Be part of an extraordinary event that celebrates the spirit of innovation and inspires you to envision a brighter future – Erie Homecoming 2024. We invite you to join us in connecting with local leaders and community advocates who are forging new paths and transforming our hometown into a thriving hub of creativity and progress.

Erie Homecoming is the region's largest event about all things Erie including the regional economy, investment opportunities, and projects transforming the community. Over 350 people attended Erie Homecoming last year for a comprehensive overview on leveraging' Erie's assets for business success. Throughout the two-day event, over 50 organizations educated and informed the audience about resources available to regional businesses. We also welcomed two of Pennsylvania's most prominent women leaders -- Neeli Bendapudi, president of Penn State University, and Cynthia Hundorfean, president and chief executive officer of Allegheny Health Network. Check out some of the other highlights in the video below.

Prepare yourself for a captivating journey as we bring together visionaries and change-makers for a jam-packed conference experience. Engage in thought-provoking sessions, participate in collaborative conversations, and immerse yourself in interactive experiences that will leave you inspired and motivated to make a difference.

Discover the incredible work that passionate Erieites are undertaking to shape our community into a vibrant tapestry of possibilities. Hear their stories, gain insights from their experiences, and learn how their relentless pursuit of dreams is driving positive change in our beloved hometown. This event is not just about listening, but also about experiencing the transformation firsthand.

Whether you're reconnecting with Erie after a decade or stepping into the shoes of a tourist in your own backyard, this conference offers a golden opportunity to witness the power of collective action. Immerse yourself in the energy of our community through unique and engaging presentations, guided tours that unveil the hidden gems of our city, and valuable networking opportunities that will connect you with like-minded individuals who share your passion for progress.

We invite you to join us on this exhilarating journey of discovery, inspiration, and connection. Dare to dream, and be a part of the movement that is shaping the future of Erie. Together, we can forge new trails on the next frontier and make our aspirations a reality.

Your ticket will enable you to:

See and hear first-hand from community advocates and business owners leading the way
Learn how you can participate and contribute to the unprecedented market momentum occurring in the region
Connect with former colleagues and friends via some of our unique virtual networking opportunities
Learn inspiring new ways you can catalyze change from some of the nation's foremost thought leaders on community revitalization
Become an ambassador for the community you love  

Please join us on October 2nd and 3rd for this two-day event to learn how you can invest in your hometown.

Who should attend?

Former Erie residents looking to reinvest in their hometown, and realize a triple bottom line return — a return on profit, people and place
Developers and investors from across the globe
Anyone looking for unique, high-potential investment opportunities

What you'll learn

Why the market and economic conditions make Erie an ideal investment opportunity
Details about current development projects and what’s on the horizon
How local resources can be leveraged for business success

Why invest in Erie?

Erie is in the midst of an unprecedented era of growth and investment — one that includes more than $900 million in capital investment from the private, philanthropic, and public sectors. Erie is also home to more than 23,000 university students, commercial and residential property ready for redevelopment, and 470 acres of bayfront property — 176 acres of which is prime for development.


The following individuals joined us at Erie Homecoming 2023: Trailblazers, Dare to Dream to share their perspectives, lead thought-provoking conversations, and inspire collaboration amongst attendees.

The 2024 speaker linkup coming soon.


Matthew J Kohler
Vice Admiral, US Navy (Retired)


Dr. Matthew White
Founder, Whitethorn Games


Adam Williams
Founder, Rust Belt Law


Adrienne Dixon PhD
CEO/President, Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center


Lee'a Thigpen
COO & Co-Founder, The Corporate Class


Erin Kerner
Founder & CEO, The Table Collective


Jared Fleiser
Vice President, Rocket Companies


Kim Thomas
Executive Director, Infinite Erie


Justin Fried
Founder & CEO, NFI Empire


Marva Morris
CEO and Chairman, Zenedge Energy Drinks


Kylie Morris
Family Medicine Physician, UPMC


Antonio Howard
Creative Director, Murals by Antonio Howard


Joel Deuterman
President, Velocity Network Inc


Matt Wiertel
Director of Business Development, Velocity Network Inc


Todd Jackson
Workforce Development Director, Fiber Broadband Association


Dr. Chris Clark, DO, MHA
President and Chief Executive Officer, AHN Saint Vincent


Walter Iwanenko, Jr., PhD
President, Gannon University


Jim Foote, MBA
CEO, First Ascent Biomedical


Jordan Fuller
Director, Entrepreneurship and FIRE Accelerator Program Lead


The 2024 schedule coming soon.

Wednesday, Oct 4


5pm-7pm: Erie Homecoming Kickoff Celebration

Live music by Claire Stuczynski

Multi-floor scavenger hunt and giveaways provided by VNET

"Taste of Erie"
Local beers provided by Erie Beer Company

Local wines provided by Mazza Wines

Local spirits and cider provided by Luminary Distilling, Eatery, Fuhrman's Cider

"Erie Food Stations" provided by Cali's West Catering. Enjoy the Smith's Hog Dog Station, Pepperoni Balls, Ox Roast Slides, Cali's Famous Artichoke Dip, Sweets from Arts Bakery & Romolo Chocolates.

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM |  Community Tours Check-in

8:30 AM – 11:30 AM |  YEP Mini Conference

Erie is the place for emerging leaders to make their mark and Young Erie Professionals is ready to help make it happen! Join professionals under 40 in a morning of workshops and training to level up. Representative Ryan Bizzarro will kick off the morning with a fireside chat on politics and paving the way as a young professional in Erie.

