Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania Board of Directors Elects New Chair and Vice Chair

 -- The Board also Honors Three Departing Members for Their Dedicated
      Service and Leadership; 
 -- Elects Michael A. Cuneo, a Former Chair, as Director Emeritus; 
 -- Reappoints Nine Directors to Serve Three-Year Terms;
 -- Appoints Corporate Officers

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 9, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The Board of Directors for Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania ( (BFTP/SEP) has elected Robert E. Keith, Jr., Managing General Partner of TL Ventures, as its new Chairman, and Walter D'Alessio, Vice Chairman of NorthMarq Capital, Inc., to serve as Vice Chairman, effective January 2007. Keith has been serving as Vice Chair of BFTP/SEP's governing body.

The Board also honored three departing Directors, including its current and former Chairman, with resolutions for their years of dedicated service and leadership. Michael A. Cuneo, a former Board Chairman whose tenure on the Board began in 1991, was elected to the honorary position of Director Emeritus of BFTP/SEP.

Another nine Directors were reappointed to serve three-year terms on the Board for BFTP/SEP, an innovative economic development organization that stimulates entrepreneurial potential to grow the region's economy. Honored for their years of dedicated service on the Board that contributed to the organization's success were Cuneo; BFTP/SEP's outgoing Board Chairman Martin S. Dorph, who has led the governing body since his election to the position in 2003; and Brian E. Chiesi, who has served as a Director since 1997.

Re-elected as BFTP/SEP's Corporate Officers were: RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, President and CEO; Thomas M. Balderston, Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee; and Brenda D. Gavin, D.V.M., Secretary. Newly elected Corporate Officers were: Adare McMillan, Assistant Treasurer; and Terrence H. Hicks, Assistant Secretary for a one-year term to expire January 2008. Hicks, Vice President of BFTP/SEP's Investment Group, was the Board's Assistant Treasurer. McMillan is the organization's Chief Administrative Officer.

"I have the highest regard for Ben Franklin and its dedicated staff and am honored to be elected to lead the Board as BFTP/SEP builds on its more than twenty-year track record of innovation and accomplishments of helping companies to succeed in the competitive marketplace," said Keith, who, as D'Alessio, has served on the Board since 2000.

"We look forward to Mr. Keith and Mr. D'Alessio's outstanding leadership on the Board. Also, we are truly indebted to Mr. Dorph, Mr. Cuneo and Mr. Chiesi for their outstanding service and visionary leadership on our Board," Rosenthal said. "Their tenure is remembered for gaining great respect and recognition for Ben Franklin's role and impact in stimulating entrepreneurial potential to grow the region's technology-based economy."

Keith, as General Managing Partner of TL Ventures, has principal operating responsibilities for the firm. He is also Chairman of the Board of Safeguard Scientifics and serves on other numerous boards including American Education Centers, Inc., US Interactive, Inc., and Internet Capital Group. Before co-founding TL Ventures in 1988, he was with Fidelity Bank (later acquired by First Union that was purchased by Wachovia) for 20 years, including as the bank's vice chairman. He received his bachelor's degree from Amherst College and is a graduate of Temple University School of Law.

D'Alessio, widely considered the early leader of economic development for Philadelphia, helped shape many of the city's landmark projects during his long and illustrious career as a lender, executive and planner that spans over 45 years. He began his career in public service in 1960 when he served for 12 years as executive director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. From 1972 through 1982, he led the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., the city's main economic development arm. In addition, he was involved with some of Philadelphia's most ambitious development and redevelopment projects, including Society Hill, the Gallery at Market East, the Commuter Rail Tunnel at Market Street East and the food distribution center in South Philadelphia. He's also helped with establishing the city's first industrial parks; redevelopment of the 1,000-acre Eastwick section of Philadelphia and the 40-acre neighborhood of the Yorktown area of North Philadelphia that made room for the expansion of Temple University; and development of many of the city's office towers, such as Logan Square, 1234 Market Street, 1600 Market Street, and the auction of the land on which One Liberty Place was constructed.

