Drexel University, LeBow College and the Greater Philadelphia business community deposited congratulations upon Hugh C. Long II, CEO of Wachovia's Northern Group, who is the recipient of the 54th Business Leader of the Year Award. At a lavish luncheon at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue on December 6, Long, a relative newcomer to the Philadelphia area, was honored for his leadership in improving Wachovia's services, his and his company's charitable contributions and his efforts to raise the profile of Philadelphia as a place to do business.
Dr. Constantine Papadakis, president of Drexel University, hailed Long's enthusiasm as an advocate on behalf of Greater Philadelphia. Together, Long and Dr. Papadakis serve on the board of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and Select Greater Philadelphia and have built strong camaraderie and mutual respect for one another. Dr. George Tsetsekos, dean of LeBow College of Business, in presenting the award, entertained the crowd by humorously interjecting Long's surname into a "long" list of requirements that were considered when selecting the Business Leader of the Year.
Long, a native of Augusta, Ga., came to Philadelphia in 2003, just when local business leaders were beginning to raise capital to fund a campaign to highlight Philadelphia's business assets and seeking to unite the region's 11 counties. Having been deeply involved in economic development in Atlanta, Ga. and Washington, D.C., and after becoming enamored with the Philadelphia, Long became a powerful voice for the Philadelphia area and committed $1 million to the fundraising effort.
In his acceptance speech, Long acknowledged his peer business executives for their leadership as he continued to extol the virtues of Philadelphia and his belief that the city and the region will become one of the nation's premier business destinations.
"Let's think about what we can do to continue Greater Philadelphia's growth, and then act on that thought," said Long. "With all of us working together, we can't help but create an even stronger region with an even brighter future-something that will give your business a greater chance for success, and give LeBow graduates more opportunities to stay here and grow."
Long was even touched by the tribute paid to him by the lunch that was served: southern fried chicken - "with not-so-southern style potatoes," he cracked.