- May 5, 2022
PHILADELPHIA, May 5, 2022 – The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center (FLDC), a state-of-the-art museum that illuminates the profound impact faith has had on American history and current events, today announced the appointment of Rob Wonderling, a former Pennsylvania State Senator and current CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, as the FLDC’s new executive director.
The addition of Wonderling gives the FLDC, a subsidiary of American Bible Society (ABS), a leader as committed to service and economic development throughout his storied career as he is to his faith. Wonderling will spearhead efforts to increase local, state, and national visibility, visitation, and community engagement for the Center. He will also help advance the vision of seeing Americans engaged with the Bible and inspired by its life-changing message leading to a renewal of civility, gratitude, kindness, generosity and selfless service for the common good.
Wonderling’s first formal day with the FLDC will be July 1st, days before the first anniversary of the FLDC’s full opening in 2021 in Philadelphia. The FLDC is situated on Independence Mall near the Liberty Bell at the NE corner of 5th and Market Streets.
“I have walked in faith for a long time. I truly believe the Bible can change hearts, minds, lives, communities — and a city and a nation for the better,” Wonderling said. “I really wanted to throw myself into something that would be useful and purposeful and that would be innovative and creative…that is the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center!”
Wonderling will be a hands-on leader and public face of the Center while activating a network of business and community leaders built over three decades in private enterprise and public service. Much like his time at the Chamber, Wonderling believes the FLDC can be a catalytic partner with business, government, and civic leaders throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region to transform communities with civility, social impact and growth.
“I’m a very mission-based person and it’s God’s perfect timing to allow me, through a servant’s model of leadership, to help realize the vision and mission of ABS and the Center,” Wonderling said. “And that ranges from moving a hundred million Americans in the next decade into a routine relationship with the Bible to making sure that we have standing-room-only crowds at the FLDC.”
Wonderling joined the Chamber of Commerce in 2009 with an agenda to advance the region’s businesses, particularly by strengthening opportunities for entrepreneurs and minority-owned businesses. During his tenure, the Chamber:
“There isn’t a better or more qualified individual to lead the next phase of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center’s growth and development than Rob,” said Robert L. Briggs, Chairman of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center’s Board of Managers and CEO of American Bible Society. “His track record of growth and innovation throughout the city and region speaks for itself, and his vision of how the Center can continue to inspire and advocate for the connection between faith and liberty throughout the U.S. is perfectly aligned with that growth and innovation.”
From 2002-2009, Wonderling served in the Pennsylvania State Senate, where he was Chairman of the Communications and Technology Committee and then Chairman of the Transportation Committee. He also served in the executive branch of state government in the Ridge-Schweiker administration as Deputy Secretary of Transportation, where he was responsible for improving the operation and efficiency of PennDOT’s 5,000-employee highway maintenance workforce. He also has held executive posts with private sector companies related to technology, energy, and the environment.
Wonderling has been active and recognized for his service in a diverse range of extracurricular activities and organizations related to community health, higher education, technology, banking, and environmental stewardship.
Colleagues and associates of Wonderling over the years lauded the move.
“I’ve worked with Rob for years, and he will be a powerful addition to both the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center and the overall Historic District tourism efforts,” said James Cuorato, President and CEO at Independence Visitor Center Corporation. “Tapping into his years of experience with the Chamber and his prolific network will only serve to be a rising tide that lifts all boats.”
Said former Philadelphia Mayor, Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr.: “I’ve known Rob as a public servant, business leader, and a man of faith for more than thirty years and I couldn’t think of a better blend of skills and vision to bring to an emerging voice like the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center. Rob’s stewardship will balance the Center’s growth with the mission of deepening the relationship of Philadelphia citizens and beyond with the Bible.”
About Faith and Liberty Discovery Center
The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center (FLDC) is a technologically immersive, state-of-the-art museum that inspires visitors to explore the relationship between faith and liberty in the American story, from the country’s founding through today. Situated on Independence Mall near the Liberty Bell at the NE corner of 5th and Market Streets, the FLDC is a subsidiary of American Bible Society. Opened in 2021, the Center’s immersive journey illuminates the profound impact faith has had on American history. With an interactive lamp in hand, visitors can explore the museum and capture fascinating content that can be explored further online anytime, anyplace. The museum is an inspirational destination that tells the story of how our nation was born and how American leaders have turned to the Bible to guide them repeatedly throughout history.