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BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Ian Cross

As company founder and principal of Web firm, I-SITE, entrepreneur Ian Cross wears many hats including product strategy, market development and new business development. He loves web and digital technology and enjoys staying involved throughout the project cycle. Ian believes that I-SITE’s many long-term client relationships serve as a testament to the firm’s customer service, attention to detail and creativity.

Ian has been involved with the BABCPHL now for over 20 years and appreciates the organization’s professionalism, commitment and eagerness to evolve and stay relevant which is not an easy task.” He was hooked after winning two round trip tickets to London at his first Signature Annual Holiday Lunch in the late nineties! As one of the few digital and marketing experts in the BABC Ian especially enjoyed collaborating on a couple of the BABCPHL panel events that have been focused on the use of technology and the Internet in transatlantic business. Ian states, “The BABC strikes a fantastic balance between professional and social events. In terms of great memories I would have to say the Young Professionals event at The Trestle Inn is another favorite. The energy of the annual program is as great as the whiskey sours, although as The Trestle Inn owner I’m a little biased.”

Throughout the pandemic, Zoom has developed and surprised many of us with overwhelming participation and engagement; however, Ian, like many others, has most missed face-to-face interaction at events. The pandemic has given him the opportunity to step back and put everything into perspective, especially both his personal and professional relationships. Ian has been grateful for the BABCPHL and its members throughout the pandemic. He says, “the BABC really has felt like a family throughout.” Once restrictions are lifted, not much will change for Ian, as he is busy reopening the bar and working on some exciting I-SITE projects. Once he finally gets a break, he is planning to travel to Iceland to see the latest eruption.

In closing, Ian states, “I’m proud to be a member of an organization that I believe has risen to the challenge of COVID-19. Can only see an increase in business and opportunity as we emerge and look forward to meeting and collaborating with everyone involved.”

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Rebecca Lewis

Rebecca Lewis is the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Deputy Regional Director, East and US DIT COP26 Lead. Rebecca supports the leadership of a team of 30 trade and investment professionals, who focus on transatlantic opportunities for jobs and growth between the UK, and Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. In addition, she leads DIT’s business engagement on Climate. Currently, Rebecca is working with her Embassy and London colleagues to accelerate the race to net zero climate commitments.

Rebecca has been an active member of the BABCPHL since 2013. She has served multiple years on the board and works closely with the organization to collaborate on events. The British Consulate and DIT work closely with the BABCPHL because it makes sense! DIT’s and the BABCPHL’s objectives align for strong regional engagement with industry for trade and investment growth between the UK and Philadelphia. Rebecca’s favorite BABCPHL memory is taking the City’s trade delegation to the Houses of Parliament and visiting the Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben. She also thoroughly enjoyed visiting Philadelphia before the pandemic when Mayor Kenney signed the Powering Past Coal Alliance for the City of Philadelphia.

Throughout the pandemic, Rebecca has most missed seeing people, such as her regular coffee cart man outside the office. Rebecca has remained optimistic during the pandemic and has welcomed the new level of digital engagement between the US and UK, which has created “a whole new accessible and truly global world of opportunities.” She has also been grateful to be narrowing her carbon footprint by not traveling quite as much for work during the pandemic. However, she cannot wait to jump on a plane and go home to the UK once the restrictions are lifted. This is the longest Rebecca has ever had to be away from her home and family.

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Ralph Estel

Ralph Estel is a Senior Manager in the Private Business Services Practice at EisnerAmper with over 10 years of experience providing accounting, consulting and tax services to middle-market clients. His clients include real estate and construction companies. Ralph has presented and participates in various events on topics related to real estate, accounting and tax. In addition, Ralph contributes to the firm’s real estate blog.

Ralph has been a member of the BABCPHL for three years. He chose to become involved because he wanted to show his commitment to the two countries.  EisnerAmper has offices in both the United Kingdom and the United States which supported his decision. Ralph’s favorite BABCPHL memories include the Signature Annual Holiday Lunch, which he describes as being “one of the best networking events [he’s] ever attended.” He likes making great connections that he’s continued to strengthen through his involvement with the BABCPHL. He is looking forward to attending our upcoming Signature Annual Holiday Lunch on December 9th, 2021.