Chosen to chair the PIDC board in 1982, D'Alessio took part in the sports stadium planning, the development of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and reinventing the Navy Yard as a business center after the facility stopped producing ships. After leaving PIDC, he became chief executive of Latimer & Buck, the commercial lending business of Fidelity Bank. When Legg Mason Real Estate Services, Inc. acquired the commercial banking and lending business from Fidelity, D'Alessio remained Legg Mason's chairman, president and chief executive.

D'Alessio is currently and past member of boards of several corporate, charitable and business-related organizations. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Landscaping Architecture from Pennsylvania State University, and Master of Science in City Planning at the University of Illinois.

           Nine Directors Reappointed to Serve Three-Year terms

The nine Board members reappointed as Directors for a three-year term ending January 2010 were: Stephen J. Andriole, Ph.D., the Thomas G. Labrecque Professor, Department of Decisions and Information Technologies, College of Commerce and Finance at Villanova University; Michael Aronson, Managing Partner, MentorTech Ventures; Thomas M. Balderston, President, Balderston Capital, L.L.C., and President and CEO of Mid-Atlantic Capital Alliance; Alan J. Cohn, President, Sage Financial Group; John M. Gill, President and CEO, Gentara Corp.; Hyman R. Kahn, M.D., Advisory Board for Quaker BioVentures; William J. Marrazzo, President and CEO, WHYY, Inc.; Ami Miron, President, A.M. Partners; and Bruce Toll, Vice Chairman, Toll Brothers, Inc., and Chairman, Philadelphia Media Holdings which owns The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News -- the region's two major newspapers.

               -- RESOLUTION: Martin S. Dorph --

Martin S. Dorph, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer at Temple University, has served with distinction since 1999 as a member of the Board of Directors for BFTP/SEP that was formed in l982 to stimulate regional growth through investments in innovative and start-up technology enterprises and regional technology initiatives. The resolution honored Dorph for contributing "magnanimously of his time and expertise in finance to serve in several significant positions on the Board."

Dorph's tenure culminated with him providing "exemplary leadership as Chairman of the Board from 2003 through 2006; and Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee from 2000 through 2003; and member of the Executive Committee from 2001 through 2006," the resolution read. "Dorph's energetic and visionary leadership of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania has gained increased respect and recognition for the organization's role and impact in regional technological development, launching such new initiatives as the Nanotechnology Institute(tm) and the 2007 to 2011 (BFTP/SEP) Strategic Plan."

               -- RESOLUTION: Michael A. Cuneo --

Prior to his election to BFTP/SEP's Board in 1991, Michael A. Cuneo had served on the Investment Advisory Committee of the Materials, Engineering and Processing Advisory Council, of the Advanced Technology Center, which was the predecessor organization to the Ben Franklin Technology Partners which is comprised of four centers that are strategically located throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Cuneo has since "provided outstanding leadership in several roles on the Board as Board Chairman, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Treasurer and Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee," the resolution read.

Cuneo's vital leadership of BFTP/SEP also led to increased recognition for the organization's role and impact in regional technological development, launching such new initiatives as the Nanotechnology Institute(tm) and the Ben Franklin Investment Partners.

               -- RESOLUTION: Brian E. Chiesi --

Brian E. Chiesi has been an "invaluable resource" as a member of the Board's Finance Committee from 1999 through 2006; and as a member of the Board's Executive Committee from 2005 through 2006. Chiesi's "wise counsel and hard work" on the Board and its Finance Committee have garnered increased recognition for BFTP/SEP's role in regional technological development, launching new initiatives and broadening corporate partnerships.

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Since 1982, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) has served as a catalyst for stimulating entrepreneurial potential through the integration of systems designed to accelerate the transition of scientific discovery and technology development to commercialization. Part of a statewide network in Pennsylvania, BFTP/SEP provides entrepreneurs and established businesses the capital, knowledge, and networks they need to compete in the global marketplace. BFTP/SEP has provided more than $130 million to over 1,600 regional enterprises through various funding means. BFTP/SEP is a founding partner of the Nanotechnology Institute(tm) (NTI) and the Mid-Atlantic Nanotechnology Alliance (MANA)(r) and is funded by Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development. For additional information, visit


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