Session 9: The Role of Business in Making Lancaster an Attractive Place to Work, Live and Play

Lancaster’s population is growing and rapid development, traffic and haphazard municipal planning is threatening the very characteristics and fabric of life that makes this community so desirable. Phil will talk about how development and conservation need to work more closely together to protect more natural lands and be sure wild places to hike, camp and fish can be protected for future generations. Learn how we can do both—create jobs and expand business opportunities at the same time that we improve the water quality in our 1,500 miles of impaired streams; expand the habitat for birds and animals; and protect the land that we love.


Quality of life issues, like clean rivers to kayak, clean air to breath, sustainable farming practices and hiking trails only become a reality when community groups like the Conservancy, Farmland Trust, and municipal entities all agree on what an envisioned future for our land should look like, and then work together with business to achieve it.


From a business perspective, the benefits of good land planning and conservation, mean that outdoor hiking trails and open space are baked into the landscape—making Lancaster County a preferred destination for talented people to want to live and work here. Wellness issues, both physical and mental, are enhanced when one can find peace and quiet in nature.


This double edged sword—a place so cool that everyone wants to live here, but when everyone shows up, ends up destroying our beautiful county—is a challenge. The only solution is to focus on our land and make sure it is purposed in a way that gives Lancaster an edge—and that means protection for those natural lands and farms before they are gone.


About the Presenter:

Philip R. Wenger is founder and owner of Isaac’s Deli, Inc., a successful restaurant chain he started in 1983.  In 2015, he was hired as the President/CEO of Lancaster County Conservancy, a land trust focused on preserving and protecting natural lands.  Phil has a deeply-rooted entrepreneurial spirit infused with positive energy and can best be described as an entrepreneur and energetic thinker who “likes to grow and transform organizations.”  In his new career at the Conservancy, Phil is focused on protecting special wild lands from development by acquiring them for the public’s benefit. He is a dynamic and respected leader within the Lancaster community—known as much for his philanthropy and community-building as his business acumen.  As CEO of the Conservancy, Phil is working hard on preserving Lancaster County’s land and water resources to benefit future generations.