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HM Queen Elizabeth II Announces 2018 Birthday Honours List

The BABCPHL is pleased to congratulate Howard M. Silverstone on his appointment by Her Majesty The Queen as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).  This honor is in recognition of Howard’s services to British business in the United States.

Howard has been a member of the BABCPHL since its inception more than 25 years ago. He has served two terms as President and is currently Programs & Events Chairman.  For more than a quarter century Howard has dedicated his time and resources to strengthening the relationship between the UK and the Greater Philadelphia region.

Howard actively promotes the relationship between the UK and the Greater Philadelphia region through his voluntary efforts with the BABCPHL. Howard is a highly committed BABCPHL Board Member.  He served as President on two separate occasions, and in various Vice President roles, such as Marketing & Communications Chairman.  He is the current Programs & Events Chairman.

As a BABCPHL board member and two-term President, Howard has helped the BABCPHL overcome the biggest challenge it faces as an international organization: that of the transient nature of its members. BABCPHL has to continually service its existing members, as well as seek out new ones.  Howard’s work on the board and as President has continually addressed that challenge, through successful meetings, presentations, and speeches that have directly benefited BABCPHL’s constituents with business interests in the UK.

Throughout his tenure with the BABCPHL, Howard has helped the organization expand. Approximately once a month, Howard presides over or participates in a BABCPHL program about a current issue or event affecting the trade and commercial relationship between the Greater Philadelphia region and the UK.  Program topics may include but are not limited to: transatlantic business, cybersecurity, sustainability, global mobility, and healthcare to name several.  BABCPHL events involve the following industry sectors: financial services, life sciences, travel & leisure, banking, insurance, media & technology, sport, etc.

Howard has also consistently supported BABCPHL efforts to raise funds and awareness for underserved or disadvantaged groups through annual community service programing and other-related projects. While Howard is occupied day in and day out with his privately owned and managed forensic accounting firm – Forensic Resolutions, Inc. – he always finds time to dedicate many hours per week to the BABCPHL. His commitment has had immeasurable impact on the region’s relationship with the UK both financially and culturally. Howard’s support has enabled the BABCPHL to continue to facilitate the social and commercial interaction of individuals and corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Howard is an outstanding ambassador for the UK in the US. During his early years in America, upon learning about the BABCPHL, he immediately sought out and became affiliated with the Organization. The BABCPHL is the premier international business association and the only UK dedicated group of its kind in the area.  This affiliation afforded Howard the opportunity to network with professionals who shared his interests and connections to the UK.  Originally only planning to stay one year, Howard made the most of his experience and decided to remain in America.  Then, today, and into the future, Howard is passionate about connecting with others.  He is always eager to build bridges to enhance the strong economic and cultural ties between the Greater Philadelphia region and the UK.

The BABCPHL wishes Howard heartfelt congratulations on receipt of this very well deserved recognition, and sincere thanks for the many years and hours of service he has dedicated to promoting our Organization’s mission.

Click here for a complete listing of the Diplomatic and Overseas Birthday Honours List.

 


Press Release: Almac Group’s VP of Global Business Development Appointed to BABCPHL Board of Directors

Souderton, US, May 23, 2018Almac Group, the global contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organization, is proud to recognize the appointment of George Tiger, Vice President of Global Business Development, Almac Clinical Technologies, to the BABCPHL’s Board of Directors.

Leading global commercial activities for Almac Clinical Technologies, Tiger is responsible for the company’s commercial strategy and execution, working to build and strengthen client relationships, advance the industry-leading Almac ONE solution and expand strategic partnerships. He has over twenty-five years of success in sales, marketing and general management. Prior to joining Almac in 2015, Tiger served as Sr. Vice President for Health Market Science, and served in a number of global leadership positions with ERT and Abbott Laboratories. He is a graduate of Lafayette College with a BA in Economics and Business.

