Honoree and Award Recipients of 2016
Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed Jr., who passed away on September 29, 2016. Ambassador Reed dedicated much of his later life to producing “The Culture and Civilization of China”, a historically important book series. It is the fruit of cooperation between Chinese and Western scholars and publishers. Ambassador Reed served as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, was U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, Chief of Protocol at the White House and recipient of France’s highest decoration, the "Légion d'Honneur” and his alma mater’s highest award, the Yale Medal.
John A. Catsimatidis, Chairman and CEO of Red Apple Group, and a former candidate for Mayor of New York City. Mr. Catsimatidis is also a noted Talk Show Host of “The Cats Roundtable Radio Show.” He is a important Philanthropist who has been instrumental in initiating “The Panda Project ” - to bring two Giant Panda cubs from China to New York City.
Ning Yuan, Chairman and CEO of China Construction America, the North American branch of the world’s largest construction company, and Vice Chairman of the China General Chamber of Commerce USA, whose membership includes several hundred of China’s top companies. Ning Yuan is a longtime friend and supporter of the Chinese Cultural Foundation and has dedicated much of his considerable talents to education and cultural exchange between China and the United States.
More About The 2016 Honorees and Award Ceremony
The Chinese Cultural Foundation held its Annual Award Celebration on December 14th at the Harvard Club of New York City. Many distinguished honorees and guests were present.
This year, it was a particular honor to have Ambassador Zhang Qiyue, Consulate General of the PRC in New York, present the Chinese Cultural Foundation Global Achievement Award and participate in the celebration. New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sent their Congratulatory Letters.
The program began with a moving tribute, delivered by Steven Rockefeller, Jr., to the memory of Ambassador Joseph V. Reed, Jr. who passed away on September 29, 2016. Ambassador Reed dedicated much of his later life to producing “The Culture and Civilization of China”, a historically important series for students in the U.S. and around the world. This series is the fruit of cooperation between Chinese and Western scholars and publishers including the China International Publishing Group and Yale University Press.
Ambassador Reed served as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, was U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, Chief of Protocol at the White House and recipient of France’s highest decoration, the "Légion d'Honneur” and his alma mater’s highest award, the Yale Medal. Mr. David Rockefeller called him the “Diplomat of Diplomats”.
Another memorable story was recounted by Ambassador Nicholas Platt, who participated in the historic visit to China with President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in 1972. Ambassador Platt also shared a personal story about his father and grandfather who as famous architects, designed the Biddle Room at the Harvard Club in which the evening’s function was held.
Mr. Edward Cox, Chairman, New York State Republic Committee also shared his own personal story when he with his father-in-law President Richard Nixon on his historic visit to China in 1972 and met with Chairman Mao, Deng, Xiaoping and Zhao Ziyang.
Ambassador Zhang Qiyue bestowed the Chinese Cultural Foundation Global Achievement Awards upon Mr. John A. Catsimatidis and Mr. Ning Yuan. She also recognized many American and Chinese business, diplomatic, educational and cultural organizations, such as the Chinese Cultural Foundation who contribute to the richness of life in our global community.
The 2016 Honorees for the Global Achievement Award were:
Mr. John A. Catsimatidis, Chairman and CEO of Red Apple Group, and a former candidate for Mayor of New York City. He is a noted Talk Show Host (CATSRoundtable.com) a highly successful entrepreneur and major philanthropist.
Mr. Ning Yuan is Chairman and CEO of China Construction America, the North America arm of the world’s largest construction company. In a few short years he built CCA into a $2 billion enterprise, with a number of landmark developments. Mr. James S. Simpson Member of the Board, Senior Advisor to the Chairman representing Mr. Ning Yuan accepted the Chinese Cultural Foundation Global Achievement Award on his behalf.
A Special Cultural Contribution Award was also presented to Ms. Andrea Catsimatidis.
Mr. John W. Allen, Trustee of the Chinese Cultural Foundation, invited John and Margo Catsimatidis, their daughter Andrea, Mr. Edward Cox, Ambassador Zhang Qiyue and Elizabeth B. Wang to come to the stage for a very important announcement.
Mr. John Catsimatidis announced the “Pandas are Coming to NYC!” Project initiated by himself and our CCF Honorary Chairman Mr. Maurice R. Greenberg along with Yue-Sai Kan, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and supported by the Chinese Cultural Foundation.
This incredible project is designed to bring two Giant Panda cubs to New York City as a sign of the close friendship between China and New York City. It will be a major tourist attraction and a substantial boost to our local economy. Mr. Catsimatidis said that “Everyone loves Pandas" It is envisioned that there will be a "Panda Pavilion" in the north end of Central Park, which will revitalize this section of Manhattan and a kick-off gala fund-raiser dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on February 8th, the “Panda Ball”.
This announcement was met with great excitement from attendees and from the many members of the international press who were covering the event.
Ms. Elizabeth B. Wang, President of the Chinese Cultural Foundation presented two impressive videos:
- A retrospective review of the 14 year history of the Chinese Cultural Foundation that provided the highest level of Chinese cultural and educational programs at many prestigious global venues, including the Palace of Versailles in Paris, the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the United Nations and in many other prominent locations throughout the world.
- An inspiring video trailer featuring Mr. Maurice R.“Hank” Greenberg, interviewed by Emmy Award winner and international celebrity Yue-Sai Kan from the first episode of the documentary series: “Enduring Legacy - China Story”. Mr. Greenberg is Chairman and CEO of the C.V. Starr & Co. and Chairman of the Starr Foundation. He is also Honorary Chairman of the Chinese Cultural Foundation. Ms. Wang also complimented the production team from Owltainment Media for their excellent work.
Mr. John W. Allen in his closing remarks thanked everyone for attending and for their continuing support of the Chinese Cultural Foundation. He gave a special thanks for the generosity of The Starr Foundation and Catsimatidis Family Foundation for their contributions to the evening’s success.
The CCF Award Celebration was a very joyous occasion with live classical Chinese “Zheng” music and original Panda paintings by Xuanjin Wang in the festive holiday-decorated Harvard Club. The evening’s activities and historic announcement of the Panda Project represented a major event in the life of New York City.
Press and Media Coverage:
China Economic Daily
Sinovision English Channel
Sinovision Chinese Channel