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2021 Chicago Consular Corps Gala Returns to the Chicago Hilton

CHICAGO – (March 11, 2021) – World Business Chicago (WBC) here announces plans for the 2021 Chicago Consular Corps Gala, including in-person elements planned in the Grand Ballroom at the Chicago Hilton in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. Although the goal is to ultimately hold an in-person gala, there will be an option for virtual attendance as well. Initial details:

The Chicago Consular Corps Gala is hosted annually by World Business Chicago, Chicago Sister Cities International, and the Chicago Consular Corps.

Like other events in 2020, the Chicago Consular Corps Gala went virtual. Last year, over 600 guests from near and far participated, celebrating Chicago and those making a difference on the world stage. The event closed with a live performance from Milan, Italy by international Chicago Blues artist, Sugar Blue.

“The Chicago Consular Corps gala is our city’s annual celebration of successfully building bridges across rivers and oceans, and capturing the full promise of global partnership and collaboration,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and World Business Chicago chair. “What keeps Chicago forward-looking, dynamic, and strong is due in large part to our city’s Consular Corps and its over 90 representative nations. As we have seen over the past year, our futures are irrevocably interconnected, which is why are excited to continue our work together in finding new ways to support and improve the lives of our residents here in Chicago and around the world.”

Michael Fassnacht, Interim President & CEO, World Business Chicago, and Chief Marketing Officer for the City of Chicago, is leading the WBC team planning this year’s event and has said that plans will be fully, and formally, announced in early summer. “We believe it’s important to signal to the city’s residents and our business community that our Gala in November will be an in-person event, although as we adjust to this new normal, we will ensure there is a virtual option for attendance,” said Michael Fassnacht. “When we get closer to our fall date, we will work closely with CDPH to adhere to all health guidelines in place at that time. But I personally can’t wait to enjoy one of the most important social events on Chicago’s calendar in person.”

Annually, the event honors Chicagoans for their contributions around the world; awards include the Global Citizen Award, Corporate Ambassador Award, and Chicago Sister Cities International Volunteer of the Year.

“For decades, the intention of the Chicago Consular Corps Gala has been to celebrate Chicago’s connections across the world,” said Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO, Ariel Investments, and Vice-Chair, World Business Chicago. “Today this purpose resonates even more, as the pandemic has shown us the power of working together for a common goal. We look forward to planning this event and being in person again.”

“This annual event demonstrates how connected Chicago is to the world, and the world is to Chicago,” said Gisselle Castillo-Veremis, Dean, Chicago Consular Corps. “We are incredibly proud to work with World Business Chicago and Chicago Sister Cities International to foster and sustain citizen diplomacy and promote Chicago as a leading global city.”

“As tough as 2020 was for us all, the human spirit is so resilient, and we still crave the connections that only travel and meetings can provide. World Business Chicago’s long-standing history of partnership illustrates their firm commitment to building strong relationships not only with Hilton but with Chicago and the Hospitality Community at large. With the announcement of WBC’s premier international event taking place in-person this November at Hilton Chicago, we are beginning to witness the return of group gatherings led by WBC with the added assurance of Hilton EventReady with CleanStay.” – John G. Wells, Hilton Chicago General Manager

Follow WBC on LinkedIn, TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for updated information and news and special announcements about the 2021 Chicago Consular Corps Gala.

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World Business Chicago

World Business Chicago is a public-private, non-profit partnership that drives inclusive economic growth and job creation, supports business, and promotes Chicago as a leading global city. For more information, visit

Chicago Sister Cities International

Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI), an initiative of World Business Chicago, advances Chicago as a global city and promotes peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation through citizen diplomacy – one individual, one community at a time – for the benefit of Chicago and its sister cities. To accomplish its mission, CSCI develops programs in the areas of cultural arts and tourism, global education, government relations and international business. Learn more at

Chicago Consular Corps

The Chicago Consular Corps is composed of Heads of Mission representing 80+ countries from all around the world.

Chicago is proud to be home to one of the largest diplomatic communities in the United States. The diplomats representing their countries in Chicago work to facilitate and enhance the relationships between their respective countries and the states that comprise their jurisdiction, specifically in the Midwest. Many of the diplomats located in Chicago are responsible for multiple states and promote trade, tourism, culture and serve the local communities from their countries.

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