Movers and shakers from Philadelphia’s private-investment scene of the past 30 years gathered Monday at the old Packard Motor Car showroom at Broad and Susquehanna Sts. in North Philadelphia to honor the late venture-capital attorney Stephen M. Goodman and raise funds for the building’s new user, the Freire group of taxpayer-funded, privately-run charter high schools in Philadelphia and Wilmington. Supporters hoped to raise up to $500,000.
Goodman was “godfather” to a “generation of creators, makers, and entrepreneurs,” said Bob Moul, former boss at Boomi, Artisan Mobile, and Cloudamize and an advocate for expanded tech education in Philadelphia schools. Moul cochaired the event, dubbed Summer Uptown, with Austin Hendrix and Andrew Hamilton.
Members of the family of 1960s rock star Jimi Hendrix addressed the crowd of 350 at the event, which was curated by Freire students. Among those on hand were North Philly-focused developer Eric Blumenfield, investors Ira Lubert and Howard Ross of LLR (whose major clients include the Pennsylvania state pension funds), law firm bosses Michael Heller (Cozen O’Connor) and Ajay Raju (Dilworth Paxson), Freire founder Kelly Davenport, and Comcast executives Dalila Wilson-Scott and David L. Cohen (active behind the scenes in Comcast’s recent efforts to buy 21st Century Fox.)
Goodman’s widow, Janis Goodman, said in a statement that the expansion made possible by the donors should help Freire students capture some of her late husband’s “sense of creativity, ingenuity, and talent,” and “to reach out for their dreams, and serve others while they achieve.” (Updated)