During the pandemic, Ralph missed going to lunches and dinners with clients and friends. As pandemic restrictions are lifted, he looks forward to doing this again. While Zoom has given us the ability to connect with one another, it simply cannot compete with the joys that come with in-person events. One good thing to happen as a result of the pandemic was that Ralph was able to spend more time with his family – something he enjoys very much.

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Bruce F. White

Bruce F. White is the Director of the International Practice and a Partner at Johnson, Kendall & Johnson (JKJ). JKJ is a holistic risk management and insurance brokerage firm catering to a middle market client base across the USA and internationally. Bruce spends his time managing and growing JKJ’s International Practice, which primarily champions bringing a proactive risk management approach to multinational companies entering the US and creating innovative solutions globally for US headquartered companies. The complexities of the US litigious, economic, and legal environment make navigating the total cost of risk an extraordinary challenge for foreign management groups. Bruce and the JKJ team work with companies headquartered in more than 37 countries, and have developed country specific initiatives tailored toward Japanese, German, Austrian, Swiss, Italian, Canadian, Mexican, and British companies.

Bruce has been affiliated with the BABCPHL for several years, but has become more active during the past few as JKJ is proactively working to grow their British American network. Two years ago, Bruce joined the BABCPHL’s Board of Directors, and more recently his dedicated colleague and British American Business consultant, Michael McGuire, accepted a leadership role for the BABCPHL Young Professional Group. “The BABC has an amazing tight knit community of likeminded businesses, executives, and professionals. We have grown to strongly value the partnerships and friendships that have developed as a result of our affiliation.” Bruce’s most memorable event was last summer’s virtual whiskey tasting. Lew Bryson, a decorated author of multiple published books and former editor of Whiskey Advocate, hosted an educational and historical lesson on whiskey distilling. “Not only was Lew brilliant in his field, but made the hour virtual event fun and brought his authentic personality to enhance a difficult way to engage an audience virtually.”

Bruce has most missed engaging with people throughout the pandemic. “We are naturally social beings and nothing accentuated that need more than the unprecedented lockdown predicament we all found ourselves in.” Bruce’s silver lining has been getting to spend time with his family. He and his wife had their fourth child only a month before the official pandemic restrictions began. “The pandemic for us personally was an extraordinary blessing, with an unprecedented amount of time to enjoy breakfasts, countless “did that really just happen” moments, singing/dancing, laughs, and a full bounty of memories with my kids, and wife.” Once pandemic restrictions are lifted, Bruce plans to travel to London and Frankfurt for business, and to take his wife on an overdue Caribbean vacation for some rest and relaxation!

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Remy Nshimiyimana

Remy Nshimiyimana is Counsel in Faegre Drinker’s Corporate practice group in Philadelphia. He partners with local and global businesses to ensure their strategic objectives in corporate transactions are effectively executed. Remy also represents domestic and international companies, as well as private equity funds and investment firms in M&A deals. He facilitates deals in a wide range of industries, including media, technology, manufacturing, education, life sciences and health care. In addition to being a part of Faegre Drinker’s corporate practice group in Philadelphia, Remy is also a member of the firm’s international industry team. It is a versatile group of attorneys and consultants spanning all industries and practice areas that helps clients execute strategic cross-border transactions, manage regulatory challenges of international business, resolve disputes and enter new markets with confidence. Between the Firm’s national footprint in the US, and its strategic offices in London and Shanghai, the team is well positioned to understand local culture and offer clients a comprehensive international experience to bolster their operations worldwide.

Remy has been affiliated with the BABCPHL since 2019. “I jumped at the chance to be part of this community of business and civic leaders interested in fostering transatlantic partnerships.” Remy appreciates the many opportunities to network with and learn from various corporate members and to attend BABCPHL hosted programs that discuss valuable, timely and informative updates about UK-US business matters. Remy’s most memorable BABCPHL event was the 2019 Signature Annual Holiday Lunch, which was actually the last in-person BABCPHL event he attended before the pandemic.

The pandemic brought many new opportunities for firms to think “outside the box.” At Faegre Drinker, Remy and his team harnessed the power of technology and collaboration to focus on innovation, efficiency and, most importantly, connecting with clients and colleagues in new and creative ways. This has been Remy’s silver lining throughout these unpredictable and challenging times. Remy has most missed being in the same space as his colleagues and being able to attend and participate in in-person activities with his clients. Besides seeing colleagues, Remy is looking forward to traveling again once pandemic restrictions are lifted. Remy hopes to travel to some spots in Europe, including London and Helsinki, and to locations where Faegre Drinker now has offices as a result of the early 2020 merger.

