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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: 

2004: Ingvar Kamprad Founder, IKEA

This Lucia Trade Award recipient created an amazing corporation based on an even more impressive business concept, and he still lives it. No longer the owner of his creation, Kamprad nevertheless tirelessly travels the world to open new stores, especially where his concept is most needed, and to safeguard what was so far achieved.

Ingvar Kamprad turned vision into mission and dream into reality when he founded IKEA, now among the world's biggest brands. Americans have increasingly learned to appreciate the value of IKEA. From a bumpy start in the twenty years ago, the furniture chain now appears a winner on all fronts - here and abroad - with $15,5 billion in global sales and more than 200 stores on four continents, in 32 countries.

Kamprad was born in the south of in 1926. At an early age, he learned that he could buy matches in bulk from Stockholm and sell them at a fair price, but a good profit. He reinvested his profits and expanded to fish, seeds, Christmas tree decorations, and pens and pencils. At age 17, Kamprad's father gave him a nice reward for doing well in school. What did he spend it on? He founded IKEA.

The name IKEA was formed from Kamprad's initials plus the first letters of Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd, the farm and village where he grew up. He continued to expand his business to a variety of goods. When he outgrew his ability to call on his customers individually, he converted to a sort of makeshift mail order operation, hiring the local milk van to make his deliveries. In 1947, Kamprad introduced furniture into the IKEA product line. The use of local manufacturers allowed him to keep his costs down. The furniture was a hit, and in 1951, Kamprad decided to discontinue all other product lines and focus on furniture. In 1953, the first IKEA showroom opened.

The secret of the brand and the company's success is likely to be found in its company culture and millions of fans. Not only is its founder IKEA, every person in the organization is a little bit IKEA as is the customer and the supplier.

2002: Claes Björk Former President & CEO, Skanska AB

Claes Björk joined Skanska AB in 1968 after engineering studies in Sweden. From 1968 through 1972, he served in a number of field engineering and project management positions on civil construction projects in Sweden.

In early 1972, Mr. Björk was selected to serve as a Vice President of the newly formed Skanska USA, Inc. Through mid 1985, when he was elected President of Skanska, he participated in the construction of a number of significant infrastructure projects throughout the northeast.

From 1985 to 1997, Mr. Björk held the dual positions of President of Skanska USA, Inc. and Senior Vice President of Skanska AB. During this period, he spearheaded the rapid expansion of Skanska.

From 1997 to 2002, Mr. Björk served as President and CEO of Skanska AB , the global construction and project development giant.

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.

The SWEDISH-AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, Inc.
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