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25th Anniversary: Connecting the Dots, Building Business & Strengthening Commercial Ties on Both Sides of the Atlantic

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On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, the BABC of Greater Philadelphia celebrated 25 years of business prosperity, success and visibility on both sides of the Atlantic.   Some 250 people gathered for this milestone event in the most unique venue in town – the American Airlines Maintenance Hangar at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).  An Airbus A330 was the backdrop for this unforgettable program. Attendees were invited to board the plane, visit with the captain in the cockpit, and recline in first class.  Upon deplaning, people were offered chocolate, and invited to return for a transatlantic crossing.

Mayor Kenney delivered keynote remarks about the important economic ties linking the Greater Philadelphia region and the UK. For a quarter of a century the BABC has helped local and UK companies succeed and grow business.  The UK is the largest international passenger and cargo market for the Greater Philadelphia region.  PHL is the region’s largest economic engine; it is a hub for business and job creation, and the BABC is a proud contributor.  Generating more than $14 billion annually to the local economy, last year over 400,000 flights carried 31.4 million passengers to and from the Greater Philadelphia region.  PHL supports employment directly and indirectly for more than 141,000 employees in the area.  Mayor Kenney highlighted these statistics, and more, as he touted the BABC’s commitment to promoting international trade and commerce.

Other speakers included BABC President Rhett Workman, Managing Director, Government and Airport Affairs for American Airlines; Rick Blatstein, CEO of OTG, food and beverage sponsor; Barry Eccleston, President, Airbus Americas, who spoke on behalf of The Welsh Government; Paul McConnell, CEO, McConnell Johnson Real Estate, LLC; Alan Kessler, Partner, Duane Morris LLP; Richard Turner, HM Consul & Regional Director, South East USA, UK Trade & Investment, British Embassy; and Jane Rosenberg, Executive Director, BABC.

Guests enjoyed an outstanding offering of buttlered appetizers, as well as a plated and extensive buffet dinner, enabling everyone to network throughout the evening and enjoy the Hangar. This was only the second time in history the Hangar was used as a reception venue.  The Philadelphia and Tinicum Township Police Departments closed roads for our event, directed guests to park their vehicles, and ushered them into the space.  American Airlines went above and beyond to ensure this program was nothing short of spectacular.  A canopied walkway and flowers greeted guests, who were then awed by the setting.  While BABC members and friends fly the friendly skies on nearly a weekly basis, nothing compares to standing under the wing of an A330, or, sitting in the cockpit and pressing buttons.  Descending the long jetway stairs made guests feel like royalty!

OTG spoiled our guests with an unforgettable offering of food and flawless service. Immediately before the BABC program, OTG made PHL history by announcing their revolutionary airport dining experience.  Even after scheduled closing time, attendees remained while tables and chairs were rolled away and the Hangar doors opened to return the aircraft to service.  Everyone left with gift bags laden with special treats curtesy of OTG, presents from the BABC, Philadelphia Union, and others, in addition to Philly soft pretzels with mustard, and Tasty Cakes.  No one went home hungry!

Special thanks to our lead sponsors of the 25th anniversary program, without whom this event would not have been possible: American Airlines, Duane Morris LLP, McConnell Johnson Real Estate, LLC, OTG, The Welsh Government, and Yards Brewing Company.  Our admiration goes out to the Philadelphia Youth Network, recipient of a portion of revenue from this program.

While the photos cannot do the venue or the experience justice, please take a look to see how the BABC of Greater Philadelphia celebrated a quarter century of success. Cheers to another 25!  Click HERE to view pictures.

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The BABCPHL recognizes our Club Level Members:

  • Almac
  • American Airlines
  • Cigna
  • Cigna
  • Deloitte
  • Duane Morris
  • EisnerAmper LLP
  • Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Fisher Phillips
  • HSBC
  • International Products Corporation
  • Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, Inc.
  • KPMG
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Welsh Government