Under Secretary Jeffery Presents 2008 Secretary of State's Awards for Corporate ExcellenceReuben Jeffery III, Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs
Benjamin Franklin Room
November 6, 2008
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SULLIVAN: Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the State Department. It’s great to see so many colleagues, so many foreign dignitaries here this morning at the 10th Anniversary of the Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence, or as we call it at the State Department, the ACE Award. My name is Dan Sullivan. I’m the Assistant Secretary of State for the Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs Bureau. And again, on behalf of the Secretary, I want to welcome everybody here this morning.
This is an event at the State Department we look forward to each year because it’s a chance for us to showcase some of the truly outstanding work that American businesses do overseas on a daily basis. In a few moments, we will announce this year’s winners, but I first want to make a few remarks on what we see as the key elements of the ACE Award.
As I mentioned, it’s the 10th Anniversary. The ACE Award was established in 1999 in order to recognize the critical role that U.S. businesses play abroad in advancing good corporate citizenship and democratic principles – actions that help create enabling environments where democracy and economic empowerment can flourish.
U.S. companies are nominated by American ambassadors throughout the world. Nominations are based on achievements in areas such as employment practices, responsible environmental stewardship, and contributions to the overall growth and development of the local economy in which these companies operate. Winners represent both large multinational companies and small-to-medium size enterprises. We have representatives of ACE alumni here, and we are very glad that you could be here with us today.
This anniversary year, the interagency team that evaluates our ACE Awards evaluated over 60 nominations, and we very much want to thank our embassies who worked so hard in putting these very, very thorough nominations together. Our 11 ACE finalists who were announced in September are U.S. companies operating throughout the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. And every one of these nominees is doing very, very important work on the ground in their host countries to enable the citizens of these countries to achieve a better life for their families and the citizens in their communities.
The ACE Award speaks to the Secretary’s vision of transformational diplomacy. ACE winners past and present promote change through the vitality of public-private partnerships. They remind us that the best type of foreign assistance is one that helps people help themselves. ACE winners have helped promote growth and prosperity in communities around the globe, leaving behind a long-term legacy with their best practices and their unique American optimism.
This morning, the Under Secretary for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs Reuben Jeffery will be presenting today’s award on behalf of the Secretary. It gives me great pleasure to introduce Under Secretary Jeffery, not only because he is my boss, but because he is a good friend and a distinguished servant, public servant, to the United States and one who also has a fantastic background in the private sector. So in many ways, that combination makes Reuben really the perfect presenter of today’s award.
Briefly, Under Secretary Jeffery is in charge of all international economic and energy issues at the State Department. He also chairs the interagency ACE Principals Selection Committee, which has done fantastic work over the last several months, looking at the different nominations, evaluating these nominations, and his leadership has gotten us to this day.
Before joining the State Department, Reuben served as the chairman of the Commodities Future Trading Commission, as a special assistant to the President for the Economic Directorate at the National Security Council, and as a representative and executive director of the Coalition Provisional Authority at the Pentagon. And prior to his government service, as I mentioned, Reuben had a very distinguished career in the private sector.
I am also pleased that we are linking today, as part of this award, with our U.S. embassies overseas, to take part in this important ceremony. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce Under Secretary Reuben Jeffery. (Applause.)
UNDER SECRETARY JEFFERY: Good morning, everybody. And all of you, thank you for taking time out to be with us here in the Ben Franklin Room to celebrate this year’s award for Corporate Excellence. Secretary Rice deeply regrets that she’s not able to be with you today; she’s on international travel, one of the benefits or burdens – but benefits in her mind – of the job, to not necessarily always have control over her international travel schedule.
But this award is something to which she has been strongly committed over the course of her tenure as Secretary of State, as have her predecessors in the Secretary roles – Secretary’s role over the past decade.
I see many friends and colleagues here in the room, too numerous to recognize, but I can’t resist trying to recognize a couple. My predecessor, Under Secretary Al Larson, president of the organization OPIC Rob Mosbacher, president/chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation John Danilovich, Ambassador Craig Kelly, Jim Glassman, Under Secretary for Public Affairs and Diplomacy here at the State Department, and many, many others. And particularly those of you from the diplomatic community; I know we have the Deputy Chief of Mission from Colombia, from China here today. We’re deeply grateful for your participation and those of your colleagues in today’s events, and obviously, for those of you who are on the phone or the video in other locations listening in.
