Leading with Love

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award is the most prestigious business award in the world — and this year Felicite Moorman brought one home to East Falls. Lessons from her way to the top.

“I’m in the presence of giants,” Felicite Moorman told the room full of Philadelphia business leaders gathered at Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year gala earlier this month. Accepting her award, she credited her team for their amazing efforts, “They create what I believe is the foundation for the greatest enabling opportunity of our century — smart cities.”

As CEO for BuLogics and StatIS, Felicite dreams big dreams that have steered the company forward at a breath-taking pace since they opened offices here on Midvale in 2013. Today, they’re globally-renowned trail blazers in wireless technology, and Felicite’s the biggest cheerleader for changing the world.

“Pay attention!” she told the crowd, “Cities are going to be populated twice the extent they are now. We have the opportunity to collaborate, to be more productive — to show more of our humanity and connection.”

The Earnst & Young award is a global competition that celebrates entrepreneurship by recognizing leaders in their field. Felicite was one of eleven winners here in Philadelphia. After all the regional awards (in 25 cities) have been given, National winners are chosen who are invited to E&Y’s annual World Entrepreneur of the Year Award in — wait for it! —  Monaco, of all places.

You know, Princess Grace’s home after she moved from East Falls? So there’s a chance Felicite could be giving us a shout out from, like, Prince Albert’s yacht. I may be getting ahead of myself, but with this determined dynamo I wouldn’t be surprised.

How will she top this year’s dress, though? Somehow, this was my first concern when I saw the photos from last month’s award ceremony. I am not ashamed to admit I even emailed her for all the girlie details, which she kindly provided along with some insights from her climb to Entrepreneur of the Year.

EFL: YOUR DRESS! That wasn’t what you’d said you were wearing earlier that day. What happened?  Where did you find a ball gown with pockets?

FELICITE: Funny story…working the hours I am may have increased more than my reputation! I tried on dresses from my personal stash, threw on something that would “work,” at least.

On the way to the event, I detoured to Lord & Taylor, time-boxed my search to 40 minutes and 6 try-ons — I really I’d filmed the incident.  My first 5 try-ons were in Jrs and I had two “maybes,” but then I went to the grown-up section and there was this crazy-immense ball gown.

And I immediately fell in love. When I put it on, it was like it was made for me. I pulled up a coupon via text, checked out and walked out! Haven’t loved a dress this much since I got married!

Snaps from the life of an East Falls entrepreneur

EFL:  What’s a typical day for an entrepreneur in a company like BuLogics or StratIS?

FELICITE: Hahaha! Looking over a week in my Day Book, here’s some of the stuff I do:

Feed coworkers
Meet with designers
Meet with human resources
Clean the office
Interview P.R. agencies
Contribute to newsletter
Meet with outside projects
Emails from home
Order food
Meet with videographer
Greet visiting colleagues
Interview contractors
Interview with business journal
Arrange Phillies Meetup

And a whole lot of mom stuff for my three kids (and the occasional employee who needs some maternal energy).

Finn, Lilia, and Soleil

EFL:  Speaking of the mom stuff — does your family ever freak out that you’re so busy with work? How do you keep everyone happy?

FELICITE: I can’t keep everyone happy all of the time! Lol! My children are so different from one another that they are never all three pleased simultaneously. But that’s OK.

I have two jobs as CEO: enable the best team in the world to do their best work and tell the world that they do it. It’s the same for my kids. I’m their Chief Enabling Officer. Pursuing their dreams keeps them happy.

EFL:  Any advice for future business leaders in East Falls?  How do you know if you’d make a good entrepreneur?

FELICITE: Only about 20% of people are starters. Entrepreneurs must be starters, people willing to jump in first, but not all starters are entrepreneurs! But if you’re willing to jump — even as a side hustle while you maintain stability with a traditional j-o-b — it’s a good start. This career choice is always a risk, but every day can bring immeasurable rewards.

There’s a Japanese philosophy on life fulfillment called Ikigai, or “reason for being.” I’ve found mine, and despite the infrequent “glamour” moments in the weeks/months/years of sixteen-hour days, I’ve never been happier!

EFL:  What’s next for your offices on Midvale? Any truth to the rumors you guys are adding a whole story to the old movie theater building you’re in now?

FELICITE: Totally true! We’re building out the mezzanine to make room for 20 more engineers and just added 10 more sales and marketing seats today. It’s cozy! I’m eager to add a roof deck in 2018.

EFL:  How’s all the new restoration going with Hohenadel House? When’s the next party?

FELICITE: The Hohenadel House is completely livable with all systems working! We’re finishing the exterior stucco this summer and the carriage house interior. I think this Fall is our next party op! A mid-October Fall Fest or Halloween Party? We still don’t have central air, so we definitely need to wait until it cools off again.

Felicite with BuLogics founder Ryan Buchert (Photo credit Philly.com)

And who knows? By that time maybe Felicite will have another award to celebrate!  Congratulations to Felicite, and her team of tech trail-blazers at BuLogics & StraIS. We couldn’t be more proud of our hometown super geniuses.

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