On Thursday, December 10, 2015, the British American Business Council (BABC) of Greater Philadelphia hosted the 2015 Annual Holiday Luncheon: A World Class Region – British Business, Arts & Culture featuring the Honorable Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia and Derick Dreher, Ph.D. John C. Haas Director, The Rosenbach. Approximately 175 people gathered for the BABC’s signature event in the Grand Ballroom of The Ritz Carlton, Philadelphia. Danny Lopez, HM Consul General & Director General, Trade & Investment USA joined the event to hand deliver and present Mayor Nutter with a special recognition letter from the UK government for his remarkable partnership in building UK/Philadelphia business ties during his two term tenure. Danny called on all attendees to stand and give Mayor Nutter the proper recognition as he made his way to the podium. The entire room was on their feet, donning colorful paper Christmas crowns and cheering the BABC’s special guest.
When our star studded Mayor took the stage he spoke at length about international business ties between the UK and Philadelphia; the Philadelphia/London trade mission; and emotionally reflected about his eight years in office. His remarks were informative, engaging and touching. As a result of the work that Mayor Nutter and his administration have completed, Philadelphia has been recognized as one of the greatest international City’s in the world. Historic, recent and upcoming activities will undoubtedly continue to buoy Philadelphia’s reputation as a leading player in global politics, economics and social issues.
Derick spoke about our creative connections to the UK, specifically Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript, for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which was flown in from London and temporarily part of a special current exhibition. In keeping with our holiday lunch theme, in honor of Alice’s 150th anniversary and the BABC’s 25th anniversary we were granted special permission by Penguin Random House London to reprint a special anniversary limited edition of the book. One copy was gifted to each attendee and Mayor Nutter, Derick and Danny received hard copy, leather bound, embossed books. This exclusive holiday gift was made possible by the generous sponsorship of BABC Club Level member Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP.
The BABC holiday program also included remarks from headline sponsors: Rhett Workman, Managing Director, Government & Airport Affairs, American Airlines who introduced Derick Dreher, and discussed the Airlines’ connection to The Rosenbach and the Alice manuscript; Nick Lotz, Senior Vice President, Large Corporates, HSBC Bank USA, N.A. who talked about the milestone year for the BABC, the Bank and the theme of the luncheon – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; and Michael Pedrick, Partner, Business & Finance, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, introduced Danny Lopez, and thanked the Consul for support and partnership. BABC President, Howard Silverstone was the Master of Ceremonies. He kept attendees on their toes by spicing up the entire program with his clever humor. Howard candidly discussed his sadness as his second stint as BABC President was coming to an end at the end of the month. Howard has been actively involved in the BABC Board of Directors for approximately two decades. As a Brit, who has made the region his home, he has always enjoyed dedicating time to the BABC and is deeply committed to the Organization. Howard promised he was leaving members in good hands with the announcement of his successor, Rhett Workman who will assume the role on January 1, 2016.
The program concluded with more than two dozen raffle prizes given to lucky business card draw winners from local retailers, restaurants, hotels and sports teams, including of a pair of round trip Aadvantage miles for a pair of round trip, Business Class tickets on American Airlines’ non-stop service from Philadelphia International Airport to London, England.
Special thanks to our lead sponsors HSBC Bank USA N.A. and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP; the exclusive airline sponsor American Airlines; premium sponsors PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and UK Trade & Investment; and to all of our corporate table supporters for their generous support.
To view pictures from the event click here.