2015

Post Archives

18th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon – December 3, 2015

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

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On Thursday, December 3, 2015, members and friends of the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia gathered in the Hyatt at the Bellevue’s Grand Ballroom to honor Ralph Hackett of Dayka & Hackett LLC and Derrick Jenkins of Wakefern Food Corporation at the 18th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon.

The celebratory luncheon kicked off with a wine reception, with exquisite Chilean wines provided by ProChile New York. Guests mingled while drinking both red and white wines from Chile before the President and Chairman of the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce, Robert Palaima, welcomed guests into the ballroom to begin the awards ceremony. After Palaima gave welcoming remarks, guests were introduced to Consul Francisco del Campo, General Consul of Chile in New York, for remarks given on behalf of Ambassador of Chile to the United States, Juan Gabriel Valdes. Consul del Campo highlighted the positive economic impact the greater Philadelphia region has on Chile, praising the work of the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce.

Tim Dayka then introduced his business partner, longtime friend, and Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Ralph Hackett, Managing Member of Dayka & Hackett LLC. Ralph’s speech attributed his successes to his time spent as a student at Girard College and growing up in North Philadelphia. Ralph has had a professional career spanning forty years, thirty of which have been focused on the fresh produce industry. His industry experience began in 1985, when he joined Cal Fruit Suma, starting out as Controller then quickly being promoted to Operating Manager. Cal Fruit Suma, following its 1985 startup, was amongst the leading US importers of Chilean fruit from 1987-1989. Ralph has been the successful starter of multiple distinguished companies in the fresh produce industry, including Suma Fruit International, Pacific Trellis Fruit, and his current enterprise with business partner Tim Dayka, Dayka & Hackett LLC, which is headquartered in Reedley, California and has a full service regional office in operation at the Port in Wilmington, Delaware.

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After lunch, Robert Palaima invited Robert Wonderling, CEO and President of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, to address attendees with greetings on behalf of the CACC’s affiliate organization.

Shortly after, Harold Sbrocco, Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce Board Member and former Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, introduced his friend, colleague, and Friend of Chile Award Recipient, Derrick Jenkins, Vice President of Produce and Floral of Wakefern Food Corporation. Derrick stressed the importance of the continual influence of his mentors throughout his career, stating that they gave him the motivation and guidance to succeed in the fresh produce industry. Derrick joined Wakefern in 1982. Starting as a temporary Junior Accountant, he was hired shortly after as a full-time Junior Accountant in Produce. Derrick remained in Produce, rising through the ranks in the division and working as an Analyst, Buyer, Produce Manager, Senior Produce Manager and Procurement Manager before being named Vice President of Produce and Floral. The successful Produce and Floral Division meets logistical demands, bringing products from every part of the region, country and world to grow business. Produce ships seven days a week to all stores, and the division also has buying offices in California and Florida.

The luncheon closed a huge calendar year for the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce. The 18th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon was another success for 2015, following the monumental Presidential Dinner with Michele Bachelet in January and other signature events like the 10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile and the 5th Annual Summer International Business Networking Reception.

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This event would not have been possible without generous sponsorships from our members.
Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors: Dayka & Hackett LLC, J&K Fresh East, and Diamond State Port Corporation / Port of Wilmington, as well as our Corporate Table Sponsors: AMC Direct Inc., Capespan North America, Delaware River Stevedores, Dole Fresh Fruit, Holt Logistics Corp., Manfredi Cold Storage & Distribution, Mattioni Ltd., Murphy Marine Services, OHL International, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, Pilots’ Association for the Bay & River Delaware, Port of Wilmington & Diamond State Port Corporation, RPS / Royal Fumigation, Sbrocco International, Inc., Unifrutti of America, Western Fumigation, and William H. Kopke, Jr. Inc.

The CACC would also like to thank Al Dia News Media, the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay, and the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association for providing media coverage of the luncheon.

The Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, apolitical membership organization with a mission of fostering increased and improved commercial and trade relations between the Republic of Chile and the Greater Philadelphia region. To learn more about the CACC or for more information regarding membership, please contact Christina Lista at 215-790-3627 or clista@gpcc.com

Click here to view photos on our Flickr page.

