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Lucia Trade Award

The Lucia Trade Award

The annual award is alternately given to a Swede and an American who has significantly contributed to fostering free trade between the two nations.

Instituted in 1988, the Lucia Trade Award commemorates the 350th anniversary of the first Swedish settlement in the United States. Like Saint Lucia herself, the award symbolizes light, hope and peace.

Each year, the Award is given to a person who has significantly contributed to fostering free trade between the U.S. and Sweden. It affirms a philosophy of peace through trade, and acknowledges that interdependence, cooperation and communication enhance mutual understanding. U.S. President Ronald Reagan was the inaugural recipient of the award, followed by H.R.H Prince Bertil, the first Swedish recipient.

The Award itself is an intriguing glass sculpture by Bertil Vallien, world renowned Swedish designer of Orrefors Kosta Boda crystal. Entitled “The Voyage”, the award is a 20-inch long sculpture in the form of a seafaring trade vessel. Captured within the hull of the ship are allegorical reference to the Swedish-American trade relations and the spirit of the Lucia tradition.

Included within the crystal sculpture is a vivid blue and yellow representation of the Swedish flag, a glass “parcel” signifying goods and free trade, a key-shaped metal object symbolizing “open doors” and the “Key of Kalmar (Kalmar Nyckel), the first ship that brought Swedish emigrants to America. Several free-floating stars represent America.

Previous Recipients:

2012: Bertil Hult Founder, EF Education First

The 25th Annual Lucia Trade Award is presentedto Mr. Bertil Hult in recognition of his longstandingsupport of free trade as Founder ofEF Education First.Bertil Hult is the founder of the educationaland language school company EF EducationFirst.

He formed the company in 1965 andserved as its Chief Executive Officer until 2002and as Chairman until 2008. Under Bertil Hult’s supervision, EF has grown into a multi billion dollar corporation with more than 34,000 employees in 53 different countries. A recent addition to the education group is theHult International Business School, currently present in five cities around the world, andnamed after Bertil Hult.

Apart from EF, Bertil Hult has been involved in various charities fighting drug abuse and promoting dyslexia education. He was a founding member of the Mentor Foundation in 1993, an organization focused on supporting research and initiatives in drug prevention. He has since served as Chairman and currently as trustee for the foundation. Bertil Hult also supports the annual Bertil Hult Prize, founded in 2003, which is awarded to a Swedish school for its support of dyslexia education.

Bertil Hult also sponsors the Hult Global Case Challenge, an annual business case competition donating $1 million to select charities. More recently, the Hult family founded the EF Global Classroom Foundation, whose goal it is to help rebuild elementary schools in disaster areas. In 2006 he was named International Swede of the Year.

2011: Ambassador Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Former CEO of Bristol Myers Squibb Company & former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden

During his exceptional career at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a firm he joined in 1963, Ambassador Charles A. Heimbold Jr. held various positions, being appointed President in 1992. In 1994 he reached the top, being named Chief Executive Officer and in 2001 Chairman Emeritus. Prior to his career at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Ambassador Heimbold was with the New York law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, and from 1954-1957 he served as a destroyer officer in the U.S. Navy.Ambassador Heimbold has also served as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and is a member of the Board of Directors of ExxonMobil Corporation. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was active in The Business Roundtable and The Business Council.

He was also Chairman of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Reflecting a strong commitment to education, he supports a number of leading institutions. He served as Chairman of the Board of Overseers of the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania as well as a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and the American Museum of Natural History. He is a past Trustee of Sarah Lawrence College and a past Trustee of International House.

Other activities to which Ambassador Heimbold devoted his time include serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Phoenix House, a non-profit agency devoted to drug abuse treatment for adults and children. In addition, he served as a member of the Commonwealth Fund Commission on Women’s Health. He is currently Vice-Chairman of the Heimbold Foundation. Ambassador Heimbold was also awarded with the prestigious Mandela Award from the MEDUNSA Trust in recognition of the AIDS relief program in Africa that he initiated.

2010: Stefan Persson Chairman, Hennes & Mauritz AB

Stefan Persson is Chairman and former CEO of Hennes & Mauritz AB. He has lead the notable success of globalizing H&M after succeeding his father as Chief Executive Officer in 1982. His effort and dedication for international business has enabled countless job opportunities worldwide. In just a decade H&M has experienced dynamic growth in the U.S. from the Fifth Avenue store to approximately 200 stores across the country with ten locations in Manhattan alone.

Hennes & Mauritz AB was founded in 1947 by Erling Persson, Stefan Persson´s father, in Västerås, Sweden. H&M offers fashion and quality at the best price and is famous for bringing in big names like Madonna, Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Kylie Minogue to design affordable collections. H&M has expanded substantially in recent years and today 76,000 people work in their 2,000 stores spread across 37 countries. The company had a turnover of 119 billion SEK in 2009.

Stefan Persson became Country Manager for the UK in 1976 and was responsible for H&M’s expansion abroad until 1982 when he was elected Managing Director & Chief Executive Offi cer, a position he held until 1998. Mr. Persson has been Chairman of H&M since 1998. In addition he holds several board assignments in family-owned companies. In 2009 his son Karl-Johan Persson took over as President & CEO of H&M.

2009: Jeffrey Immelt Chairman & CEO, General Electric

Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric, received the 22nd Annual Lucia Trade Award on December 7, 2009 at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York. His successful work of untiringly leading one of the largest companies in the world while recognizing the importance of truly acting globally and for many years promoting the important work of greening the planet’s energy-spending habits through GE’s Ecomagination.

"Jeffrey Immelt is a true international business executive and is the perfect match for a recipient of our Lucia Trade Award” says Tomas K.G. Ericson, Chairman of The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York.

Mr. Immelt is the ninth chairman of GE, a post he has held since September 7, 2001. Mr. Immelt has held several global leadership positions since coming to GE in 1982, including roles in GE's Plastics, Appliance, and Medical businesses. In 1989 he became an officer of GE and joined the GE Capital Board in 1997. A couple years later, in 2000, he was appointed president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Immelt has been named one of the "World's Best CEOs" three times by Barron's, and since he began serving as chief executive officer, GE has been named "America's Most Admired Company" in a poll conducted by Fortune magazine and one of "The World's Most Respected Companies" in polls by Barron's and the Financial Times.

Mr. Immelt is also a member of The Business Council, and he is on the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. He earned a B.A. degree in applied mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1978 and an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1982. He and his wife Andrea have one daughter.

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