Why Philly skyline turns police blue Wednesday night; and how Israel and Ireland diplomats rally local business folks for the old world
The Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce says it has sold more than 450 tickets, a record, to its annual gala at the Crystal Tea Room Wednesday night. The Irish American Business Chamber & Network on March 1 summoned more than 600 to pack the Union League’s Lincoln Room for its yearly lunch
It’s spring, so corporate Philadelphia is hosting foreign diplomats and fund-raisers. For example:
Support your local police
Patches of Center City Philadelphia will turn blue tonight, Wednesday, April 3, with Cira Centre, the FMC Tower, and other Brandywine Realty Trust properties switching their lights to the police color as the nonprofit, business-led Philadelphia Police Foundation marks A Night for Blue.
The group started by business leaders, including corporate lawyer and Temple board chair Patrick O’Connor and real estate broker John Binswanger, lists a string of its projects to fund police equipment, training, and programs not covered by the city budget, at www.phillypolicefoundation.org
The group also holds its yearly Night for Blue gathering Wednesday evening in the Ballroom at the Ben Franklin House, 834 Chestnut St., featuring “specially created experiences” to give silent-auction winners “a taste of police operations and training.”
And backers including Mayor Jim Kenney, Brandywine boss Gerry Sweeney, PREIT CEO Joseph F. Coradino, publicist A. Bruce Crawley, Drexel president John Fry, and others will honor Charlie Pizzi, the former Chamber of Commerce chief who, as chief executive of Tastykake, got a state loan to build its modern plant built in South Philadelphia, ensuring that the company would remain a city employer after its 2011 sale to Flowers Foods of Atlanta.
Separately: Philadelphia may have lost its old role as a diplomatic center — only the Mexican and Italian consulates survive as full-service foreign offices, though Chile and Panama also have trade bureaus — but at least two area ethnic and national business groups have made the city a regular stop for home-country ambassadors who try to rally interest in events back home and prosperous two-way relations:
This year in Jerusalem
The Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce said it has sold more than 450 tickets, a record, to its annual gala at the Crystal Tea Room on Wednesday night, where Israel’s New York consul — Ambassador Dani Dayan — and business leaders from both countries plan to honor three local institutions or leaders for sponsoring joint ventures in Israel:
-Mark L. Tykocinski the molecular immunologist who is Jefferson’s provost and medical school dean, for his role establishing the Jefferson Israel Center in Tel Aviv last year;
-West Pharmaceutical Services Inc., Exton, whose Israeli team in Ra’anana developed a new drug delivery platform, SmartDose, in 2016;
-Evolve IP, the Wayne cloud computing and communications company that in 2017 added a team in Herzyliya, headed by Yehuda Reuven, to provide technical support for EvolveIP call centers. (EvolveIP acquired Austin, Texas-based Jog.ai, a speech analytics and natural language tech firm, marking EvolveIP’s 15th acquisition as it builds out its network of “cloud strategy” services and its geographic base.)
Next parish is Dublin
The Irish American Business Chamber & Network on March 1 summoned more than 600 to pack the Union League’s Lincoln Room for its yearly lunch, awards, and an address by Ireland’s ambassador to the U.S., Daniel Mulhall.
Mulhall urged closer trade ties and cited Ireland’s improved position as an English-speaking business center for Europe (as neighboring Britain wrestles with leaving the European Union). And he pledged to urge Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to follow his predecessors to Philly. Maybe next year.
Irish American business people, including Wayne-based Teleflex CEO Liam Kelly, gave the group’s Taioseach (Big Chief) award to builder Daniel J. Keating III (now of Gilbane Building Co.) and Sarah P. Keating of Keating Environmental Management. The group’s Uachtaran (President) award went to Col. Tom Manion, USMC, and his daughter Ryan Manion for the Travis Manion Foundation, the Doylestown-based veterans support group named for Ryan’s late brother, First Lt. Capt. Travis Manion, USMC , who was killed in Iraq leading a counterattack in 2006.
Business groups focused on Canada, China, France, Italy, India, the U.K., and other large nations that are significant trading partners for local companies also meet regularly in Philadelphia, but I’m not aware of any that have built bigger networks or gather more people at single events events than the Irish and the Israelis.