Member Spotlight Sital Patel

Sital_member_spotligh (2)


Sital Patel
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
& Social Media
S&P Global

Individual Member
Joined: 2012
Born: Vallabah, India
Lives: Upper East Side, NY

What brought you to New York? Career move. I was working for CNN in Washington, D.C. and was given a fantastic opportunity to work for Bloomberg in New York.

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society? I love meeting and socializing with members that understand my roots. It’s nice to relate to others that have had similar experiences of growing up in England and living in New York as expats.  Everyone I have met so far through St. George has been lovely!

What is your favourite New York place or pastime? We love Central Park. My husband and I, with our 14 month old twins, like to spend as much time as possible in the park. There’s lots to see and do and it’s also very relaxing.

Sital is working with the St. George’s team to organize a family-friendly summer picnic in Central Park on Saturday 30th July. All are welcome and for more information click here. 

Happy 4th July!


July 4th commemorates the acceptance of the Declaration of Independence which separated 13 colonies from the British Empire and created a new nation – “The United States of America”. Impress your friends with these 10 fun facts about Independence Day.


1. Most notably there is some dispute over which day should be officially celebrated. John Adams, the 2nd U.S. President,  believed that we should hold our celebrations on the day independence was officially declared by the Continental Congress – July 2nd, 1776 . July 4th only serves as the date the declaration was adopted.

jefferson&adams2. Three of the first five U.S. Presidents have died on Independence Day, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Monroe. In a further twist of fate, Presidential rivals and declaration signers Adams and Jefferson, both died within 4 hours of each other on July 4th, 1826; the 50th Anniversary of the passing of the declaration of independence.

3. It is often forgotten that technically, at the time of signing, all of the declaration’s signers were British Citizens but only 8 of the 56 signers were actually born in Britain.

evolution-american-flag-betsy-ross4. The first U.S. flag was designed by declaration signer Francis Hopkinson and featured all the stars in a circle to signify equality. Credit for sewing the first “stars and stripes” is often given to Betsy Ross. Legend has it she was asked by George Washington himself (though that story is likely mythical)!

5. The modern American flag was designed for a class project by a high school student from Ohio. Robert G. Heft of Lancaster, Ohio was given a “B-Minus” for his project. A disappointed Heft sent the flag to President Eisenhower who went on the chose the design as the new flag, which was officially adopted in 1960 (his teacher changed his grade to an A!)

6. Benjamin Franklin was unhappy that the bald eagle was chosen as the national bird and wrote that the turkey, being “a truly original native of America”, would have been much more respectable.

Dunlap_broadside_copy_of_the_United_States_Declaration_of_Independence,_LOC7.There were only around 200 printed versions of the Declaration, known as the Dunlap Broadside. Today, only 27 are accounted for. TV producer Norman Lear owns one such copy which he bought at auction for $8.14 million after it was found in the back of a painting bought for $4 at a flea market.

8. Is there something written on the back of the declaration? Yes! The back of the document reads “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776”.

9. The Founding Fathers would not have recited the Pledge. The Pledge of Allegiance did not exist during the lifetimes of the founding fathers. It was written in 1892, over a century after America’s founding.

10. July 4th is the biggest hot dMatt Stonie is crowned winner of the annual Fourth of July 2015 Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Brooklyn, New Yorkog holiday of the year. According to Time Mazagine 155 million hot dogs will be eaten on July 4th. It is also the date for Nathan’s famous hot dog eating contest. Legend has it, the contest began when 4 immigrants held a hot dog eating contest to settle an argument over who was the most patriotic.  Whoever eats most hot dogs within 10 minutes wins a cash prize and the Mustard Belt. The current World Record is 69 hot dogs held by Joey Chestnut of San Jose, CA, who has won the competition eight times.

Member Spotlight Mike Alltoft

Mike AMike Alltoft
Founder of axiom3consulting – helping clients through interim leadership, expansion plans, operational improvements and strategic business projects.

Joint Member
Joined: 2015
Born: Kent, England
Lives: Upper West Side, NYC


What brought you to New York? In 2000, the company I worked for was moving in the UK and change was inevitable. We just made it bigger and came to the USA. We left the area in 2010 and headed west, ending up in Australia. We got back in 2015. The change since we were last here is remarkable – we love it.

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society? It started after we moved back as a way to meet fellow ex-pats and stay connected with the culture. That worked well and also provided insight to active British businesses and people here. However, the most rewarding part is being part of giving back to others who are in more difficult circumstances than us – that’s still as valid today as it was when the Society started.

