Killian Award

County Commerce Director has economic “Edge”

Patrick Killian earns statewide recognition as 2016 ‘Economic Developer of the Year’


 County Council recognized Patrick Killian, Director of the Delaware County Commerce Center, at the March 22 meeting and applauded him for being named 2016 “Economic Developer of the Year” by the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association, a statewide group of economic development professionals. From left: Councilman Michael Culp, Vice Chair Colleen Morrone, Patrick Killian, Chairman Mario J. Civera, Jr., Councilman John McBlain and Councilman Dave White.

For 25 years, Patrick Killian has paved the way for economic development in Delaware County, including a casino and racetrack, a soccer stadium and the revitalization of the county’s waterfront refinery region.

In his role as director of the Delaware County Commerce Center, Killian has attracted global companies to Delaware County, facilitated redevelopment of countless properties and created a 10-year road map for economic development with a marketing campaign encouraging businesses to get “The  Edge” in Delaware County.

His efforts have yielded countless benefits for all Delaware County residents including jobs, a growing tax base and sustained growth to maintain the quality of life residents enjoy.

County Council recognized Killian at its March 22 meeting and applauded him for being named 2016 “Economic Developer of the Year” by the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association, a statewide group of economic development professionals.

At the awards presentation in November, the awards committee said: “One would be hard-pressed to name someone who has had more of an impact on economic development projects in his community in recent years than J. Patrick Killian.”

“From the revitalization of the Delaware River waterfront to the development of a new energy industry in Delaware County, which Sunoco and ConocoPhillips oil and gas refineries now call home, Killian is recognized for the significant role he plays in economic development across all sectors in southeastern Pennsylvania,” according to the awards committee.

Killian took over the helm of the Commerce Center on Feb. 11, 1991. He previously worked for 14 years as the executive assistant to the late Senator John Heinz.

Economic development in Delaware County during Killian’s tenure includes:

  • The attraction of the North Headquarters of SAP to Newtown Square. SAP is the second largest manufacturer of business software in the world and employs 2,500 people at its county office.
  • Played an instrumental role in the development and construction of the $262 million professional soccer stadium on the Chester waterfront, which is now called Talen Energy Park, home to the Philadelphia Union, which enjoyed a sold-out home opener for the 2017 season.
  • Worked to revitalize waterfront refinery properties that shut down in 2013, successfully encouraging alternative uses of the properties to be an energy hub for the East Coast.
  • Directed a year-long development of a 10-year local economic development strategy, which includes a new marketing campaign and the establishment of a high-tech business accelerator.

In presenting Killian with a County Council resolution, Chairman Mario Civera, Jr. said: “In over 25 years, Patrick has been involved with over $1 billion dollars of investment, thousands of jobs created and a wide array of development in our small county.”

“County residents are fortunate to have the experience, talent and dedication that Patrick has provided to our county for 26 years,” Chairman Civera said. “He is the catalyst behind much or our economic success.”

Killian, of Haverford, is married with three daughters and one grandson.

Killian said his favorite part of the job is continuing to learn new things and put those into practice to benefit county residents.

“What makes it rewarding is you are constantly learning new things, whether it is how to design and build a soccer stadium, how much slot machines pay off, what is the price margin on a barrel of oil to maintain a successful refinery, or how many barrels of natural gas move through a pipeline daily,” Killian said.