The Society is a non-profit, charitable organization with nearly two thousand members around the Commonwealth, the United States and the world.
It is not formally affiliated with any particular political party, business or profession. Its purpose is to honor achievement, to reward excellence, to promote good will and understanding and to celebrate service to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to humanity in general.
Thriving and still growing in its third century of existence, the Society is the longest-lived organization of its kind in the country.Since Adam Cirucci is intimately involved with the workings of Pennsylvania government (as Communications Director for State Senator Andy Dinniman) we once again allowed him to take the lead in guiding us through the maze of receptions and events surrounding the Society's weekend confab.If you've ever maneuvered your way through a full day or more of Society events, you know that the schedule is nothing less than staggering. But it's also worth it in terms of the people that you meet and the contacts that you make.
We managed to cover eight events in eight hours, with a brief rest in between.
Overall, make no mistake about it, this was a big GOP year at the Pennsylvania Society weekend. Many Big Time Republicans were present and they were avidly celebrating the return of the Red State.
Anyway, we began on Friday on Times Square with a party sponsored by the Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania. Then it was off to events sponsored by the Metropolitan Caucus, Auditor General Jack Wagner, the Blank Rome law firm, IBEW Local 98, PoliticsPA/Governor Miflin Society, the Duane Morris law firm and the Book Bash.
In no particular order, here are just some of the people that we saw and/or chatted with: Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Philadelphia City Councilman Frank Rizzo, Pennsylvania Auditor general Jack Wagner, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia Managing Director and Deputy Mayor Richard Negrin, former Senator Rick Santorum, Sen.-Elect Pat Toomey, former Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellors Abe Reich, Larry Beaser, Michael Pratt and Sayde Ladov, Comcast honcho and honcha David L. Cohen and Charisse Lillie, Dilworth law firm partner Greg Cirillo, PR maven Bonnie Squires, Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Scott Cooper, Sherri Reich, Shelly Beaser, Lynn Marks of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, Pennsylvania Society Executive Director Carol Fitzgerald, former State Senators Rob Rovner, City GOP leaders Michael Meehan and Vito Canuso, State Representative Kathy Manderino and of course State Senator Andy Dinniman.
But there's more. Lots more. We also huddled with Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Anne Lazarus, former Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams, Cozen O'Connor partner David Ladov, former state GOP leader Alan Novak, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Independence Blue Cross Paul Tufano, Bill Tyson of Aqua Pennsylvania's PR team, Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge James J. Fitzgerald, Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ron Castille, attorney Michael Adler, Judge John Younge, Judge Richard Klein, attorney Romey Diaz, attorney Tom McGill, Blank Rome partner Sam Becker, Jonathan Cetel of Kipp Charter Schools, Maxim Alexander Kind, Brittany Tressler of the Montgomery County Republican Committee, Blank Rome Government Relations managing Principal Peter Peyser, former Pennsylvania Bar Association President Leslie Anne Miller, Blank Rome partner Adam Laver, Morgan Lewis partner Marc Sonnenfeld, former Pennsylvania Bar Association President James Mundy, attorney Joe Prim, attorney Tom Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News columnist John Baer, and one of the bright new stars of the Philadelphia legal community, Philadelphia bar Association Vice Chancellor Elect Kathleen Wilkinson.
And more: One of the great joys of the weekend was being with our dear friend Gayle Michael and her son, Geoffrey Michael, a partner with the prestigious Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter. Geoffrey was later joined by his brother, Matthew, also with Arnold & Porter. Gayle is a powerhouse in Pennsylvania Republican circles and both of her sons are highly accomplished attorneys in the nation's capital.
To be with Gayle is to be in the presence of a vivacious and passionate public citizen and loyal friend who is keenly committed to cherished ideals and high standards.
Well, before we knew it midnight was approaching.
So, it was adieu to all of the Commonwealth's movers and shakers.
But this was only Friday.
Saturday was reserved for Christmas fun in Manhattan.
But that's another story.