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ProChile Presents: Chile Connected, Virtual Event

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

 

ProChile is hosting a virtual B2B matchmaking event October 20-29th. This series of events seeks to connect Chilean producers of quality foods and beverages, creative industries, technology, healthy food and women-led businesses with potential buyers and partners. Chile Connected is a great event for your business that you won’t want to miss. 

For questions, please email [email protected]

Click here for more information and registration

Upcoming Events and Programs from the CACC & International Partners

Thursday, September 10th, 2020

Oct. 6th- 8th Vinos de Chile: Wine School

This course will help you amplify your knowledge of wine and of the international wine industry, it will allow you to obtain a technical and appropriate language to better relate you with international clients and partners.

Click here for directions to registration and more information 

Oct. 14th InvestChile: 5th American Digital Latin American Congress of Business and Technology

9:00 AM

Click here for registration and more information

Oct. 14th Ch1l3: Why Nearshoring IT Services is the Best Option NOW

12:00 PM- 1:30 PM

Click here for registration and more information

Oct. 20-29th ProChile: Chile Connected

This virtual B2B matchmaking session seeks to connect Chilean producers of unique and value-added food and beverage products with potential buyers and partners.

For any questions regarding this event, please contact [email protected]

Click here for registration and more information 

Spotlight Series ft. Kurt Reichert

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

Kurt Reichert
Fumigation Director, Western Fumigation

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CACC: How did your experiences lead you to your role at Western Fumigation? 

Kurt Reichert (K.R.): I was originally hired over 30 years ago as a Fumigation Service Technician for the New Jersey, New York and Connecticut areas, handling sales and service. We had mostly food service companies back then- spice companies, pasta and baking ingredients, pet food, warehouses- that was all commercial work. This was before the days of cell phones, so I was pretty autonomous, which I liked. I didn’t work all that much with Chilean fruit back then, but I did make it down to Philadelphia on occasion.

Over the years, I worked myself up to the position of Master Technician through our in-house training program and the broad fumigation experience that I picked up along the way. We used to regularly fumigate large structures throughout the country, such as the old Philadelphia Nabisco plant. These were very complex jobs that required comprehensive planning, so I really enjoyed the challenges of these large scale fumigations.

In the fall of 2000, I was promoted to Service Supervisor. This began the phase of my career which really brought me into the Chilean fruit side of Western’s business. It also kicked off my involvement in the various regulatory issues that govern the fumigation industry. This involvement grew as I was promoted to Service Manager in the spring of 2010. It was here that I became more involved in the Chilean fruit sector of Western’s business. Operationally, this was probably my favorite point in my career at Western. I had the most exposure to our customers, particularly our Chilean fruit customers. In January of 2015, I was promoted to Fumigation Director after Mike O’Connor’s retirement.

Each of the early stages of my career helped to prepare me for the next stage. The operational knowledge and the business contacts gained along the way made it possible for me to lead the Fumigation Division in my current role.

CACC: How is your work at Western Fumigation connected to Chile?

K.R.: From the beginning of the Chilean fruit importation to the United States, Western was instrumental in working with the Chilean exporters, importers and the United States Department of Agriculture to get the program started. Through its humble beginnings, as the program grew, the Fumigation Director’s position was the primary contact point between Western and our customers. Fumigation is so fundamentally different than Western’s core pest control operations, that thankfully, early on, Western leadership saw the value of having an autonomous division with its own administrative staff. This allowed our division to concentrate on our Chilean fruit customers with a business plan that was unencumbered by the constraints of Western’s traditional pest control operations. It allows us to focus our customer service efforts on the Chilean trade- not just the importers and terminal operators in the U.S., but also with the growers, exporters and shipping lines which we regularly visit in Chile. Personal relationships are key in the Chilean trade.

CACC: What is your favorite part of working within the maritime trade industry? Also, at Western Fumigation?

