Our Transatlantic Partnership
17th Annual Netherland - America Foundation Gala Awards Dinner
Washington D.C. - Former Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende will deliver the keynote address at the Netherland-America Foundation (NAF) Gala Awards Dinner on Friday, May 11, 2012.
Professor Dr. Balkenende, who served as Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs in three governments from July 2002 until October 2010, will speak on Our Transatlantic Partnership at the black-tie dinner to be held at the Washington Golf and Country Club in Arlington, VA.
Each year, the NAF Gala Awards Dinner celebrates Dutch-American heritage and friendship by honoring individuals who have made distinguished contributions to furthering business, political and cultural relations between the Netherlands and the United States. The awards named for recent American Ambassadors to the Netherlands will be presented to the following recipients:
Jan Peter Balkenende will receive the Ambassador J. William Middendorf II Award for Excellence in the Furtherance of Amity between the Netherlands and the United States. Dr. Balkenende knows well the importance of the relationship between our two nations, as he lived it throughout his political career.
Mary Vermeer Andringa will receive the Ambassador C. Howard Wilkins, Jr. Award for Outstanding Professional Accomplishments in Corporate Leadership. Mary Andringa has reached the peak of American business by becoming CEO of Vermeer Corporation, the Pella, Iowa farming equipment company her father founded 64 years ago. She manages a global corporation that opened its first overseas operation in Goes, the Netherlands, in 1970, and now markets 100 agricultural and industrial products worldwide, operating 1.5 million square feet of manufacturing space.
Herbert Pinedo will receive the Ambassador K. Terry Dornbush Award for Substantial Contributions to Strengthening Relations in Philanthropy, Education or Culture in the Netherlands or the United States. Professor Dr. Pinedo has dedicated his life to battling cancer. He is a professor of medical oncology at the Free University of Amsterdam, but has also been a visiting professor at The Johns Hopkins University, showcasing the great partnership between our two nations.
In a true illustration of Dutch and U.S. friendship, the Dutch Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Renée Jones-Bos, and William Tucker, Esq., Gala Awards Dinner Chair, will give the welcoming remarks at the dinner, with additional remarks by Ennius E. Bergsma, Chair of the NAF. Kurt Dykstra, Mayor of Holland, Michigan, serves as Master of Ceremonies, and entertainment will be provided by the musical political satirist, Ken Rynne of Planet Washington.
The dinner coincides —almost to the day— with the founding of the NAF on May 10, 1921, by, amongst others, future U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Edward Bok, the then recently retired editor of Ladies Home Journal. The NAF is the leading bilateral foundation that develops exchange opportunities between the Netherlands and the United States, such as the NAF/Fulbright Fellowships; programs in the arts, sciences, education, business, public policy and historic preservation (with six chapters in major regions in the United States); and an internship program whereby students participate in five summer institutes at Georgetown University in Washington, DC:
1.Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems
2.Institute on Political Journalism
3.Institute on Business and Government Affairs
4.Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service
5.Institute on Economics and International Affairs
*** To apply to cover the NAF Awards Dinner and for more information, press may contact Angela Molenaar, NAF Executive Director, email@example.com R.S.V.P. is required by Tuesday, May 8. Press credentials are compulsory.