Michael Pedrick, BABCPHL President, commented: “The BABCPHL is pleased to welcome Almac as a Club Level Member. As a global pharmaceutical and biotech company, Almac represents a highly significant and growing business sector for the Greater Philadelphia region, and one that is a key component of US/UK trade in our area. We are delighted George is joining our Board of Directors. He will offer depth and insight about this critical sector, and will help our organization advance our mission and that of Almac through affiliation with the BABCPHL.”

Last year, the Almac Group hosted Ross Allen, Deputy Consul General and US Director of the Department for International Trade, and John Hoggard, Vice Consul and US Healthcare Sector Lead, to present a comprehensive overview of Almac’s history, global presence, and local operations.

Valarie Higgins, President & Managing Director of Almac Clinical Technologies, was also a recent finalist for the BABC’s global Transatlantic Growth (TAG) Women in Business Silver Award, which celebrates successful companies growing their transatlantic business, for her work to implement a successful growth strategy between Europe, the US, and internationally.

To learn more about Almac Group’s work in the US and globally, please visit: https://www.almacgroup.com or e-mail media@almacgroup.com.

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About the British American Business Council
The British American Business Council (BABC) of Greater Philadelphia promotes the trade and investment relationship between the United Kingdom and Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware. The United States of America and the United Kingdom are each other’s largest investors; together we have approximately $1 trillion invested in each other’s economies.

The BABC is part of the largest transatlantic business network with 22 chapters, and more than 2,000 member companies based in major business centers throughout North American and the United Kingdom. Members include many of the world’s largest multinationals as well as thousands of middle market and privately held entities across industry sectors.

About Almac Group
‘Partnering to Advance Human Health’

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation that provides an extensive range of integrated services to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. The services range from R&D, biomarker discovery development and commercialisation, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IXRS® technology (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.

The international company is a privately owned organisation that has organically grown over almost 50 years and now employs close to 5,000 highly skilled personnel. Almac is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland with operations in the UK, Ireland, across the US (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) and in Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).


Britain Unites – Bridging Connections Across the LGBT Community

Britain Unites – Bridging Connections Across the LGBT Community
Thursday, May 17, 2018
The Pyramid Club

On the third Thursday of every month, the LGBT Committee of the Pyramid Club partners with LGBT friendly groups to provide an evening of food, drinks, and networking. These evenings offer participating groups the opportunity to connect and network. On Thursday on May 17, 2018, the LGBT Committee of the Pyramid Club collaborated with the BABCPHL, Barclays, Pennsylvania Ballet, PHYLA, and Resource Solutions for a British-themed happy hour.

Guests took the elevator up to the 52nd floor where they were greeted with spectacular views and delicious food.  Appetizers included a wonderful spread of meats, cheeses, olives, and stuffed peppers surrounded by a self-serve beer station.  Beer, wine, and cocktail lovers enjoyed discounted drinks at the bar.  Delicious British-themed entrees were replenished throughout the evening, and included bangers and mash with scallops and bacon, fish and chips, cottage pie, and many other dishes. The room, surrounded by large glass windows, allowed unobstructed views of the Philadelphia skyline.

The diverse crowd included executives from regional and global companies, students, and artists. Networking and conversation abounded, and kept going until late in the evening.

BABCPHL member Philadelphia Union donated tickets and other items. Around 7:00 pm, Maureen Coyle, Managing Director of The Pyramid Club, chose a winner. Guests continued eating, drinking and networking until 8:00 pm. The evening was a success and left everyone with a smile.  The BABCPHL would like to thank all partnering organizations and The Pyramid Club for hosting the event.


The Royals

People throughout the world are looking forward to watching the Royal Wedding which will air live from London on Saturday, May 19. The BABCPHL is pleased to recognize the growing Royal Family.

Within the short time span of just a few weeks, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their third child, Prince Louis, on April 23, and Prince Harry will wed Ms. Meghan Markle this coming Saturday.

