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Summer 2018 International Business Networking Reception

On Wednesday, July 25, 2018 the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (BABCPHL) partnered with the Chilean, French, German, Irish, Israeli, Japanese, Norwegian and Eurasian Chambers of Commerce for the Eighth Annual Summer International Business Networking Reception.

More than 250 global business executives and regional and foreign government officials gathered at the National Museum of American Jewish History for this annual meeting of the who’s who of international relations in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Participants braved a heavy rain for a great chance to network and make valuable connections.  A raffle draw included a variety of prizes, including bottles of wine, tickets to upcoming events, and a beautiful piece of artwork.

Special thanks to the Chilean Chamber for organizing such an important program for the international business community and to event sponsors: Holt Logistics, Fox CIBER, and The Port of Wilmington, Delaware.

Click here for photos.


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.


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.


EU GDPR with the US Commercial Service – Recap

EU GDPR with the US Commercial Service

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

BDP International

On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, more than 50 international business executives gathered at BDP International for a panel discussion about Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR). The BABCPHL partnered with the French and German American Chambers of Commerce and the US Commercial Service to deliver this timely seminar.

Michael Ford, COO of BDP International welcomed guests and introduced the speakers. Jordan Fisher, Managing Partner at X-pan Law Group moderated the session. Alexandre Clovirola, Cybersecurity Data Analysis Expert, Security Analyst, I-TRACING, was the first to speak. Alexandre’s discussion focused on data protection and cybersecurity elements. He gave a brief presentation about EU GDPR goals, including the importance of securing data from hackers.

Michelle Sylvestor, Policy Advisor, Data Flows and Privacy Team, Office of Digital Services Industries, Industry and Analysis, International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce, joined the conference by telephone to talk about the Privacy Shield. Her presentation included how businesses can use governmental resources to stay informed about the changing regulations. She mentioned that using the Privacy Shield will help businesses comply with the GDPR and will include an annual review.

Jordan Fisher and Rebecca Rakoski, also a Partner of X-pan Law Group, discussed the new EU GDPR in great detail, including processing, personal data, and data structure. Their presentation quickly turned into a dynamic discussion with attendees. They answered complicated questions regarding how it will affect US citizens along with a thorough explanation of the impact for both small and large businesses. They discussed how the new regulation could affect even the smallest things such as the use of a business card. Lastly, they touched upon the impact of Brexit and how the ambiguity of the UK separation from the EU makes the regulation difficult to interpret.

Aaron Gardner, Vice President, Enterprise Solutions, KLDiscovery was the final speaker. He talked about data breach and proper response procedure. Aaron noted how the EU GDPR is extremely different from US data protection policy. For example, in the US, a company has 30 days to report a data breach. In the UK, they have 72 hours to report the problem.

All speakers were engaging, and provided important information about the new EU GDPR. It is clear this is a top priority for Europe.  The five guest speakers clearly informed attendees about how the EU GDPR will affect the everyday business operations.


US Tax Reform Update Recap

On Thursday, February 1, 2018, the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia collaborated with the French and German American Chambers of Commerce for a US Tax Reform Update. The seminar was hosted by BABCPHL Club Level member, Deloitte LLP.  Approximately 35 people from the three Chambers participated in this informative program.

Jared Gordon, Director, and Paul Pelligrini, Senior Manager, both with the Philadelphia International Tax Group spoke about the topic. Jared has more than 20 years of experience in corporate and international taxation, serving multinational companies in a number industry sectors.  He provides international tax structuring strategy and advice.  Paul has almost a decade of experience serving multinational and private equity companies on a wide variety of matters.  His practice focuses on international tax issues including M&A, dispositions, post-acquisition integration and cross-border financings and restructurings.  The interactive meeting kicked off with attendees being asked to fill out and stick post-it notes to signs listing US tax reform topics of greatest interest scattered throughout the room.

The speakers reported on tax policy and the new tax law; international tax key provisions; federal tax considerations; planning and financial reporting; and multistate tax considerations. The presentations were very technical, and presenters invited questions from the audience throughout their discussion.  Attendees’ questions helped guide the conversation, and ensured everyone’s concerns were addressed.  If you missed the seminar, have questions and/or would like more information regarding the subject matter please contact us at babc@babcphl.com.


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.


International Employers Forum HR Roundtable

BABCPHL Corporate Member Fisher & Phillips LLP would like to invite BABCPHL members and contacts to an International Employers Forum Atlantic Chapter presentation about global mobility. The discussion will focus on employers’ safety and security responsibilities and the immigration impact of Brexit.

Click here for more information.

 


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.

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The BABCPHL recognizes our Club Level Members:

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