Started in 1945, the humble beginnings of the American Club of Lisbon took place in a politically neutral Portugal, where a group of American businessmen residing in the country, decided to meet up to discuss business opportunities post war. In the next couple of years, arriving entrepreneurs and American diplomats joined the group. While the organisation gained new members and a constitution in 1947, the goal always remained “to cultivate social relations among American residents and travellers in Lisbon and non-Americans with definite American interests”. Today, the club has several hundreds of members and has expanded to forty other locations around the world, continuing to promote “goodwill and understanding between people and cultures”.
The ACL promotes interesting cultural events and organises their own with notorious guest speakers, most-often in English. Past guest speakers include famous Portuguese Fado singer Amália Rodrigues, astronaut and businessman Frank Borman, diplomat Kofi Annan, politicians such as Howard Dean, Cavaco Silva, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and Prime Minister António Costa. The first in person event since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the capital, featured Beatriz Rubio. She created RE/MAX Portugal, a real estate residence with 365 agencies all over the country. Recognised as a “super brand” for the last 13 years, its founder came to the ACL’s meet-up spot, at the Sheraton Hotel in Lisbon to discuss her formula to success. The dynamic, theatrical and explosive character talks about determination and motivation as important key points in order to accomplish our dreams.
Like Beatriz Rubio, the president of the ACL, Patrick Siegler-Lathrop has a more relaxed and unique way of approaching business. “My first objective is to do good and have fun, the second is to make money,” he sniggers, playfully. Modest as he may be, Patrick is known for revitalising things and when the going gets tough, the French-American - who took over the ACL in 2018 - finds ways to “create healthy growth from decline”. That’s what he considers fun and interesting at least. When it comes to the American Club of Lisbon, the newly elected president has “great ambitions’’. The club plans on hosting more live talks, webinars, and about three events per month – whether they be cultural, intellectual, or political – including a happy hour meetup in Lisbon’s most attractive bars to network. The American Club of Lisbon is THE club of academics, culture and the most attractive forum to promote ideas. Currently developing with other clubs around the world, the American Club of Lisbon is expanding fast and is broadening its horizons beyond Lisbon, soon becoming the American Club of Portugal, perhaps. If you are looking to integrate one of the country’s most prestigious networking club all you need is a sponsor (a member of the club) and to pay a membership fee (it doesn’t cost much and there are often discounts or promotions), then you’ll have all the tools to be a part of this distinguished society.
The organisation contributes to the communication and cooperation between the two countries – and others, but always prioritising US-Portugal relationships – in a non-partisan way. Above all, the American Club of Lisbon is a social and networking club where people from different backgrounds can discuss business ideas and projects among other things. The prestigious non-profit attracts many Portuguese as well as various expats “of the highest level”. Patrick Siegler-Lathorp, a double Ivy Leaguer, believes that people move to Portugal for the climate, and the people. “Whereas foreigners are deemed suspect elsewhere, Portuguese welcome [foreigners] because they know you can contribute [to their beloved country]”, he proclaims most emphatically. “The Portuguese are lovely!” We couldn’t agree more.
More information on events & membership:
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Tel: +351 21 352 93 08
Fax: +351 21 352 93 09