November, 2017

Post Archives

The 20th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon

Monday, November 20th, 2017

The Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce
20th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon
Friday, November 17th, 2017
The Union League of Philadelphia

On November 17th 2017, The Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce hosted members, friends, and special guests for the 20th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon.   Attendees gathered at the historic Union League of Philadelphia to honor the year’s awards recipients and celebrate the strong trade partnership between the Greater Philadelphia region and the Republic of Chile.

The Luncheon began with a Chilean wine tasting courtesy of wine sponsor Dependable Distribution Services before guests were invited into Lincoln Hall to begin the awards celebration.  As guests were seated, Robert Palaima, President and Chairman of the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, and also recipient of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, took the stage to welcome guests and officially begin the ceremony.

After an invocation courtesy of Reverend William Rex, Leo Holt of Holt Logistics was introduced as the Luncheon’s first speaker.  Holt began by congratulating Robert Palaima on being the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, noting that the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia is “the most recognized and envied” Chilean Chamber in the nation, and credited Palaima for his large contribution to achieve this status.  Holt then went on to speak about the origins of trade between the Greater Philadelphia Region and Chile.  Holt emphasized the importance of relationships between business partners abroad and stressed how vital this is to a successful trade partnership.

Before exiting the stage, Holt introduced a special guest whom he greatly admires, His Excellency Juan Gabriel Valdés, Chilean Ambassador to the United States.  After thanking Leo Holt and Reverend Rex, Ambassador Valdés conveyed his delight to be a part of the day’s Luncheon.  Ambassador Valdés, who had met with the CACCGP along with other Chilean Chambers across the U.S. a month earlier, spoke about the Chambers’ cooperation with each other and the bright future Chile and the United States have together.  His Excellency then addressed the upcoming elections in Chile, stating that Chile’s relationship with the United States is crucial for the country and will continue to be a strong partnership under Chile’s new government.

Jeff Theobald of PhilaPort was the next speaker to take the stage.  Theobald praised Governor Tom Wolf’s commitment to the Philadelphia Ports and Chilean Trade before introducing Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards, who would accept the 20th Annual “Friend of Chile” Award on behalf of Governor Tom Wolf.

Secretary Richards thanked those in attendance and expressed how honored Governor Wolf was to receive the “Friend of Chile” award.  Having allocated $300 million in investments in the region’s ports, Richards explained Governor Wolf’s commitment to his vision of sustainability and improvement for the transportation networks within the Greater Philadelphia Region.  She praised the investment for its ability to make for a more attractive environment for shippers and economic prosperity.  Richards noted her excitement to continue working with the Philadelphia Ports before exiting the stage for lunch to be served.

After attendees enjoyed a Chilean inspired meal, Honorary Consul of Chile Benjamin Leavenworth continued the ceremony to introduce Robert Palaima and present him with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.  Leavenworth stated that the day’s banquet was living proof that fair trade is made possible through the friendship and trust of the Chamber’s members and partners.  After giving a brief biographical background of the award’s honoree, Leavenworth praised Palaima for his commitment to the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce, stating that the award demonstrates Palaima’s genuine care for Chile and its people.  Leavenworth thanked Palaima for his contributions to the chamber, which have allowed it to grow and placed the Chamber in a much better position to compete internationally.  After noting some of the CACCGP’s recent activities and accolades, Leavenworth invited Palaima to the stage to accept the award with a standing ovation from all in attendance.

After thanking Leavenworth for his kind words, Palaima expressed his gratitude for having received the award and serving as President and Chairman for the Chamber. Palaima then went on to say that the future is bright for Chile and Philadelphia with Executive Director, Christina Lista and the Chamber’s Board of Directors.  Palaima went on to express his hopefulness for a reengaged trade deal between Chile and the United States, and asked those in attendance to reach out to legislative officials to ask for a new, revised trade agreement.  After thanking his wife, and the men and women at Delaware River Stevedores, Palaima left the stage as attendees rose to their feet to congratulate the honoree and conclude the day’s ceremony.

The Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce’s 20th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon would not have been possible without the support of many generous sponsors including Presenting Partner ProChile; Visionary Sponsors: Brandywine Realty Trust, Holt Logistics Corp., Ports of Delaware River Marine Trade Association; Presenting Sponsors: Port of Wilmington Delaware, Philaport; Corporate Table Sponsors: Aramark, Dayka & Hackett, Delaware River Stevedores, Inc., Dole Fresh Fruit, FreshPAC LLC, Geodis USA, Inc., J&K Fresh East, Loeper & Associates, Manfredi Cold Storage, Mattioni, Ltd., Morgan Stanley, RPS/Royal Fumigation, Sbrocco International, Inc., South Jersey Port Corporation, Tastyfruitti International, Inc., The Pilot’s Association for the Bay and River Delaware, Western Fumigation, and the World Trade Association; Associate Sponsors: Intercontinental Services, Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay; and Wine Sponsor: Dependable Distribution Services.

Special thanks to the Union League of Philadelphia for its hospitality in hosting the 20th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon.

For more photos from the 20th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon, please visit our Flickr page.

2017 Annual Fresh Fruit Workshop

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Friday, December 01, 2017
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Tour of 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

Click here to register.

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.


Tom Mastromarco
Holt Logistics

Panelists (To Date):

Stephen Brady
Chief Agricultural Specialist – Port of Philadelphia, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

John Ercolani
Senior Vice President, J&K Fresh East

Ed Fitzgerald
Senior Director of Trade Services, GEODIS USA, Inc.

Felipe Gajardo
Agricultural Trade Specialist, Agricultural Office – Embassy of Chile

Erin Grether-Lootens
Manager, Food Safety Policy & Programs, United Fresh Produce Association

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

Marc Krasner
Acting Asst. Officer in Charge, Philadelphia USDA – Agricultural Marketing Service Office

Kurt Reichert
Fumigation Director, Western Fumigation

William Spence
Officer in Charge, USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Agency – Plant Protection & Quarantine

Russell Vandermark
FDA Investigator, U.S. Food & Drug Administration

For speaking and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Christina Lista at 215-790-3627 or [email protected].

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