|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and
Assistant Secretary Anthony Wayne,
Tom Rose, Director of Marketing for Land O' Frost, and
William S. Berry, Executive Vice President for Rayonier
Remarks at Corporate Excellence Award Presentation
December 19, 2000, Harry S Truman Building, Washington, DC
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
ASSISTANT SECRETARY WAYNE: Good morning, everybody. Madame Secretary, Under Secretary Larson, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to welcome you this morning to the Annual Awards for Corporate Excellence.
The State Department's Award for Corporate Excellence was established by Secretary Albright in 1999. This Award emphasizes the important role American companies can and do play overseas. These companies, through their international marketing, investment and other business activities, boost the prosperity of the United States and of the countries in which they are operating and working.
These companies' activities, just in intra-company trade in 1998, accounted for 32 percent of U.S. exports. Collectively, U.S. affiliates overseas employ more than 8 million people worldwide. And taken together, the U.S. overseas affiliates are some of the largest economic producers in the world. When you rank them, they rank right between Spain and South Korea in producing economic goods and welfare.
The Award for Corporate Excellence aims to highlight the best practices from the many U.S. affiliates which can serve as examples and help promote high standards. Now, of course, when a company decides to operate overseas, it is not just basing its decision on economics. They also have to take into account the legal environment, if the court system functions well, whether a foreign government sets and applies rules fairly and in a transparent manner.
In short, American businesses have a great interest in and must care a lot about good governance. While it is not surprising that Secretary Albright is also a tireless proponent of good governance, and she knows well the role -- the important role -- that economics play in American foreign policy, this Award is a sign of the importance she has given these issues throughout her tenure as Secretary of State.
So it is my very great pleasure and honor to introduce to you all today the Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I'm going to kiss all the people that have worked here who have been so helpful. So, Tony, you're right up there. Thank you very much. Under Secretary Larson, excellencies, honorees and friends from the business community, and distinguished colleagues and guests here in Washington and around the globe.
Of all the changes made during my tenure as Secretary of State, I think one of the most important has been to give our economic diplomacy the recognition it deserves. And of all the initiatives that reflect this new emphasis, the Award for Corporate Excellence is among the most meaningful, because American businesses really do play a vital role in helping our nation achieve its goals around the world.
And everywhere I travel, I see the best U.S. companies bringing to foreign economies not just American capital but American know-how, best practices, and the value of freedom. Such companies treat their workers as assets to be developed, not costs to be cut. They strive to succeed on the basis of inspiration and perspiration, not exploitation. And they are determined to demonstrate that globalization is an opportunity to be welcomed, not a force to be feared.
Such firms proudly observe the highest ethical and financial standards, and obey not just the letter but also the spirit of the law. They know that a sustainable and healthy business environment calls for a healthy natural environment. They care about the particular needs of their local communities, as well as the universal standards of human rights. And they know that there is no necessary conflict between profit and principle, between doing well and doing good.
In all these ways and others, our most far-sighted companies are doing a great deal to convey the standards and practices that can keep free market democracy a rising tide around the world. Now, no single company can be exemplary in every one of these areas, just as no one person can combine the strength of a Sumo wrestler with the speed of Marion Jones. But I am proud to say that, taken as a whole, this year's far-flung group of 25 award nominees was even stronger than last year's extraordinary crop, which produced not one but two winners.
Fortunately, we make the rules, so once more we changed them. And today I am delighted to announce the first of three winners of the Department of State Award for Corporate Excellence, the small to medium enterprise category, Frigorifico Canelones, whose parent company is Land O' Frost, Incorporated, of Lansing, Illinois.
The stories here are really quite fascinating. For half a dozen years now, Canelones has been one of Uruguay's top five exporters. Its investment in that country has not slackened, even in hard economic times. The company has earned the finest safety record in the meat industry, and its respect for the environment won the Government of Uruguay's coveted Green Certificate.
Canelones established a program to take care of homeless and abused children. It also gives back to the community by providing young people with school supplies, job fairs, a soccer program, and opportunities to gain work experience and learn English.
For all these reasons, it gives me great pleasure to present the Department of State Award for Corporate Excellence to the Director of Marketing for Land O' Frost, Mr. Tom Rose.
MR. ROSE: Thank you, Madame Secretary, Under Secretary Larson, Assistant Secretary Wayne, and Charge Miles in Uruguay, and distinguished guests.