9:00 AM – 11:30 AM |  Community Tours

Hop on the bus and tour the latest redevelopment projects happening in Erie including a 100+ year old former industrial site leading the way in revitalizing Erie's 12th street corridor.

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM |  General Admission Check-In

Come early, grab lunch, and network with fellow conference attendees

12:15 PM – 12:45 PM | Welcome to Erie Homecoming 2022

James Grunke, president and CEO of Erie Regional Chamber, welcomes attendees to Erie Homecoming 2022: Right Here, Right Now

12:45 PM – 1:15 PM | Why Erie, Why Now

1:15 PM – 1:45 PM | Good Bones and where to find them

Pete Zaphiris tells the story of why he became so invested in Downtown Erie as well as key things he looks for when making any investment

1:45 PM – 2:15 PM | Creating Community

Join founders of four groups that identified a need and created community as young professionals and what these groups are doing
today to create impact in Erie.

2:15 PM – 2:45 PM | All in the Family

Did you know a large percentage of Western PA businesses are family owned? In 2021, Penn State Behrend established the Center for Family
Business after recognizing the unique challenges facing these organizations. Learn how the work at the center as well as work with
Decision Associates – a leading firm in strategic planning for businesses – are working to develop actionable succession and sustainability plans for local businesses.

2:45 PM – 3:15 PM | Untapped Talent: Expanding Diversity and Inclusion in the

Brandon Wiley from OpenedEyes will lead a panel discussion with representatives from Erie County Re-Entry Services and Support Alliance, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants about how business can expand outreach to new populations within the community.

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM | Women In Leadership

Did you know that four of Pennsylvania’s preeminent education and healthcare organizations are led by women? Neeli Bendapudi, president of Penn State University, and Cynthia Hundorfean, president and CEO of
Allegheny Health Network will share their thoughts on women’s role in executive leadership and how they’re setting the stage for leads of tomorrow.

4:15 PM – 4:30 PM | Closing Remarks

We’ll close out day one recognizing community leaders who have been instrumental in transforming Erie.

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM | 
Networking Reception

Enjoy local performers while connecting over cocktails to business professionals and fellow conference attendees.

Thursday, Oct 5

LOCATION: Bayfront Convention Center

Check In/Coffee/Light Breakfast

8:35am-8:50am: Kick Off & Welcome

9:05am-9:45am: Matt Kohler, Vice Admiral, US Navy (Retired)
Keynote Presentation
A Global Perspective: Erie, The Navy, and The World

9:50am - 10:20am: VNET
Presenting Sponsor

Champions for Connectivity: Bringing the World to Erie

10:25am - 10:55am: Adam Williams, Founder, Rust Belt Law

Embracing Failure

11:20am - 11:50am: African American Women in Leadership
Panel Discussion

Shattered Ceilings: Race and Gender in Erie

11:55am - 12:25pm: Chuck Peters and Christian Siembieda
Erie Renaissance Building

1:30pm - 2:00 pm: Jared Fleiser, Vice President, Rocket Companies

Revitalization: Lessons from the Motor City

2:05pm - 2:35pm: First Ascent Biomedical/Allegheny Health Network/Gannon University
Changing the Status Quo: A New Way to Treat Cancer

3:05pm - 3:35pm: Infinite Erie
Infinite Erie: Putting Plans Into Action

3:40pm - 4:10pm: Dr. Matthew White, Founder, Whitethorn Games

Entertainment for Everyone: Whitethorn Games

4:15pm - 4:45pm: Justin Fried, Owner, NFI Empire

Growing an Empire: The NFI Story

4:50pm - 5:20pm: Antonio Howard, Creative Director

Painting a Better Future: Inspiring a Community Through Art

5:30pm - 7:00pm
Closing Reception

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM | Networking/Coffee

Join us for a light breakfast and networking.

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM |  Community Vibes

The heart and soul of any community is the eclectic group of businesses and organizations that bring fresh perspective and engaging
opportunities for all walks of life. Hear from some of Erie’s organizations with a deep passion for creating a vibrant community where we live, work, and play.

9:15 AM – 9:30 AM |  Opening Remarks

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM |  Fresh Faces

Meet some of Erie newest faces that have recently relocated and have made significant investments in their new home


10:35 AM – 11:05 AM | FIRE & ICE

Learn about the newly formed ICE Angel fund and hear about the importance of investment in an emerging economy

11:10 AM – 11:45 AM |  Opportunities For Growth

When business, government, and philanthropic leaders collaborate we can create a vision for a better tomorrow. Kim Thomas,
director of Erie’s Inclusive Growth, will lead a panel discussion about transformational and collaborative opportunities taking shape throughout the region.

11:50 PM – 1:00 PM | Turning Passion Into Legacy  

Tom Hagen – civic leader, philanthropist, and preservationist – will share how he’s turned his passion into legacy, followed by a panel of fellow Erieites discussing how they’re building philanthropic wealth in community

1:00 PM - 1:15 PM | Closing Remarks

YOU are part of Erie’s evolution. Leverage Erie’s assets right here, right now to be part of its transformation.


For more information, contact Colleen Gross, Director of Events and Programs, Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership at [email protected] or (814) 454-7191 ext. 146.

Deadline To Register: September 27th, 2023.

General Admission


General Admission



For more information, contact Colleen Gross, Director of Membership Services, Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership at [email protected] or (814) 454-07191 ext. 146.

General Admission Tickets (available 9/16-10/3)

General Admission


General Admission







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