Who We Are
Rich in History
The Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (GNPCC) has been in existence for 93 years. It was formed as a private business organization dedicated to the success of the burgeoning Northeast Philadelphia community and the free enterprise system. In 1922 a group of area business leaders met at the venerable Frankford Trust Company to discuss the formation of a business support organization.
According to Manor College teacher Matthew Smalarz, in the early twentieth century, “Philadelphia’s elected officials embraced the City Beautiful Movement with the intention of improving the city’s infrastructure and attracting affluent suburbanites to downtown Philadelphia.”
One of these projects, Northeast Boulevard, later renamed Roosevelt Boulevard, opened in 1914 to much fanfare, as builders and private developers soon capitalized on the city’s investment in the roadway to construct single- and twin-family dwellings along its expansive corridor, especially in the Northwood section of Frankford.
“As the Roaring Twenties progressed, commercial development also coincided with residential expansion in the lower Northeast. Local booster organizations, especially the establishment of the Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and Sears-Roebuck’s new merchandising facility, which opened in 1919, symbolized the Northeast’s flourishing commercial identity,” writes Smalarz, author of a study of people and public spaces in Northeast Philadelphia after World War II.
On March 28, 1922, Charles J. McGough, president; H.F. Schlater, vice president; and Alvin A. Swenson, treasurer, signed the Charter formally establishing the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. So goes the story, the creation of the organization was sealed on the links at the present day Union League Golf Club at Torresdale.
The GNPCC is here to help and support the business community of Greater Northeast Philadelphia and in particular its membership. It helps to solve everyday problems that businesses encounter, and through contacts and with other businesses and government, we strive to give our neighborhoods the support to remain strong into the future.
At present, the GNPCC has 28 members on its Board of Directors representing a wide cross section of businesses and non-profits. The Board is chaired by Jennifer MacMullen, a regional vice president for Beneficial Bank.
Pam Henshall is president of the organization, and she carries on the tradition of promoting area businesses, which are the heart of a thriving community. New and exciting programming has been at the heart of her mission since she was hired in April 2015.
Following an unprecedented relaunch of the organization in October 2015, which included a new logo, colors, marketing materials, and the most ambitious agenda in modern GNPCC history, the 2016 Events Calendar was unveiled. Among the planned highlights are:
- Four panel discussions on a wide range of topics, featuring experts and audience interaction.
- A Women in Business Conference
- A CEO Summit featuring some of the region’s top business leaders
- “Chamber on the Move,” a monthly networking session with city and civic leaders in every neighborhood in the Northeast.