Post Archives

British woman completes 100 marathons in 100 days world record

An endurance athlete who has been running every day for 100 days has broken the record for completing the most marathons in consecutive days.

Kate Jayden, from Derbyshire, has completed a 26.2-mile run each day since January, covering 2,620 miles. She hit the milestone as she finished the Brighton Marathon on Sunday. The current female record is held by US runner, Alyssa Clark, who completed 95 marathons in 95 consecutive days, according to Guinness World Records.

On finishing, the 35-year-old, from Hartington, said: “I’m feeling geriatric mostly. I was just overwhelmed. I feel very privileged that I was able to take that journey and so many people have been in touch to say they have been inspired by it too.”

Mrs. Jayden initially set out on 1 January to run 2,620 miles – the distance a refugee would travel from Aleppo, Syria, to the UK as a way of raising money and awareness to help refugees. She then realized it would amount to running a marathon every day for 100 days, and would break a world record if she completed it.

Click here to read more.

Spring 2022 Human Interest Feature – The Unifying Power of Sport

Sports are a unifier. The activity binds people within and across societies. Regardless of background or beliefs, spectators of all ages excitedly gather around radios, televisions, computers, and in pubs and stadium seats to cheer on their favorite teams to enjoy the great global pastime – sports. The day after a widely watched game, conversation revolves around the best plays and the winners are celebrated.

Sadly, there was a sports hiatus throughout the world during the thick of the pandemic. Everything was impacted by this global crises, including major and minor league sports practices and games at all levels. Several months ago, when we polled BABCPHL members about what would bring people back out to in-person programing, the answer was “sports related events.”

Sports bring people together. It opens international diplomatic dialogue and unifies deeply divided nations. Throughout the years, the BABCPHL has hosted several sports related programs, including events for the World Cup and the Olympics, as well as soccer, rugby and golf gatherings. We have collaborated with professionals well versed in the business of sports, major league and world renowned athletes, and team owners to deliver interesting content about specific sports or global sporting events.

As both the US and the UK reopen to foreign visitors, the transatlantic corridor is once again flooded with traffic. The first week of April 2022, the Department for International Trade (DIT) led a sports economy trade mission to the US. DIT selected 12 UK companies that excel in delivering new fan engagement, solutions across mobile, social, venue transformation, brand strategy and the metaverse, to travel to Atlanta and Los Angeles. These trade mission delegates were chosen to participate because they are pushing the boundaries of innovation with respect to sports strategy and technology. British innovation is being used to surpass fan expectations and reach wider audiences.

Sport is a national obsession in the UK. Watching, playing and celebrating sport is at the heart of British life. The UK sports economy is known for its creativity and innovation. Debbie Adler, Sector Director, Creative, Media & Sport, North America, DIT said “this year feels like the cusp of a fever pitch as American teams, leagues and venues anticipate hosting dozens of global sporting events in the coming decade. Now is the time to develop new strategies that will reach bigger audiences across a wider set of demographics, and put your businesses at the cutting edge of innovative solutions.” This specialty sector trade mission which introduced the next generation of UK creative sports companies to the US, will bridge new partnerships.

The US and the UK are the greatest allies in the world. The countries are culturally, economically and politically connected in many ways, like no two other nations. The passion for sports is just one tiny aspect of what we share. The BABCPHL is proud to support this interest through our programs and networking opportunities. Sports unites people personally and professionally, and we are honored to partner with transatlantic businesses to grow the US-UK relationship.

Philadelphia, like many cities all over the globe, has held its fair share of major sporting and other high profile events. Currently, Philadelphia is bidding to be one of 10 cities to host The 2026 FIFA World Cup™. Hopefully, we will be selected to host the World Cup. In the meantime, please join the BABCPHL on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 for our next sports related event – an international networking program and major league soccer match at Subaru Park. Click here for more information.

Spring 2022 ENewsletter – President’s Message

Dear BABCPHL Members and Friends,

It’s official, our in-person programming has resumed! We kicked things off a few weeks ago with a by invitation only welcome reception and lunch for Emma Wade-Smith, OBE, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America and HM Consul General New York, for her first official visit to Philadelphia. The day began with a private meeting at City Hall with James Kenney, The Honorable Mayor of Philadelphia, followed by lunch and conversation hosted by Neil Boyden Tanner, BABCPHL US/UK Government Liaison and SVP and General Counsel for Finance, Strategy and International Markets at CIGNA. Later that same week, the BABCPHL hosted a rugby viewing party at a local pub to watch the highly anticipated England vs. Ireland penultimate round of the 2022 Six Nations Championship match live broadcast from Twickenham Stadium.

We are thrilled to offer several events each month from now through the end of our fiscal year, and are already planning our third and fourth quarter 2022 programs. Please read and click through the links in this newsletter for information. Be sure to visit our website frequently for a list of networkwide activities you may wish to join. Our hybrid event offerings provide valuable networking and educational opportunities within the transatlantic business corridor and beyond. We look forward to seeing you often, and hope you are as happy as we are to be meeting face-to-face on a more regular basis.


Nick Lotz

President, British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia

Authenticity, passion, unity at heart of Philadelphia’s 2026 World Cup bid

When you think of Philadelphia, a few things come to mind: brashness, passion, Rocky, democracy and fighting spirit.

And all of those things are included in their bid to try and host games at the 2026 World Cup and those involved with Philadelphia’s bid are bullish about the chances of bringing the world’s biggest tournament to the City of Brotherly Love.

“We always think of ourselves as the underdog here in Philly so this is just another underdog opportunity to overperform,” the Chair of Philadelphia’s 2026 bid Dan Hilferty said, with a smile.

The X factor? During the 2026 World Cup it will be the 250th anniversary of the United States of America and why wouldn’t you have games in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the USA, around those huge celebrations in early July? It would be rude not to.

Recently ProSoccerTalk spoke to several people playing key roles in Philadelphia’s bid, as their recent site visit with FIFA went well and it is believed the 10 host cities (17 are competing across the U.S.) for the 2026 World Cup held in the USA, Canada and Mexico will be announced sometime in May 2022 by world soccer’s governing body.

Click here to read more.

Donations Needed: Medical Supplies & Other Ways to Support Ukraine

Many of our members, their clients, colleagues and friends, are directly impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Europe is facing the fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II. The US, UK and EU, as well as most other countries around the world have united in support of Ukraine and its people.

Global commercial interconnectedness has helped foster peace for nearly 80 years. The BABCPHL is a “connector” organization. Whether operating virtually or in person, the BABCPHL remit is to foster the development of valuable ties between the US and the UK. As such, we are in constant communication with members and regional and foreign government partners.

To advance our mission, and hopefully offer you opportunities to assist, we are sharing information from BABCPHL regional partner, Tony Ceballos, Director, US Commercial Service Philadelphia, US Department of Commerce/International Trade Administration, which lists ways healthcare companies, organizations, trade associations and non-profits can offer help. The request is primarily intended for healthcare related organizations and companies with a European presence, but given the urgency of the situation in Ukraine we are assisting in widely disseminating this to a broader audience.

Please see below details. The first section refer to how to send urgently needed medical supplies, and the second section lists how to provide monetary support.

  1. Attached and listed below are medications, medical supplies, and equipment that are urgently needed as DONATIONS to the Polish and Romanian borders of Ukraine. Our office in Ankara is coordinating efforts should a company have a presence in Europe or would like to contribute, please contact our U.S. Commercial Service Officer, Andrew Glass (contact info below). He will provide specific geographical points where medications and supplies can be donated at the border.

Andrew Glass

Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Ankara, Turkey

Mobile/WhatsApp: +90-532-373-5039


Every hour counts at this point to save lives, so thank you SO very much for all of your help in advance and getting this message out. If you know of a company that can supply on these needs, please forward this message to them.  Thank you!


1 Stomach wash kit
2 Set for catheterization of the bladder
3 Traction tire
4 Portable oxygen cylinders
5 Central vein catheterization kits
6 Set for intraosseous access
7 Kits for lumbar puncture
8 Tracheostomy set
9 Tracheal intubation kit
10 Set for drainage of the pleural cavity
11 Immobilization tires of various types and sizes
12 Syringes with needles (different volumes)
13 Catheters for peripheral veins (different sizes)
14 System for transfusion of infusion solutions
15 Non – sterile bandage (different sizes)
16 Elastic fixing bandage (different sizes)
17 Sterile material for anti-burn measures
18 Sterile material for wound surface treatment
19 Hydrogel anti-burn bandage of different sizes
20 External fixation device


