Human Interest Feature: 25th Anniversary Testimonials and 25 Fast Facts About the BABC of Greater Philadelphia

The BABC owes its success to the outstanding group of board members and presidents who have volunteered their time, ideas, and financial support throughout the past quarter century.  Without this dedication, the BABC would not be here today to serve members and the international business community.  In honor of our anniversary we are featuring testimonials from three past presidents, and providing 25 fast facts about the BABC of Greater Philadelphia.  We look forward to our continued relationship with our current members and to welcoming new companies.

Howard Silverstone, immediate past president, joined the BABC when it first began 25 years ago.  Howard knew the then Executive Director, who was also running an Australian Chamber, and she invited him to join. “I had only been in Philadelphia (the US) for about five years at the time, so I thought it would offer me both a social and business connection back to the UK, which it certainly did.”  Howard explained the BABC has helped him in many ways.  “It has allowed me to improve my public speaking skills; it has allowed me to network with many people on both sides of the Atlantic; it has led to direct business generation; it has provided me with the opportunity to meet many dignitaries from the UK, including members of the Royal Family (all four of the Queen’s children), Members of Parliament and the House of Lords, other Government representatives, entertainers and many others.”  Howard’s most memorable BABC moment was Prince Andrew’s 2002 visit.  During his first tenure as President of the BABC Chapter, Howard escorted Prince Andrew to private functions, and spoke and introduced him at a lunch hosting 500 people at the Union League.  He also sat next to him for the lunch.  “I recounted a story from when I was about 11 years old in England and had to write an essay on my favorite member of the Royal Family.  I chose Prince Andrew because we are the same age and I was convinced I looked like him!”  Howard explained his affiliation with the BABC has provided many direct contacts, as well as business generation.  It also allows him on a regular basis to increase his contact base.

Former BABC President and current Vice President, Chief Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Cigna Global Health Benefits, Neil Boyden Tanner has been a member of our chamber for 17 years. He was in private practice at the time, and one of his partners knew he had strong UK connections and asked him to join.  A decade later, Neil became president of the BABC.  Neil explained the BABC has helped him in many ways over the years.  For example, when he was in private practice the BABC provided business leads that resulted in new clients.  “After going in house, it has provided contacts and information that has helped my companies with immigration matters, finding investment dollars, and getting access to business information that helped us succeed internationally.”  Neil added, “The BABC global network has been immensely helpful.  I have participated in panels in and outside the US; I have gotten to know the UK foreign investment organizations that have helped my business succeed, and have been able to participate in BABC chapters in other parts of the world, like Edinburgh, Scotland when I was living there. This wealth of contacts has enriched my personal and professional experiences.”

Hope Krebs, Partner, Co-Chair, International Practice Group, Duane Morris LLP and Chair of Multilaw, has been a member of the BABC Board of Directors for more than a decade.  She served as BABC President from December 2011 – December 2013. During her tenure, Hope inaugurated the Chapter’s Young Professionals Group; traveled with Mayor Michael A. Nutter and a group of 14 companies to London on a trade mission; grew membership; and presided over approximately one program per month. “The BABC has been very helpful in elevating the profile of my law firm, Duane Morris, in the international business community.  We have a substantial international practice and service clients’ needs around the world and the BABC helps us deliver that message to the Philadelphia-area business community.”  When asked to reflect upon her most memorable moments with the BABC or most significant experiences with the organization Hope shared: “I have had many memorable moments with the BABC.  As President, I was fortunate enough to travel to London with Mayor Nutter and sit beside Prince Edward at breakfast when he visited Philadelphia.  As a Board member, I was afforded the opportunity to sit in on a very intimate conversation between President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair just before Mr. Blair accepted the Freedom Medal at the Constitution Center here in Philadelphia.  But perhaps nothing is more memorable or more important to me than the many business contacts I have made through the BABC.  The BABC does a great job making business connections for its members.”

Special thanks to Howard, Neil and Hope for their candid feedback about the BABC and their favorable memories throughout the years.  BABC membership provides outstanding networking opportunities to build business and create valuable and meaningful connections.  We look forward to continuing to provide our members with worthwhile events and publications that increase their visibility in the marketplace and enable them to enhance their business.  Read on to learn 25 fast facts about the BABC of Greater Philadelphia, including interactive links to more information.

  1. Official name: British American Business Council (BABC) of Greater Philadelphia
  2. Geography: Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware
  3. UK is Pennsylvania’s largest trading partner
  4. 22 British American Business Chapters throughout the world
  5. Membership based organization
  6. Membership includes many of the world’s largest multinationals, as well as hundreds of middle market and smaller companies
  7. BABC of Greater Philadelphia has approximately 250 members aligned with approximately 80 companies across various industry sectors
  8. Five levels of membership: Club; Corporate; Educational, Arts & Charitable; Individual; and Regional Government Partners
  9. Affiliate of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
  10. Aligned with British AmericanBusiness parent organization
  11. Maintains close ties with UK Trade & Investment, British Consulate and Embassy
  12. Partners with various local organizations when synergistic
  13. Participates in in/outbound trade missions to/from the UK
  14. Honorary British Consul of Philadelphia: Oliver St. Clair Franklin OBE
  15. Current Chapter President: Rhett D. Workman, American Airlines
  16. Current Executive Director: Jane H. Rosenberg
  17. Hosts approximately 12 events per year featuring industry experts on panel discussions about current business/economic trends affecting the relationship between the US/UK; government officials, dignitaries, parliamentary members, Royal Family visitors, etc.
  18. Participates in programs and events on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean
  19. Has received four Royal Family visitors during the past 25 years – all four of the Queen’s children have visited Philadelphia
  20. Publishes three electronic newsletters each year
  21. Publishes an annual membership directory/annual report
  22. Maintains a dynamic website
  23. Actively involved in social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  24. Raises money and awareness for local charitable organizations – philanthropy
  25. Offers membership discounts/services

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The BABCPHL recognizes our Club Level Members:

  • Almac
  • American Airlines
  • Baker Tilly
  • Citrin Cooperman
  • Duane Morris
  • EisnerAmper LLP
  • Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Forensic Resolutions
  • Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, Inc.
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Olympus
  • Penn Medicine