HughE Dillon: Vision for Philadelphia Award Party

The city's power crowd honors Bill Hankowsky

Last night, Philadelphia Hospitality honored William P. Hankowsky, of Liberty Property Trust, at its annual gala held at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Center City. Each year, Philadelphia Hospitality presents the prestigious Vision for Philadelphia Award, highlighting the best of Philadelphia. Below: Elizabeth Barber, vice-chair of Philadelphia Hospitality, welcomes guests to the gala.

Below: David L. Cohen, executive vice-president of Comcast, Karen Buchholz, vice-president of administration for Comcast, and Carl Buchholz, managing partner and CEO, Blank Rome.

Below: Bill Giles, chairman of the Phillies, Joe Giles, director of business development with the Phillies, Philomena Petro, vice-president of convention services at Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Bonnie Grant, executive director of Life Sciences Congress at PCVB. When Mayor Nutter took to the podium, he acknowledged Bill Giles, David Montgomery and the Philadelphia Phillies for a valiant season, and for winning 102 games in one season and the fifth-consecutive NL East championship.

Below: Bobby Henon, IBEW Local Union 98 and Democratic nominee for City Council in the Sixth District, Councilman Bill Green, Mariska Bogle, Philadelphia Hospitality committee, Sean Reilly and John Kroll, board member of Philadelphia Hospitality. Also spotted last night: TJ Ciro, Philadelphia Eagles, Dan Fitzpatrick, Citizens Bank (and last year’s award recipient), Lisa McGraw, Jeff Miller and Judy Ellis-Taylor, Hyatt at the Bellevue, Laura Burkhardt, Philadelphia Hospitality committee, Steve Tagert, Aqua America, and event co-chairs Barbara and Bill Wilson and Diane Dalto Woosnam.

Below: Barbara Hauptfuhrer and Happy Fernandez, president of Moore College of Art & Design. The two spent most of the cocktail hour catching up on their Wesleyan days. They graduated a year apart, Barbara told me.

Below: Renee Zuritsky congratulates Hankowsky on his award. Over her shoulder is former senator Bob Rovner. Hankowsky was singled out for achievements such as city development, advancing the ethics of sustainability, and driving the economic growth of our region. Mayor Nutter pointed specifically to the wonderful expansion of the Navy Yard.

Below: Donald R. Caldwell, chair emeritus of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), Rosemary Hankowsky, and Joan Carter, president of the Union League.

Below: Jesse Rendell, principal at Rendell Management & Consulting, Marjorie Rendell, federal judge, Judith M. von Seldeneck, chairman/CEO of Diversified Search, and Jane Scaccetti, principal at Drucker & Scaccetti.

Philadelphia Hospitality is a nonprofit organization that focuses on tours for corporate, cultural, leisure and professional groups visiting the region. Below: Mary Carroll, Philadelphia Hospitality founder, Dr. Bishnu Poudel, and Nicholas DeBenedictis, co-chair of tonight’s event.

Below: Dave Franceski and Linda Galante, both partners at Stradley Ronon, with Laurence Weilheimer, Tasty Baking, and Gail Weilheimer. Last week I attended a reception Stradley Ronon had for conventioneers in town for the Association for Corporate Growth’s M&A East Event. Robert Jaffe of Mufson Howe Hunter said at the meeting, “It’s the intangible connections you make, getting to know the pulse of what’s going on.” That’s exactly my philosophy in writing a good column. Most of the people I spoke to at the cocktail party saw a brighter future in the business community, which is a welcome sign after the dismal year we’ve had.

Another sign of potential recovery is the expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and its consistent bookings. True Value just had a convention here and used both the old and new areas, with a record number of people attending, I hear. Below: Jack Ferguson, president/CEO of Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jim Lewis, general manager of Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, and Danielle Cohn, vice-president of marketing and communications at PCVB. Today starts the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference at the Center, bringing in an expected 7,000 guests, more than $22 million, and one of my favorite bloggers, Seth Godin, as a speaker.

HughE Dillon covers parties, events and more for the Philly Post. You can follow him on Twitter @iPhillyChitChat and visit his daily online social diary at