2018 Annual Luncheon & Globy Awards Ceremony

On Monday, December 10, Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) hosted its fourth Annual Luncheon & Globy Awards at the Ballroom at the Ben. This event provides an opportunity for our more than 200-member organizations to network with globally-active leaders throughout our region.

As part of the event, guests generously donated to our book drive, held in partnership with Broad Street Ministry, whose mission is to transform our city, our institutions, and ourselves by embracing the individual needs of our most vulnerable sisters and brothers. We’re thrilled to share that several large boxes of books were filled and passed along to Broad Street Ministry.

The afternoon’s program event began with highlights of the year’s past milestones at GPA and the announcement that a new World Heritage City banner had been installed that day at 17th and Market Streets.

Next, was a passing of the torch in GPA’s organization. Robert J. McNeill, Jr., Managing Partner, Greater Philadelphia Region, Deloitte, was elected as the new incoming Board Chair. John F. Smith III, who has been GPA’s Board Chair since the organization’s beginning in 2010, shared a heartfelt sentiment about his time as Chair.

Founding members, board members, and former staff were in attendance to honor John’s years of service and dedication to GPA’s mission and applauded him with multiple standing ovations.

To capture his many achievements over the years with GPA, John was gifted with a hand-drawn proclamation that outlines his impressive impact on the organization.

During the Globy Awards ceremony, five extraordinary Philadelphians were recognized for their contributions to Philadelphia’s global stature – from our prestigious educational institutions to brilliant businesses, vibrant communities, and the hard work that goes into preserving our region's heritage.  

The individuals honored this year were:

  • Historical and Cultural Preservation Leadership Award: Sam Katz, Founder, History Making Productions
  • Corporate Leadership Award: Kenneth Fulmer, President and CEO, Urban Engineers
  • Educational Leadership Award: Jurate Krokys, retired Assistant Superintendent, School District of Philadelphia
  • Community Leadership Award: Honorable Stanley Straughter, Chairman, African and Caribbean Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, and Chairman of the Board, UNESCO Center for Global Education
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Meryl Levitz, Founding President and CEO, Visit Philadelphia

Ken Fulmer spoke about his admiration to be connected to our great city of Philadelphia and the exciting development opportunities to come in the future.

Sam Katz promoted his latest upcoming Philadelphia-based film projects that are currently in the works, including “Beethoven in Beijing,” a story starting in 1973 with the Philadelphia Orchestra traveling to China at the request of President Richard Nixon during the Cultural Revolution.Guests were also treated to a preview of the latest chapter in the film series, “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment.” Both films will be released in 2019.

Stanley Straughter discussed his work on developing Africatown, a project focused on Southwest Philadelphia that will be dedicated to memorializing the population in that region who are African immigrants. Additionally, the goal is to develop Africatown as a destination point for the global African aspect. 

Jurate Krokys, who recently retired as Assistant Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, spoke about her passion for teaching. Her experience includes 40 years of work in education, including 11 years as the CEO and Founding Principal of Independence Charter School, which, under her leadership, was awarded the prestigious 2008 Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize for International Education, a federal FLAP (Foreign Language Assistance Program) grant, and several other national and regional awards.

The award ceremony also included a discussion between Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Meryl Levitz and former Mayor of Philadelphia and Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell. They reflected on Meryl’s work and positive impact to increase tourism in Philadelphia, as well as discussed upcoming challenges for the city to overcome. Meryl remarked that Philadelphia should never give up on their efforts as the city of “brotherly love.”

At the close of the event, guests were surprised when it was revealed that prize tickets were randomly hidden under several of the table seats. Those lucky attendees received one of many gift options which had been donated by a variety of our member organizations. Gifts included a Mural Arts tour, museum memberships, and more. Thank you to all who donated gifts.


Photos of the event can be found here.