British American Business Council awards dinner

Monday 27 October, 2008

I attended the British American Business Council’s 3rd annual British Consul General Awards Dinner George W. Buckley, Chairman, President, CEO of 3M was honored as an individual award winner.  George is an engineer who is a passionate advocate of manufacturing & research & development.  He invoked Lewis Carroll, author of “Alice in Wonderland,” satirist, & little known mathematician in his address. He likened hockey-stick forecasts to the Mad Hatter’s tea party.  Like Alice, we have choices @ a fork in the road.  Crime & extremism can be solved by economic growth & manufacturing.  Security can be assured by prosperity, not the reverse.  He criticized the service economy for only redistributing wealth rather than creating it.  America needs tort reform to restrict class action suits & liability suits.  Higher taxes reduce income as a pass through system which makes corporations tax collectors rather than payers.  You can’t tax to prosperity, especially @ 41.4% in Minnesota.  He brought up the point that Europe’s swing toward labor resulting in making costs to close factories huge creates barriers to EXIT which make it difficult to make changes.  In the global competitive war, governments don’t help.  Using the “baby bear strategy-”  not too hot & not too cold, allows companies to achieve balance.  In closing he noted that opportunities are born in troubled times.

Sponsor Baker McKenzie partner Ed West became a US citizen 1 week before the event, so now there is no taxation without representation for him.  London is now Baker’s largest office in the world.

Marc Halpin, CEO of awardee Trading Partners noted that the language gap between the company’s origins in London & US office in Chicago is not signficant, aside from pronunciations of words like aluminium & tomato.

Manpower received an award as well.  80% of its revenues are generated outside of the US in 80 countries with 30,000 employees in 300 offices with 5000 clients.  Manpower has had on 3 CEO’s in 60 years-the founder still has an office there @ 97 years old.

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. was a winner too.  Wrigley has 22 manufacturing facilities in 14 countries & sells Wrigley products in 180 of the 220 countries of the world.  They’ve been successful by simply following the trail of the British commonwealth.


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