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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.

Recipients include: 

2008: Michael Treschow Chairman, Ericsson and Unilever

"Michael Treschow is the ideal candidate to receive the Lucia Trade Award, illustrated by his strong support of free trade through his deep involvement, on either CEO or Board level, in such global companies as Atlas Copco, ABB, Electrolux, Ericsson, and Unilever", says Mr. Tomas K.G. Ericson, Chairman of The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York.

Mr. Treschow, 65, is widely considered one of the most influential Swedish businessmen of today. In addition to his position at Ericsson, Mr. Treschow is non-executive Chairman of the multi-national corporation Unilever, which owns consumer product brands in the food, beverage, and personal care product industries. Mr. Treschow's vast experience of multinational corporations is impressive. He served as President and CEO of Electrolux Group between 1997 and 2002 and as Chairman between 2004 and 2007. Prior to joining Electrolux, Mr. Treschow served as President and CEO of Atlas Copco, a global industrial group of companies that manufactures products in 20 countries and oversees 33,000 employees across the globe. During his 22-year-long career with Atlas Copco, Mr. Treschow spent three years working in the U.S. as Area Manager.

Mr. Treschow has been awarded the King's Medal of the Twelfth Dimension with the Ribbon of the Order of the Seraphims for his work on Swedish trade issues. Mr. Treschow has further been recognized by several venerable institutions in Spain, France, and Belgium. Furthermore, Mr. Treschow was Chairman of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise 2004-2007 and European Chair of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue in 2001.

2007: Jeffrey B. Kindler CEO & Chairman, Pfizer, Inc.

Jeffrey Kindler is the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Pfizer Inc., the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company. Mr. Kindler joined Pfizer in 2002 as Executive Vice President and General Counsel, with responsibility for Pfizer's Legal Division. He was named Vice Chairman in 2005, joining the company's four-person Executive Committee and assuming responsibility for Pfizer's Corporate Affairs Division. Prior to his appointment as CEO and election to the Board of Directors in 2006, he was Vice Chairman and General Counsel, where he led Pfizer's worldwide legal, compliance, communications, government relations, corporate citizenship, policy development, and global security groups.

During his corporate career, Jeffrey Kindler has been recognized for his leadership in the areas of pro bono legal services that has become a model for many corporations and law firms, along with diversity, and corporate social responsibility by groups ranging from Outward Bound to the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

Comprehensively he is serving on the boards of trustees of Tufts University, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Business Roundtable, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Council on Competitiveness, the Partnership for New York City, The Business Council, and Ronald McDonald House Charities, as well as serving as the Chairman of the U.S. - Japan Business Council.

2006: Leif Johansson President of AB Volvo & CEO of Volvo Group

Leif Johansson has been President of AB Volvo and Chief Executive Officer of the Volvo Group since 1997. Based on his more than 30 years in executive positions within Swedish companies with global operations, he has extensive experience of international competition and the demands on leadership and expertise. Under the leadership of Leif Johansson, the Volvo Group has undergone the greatest change in the company's history, achieving enormous success along the way.

The Volvo Group is one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, and aerospace components and services. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The truck business includes the brands Volvo, Renault, and Mack. Founded in 1927, the Volvo Group today has 82,600 employees worldwide, of which approximately 15,000 are in North America. While net sales for the group in 2005 amounted to $31 billion, close to $10 billion came from operations in North America. Globally, Volvo has production facilities in 25 countries and operates in more than 185 markets. In the U.S., Volvo has manufacturing plants in Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia, and is represented in this market by Volvo, Mack, and Prevost brands.

With environmental care as one of the company's core values, Leif Johansson is a driving force behind Volvo's commitment to produce cleaner engines through alternative fuels, hybrids and other technologies. He is also a member of the prestigious Swedish Oil Commission dedicated to making Sweden free from oil dependency by 2020. In 2001, Mr. Johansson was awarded His Majesty the King's Medal, 12th Dimension, with the Ribbon of the Order of the Seraphim (Sweden). In 2005, he was recognized with the awards of Royal Automobile Club's Memorial Medal in Gold (Sweden) and Chevalier dans L'Ordre national de la Legion d'Honneur (France).

2005: Marilyn Carlson Nelson Chairman & Former CEO, Carlson Companies

Marilyn Carlson Nelson is the Chairman and was CEO of one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. Carlson Companies is the parent corporation of a global group of integrated companies specializing in business and leisure travel, hotel, restaurant, cruise, and marketing services. Marilyn Carlson Nelson expanded the realm of Carlson Companies to move from a trans-national organization to a global entity. She personally coordinated the merger of business travel and operations with ACCOR of France, expanded a partnership with SAS bringing the Radisson Hotels outside of the U.S., partnered with V-ships of Monaco to build luxury cruise ships and oversaw the merger (and sale) of Carlson Wagonlit Travel's U.K. leisure travel operations with Thomas Cook, partnering with Preussag of Germany in the process. Marilyn Carlson was also a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic and between 2002 and 2005 she was appointed by President George W. Bush to chair the National Women's Business Council.

No stranger to nominations, Forbes magazine selected Carlson Nelson as one of "The 100 Most Powerful Women in the world" in both 2004 and 2005, and Business Week has named her one of the Top 25 Executives. As a second generation American of primarily Swedish ancestry Carlson Nelson has taken an active interest in promoting her Scandinavian heritage. The King and Queen of Sweden bestowed the Swedish-American of the Year Award upon Carlson in 2003 and in 1982 she was awarded the Royal Order of the North Star.

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