Honoree Spotlight: 18th Annual Friend of Chile Awards Luncheon

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

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18th Annual Friend of Chile Awards Luncheon
Thursday, December 03, 2015
Hyatt at the Bellevue
Chilean Wine Tasting & Reception at 11:30 a.m.
Luncheon and Ceremony at 12 Noon

Click here for Sponsorship Form

We are excited to present the honorees of the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce’s 18th Annual Friend of Chile Awards Luncheon. These two honorees are committed to our mission and exemplify the vision of the Chilean & American Chamber to strengthen the relationship between Chile and the Greater Philadelphia region. The Chamber will proudly honor them on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in downtown Philadelphia.

Derrick Jenkins, Vice President of Produce and Floral for Wakefern Food Corporation, will receive the 18th Annual “Friend of Chile” Award.

Derrick Jenkins joined Wakefern in 1982. He started his career as a temporary Junior Accountant and was then hired a few months later as a full-time Junior Accountant in Produce. Derrick remained in Produce, rising through the ranks in the division and working as an Analyst, Buyer, Produce Manager, Senior Produce Manager and Procurement Manager before being named Vice President of Produce and Floral. The successful Produce and Floral Division Derrick heads today meets logistical demands, bringing products from every part of the region, country and world to grow business. Produce ships seven days a week to all stores, and the division also has buying offices in California and Florida.

Derrick was the 2013 recipient of the Avis Spirit Award from the Susan G. Komen North Jersey Affiliate for work he has done through Wakefern—donating flowers, food and money to raise funds for breast cancer treatment and screening programs. Derrick has served on the board of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) for several years and has been a huge advocate of the Eat Brighter Campaign, an initiative that encourages children to consume more fruit and vegetables.

Ralph Hackett, Co-managing Member of Dayka & Hackett LLC, will receive the 2015 “Lifetime Achievement” Award.

Ralph Hackett has had a professional career spanning forty years, thirty of which have been focused on the fresh produce industry. His industry experience began in 1985, when he joined Cal Fruit Suma, starting out as Controller then quickly promoted to Operating Manager. Cal Fruit Suma, following its 1985 startup, was amongst the leading US importers of Chilean fruit from 1987-1989. Ralph has been the successful spearhead of multiple distinguished companies in the fresh produce industry, including Suma Fruit International, Pacific Trellis Fruit, and his current enterprise with business partner Tim Dayka, Dayka & Hackett LLC, which is headquartered in Reedley, California and has a full service regional office in operation at the Port in Wilmington, Delaware.

A native Philadelphian, Ralph is an alumnus of Temple University and Girard College, where he was given the Award of Merit in 2015, an award granted to Girard College graduates that support the school and excel in their chosen field. Dayka & Hackett LLC supports over 20 charities annually, and Ralph and his wife of 30 years, Lisa, are active fund raisers for the Fresno Boys and Girls Club.

We hope that you will consider joining Chamber members and other business leaders in honoring our award recipients and recognizing their contribution to the economic relationship between Chile and the Greater Philadelphia region.

For more information, contact Christina Lista at 215-790-3627 or clista@greaterphilachamber.com.

Chilean miner recounts dramatic rescue during ‘The 33’ premiere

Monday, October 12th, 2015

By Anne Hoffman
Published October 09, 2015 on Fox News Latino

PHILADELPHIA – There was a long line of people waiting to take a picture with Jose Henriquez at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center Thursday night. People were shuffled in and out, assembly line style, so everyone could take a turn. Elderly women, young ladies in heels so high one tripped downstairs – and even little kids wanted a photo with him and some Chilean flags after a screening of “The 33.”

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Henriquez is one of Los 33, the group of Chilean miners who were trapped 2,300 feet underground for 69 days in 2010. A Pentecostal Christian for most of his life, Henriquez would often sit in the center of a semicircle of men, and lead them all in prayer. This was a role he assumed naturally, as someone who had experience with street preaching in his life pre-disaster. He eventually won the nickname El Pastor. “We had a captive church,” he told the audience Thursday night after the screening, to laughter.

The screening, held by La Esperanza, a religious nonprofit in Philadelphia whose mission is to “strengthen Hispanic communities,” was attended by almost 260 people. It was an audience comprised of Latino clergy, university presidents, political leaders and high school and college students.

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Gladys Gordon, a Chilean chancellor for the local consulate, was in attendance. At the reception before the screening, bartenders served big glasses of Chilean wine.

The screening and Q and A that followed was not Jose Henriquez’s first rodeo. He’s been traveling for five years speaking about the horrifying ordeal in the Copiapo mine. Philadelphia was his last stop on a multi-city tour that included church visits in Los Angeles and screenings in Dallas and Miami. For part of the tour, he was joined by another miner, Ariel Ticona, as well as Greg Hall, a driller who worked on mine rescue efforts back in 2010.

The miners were excited to see the book, called “Deep Dark Down,” finally near its release date as a major motion picture. All 33 miners gave extensive testimony to the filmmaker, Henriquez said. He told the audience that he and his fellow miners were hoping they could receive compensation from some the film’s profits.

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Some audience members were also deeply concerned to discover that the company that owned the mine was not found at fault by the Chilean government, and was not required to pay miners a settlement. Henriquez told the audience that while he and the other 32 men “were not blessed” to work for the owners of the mine, one positive from the film and the accident is that it is creating awareness about how dangerous mining can be. The ultimate hope is to strengthen worker protections.

Henriquez is one of the fourteen older miners who received a small pension from the government, but he said, at around $500 a month “it can’t support a family.” Many of the miners have health problems. Henriquez himself has issues with his lungs. Other miners have had a hard time finding work, and some have returned to below-ground work once again.

People in the audience were overwhelmingly moved by Henriquez’s testimony, as well as his portrayal in the film. A 14-year-old named Jordan who is mulling a career in the ministry found Henriquez’s character the most moving. “Definitely someone who I could look up to really highly,” he said.

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Widilia Ortiz, an older woman from Camden said, “I think he was a key person in what happened to them. He gave them the hope to survive,” adding that Henriquez gave the men something to live for. “God put him in there to give them the support that they needed spiritually.”

“For me it was amazing as a man of God to hear what he was saying about what was going on down there…Where there was supposed to be no hope, in the darkness of that place, there was hope,” Hector Villaveitia, a Bible teacher at Esperanza high school said, “At some point in our travel through life, we lose faith. But we need to receive or look for that hope, within us.”

For many of the men in the mine, Henriquez provided that.

Source: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/entertainment/2015/10/09/chilean-miner-recounts-dramatic-rescue-during-33-premiere/

2015 Annual Fall Workshop

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

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Friday, October 30, 2015
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Tour of the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Program & Panel Discussion

Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market
6700 Essington Ave. J-232
Philadelphia, PA 19153

CACC Members: Free
CACC Non-Members: $25

Register Today

Join colleagues, port representatives, and government officials to participate in an interactive experience reviewing the trade, technical, legal, regulatory and business issues affecting the import of Chilean fresh fruit into the Delaware Valley Region.

Moderator:

Tom Mastromarco, Holt Logistics

Panelists:

Miriam Borja-Fisher, Senior Business Development Manager, Western Fumigation

Stephen Brady, Acting Chief Agriculture Specialist for the Port of Philadelphia, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

John Ercolani, Senior Vice President, J&K Fresh East

Edward Fitzgerald, Senior Director, Import Operations, OHL International

Lisa Himber, Vice President, Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay

Bill Madara, Eastern Operations Branch Chief, USDA Agricultural Marketing Services – Specialty Crops Inspection Division

Bill McGinnis, Manager, Government Compliance / Customer Service, Greenwich Terminals LLC

Sharon Mills, Consumer Safety Officer, Food & Drug Administration
Philadelphia Investigations Branch – Imports

For speaking and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Christina Lista at 215-790-3627 or clista@greaterphilachamber.com.

To learn more about the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market, click here.

Presented by:
Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce

Presenting Partners:
Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market

Sponsored By:
Holt Logistics Corp.
J&K Fresh East
Manfredi Cold Storage & Distribution
OHL International
Western Fumigation

Save the Date: Upcoming CACC Events

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

12th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile
Wine Tasting & Dinner

Wednesday, April 28, 2017
The Hotel Du Pont
11th & Market Street
Wilmington, Delaware
5:00pm Chilean Wine Tasting & Reception
6:30pm Dinner & Program

Join the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia for its 12th Annual “Experience the Taste of Chile,” an evening of authentic Chilean food and wine, rich conversation and celebration of the fruitful commercial and trade partnership between the Delaware Valley and the Republic of Chile.

Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in this unique event and show your support for the work the Chamber does to continually strengthen the commercial and business ties between the Greater Philadelphia Region and Chile.

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2015 Annual Fall Workshop
Enhancement of Chilean Fresh Fruit Trade Operations

Friday, October 30, 2015
Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Tour of the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Program & Panel Discussion

Join colleagues, port representatives, and government officials to participate in an interactive experience reviewing the trade, technical, legal, regulatory and business issues affecting the import of Chilean fresh fruit into the Delaware River Region.

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Fashion Forward: Executive Fundraising and Networking Event
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Boyds Philadelphia
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Networking Reception

The Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce is proud to participate in the British American Business Council’s Fashion Forward Fundraiser and Networking Event benefiting the Ronald McDonald House.

The CACC invites you to an international fashion event at the world renowned, iconic clothier, Boyds Philadelphia. Spend an evening enhancing valuable business connections and shopping for global designer apparel, shoes and bags. All attendees will receive a special discount and a percentage of revenue will be donated to The Ronald McDonald House.

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18th Annual Friend of Chile Awards Luncheon
Thursday, December 03, 2015
Hyatt at the Bellevue
11:30 AM Chilean Wine Tasting & Reception
12:00 Noon Luncheon & Awards Celebration

Please save the date to join us at our 18th Annual Friend of Chile Awards Luncheon to celebrate and recognize the strong and deep commercial, trade, cultural and diplomatic relationship between the Greater Philadelphia region and the Republic of Chile.

An Extraordinary Evening of Global Networking – July 29th, 2015

Monday, August 10th, 2015

The volume of the chatter on the 19th floor of the Hyatt at the Bellevue was a true testament to the networking power between all 14 international organizations involved in the making of the 5th Annual Summer International Business Networking Reception.

5th Annual Summer International Business Networking Reception

For the 5th consecutive year, Philadelphia’s international chambers joined forces to host the much-anticipated International Business Networking Reception on Wednesday, July 29th. Partners of this year’s event included: Asian American Chamber of Commerce; Brazil-Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce, British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia; Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia; French-American Chamber of Commerce; German American Chamber of Commerce; Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Irish American Business Chamber & Network, Inc.; Italy-America Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia; Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia; Mid-Atlantic – Eurasia Business Council; Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce; and Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

5th Annual Summer International Business Networking Reception

The networking reception featured a brief program including welcoming remarks from Robert Palaima, President and Chairman of the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce and also President of one of the Corporate Sponsors of the evening, Delaware River Stevedores, Inc. Tyra Ford, Director of Operations & Strategic Marketing Initiatives from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, addressed the crowd and explained the mission of Fox IB Programs, also a Corporate Sponsor of the reception.

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Following was the featured speaker of the evening, Jim Kenney, Philadelphia’s Democratic Mayoral Nominee. Kenney stressed the importance of international business’ key role in the creation of jobs for the unemployed and impoverished here in Philadelphia. Kenney also spoke highly of Chile and the ports within the Greater Philadelphia region: “Chile has been a great source of work for our stevedores, truck drivers and warehouseman… [And with] port expansion, [our city] can provide the opportunity for people without a college degree to be trained for jobs that pay 35-40 dollars an hour and can raise their families and take care of their neighborhoods and raise folks standard of living up.”

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Thank you to all attendees, sponsors, and partnering organizations for making the 5th Annual Summer International Business Networking Reception the most successful one yet!

To view photos from the event, please click here to view our Flickr page.

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5th Annual Summer International Business Networking Reception

5th Annual Summer International Business Networking Reception – SOLD OUT

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

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5th Annual Summer International Business Networking Reception
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Rose Garden Ballroom
Hyatt at the Bellevue, 19th Floor
Broad and Walnut Streets
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

$55 for members
$75 for non-members

Click here to register

For the fifth consecutive year, members of the international business community have joined forces to host a summer international business networking reception to celebrate Philadelphia’s status as a top US destination for foreign direct investment and commercial trade.

