PEORIA, Ill., Oct. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) Chairman and CEO Jim Owens received the National Foreign Trade Council's (NFTC) "World Trade Award" during a ceremony Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. The award is presented annually to a person who has made a distinguished contribution to the advancement of American foreign trade and investment.
"There is no one more fitting and appropriate to receive the 2007 World Trade Award than Jim Owens," said NFTC Chair Dimesh Paliwal, president of Harmon International Industries. "During his tenure, Jim has repeatedly and consistently demonstrated his commitment to an open trading system, dedicating his company and his own time and reputation to advocating for multilateral and bilateral trade agreements and fighting efforts to close America off from the rest of the world."
Founded in 1914 by a group of American companies that supported an open world trading system, the NFTC and its affiliates now serve more than 300 member companies. The NFTC is the only national business organization that exclusively advocates for the international and public policy priorities of its members, ranging from international trade, investment, tax, and export finance to human resource management.
"At Caterpillar, we share the NFTC's philosophy that positive, sustained engagement with the world community -- by both the public and private sectors -- is the most effective way to advance America's values and interests around the globe," Owens said upon receiving the award.
Joining Caterpillar in 1972 as a corporate economist, Owens' various responsibilities have taken him across the country and the world. In 1975, he was named chief economist of Caterpillar Overseas S.A. in Geneva, Switzerland. He returned to the United States in 1980 and held various managerial positions throughout the company. In 1987, he became director of P.T. Natra Raya, Caterpillar's joint venture in Indonesia. He was later elected a corporate vice president and named president of Solar Turbines Incorporated, a Caterpillar subsidiary in San Diego, California. In 1993, he was appointed chief financial officer and two years later was named a group president. In February 2004, the Caterpillar Board of Directors appointed him chairman and chief executive officer.
"Each of us gathered here this evening has an obligation to carry forward a message of openness, bipartisanship and engagement in our companies and communities," Owens said in his remarks to the NFTC. "Re-establishing a bipartisan consensus on trade and keeping our nation from turning inward is a personal objective."
Chairman Owens currently serves on the board of directors for Alcoa Inc., IBM Corporation, the Institute for International Economics and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is chairman of the International Trade and Investment Task Force of the Business Roundtable and a member of the Business Council, the Manufacturing Council and the Global Advisory Council to the Conference Board.
Owens is the third Caterpillar leader recognized by the NTFC. Former Caterpillar executives William Blackie (1967) and Lee Morgan (1984) also received the World Trade Award.
For more than 80 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2006 sales and revenues of $41.517 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at http://www.cat.com.
Source: Caterpillar Inc.