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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!

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Svetlana Yazovskikh

As Vice President of Global Tourism for the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), Svetlana Yazovskikh leads the department’s efforts to position Philadelphia as a top US travel destination to visitors from around the world. She leads the Global Tourism sales team, headquartered in Philadelphia, that promotes the destination in over 25 global markets both directly and through the network of six international offices. Her extensive career in the travel and tourism industry includes overseeing sales and marketing teams around the world and driving initiatives such as strategic planning, travel product development, destination sales, and multi-channel global marketing.

Svetlana’s first-ever live American football game experience was actually in London, when the Philadelphia Eagles played the Jacksonville Jaguars. The PHLCVB team traveled to organize an on-the-ground consumer activation during the fan fest at Wembley Stadium and then hosted key clients and media for the game.

PHLCVB has partnered with the BABCPHL for more than a decade to promote Philadelphia as a top destination for travelers from the UK. Through BABCPHL’s network and events, PHLCVB is able to keep a close pulse on the UK market’s latest developments, have access to experts from a variety of fields to understand and overcome challenges, and grow mutually beneficial local and cross-Atlantic business relationships. Svetlana always looks forward to the annual holiday luncheon event that brings together key regional partners and serves as a platform to network with friends and colleagues. Plus, if you appreciate an avalanche of puns like Svetlana does, the Howard Silverstone show is pun-ishingly brilliant!

Svetlana most misses seeing visitors from overseas on Philadelphia streets, in attractions, restaurants, beer gardens, and hotels. She misses hearing different languages inside the Visitor Center and throughout transit hubs of the airport and rail stations. She misses hearing positive tourist feedback, and even getting on the plane herself, going abroad, and speaking on behalf of the city. While it has been challenging to connect in person during the pandemic-induced lockdowns, it has become increasingly easier to connect virtually. Things that would take Svetlana months of organizing can now be set up on Zoom in just a few days at little or no cost. Beyond that, technology stepped in to fill the void for experiences too, with so many of Philadelphia attractions and venues developing virtual tours, live-streaming concerts, offering access to their digital galleries. After the pandemic restrictions are lifted, Svetlana cannot wait to go back to Russia to visit her family, enjoy some delicious homemade food, and hug her grandma. She may even add on a mountaineering adventure in Kamchatka.

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Paul Harnick

Paul Harnick is the Global Head of Chemicals and Performance Technologies for KPMG. His main responsibility is to lead KPMG teams in supporting chemical companies by successfully responding to the challenges of an ever-changing world. He has significant experience delivering projects across M&A, strategy development and performance improvement across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas, and has worked extensively with many of the world’s largest chemical companies.

Paul became affiliated with the BAB – initially with the New York and London chapters three years ago, when he was responsible for establishing KPMG UK’s US corridor program – focused on supporting transatlantic business. Paul became actively involved with the BABCPHL and joined the Board of Directors in early 2020. Since joining, Paul’s most memorable activity was the 2020 virtual holiday lunch. He was particularly grateful for the chapter’s dedication to finding an inventive way to bring everyone together during such a difficult time.

During the pandemic, Paul has most missed international travel, however, he has enjoyed be able to spend more time with his family while working from home. Once the pandemic restrictions are lifted, Paul cannot wait to take his youngest daughter to the UK to meet her grandparents for the very first time.

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Howard Silverstone

Howard Silverstone is managing director at Forensic Resolutions and a CPA with more than 35 years’ experience in public and forensic accounting. He is also a Chartered Accountant (England and Wales) and has experience on both sides of the Atlantic. Howard is a certified fraud examiner and is Certified in Financial Forensics by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He has concentrated on forensic accounting since 1985. Howard regularly presents programs to the legal, accounting and insurance industries on the calculation of damages in financial disputes and corporate fraud.

