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Nov 24, 2014 | 12:25 pm EST

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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: 

2001: William Clay Ford Chairman & Former CEO, Ford Motor Company

William Clay Ford, Jr. was named Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company on October 30, 2001. He was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors in September 1998 and took office in January 1999. Mr. Ford joined Ford Motor Company in 1979 as a product analyst and subsequently held a variety of positions in manufacturing, sales, marketing, product development, and finance.

In 1994 Mr. Ford was elected as company Vice President and Head of the company's Commercial Truck Vehicle Center. He left that position in order to assume the chairmanship of the Board of Directors Finance Committee in 1995. He was named Chairman of the boards Environmental and Public Policy Committee in 1997 and Chairman of the Nominating Committee in 1999.

Mr. Ford was born in Detroit on May 3, 1957. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University and a Master of Science degree in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an avid fly fisherman and a car enthusiast, enjoys playing hockey and tennis and is a black belt in the martial art of Tae Kwon Do.

Mr. Ford is Vice Chairman of the Detroit Lions professional football team, an Honorary Chairman of the Southeast Michigan consortium for Water Quality and a Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. He is also a trustee of Princeton University, Detroit Renaissance, and the Brookings Institution.

2000: H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf

H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden was the recipient of the year 2000 Lucia Trade Award. Born on April 30, 1946 King Carl XVI Gustaf is the fifth and youngest child of the heir to the throne of Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla of Sachsen Coburg Gotha. The King's father died in an airplane accident in 1947. With the accession of Gustaf VI Adolf to the throne in 1950 following the death of Gustaf V, Carl Gustaf, then 27 years old, became Sweden's Head of State.

In 1976 The King married Ms. Silvia Sommerlath with whom he has three children: Crown Princess Victoria, born in 1977, Prince Carl Philip, born in 1979, and Princess Madeleine born in 1982.

The King takes a special interest in trade and business enterprise and is Patron of the Royal Swedish Academies and a number of other organizations, societies, and associations. The King holds honorary doctorates from the Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Uppsala, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, The Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, and Åbo Academy in Finland.

In recent years King Carl Gustaf has accompanied Royal Technology Missions, under IVA auspices, to study technological and industrial know-how and to encourage co-operation in these fields with various countries, including the U.S. The King also plays an active part, for example, in the proceedings of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Science.

1999: John F. Smith, Jr. Former Chairman, General Motors

John F. Smith became Chairman of the Board of Directors of General Motors (GM) in January 1996. He has also been Chief Executive Officer since November 1992. In addition, he served as President of GM from April 1992 to October 1998, and as President and Chief Operating Officer from April 1992 to November 1992.

From August 1, 1990 to April 6, 1992 Mr. Smith served as Vice Chairman of GM with responsibility for international operations. Prior to that, he had been Executive Vice President in charge of GM's international operations since June 1998.

Mr. Smith was born on April 6, 1938, in Worcester, Massachusetts. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Massachusetts in 1960 and a Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University in 1965.

Mr. Smith is a member of The Procter & Gamble Company Board of Directors and is a representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC). He is Chairman of the Economic Club of Detroit, Catalyst, and co-Chairman of the Business Roundtable. Mr. Smith is also a director of Detroit Renaissance, the Polish-American Enterprise Fund, and the U.S.-Japan Business Council. He also serves on the board of trustees of the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

1998: Dr. Lars Ramqvist Former Chairman, Ericsson

Dr. Lars Ramqvist, Former Chairman of Ericsson and one of the world's most respected business leaders, has had a long and distinguished career in the telecommunications industry. For more than three decades, his work diligently supported free trade worldwide.

After earning his Masters degree in Solid State Chemistry in 1965 and his Doctorate in Solid State Chemistry and Physics in 1969 from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, Dr. Ramqvist began his career at the Axel Johnson Institute for Industrial Research in Nynashamn.

Recruited by Ericsson in 1980, Dr. Ramqvist's 18 year tenure with the company was marked by tremendous achievement. Prior to his appointment as Chairman of Ericsson, he has held positions as Vice President of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, President of Ericsson components, Executive Vice President and Member of the Corporate Executive Committee, President of Ericsson Radio Systems AB and Head of Business Area Mobile Systems, President of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, and Chief Executive Officer of the Ericsson group.

While President of Ericsson's strategically important microelectronics company, Ericsson Components, Dr. Ramqvist laid the groundwork for a cooperation with Texas Instruments. Dr. Ramqvist also recognized the enormous potential of the cellular phone industry at an early stage. In 1989, while President of Ericsson Radio Systems AB and Head of Business Area Mobile Systems, he initiated a joint venture with General Electric that dramatically strengthened Ericsson's position in the US cellular market.

The SWEDISH-AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, Inc.