Philadelphia is an international city on the cutting edge of economic and business development. On the evening of July 29th, join hundreds of your business peers to network together and reaffirm Philadelphia’s economic, political, and commercial impact as an influential global city.

For sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about this program, please contact Christina Lista at 215-790-3627 or clista@gpcc.com.

Click here to view photos from last year’s reception

Presented by:
Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia

An Affiliate of:
Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

In Partnership with:
Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia
Brazil-Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce
British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia
Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia
French-American Chamber of Commerce
German American Chamber of Commerce
Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Irish American Business Chamber & Network, Inc.
Italy-America Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia
Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia
Mid-Atlantic – Eurasia Business Council
Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce
Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce

Corporate Sponsor:
Fox IB Programs

Taste of Chile’s 10 Year Anniversary Celebrates Feeding the World

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile
Click here to view photos from the wine tasting and dinner

A major celebration highlighting the remarkable friendship and international trade contributions between the Republic of Chile and the Tri State Region took center stage at the elegant Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware. The Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce created an extraordinary testament to this most successful and cordial partnership, celebrating the Chamber’s 10th Anniversary of the Taste of Chile Awards Dinner, honoring the DuPont Company for their enduring connections with Chile.

Governor Jack Markell was on hand to present the Chamber’s Visionary Award to the DuPont Company. “We are so focused on the Port as an economic engine and jobs creator, but this relationship is also a huge jobs creator for so many thousands of people in Chile,” said the Governor. “It is such a win-win situation, they trust us to handle their prized wines and produce, we then enjoy their produce during the winter months and year round. DuPont’s work with Chile dates back to the 1850s. They do business there in mining, agriculture, aquaculture, they have 500 full time employees, plus seasonal employees, four research and development centers plus production facilities. It’s a deep relationship so they are the perfect recipient for this award.”

10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile

Governor Markell had stellar remarks about the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce.

He also complimented the work of Chile’s Honorary Consul for the Tri-State region, Benjamin Leavenworth, remembering fondly the state visit of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. He had high praise for Leavenworth’s contributions to that peerless occasion.

DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Collins, Jr. accepted the Visionary Award on behalf of DuPont. Collins discussed the dramatic breakthrough in salmon aquaculture DuPont pioneered along with Aqua Chile. He also spoke of the important role Chile plays in seed production worldwide and their partnership with DuPont. He praised the work of Chile’s scientists and business community. Collins emphasized food security is one of the world’s most pressing issues. “At DuPont we apply our science to bring farmers new seeds and innovative crop protection products that produce better meals, we work with food companies to provide consumers with nutrition, taste and energy. Our celebration tonight is about feeding the world.”

10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile

The evening’s gourmet menu included DuPont’s Verlasso Salmon, pioneered in Chile. Collins explained the salmon’s development is a venture between DuPont and AquaChile, now one of the largest suppliers of salmon in the Americas. “It’s aimed at changing the sustainability of farm-raised salmon. Today it takes 4 pounds of ocean-caught, feeder-fish to produce one pound of farm raised salmon. So we were able to come up with a yeast that actually produces protein and omega-3 oils. We replace much of the ocean-caught fish with this yeast feed-ration and we are now at one pound of salmon produced from one pound of ocean-caught fish along with the yeast feed. We also worked with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, based in California, a key seafood-watch program, that rates different types of production systems and in most cases they give farm-raised fish a pretty negative mark. The Verlasso Salmon system is one of the only systems that they have certified ‘safe.’ We got that endorsement over a year ago and we’re real proud of that.”

Collins also commented on the remarkable amount of Chile’s fruit and produce coming through the Ports of the Delaware River, saying, “The Chamber has been instrumental in keeping those trade routes open and supporting the local infrastructure that it takes to keep that kind of flow of goods and services into the country.”

10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile

“This is quite an impressive international story,” said Martin Welch, Chief Operating Officer of Emerging Markets for Aramark, which is one of Chile’s largest employers with a staff of about 23,000 people. “You see the concerted cooperation between Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey all coming together in the interest of this region and the Republic of Chile. All of us are motivated to see how we can encourage more commerce between Chile and our region.”

