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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: 

1991: Robert A. Mosbacher Chairman, Mosbacher Energy Company

Robert A. Mosbacher, Chairman of Mosbacher Energy Company, has been a leader in the energy field over 40 years.

Mr. Mosbacher drilling and production ventures and exploration and development programs have reached from the Gulf Coast, Rocky Mountains and Michigan basin to Canada, Spain, the Philippines, Tunisia, Venezuela, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and Thailand.

Mr. Mosbacher was appointed by President George Bush to serve as the 28th Secretary of Commerce, a position he held from 1989 to 1992. He was the principal Cabinet official responsible for initiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He was a strong proponent of the agreement, now in force, which created the largest unified market in the world.

As Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Mosbacher was widely recognized for his efforts to promote economic security for the free trade and the opening of new markets for US technologies and products. He led 20 Trade Missions to over 50 countries. He created the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee, the first mechanism to coordinate all government agencies involved in promoting US exports and the Advanced Technology Program, which supported the development of generic and building block technologies. Mr. Mosbacher also launched the National Export Initiative, which united small and mid-sized businesses with public sector technicians to provide technical expertise for first-time exporters and others.

In his limited free time, he has won the North American and World Sailing championships in the Olympic classes, the Scandinavian Gold Cup, the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit and the Mallory Cup.

1990: Dr. Peter Wallenberg Honorary Chairman, Investor AB

Dr. Peter Wallenberg, a banker and industrialist, bears one of the best known names in Sweden. For most of the more than 200 years in which and the have pursued amicable and profitable trade relations, members of the Wallenberg family have been actively involved. Andre Oscar Wallenberg, a merchant seaman and naval officer, went ashore in Boston in 1830 and remained there to work for several years. Impressed with the opportunities, especially in banking, he returned to and established Stockholm's Enskilda Bank in 1856.

Dr. Wallenberg holds the key position within the interlocking banking, industrial, and trade divisions of the Wallenberg group. His memberships are numerous, his honors legendary and his influence in international business considerable. His involvement in, and devotion to, international trade is unquestioned.

Dr. Wallenberg was born in 1926, received a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Stockholm and gained much of his first-hand experience with the United States while at Atlas Copco AB, a Wallenberg company, from 1956-1959.

His decorations include the Order of Vasa in Sweden and the King's Medal 12th Class. He has received high honors from Spain, Belgium, Portugal, and Germany. He is a commander of the Legion of Honor in France and the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and holds the Grand Cross of the Order of Gregorius the Great from the Holy See.

1989: John F. Akers Former Chairman & CEO, IBM

John F. Akers was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive officer for IBM when he received the Lucia Trade Award in 1989. His selection was based on his performance as the leader of a giant, worldwide corporation that has consistently maintained the highest standards in the marketing and sale of its products thus symbolizing the essence of international trade.

At the time, Mr. Akers was leading an operation employing 390,000 people with a $54 billion annual business in 132 countries. On the day of the award, it was announced that IBM was removing 10,000 employees by attrition or early retirement. It was the beginning of many major changes in the industrial giant which have led to a smaller, more focused global leader in the electronics field.

Since IBM was founded by Thomas Watson, it has been dedicated to world trade and continues to move in that direction. Mr. Akers served as Chairman and CEO until his retirement on May 1, 1993, completing an outstanding 33-year career with IBM.

Mr. Akers is a former member of the board of trustees of the California Institute of Technology and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is Chairman of the Board of Governors of United Way of and was a member of President George Bush's Education Policy Advisory Committee.

At the time of the Award presentation, Mr. Akers was the leader of a worldwide enterprise that supplied approximately five million customers with 10,000 hardware, software and service offerings. John F. Akers graduated from Yale University in 1956 with a BS degree in Industrial Administration. He was a U.S. Navy carrier pilot from 1956-1960.

1988: H.R.H. Prince Bertil of Sweden

H.R.H. Prince Bertil of Sweden was the first Swede to receive the Lucia Trade Award. He devoted his lifetime to promoting trade on behalf of Swedish companies. The genial "Prince of Good Fellows" traveled around the world leading trade commissions to promote free trade at home and abroad.

From 1947, the Prince was next in line after his father for the throne. He was next in line to King Carl XVI Gustaf after his father's death in 1973, until July 1995 when Princess Victoria became 18. He has represented on many official occasions, rendering his country invaluable service.

Born in 1912, the Prince attended Lundsberg Boarding School. After passing his university entrance examination he joined the Navy and took part in extensive training cruises aboard Swedish warships. He served as Assistant Naval Attache in the Swedish Embassy in both Paris and London. During World War II, he was Commander of the Swedish PT boat squadron. He holds the ranks of Admiral and General in the Army and Air Force.

The Prince was a devoted sportsman all of his life. He served as President of the Swedish Olympic Committee and Honorary President of the Royal Automobile Club at the Swedish Sports Federation. He won the Swedish junior Championships twice, was just shy of the world record in the standing high jump and competed in motor racing in earlier years.

In his acceptance speech, the Prince recalled his many happy visits to the U.S. He was certain that the millions of Americans of Swedish descent would ensure that what is and Swedish will always be part of what is America.

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