Governor Palin has announced seven winners for this year's North Star Award for International Excellence -- an award she created in 2008 to honor excellence in these nine categories: trade (export of goods), trade (export of services), foreign investment, education, tourism, transportation, cultural exchange, humanitarian exchange or scientific exchange.
Alaska - Governor Sarah Palin has announced the seven companies and international organizations that won the Governor's North Star Awards for International Excellence. The awards were presented by Commissioner Emil Notti at the Export Alaska luncheon in Anchorage, attended by more than 150 Alaskans (North Star, 2009, ¶1).
“I’m proud of our state’s broad range of outstanding international activity,” Governor Palin said. “From export of aviation technology to cultural exchange to the visitor industry, Alaskans know how to promote positive international relations. It’s a privilege to honor this hard-working group (North Star, 2009, ¶2).
“I’m especially pleased to honor one of Alaska’s 13 Native corporations, Koniag, Inc., and the Alutiiq Museum. They persevered together for years to bring a significant collection of Alutiiq masks to Alaska from France to share with all of us” (North Star, 2009, ¶3).
The seven winners of the Governor's North Star Awards for International Excellence are listed below (North Star, 2009, ¶4).
Condor Airlines operates four passenger flights per week between Germany and Alaska from mid-May to mid-September each year. This direct international air service has brought thousands of visitors from German-speaking Europe to the state each year since 1993. This is Alaska’s only nonstop passenger service to Europe (North Star, 2009, ¶5).
ADS-B Technologies, based in Alaska, has exported more than $5 million of next- generation air traffic management technology and has installed ADS-B avionics in more than 500 aircraft worldwide. The company also maintains a network of ADS-B ground stations that spans more than 1,200 miles in central China (North Star, 2009, ¶6).
The Ketchikan-Kanayama Exchange brings Japanese middle school students from Kanayama, Japan each spring to spend time living with Ketchikan families, visiting schools, and participating in local events. Each summer a group of up to 20 Ketchikan students, along with chaperones, travels to Kanayama to live with families there for two weeks and to visit different schools in the area. The exchange program began in 1987 (North Star, 2009, ¶7).
The Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository and Koniag, Inc., have successfully spearheaded the effort to bring a significant collection of 34 Alutiiq masks and one bowl held in France back to Kodiak for exhibit and sharing with the Alutiiq people. The exhibit also traveled to Anchorage. The items, which are part of a larger collection, left Alaska in the 1870s and were taken to France. Alutiiq Museum and Koniag shared one award for their cultural exchange project (North Star, 2009, ¶8).
The Alaska World Affairs Council, founded before Alaska became a state, provides a wide range of educational informative programs. It hosts distinguished lecturers and dignitaries, brings speakers to local schools, provides complimentary student admission to some programs, promotes citizen diplomacy by coordinating educational and professional programs for international professionals from around the world, and coordinates closely with the Juneau World Affairs Council (North Star, 2009, ¶9).
Rotary District 5010 spans the Russian Far East, Alaska and the Yukon. For one of dozens of their humanitarian projects, Alaska Rotarians invited Russian Rotarians and doctors to Alaska for a first-hand look at health care institutions. While in Homer, the group witnessed a Rotary Community Health Fair. As a result of this visit and other work, Rotary International headquarters in the USA provided a $330,000 grant in 2007 to support a three-year program to expand Rotary health fairs in Russia. Fifteen permanent health fair centers in Russia have been established and these centers provided materials and training for health fairs in more than 50 additional cities in Russia (North Star, 2009, ¶10).
For more information about the Governor's North Star Awards for International Excellence, contact Patricia Eckert at (907) 269-7450 (North Star, 2009, ¶11).
This commentary was previously posted on April 9, 2009 when nominees were being sought for the award. It is apropos today as well, and is being re-run:
One of the byproducts of the 2008 Presidential campaign was the regular attacks on Governor Palin's international experience. While the establishment of these awards does not constitute foreign policy vis-a-vis relationships between the governments of sovereign nations, it is nonetheless important international experience. Some $3.6 billion per year is exported from the state of Alaska, which is a critical hub for goods destined to and from the Pacific Rim.
Awarding and recognizing businesses involved in the nine aspects of international activity delineated above indicates the Governor's commitment to ensuring that Alaska is and remains an international powerhouse. Though issued as routine press release, which was largely unreported, unstated is the significant underlying international experience that made this North Star Award possible. It was Governor Palin who conceived, developed, and implemented the award; she delineated with clarity its nine categories, and in so doing is fostering continued and increased global trade through her state.
Governor Palin has significant expertise and experience with international trade. Meetings with diplomats, consuls general and other international representatives from all parts of the world are routine for her -- the Governor is for practical purposes operating her own World Trade Center -- something governors of very few states can claim -- and something which she can and should be proud of. She doesn't even need a pair of 110-story offset buildings to operate her WTC from. The breadth and depth of her international experience as President and CEO of her state is preparing Governor Palin to handle international matters on a larger scale -- a very much larger scale....
Governor Palin honors international excellence in Alaska. (2009, May 21). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved May 21, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1854