State chamber to hold virtual annual dinner Jan. 11

January 4, 2021

The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s 184th Annual Dinner will be held Monday, Jan. 11.

With more than 1,000 business leaders and elected officials, the dinner has been Delaware’s premier business event and the place to be for high-level networking. It is an opportunity to mingle with colleagues, meet new people and renew old friendships.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event will be held through the chamber’s virtual event platform, which includes many interactive opportunities for attendees to network and engage with each other.

Traditionally the event features one keynote speaker. This year the chamber announced four keynote speakers will address important themes: Diversity and Inclusion, Economic Forecasting, and New Political Climate.

The economy has been stressed since the start of the pandemic, and continued uncertainty is the reality as companies enter 2021. Every business was impacted by the spread of COVID-19, some more severely than others. This has challenged operating models, closed some businesses and opened opportunities for others. James E. Glassman, managing director with JPMorgan Chase and head economist for Chase Commercial Banking, will explore what recovery will look like, what changes to business models are here to stay and what practices may revert to the “old normal.”

There is no question that maintaining a diverse workplace is not only the right thing to do but also the smart thing. A company focus on diversity and inclusion makes for a competitive advantage when attracting talent. It creates a more productive workforce, and fosters creativity and innovation. Organizers asked U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, to address one question in his speech: How do you build the pipeline of talent within the Black and brown communities so that candidate pools for businesses in every industry and size are populated with qualified candidates that reflect the demographics of the country?

2020 was a challenging year, culminating with state and national elections. The country also witnessed heightened social and civil unrest, the first pandemic in over 100 years, and more. Taken together, how will all these new realities and priorities reflect themselves in policymakers’ choices moving forward? William Kristol, founder and director of Defending Democracy Together, political analyst, and network television commentator, will explore how the events of 2020 are redefining the political landscape and future.

Kristen Welker, co-anchor of Weekend Today and White House correspondent for NBC News, will share her perspective on covering Washington, the Trump and Obama administrations, and President-elect Joe Biden. As a respected journalist and moderator of the second presidential debate, she will also share how she prepared for the debate and offer reflections on the 2020 presidential campaign trail.

Another highlight of the annual dinner is the presentation of the Josiah Marvel Cup, which honors a Delawarean who has made an outstanding contribution to the state, community, or society. Past winners in recent years have included Gerret and Tatiana Copeland, Joshua Martin III and Cynthia Primo Martin, Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Dr. Jill Biden, E. Norman Veasey, O. Francis Biondi, and Carroll M. Carpenter. By tradition, the honoree’s name is held in confidence until the event.

For more information, contact Kelly Basile at or go to

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