The original organization was incorporated in 1954 as the British American Trade Centre, with the aim of promoting and assisting trade between the UK and the US.
The first President was C E C (Euan) Rabagliati, and the Consul-General in San Francisco at the time was KJM White.
Membership fees in 1954 were as follows:
- Sponsor Membership $250.00 US per annum
- Individual Membership $100.00 US per annum
- (Worth noting when you look at the cost of membership some 60+ years later!)
Original Board Members included representatives of BOAC, Bechtel, Barclays, Wells Fargo and Orient & Pacific Lines.
In November 1957, the organization changed its name to the British American Chamber of Commerce and Trade Centre. Chalmers Graham, a founding partner of Graham and James (now Squire Patton Boggs), spearheaded the Chamber's growth for several years.
For a period in the 1980s, the organization was known as the British American Chamber of Commerce San Francisco. It was changed in the 1990s to the British American Chamber of Commerce Northern California, to reflect the growth of the organization within the Bay Area, specifically in Silicon Valley. Mostyn Lloyd, OBE, served as Executive Director from 1990 to 2006 and was a driving force in bringing our Annual Christmas Lunch attendance from a mere 200 people to the 1000 that it is today.
Peter Gardiner, OBE, served as President for 10 years and was elected the first President of an umbrella network, British American Business Council (BABC) when it was formed in 1994. This umbrella organization helps steer the largest transatlantic business network, comprising 22 independent BABC chapters in all major business centers across North America, and the United Kingdom, including the BABC in Northern California.
The organization elected its first woman President, Kathleen Kimura, MBE, in 2001. Kathleen currently serves on our Board and represents BABC Northern California and all other West Coast chapters within the umbrella organization. Kathleen also chairs the Christmas Luncheon Committee which is the Council's major annual fundraiser.
In 2004, a re-branding changed our name to the British American Business Council Northern California to more closely align our organization with fellow chapters spread across the BABC international network.
With offices and staff in downtown San Francisco, and a Board comprising representatives of the Bay Area’s internationally minded business community, the BABC Northern California provides business networking, seminars and services in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the East Bay.