Chicago’s Global Community Came Together to Celebrate the City’s International Diversity
Nearly 700 people gathered at the Chicago Consular Corps Gala: A Tribute to Our Global Partners at the Hilton Chicago on Friday, November 30, the most successful gala hosted by World Business Chicago (WBC) and Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) to date. The gala celebrates Chicago’s international community and honors the Chicago Consular Corps, who represents 88 countries around the world.
The evening began with a packed reception in the Hilton Chicago’s Normandie Lounge before moving into the Grand Ballroom for the main celebration. Emcee Judy Hsu kicked off the evening with a warm welcome, followed by the annual highlight of the procession of the Chicago Consular Corps, where each member is individually welcomed into the room.
In Chicago, people from around the world have found a home because we are ready to extend a hand and know that when a person from any corner of the world can come here and succeed, it means that we are doing something right—that we are on the right track to continue to succeed into the future.
– Andrea Zopp, President & CEO, World Business Chicago
Gala Chair John C. Robak, president of Greeley and Hansen, then spoke to the crowd about Chicago as a global city, saying “Chicago is a vibrant and welcoming international city that melds together a thriving global business environment with a strong local community, built on unique neighborhoods, a diverse workforce, and great cultural depth.”
Following Mr. Robak, WBC President and CEO Andrea Zopp spoke of WBC’s 2018 accomplishments and the city’s leading status on the international stage. She spoke to the spirit of the gala, emphasizing how Chicago’s diversity is its strength, saying “In Chicago, people from around the world have found a home because we are ready to extend a hand and know that when a person from any corner of the world can come here and succeed, it means that we are doing something right—that we are on the right track to continue to succeed into the future.”
The evening continued with the presentation of the Global Citizen Award to United Airlines, Inc. CEO Oscar Munoz by Dean of the Chicago Consular Corps Patricia Maza-Pittsford and a rousing welcome for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who he received a special recognition for his successful work in expanding Chicago’s global reach over his two terms in office.
Following dinner, awards were presented to Co-Chair of the Lucerne Committee of CSCI Camille Julmy as CSCI Volunteer of the Year; tastytrade for the ChicagoNEXT Award, accepted by Co-President and CEO Kristi Ross; and McDonald’s Corporation for the Corporate Ambassador Award, accepted by Chief Communications Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations Robert Gibbs. Learn more about the award recipients.
The event then stretched into the evening as guests danced the night away to the Stu Hirsch Orchestra back in the Normandie Lounge.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ms. Amy Rule, and Dean of the Chicago Consular Corps the Honorable Patricia Maza-Pittsford, consul general of El Salvador, and Mr. Phillip Pittsford, served as honorary chairs of the gala.
The presenting sponsor of the Chicago Consular Corps Gala was Greeley and Hansen. Host sponsors were GCM Grosvenor; Mr. and Mrs. Samuel C. Scott III; United Airlines, Inc.; and Wanxiang America Corp.
Funds raised from the gala support WBC, CSCI, and the Chicago Consular Corps Scholarship at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
WBC and CSCI look forward to hosting the Chicago Consular Corps Gala again next year; look for an announcement on the 2019 date in the coming months.