Howard has been involved with the BABCPHL almost since day one and has been a board member for more than 25 years. He originally joined the BABCPHL for social rather than business reasons. However, as his career progressed and as the BABCPHL developed its extensive business-to-business network, the Organization became a valuable resource for Howard and allowed him to help others network on both sides of the Atlantic. Howard’s most memorable moment was being honored by Her Majesty the Queen as a Member of the British Empire in recognition of his work with the BABCPHL and going to Buckingham Palace for his investiture. The investiture was conducted by Prince William, who spoke to Howard about the BABCPHL and his role with the Group. On another occasion, Prince Charles visited Philadelphia and the BABCPHL was told he would have no time to talk to anyone individually. Everyone wore name badges, but Howard also chose to wear the Prince of Wales tie that had been presented to him a few months earlier by members of a trade mission from Wales who had visited Philadelphia. Prince Charles was leaving the event and as planned was not able to engage anyone in conversation, until he stopped, extended his hand and said, “Mr. Silverstone, what a wonderful choice of tie!” Howard’s memories with the BABCPHL are both extraordinary and a reinforcement of the positive impact we can make through affiliation with the Organization.

Like most people, Howard has missed in-person events and the ability to meet with people one-on-one or in small groups. He has missed putting on a suit and tie and heading downtown for lunches and networking events. There are some silver linings of the pandemic though. The development of Zoom technology has allowed the chance to have some interaction with others virtually, and to connect with people we never had access to before. Once pandemic restrictions are lifted, Howard is going to take his family out for dinner in town and not need to feel stressed. Then he is going to get on a plane and go back to London, where he has not been able to visit since 2018.

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – William Wright

Bill Wright is a Partner in Fisher Phillips’ Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Metro offices. He is also the Chair of the firm’s International Employment Practice Group. Bill counsels employers on various global employment, compensation and benefit issues related to employees abroad, as well as foreign nationals working in the US and the employment of US permanent residents and citizens abroad. Bill has worked with compliance issues related to hiring, retention and separation of employees in a multitude of jurisdictions. His experience with global employment issues has helped him assist clients with international operations on all seven continents, including Antarctica.

Bill has focused his practice on international employment issues for more than 20 years. He joined the BABCPHL to be able to engage and network with community members who are focused on similar topics and issues. His best memory with the BABCPHL goes back to 1997 at The Pyramid Club with a presentation on the Hong Kong Handover by a writer from the South China Morning Post.

As an avid traveler, especially to the UK, Bill really misses the opportunity to travel to the countries where his clients reside. Making connections virtually is much more challenging than in person, and he is looking forward to live events and meetings soon. Bill also acknowledges the upside to the pandemic restrictions. The virtual platform allows him greater flexibility and availability in his schedule. International travel takes up a large portion of Bill’s time so connecting with people virtually has given him more hours in his day. In addition, Bill is able to consult with his wise 15-year-old Irish Setter more frequently for advice and counsel while working from home. Bill hopes to re-engage with clients, friends and contacts in Europe and the UK as soon as the pandemic restrictions are lifted.

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Mick Merritt

Michael, “Mick” Merritt is the Chief Operating Officer of Signature Services at Penn Medicine. He is responsible for Penn Medicine’s global strategy and programs, patient facilitated services, executive health, and membership programs. Mick has more than twenty years of experience in healthcare and academic medicine as a management consultant and health system leader.

Penn Medicine joined the BABCPHL when they launched their London initiative in late 2018. One of Mick’s main focuses is leading Penn Medicine’s UK expansion, fostering academic collaborations and access to Penn Medicine services across the Atlantic. Mick’s favorite BABCPHL memories include pre-covid networking opportunities, such as cocktail events and the Signature Annual Holiday Lunch. These activities offer Mick and his team valuable connections to other companies and organizations with ties throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region and the UK.

During the pandemic, Penn Medicine learned that much of their work can be done remotely. While this is a silver lining for several reasons, it is also disappointing. Mick most misses in real life social interaction and travel. He is very much looking forward to attending Penn Medicine’s bi-annual meeting in London in October 2021.

