The 29th annual Wyck-Strickland Award goes to Sam Katz!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016  |  at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Old City, Philadelphia

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the event!

The 2016 Wyck-Strickland Committee:

Award Chair – Graham S. Finney

Dinner Co-Chairs –  Ken Weinstein and Diane Newbury

Dinner Committee – Amy and Michael Cohen, Charles Croce, Susan and Rob Fleming, Nancy Goldenberg, Janet and Lew Klein, John Meko, Natalie Nixon, Victoria Steiger and Laurie Olin, Page Talbott and Jim Gould.

 What is the Wyck-Strickland Award?


Sam Katz is a lifelong Philadelphian whose career has been a case study in re-engineering.  He spent 30 years in public and project finance and venture capital, has a long history of activity in Philadelphia civic affairs and electoral politics and has more recently dedicated himself to telling stories about our collective past through documentary filmaking.  Sam’s business life has taken him all over the country and the world.  During his 20 year tenure as the CEO of municipal financial advisory firm, Public Financial Management, a Sam structured and arranged financing for the Orlando International Airport, the Atlanta rapid transit system, major professional sports facilities including Camden Yards in Baltimore, Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, and buildings for the Miami Dolphins, the Phoenix Suns, the Portland Trailblazers and the Colorado Rockies, among many others.

In 1991, as Philadelphia’s fiscal crisis was overwhelming it, Sam was a candidate for Mayor in the Republican primary losing to Frank Rizzo in a very close election.  He ran again in 1999 and 2003 and was a candidate for Governor in 1994.   The race in 1999 was the closest mayoral election in Philadelphia’s contemporary history.  The last election that Sam won was at Central High School in 1966 in a race for senior class president.  In 2000, Sam was selected as the CEO of Greater Philadelphia First, a business oriented civic group.  He started other businesses and organizations including a private equity firm that invested in Philadelphia area technology companies; BioAdvance, the region’s leading investor in biotech start-ups, which he more recently chaired for three years.   In 2011, Governor Corbett appointed Sam as the Chair of PICA, the agency charged with fiscal oversight of the city, a position he held until 2014.

Since 2007 when Sam founded History Making Productions, he has been producing documentaries on the history of Philadelphia.  The flagship series, “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” completed the 11th episode out of 14 this past April.  “Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia” looked at immigration and the role of a powerful Church in advancing or impeding assimilation of new groups.  Two new series, “The Daring Women of Philadelphia” and “Pictures in Motion: The Philadelphia Story” are now in production and will be completed in late 2016 or early 2017.

Sam and Connie Katz have been West Mt. Airy residents for more than 40 years.  They have four grown children two of whom remain in Philadelphia.  The Katz’s also have two Philadelphia grandsons, James Katz and Asa Smith, both South Philly boys.

Pictures from October 25, 2016: