ULI Philadelphia: Shared Solutions – Lehigh Valley “3 City Coalition” Mayoral Forum


2023-05-23T11:00:00 - 2023-05-23T13:30:00

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    Lafayette College 730 High St Farinon College Center Easton, PA 18042 UNITED STATES

    Join ULI Philadelphia’s Lehigh Valley Council for a roundtable discussion with the Mayors of the three cities within the Lehigh Valley; Mayor Sal Panto from Easton, Mayor William Reynolds from Bethlehem, and Mayor Matt Tuerk from Allentown. Hear from the Mayors on their “3 City Coalition” partnership and how they are working together on shared solutions to housing, homelessness, and sustainability, within their own cities and regionally. The program will include a light lunch and networking before and after the roundtable discussion. 

    Speakers (list in formation):
    • Mayor Sal Panto from Easton
    • Mayor J. William Reynolds from Bethlehem
    • Mayor Matt Tuerk from Allentown
    Lafayette College Farinon College Center, Marlo Room
    11am - 12:00pm - Registration, Networking, Lunch
    12pm - 12:15pm - Welcome Remarks
    12:15pm - 1:10pm - Mayoral Presentations & Moderated Q&A
    1:10pm - Audience Q&A
    1:30pm - Conclude
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    J. William Reynolds

    Mayor, City of Bethlehem

    A lifelong resident of Bethlehem, J. William Reynolds graduated Magna Cum Laude from Moravian College in 2003 with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. William became the youngest City Council member in Bethlehem’s history in 2007 following his successful challenge to a slate of incumbent Council members. In 2014, William was elected by his colleagues to serve as President of City Council, a position he was re-elected to in 2016. As President of City Council, William launched Bethlehem 2017 – a set of policy initiatives aimed at making Bethlehem a more progressive community. As state and national inaction on climate issues continued, William led the way in helping Bethlehem to establish its first Climate Action Plan. William also proposed and created NorthSide 2027 – a reinvestment strategy and public/private partnership for north Bethlehem’s neighborhoods that includes citizens, local businesses, the Bethlehem Area School District and Moravian College. Bethlehem broke new ground in governmental transparency by adopting William’s Financial Accountability Incentive Reporting (F.A.I.R.) – an initiative that measures and tracks the effectiveness of economic development incentive programs. In 2018, Bethlehem also instituted William’s open data program which publishes governmental data in an effort to spur innovation, entrepreneurship, and citizen engagement in the city. During William’s time on City Council, Bethlehem has also continued its economic revitalization as billions of dollars of private and public investment have helped to lead the city to its consistent ranking as one of the best American cities in which to live, work, and retire. 2021 saw William capture nearly 65 percent of the vote while sweeping all 37 wards in becoming Bethlehem’s 14th Mayor.


    Matthew Tuerk

    Mayor, City of Allentown

    Mayor Tuerk was born in East Stroudsburg in 1975. He spent his first nine years under the watchful eye of his Pop-Pop and Mimi (an immigrant from Cuba) while his parents dedicated themselves to their education. In 1984, the family moved to Boulder, Colorado, where his parents continued their studies. Daily life in a progressive college town taught him the value of equity and diversity. Mayor Tuerk's brilliant “second mom”, Nana Kathleen, reinforced that message, saying “value your whole self, be grateful for your blessings, and there is no difference in people simply because of color; racism is a human-generated distinction, cruel and wrong. Mayor Tuerk had always wanted to return to his Eastern Pennsylvania roots, so in 2004, he and his wife Karen moved to Allentown because they were attracted to the energy and diversity of the city. After taking time off to care for their two daughters, Karen became a lecturer in Environmental Science at Muhlenberg College in 2011. They have two daughters, Amelia and Margot. After becoming LVEDC’s Vice President of Economic Development in 2015, he led the group in attracting billions of dollars in economic growth in the Lehigh Valley and creating thousands of jobs for its residents. His success in this role led him to become the nationally known spokesperson for economic development in the Lehigh Valley. LVEDC was recognized as a Top 20 Economic Development Organization by Site Selection magazine in 2019, and then again in 2020. In 2013, he joined Don Cunningham to transform the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). Starting as the Director of Research and Innovation, he led a data initiative to contextualize the region’s economy for local stakeholders and national developers. As Vice President of Administration, he rebuilt LVEDC’s internal systems and finances, and established a Salesforce platform for managing economic development projects. In 2020, Matt stepped down from his position at LVEDC to run for Mayor. He hopes to bring his fresh ideas and experience to the city, build coalitions, and serve all of Allentown’s residents with a government that reflects the city’s incredible diversity.


    Salvatore Panto

    City of Easton

    Mayor Panto is also leading an economic development program that is experiencing more than $800 million in public and private investment and the creation of hundreds of new jobs in the city. For the first time in almost 5 decades the city’s population is growing. He was recognized as a leader among local government officials and was elected to the position of President of the Pennsylvania Municipal League (PML) where he still serves as a Past President on the Board of Directors. He was elected to the National League of Cities Board (NLC) of Directors and was re-elected to a second term. Mayor Panto was a Founder of the PennPRIME municipal insurance trust and served as its first Chairman. He is also an active member of the United States Conference of Mayors. He is also a Past Chairman of the NLC Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Steering Committee and has testified several times on environmental issue before Congress and the Senate. Mayor Panto earned his master’s degree from Lehigh University and his Bachelor’s Degree from Kutztown University. In May 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Service from Lafayette College. As a former teacher in the Easton Area School District, he was looked upon as being one of the finest. During his 16 years out of office Mayor Panto served in three senior management positions including Chief Administrative Officer of the Charles Chrin Companies: Senior Vice-President of Coordinated Health and Chief Administrative Officer of Strausser Enterprises, Inc.

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