A weekly outreach to our friends and colleagues in Canada
The Time Traveler
It has been another busy month for Ambassador David Wilkins and his passport as he's spent more time in various airports across North America than at home. Wilkins was in Washington, D.C., this week for various business meetings after just returning from a wonderful week reconnecting with friends and colleagues in Canada.
All About Alberta
During his years as US Ambassador to Canada, Wilkins always enjoyed his trips to Alberta for many reasons – high among them was the top-rate work of the US Consulate team led by former US Consul General Tom Huffaker, who is now vice president for policy and environment for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), and the consulate's former communications guru, Betty Rice, who is now working her magic for the University of Calgary.
Wilkins was delighted to start his week off spending time with Huffaker and to meet with Huffaker's CAPP colleague Greg Stringham, who serves as vice president over markets and oil sands.
It was also a joy to meet with old friends like Doug Mitchell, national firm co-chair at Borden, Ladner, Gervais LLP, and his wife Lois, as well as Murray Edwards, president and CEO of Edco Financial Holdings, and Steve Snyder, president and CEO of TransAlta.
A lovely dinner was spent that evening with Randy Pettipas, president and CEO of Global Public Affairs, and Alberta's own Murray Smith.
The next morning, Wilkins was privileged to give breakfast remarks to a distinguished group of Calgarians at the Calgary Petroleum Club. The historic venue represents the best in Canadian and American entrepreneurial spirit, and it was wonderful to return to the club and address the critical issue of America's pending energy policy.
Then it was on for another full day of meetings that included catching up with Pat Daniel, president and CEO of Enbridge Inc., and former speaker of the Senate Dan Hays and his fellow partners at MacLeod Dixon LLP.
Dinner that evening was spent with friends like Jim Dinning, Pierre Alvarez, Garth Atkinson, Don Chynoweth, David MacInnis and Brenda Kenny.
On Wednesday, it was breakfast with corporate directors hosted by Rory Tyler and his partners at Korn/Ferry International and then a dash to the airport and a flight to Toronto.
Lessons in Leadership
In Toronto Thursday, Wilkins was honored to attend a leaders' symposium organized by his good friend Tom d'Aquino and hosted by Don Guloien, president and CEO of Manulife. The summit brought together distinguished Canadians from across the country in anticipation of Canada's hosting world leaders at the G-20 meeting slated for late June also in Toronto.
The meeting theme was The Changing Face of Global Politics and Economics, and participants discussed implications of the global recession and the best pathways to fiscal health.
Ambassador Wilkins was happy to see many familiar faces and Canadian luminaries including Perrin Beatty, Michael Wilson, Lynn Edwards, Jacques Shore, Ron Mannix, Mark Carney, Nancy Hughes Anthony, Susan d'Aquino as well as several ambassadors and government officials.
Beaver Tail or Elephant Ear?
That night, Wilkins hightailed it home to Greenville, South Carolina, where two great friends – David Luxton and Grant Hooker (better known for his "beaver tails") – were waiting on him.
The two Canadians enjoyed a sunny, South Carolina weekend that included a visit to the Reedy River Falls in downtown Greenville and of course, a round of golf.
We even tried to introduce Hooker – the Beaver Tail Man – to our elephant ears. The fried dough and oh-so-sugary delicacy known as "beaver tails" in the north are better known down south as "elephant ears" and we love 'em but we have to admit Grant Hooker's tails are a might tastier than our ears…
Back when Wilkins was US Ambassador, Hooker invented the "boiled peanut beaver tail" in deference to the Wilkinses favorite party snack – but to say it wasn't a best seller would be kind (after all there were only so many deep friend concoctions topped with boiled peanuts David and Susan Wilkins could eat – gag – and Canadians were smart enough not to bite….)
Anyway, it was a great weekend and a joy for the Wilkinses to show off their beloved South Carolina to such wonderful Canadian pals.
Whether you're marking the Passover or Easter Sunday, on behalf of all of us here at Nelson Mullins and Team Wilkins we wish all of you a safe, warm and peaceful holiday.
If you are interested in the possibility of having Ambassador Wilkins speak at an event, please contact Christy Cox at Christy.Cox@nelsonmullins.com or call 803.255.9470.
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.