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Hope P. Krebs

Hope Krebs is an International Tax Partner in the law firm of Duane Morris and the Co-Chair of its International Practice. She has more than 30 years of experience helping clients capitalize on cross-border opportunities and overcome cross-border challenges.

Hope is a past President of the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, and is currently a Board member and serves as Vice President of Strategic Direction. She has been affiliated with the BABCPHL since Duane Morris opened their London office, nearly 20 years ago. As a past President of the BABCPHL, Hope traveled to London with then Mayor Michael Nutter, Jane Rosenberg, Executive Director of the BABCPHL, and a select trade mission from Philadelphia. In connection with her BABCPHL activities, she also had the honor of meeting HRH Prince Charles, HRH Prince Edward, Sir Richard Branson and several British Ambassadors on their respective visits to Philadelphia, as well hosting a meeting in her office for Carwyn Jones, then First Minister of Wales.

Hope was also the first woman to be elected as the Global Chair of Multilaw, the preeminent global legal network of independent law firms with over 10,000 lawyers in 100 countries and more than 150 commercial centers around the world. Multilaw leverages the power of trust to end distance and enables its member law firms (including Hope’s firm Duane Morris) and their clients to do cross-border business anywhere in the world with confidence.  Hope served on Multilaw’s Management Committee for four years and is currently a Board member and the Chair of its Appraisals and Former Chairs Committees.

Hope misses connecting in person with others and learning about their current business operations, potential opportunities and challenges; however, she is grateful for the time she has been able to spend with her family. Hope and her husband have even been able to go on a walk almost every day throughout the pandemic. Once the restrictions are lifted, Hope plans to get on a transatlantic flight to anywhere safe for a business meeting, and start to rebuild her hard-earned preferred traveler status that was lost during the pandemic.

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Leon J. Dutkiewicz Jr.

Leon L. Dutkiewicz Jr. is a Partner with Citrin Cooperman, one of the top 25 largest tax and advisory firms in the US. He is the Leader of the International Tax Practice, as well as the Co-Leader of the Philadelphia Tax Department.  With more than 25 years of tax and business experience, Leon specializes in international taxation with a proficiency in structuring global acquisitions and divestitures, analyzing income tax treaty benefits, assisting with transfer pricing implementation and compliance services. Navigating the rapidly changing international tax law can be overwhelming and complex. Leon proudly leads Citrin Cooperman’s International Taxation Services practice and provides the guidance and professional expertise that international clients require.

Leon has been involved with the BABCPHL for almost nine years, and has served as a board member for the past two. Leon states, “many of my clients have global operations, with a large portion of them either in the UK or they have come to the US from the UK.  The BABCPHL is a natural fit for me personally because my practice is UK-centric.” Through the BABCPHL, Leon has been able to expand his business network and make some new friends in the process. His favorite memory with the BABCPHL was his first Signature Annual Holiday Lunch. “It was a new and fulfilling experience with many great moments.” Leon noted that one of these memories involved his business partner, Stuart, who had left just before his name was called to win the airline ticket door prize! To this day, Leon continues to joke with Stuart about his great misfortune!

Pre-pandemic, Leon was often traveling and eating out, which are two of his favorite pastimes both personally and professionally. Throughout the pandemic, he has greatly missed being able to do these things and to be constantly interacting with his friends, family, clients and colleagues. Once pandemic restrictions are lifted, Leon looks forward to being able to travel more freely – especially internationally.  He is looking forward to visiting and spending time with friends and clients in Europe, hopefully in the not too distant future. Leon’s silver lining of the pandemic was getting a dog. He had been wanting to for quite some time, but hadn’t had time between work, traveling, errands, and just life in general. The pandemic gave him the time to care for a new dog, and he could not be happier.

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Neil Boyden Tanner

Neil Boyden Tanner serves as General Counsel for International Markets at Cigna, the global health services company. He manages all legal and compliance matters for the international businesses and manages lawyers and compliance professionals in multiple jurisdictions around the world. Previously, Neil was SVP and Chief Counsel for the U.S. businesses, responsible for all US business legal matters, and served as Secretary of the Board, responsible for all Board matters, securities law, governance matters, global subsidiary maintenance and treasury law matters.