K.R.: I really appreciate everything about the maritime trade industry! The relationships that I have made over the years, the number of family businesses involved in the Philly maritime trade, the long hard hours that maritime workers put in that make this trade possible and even the physical machinery necessary to move products to, and through the port. It is all very interesting to me, and I really enjoy seeing the dedication in this field, whether it is from a warehouse worker up to a terminal operator- everybody seems to really enjoy what they do. This is evident by the longevity that we see in the maritime related businesses. People here rarely leave this field. They may work for a different company than they did last year, but they rarely leave the maritime trade. The same is true for Western Fumigation employees. Our employee retention is head and shoulders above the usual retention rates in pest control operations. Some of our techs working for us today, started before, or shortly after I started with Western.

Within Western, I am most proud of the work that I have done, often behind the scenes, to protect and strengthen the Chilean trade. I have long worked on the methyl bromide re-registration front, serving on several committees defending methyl bromide and its availability and use in the U.S.. I have worked on the US Coast Guard Area Maritime Security Committee to help keep the Port of Philadelphia secure. I have worked with regulators in NJ, PA and other states to keep the practice of fumigation available so that the Chilean trade can operate as freely as possible under growing regulatory pressures which our industry faces. In short, doing everything that time allows me to do to in order to keep the Chilean fruit flowing through our port.

CACC: What makes the CACC a special and valuable organization to you?

K.R.: I think what makes the CACC so special is the genuine way that it links Chile and the U.S.. So often trade groups ultimately operate to the benefit of specific parties in the organization, but over the years I have seen firsthand how the Chamber truly benefits both parties.

The events which the CACC hosts each year are always the highlight events of the year. They are well attended, professionally presented, and raise money for a host of initiatives which again, benefit both parties. They are always presented with entertaining guest speakers of a broad spectrum of businesses. They are held to benefit causes in Chile as well as the U.S. The greater Philadelphia area is very supportive of issues in Chile, as was seen during the relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in 2010. Two of my most memorable events involved the visit by Chilean President Bachelet, as well as the visit by rescued miner Mario Sepulveda.

The CACC continues to work to improve and expand business relationships between Chile and the U.S. This expands well beyond the importation of Chilean wines, fish and fruit. Technology has been enjoying the benefit of the strong relationship between our two countries as well. As a leader in South American business and investment, Chile is a strong and stable trade partner to the U.S.

CACC: As you come upon retirement, what is one thing you will take away from your time at Western?

K.R.: In a word, pride. I am happy that I had a small part in the continued success of the Chilean trade in the port. Though I am beyond excited to move on to the next phase of my life, I am beginning to realize the hole that will be left in my life due to leaving Western. But I can leave knowing that I did my best.

I have always told myself that at the end of the day, the only person who needs to be satisfied with my work is me. I can honestly say that for most of my 11,183 days working for Western, I have met that threshold.

We send our thanks and heartfelt wishes for a wonderful retirement to Kurt!

Revolutionary Women- Blazing a Trail and Leading the Pack

Monday, February 3rd, 2020

On Wednesday, January 29, 2020, we celebrated the successes and challenges of some of Philadelphia’s leading female executives as they discussed their journeys and encouragement of gender diversity in the workplace at Revolutionary Women- Blazing a Trail and Leading the Pack. The CACC proudly partnered with the British American Business Council, Asian, Eurasian, French and Swedish Chambers, and Select Greater Philadelphia.

Thank you to the six speakers who shared their stories: Debbie Epstein Henry, Founder of DEH Consulting, Speaking, Writing; Co-Founder of Bliss Lawyers; and Vice President and Board Member of The Forum of Executive Women, moderated the panel.  Distinguished panelists included: Vanessa Z. Chan, Ph.D., Brassington Professor of Practice at Penn Engineering, Board Member, and Angel Investor; Julie Coker, President & CEO, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau; Deborah Driscoll, MD, Senior Vice President, Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania, Vice Dean for Professional Services, Perelman School of Medicine, and Luigi Mastroianni, Jr. Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Bethany Edwards, Co-Founder & CEO, LIA Diagnostics; and Jami Wintz McKeon, Partner and Chair, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Many thanks to the evening’s sponsors: The Forum of Executive Women, HSBC Bank, Morgan Lewis, Penn Medicine, The Museum of the American Revolution, and Brûlée Catering.

This was truly a remarkable event, and we are especially grateful to the British American Business Council for hosting and organizing such an inspiring forum and to the Museum of the American Revolution for the fantastic venue.

Click here to view photos on the BABC’s Flickr page.

22nd Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon Recap

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce
22nd Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon
Wednesday, November 6th, 2019
The Union League of Philadelphia

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On Wednesday, November 6th, 2019, members and distinguished guests gathered in the historic Union League of Philadelphia for the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce (CACC) 22nd Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon to honor individuals who have demonstrated great commitment in the trade partnership between Chile and the United States.

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As guests arrived, they were welcomed by a wine reception featuring two delicious Chilean wines. Shortly after, guests were asked to take their seats in Lincoln Hall to begin the luncheon and awards ceremony. Leo Holt, of Holt Logistics, was the afternoon’s emcee and was the first to approach the podium. He welcomed everyone to the event and congratulated all attendees for being part of the CACC, one of the most active and dynamic Chilean Chambers of Commerce in the United States. After a short prayer led by Rev. William Rex, Leo came back to the podium. He gave congratulations to Miriam Borja-Fisher of Western Fumigation and Dennis Rochford of the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay, the two award recipients on the day. He also recognized special guests such as His Excellency Alfonso Silva, Chilean Ambassador to the U.S., Jorge O’Ryan, Director of ProChile, Matías Pinto Pimentel, Trade Commissioner, Karla Martin, Chancellor of the Chilean Consulate in Philadelphia, and members of the USDA. Holt then invited Ambassador Silva to the stage to say a few words.

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The Ambassador began his speech by speaking to the mutually beneficial relationship between not just Chile and the United States, but also the relationship between Chile and the Greater Philadelphia region specifically. The fruit trade has provided both regions with thousands of jobs, boosting both economies. Ambassador Silva then transitioned to the current situation in Chile. He projected a calm, confident demeanor in which he stated that Chile is a country “obsessed” with growth. The country still boasts the 2nd highest minimum wage in Latin America as well as one of the lowest unemployment rates in the region. He finished his speech with a strong message: “Keep faith. Democracy will prevail.”

Following the Ambassador’s speech, Holt brought Eric Casey, CEO of GT Wilmington, to the stage to present Dennis Rochford with the Albert S. Marulli Lifetime Achievement Award. Casey said although he has only been working in the area for a little over a year, it is already apparent to him how key Rochford is in the local business.

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In his acceptance speech, Rochford mentioned how honored he was to be receiving the award. He also took time to recognize his colleagues at the Maritime Exchange and said he could not have done it without them. Rochford also praised the CACC, stating it is an honor to work with such an outstanding chamber.caccgp_110619-1357

Following Rochford, Holt retook the stage to introduce Carlos Martinez from the USDA. Martinez had some brief remarks regarding the ports in the Philadelphia region and how important they are. He also mentioned that the relationship between the Philadelphia region and Chile is one of mutual benefit.

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Next to approach the podium was the Director of ProChile, Jorge O’Ryan. This being his first time in the city of Philadelphia, O’Ryan immediately endeared himself to the crowd as he mentioned he is a fan of the local basketball team, the 76ers. As his speech then transitioned to a more serious note, he, much like the Ambassador, gave confident remarks regarding Chile’s current political situation. O’Ryan stated that he had been in contact with the ports and assured the crowd that the Chilean fruit trade would proceed as normal. He also commented on the importance of the city of Philadelphia for Chile. Not only has the Philadelphia area been home to the fruit trade, but the region has also been one of the best markets for the burgeoning Chilean IT market.

After O’Ryan, Holt quickly returned to invite Kurt Reichert, of Western Fumigation, to present his colleague, Miriam Borja-Fisher with the “Friend of Chile” Award. Reichert mentioned a lot of Borja-Fisher’s accomplishments since joining Western in 2002. He also said she is a friend to many in the room, so it was only fitting that she is receiving the “Friend of Chile” Award.

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Borja-Fisher was very grateful to be receiving the award. She thanked Ambassador Silva and Jorge O’Ryan for joining us, as well as her colleagues at Western Fumigation. She also acknowledged her family, thanking them for their constant love and support. Following her acceptance speech, Borja-Fisher, “put her CACC Treasurer hat on” and thanked all of the attendees and wished everyone a safe journey home.

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The 22nd Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon would not have been possible without the help of its sponsors. The CACC would like to thank Visionary Sponsors, GT Wilmington, Holt Logistics, and Western Fumigation; Presenting Sponsor, PhilaPort; and Corporate Table Sponsors, Dayka & Hackett, Delaware River Stevedores, Diamond State Port Corporation, Dole Fresh Fruit Company , Ecolab, GEODIS USA, J&K Fresh East, Manfredi Cold Storage, Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay, Sbrocco International, Tastyfrutti, The Pilots’ Association for the Bay and River Delaware, and William H. Kopke, Jr., Inc.

Additionally, the CACC would like to extend its thanks to the Union League of Philadelphia for the outstanding venue and delicious food.

Click here to see more photos from the event, and click here to learn more about our award recipients.

Recap: Summer 2019 International Business Networking Reception

Monday, August 5th, 2019

The Summer 2019 International Business Networking Reception kicked off at 6:00 pm at the National Museum of American Jewish History’s beautiful 5th floor space with outdoor terraces. Over 250 guests were in attendance to network with the best among Philly’s International Business Community.

Attendees sipped on Chilean wines and savored heavy hors d’oeurves from Sensational Host Catering, while taking gorgeous views of Independence Hall and historic sights of Philadelphia.

After an hour of networking, Robert Palaima, Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce (CACC) President and Chairman, took to the podium to formally welcome guests and to recognize the evening’s Corporate Sponsors:  PhilaPort and Santander Bank. He also recognized the Host Organization, the CACC, as well as the Presenting Partners: British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia; French-American Chamber of Commerce; German American Chamber of Commerce; Irish American Business Chamber & Network, Inc.; Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia; Mid-Atlantic – Eurasia Business Council; and Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

Following the recognition of many special guests in attendance, Palaima introduced his Excellency, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the USA and Canada H.E. Javlon Vakhabov, to greet attendees. Ambassador Vakhabov spoke warmly of Philadelphia, as it was his third time visiting the city. He also touched on a few key points regarding the US-Uzbekistan relationship, highlighting the progress the young country has made over the past 28 years since it became an independent nation.  Furthermore, he ended his remarks by inviting all in attendance to visit his country of Uzbekistan and to come visit the Embassy in Washington D.C.

Palaima retook the stage along with CACC Executive Director, Christina Lista, to raffle off exciting prizes—including tickets to upcoming BABC program “Sky’s the Limit!,” upcoming FACC program “The Changing Space of the American Workplace,” an Irish Chamber branded Running Shirt, a German swag bag filled with typical German food and beer, and a bottle of Chilean Chardonnay.

Major thanks are due to the reception’s Corporate Sponsors, Presenting Partners, the National Museum of American Jewish History, Sensational Host Caterer, Ambassador Vakhabov and his staff, as well as all 250+ attendees and the beautiful weather!

We look forward to seeing you next year at the 10th Annual Summer International Business Networking Reception.

Click here to view photos from the reception on our Flickr page.

[email protected]: Leveraging Global Development Teams

Monday, July 29th, 2019

[email protected]: Leveraging Global Development Teams
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce

The IT companies behind Chile’s “Ch1l3 a digital country” brand joined forces with the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce (CACC) to host [email protected]: Leveraging Global Development Teams on Tuesday, July 16th at the CACC.  The breakfast program featured remarks from Mike Giresi, CIO of Aramark, followed by two panels focused on the advantages of multicultural teams and nearshoring opportunities.

Benjamin Leavenworth, Consul of Chile, opened the event by explaining Chile’s historical trade relationship with the Greater Philadelphia region, highlighting Chile’s incredible infrastructure to support IT services. He also mentioned Chile connects with more than 70% of the world’s population via trade agreements, etc., which proves the country’s ability to work at the highest level of industry anywhere in the world. Leavenworth then introduced the visiting delegation, which included ten representatives from successful Chilean IT companies and described the brand’s mission and commitment to our region.  Following this, Leavenworth introduced Mike Giresi, CIO of Aramark, and keynote speaker.

Giresi took to the podium and thanked Benjamin and the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity to speak. He began his remarks by mentioning his career spans multiple industries and that he started in the IT industry before IT existed. At Aramark, he helped to transition Aramark’s consumer experience to a more digital platform, noting that time is very important to the consumer experience. To initiate the digital transformation, Giresi said that driving cultural change is key and that cultural alignment is important. He stressed that driving this type of change is difficult, but having the right partners and people is vital for success. During the Q&A portion of his remarks, Giresi shared that the common thread between American business culture and international business culture is doing things in high quality. Giresi closed his remarks by advising the Chilean Delegation that building a great reputation among the right network and peers as well as being present is the best way to reach potential customers in the U.S. market.

Guests took a quick break to enjoy the refreshments offered and then took their seats to listen to Panel 1: Challenges and Opportunities of Multicultural Teams (Onsite and Nearshore). The first panel of the morning featured moderator Araceli Guenther from Victrix Global, Lauren Swartz, Senior Director of International Business from the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department, and Jorge Corral, Business Development Manager of Arkano Software and Ch1l3 a Digital Country. Guenther posed the first question to the panelists: what has driven US companies to expand and manage global teams? Swartz responded first saying that supply for tech talent is at a shortage, which is why companies look to countries like Chile who have talented people to add value to their companies. Corral, responding to the same question, mentioned that uniting a team from diverse backgrounds and cultures can be a huge benefit for companies. It allows for more than one way of thinking when it comes to solving a problem.

The next topic the group touched on was the difficulties that can come with having a multicultural team and ways to combat them. One challenge that Corral mentioned was the differences in culture. Employees must always be mindful of their colleagues because what may be acceptable in one culture may not be in the other. Another issue stated by both panelists was the process of aligning the multicultural team towards a common goal. They stated the best way to make sure the team aligns properly is to set a goal at the outset of the project, make sure everyone is committed to said goal, and keep reminding everyone of the goal throughout the duration of the project.

After roughly 40 minutes of discussion, attendees were given a short break before the start of the second panel, which featured Guenther as a moderator along with Martín Lewit, General Manager of Nisum Latin America and Jason Garber, COO of PromptWorks. The main topic of the second panel was the benefits and opportunities of nearshore development. The duo was asked about the value added in working with nearshore partners, with Garber the first to respond. Having already worked with a nearshore partner, shared his experience and how he partnered with an Argentinian company and outsourced work to them during periods of high demand. This, he said, was the most effective way of utilizing a nearshore partner for his company. Lewit then responded to the question to give the Chilean perspective and mentioned how companies used to only turn to nearshore partners when it was cost effective. Now, U.S. companies look for partners in Chilean companies because they have noticed that Chile is a hotbed for tech talent.

The CACC would like to thank Mike Giresi, Ch1l3 a Digital Country, the Consulate of Chile in Philadelphia, the moderator and panelists, and all attendees for making the event a success.

Ch1l3 Delegation Members:

To view more photos from the program, please visit our Flickr page.

The 21st Annual “Friend of Chile” Award Luncheon

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce
21st Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon
Friday, November 30th, 2018
The Union League of Philadelphia

On Friday, November 30th, 2018, members and distinguished guests gathered in the historic Union League of Philadelphia for the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce (CACC) 21st Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon to honor individuals who have demonstrated great commitment in the trade partnership between Chile and the United States.

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The event kicked off with networking and a Chilean wine reception. Shortly after, guests were escorted to their seats in Lincoln Hall to begin the luncheon and awards ceremony. CACC and Delaware River Stevedores President, Robert Palaima, was the first to take the podium. He began by complimenting the CACC and saying that it was the largest, most dynamic chamber in the tri-state region. He welcomed Delaware Secretary of State Jeffery Bullock and William H. Kopke Jr., Inc.’s Paul Wigand, the two award recipients of the day, Chile’s new Trade Commissioner, Matías Pinto Pimentel, and the luncheon’s sponsors before introducing Benjamin Leavenworth, the Honorary Consul of Chile here in Philadelphia.

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Leavenworth started off his remarks by thanking the CACC for organizing the event and congratulating the award winners on the day for their great work in trade between Chile and the Greater Philadelphia Region. Leavenworth then gave an anecdote about a recent visit of his to Chile where he visited farms and was impressed by how much Chile has grown through agriculture—this of course being relevant due to the large amount of Chilean fresh fruit that comes into the United States through the ports of the tri-state region.

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Following Leavenworth, Palaima stepped back up to the podium to introduce CACC Treasurer Miriam Borja-Fisher of Western Fumigation and Barbara Hunter of BHA Consults. Borja-Fisher thanked everyone for coming and then presented Hunter, who gave remarks in memory of the late Albert S. Marulli for the dedication of CACC Lifetime Achievement Award in his honor. Hunter thanked the guests in attendance and the members of the Marulli family, many of whom were present at the event. Hunter described “Al,” as everyone referred to him, as a “giant” of a man despite his small stature. She said, “I could write a book about Al,” as the two had worked closely for many years. Marulli is considered by many to the “father” of the Chilean fresh fruit here in the U.S. According to Hunter, he was a man who fought for what he believed in… and he believed in Chile. To receive the plaque, made to show the award’s dedication to Marulli, was his eldest son, Tony.

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Tony made his way up to the podium and spoke powerful words about the man his father was. Marulli was a man who did not like recognition. He had turned down, on numerous occasions, the opportunity to be honored throughout his life. Therefore, Tony said that the way the CACC chose to honor his father was perfect, and thanked the Chamber for honoring him in this manner.

Next to the podium was Leo Holt of Holt Logistics. Leo gave a brief introduction to Peter Kopke Sr. of William H. Kopke Jr., Inc., the man who was to present Paul Wigand, also of William H. Kopke Jr., Inc., with the first Albert S. Marulli Lifetime Achievement Award. Kopke spoke very highly of Wigand, saying that he has always been a determined worker, becoming Kopke’s right-hand man. The two have traveled to Chile together every year for the last 38 years, giving them a tremendous amount of experience in the fresh fruit trade.

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In his acceptance speech, Wigand mentioned how honored he was to be receiving the first Albert S. Marulli Lifetime Achievement Award because he had a tremendous respect for Marulli. Wigand went on to thank the CACC for their recognition of his work and said that the Philadelphia region is a tremendous home for the Chilean fresh fruit trade, and he hopes to see the business flourish in the coming years. Wigand finished on a touching note, thanking his own family and the Kopke family for the opportunity they had given him and walked off the stage to a standing ovation.

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Following Wigand, guests enjoyed a delicious entrée and dessert, complimented by Chilean wine. Palaima then took the stage to introduce Eric Casey, CEO of GT USA Wilmington, to present Jeffery S. Bullock, Secretary of State of Delaware, with the “Friend of Chile” Award. Casey is fairly new to the area, but he said it did not take him long to realize the important work that Bullock has done and is continuing to do for the Delaware ports. He spoke of Secretary Bullock’s excitement about returning to Chile in the near future, and thanked Bullock for all that he has done.

Secretary Bullock was very gracious in his acceptance speech, thanking Gene Bailey of the Diamond State Port Corporation, the CACC and President Palaima, and Consul Leavenworth for their work promoting Chile in the region. Bullock said that he is very honored to have been part of the success between Chile and the Philadelphia region and is eager to see the continuation of great business between the two.

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The 21st Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon would not have been possible without the help of its sponsors. The CACC would like to thank Visionary Sponsors: GT USA Wilmington, Holt Logistics and William H. Kopke Jr., Inc.; Presenting Sponsors: Western Fumigation and Diamond State Port Corporation; and Corporate Table Sponsors: Aramark, Dayka & Hackett, Dole, Delaware River Stevedores, GEODIS USA, Giumarra International Marketing, J&K Fresh East, Manfredi Cold Storage, Murphy Marine Services, PhilaPort, Pilots’ Association for Bay & River Delaware, RPS / Royal Fumigation, Sbrocco International and Tastyfrutti International.

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Additionally, the CACC would like to extend its thanks to the Union League of Philadelphia for the outstanding venue and delicious food.

To see more photos from the event, visit our Flickr page.

Philly X Chile: Meet the Tech Innovators of Chile

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016
Philly X Chile: Meet the Tech Innovators of Chile
A Chile Week USA Event
Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

On Wednesday, October 26th the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia was proud to hold a successful and informative program entitled Philly X Chile: Meet the Tech Innovators of Chile as part of Chile Week USA. Throughout the evening, guests savored Chilean wine and a variety of hors d’oeuvres and were engaged by the presentations of the Chilean Tech Executives from Chile: Ulbaldo Taladriz, Cristian Ferrer and Martin Lewit.

Honorary Consul of Chile for Philadelphia, Benjamin Leavenworth, opened the program to welcome all of the esteemed guests and made special note that the visiting Chilean tech companies were not start-ups, but stable and mature tech companies located in Latin America’s innovation hub- Santiago, Chile. The tech innovators introduced each of their unique tech companies and described many important aspects of Chile’s growth as an important international destination for the tech industry. Chile’s fastest growing outsourcing market, high quality performance at competitive costs, and the similar business culture shared between our two regions were just a handful of the points discussed through the evening.

The first tech representative to present was Ulbaldo Taladriz, who is the CEO of EXE, an IT innovative solutions company, and the Vice President of Chiletec, a group of companies developing technology with the mission to grow the technology industry in Chile.  Martin Lewit, CEO of KI Teknology, an innovative digital development company that offers services including software, web and mobile design for enhanced user experience, immediately followed.  Lastly,Cristian Ferrer, the marketing development manager of Tecnova, a company dedicated to consulting, custom software development and integration of IT solutions described his company to guests.

Robert Palaima, President & Chairman of the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce, ended the program portion of the evening with great thanks to the Chilean tech innovators for partnering with the Chilean Chamber and sponsoring the event.

The evening continued with networking and discussion graciously stimulated by the delicious Chilean wines of Viña Santa Carolina. This slice of Chile Week was revered as eye opening for the potential tech relationship between Philadelphia and Chile by not only the attendees, but also all of the Chilean Tech Innovators that look forward to continuing their partnership with the CACC.

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The CACC’s 19th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon

Monday, November 7th, 2016

The Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce
19th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon
Friday, October 28th, 2016
The Union League of Philadelphia

Friday, October 28th, marked a very special day for the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia.  Philadelphia was chosen as the final stop for Chile Week USA, an important delegation of political and business leaders from Chile’s public and private sectors who spent five days in Philadelphia, Miami, and New York City during the last week of October.

Members, friends, honorees, and the special Chilean Delegation gathered in the Lincoln Memorial Room of the historic Union League of Philadelphia to kick off the 19th Annual Friend of Chile Awards Luncheon with a refreshing Chilean wine reception. Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maipo Valley and Sauvignon Blanc from the Leyda Valley were generously provided by Santa Carolina Winery and Wines of Chile USA. Vina Santa Carolina, originally founded in 1875, is currently Chile’s third largest wine brand and winner of Wine Enthusiast’s 2015 New World Winery of the Year.

Guests continued to enjoy the wine selections as Robert Palaima, President and Chairman of the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, welcomed guests into Lincoln Hall to officially begin the luncheon and awards ceremony.

The Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce was fortunate to host special guests from Chile, including His Excellency, Juan Gabriel Valdes, Ambassador of Chile to the United States and Ronald Bown F., Chairman of the Board of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association. Both leaders gave remarks that  emphasized the importance of the relationship between the Greater Philadelphia Region and the United States.  Ambassador Valdes, who has partnered with the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce for a multitude of events in 2016, described the acute location of our region’s ports, highlighting that the 11-county area is one day’s drive from 70 percent of the U.S. population.  This, coupled with the fact that Philadelphia is one of the most cost-effective urban areas in the country, makes the Delaware River ports the most efficient partner for Chile’s exports.

Following Ambassador Valdes, Miriam Borja-Fisher and Kurt Reichert of Western Fumigation took the stage to formally present their longtime colleague, Barbara Hunter of BHA Consults, LLC, with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. Hunter, who received the Friend of Chile Award 16 years ago, has long been an advocate for the Chilean fruit business in the Delaware River Port Community.  Some of her accomplishments include the creation of The Food Safety and Security Program for port terminals, serving as Director and member of the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay’s Executive Committee, and her current role in serving as an active member of both the CBP-AG Working Group and the USDA Treatment Fee Task Force. Hunter attributed her dedication to her profession to the dynamic Chilean business culture, remarking that “working with Chile is never boring.”

After guests enjoyed the Chilean-inspired meal, Robert Palaima introduced Ronald Bown to the stage to give special greetings to the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce and attendees on behalf of the delegation and his organization, ASOEX. Bown took this time to recognize six key individuals and organizations that have made a positive impact on the Chilean trade relationship between Chile and the Greater Philadelphia Region.  These influential award recipients included: Gene Bailey, Executive Director of the Port of Wilmington; Leo Holt, President of Holt Logistics Corp.; David Holzworth, Senior Counsel of Holzworth & Kato, PC; Benjamin Leavenworth, Honorary Consul of Chile; Robert Palaima, President of Delaware River Stevedores, Inc. and President & Chairman of the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce; and Jeff Theobald, Chief Executive Office, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.

Immediately after Bowns’ award presentation, Palaima returned to the podium to introduce Leo Holt, President of Holt Logistics Corp. and Visionary Sponsor of the luncheon, to formally present the 19th Annual Friend of Chile Award to Senator Stephen Sweeney.  Holt reminisced of days when Senator Sweeney, current Vice President of the International Association of Iron Workers, and his father worked through extreme conditions to build the infrastructure of Gloucester Marine Terminal, which has served as a point of entry for many hundreds of millions of boxes of fresh Chilean fruit and other products over many decades.  Senator Sweeney, the Senate President of New Jersey and representative of the state’s Third Legislative District since 2002, accepted the award with great thanks to the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce. He devoted his hard work in Gloucester to creating jobs and supporting the port industry—two things he has always been an advocate for.

The Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce’s 19th Annual Friend of Chile Awards Luncheon would not have been possible without the support of many generous sponsors including ASOEX and ProChile, the Presenting Partners of the luncheon; Holt Logistics Corp., the Visionary Sponsor of the event; Presenting Sponsors Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, The Port of Wilmington, Delaware, Tastyfrutti International, Inc., and Western Fumigation; Wines of Chile and Santa Carolina, the wine sponsors for all of the Chilean & American Chamber’s Chile Week events; and Corporate Table Sponsors Dayka & Hackett LLC, Delaware River Stevedores, Inc., GEODIS USA, Inc., Giumarra International Marketing, J&K Fresh East, div. of 721 Logistics, Manfredi Cold Storage & Distribution, Mattioni, Ltd., Murphy Marine Services, Inc., Ports of Delaware River Marine Trade Association, RPS / Royal Fumigation, Sbrocco International Inc., and William H. Kopke, Jr., Inc.

Special thanks to the Chilean Delegation for including Philadelphia in the Chile Week USA agenda, and thank you to all members and friends who participated in any of the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce’s Chile Week events.

The CACC’s collaboration with Chile Week USA was proudly featured in Metro Philly, The Packer, and Philadelphia Business Journal.

 

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