Highlights of Some Recent Club Programs

Here's some of the best of what you enjoyed and stimulated you - if you were there
and what you missed if not
Wharton Club Members had access to all of these programs:
your ticket to the best DC has to offer from your "Club of Clubs"

Brief notes on a few of our many recent programs:

  • Recent events - all well-received - hope you were able to attend one or more. They're stimulating, fun, great ways to network, and should be a core part of YOUR post-graduate education.

  • Monday, 6/1: Press Club luncheon with Dick Cheney - Our members and guests filled two tables in a sold-out ballroom crowded with media (about 12 videocams were rolling), and Democrats, Republicans and Indies - although not quite 500 in that last category. Stimulating for all, whatever their politics.

  • 6/2 FREE EVENTS:

  • Leadership Luncheon with Bob Greifeld, CEO of NASDAQ OMX, the world's leading exchange operator by total value (about $27 trillion in volume last year), and a brilliant speaker and leader - captivated all present, including several tables filled with our members.

  • Afternoon / Evening event on Key Issues for Corporate Directors in the Obama Administration, then a delightful reception magnificently catered by Ridgewell's. Thanks to law firm O'Melveny & Myers for their hospitality. Top speakers included former government officials, such as Mike Chertoff, former Secy. of Homeland Security, who rates cyber threats as the most serious we have to face.

  • 6/3 - Benjamin Franklin House Gala at the Newseum, with Sir David Frost (yes, the one), and British Ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald, as well as many area and international VIPs - who Wharton Club members & guests met and enjoyed, along with many DC Area VIPs. Ben would have loved it (That's David Frost with Club President Alan Schlaifer, with Brit. Amb. Nigel Sheinwald on the left side and real Charles H. Smith to the right - if you had attended, that could have been YOU in the picture!) (and just curious, is Ben's spirit still in London, not only in his only surviving home there, but in the world's most famous timepiece, Big Ben?)

    Our latest program, a reception and briefing at the Residence of the Education Minister Counselor of the People's Republic of China, on Thursday evening, May 7, was fascinating and enthusiastically received by all present. Dr. You, who has two business degrees including a T-Bird MBA, was a gracious and charming host who spoke eloquently to the capacity audience of the links between education and business. He also cited the 90,000 Chinese students in this country now, as well as 400K total including them, as well as 300 million Chinese citizens studying English.

    If you have a chance to go to the Wharton Global Forum in Beijing next month, June, you should seize the opportunity to do so - if space is still available.

  • 5/1: Former NBC4 TV reporter I.J. Hudson highlighted the best ways to get your message across and key points in crisis communications, including what to do - or not to do - especially when you're in reporter's radar or facing a mike. Important to recognize and act proactively if there's any event that could threaten your business's reputation, perhaps irreparably. I.J. did an outstanding job, pointing out the opportunity to gain market share by working smarter in a downtown, such as the current one. Nice breakfast program at the Tower Club at Tysons.

  • 4/30: Making Social Media Work for Your Business - downtown with DC Chamber - three experts on panel and savvy moderator covered the pros and cons of Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook and other social media. (One of the best ways for you to be "Linked In:" stay active in the Wharton Club and attend our events.) Bonus: comments from Ronnie Mervis and his son Jon (a Penn alum), Mervis Diamonds (great radio ads with memorable 1-800-Her Love phone #), on how they are using social media (such as promoting a $30,000 diamond-studded cupcake - a gift that truly "takes the cake" for a woman who has everything.............).
  • 4/28: Homeland Security/National Defense Roundtable - Outstanding capacity luncheon program on national goal of 100% air cargo checking with speaker Allan Collier, Chief of Trans. Sec. Admin's Air Cargo Section. Many public and private leaders in the sectors attended; excellent networking.

  • 4/27: SBA Dep. Admin. Eugene Cornelius discussed an array of SBA programs with funds available now to small companies. Underlying message: get your funds now, as the demand is high, as are approvals, even among firms that were previously turned down
  • 4/26 2-year anniversary of our Women's Interest Group. Congrats to Tina Wallace and Denise Aronoff-Brown on this initiative, attended today by between 25 and 30 female members and others.

  • One that was especially impressive was the Franklin Creativity Award on Friday evening, 4/24. Wharton alum and former Wharton Award (Benj.) Frank(lin) Kahn, the founder of Wash Real Est. Inv. Trust (WRIT) and the REIT industry, created this great honor, out of respect for his namesake, Ben Franklin. This year's honors went to theoretical physicist and Harvard professor Dr. Lisa Randall.

    At the program on Friday evening, she discussed her interest in the stuff life and everything is composed of, the smallest particles, parts of atoms - and other topics, such as so-called "dark matter." Her other great interest is at the opposite extreme, the vastness of the universe(s). (One measure: an estimated expanse of a billion or more light years in ours, and each light year is several BILLION miles...........) Good mind-stretching for both the scientists and non-scientists in the audience, and an intellectual step up from recent winners, such as Meryl Streep and Yo Yo Ma.

