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No. 115 / 2017

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Power Benefits

Enrique Pena Nieto and Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Enrique Pena Nieto and Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Henry Kissinger, Angelica Rivera de Pena
Henry Kissinger, Angelica Rivera de Pena
Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Mary Barra, Carlos Slim
Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Mary Barra, Carlos Slim

Ron Prosor, Israeli Ambassador to UN, and Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Ron Prosor, Israeli Ambassador to UN, and Rabbi Arthur Schneier


Mexico President Honored
With World Statesman Award

HE General Motors CEO, Mary T. Barra, was overjoyed to share the stage with the chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Robert A. Eiger, and the president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto. All three were honored by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation at a dinner in September 2014 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

Mary Barra, 53, pointed to the strong ties that GM has with her co-honorees. GM was Disney’s first corporate partner at EPCOT in 1979. And 2016 will mark the 80th anniversary of GM operations in Mexico. So there are ties all around.

She acknowledged the progress that the Appeal of Conscience, founded by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, has made to advance tolerance, freedom and inclusion in the world. Her father was a die maker at GM’s Pontiac division for 39 years. He retired in 1980, same year when she started.

In the last 10 years of his career, he saw GM elect its first African-American board member (Rev. Leon Sullivan), its first woman board member, and establish the industry’s first minority supplier and minority dealer programs.

"My dad saw a lot of work to foster diversity and inclusion within GM," Barra said. "Yet he probably never imagined a day when GM would employ more than 32,000 women around the globe, or when one-fifth of our executives would be women, and one-fourth of our officers and one-third of our board member would be women."

She added: "I doubt he ever imagined that GM would have a woman CEO!"

Robert Iger, 63, said he was much inspired by Rabbi Schneier’s unwavering optimism. Optimism is the essential part of the Walt Disney Company. It’s found in every Disney story—love and friendship, courage and empowerment, acceptance and inclusiveness.

"We connect with these stories…We want good to conquer evil, peace instead of conflict, and who doesn’t want to live ‘happily ever after’?"

The New York Times reported that under Iger’s nine-year leadership, Disney’s market capitalization rose to $153 billion from $48.4 billion.

Enrique Pena Nieto, 48, president of Mexico for two years, received the foundation’s World Statesman Award. He was accompanied by his wife, the elegant Angelica Rivera, a former soap opera star.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the keynote speaker, said the United States holds a unique advantage in the world, based on the platform of NAFTA but extending well beyond the realm of free trade.

"I would like to see the United States begin to think about trade, climate and other economic negotiations with a North American and not simply U.S. mindset. NAFTA not only exists, but the U.S. industrial, energy and transport sectors are increasingly North American in scale and scope. Our approach to trade negotiations, like those between the U.S. and Europe and between the U.S. and parts of Asia…ought to reflect those realities."


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