First Up’s Champions for Young Children event is a celebration of individuals outside the field of Early Childhood Education who have shown a deep commitment to championing high quality early education for all children in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
We hope you’ll join us on October 30, 2018 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown as we honor this year’s Champion, Rob Wonderling, the President & CEO of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

Rob Wonderling
CEO, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

As President and CEO of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, Rob leads a business advocacy organization of member companies that promotes growth and economic development in the Greater Philadelphia region.
He has an impressive record of private-sector executive experience as well as distinguished public service – including serving as both a Pennsylvania State Senator and as Deputy Secretary of Transportation. Rob currently serves on numerous boards and commissions including the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Corporate Council, and the Pre-K for PA Leadership Council.
Under his leadership the Chamber has grown the reach of their Read to Me early literacy program. Read to Me brings community and business leaders into classrooms to read, and provides new and refurbished classroom libraries and book bags to underserved schools. This past year the program impacted 135 classrooms in 25 schools.
First Up is proud to honor Rob Wonderling as our 2018 Champion for Young Children!

Why First Up?

During a child’s first eight years, a high-quality early learning experience is critical to their social, emotional, and educational development. Those first relationships that children develop with family, caregivers, and early childhood professionals are crucial in creating a path forward to success by teaching them the skills they need to play (and work!) well with others for the rest of their lives. Supporting high quality early education for all young children is one of the wisest investments we can make.
With our new name and brand identity, First Up continues to lead the charge to raise the quality of early education in our region. We believe that children are first and the people and environments that impact those early years are first; beliefs that are shared by this year’s honoree, Rob Wonderling.
We hope that you’ll join us as we celebrate Rob and his willingness to putting our youngest learners first on October 30.

Online ticket sales are now closed, but you can still purchase tickets at the event!

Get involved now!

This event would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors who see the importance of investing in early childhood education. Many thanks to those who continue to support us and this important work. Sponsorship opportunities are still available! Please use this form and contact Rebecca Tyrrell for more information. Sponsorships received by 8/15 guarantee inclusion on the printed invitation.

Advertise at the event!

Promote your business at the 2018 Champions event! Please use this form or contact Rebecca Tyrrell for more information.

Presented by


Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors