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‘Human Rights in Philadelphia’: October 21 Convocation with financier/producer Sam Katz

Sam Katz and Lauren Katz Smith

Sam Katz with producer
Lauren Katz Smith
at the Mid-Atlantic Emmys

“Human Rights in Philadelphia” will be the topic for Tuesday, October 21 remarks by lifelong Philadelphian and former mayoral and gubernatorial candidate turned documentary producer Sam Katz. His special convocation address will be at 11:30 in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia on the seminary’s Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Katz has experienced a diverse and unique career in public and project finance, venture capital, civic affairs, development, politics, and, recently, filmmaking.

Over the past seven years, he has been producing an epic series on the history of Philadelphia, entitled Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, seen on 6ABC and online on your computer or device. Philadelphia: The Great Experiment is a multi-format historical documentary television film and Internet project that presents the story of Philadelphia as “the single most compelling stage for the unfurling and testing of American ideals” according to the website of History Making Productions, which is producing The Great Experiment. The series earned four 2013 Emmy Awards from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for Best Documentary, Best Historic/Cultural Program – Special, Best Musical Composition/Arrangement, adn Best Writing. The seminary’s former president, the Rev. Dr. Philip D. W. Krey, and LTSP Professor Katie Day are among those interviewed for the series. Katz has launched new film series exploring The Women of Philadelphia, and Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia, telling the story of Catholic history in the city.

In 1976 Katz joined Public and Financial Management, Inc., a municipal financial advisory firm, and began a 20-year stint during which he arranged financing for major projects such as Orlando International Airport, the Atlanta transit system, and sports venues including Camden Yards in Baltimore, Philadelphia’s Wachovia – now the Wells Fargo – Center, and the home of the Miami Dolphins National Football League team. During Philadelphia’s financial crisis in 1991, Katz ran for mayor in the Republican primary. He ran again in 1999 and 2003 and was a candidate for Pennsylvania governor in 1994.

Katz served as CEO of Greater Philadelphia First, a business-oriented civic group. He created a venture capital firm that invested in Philadelphia area technology companies and helped form BioAdvance, the region’s leading investor in biotech start-ups, and which he now chairs. He recently resigned as chair of PICA, the agency charged with fiscal oversight of the city.

Katz and his wife, Connie, reside in Philadelphia’s West Mt. Airy and are active members of the Germantown Jewish Centre. They have four grown children, two of whom live in Philadelphia.

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"Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia seeks to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world."