Paul Van Eekeren, our Chairman and CEO, is unable to join us today. He sends his regrets and heartfelt thanks for this honor. On behalf of 800 employees in Uruguay and nearly 1,000 in the U.S., we are very honored to accept this Award for Corporate Excellence.
Land O' Frost has been in the Van Eekeren family for over 40 years now. We have grown from a small 14-person company on the south side of Chicago to the seventh largest selling lunch meat brand in the United States. We have also built a solid meat ingredient business and shelf-stable entrée business. Our growth comes from the hard work and dedication of many, many, long-time employees.
When we began looking to expand internationally, we saw a great opportunity to bring new technology, processes and manufacturing practices to Canelones. We expanded the plant; we purchased new equipment; and our management team, led by Bob Cawthorn, introduced U.S.-style production methods to the employees.
Over the past seven years, we have doubled our daily slaughter capacity and more than doubled our annual revenues. Canelones enjoys the distinction of being the largest beef exporter and the fifth largest exporter overall in Uruguay. We have also been awarded the Green Card for being environmentally friendly.
As we built our business, we became aware of significant need in the communities surrounding Canelones. We are one of the largest private employers in the area, and we feel a responsibility to support our employees' community. Bob began a series of charitable and community projects early on, and he has worked with many local organizations to identify the most worthwhile projects. Canelones has participated in a variety of projects in recent years, including sponsoring nine youth football teams, providing a new lighted football field with concession stands and locker rooms, job fairs for high school students, English tutoring, providing first job experience for high school students and graduates, support for flood victims in the town of Canelones, and providing school supplies for poor and orphaned children.
The Corporate Excellence Award is a very big honor for us. We are happy to make this investment in the people of Canelones. The credit for making this happen belongs to Bob Cawthorn, Daniel Belarati, and the entire management team in Uruguay. They are the reason Land O' Frost family values have flourished in Canelones.
Thank you, Bob, and thank you, Madame Secretary.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much, Mr. Rose.
I am now very pleased to announce the first of our two winners in the multinational category, Rayonier Corporation of Jacksonville, Florida. Rayonier, New Zealand is a wood products company that has shown special attention to the development of its employees, the needs of its community, and the concerns of the indigenous Maori people. Rayonier subsidizes the education and health of its employees, offers scholarships for their dependents, and runs programs to underscore equal employment opportunity.
The company has been a good neighbor by helping to meet community needs, ranging from emergency radios for school buses to skin cancer prevention for young people. And it has worked extensively with Maori landowners and groups to develop joint venture projects and environmental management strategies.
So I am very pleased to present the Department of State Award for Corporate Excellence to Rayonier's Executive Vice President, William S. Berry.
MR. BERRY: Madame Secretary and distinguished guests, on behalf of all Rayonier employees, but most particularly those in New Zealand, we are deeply honored to receive this Corporate Excellence Award. And we thank Ambassador Mosely-Braun and her staff in Wellington for nominating Rayonier and for the support she and her predecessors have given us over the past 11 years.
We would also like to express our appreciation for the State Department for creating such a program that recognizes the good things that American corporations do overseas, of which there are countless examples.
While we are grateful for this honor, we don't do anything in New Zealand that we don't do here in the United States or anywhere else in the word. Rayonier has been in existence for 70 years, and we fully understand that companies remain successful only with the support of their employees and the communities in which they operate. Thus, we have always taken seriously our responsibility to be a good corporate citizen, and that philosophy has been part of our corporate culture in New Zealand since we arrived in 1989.
And as the stewards of 220,000 acres of timberland throughout New Zealand, we know we have a special responsibility. We manage those forests for sustainability and to the very highest environmental standards, just as we do our 2.2 million acres of timberland here at home.
We are also very proud of the relationships we have created with the Maori people in the various joint ventures. These, too, are similar to the long-established relationships that we have enjoyed with the North American native tribes and corporations.
Lastly, we thank New Zealand for the opportunity of doing business there. Successive governments in New Zealand have created a climate that encourages investment and job creation. That government interest, plus an extraordinary friendliness of New Zealanders, has made it very easy to be a good corporate citizen. And, Ambassador Bulger, we thank you for being here today and for your longtime support.
Secretary Albright, again, we are deeply honored by this Award and we thank you.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you, Mr. Berry. I am delighted now to announce our second and final winner of the Department of State Award for Corporate Excellence in the multinational category, Motorola of Schaumburg, Illinois.