BABCPHL prior two-time President, and current Programs & Events Chairman, Howard Silverstone, was interviewed by the press about this exciting event.  Click through the below links for press coverage.

Radio interview

Online article

 


Young Professionals Group Seventh Annual Panel Discussion & Networking Event: The Future is Now, Where Are You?

On Thursday, April 26, 2018, the BABCPHL Young Professionals Group (YPG) hosted the seventh annual panel discussion and networking event: The Future is Now, Where Are You?  The workplace has changed dramatically during the past two decades.  Speakers talked about why companies – small, medium and large enterprises – are embracing open plan work spaces and collaborative working environments.  Panelists spoke about the current work milieu; the technology businesses are using; and best practices and operations.  Featured speakers included: Josh Dubin, Director of Programs & Strategy at Pipeline Workspaces who presented the evolution of the collaborative work environment; Laurence Hookway, Risk Information Consultant from Chubb Global Services who discussed the current movement toward remote work arrangements; Adam Jones, Vice President from Shout Digital who talked about the various technology and tools companies employ to successfully implement business operations; and Jay Jumper, Partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP who spoke about the legal aspects of conducting business in this manner.

Josh reported on the evolution of the shared workspace, and the dramatic transformation during the past few years. Shared workspaces are currently characterized by a more diverse ecosystem of companies, representing various sized enterprises and industry sectors.  What once began as an area most appealing to young, “hoodied,” tech entrepreneurs, the gig-economy, etc. has changed significantly.  During the past couple of years the profile of shared workspace members started to include lawyers, journalists, real estate entrepreneurs, etc.  Today, veteran entrepreneurs and national businesses are actively seeking and occupying this type of office as it provides financial flexibility and promotes a communal type of interaction, creating inspiration and innovation.  The community component is a big sell.  Shared workspace companies are in the business of building community and curating dialogue.  People can connect and grow relationships organically.  Some examples of big companies that have built campuses around collaboration spaces are: Google, Facebook, GSK, and Urban Outfitters.  Josh stated that during the next five years – middle market companies (such as 20, 50, and 100 person operations) will begin thinking creatively about how to transform their space into this type of cooperative working environment at a low cost.

Laurence spoke about his personal experience working in both modern and traditional office, on both sides of the Atlantic. He explained how work space is industry driven.  When young professionals enter the work force and start out at a big company, they often expect a modern area, a clean, tech driven, digital environment in which to operate.  Influencers include: a company’s corporate culture; economic factors; and social change.  The recent trend toward a mobile – work from home policy – while leading to greater flexibility, dissuades a community building, collaborative and interactive engagement.  Laurence also discussed the disadvantages of blurring the lines between work and home.  Furthermore, US and UK-based businesses utilize differing surveillance techniques to monitor their employees work and online habits.  The issue of data privacy and protection comes into play.  The one benefit of the advanced ability to work remotely is seamless disruption to work flow with globally mobile employees.  Lastly, the ability to work remotely can impede professional development because there is no face-to-face interaction with people at various levels within a company.  All in all, interpersonal interaction among employees of all levels and a collaborative working environment is a win/win.

Adam provided insight about the technological tools companies use to enable their employees to collaborate and successfully meet business goals. Examples he gave include Mixed Reality (MR) and Insight Heart, Microsoft’s blend of augmented and virtual reality.  These tools enable teams to share instantly.  College classrooms also benefit from this technology. Conversational Artificial Intelligence, such as the Chatbot is replacing traditional customer service representatives, call centers, etc. throughout the globe.  Currently and in the future there will be a tremendous impact on overall business operations and the bottom line as a result of rapidly developing technology. MR has the ability to blend both of what makes Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) valuable to businesses.  MR can take a snapshot of the real world environment, and allow the user to place virtual objects within that space.  VR is an entirely virtual world with no connection to the environment of the user, and AR doesn’t allow the same level of interaction.  MR has the potential to genuinely disrupt the workplace in a positive way by allowing for seamless collaboration. It allows for physical items to be shared within seconds with a team in an entirely different location.  Employing this type of technology can potentially save businesses a significant amount of money.