Vice President of the Diamond State Port Corporation, Tom Keefer was a key player in orchestrating the anniversary event. “For our tenth anniversary, we could not have found a better company to honor than DuPont. They have been long-term investors and partners with the Chileans, especially in the agricultural sector, so we are delighted that they received the Visionary Award. We also need a special note of thanks to Governor Markell who always gives unselfishly of his time and we know he has a very busy schedule, but he always supports the Port tremendously and supports the Chilean & American Chamber whenever he is asked.”

10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile

Chamber President Bob Palaima said, “We’ve had another wonderful year, culminating with her Excellency, Michelle Bachelet of Chile’s visit to our region, it’s our tenth anniversary for the Taste of Chile Awards. We have three states coming together on behalf of our great friend and trade partner, Chile. We have the remarkable support of the elected officials and business leaders of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the relations between our two countries are the strongest they’ve ever been.”

“Our sponsors, partners and supporters deserve tremendous credit for their vision,” said Miriam Borja-Fisher, treasurer of the Chilean & American Chamber. “It is thanks to their overwhelming support that we are able to continue the extremely important work of this Chamber.”

10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile

Friday, March 20th, 2015

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chilean Wine Tasting & Reception at 5:00 p.m.
Dinner & Program at 6:30 p.m.

Hotel du Pont

11th & Market Streets
Wilmington 19899

Click here to learn about sponsorship opportunities

Click here to register for the event

Receiving the 2015 Visionary Award: DuPont

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Join the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia for its 10th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile, an evening filled with unique, authentic Chilean foods, delicious wine, great conversation and the celebration of the fruitful commercial and trade partnerships between the Greater Philadelphia region and the Republic of Chile.

This year, the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce is Savoring the History by celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Experience the Taste of Chile. For ten years, we have reaffirmed our strong and successful relationship with Chile by enjoying the delicious bounty of food and wine that Chile consistently provides to the Greater Philadelphia region. In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Experience the Taste of Chile, join us to recognize DuPont, a science company that brings world-class, innovative products, materials and services to the global marketplace, for its sustained commitment to and successful commercial investment in Chile across a broad range of industries such as agriculture, mining and safety and security to name just a few.

Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in this unique event, and show your support for the work the Chamber does to keep the commercial and business ties strong between Chile and the Greater Philadelphia region.

To learn more about the program, please contact Christina Lista at 215-790-3627.

Presidential Seal of Approval: Chile’s President Makes State Visit to the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce

Friday, February 27th, 2015

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PHILADELPHIA, UNITED STATES — “Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome the President of the Republic of Chile, Her Excellency, Michelle Bachelet.” And with those words the Chilean presidential retinue was led into the Bellevue Stratford ballroom by the Chamber’s President Robert Palaima. This is the first time a sitting Chilean president made an official state visit to the Chamber and she had extraordinary words of praise, encouragement and appreciation.

The unprecedented official state visit was commemorated with a sold-out awards dinner where over three hundred business leaders and guests saw President Bachelet receive the 2015 Friendship Award of the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia. Together, Chile and the Chamber have been major engineers of Chile’s rocketing rise to prominence as a world food supplier. After a hearty and lengthy standing ovation, President Bachelet commended the special fellowship between the Delaware Valley and her country.

“I am so happy to be in the Greater Philadelphia Region, because we have so many important contacts here. Our relationships are fantastic. This award is a great honor for me. We all know of the strong bonds between our countries for so many years and I think they will be even stronger and more productive in the future. …As a child, I lived in the U-S, I went to school here and learned the history of Washington crossing the Delaware. So for me it’s also very symbolic to be here.”

The history of Chile’s success with their partner, the Greater Delaware Valley region, hinges on Chile’s reverse growing season, which, last year, brought in winter and year-round produce of more than 750,000 metric tons (MT), with grapes, apples, blueberries, cherries, citrus fruit and avocados” topping the list, according to Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) president, Ronald Bown, who was also part of the presidential delegation. In the 1970’s when this highly nutritional import-export effort first began, it was a revolutionary step-up in American food availabilities and profoundly changed the American dining table and cuisines.

