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


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.


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.


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 [email protected]

Click here to view photos on our Flickr page.

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