Jay delivered remarks about important strategic business planning and legal issues companies need to be aware of when operating in a shared work environment. For example, properly documenting all aspects of the business including: the physical space arrangement; ensuring the relationship between the building owner and the shared workspace operator is clearly defined; and carefully documenting the roles and responsibilities of all employees, is a must do.  Jay provided examples of why confidentiality and intellectual property – protecting proprietary information – is a big issue when operating in a diverse work space.  Insurance needs are also different than those of a business with a solely managed and operated office.  For example, people in a shared space arrangement still need to insure their property, and equipment.  Budgeting is another aspect that should be carefully evaluated.  Shared work space loans itself to an artificially low overhead cost.  Companies who operate in this type of environment need to balance their desire for a shared working environment that fosters creativity and collegiality with the need to protect proprietary information and carefully document business operations.  In addition, while expenses are reduced in the short term, companies need to think long term about how this can impact them both financially and from a risk profile.

In summary, shared workspace is a positive trend that can positively influence any sized business across industry sectors. However, one thing for sure, proper strategic development and business plans specific to this type of work environment must be implemented to ensure success.  To round out the presentations and close the discussion Jason took questions from the audience.  Attendees networked after the formal part of the program ended.  Everyone enjoyed their signature whiskey sours, while developing new and enhancing old business ties.

We would like to extend special thanks to sponsor company Pepper Hamilton LLP and to event partner, Select Greater Philadelphia.

Click here to view photos from the event.


Seventh Annual New Jersey Networking Event

On Thursday, March 15, 2018, the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia hosted the seventh annual New Jersey networking event and dinner at The British Chip Shop in Haddonfield, New Jersey. More than 35 BABCPHL members and friends occupied the restaurant for a fun-filled pub night.  Chip Shop proprietors offered attendees a superb selection of specialty beers and a wonderful meal including delicious appetizers, a main course and traditional tea and biscuits for dessert.  Adding to the enjoyment of the evening, Philadelphia Union presented each attendee with two complimentary tickets to a Philadelphia Union home game, in addition to raffling off a team signed soccer ball.

Michael Pedrick, BABCPHL President welcomed attendees, and discussed the important relationship the State of New Jersey has with the United Kingdom. He also provided a brief introduction about the organization, and introduced event sponsors.  Following his introductory remarks, Michael invited Leon Dutkiewicz, Partner, D&H Global Tax Group, and lead sponsor for the evening to say a few words.  D&H Global Tax has offices in Pitman, NJ, London and Philadelphia.  The Firm specializes in international US tax advice, compliance services, and structuring.  After Leon concluded, Michael asked the other two sponsors to speak.  Howard Silverstone, Founding Partner of Forensic Resolutions, a forensic and investigative accounting firm, providing solutions to complex business problems and insurance claims, addressed the group.  Howard is a past BABCPHL President and he is the current Programs and Events Chairman.  He has served on the BABCPHL Board of Directors for more than 25 years.  Howard kept attendees laughing at his clever jokes and witty comments, before passing the microphone to Jay Jumper, Partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP, a multi-practice law firm serving clients throughout the world.  Jay has been a BABCPHL Board Member for the past three years.

Following sponsor remarks, a winning business card was drawn for a Philadelphia Union team signed soccer ball. Attendees were then invited to sit and enjoy dinner.  Guests remained long into the evening, continuing to mingle.

We extend special thanks to lead event sponsor, D&H Global Tax Group; supporting sponsors, Forensic Resolutions and Pepper Hamilton LLP; and door prize and raffle gift sponsor, Philadelphia Union.

Click here to view photos.