President Bachelet had a special message for the Chilean & American Chamber:
“To congratulate them for all their work because many of the results are a product of their work and the job they do. Also to thank them, because thanks to their efforts, we were able to approve the FTA [Free Trade Agreement] of 2004 and now we have eleven years that this trade agreement has been working very well for both countries. As a matter of fact, here in Philadelphia, many of the things we’re doing related to the fruits have not only created new businesses, but also jobs. And that is so important for the Americans. So I would say this is a win-win relationship and we want to enhance it.”

President Bachelet’s award was presented by Martin Welch, Chief Operating Officer for Aramark’s Emerging Markets. Aramark is one of Chile’s largest single employers, creating over 20,000 jobs there. Knowing how long this official state visit was being worked on, Welch observed, “It speaks volumes on President Bachelet’s interest in expanding the partnership between our two countries in promoting commerce and job growth. It’s incredibly beneficial for her to be here, to see what we have here and to exchange information about opportunities in Chile.” Asked about Aramark’s part in rescuing Chile’s trapped miners and the Pennsylvania-led effort through-out all aspects of the rescue, Welch said, “That’s the true test of genuine caring and friendship. Business is more than just a job, it’s how you can have an impact on society and advance the people in a community. It was very gratifying to be able to help in that rescue effort. It was incredible to see all the resources that came out of this region and see how they can be applied to help people in other parts of the world.”

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Bachelet’s unprecedented presidential mission to the Chamber throws more high-beam spotlights on the highly acclaimed, extraordinary alliance between the Greater Philadelphia Region and Chile and the jobs they’ve created together: over 100,000 Chilean jobs and some 12,000 jobs in the Delaware Valley.

In the person of Leo Holt, President of Holt Logisitics, we find representation of four generations of the people on the United States’ side of this winning equation. Holt’s grandfather worked with the pioneers of this international success story, the visionary trailblazers like the Kopke’s, Vandenberg’s, Schiro’s, David Del Curto and all the other groundbreaking leaders who irrigated a desert, turned it green, created award-winning grapes and produce and then built the Chilean economic powerhouse from the Copiapó Valley to the Ports of the Delaware River.

“This is not like any other day,” said Holt. “That the president has honored us with a full state visit to Philadelphia and Delaware really signals the importance of the relationship with the tri-state region and Chile. We are four generations with the ‘Chilean Miracle.’ Over 50 years for us as a single company and there are many companies like us, who have managed to feed thousands of people from the opportunities that have come from the Chilean growth. And here at the forums today, we spoke of not only the agricultural growth, mining and fishing but also of healthcare, science innovation, really electric opportunities for the people of the Delaware Valley to continue to grow along with the people of Chile.”

The Delaware Valley leads the way bringing in about 70% of all of Chile’s fruits and produce. The remaining 30% is split between ports in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Miami.

During her whirlwind tour this past Tuesday, President Bachelet visited the Port of Wilmington, her countryman Roberto Diaz who directs the world famous Curtis Institute of Music, was featured at a business forum chaired by Leo Holt and then on to the Bellevue, escorted by Chile’s Consul for the Tri-State area, Benjamin Leavenworth. “CACC Executive Director Ricardo Maldonado and I worked on this for years,” said Leavenworth. “This is a great victory for our region, for Chile. It’s proof of our powerful and very special relationship with this very special country.”

Miriam Borja-Fisher of Western Industries said, “This visit is crucial for President Bachelet and for the Delaware Valley. Seeing our contributions to her country in person is so very important and we’re ecstatic that’s she’s here. She said in her speech, that our partnerships are going to achieve even more. Chile and Philly – perfect together.”

Years in the making, outgoing CACC Executive Director Ricardo Maldonado helped put the machinery in motion to make the Bachelet presidential state visit a reality. Chamber President Robert Palaima said, “It’s wonderful that Ricardo is moving forward with his career New York, but I am sad, for myself, to see him go. Over the years I’ve come to depend on Ricardo’s leadership, energy and organization skills, so it’s going to be a big loss for us. Tonight’s presidential visit is a culmination of all that he and the Chamber have worked toward and achieved.”

by Wynne Alexander

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