2003 Regional Alumni Meetings
One of the most important benefits of a Wharton education is the opportunity to connect with faculty, students and alumni from around the world. To deliver on this promise, for the past ten years the School has sponsored a series of Regional Alumni Meetings around the world to highlight the value of being actively involved with Wharton’s vast community. At these meetings, alumni connect with fellow graduates, learn from faculty, and hear from global business leaders. These events also provide an opportunity for alumni to meet with Dean Patrick Harker and discuss the School’s global strategy.
Wharton is a truly global institution, reflecting the many diverse business and personal interests of its students, faculty and alumni. The Regional Alumni Meetings have offered excellent opportunities to take advantage of this unique characteristic of the Wharton community. In addition, alumni club leaders from throughout each region take the opportunity at the meetings to discuss issues of mutual concern in their efforts to keep alumni connected to one another and to the School.
The Regional Meetings were planned to take place this year in Berlin, Shanghai and Miami. The School decided to postpone the Asian Regional Alumni Meeting because of the SARS epidemic, but it has been re-scheduled in its entirety for June 3-6, 2004.
Over 175 alumni and guests gathered for the seventh annual Regional Alumni Meeting for Europe, Africa and the Middle East in Berlin on May 22 to 24. Attendees heard from fellow graduates, faculty, and other distinguished business leaders who traveled from as far away as Australia and India to be part of the program. Participants also had ample opportunity to socialize with one another in venues as diverse as the Mayor’s residence in Berlin, a golf tournament, and a boat tour of local attractions.
The conference keynote speakers included Daniel R. Coats, United States Ambassador to Germany; Jacob Wallenberg, W’80, WG’81, Chairman, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken; and Dr. Klaus Zumwinkel, WG’71, Chairman of the Board of Management, Deutsche Post World Net. Some of the other prominent speakers included Dr. Rolf Kunisch, Chairman of the Executive Board, Beiersdorf AG; and Mohammed Alshaya, WG’84, Chief Executive Officer, Retail Division, M.H. Alshaya Co. W.L.L., Kuwait. There were also interactive sessions on “Economic Prospects in the E.U.,” “Navigating under Bearish Stock Markets,” and “Next Steps for E.U. Integration.”
The 2nd Annual Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Awards were presented during the meeting, and a panel discussion with the award winners followed. The conclusion of the Regional Alumni Meeting was marked by the symbolic “passing of the banner” to Shiv Khemka, WG’90, GR’90, Chairman of the organizing committee for next year’s host city, Moscow.
It’s a tossup for what was hotter at the Latin American Regional Alumni Meeting in Miami on July 10 to 12: the sultry weather or the networking that went on among alumni and guests at the educational and social events during the conference. The historic Biltmore Hotel was the site of the gathering, which drew over 200 attendees from countries in the Americas.
The array of speakers at the Latin American Meeting was as diverse as the concerns and interests they represented. Three presidents were on hand: Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the University of Pennsylvania; Enrique Bolaños, President of Nicaragua; and Jorge Quiroga, former President of Bolivia. Two additional keynote speakers were Carlos Slim Helu, Chairman, Grupo Carso, SA de CV from Mexico City, Mexico, and Pedro Malan, former Minister of Finance and former Governor of Central Bank in Brazil. Participants also had the opportunity to learn from fellow alumni and Wharton faculty during panel discussions on globalization, the business of sports, investing in Latin America, and family businesses.
But it was not all work and no play for conference participants. The conference schedule was enlivened by social events including a golf tournament, a tour of the historic South Beach art deco area, and a yacht cruise of the South Florida coast. The meeting concluded with a festival featuring Miami’s hottest Latin band and a raffle to benefit SOS Children’s Village. At the conclusion of the meeting, the banner was passed to Julio A. de Quesada, WG’76, Chairman of the organizing committee for next year’s meeting in Mexico City.
The 2004 Regional Alumni Meetings will be held in Moscow, Mexico City and Shanghai. The schedule for the 2004 meetings is: Moscow, May 20 – 22, 2004; Shanghai, June 3 – 6, 2004; Mexico City, June 24 – 26, 2004.
For more information, visit the Regional Alumni Meeting website at http://regional.wharton.upenn.edu.