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September 18, 2013

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Home » Metro » Expat Community

City honors 53 foreigners with award

Fifty-three foreigners were honored with the Shanghai Magnolia Silver Award for their outstanding contributions to the city at Xijiao State Guest Hotel yesterday.

The award, named after Shanghai’s city flower, is given to foreigners who have made significant contributions to the economy, business environment, international relations, community development and management standards.

Among the recipients were Pierre Bertholat, former vice president of Carrefour (China) Management & Consulting Service Co Ltd, Robert Earl Socia, president of General Motors (China) Investment Co Ltd, and Jeffrey Sean Lehman, vice chancellor of New York University Shanghai.

“I feel much honored. I think it’s an important prize. It’s a recognition for people running business in China, recognition for me and recognition for all the work done by my team,” said Bertholat, who is now with Carrefour France and flew in all the way from France to receive the award yesterday.

During his tenure in Shanghai, Bertholat focused on buying directly from farmers. About 50 percent of vegetables and fruits in Carrefour Shanghai stores are bought directly from farmers.

“China has more than 1 million farmers and many of them have difficulty in selling products. By working directly with them, we can help them deal with the issue and stabilize the price of food,” Bertholat said. He said among the most memorable moments in China was helping more than 100 disabled people to realize their dream of visiting the Shanghai World Expo in 2010 and arranging a trip to the FINA World Championships for 40 children with hearing impairment.

“The award is also a recognition for social responsibility. A company cannot only focus on business. It has a social responsibility as well, said Bertholat, who spent 20 years in China.

Among the winners are seven people who are involved in education.

Lehman, vice chancellor of NYU Shanghai, the first Sino-US joint venture university which started just two weeks ago, said he was deeply moved to receive the award. He said he will work to make sure the university becomes a symbol of pride of the city.

Li Mingjun, director of the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office, presented citations and medals to the winners at a ceremony yesterday afternoon.

Li thanked them for their contribution and efforts to the development of  the city and hoped they would continue to support the city’s social and economic development, in particular, the construction of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

The Shanghai Magnolia Award was established in 1989.



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