevin Felton and other relatives and friends.
Moss’s body will lie in state April 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Services will be held April 21 at White Rock Baptist Church, 5240 Chestnut St. Viewing is at 3 p.m. Services will follow at 6 p.m.
Joseph Simmons, known as hip-hop legend Rev. Run, partnered with Novo Nordisk to stress the importance of detecting diabetes early on.
Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result in defects in the body’s ability to produce or use insulin.
Rev. Run has been working with Novo Nordisk’s “Ask.Screen.Know” campaign for about a year. “Ask.Screen.Know” is a national campaign dedicated to increasing awareness of the benefits of diabetes screening and early detection. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 90 years of leadership in diabetes care.
Rev. Run will share his message of early detection following Bright Hope Baptist Church’s 10:15 a.m. service on April 21.
He has gone from being fearful of getting screened for diabetes to encouraging others learn whether or not they have it. Rev. Run was concerned that he might have diabetes because he had the risk factors. His father had diabetes.
“I was afraid to be screened but I did it,” he said.
“I was going to my doctor for my regular checkups but I didn’t know about getting screened for diabetes.”
After being screened, Rev. Run learned that he didn’t have diabetes, however he was spurred to make some lifestyle changes and lose weight.
“I tell people what you don’t know, you can’t fix. That’s been a part of my life – telling people to confront things,” said Rev. Run, who is an ordained Pentecostal minister.
“I tell people not to be afraid. Some people don’t want to go to the doctor because they don’t want to know. I just tell people to go forth and do it while you’re afraid and do it for the ones you love.”
In addition to visiting various churches, Rev. Run spreads his message via social media through the use of Twitter.
Rev. Run co-founded Run D.M.C., as a lead vocalist along with Darryl “DMC” McDaniels and the late DJ Jason “Jam-Master Jay” Mizell.
During his presentation at Bright Hope, Rev. Run will address his move from rap to ministry and the importance of getting screened for diabetes.
He will be joined by Jeanette Jordan, diabetes educator who will speak about risk factors for diabetes and guide the audience through a risk assessment test.
Rev. Run’s awareness push comes at a time when African Americans are disproportionally affected by diabetes. The American Diabetes Association notes that almost five million African Americans aged 20 and older have the disease. Diabetes affects an estimated 25 million people in the United States.
Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease, include being 45 years or older, lack of physical exercise, being overweight, having high blood pressure and diabetes in the family. Type 2 diabetes is more common in certain ethnic groups including African Americans, Hispanic, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and American Indians and Alaska Indians.
Diabetes can lead to various health complications including blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke and amputations.
For information about the campaign visit askscreenknow.com.
Business executives recently shared successful strategies during a panel discussion held by the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware Minority Supplier Development Council.
The “Demystifying Success” panel moderated by Curtis R. Conner, vice president, G&C Environment Services, Inc., highlighted the best corporate supply chain and minority business enterprises (MBE) operational practices.
Panelists included Michael K. Robinson, program director, Global Supplier Diversity for IBM; Maurice L. Williams, regional supplier diversity manager, Pepco Holdings; Luis Liceaga, president, Impact Dimensions, LLC; Michael G. Horsey, managing partner, Philadelphia Office, Mitchell & Titus; David Groomes Sr., vice president, Supply Chain Management, U.S. Facilities, Inc. and Todd Rose, president and CEO, Telrose Corporation.
“Given the ever-changing landscape in business, through the PA-NJ-DE MSDC’s general meeting, we continue to bring the most up-to-date information on supplier business development and corporate supply chain management. The general meeting features the best corporate and MBE leaders sharing information on successful approaches and strategies to compete in the global economy,” said Wade Colclough, PA-NJ-DE MSDC president and CEO.
There were common threads throughout the panel discussion. Many of the panelists advised MBEs seeking to become suppliers to thoroughly research the company they seek to conduct business with. The research should range from identifying key leadership, understanding the corporate culture, to the products and services that the company is buying.
“You would be surprised how many people are ill-prepared at that first meeting. Do the research. That’s the most critical thing I will say. Understand who is your competition. Understand what differances you from that competitor. What’s that extra value that you are going to bring to the process,” said Robinson, who is responsible for leading IBM’s supplier diversity initiatives in the U.S., Latin America, Canada, Europe, Asian and South Africa.
Robinson said suppliers should understand that corporate procurement teams are risk adverse.
“You’re new and you’re trying to get into that company, understand how you are going to make that procurement professional a success and how are you going to reduce the amount of risk in moving from a proven to a new supplier.”
Since 2006, IBM has spent in excess in $2 billion worldwide with diverse enterprises.
During the forum, owners of MBEs shared some of the strategies that made their firms successful.
Rose, who leads Telrose Corporation, said addressing the customers’ needs is critical to the success of the multimillion office supply service company.
“What is important is we have to understand what is important to our customer. If we continue to do that, then we will continue to be successful,” said Rose.
“If we matter to their business goals than we become a part of the fiber of what they do on a day-to-day basis and they are going to continue to come to us, even if it’s outside of what our core business offerings are.”
Headquartered in Philadelphia, the PA-NJ-DE MSDC represents more 135 corporate members and 425 MBEs with more than 35,000 employees throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware.
Kirklond Jones, also known as “Kirk,” was a deacon at Living Water Christian Fellowship.
He died on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Penn Rittenhouse Hospice from complications of lung cancer. He was 53.
He was born June 10, 1959 in Philadelphia. He grew up in Washington, D.C. and returned to reside in Philadelphia for most of his adult life.
After having served in the United States Army, Jones enjoyed a long career as an employment management specialist for MTC Job Corps.
The greatest loves of his life were his family and kingdom-building for Jesus Christ, which he expressed in his service as a deacon at Living Water Christian Fellowship.
He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Lila, and daughters Andrea and Alexandra.
Services will be held April 17 at Living Water Christian Fellowship, 2949 W. Clearfield St. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is in Merion Memorial Park, Bala Cynwyd.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Living Water Christian Fellowship Fund in Jones’ memory.