Motorola Malaysia has been one of the engines driving the Malaysian economy for more than a quarter century. Its investment of well over a billion dollars will grow by another 500 million in the next five years. But the story here is not quantity; is it quality. What was once a basic factory is now a world-class semiconductor facility. Malaysian-owned spin-off companies have grown to billion dollar enterprises, and Motorola is the first electronics multinational to start an R&D organization in Malaysia.
The company's involvement in the community includes scholarships, a school adoption program, and support for academic excellence. And it has responded to natural disasters with generosity and expertise.
Finally, Motorola has won numerous awards for its superb environmental stewardship by practicing design for the environment, developing a major water recycling system, and pioneering a post-consumer program that has already recycled some seven tons of used batteries.
For these and other reasons, it gives me great pleasure to present the Department of State's Award for Corporate Excellence to Motorola's President of Global Government Relations, Arnold Brenner.
MR. BRENNER: Thank you, Secretary Albright, Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Ambassadors and distinguished guests. On behalf of Motorola, and especially our employees in Malaysia, it is an honor to accept this Award for Corporate Excellence. We are gratified for being selected from such a distinguished list of nominees.
Let me first say how much we appreciate our work with the State Department. We are honored to work with you and the embassies around the world to help promote the global economy and Motorola's technology solutions. At Motorola we have always strived to achieve the ideals upon which this Award is based: to be good corporate citizens; to be the best in class in health and safety practices; to have respect for people; and, of course, to comply with the regulations and the laws of the countries in which we operate.
These subjects are the core of our very basic beliefs and values as a company. While we greatly appreciate this Award, we are not content to rest on our laurels. We are always striving to improve and find better and more innovative ways to enhance our business and, yet, become better corporate citizens.
Today we are here to recognize our more than 8,000 people in Malaysia. We are very proud of the 27-year history there and of our many accomplishments, many of which Secretary Albright has already highlighted. We credit our success in Malaysia to our talented and dedicated employees. I had the honor of managing that group for several years during my career at Motorola, and I can tell you that this group of employees is among the finest that Motorola has in the world. They are talented, dedicated, and really bring honor to the company.
We are also grateful to our strong business partners in Malaysia and of course our customers in the private sector and, finally, the Government of Malaysia that has, in fact, created an environment which allows us to grow the business and participate in the community.
So, Secretary Albright, thank you again on behalf of Motorola. We accept this Award with great pride and we pledge to keep working to uphold the ideals on which it was presented. Thank you.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much, Mr. Brenner. You know, if it seems like we've made a big deal out of these Awards, it is because they are a big deal, and the State Department's natural partnership with American business is something that I value very much. We both remain determined to build a more open, fair and broadly based system of global trade, and to help ensure that every foreign market on every continent, American businesses and workers, have a level playing field on which to compete.
And that is only one reason why we must continue our efforts to see that U.S. foreign policy receives the resources it requires. My designated successor, General Colin Powell, has already declared that he will work to build on the progress we have made in ensuring that our diplomacy gets the funding it demands and the support it deserves. And when he and I met on Sunday, we already talked about the importance of the partnership between the State Department and business.
This is not a partisan issue. It is a patriotic issue, and I hope we will have the continued support of the business community. That statement extends, by the way, to this Award itself. For the outstanding corporate citizenship of our three winners might never have come to our attention if not for the painstaking advocacy of Ambassador Christopher Ashby in Montevideo, Uruguay; Ambassador Carol Mosely-Braun in Wellington, New Zealand; and Ambassador Lynn Pascoe in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
And like all the other efforts of our foreign embassies and missions on behalf of American business, such advocacy would not be possible without resources.
So let me once more congratulate every company and every post that took part in this competition, including of course the Frigorifico Canelones team assembled in Montevideo; the Rayonier executives in Wellington; and the Motorola Malaysia team that is standing by in Kuala Lumpur.
You have all shown the world much of what is best in the American spirit. You have demonstrated anew the genius and generosity of American free enterprise. And you have set a standard of corporate excellence to which all your peers may aspire and of which all Americans may be very proud.
This has been so much fun, and since I'm going to be out of a job I don't know why they didn't choose me to do the Oscars. (Laughter.) So Happy Holidays to everybody. Thank you.
|[End of Document]|