As Dan mentioned, this is the 10th year during which we’re formally recognizing contributions that American corporations make to communities in which they operate through the vehicle of the ACE Awards. We are pleased here also to welcome prior winners and representatives of their countries, as well as some of you who’ve had an involvement in the ACE process in prior years and this year.
Most notably – I can’t recognize you all – but I would be remiss in not extending our deep appreciation for, really, the choreographer and the intellectual heft behind the ACE Awards, Ms. Nancy Smith-Nissley, who has been doing this since inception and is responsible for both the substance and the form of the award development, the selection process. And the competition can be very deep and the discussions get very intense amongst those of us who are making the selections; she acts as the referee and the arbiter and keeps us moving forward under sometimes challenging circumstances, and she does all the logistics and arrangements. So, Nancy, thank you very much. (Applause.)
The Award for Corporate Excellence was born from the recognition that the American business community can shape the way others view the United States. In many communities across the globe where people often may never encounter a diplomat, the business sector is the face of the United States that communities and real people see. This year, we have 11 outstanding ACE finalists. They include Cargill, Dole, Esso, Google, Microsoft, Occidental, Starbucks, STM Telecom, SURevolution, Virtusa, and Weyerhaeuser. They all deserve our recognition and thanks, and they were the finalists out of a broader group of some 60 potential candidates that were recommended through the embassy system around the world – all extremely qualified, each one, in their own right.
American businesses, from the smallest entrepreneurs to the largest multinational companies, are taking opportunities to participate in the global economy and also to participate in civil society in their communities. Their operations in so doing strengthen our own economy and foster cross-border partnerships that bring benefits around the world. Here in Washington and at our embassies and consulates abroad, we’re very proud to associate ourselves with the work of U.S. businesses as we address the challenges and opportunities associated with creating and preserving a strong global economy. That’s no more true than in today’s environment. U.S. businesses, by their actions, convey the message that democracy, good governance, free enterprise, and fair play are the way toward prosperity and expanded economic opportunity.
This year we honored two companies, one large and one small, that have exhibited the best qualities of ingenuity, character, and integrity in their international activities. We are pleased to announce the first of these – of today’s two recipients of the 2008 ACE Award. The small and medium-size enterprise winner this year is SURevolution, based in New York, but for its work in Colombia. Known as SUR, the company is a wonderful example, as you will hear shortly, of the positive impact a small business, a small American business, can make to the economy and society of its host country. Ambassador William Brownfield is celebrating SURevolution’s work in Bogota and Colombia, as we simultaneously recognize SURevolution’s executives here.
SUR currently works with some 1,500 indigenous artisans in Colombia uncovering the history of their products, protecting the valuable natural resources that are needed for their production, enhancing quality and design, and ensuring adequate manufacturing capacity. Many of the indigenous groups that work with SUR reside in areas of Colombia where coca production and narcotrafficking had once been commonplace. As a result of SUR’s investment, these at-risk communities are more secure and better able to meet their own economic needs.
SUR works with other vulnerable groups, including disadvantaged Afro-Colombians, others who have been displaced by the long-running violence, former illegal combatants and war victims. Employment generated through SUR-supported assistance has provided Colombian artisans sustainable living wages, more secure communities, and the preservation of their unique culture. And most importantly, it’s given many people hope.
The State Department is pleased to recognize SURevolution with a 2008 Award for Corporate Excellence. I’d like to ask SUR’s founders, Marcella Echavarría, and Dina Rothstein to step forward. (Applause.)
All right. For those of you who might have thought I was with Diplomatic Security wearing this, like, thing around -- behind my ear, this is the part of the program where I’ve got to listen to my instructions. And they’re telling me now is the time to unveil the award. (Laughter.) And with that, congratulations. (Applause.) Now they’re not telling me whether I have to reveal it. I think I won’t. (Laughter.) But what they are telling me is whatever you do, don’t touch it. It’s very fragile. (Laughter.) So I’ll leave that to you ladies in a little bit.
