Royalty, rock’n’roll and movie stars – they do business lunches differently in America.
While British business councils and clubs might attract the odd comedian or government minister, over in California today (Friday December 13) Kiss frontman Gene Simmons and Sarah Duchess of York were just two of the stellar names attending the annual Christmas Luncheon of the British American Business Council Los Angeles.
Taking place at the uber-glitzy Fairmont Hotel and Bungalows Resort in Santa Monica, the event – this time appropriately showcasing British and American luxury brands - is now in its 54th year, and the organisation aims to promote ‘friendship, commerce and trade between the United States and the United Kingdom.’
While evidently getting its rocks off at the same time!
Simmons, whose commercially lucrative oeuvre in the glam rock Kiss line-up includes raunchy tunes such as Calling Doctor Love, and special guest speaker Fergie, who has forged a successful media career across the Atlantic, were part of a 500-strong throng at the popular festive bash.
Other guests included Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day, Set It Off, Soul Food), Will Rothhaar (star of National Geographic's Killing Kennedy), Cas Anvar (Diana the movie), Penelope Ann Miller (The Artist, Saving Lincoln and Mistresses) and Lolita Davidovich (Rizzoli & Isles, Kill Your Darlings, and Squatters).
Meanwhile the serious business side was represented by the British Consul General, the Regional Director of UKTI and a multitude of influential bosses. The BABC LA is part of the largest transatlantic business network, with 23 chapters, 2,500 member companies and some of the world's largest multinationals, based in major business centres throughout North America and the UK.
Today’s programme also featured comedian and TV presenter Patrick Kielty and a performance by Quinn Archer who was described by Vanity Fair as "poised to become Britain's next great soul singer".
There was a special tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela by South African Emile Welman who co-wrote and performed "9,000 days" in the Rugby movie Invictus.
The Master of Ceremonies of the luncheon was veteran news anchor and multiple Emmy Award winner Carlos Amezcua.
The luxury brands represented at the event included Asprey, Christopher Guy, Philip Treacy, Chivas Regal, Glenfiddich, Jo Malone, Woody Wilson, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Delta Airways and many others. The luncheon will also featured a toy drive and contribution to Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
The BABC Los Angeles hosts a variety of business, social, cultural and sporting events to meet their needs. Members, who represent a cross-section of industries, have a broad range of skills and interests, in addition to one common goal: the opportunity to liaise with like-minded individuals who support the objectives of the BABC and all things British.
The BABC promotes business relations between the US and UK, providing a vast network of alliances, business development and intelligence services, and updates on key US, UK and EU policy issues in cooperation with its US and EU Trade and Investment Policy Committees.
The BABC has participated in major business initiatives and taken advocacy positions on policy issues of interest to its membership.
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