What is your favorite New York place or pastime? Some of my favorite places are historical and in the St. George’s Society inaugural scavenger hunt so I can’t say here!

Other favorites –  fabulous and unexpected new eateries. Hidden bars. Flying home on a clear night and seeing the skyline. Running in Central Park. Taking a different street and finding something new. Grand Banks at pier 25 is hard to beat on a summer day.

More active favorite pastimes aren’t easy here – road biking, hiking in the mountains, skiing and sailing (happy to crew!)  – but airports, bridges, tunnels & trains help solve that.

Beneficiary Spring Events


As part of St. George’s Society’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life for our beneficiaries, last month we were pleased to offer two social activities for our seniors in partnership with The Choral Society of Grace Church in New York and Nord Anglia International School. The Society’s CEO and Beneficiary Committee Chair also visited St. Luke’s Hospital (now Mount Sinai St. Luke’s) with whom the Society has had a special relationship for over 150 years.

The Choral Society of Grace Church Concertphoto (3)

On 14 May, a group of our Manhattan-based beneficiaries attended a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah by The Choral Society of Grace Church in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The complimentary tickets for the event were kindly arranged by Director of The Choral Society (John Maclay) and St. George’s Society member Nicole Belmont, who sings with the chorus. A fantastic time was had by all who attended.

Concert-goer Anthony noted that the guests’ contentment was “reflected in the conversational buzz and many happy faces gathered outside on the sidewalk afterwards.”

The group then continued their time together with a trip to the Ukrainian National Home, a local East Village institution, for a traditional meal of hoagies & sauerkraut to conclude their day.

St. Luke’s Hospital Visit Plaque

On 18 May, Beneficiary Committee Chair Missi Gibbs was accompanied by St. George’s Society’s CEO Karen Karpowich and Manton Social Worker Mary Lamasney on a visit to St. Luke’s Hospital (now Mount Sinai St. Luke’s). The Society has had a special relationship with the hospital for over 150 years, having donated to St. Luke’s a plot of land at the corner of 54th Street and Fifth Avenue upon which they built their first hospital.  In exchange for the land, St. George’s received the right to put its sick beneficiaries into as many as many as twenty beds per day at St. Luke’s. Whilst at the hospital, the trio visited a commemorative plaque which celebrates the association between the hospital and St. George’s Society of New York.

Spring Concert and Afternoon TeaIMG_0064

On the 26 May, Nord Anglia International School hosted a group of our beneficiaries for an afternoon of entertainment. Traditional afternoon tea was served to the seniors by middle-school pupils who delighted visitors with table service of sandwiches and scones. Guests were then treated to a musical show including songs from Bugsy Malone, a piano duet and an animated drumming performance. IMG_0153

The event was made possible by a grant from the Inez Branca Family Foundation that was arranged by Beneficiary Committee member Moya Keys (pictured right talking with beneficiaries). F2CC5507

These activities are the part of our commitment to further encourage social interaction and enhance quality of life. Such events offer our beneficiaries, particularly those who are frailer, a chance to socialize and interact with their peers and to connect through shared experiences.

Through its Beneficiary Program, St. George’s Society assists over 100 beneficiaries each year, with almost 90% of the Society’s charitable budget spent directly on offering life-changing support to eldery and disabled people in the tristate area. Our assistance enables seniors to make ends meet, pay rent, buy medication, afford public transportation and generally enhances their quality of life. The financial assistance we provide is supplemented by much-needed emotional support from our social workers, Mary Lamasney, LMSW and Julie Rosenberg, LMSW.

June Membership Perks

This month, we are excited to bring you details of a new year-round perk with British shirtmaker T.M.Lewin. You can also purchase discounted tickets to Broadway’s Tony Award winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time before its final performance on 4 September.

To request discount codes or for more information about how to redeem any of the offers below, please email


Save up to $55 on Broadway’s Curious Incident now through August 28!thumbnail-5 (2)

Winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best New Play, the acclaimed National Theatre production of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is now in its second smash year on Broadway. Two-time Tony Award winner Marianne Elliott (War Horse) directs this “dazzling, pulse-pounding and remarkable” (Time Out New York) adaptation by Tony and Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens that brings Mark Haddon’s internationally best-selling novel to thrilling life.

Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.

Date: Now through August 28th

Venue: Barrymore Theatre, 243 West 47th Street

Special Offer: Save up $55 on tickets


New perk! 15% discount with British shirtmaker T.M.Lewin.TMLEWIN-LOGO_BLACK

Delivering the absolute best quality product and a flawless fit is what T.M.Lewin is really passionate about, it’s a sentiment inspired by founder Thomas Mayes Lewin, who opened their very first London store on Jermyn Street in 1898. Over a century later, every T.M.Lewin shirt is still precision crafted using only the best raw materials and meticulously finished to the last detail with over a century’s worth of expertise.

