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by Kristin Detterline and Christina Pellegrini | October 8, 2012 | People
THE ADVOCATE, 1958 FERRARI 250 TESTA ROSSA
Brian Sims pushes for policies.
With a background in policy law and civil rights advocacy, Brian Sims has dedicated much of his life to fighting for equality, although he claims that he hadn’t developed an interest in politics until recently. “I spent years trying to find and fund and train candidates, but it just became clear to me two years ago. I looked at the job that was being done here, and I thought I could do better,” Sims says. Now as the winner of the April primary to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, running unopposed, Sims will soon be the state’s first openly LGBT legislator. This isn’t his first public-service project, however— Sims revitalized Equality Pennsylvania, an organization advocating for LGBT rights.
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THE PHYSICIAN, 1958 ASTON MARTIN DBR1
Dr. John Abraham operates on another level.
As an avid mountain climber, Abraham, who has tackled Mount Kilimanjaro and the Rockies, says he enjoys the tests of fitness and the skill that come with such a “technically challenging” hobby. The same can be said of Abraham’s post as chief of orthopedic oncology at the Rothman Institute. Here, he is among a handful of doctors across the US who are using computer navigation technology for surgeries related to cancer of the bone and soft tissues. “Surgical navigation allows you to correlate what you see on the screen with the anatomy. So if you’re removing a large portion of the pelvis and replacing that with a customized implant, you need very precise cuts down to a fraction of a millimeter.” Such exacting measurements are crucial—one millimeter in the wrong direction could result in compromised limb function. And these are not even among the most jaw-dropping cases Abraham sees: In extremely rare instances, cancerous tumors can reach the size of a basketball, and operations can sometimes last more than 12 hours.
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THE MUSICIAN, 1953 CUNNINGHAM C4R
Khari Mateen stays composed.
For musician, producer, and composer Mateen, making a career with an artistic inclination seems to come naturally. Besides being a talented bassist, cellist, and percussionist currently in the middle of a solo tour, Mateen produces albums in his local studio, The Lunchroom. “I go through life full-steam ahead,” Mateen says. “The past is important, but the future is so interesting.” At 19, Mateen produced four songs for The Roots’ album Game Theory, which received a Grammy nomination for best hip-hop album of the year in 2007. Despite his own fast track to success, there are several on-stage moments that Mateen treasures. “I was touring with Zoë Kravitz, and I had a chance to perform with her father, Lenny Kravitz. That was really awesome. He’s a rock star.”
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THE ARTIST, 1953 CUNNINGHAM C4R
James Burns muses over murals.
Muralist and art educator Burns has given a voice to the local community through many of the Mural Arts Program projects he has directed over the past several years. From the work he led on the mural about recovering from addiction, Personal Renaissance—painted on the JEVS Human Services Achievement through Counseling and Treatment program building in North Philly—to Finding the Light Within, a mural project to raise suicide awareness for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services, Burns’s work has narrated some of the most emotive stories of the Philadelphia community. “I like having the mural evolve from the public dialogue,” says Burns. “I think the community appreciates being a part of that. The idea of sharing the inspiration that I feel—the idea that we’re excited and that we’re working toward something— it’s great.”
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THE CULTIVATOR, 1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SL
Dean Carlson goes ecological.
A former Bala Cynwyd–based bond trader, Carlson abandoned his finance career to focus on a more urgent concern: American agriculture. “We have to find ways to grow food in a more sustainable way,” says Carlson, who owns the 355- acre Wyebrook Farm in Honey Brook, which raises high-quality heritage breeds of livestock and grows seasonal produce. In addition to an on-site farm market and a cafe, where guest toques select meat and produce from the farm for their favorite dishes, Carlson is also involved in a series of eco-friendly projects including a rainwater-capture system, restoration of the historical farm’s buildings, and the use of alternative energy sources. “I think there is something mentally satisfying about this type of work,” Carlson says. “You’re doing something, hopefully, to make the community a better place, adding value to people’s lives around you.”
