ULI Philadelphia: Economic Development Progress in York, Lancaster, and Harrisburg


2023-09-19T11:00:00 - 2023-09-19T14:00:00

Choose Your Calendar


    Southern Market Lancaster 100 S Queen Street Lancaster, PA 17603 United States


    Standard Pricing Until September 17 Members Non-Members
    Private $60.00 $80.00
    Public/Academic/Nonprofit $50.00 $70.00
    Retired $50.00 N/A
    Student $30.00 $40.00
    Under Age 35 $40.00 $55.00
    Refunds can be requested within 24 hours by contacting [email protected]. Advance registration closes Sept. 17 at 11:59pm. $15 surcharge applied to on site registrations.

    Cities throughout Pennsylvania are evolving at a rapid rate. Whether it be the ever-changing infrastructure demands, the need for creative developments, or making our cities more viable for the future.

    Join us to hear from mayors of three prominent Pennsylvania Cities: Harrisburg, Lancaster and York. These Mayors will share their visions, strategic plans, challenges and highlights for their respective cities. We will also hear from the mayors on their cities post-pandemic development and how they are utilizing the federal pandemic relief funding. This event will also showcase the most exciting upcoming urban projects and how we can work together as a region to create better developments, communities, and economic growth. Presented by the ULI Philadelphia Central Pennsylvania Council.
    This program will include lunch and networking before and after the conversation.  
    • Mayor Michael Helfrich, York 
    • Mayor Danene Sorace, Lancaster
    • Mayor Wanda Williams, Harrisburg 
    • Emcee/Moderator: Scott LaMar, Host and Executive Producer of The Spark program on WITF-FM  
    Sponsorship Opportunities

    To increase visibility for your company and to support the goal of showcasing economic development in the Central Pennsylvania region, please consider sponsorship. Click here for more information.



    Wanda Williams

    Mayor of Harrisburg, City of Harrisburg

    The Honorable Wanda R.D. Williams currently serves as the 39th Mayor of the City of Harrisburg. She was sworn into office on January 3rd, 2022 by Commonwealth Court Judge Lori Dumas. The Mayor is a proud lifelong resident of Harrisburg, and a graduate of William Penn High School and Harrisburg Area Community College. She has been married to her husband Jerome “Jerry” K. Williams for 43 years, and together they have 5 children, 18 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. After a career with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Wanda was first elected to Harrisburg City Council in 2005 and served as the President from 2010 through 2021. A staunch advocate for city residents, she helped challenge Harrisburg’s Act 47 Plan, resulting in a fairer deal and millions of dollars in savings. Additionally, while on Harrisburg City Council, the Mayor enacted legislation to “Ban the Box” on city job applications and has worked with numerous federal and state agencies to secure more resources for the city. Mayor Williams also serves her community as an executive board member of the Pennsylvania Municipal League, as a Dauphin County Democratic Committeewoman, and as a board member for the Downtown Improvement District. She previously served as a member of the Human Advocacy Commission, as a board member of Rejoice Adoption Agency, and as president of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local Union 3105.


    Scott LaMar

    Host, Executive Producer, WITF

    Scott LaMar has worked in both radio and television for more than four decades. Currently, LaMar is the Host and Executive Producer of The Spark program on WITF-FM, 89.5 & 93.3 in Harrisburg, Pa. Previously, LaMar was WITF TV’s Sr. Public Affairs producer and produced the station’s award-winning weekly public affairs TV program, Smart Talk. In addition to his daily on-air duties, LaMar has moderated political candidate debates, including those for candidates running for Pennsylvania governor and the U.S. Senate, has been a contributor to BBC World News TV since the 2020 U.S. Presidential election and has contributed to ABC News and ESPN radio. LaMar often emcees or moderates local events and has gone as far as California and Chicago to emcee national events. The American Society of Civil Engineers honored LaMar with their national Excellence in Journalism award in 2020. He has been nominated for five Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards. LaMar and The Spark have been recognized throughout the Central Pennsylvania community including ADVOZ Lancaster’s “Dignity in Dialogue Award”, the South-Central Assembly’s “Regional Citizen Award” and was named a “Humanitarian Hero” by The Humane Society of the United States/Pennsylvania. A native of Coatesville, Pa., LaMar has also worked as a broadcast news anchor, sports play-by-play announcer and manager.


    Michael Helfrich

    Mayor of York, City of York

    Michael Helfrich was elected Mayor on November 8th, 2017 and took the oath of office on January 2nd, 2018. In 2001, Michael started the non-profit Codorus Creek Improvement Partnership, leading York’s volunteers in an effort that has since made great progress in restoring York’s main natural resource. Since 2005, Michael has served as the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, a legal and political advocate to improve waterways and communities around central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. Michael served as Judge of Elections from 2003 to 2005 and as an elections inspector and clerk from 2008 to 2010. He was honored with the York City Leader of the Year Award in 2004, and the York County Bar Association Liberty Bell Award in 2005. Michael previously sat on the York County Community Foundation Codorus Watershed Endowment Advisory Board, was Director of the Board of Keep York Beautiful and the Watershed Alliance of York, and wasVice-Chair of the York NAACP Labor and Industry Committee. Mayor Helfrich is a native of the City of York. In his spare time Mayor Helfrich enjoys spending time with his young daughter, Lily, fishing in the Codorus Creek, eating at Central Market, and listening to and playing music around the York community.


    Danene Sorace

    Mayor of Lancaster, City of Lancaster

    Danene Sorace serves as the 43rd Mayor of Lancaster. First elected in 2018, she is the second woman to serve in the role. Mayor Sorace brings her experience as a non-profit leader, environmental advocate, and time on City Council chairing the finance committee to the role of mayor. She has set forth a vision of building a stronger, more equitable Lancaster block by block. Under her leadership, the City of Lancaster is focused on four strategic priorities: strong neighborhoods, safe places, sustainable economy, and sound government. Mayor Sorace has taken on statewide and national roles to ensure Lancaster has the tools it needs to thrive. She is the immediate past president of the Pennsylvania Municipal League, serves on the U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council, and was selected to join the Mayors Innovation Project Institute on Pedestrian Safety. In her time as Mayor, the City of Lancaster launched the Department of Neighborhood Engagement to elevate neighborhoods and empower residents, secured record grant funding to remediate lead and promote safe streets, received the Welcoming City designation, and made historic investments in affordable housing. Additionally, Mayor Sorace has received a Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence, completed the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, and is featured in Politico’s Mayors Club series. Mayor Sorace graduated from Albright College and received her master’s in public policy from Rutgers University. She is a proud School District of Lancaster mom, enjoys bicycling, and is a regular in many of Lancaster’s fabulous small businesses.