Date: Year-round

Venue: Online or in stores (UK or Ireland)

Special Offer: Enjoy 15% off all online purchases or in stores (UK or Ireland)



At the Queen’s Table: Food and Dining in the 16th Century from Anne Boleyn to Elizabeth I

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The 16th century saw some of the most dramatic change culturally, politically and economically in all of England’s history.  The world of cooking, food and dining was among those areas that evolved substantially under the Tudor monarchs and into the Elizabethan age.  From the banquets of Henry VIII through to the court entertainments of Elizabeth I, food transformed from the modest cooking of the Middle Ages to a style and presentation influenced by the Italian Renaissance.

In this illustrated talk, professionally trained chef, culinary writer and educator, Carl Raymond will chart the course of food as it was cooked, prepared and appeared on royal tables throughout the 16th century. Anchored by the three great Tudor queens, Anne Boleyn, Mary Stuart and Elizabeth, the talk will discuss cooking techniques and methods, menus, dining etiquette and actual recipes from the period. A discussion will focus on the kitchens at Hampton Court Palace, now restored and still functioning after 400 years which give the modern day culinary enthusiast the most vivid image of exactly how food was obtained and meals for hundreds of guests were accomplished. Attendees will leave with a collection of recipes true to the Tudor period but adapted for the modern kitchen should they wish to try a royal banquet at home.

Date: June 2nd at 6:30 PM
Venue: The English-Speaking Union, 144 East 39th Street
Special Offer: $25 members ($35 non-members)



Capital District Renaissance Festival – Take A Trip Back in Time

renaissance festival

A weekend of lords, ladies, minstrels and more amongst the apple trees and strawberry fields of Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont, NY. Spend a day enjoying a long-forgotten past, where the magic of princesses, dragons, and knights are intertwined with rich history and sport. Stroll the market and meet artisans selling the unique and beautiful. Enjoy a show by one of the many street or stage performers. Taste the flavors of foreign foods and fresh menus. Learn about the art of battle. Thrill at the excitement of a joust tournament. You are guaranteed to have a grand time and whether you come in costume or in your street clothes, everyone is welcome. There’s plenty to see and do at the NY Capital District Renaissance Festival, HUZZAH!

Date: June 11th & 12th
Venue: Indian Ladder Farms – 342 Altamont Road, Altamont NY
Special Offer: Save $3 on each adult ticket (up to 6 tickets) at the gate.



Farewell Sam!



Sam and her husband Nathan with Jonny Wilkinson CBE at the 2014 British Bash

After 5.5 years working at St. George’s Society, Samantha Hamilton will be leaving us on 10th June to relocate to the UK with her family. Though we are sad to say farewell, we are happy for her and her young family and the wonderful opportunities that are opening up for them in London.


In her role as Director of Development & Membership, Sam has become a close friend and advocate for so many of our members. During her time with the organisation, membership has grown 20% and Sam has constantly striven to add value to membership, working with a number of British brands in NYC to secure new perks and introducing initiatives such as “New Member Meet & Greets” to engage members.


Anna Titley and Sam celebrating a record-breaking English Ball in 2015

On the events side, Sam has been a key player in the sponsorship outreach for six English Balls which together have raised over $3 million for the Society’s charitable programs. She was also actively involved with the launch of GEORGE in March 2011 which has helped attract a younger audience to the Society.

Since she joined in 2010, Sam has been responsible for the Society’s appeals which have garnered over $230,000 and she has worked closely with our social workers on the annual programs for our beneficiaries, including sourcing donations for the Christmas baskets and gift bags for our annual beneficiary tea parties.

More recently she brought first-hand knowledge to the development and success of our family events, including our upcoming Scavenger Hunt on 4 June, and has helped establish our new Community Fundraising initiative and a corporate membership program.


At the GREAT British Baby Shower in 2015

“I have really enjoyed my time in NYC, especially getting to know so many great people through St. George’s while meeting a few celebrities along the way! I am proud to have been part of a strong period of growth for the Society and to have contributed to several record-breaking fundraisers. I will miss my friends and colleagues but look forward to staying in touch and visiting again in the future,” says Sam.


If you’d like to say farewell to Sam, please join us at The Churchill, 45 East 28th Street on 7 June from 7pm. RSVP to

Celebrating the 2012 London Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee at the British Consulate in 2012

Celebrating the 2012 London Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee at the British Consulate in 2012