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THE EDUCATOR, 1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SL
Ben Horton edifies others.
Horton, an associate professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s earth and environmental science department, can often be found wading in the waters of the Outer Banks or wandering the shores of Indonesia. It is hardly for leisure, though: For the past 20 years, Horton has been studying sea-level changes, specifically how warming climates impact coastlines. “Results have shown that the rate of sea-level rise over the last 100 years is greater than anything over the past 1,000 years,” he says. For Horton, this makes his role as an educator all the more important. “Penn students need to know about the earth’s dynamic system so they can push to change it for the better.”
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THE ENTREPRENEUR, 1964 SHELBY COBRA DAYTONA COUPE
Bob Moul is technically inclined.
Moul’s career in technology has taken him around the world and helped him to broker major deals with companies like Dell. And to think it all started with a job working in a company mailroom at age 17. “I went to work right out of high school at Electronic Data Systems, and that is where I learned about the tech world.” Today Moul, CEO of appRenaissance, an Old City–based firm that specializes in mobile applications, sticks to the entrepreneurial side of the software industry. This fall the company will roll out a new cutting-edge product called Artisan. The software allows companies to optimize their users’ mobile application experience, and is what Moul calls “an enormous untapped opportunity in the market.” Philadelphia’s increasingly high-profile technology scene could be the city’s next big industry, Moul says. “There are so many raw ingredients for success here: ideas, universities, capital. Let’s not forget that Comcast was once just another startup [here].”
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THE ATHLETE, 1953 JAGUAR C-TYPE C-Type
Evan Turner is on the ball.
Between co-owner Will Smith and strategic advisor Julius Erving, there has been plenty of star power surrounding the Sixers. But it’s the team—which won a playoff series last season for the first time since 2003—that really steals the limelight. Among them guard/forward Evan Turner, who continues to live up to his 2010 hype as the Sixers’s highest and most critical draft pick since Allen Iverson in ’96. Turner is clearly optimistic for the upcoming season, thanks to eight new players including budding superstar Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and returning names like Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young. “I think we’re going to get to know each other well and play some great basketball,” he says. Turner’s role is likely to shift following Andre Iguodala’s trade, but his mind-set remains the same. “I am just going to keep playing how I’m playing… I feel like I keep progressing every single year.” His evolving role as a team leader—and the Sixers’s all-star evolution, for that matter— isn’t lost on fans, who Turner says have been very supportive. “With the run we put together [last season], it’s been unreal. The city’s been pretty electric for Philly basketball, and I’m excited for a new year.”
Philadelphia is home to world-famous works of art and priceless historical artifacts. But the City of Brotherly Love is also the quiet keeper of one of the globe’s greatest collections of sports cars, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum. The Simeone is still riding high from its headline-grabbing win at the International Historic Motoring Awards. In late 2011 the four-year-old museum was honored with its “Museum of the Year” award. The judging panel included previous winners of the prestigious Le Mans race and even Jay Leno, a noted auto collector and fan of the museum. The impact of the honor is not lost on founder and executive director Frederick Simeone.
“It’s the equivalent of winning an Academy Award in the automotive world,” says Simeone, a retired physician who was once considered to be one of the world’s foremost neurosurgeons. “These are artistic masterpieces of racing.” The deceptively large museum features 65 cars, from the wheel-heavy 1909 American Underslung to the sleek 1963 Corvette Grand Sport. Five award-winning autos from over three decades comprise the Winners Circle. An adjacent three-acre lot hosts thematic Demo Days each month, in which models are driven on a closed course for the public.
For Simeone, whose father was a car lover, collecting was both a hobby and a form of escapism from a grueling work schedule. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he’s happy that his cherished collection is in his hometown. “The [museum] is a great gift to the city…. It’s a bit of an unknown gift. It’s something people should know about.” 6825-31 Norwitch Dr., 215-365-7233
photography by eric ryan anderson; Styling by Anna Katsanis; Hair by Joey Arzillo for Giovanni & Pileggi; Makeup by Rony Melhem