New York, June 4, 2014—On Tuesday, June 3, Americas Society hosted its 34th Annual Spring Party at the Waldorf Astoria New York. The benefit brought together over 550 global leaders from the private and public spheres, philanthropy, diplomacy, and the arts to celebrate the achievements of three extraordinary individuals.
Antonio del Valle, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors of Grupo Empresarial Kaluz; Enrique García, President and CEO of CAF - Development Bank of Latin America; and Francisco González, Chairman & CEO of BBVA, were awarded the Gold Medal for their significant impact on the worlds of international business, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and education through their leadership, commitment, and vision. First presented in 1977, the Gold Medal is Americas Society's highest honor, recognizing the recipients for their global contributions.
Americas Society and Council of the Americas President and CEO Susan Segal introduced the exceptional leaders being honored and celebrated the success of the gala, which will allow Americas Society to continue to offer programs of the highest caliber to a broad and diverse audience with a common interest in hemispheric affairs. "The Spring Party is one of our most important annual fundraising events. This year, your generous contributions have helped raise over $1.5 million—an impressive achievement," said Ms. Segal.
On presenting the Gold Medal to Antonio del Valle, Americas Society and Council of the Americas board member Thomas F. McLarty, III, described the honoree's entrepreneurial acumen and outstanding vision and achievements. Considered one of Mexico's leading entrepreneurs, Antonio del Valle built financial and industrial conglomerate Grupo Kaluz, now a leading industrial group in Mexico, Latin America, and Europe with links across the globe. He serves as a role model for family businesses in Latin America, having passed the leadership of his companies on to his children. Additionally, through the Kaluz Foundation, Mr. del Valle implements programs of high social and economic impact that support access to water and housing.
As he accepted the distinction, Antonio del Valle paid tribute to a group of outstanding individuals who preceded him. "I am truly honored to receive this recognition previously awarded to prominent individuals such as Mr. Carlos Fuentes, Mr. Enrique Iglesias, Mr. David Rockefeller, Mr. Mario Vargas Llosa, and Mr. Lorenzo Zambrano. I am grateful that an organization like Americas Society, which advances the dialogue on relevant issues in the Americas, has bestowed its highest honor on me. It is a great privilege and a big commitment, which I assume with enthusiasm," he said.
Americas Society and Council of the Americas Chairman Emeritus William R. Rhodes presented the Gold Medal to Enrique García. Under Mr. García’s leadership CAF - Development Bank of Latin America has been transformed into one of the most important development banks in the region. Over his 23-year tenure, Mr. García stood at the forefront of innovation, driving CAF to new markets. His vision helped enhance global interest and knowledge of Latin America, supporting it in both challenging and prosperous times. The reelection of Mr. García in 2011 for a fifth term reflects his outstanding accomplishments and hemispheric leadership.
"Latin America has many possibilities and we, at the institution I preside, are highly committed to promote stable, inclusive, and sustainable growth in the region. This recognition is a very important stimulus to continue working to provide a better quality of life for the majority of citizens in the continent, and fostering stronger partnerships in every area from trade and investments to culture exchanges in the hemisphere," said Mr. García.
Americas Society and Council of the Americas Vice Chairman Alan J. Stoga introduced Chairman & CEO of BBVA Francisco González as the evening's third Gold Medal honoree. By expanding abroad, Mr. González turned BBVA into one of the most important banking franchises and a truly global institution. He believes that innovation, technology, and corporate responsibility must be at the core of a business model, and he has promoted activities in the areas of scientific research, financial education, environment, and culture through the BBVA Foundation, The Microfinance Foundation, and the bank itself.
"Our principles help guide us in the Americas, where our presence in the U.S., Mexico, and South America gives us a clear perspective on the important interplay between the developed and emerging worlds. In many ways our bank can be seen as a bridge between these worlds, working for a better future for people," said Mr. González upon receiving the Gold Medal.
Americas Society's Gold Medal recognizes recipients' leadership and contributions to the worldwide business community, commitment to social and environmental responsibility, and active involvement with art and education initiatives across the Americas. Previous recipients of the Gold Medal include César Alierta, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Gustavo A. Cisneros, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Carlos Fuentes, Jorge Gerdau Johannpeter, Enrique Iglesias, Muhtar Kent, Andrónico Luksic, Thomas F. McLarty, III, Manuel Medina-Mora, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, William Rhodes, David Rockefeller, Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Roberto Egydio Setubal, Mario Vargas Llosa, Paul Volcker, Lorenzo H. Zambrano, and Ernesto Zedillo, among others.
Image: Americas Society and Council of the Americas Vice Chairman Alan J. Stoga; Chairman & CEO of BBVA Francisco González; Americas Society and Council of the Americas President and CEO Susan Segal; President and CEO of CAF - Development Bank of Latin America Enrique García; Americas Society and Council of the Americas Chairman Emeritus William R. Rhodes; Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors of Grupo Empresarial Kaluz Antonio del Valle; and Americas Society and Council of the Americas board member Thomas F. McLarty, III.
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Americas Society is the premier organization dedicated to education, debate and dialogue in the Americas. Established by David Rockefeller in 1965, our mission is to foster an understanding of the contemporary political, social and economic issues confronting Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationship.