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14th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

14th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile
Wine Tasting and Dinner
May 7, 2019
Hotel du Pont
Wilmington, DE

On Tuesday, May 7th, the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia (CACC) hosted the 14th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile Wine Tasting and Dinner in Wilmington, Delaware in the Gold Ballroom at the Hotel du Pont. As guests arrived, they were greeted by the sound of live music and a tasting of Chilean wines. They networked and savored the selection of wine before entering the ballroom for the speaking program, award presentation, and dinner.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL OF THE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT.

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The President of the CACC Board, Robert Palaima, approached the podium as guests were settling into their seats. He first congratulated Ecolab Specialty Pest Services, the recipient of the 2019 Visionary Award for their dedication to the trade partnership between Chile and the Greater Philadelphia region.

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Palaima went on to welcome some of the evening’s special guests, including Matías Pinto Pimentel of ProChile, Gene Bailey of the Diamond State Port Corporation, Eric Casey of GT USA Wilmington, Richard Geisenberger of the State of Delaware, and Karla Martin of the Honorary Consulate of Chile. He also thanked the event’s sponsors, including Salmón de Chile who provided BluGlacier Chilean salmon for the main course.

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Palaima then introduced James Griffin of the Chilean Salmon Marketing Council to elaborate more on the Chilean salmon industry. Griffin mentioned that the product itself has fantastic health benefits among other things, but mainly focused on Chilean salmon in the United States. He stated that salmon is the best-selling fish in the country, and Chile provides a large portion of the product with a market share greater than 50%. Griffin also spoke of the importance of the Port of Wilmington due to the amount of Chilean salmon that comes through the port.

Following this, dinner was served and the guests were able to enjoy the BluGlacier salmon that Griffin had just finished speaking about.

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After dinner, Palaima retook the stage to introduce Richard Geisenberger, Vice Chairman of Visionary Sponsor Diamond State Port Corporation and Secretary of Finance for the State of Delaware. Geisenberger first offered his congratulations to Ecolab Specialty Pest Services for their award. He pointed out the fact that Ecolab’s corporate offices are located in Delaware, so he was personally thankful for the impact that the company has had on the State. Geisenberger continued, mentioning the over 40-year partnership between Delaware and the country of Chile and how vital it has been for both parties.

Eric Casey, CEO of Visionary Sponsor GT USA Wilmington, was the next to take the stage to present the big honor of the night to Ecolab Specialty Pest Services, the 2019 Visionary Award. Casey started his remarks by giving a brief history on the Visionary Award and the significance it holds. He then spoke of his personal experience working with Ecolab Specialty Pest Services, previously Royal Pest Solutions (RPS). Casey said that it is a company that represents the cultural alignment between our region and the country of Chile. It is a company that he has always enjoyed working with, and was humbled to be able to present them with the award. Casey welcomed Kris Kielsa, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Ecolab Specialty Pest Services, to the stage to accept the award.

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Kielsa explained how grateful he was for the recognition and to be able to accept the award on the company’s behalf. Kielsa, having been an Ecolab employee prior to the acquisition of RPS, mentioned there was something that stuck out to him about RPS and why he was excited about the deal. He stated that RPS had the same value of, “Taking care of the customer first,” that Ecolab has. He realized that this commitment to the customer was obvious in John Achzet, Regional Manager of Ecolab Specialty Pest Services, because when attendees who had not heard of Ecolab Specialty Pest Services asked Kielsa about the company, he simply told them, “I came with John Achzet.” In light of this fact and all the work Achzet had put in with RPS prior to the acquisition, Kielsa invited Achzet to the stage to “properly” accept the award. Achzet was very gracious in his acceptance speech, mentioning what he called “Team Wilmington,” all of the people who have contributed to the success of Ecolab Specialty Pest Services over the years, including employees from other companies, such as Diamond State Port Corporation, GT USA Wilmington, and Holt Logistics.

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The CACC would like to thank the night’s sponsors, presenting partners, special guests, and all the attendees who made the night special. Also, we would like to give a special thank you to ProChile D.C. for assisting with the donation of the Chilean salmon.

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