BABCPHL Theatre Night Recap

BABCPHL Theatre Night

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Drake – Louis Bluver Theatre, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Recap

On Thursday, February 22, 2018 BABCPHL members and friends gathered for a Welsh play US premier, followed by food and drinks with the director and playwright. Welsh playwright Alan Harris wrote Love, Lies and Taxidermy – a romantic comedy about growing up in a small town in Wales. The play was directed by BABCPHL member Inis Nua. Inis Nua, translating to “new island”, is a Philadelphia-based theatre company that produces contemporary, provocative plays from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales which reflect those cultures’ new identities in today’s world. Tom Reing is the Founder and Artistic Director of Inis Nua and has presented over 16 American premiers.  Love, Lies and Taxidermy was a perfect example of how Inis Nua brings UK culture to the US for Philadelphians to enjoy.

Guests gathered at the Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake for the 7:00 p.m. sold-out showing of Love, Lies and Taxidermy. The Welsh playwright, Alan Harris, attended the show as well. Alan has written 12 plays that have been performed throughout the world. He has also written plays for BBC Radio4 and Radio3. Love, Lies and Taxidermy is his most recent Welsh romantic comedy. The play casts three actors who played multiple roles throughout the show. Francesca Piccioni played Ashely, a teenager struggling with romance and her poor father’s struggling ice-cream truck business. She also played the role of Valentyn’s mother. Joseph Teti played the role of Valentyn who is also an inexperienced teenager dealing with the separation of his parents and his new romance with Ashley. Seth Reichgott held the role of several characters including the both Valentyn’s Polish immigrant farther, and Ashley’s struggling merchant father. The three actors preformed the entire play in European accents, despite all being American.

The minimalist stage design was completely black except for the up-lit taxidermy animals dramatically illuminated throughout the room. The audience was seated in the round, surrounding the stage where the actors performed. The lighting and use of a few props enhanced the plot and kept the audience engaged. There were several references to modern culture and movies including the famous Ron Burgundy which had everyone laughing. Because the play consisted of three people, the actors often provided narration, background, and flashbacks to help the audience understand the plot. The play covered several topics including: romance, poverty, immigration, and various professions. The seemingly happy-go-lucky play was simultaneously dark, emotional, comical, and fun to watch.

After the play, guests walked down the street to Fado’s Irish Pub to meet with the director, playwright, and actors. Guests ate, drank, and mingled for 30 minutes before Efe Sokol, Senior Representative with the Welsh Government at the British Consulate General in New York City, and BABCPHL Board Member, introduced Alan Harris and Tom Reing. Efe thanked them and the other guests before Tom and the audience took turns asking Alan about the play and his creative process. Interestingly, the play was written without assigned characters and names. Tom talked about the difficulty of assigning specific lines to the actors. Two of the three actors, who attended the post-play reception, discussed their methods for interpreting and performing their roles. The conversation continued well into the evening. Efe closed the discussion by thanking everyone who attended, especially Tom, Alan, and the actors. The BABCPHL would like to congratulate Inis Nua for bringing this outstanding Welsh show to the stage in Philadelphia. Visit Inis Nua’s website for additional information about this show as well as upcoming productions.

Click here for photos.


Secretary of State for Wales Philadelphia Visit

British American Business Council for Greater Philadelphia

Secretary of State for Wales Philadelphia Visit

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Recap

On Tuesday, February 13, 2018 the BABCPHL welcomed the Secretary of State for Wales, the Right Honourable Alun Cairns for an official visit to Philadelphia. Mr. Cairns was joined by two Board of Trade Advisers: former Chairman of Cardiff Airport and Welsh Development Agency, Lord Rowe-Beddoe and the Chief of Staff for Manchester Airport Group, Collette Roche.  This visit was part of a three-day trade mission to Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.  The purpose of this trip was to attract American businesses to invest in Wales and build upon an already strong trading relationship between the two nations; the US is the UK’s largest trading partner.