  • 2/18 Leads Council: "Stock Market Strategies for a Volatile Market, with Marshall Chawla*** | 11:30 am |Bethesda
  • 2/18 Ben Bernanke, Fed Chairman *** | Capacity crowd, cameras rolling, markets roiling |
  • 2/18/09 | Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer-Prize Winning Columnist & Best-Selling Author - Hot Flat & Crowded*** |Wharton Club members and guests were the largest continent among the 800 who attended this riveting presentation at the National Cathedral. Nice meal and mingling afterward at Café Deluxe.
  • 2/19 |
  • 2/20 | Wharton Health Care Business Conference | 800am| Philadelphia | Always a great value, well-attended, varied topics
  • 2/20 | Nonprofit Roundtable: Grace Chung Becker, Former Asst AG Civil Right Div |
  • 2/20 Out with the Old, In with the New: From US GAAP to IFRS (Internat'l Financial Reporting Standards) - FREE - MEMBERS ONLY
  • 6th Annual China Business Conference in Philadelphia - all day Saturday (posted this 2 days ago; very inexpensive, even if you can attend only part of it
  • Wednesday 12/10/08 | Selling to the Federal Govt***|Members who came reported getting valuable information about various featured embassies. Most also made great contracts|
  • Thursday 12/11/08 | Green Business Roundtable+++|Excellent interactive discussion on LEEDS programs and impact on real estate. About 20-25 people attended, and most stayed after the program concluded to continue their discussions with other attendees. Great job by Steve Offutt in putting this together! Next month, we will have one of President-Elect Obama's top environmental team members, Ira Feldman, President & Counsel, Greentrack Strategies, laying out what he sees as the new environmental policies and actions, on 1/15, back at the Press Club|

  • Thursday 12/11/08 | Update on Small Business ***|Lunch, Chinatown| 12:00pm

  • Thursday 12/11/08 | 4th Generation Wireless Networks |Comp| Downtown Baltimore| 6:30pm

  • Friday 12/12/08 | Annual Gala Viennese Waltz Ball ***||Fabulous festive event at the Washington Golf & Country Club. In the process of posting pix from the lovely evening, enjoyed by all members and their guests, as well as others who attended. Great way of picking up everyone's spirits for a few hours of elegance and escape.|

  • Sunday, 12/14/08: Electronics Recycling: Fabulous success for Bethesda Greening effort. Hundreds of old monitors, TVs, printers, desktop machines and other e-gizmos were turned in at Walt Whitman High School. If you know of a similar effort in your area, please let us know. We'd like to encourage this type of effort.
  • Monday 12/15/08 | Electioneering in the Mobile Age***|This was the people's choice, with high ratings from those who attended. We hope to build on our new relationship with Mobile Monday| 6:00pm
  • Tuesday 12/16/08 - A BIG DAY - 4 choices
      • The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, primate of the Episcopal Church, addresses the National Press Club.
        Photo: Marshall Cohen

        “Help us tell the world that fear is not the answer,” the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori told a room filled with the faithful and skeptical who came to hear her speak at Club luncheon.

        Jefferts Schori is the 26th presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, and the first woman to lead a national church in the 520-year history of Anglicanism/

        “When one part of this nation or world suffers, we all do,” she said. “We no longer live in a hermetically sealed nation or economic system — if we ever did. Protectionist and isolationist policies are not going to heal us. We are all going to be affected by massive layoffs in the manufacturing sector and in the financial sector. The sam
        e maxim applies to us in this country as is often quoted in the developing world, that when the U.S. sneezes, Haiti or Honduras gets a cold.”

        Jefferts Schori, who has a doctorate in oceanography and is a qualified airplane pilot, focused mainly on the importance of putting aside differences and having people of all faiths work together to improve the greater good.

        “Perhaps the first role of religion in such times is to be a messenger, like one of those biblical angels, who starts out by saying, fear not,” she said. “Don’t be afraid; this whole thing is a lot bigger than you are. Yes, change is coming, and it will drive some people crazy, and at the same time not go far enough for others. In more secular language, we might say, don’t sweat the small stuff. And more of it is small stuff than you might expect. At the same time, the religious voice will remind you that how you deal with the small stuff does not affect you alone – your actions may have consequences beyond your wildest imagining.”

        Questions from the audience brought to light the conflict that for years has been mounting from conservatives regarding Episcopal stances on homosexuality, same-sex partnerships, ordination of women and other social issues. Regarding the move by theological conservatives, who on Dec. 3 announced they were founding their own rival denomination, Jefferts Schori said she and like-minded colleagues “tried hard to negotiate for a long time. But finally, when we couldn’t come to a consensus, we asked the courts to act.” The breakway congregations have attempted to take church property with them; the Episcopal Church sued to block that.

        For the final question of the day, NPC President Sylvia Smith asked Jefferts Schori what she prays about privately that would surprise us. Jefferts Schori answered: “I pray for people who consider me their enemy. I believe that whenever we face an obstacle in our lives, praying for those who challenge us is a necessary part of our journey." As for whether that's a hard task: "No, not when it becomes a discipline.”

        -- Hope Katz Gibbs
    • Tuesday 12/16/08 | Internet Governance Issues, Telecom Amb. David Gross (fellow Penn Alum) |Brownbag Lunch, Downtown| Good insight for business execs and anyone involved in dealing with this important tools for all size organizations.
    • Tuesday 12/16/08 | Govt. Contracting Roundtable - Organizing Meeting -
      headed by Monisha Mittal, who had a comprehensive agenda for building on the first roundtable/forum of its type in the entire Wharton Global Network. Thanks to her for leading and hosting and Geoff Corbett, Tatum, PLLC, for providings some edibles. Next meeting will be in first half of January, same time and place; more info to follow. - |Tysons, 430 pm|
    • Tuesday 12/16/08 | *Wharton Leads Council Holiday Social Celebration**|Happy Hour, Bethesda| 5-7:00pm | Thanks to Jeanne Rossomme for setting this up + Heinan for continuing to lead the Leads Council! A good time by all who attended this informal gathering at Louisiana Kitchen & Bayou Bar in Bethesda (the new location of the former Louisiana Express). We enjoyed assorted hors d'oeuvres, such as Catfish, Crab Balls, Crawfish Eggrolls, and Gator Bites. And to drink, no, not Gatorade, but Abita (NOT EBITDA) Springs beer, ale and other beverages from "Way Down Yonder."