Posts Tagged ‘award’

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A Note of Thanks: Celebrating Walter Bastian’s Lifetime of Achievement

November 2, 2012

Francisco Sánchez serves as the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. Follow him on Twitter @UnderSecSanchez.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere Walter M. Bastian

Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere Walter M. Bastian

Walter Bastian embodies the best of public service.  He doesn’t measure success by how well he does, but by how well he can help others.  And during his decades at the Department of Commerce, he has indeed helped others and made great contributions to the global community.

In recognition of his accomplishments, last week, Walter was one of nine recipients of the 2012 Americas Award for his lifetime of achievement.  Having had the chance to work with him closely in recent years, I must tell you: he is very deserving of this honor.

As Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere, Walter has developed programs, policies and strategies to strengthen the United States’ commercial position in the region — the destination for roughly 40 percent of U.S. exports.  And in doing so, he’s also committed himself to expanding opportunity and prosperity throughout the Americas.

One of Walter’s greatest accomplishments was playing a central role in founding the Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF).  The initial idea for a meeting of Western Hemisphere commerce ministers was offered by President George W. Bush at the 2005 Summit of the Americas.  Walter helped make that idea a reality.

Walter saw beyond what was being asked and instead focused on what more could be accomplished. He understood that competitiveness is not just a national issue, but a hemispheric one.

For that reason, he set about creating a forum to motivate the region’s government leaders to work in partnership with the private sector, academia, and civil society to improve the economic prosperity of their own countries, and ensure a brighter future for the people of the region.

Since its inauguration in 2007, the ACF has become the preeminent economic and commercial event in the Americas, attracting hundreds of participants from the Western Hemisphere’s public and private sectors.  It has helped to create and strengthen the kinds of partnerships that are necessary for regional integration and future growth.

Bottom line: progress is achieved by people who want to make a difference.  And Walter Bastian has made a difference.  He has dedicated his time, talent and passion to bringing the Americas closer together through commerce. And we have all benefited.

On behalf of the International Trade Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and our partners throughout the region — thank you, Walter.

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Hong Kong Trade Agency Recognized for Support of U.S. Exports

November 1, 2011

By Tim Truman, a public affairs specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

On October 18 in Hong Kong, Fred Lam (center), executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, was presented with the Peace through Commerce Award by Francisco Sánchez (right), under secretary of commerce for international trade. He was accompanied by Andrew Wylegala (left), senior commercial officer in Hong Kong. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo

On October 18 in Hong Kong, Fred Lam (center), executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, was presented with the Peace through Commerce Award by Francisco Sánchez (right), under secretary of commerce for international trade. He was accompanied by Andrew Wylegala (left), senior commercial officer in Hong Kong. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo

Fred Lam, executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) was presented with the Peace through Commerce Award in recognition of his organization’s support of U.S. exports through the Pacific Bridge Initiative (PBI). The award was made by Francisco Sánchez, under secretary of commerce for international trade, at a ceremony in Hong Kong on October 18, 2011.

“I’m proud to honor Fred Lam today for his decades of service and his pioneering efforts with the groundbreaking Pacific Bridge Initiative,” said Sánchez. “The PBI has been a win-win collaboration for America and Hong Kong. It’s helping us to achieve President Obama’s National Export Initiative goals, and supporting Hong Kong’s efforts to be the pre-eminent commercial platform for this dynamic part of the world.”

The PBI was introduced in 2010. It aims to leverage the existing U.S.-Hong Kong trade relationship to explore new markets, particularly in Asia and China, in support of the National Export Initiative (NEI). Through it, the HKTDC became the first government body outside the United States to promote the NEI on a bilateral basis. Since its inception, the PBI has helped triple the number of export transactions to Asia by new-to-market U.S. firms.

RELATED: Pacific Bridge Initiative

The Peace through Commerce Award is a medal given to recognize an individual, group, or organization, either domestic or foreign, whose actions have significantly promoted and developed U.S. export initiatives, encouraged innovative approaches, and improved overall U.S. trade relations. It dates back to the first secretary of state, Thomas Jefferson, who commissioned the medal in 1790. Then known as the Diplomatic Medal, Jefferson awarded it to foreign diplomats who aided the Continental Congress during the American Revolution.

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About the E Awards

October 4, 2011

by John Ward, a writer in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

Combustion Associates Inc. was one of 27 U.S. companies and organizations that were recipients of this year’s E Awards. The award traces its origins to World War II, when more than 4,000 E Pennants were presented to war plants in recognition of their production excellence. The famous flag with a big E emblazoned on it became a badge of patriotism in action. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy revived this symbol of excellence by creating the President’s E Award. It was established as a means of giving recognition to people, firms, or organizations that have made significant contributions to increase U.S. exports. Since that time, more than 2,500 awards have been made. In 1969, the secretary of commerce created a related award, the President’s E Star Award to recognize the continuing export expansion contributions of previous E Award recipients.

Winners of the awards are authorized to fly a blue and white banner, to display the accompanying certificate of commendation, to wear and issue to employees an E lapel pin, and to refer to the award in their advertising. The awards are usually presented in May during World Trade Week at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C.

For more information about the E Awards, visit http://trade.gov/cs/eaward.asp

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