Neil has been a member of the BABCPHL for more than two decades and remains involved for a variety of reasons – from amazing events on the latest issues to transatlantic networking, it provides valuable contacts and information that pays dividends for Cigna’s business. As a past President of the BABCPHL, Neil has said that his greatest memories include attending briefings by government leaders from both sides of the Atlantic (including former Presidents and Prime Ministers), giving presentations in the U.S. and the U.K., advising the U.K. government on various initiatives, and even dining with members of the royal family. However, his most fond memories about the BABCPHL are connected to the many relationships he has made over the years with other members, many of whom have become some of his closest professional contacts and friends.

During the pandemic, Neil has missed in-person interactions the most. Neil states, “while the BABCPHL has done an amazing job of continuing to provide important content and opportunities to network, nothing can replace in person meetings.” There have been some silver linings for Neil, though. The pandemic has given him the opportunity to spend a year at home. As an international lawyer, he travels constantly, but this year he has spent more time than ever before with his family. While this has been a wonderful experience for him, when restrictions are lifted, Neil does hope to return to the U.K. to see work colleagues, relatives, and friends and to restock his British supplies!

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Oliver St Clair Franklin OBE

Appointed in 1998, Oliver Franklin is the 3rd British Honorary Consul serving our geography. Oliver liaises with the Consul General in New York and the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. on providing advice to businesses, solving consular issues in the region and engaging in public diplomacy. He also serves as a Senior Advisor, speaks to UK business groups about US fiscal and financial policies, and has held senior level positions at financial institutions throughout his career. Recently, Oliver was appointed to an Advisory Board at the NatWest Banking Group. He is also a senior advisor to Liminal Capital a west coast Hedge Fund using machine learning.

Oliver has been affiliated with the BABCPHL since 1999. He says, “this relationship keeps me current on US/UK bilateral business relations, which is key to being a successful Honorary Consul.” Oliver’s favorite BABCPHL event is the Signature Annual Holiday Lunch. He thoroughly enjoys the diversity of each year’s speakers, and Howard Silverstone’s running commentary! Oliver’s other memorable events include official UK delegations hosted by the BABCPHL.

In September, Oliver hopes restrictions will be lifted and he will be able to travel back to the UK. He has greatly missed friendship and physical contact with his colleagues, loved ones and even strangers. He misses the ability to get caught up in conversation between meetings about life outside of the office. The pandemic did have some upsides for Oliver, though. Oliver was grateful to have the opportunity to time-space travel. He is now able to travel anywhere (virtually) without ever leaving his home.

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Ricki Reichard

Ricki Reichard is Sales Director of Hub and Focus Cities on the East Coast for American Airlines. Ricki recently became affiliated with the BABCPHL this past year; however, American Airlines has been an active member for more than a decade. Ricki states, “It’s an honor for American Airlines to be involved with the BABCPHL. Great work is done by the Council, and I look forward to becoming more involved.” Ricki’s favorite events so far were the small curated networking breakout sessions held earlier this year. She was happy to have the opportunity to build relationships throughout the BABCPHL network in an informal setting.

Throughout the pandemic, Ricki’s silver lining was focusing on American Airlines’ “green flag” initiative. The pandemic has affected everyone in some way or another. This has allowed American Airlines to reevaluate processes and policies to grow in equal footing as their competitors. Ricki says, “The pandemic has allowed a pit stop, yellow flag, if you will. We’ve built and are executing on strong initiatives that will allow us to outshine our competitors when back to business. Have you seen Talladega Nights? Ricky Bobby says it best… ‘if you’re not first you are last.’”

Ricki has most missed traveling. In fact, she has missed it so much, she even misses the long TSA lines! There is no doubt that the first thing Ricki will do when the pandemic restrictions are lifted is take a vacation – to somewhere far, far away from Zoom, Teams, and Webex. Today American Airlines celebrates 30 years of servicing LHR! They operated their first flight from JFK to LHR on July 1, 1991 on a Boeing 767 aircraft. Here’s to another 30 + years!

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The BABCPHL recognizes our Club Level Members:

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