Recipient named once every four years


Philadelphia, October 27, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter, The Board of Directors of City Trusts, and The Edward Powell Selection Committee announced yesterday that Gerard H. “Jerry” Sweeney, President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of Brandywine Realty Trust, is the recipient of the 2015 Edward Powell Award.  This honor is presented once every four years to a Philadelphia business leader recognized for outstanding contributions to the economic prosperity of the city.


“I am proud to present Jerry Sweeney with this distinguished award,” said Mayor Nutter. “The Edward Powell Award is an exceptional honor to bestow upon an individual whose contributions have strengthened our local economy. Jerry has had a vast impact on successful development and job creation in our city, and his contributions, and those of Brandywine Realty Trust, are visible on the streets and skyline of Philadelphia, the region and beyond.”


Established in 1941 by Philadelphia manufacturer Edward Powell, the award is funded by Powell’s Trust and provides a cash prize for ‘the person whose individual efforts and personal application to the Manufacturing and Commercial interest of the City of Philadelphia has produced the best results during the past four years, for the benefit and prosperity of the City of Philadelphia.’


“I am very honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of all my colleagues at Brandywine Realty Trust,” said Mr. Sweeney.  “Since our founding, being engaged in and giving back to communities has been a core part of our company’s value system. Edward Powell was a great Philadelphian, and to be selected to stand in his tradition of community service and those of previous award recipients is, indeed, very special.”


In 1994, Jerry Sweeney founded Brandywine Realty Trust and has since served as President and CEO of the Pennsylvania-based real estate company. Under the leadership of Mr. Sweeney, Brandywine Realty Trust has expanded from four properties and a total market capitalization of less than $5 million to more than 33 million square feet in properties with a total market capitalization of approximately $5 billion. The company is the biggest office property-owner in Philadelphia.


Nicole Pullen Ross, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and appointed Chairperson of the 2015 Edward Powell Selection Committee said, “After carefully considering many qualified business leaders, our committee selected Jerry Sweeney given the tremendous impact he has had on the Philadelphia region through his business and civic engagement.  Jerry Sweeney embodies the legacy created by Edward Powell, who was a successful businessman who encouraged the growth of business and commerce in Philadelphia more than a century ago.  Since the founding of Brandywine Realty Trust in 1994, Jerry’s innovative leadership has created thousands of jobs and boosted the local economy. His civic contributions are equally remarkable as seen through his commitment to various efforts within the Philadelphia community.”


In addition to Ms. Pullen Ross, the other selection committee members are William Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of AgustaWestland, and Laura Sparks, Executive Director of the William Penn Foundation.


Ronald R. Donatucci, Register of Wills and President of The Board of Directors of City Trusts said, “The Edward Powell Award honors a business leader who has made extraordinary contributions to the economic vitality and prosperity of Philadelphia, and there is no doubt that Jerry Sweeney is eminently qualified to be selected as the 2015 Powell Award winner.  He is an outstanding business leader whose vision and dedication has changed the city’s skyline and generated significant new investment and opportunity for Philadelphia, and our citizens have benefited greatly from his leadership.”


Previous recipients of the Edward Powell Award include Richard A. Hayne, Co-Founder, Chairman and President of Urban Outfitters, Inc.; Kenneth Gamble, Founder and Chairman, Universal Companies; Richard C. Bond, President, Board of Trustees of John Wanamaker, Inc.; G. Stockton Strawbridge, Chairman of the Board, Strawbridge & Clothier; and Ralph Roberts, Chairman of Comcast Corporation.


The Board of Directors of City Trusts administers the Powell Trust. The recipient of the award is entitled to the income accumulated in the Trust during the preceding four years, less the cost of a gold medal, which the recipient receives, and other nominal expenses.


Mr. Sweeney plans to donate the $125,000 award to five selected non-profit organizations: Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC); 22nd and Market Memorial Park Fund; Cityteam Philadelphia (Family Services Ministry); St. Barnabus Catholic School and St. Veronica Catholic School.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release
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