On Saturday, December 14th, the Inaugural Pattison-Leader Ball promises to bring together civically engaged young people of Pennsylvania to begin a conversation about policy and politics and network with others.
We spoke with organizer Kellan White about the event and its goals. His answers have been edited for length.
1. What was the genesis of the Pattison Leader Ball and why do you think it is important for people to attend?
The genesis of the Pattison-Leader Ball is two fold. First, my fiance, Nicole Allen, attended the PA Society in 2012. We noticed a mass exodus of young professionals after Friday night’s event. Nicole and I agreed that there should be something for Young Professionals since we are in fact the future of the Commonwealth.
Secondly I was a fellow in the 2013 New Leaders Council Philadelphia chapter. Part of the program was a capstone project. I chose making young professionals a priority in the civic community of Philadelphia as my project. The best way to accomplish that wasn’t events surrounding the PA society.
2. Six months or a year from now, what do you hope will be some outcomes of the Pattison-Leader Ball?
The primary goal is to increase civic engagement among our generation. The Ball is just the beginning. Our complete vision involves partnering with Young Involved Philadelphia and New Leaders Council to increase voter turnout and registration among millennials. Secondly, we want the Pattinson-Leader Ball to be the must-attend event for young professionals and attract change makers who in the past have gone to NYC. We are the future and the PLB is the first step in harnessing our collective voice to influence policy and the direction of the Commonwealth.
3. How did the partnership with Monkey and the Elephant come together? How much of the proceeds will benefit M&E?
Lisa and I both attended Ignite Good’s Ignition Philly. I heard her story and saw her passion. She made me believe that M&E is not only needed but a darn good idea. When deciding that we wanted to partner with an organization, we recognized that our Year One profit margins would be razor thin. I expressed a desire to partner with an organization not for one year but 5 or more. M&E presented a unique opportunity to partner with an organization who will grow with us. Madeline Albright said “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help women”. I say there is a special place in hell for Millennials that don’t help other Millennials and Lisa is one of the best Millennials Pennsylvania has offer.
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4. Why did you choose the social ball format for this event, rather than a symposium or conference?
We wanted to reflect the social aspect of the PA Society dinner. It is our goal to present a viable alternative, not counter but alternative, event. The idea of a conference culminating with the Ball has been discussed in passing. If we could convince YIP to do the State of Young Philly the same week that would be ideal.
5. Who should attend the Pattison-Leader Ball and what can they expect to find?
Anyone who cares about the future of the Commonwealth. We obviously skew younger but change has no age limit. If you don’t like the way some aspect of our Commonwealth is run then create the change. They can expect a great time with better people and the beginning of the next era of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.
When: Saturday, December 14th
Where: Hyatt at the Bellevue, 200 S. Broad St.
More info & tickets: www.plbleader.com
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