Now, why don’t we go on and turn to the Award for Corporate Excellence in the multinational category. Maria? Okay. Now, Maria – Marcella, will you – do you want to make some remarks and then Dina? Excellent. Thank you.
MS. ECHAVARRIA: It's a great honor and a great pleasure to be here with you today. I founded SURevolution from a crazy idea about four years ago. The idea was to bring the world of artisans to a luxury market to elevate what people were doing in a very precarious level and to really bring it to where it should deserve to be, which is in the windows of Madison Avenue and in the stores all over the world and in houses and magazines and everything. We work in Colombia with urban, rural and indigenous communities.
Since two years ago, we have started to work with ex-combatants of Colombia’s peace process. Now, we have under the same roof a unique experiment on world peace. We have ex-guerillas, ex-paramilitaries and ex-soldiers working and making beautiful products that preserve their culture and their identity and that communicate hope for a better life. They’re making orders for many different companies, such as Pottery Barn. And we have actually included whole training programs for – to improve the production capacities and to really make an impact and embrace them in this whole network of entrepreneurs, which is what we feel would make a difference in today’s world.
We believe that change can happen. We are very proud of this award. And this award belongs to the artisans. I know that in Colombia, at the ceremony that they’re hosting at the Embassy now, the main representatives of our artisan communities are there. They traveled from many different villages. They took buses from far away. We have the gypsies, we have the Sikuanis, we have the Wadjus, we have the people who are doing the leather leaves. We are very proud and this award is all for you, so we are accepting the award on behalf of the artisans.
Thank you very much to the State Department. Thank you very much to the U.S. Embassy in Bogota. Thank you very much, Under Secretary, for giving us the award. And I think the work has just begun. We have a lot of things to do. We have a lot of change to make. And we would need a lot of people to hold hands with us and make it happen.
I would like to introduce to you Dina Rothstein, co-CEO and creative director of SURevolution. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
MS. ROTHSTEIN: Hi. As you just saw in the video, the artisans we work with are unique and top talent. They use materials which go beyond the ordinary, elevating traditional concepts into contemporary lifestyle products, where they find a context in the lives of everyday consumers. Many of our artisans began as sole practitioners, people who we were fortunate enough to found – to find, who had recently started a business of their own.
Now, as partners of SUR – with SUR, because of the growing stream of orders, many of them have functioning businesses employing numerous people who, in turn, can provide for themselves and their families. In other instances, we work with artisan communities who had few or no commercial outlets for their traditional crafts and have been forced to seek employments in other sectors. Now, they have revived their craft and apprenticed their children in their ancestral traditions.
As our business and that of our artisans continue to grow and require labor, we see an opportunity to create clusters led by master artisans who train the growing numbers of displaced and immobilized people who need a means to reintegrate into society. We believe the sustainability of Colombia’s peace process will rely on people having hope that they will have a means to provide for themselves and their families. SURevolution hopes to contribute in whatever we can by generating jobs that provide a better future. It is on behalf of all the employees of SUR, the artisans we’ve worked with from Colombia to India, and the hundreds of other likeminded, socially responsible companies that we humbly thank the American Government for this award. Thank you. (Applause.)
UNDER SECRETARY JEFFERY: Thank you very much, Marcella and Dina. I hope all of you will have a chance after to engage directly with them and their colleagues and maybe meet some of these artisans over at the Colombian Embassy, or even better, go to Colombia yourself and see the fruits of the wonderful work that SURevolution and so many people are embarked upon.
Now, let me turn to this year’s winner of the Award for Corporate Excellence in the multinational category. This year, for the 2008 ACE Award, is Cargill of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a truly international company. But this award in particular is for its steadfast example of good corporate governance in China. Ambassador Clark Randt is celebrating in Beijing with Cargill executives, staff, and Chinese Government officials and friends as we make this announcement here today.
Cargill’s good works are really too numerous to cite in their entirety. But to name a few, the company, through its China Cares Program, has invested over a million dollars in rural education development programs. Through the China Cares fund-sponsored projects, Cargill’s employees have engaged local communities in several projects, including planting trees, giving scholarships to needy students and providing food, water, and clothing to victims of natural disasters. Most recently and perhaps most prominently, Cargill was actively involved in the tragedy of this winter’s – this spring’s earthquake that shook Sichuan province where Cargill, along with other companies -- Chinese, American, and others from around the world -- came to the assistance of those aggrieved populations.