Paracetamol 500 mg
Meloxicam 7,5 mg
Ciprofloxacin 500 mg or Levofloxacin 500 mg
Individual sterile dressing package with elastic first aid compression component with protective moisture-resistant shell (Israeli Emergency Bandage 6)

High priority

Chemical means for a stop of bleeding (bandage hemostatic tamponing with hemostatic means) (QUIK CLOT)

2d priority

Gel-based occlusive thoracic bandage (sticker) (with or without valve)
adhesive plaster
Medical gloves non sterile
Thermo blanket
Tourniqet «СAT» (Mechanical means for a stop of bleeding like “CAT”) High priority
Tourniqet «SWAT» High priority
Nasopharyngeal airway (airway, tube)
Waterproof marker ( blue)
Scissors for cutting clothes and shoes (atraumatic)


  1. While we (USCS) cannot recommend a specific organization, this is the list that CIDI recommends and that USAID References: https://www.cidi.org/disaster-responses/ukraine-crisis/


This is the list that was shared by AmCham Ukraine:

Help Ukraine – A joint initiative of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Rozetka, Fozzy Group, TIS, Dragon Capital, Novaya Pochta, Spunbond fund, RZTK for our international partners to provide humanitarian and medical aid to Ukraine. Help Ukraine has launched a Warehouse Distribution Center in Poland to organize the delivery of goods. https://helpukraine.center/en

Ernst Prost Foundations German charitable foundation– to raise funds to purchase humanitarian aid for the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. https://www.ernst-prost-stiftung.org/en-gb/spenden

Red Cross Ukrainehttps://redcross.org.ua/

Unicef Ukrainehttps://www.unicef.org/ukraine/

State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) – for those who want to support the search and rescue teams of SESU please reach out to them directly through the official web portal. https://dsns.gov.ua/en

Special accounts of the National Bank of Ukraine – to raise funds for Ukraine’s Armed Forces and another for humanitarian aid https://bank.gov.ua/en/news/all/natsionalniy-bank-vidkriv-spetsrahunok-dlya-zboru-koshtiv-na-potrebi-armiyi https://bank.gov.ua/ua/news/all/natsionalniy-bank-vidkriv-rahunok-dlya-gumanitarnoyi-dopomogi-ukrayintsyam-postrajdalim-vid-rosiyskoyi-agresiyi

International Charitable Foundation “Come Back Alive” – charity fund for financial support of Ukrainian army https://savelife.in.ua/en/donate/

Managing your Business in an Inflationary Economy


This program is virtual. The meeting link will be sent to all registered attendees within 24 hours of the event.

Click here for more information and to register.

Michelle Colona

Michelle Colona

Senior Vice President, Americas

Cigna Global Health Benefits

Michelle is the Senior Vice President & Head of Cigna Global Health Benefits® U.S. Sales Team.  Michelle is based in Houston, Texas and is responsible for driving sales initiatives for the North America business to support continued growth and diversification of services. This includes advancing the global business objective, driving the Cigna value proposition and continuing to be a trusted advisor for consultants, prospects and key customers.

Michelle has extensive experience and expertise in the group insurance industry, specifically in international health care benefits. In her nearly 30 years with Cigna, she has made significant contributions to the business which includes leading numerous strategic case wins, managing multiple sales teams and acting as the North America liaison on numerous global opportunities and initiatives.  Michelle is widely recognized as a leader in the global benefits market who is committed to providing clients with innovative, cost effective solutions.

Michelle has supplemented her international health care knowledge with travel to Europe, India, China and various countries throughout the Pacific Rim. She has earned the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) and is a frequent participant in National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) conferences. She is regularly sought out by producer, consulting, and employer communities to share her knowledge and insight regarding international health care benefits and related topics.

Michelle began her sales career with Cigna HealthCare in Washington, D.C. after graduating from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources.

Oliver St. Clair Franklin OBE

Oliver St. Clair Franklin OBE
Honorary British Consul for Greater Philadelphia

Appointed by UK Government in 1998 to represent British interest in the Philadelphia region, Oliver is the 3rd British Honorary Consul in Philadelphia. The UK is the largest foreign direct investor in the State of Pennsylvania with over 15,000 British nationals and dual citizens living in the region. In this role he liaises with the Consul General in New York and the British Embassy on providing advice to businesses, solving consular issues in the region and engaging in public diplomacy. His relationship with the UK started as a college student in 1966 after graduating from Lincoln University.  In 2002 Her Majesty the Queen bestowed the OBE Honour in recognition of his services to British business.