BABCPHL Board Member Feature – Jason Walker Financial Advisor

As a British expatriate looking to build a network and establish business, the BABCPHL was one the of the first organizations Jason Walker contacted in 2015 when he moved from the UK to Philadelphia. After a couple of years as a general member, he moved into a the role of BABCPHL Young Professionals Group Co-Leader. Recently, Jason was invited to join the BABCPHL Board of Directors, and he is currently serving as Treasurer. Through Jason’s involvement with the BABCPHL, he has made many valuable business contacts and friends who have helped grow and develop his practice.

Jason works with private clients and small businesses as their trusted advisor, creating and maintaining investment plans to ensure they are on track to meet their financial goals. As a British expatriate in Philadelphia, Jason’s niche includes working with other expatriates regarding their unique circumstances. He helps clients reach their greatest objectives with a simple, transparent and disciplined process by designing and implementing an investment strategy based on each individual’s unique situation. Jason’s passion is knowing he makes a positive difference in the lives of the families and organizations he serves.

During the pandemic, Jason has really missed the social aspect of his work. To fill this void, he and his family adopted a dog, named Boris, who now keeps them busy and entertained. Once pandemic restrictions are lifted, Jason hopes to travel back to the UK to visit friends and family. Jason says, “this is the longest stretch of time I have ever been away, and I can’t wait to see everyone in Blighty. When back I will be eating a late-night curry, having fish and chips with my Mum, and buying a scotch egg or three from the supermarket!”

Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC
One Logan Square
130 N. 18th Street, Suite 1300
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-640-3161

Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.

10th Annual New Jersey Networking Event & Dinner

On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia hosted the first in person program in more than one year. This momentous event was testament to the world’s progress in fighting the global pandemic. Our 10th Annual New Jersey Networking Event & Dinner in Haddonfield, New Jersey was a wonderful reunion. The late afternoon was beautiful, warm and breezy. BABCPHL members and friends were thrilled to gather in Kings Court, just next door to the British Chip Shop for a fun-filled, socially distanced pub night. The Chippy and King’s Road Brewing Company offered attendees an outstanding selection of specialty beers and delicious appetizers, a traditional British pub style main course, and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Before dinner al fresco, guests enjoyed networking and remarks in the Courtyard.

Antony Phillipson, British Consul General in New York and HM Trade Commissioner for North America; Hannah Young, Deputy Consul General; and Ben Brierley, Consul – Senior Trade Policy Adviser, all from the British Consulate General New York, joined us for this special evening. The BABCPHL is grateful for their support, and we are honored to collaborate with the British Consulate and the Department for International trade to enhance business ties with the UK. Antony, Hannah and Ben each said a few words about their relationship with the BABCPHL, the trade and commercial ties between the State of NJ and the UK, and the Consulate’s series of meetings with both public and private sector groups throughout the State of New Jersey this week and next.

Howard Silverstone, BABCPHL Membership Chairman, welcomed attendees, provided opening remarks, and invited each of our special guests, and event sponsors to say a few words. Following formal remarks, Paul Howard from the Philadelphia Union Foundation spoke about the charitable group’s mission before drawing the winning business cards for Philadelphia Union, British Chip Shop and King’s Road Brewing Company gifts. Attendees were invited to continue mingling in the Courtyard, surrounded by event partners, the English Gardener Gift Shop and the Queen’s Carriage who generously displayed their wares, and donated gift bags and gift cards to every attendee. As the sun went down, guests were invited to choose their tables and sit down to enjoy dinner and drinks.  Attendees remained long into the evening, continuing to network.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Citrin Cooperman, Forensic Resolutions and International Products Corporation.

Click here to view photos.








Member Feature – Purolite

Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Purolite Corporation is a global leader in resin technology. Industries like nuclear power, potable water, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology depend on their products to separate, remove or recover very specific elements and compounds. Responding to customers’ needs, Purolite has the widest variety of products and the industry’s largest technical sales force. Globally, the company has five strategically located research and development centers and eight application laboratories. Purolite’s ISO 9001 certified manufacturing facilities in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Romania and China combined with more than 40 sales offices in 30 countries ensure complete worldwide coverage. Learn more.

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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
  • Forensic Resolutions
  • Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, Inc.
  • KPMG
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Penn Medicine
  • Welsh Government