Cargill has also donated generously to renovating school facilities in over 20 schools located near Cargill’s facilities, and has created matching funds programs to support rural development initiatives in environment, education, and health.
In order to encourage rural development more specifically, Cargill has created a program to train farmers in China on the latest livestock husbandry and feeding technologies. To this end, the company has trained some 2 million farmers – that’s a lot of farmers – and instructed them on contemporary farming and animal nutrition techniques. There are some 15 Cargill-sponsored farmer training centers throughout the country, and approximately 200,000 farmers attend these -- this training on an annual basis.
That’s just to name a few examples of Cargill’s work in public service and supporting civil society in China. As I said, there are many others, and I could go on, but I’ll leave that to Cargill’s leadership.
Cargill’s efforts are really a model of responsible corporate citizenship. Therefore, it’s with great pleasure that we present this year’s award to Cargill. And here with us today is their Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Gregory Page. Greg, thank you.
(The award was presented.)
Thank you, Under Secretary Jeffery, and particularly to the State Department Selection Committee for honoring Cargill and its 4,400 employees in China with this award. I would like to thank Deputy Chief of Mission Xie Feng for being with us today, and hopefully you will extend our greetings to Ambassador Zhou who has joined us many times and has been a great supporter.
I am pleased to accept this Award on behalf of Cargill and, as I said, our 4,400 employees in China. It is deeply gratifying for me to see this extraordinarily dedicated workforce recognized for its contributions to China’s economic and social development. That the recognition comes from the highest levels of the U.S. Government makes it that much more rewarding, especially considering the quality of the many finalists in this year’s competition.
For Cargill, corporate social responsibility is a process of continually improving our standards, our actions and our practices. It is a company-wide commitment to work in and with communities (coughing) – pardon me – to tackle complex economic, environmental, and social challenges wherever we do business.
We recognize that Cargill’s continued success, not just in China but around the world, depends on the growth and health of our stakeholders. In equal measure, it depends as well on the continued vitality of the world’s natural resources. We believe strongly that it is possible to pursue economic growth and responsible environmental stewardship at the same time. Indeed, we believe that is the only way in which we can pursue growth responsibly.
Four years ago, Ambassador Zhou came to Cargill’s headquarters in Minnesota, and he told us agricultural development is China’s number one opportunity and priority. The majority of the country’s 1.3 billion people still live in rural areas. Developing a better life for them meant developing a stronger agricultural sector, and he asked that Cargill play a role in rural education and in providing, particularly, better services and education to China’s farmers.
Our team in China heard that challenge from the Ambassador and got to work. Because of our strong global network and long experience in agriculture, Cargill is in a unique position to address some of China’s key rural development challenges. We are using that advantage or vantage point to pursue with local governments and development agencies an effective implementation program aimed at addressing the opportunities we have in rural China. Our employees are engaged, as Under Secretary Jeffery said, in a host of innovative public and private partnerships in China. I’d like to name a couple.
One, particularly helping to raise farmers’ income through the adoption of better practices in their individual enterprises. Secondly, to prevent the spread of animal disease, and the Cargill team worked tirelessly with the Chinese Government around a number of important animal disease issues; to advance environmental stewardship, promote rural education, assist in disaster relief and, importantly, to implement innovative food safety programs as we participate in the food ingredient business within China and with exports from China.
The whole Cargill China team has put incredible effort into corporate social responsibility for many years. Within Cargill, we are proud that their hard work is being recognized here today. The real winners, of course, are the communities where we work and operate each and every day.
I would like to conclude by saying, again, thank you, to the State Department, but particularly speaking to our employees in China, I cannot tell you how proud I am as I visit the schools that you have built with your own hands. I was there with you in August in Tianjin and Songyuan and to hear the thanks of the parents of those schoolchildren in those rural communities engendered great pride for me, and I want to share that great pride back with you, and my sincere thanks.
I also want to wish you good luck with your fourth annual marathon on the 29th of November, which is an important fundraising event. Hundreds and hundreds of people running 26 miles for rural education, and it will be held again this year in Beijing on the 29th of November.
So my thanks to all of you, my thanks to the State Department. (Applause.)
UNDER SECRETARY JEFFERY: Now, I invite all of you to join us for the interactive portion of the program here. Let me turn to our colleagues and friends who will join us from Bogotá. They’re celebrating via satellite feed here. There they are. Let us start with Ambassador Brownfield, and Juan Miguel Caicedo design and production coordinator, SURevolution, in Bogotá.
AMBASSADOR BROWNFIELD: Thank you very much, Dr. J, Assistant Secretary Sullivan.
Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning from Bogotá. If you look on your screen, you will see a large number of bright, smiling faces. There are several reasons for that. One, the sun is shining, which in Bogotá is an almost historic and unprecedented event. Second, unlike with those grumpy bunch of people at Embassy Beijing, it’s 9:30 in the morning, we’re on our second cup of Colombian coffee, and we’re feeling pretty good right now. And third, I am seated immediately in between the representative of a winner, and a representative of one of the finalists in this year’s ACE Awards process.
Ladies and gentlemen, Colombia is a country in transition. It is a country that is pulling out of 20 or 30 years of what could almost be called a national nightmare. This is a process that involves the social, economic, political, security, human rights, police, and virtually all elements of Columbian society. But the private sector plays a key role in this process. The private sector must be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Here in Colombia, the company, SURevolution, which is down here known throughout the country at SUR, has been an absolutely perfect model as to how to how a small business can in fact contribute not just as a major commercial and economic player, but as a social, humanitarian, cultural, and historic player as well in this drama. They are a successful business. They support small artisans. They support the maintenance and continuation of cultures and traditions that have existed in this country for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. They partner with the USAID mission, other governments, and other NGOs, and they have clearly made Colombia a better country by and through their efforts. Therefore, it should come as no great surprise as any of you to learn that it is a great pleasure and, in fact, honor, to introduce to you the Colombia country representative of SURevolution here in Colombia, the distinguished Juan Miguel Caicedo.
Juan Miguel, over to you.
MR. CAICEDO: Thank you. It’s a great honor for me to accept this award on behalf of SURevolution’s artisans and employees. I thank the Department of State, the American Embassy in Bogotá, and USAID for recognizing the importance of the work of artisans in today’s world.
I have seen SURevolution evolve from an idea, in fact, a crazy idea, to a company that is having an impact on the life of many people. Artisans from remote areas of Colombia, like Sikuanis from Meta, have had their ancestral work exhibited internationally, which has meant that their children are seeing a future on their cultural legacy, and are learning the craft that has been neglected for so long in these areas of conflict and war. The Gitanos are also experiencing a cultural revival that goes hand-in-hand with the innovation and market acceptance in the metal work that they have made for generations.
In Bogota, SURevolution has implemented the idea of clusters, where master artisans are teaching ex-combatants different crafts according to their interests and skills. Most of the Pottery Barn orders that can be seen in their website, catalog and stores are made by groups that include ex-guerillas, ex-soldiers, and people with disabilities in a unique experiment in world peace.
SURevoluition, our revolution of the south, refers to doing things in a different way, inverting the world order and working from the perspective of economic values where talent, quality and culture are valued properly so they can continue for many generations to come.
SURevolution premise is to work from the market backwards so that materials and techniques can be adapted to changing trends and lifestyles, thus allowing for constant orders and the presence of products across many market segments.
Our work is just beginning, and we see this work as a turning point to reach more regions and more market by providing jobs to many artisans and beautiful products to people around the world. Thank you again to the American Government for supporting a handmade revolution.
UNDER SECRETARY JEFFERY: Okay. Thank you very much for those remarks. Let us turn now, fast forward to the other side of the globe to Beijing: Ambassador Clark Randt and Norwell Coquillard, president of Cargill China.
AMBASSADOR RANDT: Thank you, Mr. Under Secretary. Can you hear us?
UNDER SECRETARY JEFFERY: Yes.
AMBASSADOR RANDT: Good. Okay. In fact, I’m not grumpy. (Laughter.) I’m personally delighted this evening here in Beijing that Cargill has been recognized for its outstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility in China. Cargill’s philanthropic contributions and achievements in China speak for themselves. Over the years, Cargill and its employees have contributed their time, their expertise, and their financial resources to a wide variety of projects in China.