Under Chatham House Rules, Mr. Cairns candidly spoke with a select group of BABCPHL member companies at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP’s board room overlooking the Benjamin Franklin Parkway about: UK trade policy; Brexit; UK politics; reasons for investing in the UK; and the new industrial policy that was just released. In addition to speaking with a select group of BABCPHL members during this exclusive lunch, Mr. Cairns, Lord Rowe-Beddoe and Ms. Roche also met with companies operating across various industry sectors throughout the tristate region.

The Right Honorable Alun Cairns was appointed Secretary of State for Wales on March 19, 2016. He was elected as Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan in May 2010, and re-elected in 2015.  Mr. Cairns attended the University of Wales and has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  His extensive political career includes: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales and a Government Whip from July 2014 to March 2016; appointment to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Wales Office in 2014; election as MP for the Vale of Glamorgan 2010; and election as Assembly Member to the Welsh Assembly in 1999.  Before being elected to the Welsh Assembly, Mr. Cairns worked for Lloyds Bank for more than 10 years, mostly in business development, with his last role in financial services compliance.  Mr. Cairns lives in his constituency with his wife and their son.  His father was a welder in British Steel and his mother was a shop-keeper.  He enjoys running and has completed four London Marathons in aid of local charities.  He was the fastest MP to complete the 26 mile course in 2015!

It’s a good thing Mr. Cairns is a runner because as Secretary of State he is accountable for quite a lot, especially during this time of great change. The Secretary of State for Wales is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the Wales Office.  Mr. Cairns’ responsibilities include: overall strategic direction; constitutional and electoral issues; economy and business; budget; infrastructure; foreign affairs; steel; Swansea City Deal/Tidal Lagoon; North Wales Growth Deal/North Wales transport modernization; broadcasting; and exiting the EU.

We find ourselves at a crossroad of major change to the geopolitical landscape. We are pleased Mr. Cairns and his team selected Philadelphia as an important stop on their trade mission itinerary.  The candid discussion and open dialogue was an outstanding opportunity to learn from an insider about what to anticipate post-Brexit.  The Secretary of State wanted to hear from regional business leaders about their questions and concerns regarding UK/US trade.

Special thanks to Ross Allen, Director, Department for International Trade, North America and Deputy Consul General in New York, Department for International Trade, British Consulate-General New York for collaborating with us on this important visit, and to Jason Gosselin, BABCPHL Secretary and Club Level Member from Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP for hosting the meeting.

Click here for photos.


2018 Global Connect Recap

Global Connect
Thursday, January 25, 2018
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
1313 Innovation Center, Hercules Plaza, Wilmington, DE
Recap

On Thursday, January 25, 2018, the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia partnered with the Asian, Chilean, French, German, Irish, Norwegian, Israeli, Russian and Swedish Chambers of Commerce as well as Select Greater Philadelphia and the World Trade Center of Delaware for a tristate area networking event. The program focused on start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures. More than 150 tech professionals and global business leaders participated. Internationally minded executives with operations in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic evening of networking, noshing and professional growth. Start-ups brought corporate promotional materials for display and to showcase their business objectives. Business cards were exchanged and new valuable global connections were made.

This international event was held in the lobby of Hercules Plaza, home to 1313 Innovation. Founder, Paul McConnell, is a BABCPHL Club Level and Board Member. A few years ago Paul saw a need to build the entrepreneurial community in Wilmington, Delaware and beyond. “There was some startup activity in the City, but we knew it could be so much more” stated Paul. By June 2014, 1313 Innovation was launched, offering more than 10,000 square feet of co-working space, networking, and educational opportunities. 1313 Innovation’s mission is to enrich Delaware’s business community by being the most groundbreaking resource for professionals and students. 1313 strives to connect business leaders, and universities to transform Wilmington into the epitome of innovation. They support the development of its members in their roles as business leaders mainly through local and national networking, strategic alliances and partnerships in education. Our group was honored to help Paul and his team meet their mission through collaboration on this global program.

Paul and his team at 1313 Innovation and McConnell Johnson Real Estate, LLC graciously hosted our group. Event sponsors also included: 1776/Benjamin’s Desk; Bartlett & Company; The Fun Department; and the University of Delaware. The event involved executives from a wide range of industry sectors, and businesses with operations in the three states and the across the world. After brief remarks from BABCPHL President Michael Pedrick, sponsor introductions, and an entertaining “Who’s Who” ice breaker game led by The Fun Department, guests networked and continued to mix and mingle long after the event officially ended.

Sincere thanks to all sponsors and partners. Click here for photos.


A Musical Adventure in the British Isles Recap

A Musical Adventure in the British Isles
Thursday, January 18, 2018
6:00 – 9:30 p.m.
The Kimmel Center, Philadelphia
Recap

On Thursday, January 18, 2018, the BABCPHL partnered with the Philadelphia Orchestra on a very special event in honor of the Orchestra’s three-week British Isles’ concert series. More than 30 BABCPHL members and friends gathered at the Kimmel Center for a VIP behind the scenes tour; a meet and greet with Philadelphia Orchestra musicians; and reserved seats for the concert.

Geoff Cohen, Associate Director of Audience Development for the Philadelphia Orchestra welcomed BABCPHL guests and led our group through an informative discussion and tour of the awe inspiring building, built to ensure sound quality. Our group stood on the Verizon Hall stage at three different points throughout the evening.  We also explored behind the stage where we saw the microphones, instruments, shipping containers, offices, and dressing rooms.  After the tour we were joined in the Green Room by Matthew Loden, Interim Co-President; David Kim, Concertmaster; and Philip Kates, Second Violinist for the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Matthew, David and Phil spoke with BABCPHL event participants about the Orchestra, and educated us about fascinating facts.  Did you know the Philadelphia Orchestra is the most recorded orchestra in the world, and out of approximately 100 musicians, average musician tenure is about 20 years.  Philadelphia Orchestra musicians are so talented and in sync with one another that when presented with a new program, if necessary, they can be performance ready after only one rehearsal.  The Orchestra is fortunate to own Stradivarius violins from the 1700s, worth millions of dollars.  Some of the musicians play these instruments on stage during the concerts.

During the dynamic question and answer session with the musicians, we were informed there was a special treat in store for us – a bagpipe serenade. Police & Fire Bagpipers were performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra in memory of Lt. Matthew LeTourneau, and the BABCPHL was lucky to have a preview of the performance before the actual concert began.  Before dismissing our group, Michael Pedrick, BABCPHL President thanked our hosts Geoff and Matthew and the musicians David and Phil for the dedicated time they spent with us.  While Orchestra members left to prepare for the concert, BABCPHL guests were encouraged to have a bite to eat and a drink at the PECO Concession Stand or Volver Restaurant, both housed in the Kimmel Center.

Verizon Hall filled quickly as people began to arrive for the concert conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the inspired leader of The Philadelphia Orchestra. The January 18th concert featured two soloists and pieces by Peter Maxwell Davies, Bruch and Mendelssohn. Juliette Kang, Canadian violinist, who was appointed first associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2005, had a solo.  She received a standing ovation for performing Bruch’s fantasia of traditional folk songs from the Highlands and beyond.

The BABCPHL was truly honored to partner with the Philadelphia Orchestra for this wonderful musical adventure in the British Isles. Special thanks to the Orchestra for working with us to offer our members and friends this unique opportunity.  For more information about the Philadelphia Orchestra, and to purchase tickets please click here.

Click here for photos.

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The BABCPHL recognizes our Club Level Members:

  • Almac
  • American Airlines
  • Bartlett
  • Cigna
  • Deloitte
  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Duane Morris
  • HSBC
  • KPMG
  • McConnell Johnson Real Estate
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Law Firm of Pepper Hamilton
  • TD Bank
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic