The Sunday Breakfast Club originated during the Great Depression when the Permanent Committee on Unemployment of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce decided that business and professional leaders not serving on the Committee should be included in a series of meetings planned “to attempt an understanding of the economic happenings causing unemployment on such an enormous scale.”
The group was organized into a club and held its first formal meeting on March 12, 1933, in the midst of the banking crisis. Dr. Virgil Jordan, head of the National Industrial Conference Board, spoke about “The Challenge to Leadership.” Seven private breakfast meetings were held “lasting through every third Sunday morning (to permit thorough, unhurried discussion) lead by the best qualified speaker procurable.” The club emphasized that understanding was the first step in the search for solutions and that there was to be no crystallization of opinion, publicity, or group action.
The decision to meet on Sunday mornings for breakfast gave the club its name. In September 1935, the meetings were moved to the first Wednesday evening of the months of the program season. However, the club’s name has remained the same.
The Sunday Breakfast Club is an invitation only organization comprised of a diverse group of current and emerging leaders from the Greater Philadelphia Region’s business, non-profit and government sectors who come together on a regular basis to learn from each other as well as other thought leaders and engage in conversation about the issues of our time.
A series of seven programs are held by the Sunday Breakfast Club each year. The programs take place on the first Wednesday evening of the months of October through May, with the exception of January. Each program features a networking cocktail reception, dinner and a speaker or panel of speakers and typically takes place at the Union League of Philadelphia.
The Sunday Breakfast Club seeks to serve the Greater Philadelphia community through inspired programming and stimulating conversation with fellow members and guest speakers selected for their accomplishments, service, and leadership.
The affairs of the Sunday Breakfast Club are managed by the Steering Committee, which is made up of members. The Steering Committee serves as the organization’s Board of Directors, appointed on a rotating basis. Club members are selected by action of the Steering Committee on nominations from members. The Program Co-Chairs select the speakers and programs for the year, with suggestions from the Steering Committee and Club members.
2017 – 2018 Steering Committee Members
- Bruce Melgary, Chair
- Loree Jones, Past Chair
- Ned Dunham, Secretary
- Jan Shaeffer, Treasurer
- Austin Morris, Jr., Co-Chair, Programs
- Chris Satullo, Co-Chair, Programs
- Pete Hoskins, Chair, Sponsorships
- Steven Scott Bradley
- Brian Edmonds
- Teresa Gavigan
- Mackie MacLean
- Michael Mittelman
- Dianne Semingson
- Susan Sherman
- Lee Woolley