I’d also like to commend Cargill for the leading role it has played in the area of food safety. Cargill has been training rural communities, Chinese Government officials, academics, and business leaders about food safety for years. Cargill is ahead of the curve, bringing important new skills and practices to China. I am proud that Cargill, an American corporation, has shown leadership in setting new standards in China for corporate citizenship and philanthropy. Cargill has proved that CSR is not just a social obligation, but good business as well. Again, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Cargill. And now, I’d like to invite Mr. Norwell Coquillard, president of Cargill China, to speak.
MR. COQUILLARD: Thank you, Ambassador Randt, and yes, I should note that it is 10 o’clock in the evening here and we are sipping our Chinese tea. So thank you, Under Secretary Jeffery, for bestowing on Cargill China the Award for Corporate Excellence for 2008. And thank you, Deputy Chief of Mission Xie, for joining us today. It’s a great honor for Cargill, and the Cargill team is extremely proud of this recognition.
We at Cargill have extensive experience and expertise in agriculture, food safety, and risk management, and we are working hard to apply our skills to assist China’s development. Over the years, our corporate responsibility efforts have been primarily focused on the rural areas. Let me add a few illustrations to highlight my points.
As mentioned earlier, we heard Cargill has trained over 2 million Chinese farmers on crop nutrition, animal breeding, and feeding technologies to increase productivity and improve animal health. We have helped Chinese farmers earn more income by sharing our best technologies.
In 2007, the Cargill Care’s Rural Education Program was launched to renovate 40 rural schools. The first project, which was completed last year, was in a town called Linji in Sichuan province. During the devastating earthquake in May of 2008, the school stood firm and protected its students, over 200 of them, while the surrounding neighborhood was devastated.
Cargill and its employees contributed over $1 million for the relief and rebuilding efforts after the earthquake. A group of our employees, which were just shown on the screen, volunteered in the province and had the privilege of meeting Premier Wen Jiabao when he toured the reconstruction efforts. This was a great honor for our team.
Cargill has set up 31 employee-led Cargill Cares Councils in 19 provinces. The Cargill Cares Councils have been instrumental in delivering our corporate responsibility programs. They identify local needs, design programs, and drive the implementation of these programs. Over the past five years, Cargill China employees have contributed over 24,000 hours to community service. Cargill Cares Councils and our employees are the backbone of our corporate responsibility efforts, and without them Cargill would never have been able to accomplish all the projects that we have achieved. This award really belongs to them.
Again, thank you for recognizing Cargill and Cargill China with this great award. We know that being a good corporate citizen in China and everywhere we operate is not only good for the communities where we operate, but it’s actually good for business. It’s truly a win-win situation.
Under Secretary Jeffery and Deputy Chief of Mission Xie, be assured that we will not rest on our laurels. We view corporate responsibility as a long-term journey and not just a short-term effort. As a Chinese saying goes, even the hardest journey begins with a single step, but we must continue to move forward and we will. Thank you. (Applause.)
UNDER SECRETARY JEFFERY: Thank you very much, Ambassador Randt and Mr. Coquillard. We very much appreciate those remarks, and I think we can, with the permission of the Deputy Chief of Mission, give you the rest of the evening off – in a few moments, not quite yet.
Let me again thank our participants from Bogota, from Beijing, for being participants in today’s meeting, and importantly, for all of the work you do in your respective countries every day working with your colleagues and our counterparties in Colombia and in China.
In conclusion, I just want to say simply that the ACE Awards really do – and I think you’ve seen it in the presentations today – reaffirm what is best about American business, American workers, and really the American spirit. The leadership of companies such as today’s recipients, SURevolution, Cargill, those companies that have preceded them as winners of the ACE Award, has never been as important to the United States, to the well-being of the global economy, to the countries in which they have the opportunity to work and serve, as it is now. From sustainable global development to environmental stewardship, to improving health, education, and most importantly, creating jobs and economic opportunity, these companies have taken the high ground, and for that they deserve our heartfelt, sincere appreciation.
Thank you again, in closing, for your contributions today, in the past, and your continued contributions to the communities in which you serve and all of you for making the effort to be here today and as supporters of the ACE Award and everything that it stands for. Thank you all. (Applause.)
Released on November 7, 2008