In his public diplomacy role, Oliver has hosted senior members of the British Royal Family including the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Dukes of York and Gloucester and Earl of Wessex as well as government ministers and members of Parliament.

He created a program for Philadelphia public high school students to visit London and founded another program to provide opportunities for mid-career American minorities to work in UK Investment banks. He has spoken to many UK business groups on US fiscal and financial policies.

In his professional life, Oliver is a Senior Advisor to wealth management firms and has held senior level positions at Fidelity Investments, Dreyfus Trust, was founder of the first US firm to invest in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and Vice Chairman of Electronic Ink, a fintech company. He was Chairman of Academy Funds Trust and a corporate director of Right Management. He supports many nonprofits including The Civil War Museum of Philadelphia and The Oxford & Cambridge Society of Philadelphia.

Oliver received ‘The Distinguished Friend of Oxford’ Award in September and last month was elected an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford where he studied as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. Honorary Fellows are expected to enter the intellectual life of the college and university. Oliver has put forth several projects including presenting a college lecture on American fiction this spring.

Ekrem M. Sarper

Ekrem M. Sarper
Head of International Public Policy, Cigna Corporation

Ekrem Sarper joined the Cigna Corporation, a global health services company as Head of International Public Policy in 2021. In this role, he partners with Cigna’s international markets business leaders to drive business growth. He is responsible for building the enterprise’s engagement on international matters with the Executive Branch, Embassies, International and Non-governmental Organizations, senior regulators, foreign governments and industry associations.

Prior to joining Cigna, Mr. Sarper was the Lead Manager, Bilateral Affairs with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and Vice Chair of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) Implementation and Assessment Committee (IAC). He was responsible for overseeing and coordinating NAIC’s bilateral relationships with foreign regulators and governments on behalf of the State Insurance Commissioners. As Vice Chair of the IAIS IAC, he oversaw the assessment activity and implementation monitoring of the Insurance Core Principles (ICPs) and the Holistic Framework for the assessment and mitigation of systemic risk in the insurance sector. Prior to the NAIC, Mr. Sarper served as Director, International Trade for the Coalition of Service Industries (CSI), and as a Senior Research Associate at the Stern Group.

Mr. Sarper has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Economics and French from Kingston University, London, and his master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.

Emma Wade-Smith OBE

Emma Wade-Smith OBE
HM Trade Commissioner for North America and British Consul General in New York

Emma Wade-Smith OBE has been Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America and HM Consul General New York since November 2021.

Prior to this appointment, she spent nearly six years leading the UK Government’s pan-African regional trade and investment team, as Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa.

Before moving into the world of trade and investment, Emma worked at the British Embassy in Washington D.C. as the UK’s Counsellor for Foreign and Security Policy.

This came on the back of a two year stint (2009-2011) heading up the UK Government’s International Crisis Response Team. She was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty The Queen for her work helping British Nationals to safety from hot spots all around the world.

Emma has had a distinguished career as a British Diplomat spanning more than two decades, with postings to Mexico and Chile as well as secondments to the United Nations in New York; the European Commission in Brussels; and the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills where she worked on international trade.

Emma is married to John; speaks reasonably fluent Spanish; is a Seahawks fan; and attempts to play golf every once in a while.

HM Trade Commissioner for North America

The HM Trade Commissioner (HMTC) for North America oversees all Department for International Trade (DIT) work in North America including:

  • growing the overall bilateral trade and investment relationship
  • improving market access for British companies, including small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • developing finance and trade policy

The HMTC also works closely with the wider diplomatic network and UK based colleagues to coordinate HMG activity on our wider prosperity agenda.

Department for International Trade

British Consul General in New York

The Consul General is the senior UK official in a Consulate General, which is a subordinate office to the Embassy or High Commission, usually located in another major city. The Consul General represents the UK government and is typically responsible for consular, visa and trade activities in their city or region.

The Consul General leads the government’s work promoting UK economic, commercial, political and consular interests in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Previous roles in government

  • HM Trade Commissioner for Africa

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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
  • Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, Inc.
  • KPMG
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Penn Medicine
  • https://www.santanderus.com/
  • Welsh Government