2016-12-09 / Society

South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley receives Global Vision Award

By Anita Baker


Katarina Fjording ( Volvo), Michael and Governor Nikki R. Haley, and Fred Monk (Chairman Emeritus, Columbia World Affairs Council) Katarina Fjording ( Volvo), Michael and Governor Nikki R. Haley, and Fred Monk (Chairman Emeritus, Columbia World Affairs Council) In 1994, the Columbia World Affairs Council presented the first Global Vision Award to Governor Carroll Campbell. Award recipients are chosen each year by the Columbia World Affairs Council for their contribution in brining international awareness to the state of South Carolina.

Former recipients of the Columbia World Affairs Council Global Vision Award include Dr. Harris Pastides ( 2015), Inez Tenenbaum (2014), Dick Riley (2013), Bobby Hitt (2012), Congressman Jim Clyburn and Senator Lindsey Graham (2011), Paula Harper Bethea (2010), Ambassador Robert V. Royall Jr. and Ambassador David Wilkins (2009), Dr. Andrew Sorensen and the Honorable Bob Coble ( 2008), and Ed Sellers (2007).

It was a clear, unquestionable decision to present the 2016 Global Vision Award to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for her unprecedented success in purposely working to bring international businesses to South Carolina thereby improving the state unemployment rate and building a new, growing manufacturing infrastructure to the state’s basically rural economic regions.


Sarah Martin, Wendy Fuess, Steven Friedenberg Sarah Martin, Wendy Fuess, Steven Friedenberg Present at the 2016 Global Vision Award Gala November 30, 2016, were Volvo’s Katarina Fjording and Boeing’s Joan Robinson Berry who served as the evening’s keynote speakers.

Katarina Fjording said Governor Haley is “in tune with what it takes to bring a global company to South Carolina and have it succeed. Governor Haley brought cities, counties, and the state together to march as one to bring new companies to the state.”

Fjording continued, “Governor Haley leads with energy, passion, optimism, and a mighty heart… She is a great communicator and can lead in prosperous times and in times of adversity … She is a tough act to follow.”


Ernest McNealey, Karl S. Wright, Ernestine McNealey, Judge McDuffie Ernest McNealey, Karl S. Wright, Ernestine McNealey, Judge McDuffie Joan Robinson- Berry with Boeing said Governor Haley is “One of my favorite leaders. She embodies courage, compassion. We are building a strong manufacturing base which will support the lives of the middle class. It is an economic and manufacturing renaissance in South Carolina.”

Robinson-Berry thanked Governor Haley for her quick judgment in ordering the forced evacuations of the coastal regions of South Carolina during Hurricane Matthew in October, 2016. Robinson- Berry said this allowed for the plant to take precautions to keep its people and its assets in the state away from harm.

Regarding Governor Nikki Haley’s recent appointment by President Elect Donald J. Trump to serve as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Robinson- Berry said, “We will build on your legacy; we will keep it strong; we will stand on your shoulders. We will miss you, but South Carolina is in your heart. Congratulations!”


Narasim Han, Linda May, Monica Alexander Narasim Han, Linda May, Monica Alexander In 2011, Haley became the first female and Indian- American governor of South Carolina. Born in Bamberg, South Carolina to Sikh immigrant parents, she is a graduate of Clemson University and represented Lexington County in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011. Since 2011, the state has announced more than 80,000 jobs in 45 to 46 counties, and South Carolina’s unemployment rate has hit a 15-year record low.

On Wednesday night, Haley reminded the audience that South Carolina had a negative image nationally and globally in the years before her administration. However, her leadership through tragedy after the shootings at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the successful removal of the Confederate Flag from the State House grounds, and her leadership during the catastrophic flooding throughout the state in October 2016 has shown the world “who we really were all along.”


Bo and Jan Moore Bo and Jan Moore Haley praised the people of South Carolina for being a people that are loving and take care of people. She said she saw people who “hold hands, show respect, show love, and show we are there ( for each other) in the hard times.”

With regards for economic and manufacturing growth brought by the investment from new international companies, Haley says she considered South Carolina to have “untapped potential… and people waiting for a challenge.”

In 2014, Tory Industries, Inc., a Tokyo-based manufacturer of fibers and textiles, plastic resins, films, and carbon fiber composite materials, settled on a new production facility in Spartanburg County. Toray is the world’s largest producer of carbon fiber, which has applications ranging from golf clubs to Boeing jets to natural gas pressure vessels. It’s $1 billion investment was the largest initial investment announced in the state’s economic history.


James Garitas and Kaitlyn Guttridge James Garitas and Kaitlyn Guttridge Also in 2014, GITI Tire of Singapore announced a $560 million production plant in Chester County. With the German-based Continental Tire and GITI Tire (in addition to Michelin of France and Bridgestone of Japan) investment under Governor Haley, South Carolina now produces and exports more tires than any state in the nation.

Last year, both Mercedes Benz and Volvo announced the establishment of new, major manufacturing plants in South Carolina, each of which will be in excess of $500 million.

Mercedes-Benz Vans, a division of Daimler, will open a new, full van manufacturing operation in North Charleston. While the company has operated its current van assembly facility in Charleston County since 2006, the new plant, which will produce the next generation Sprinter, will bring a $500 million investment and 1,300 new jobs. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the world’s leading large van, and more than 2.8 million Sprinters have been delivered to customers in 130 countries worldwide.

Volvo Cars Corporation chose Berkeley County to build its first manufacturing facility in the Western Hemisphere. The new plant will manufacture latest- generation Volvo models for sale in the United States and for export. The Volvo plant signifies a $500 million investment and 4,000 new jobs in the state.

Earlier this year the Jushi Group of China announced a $300 million investment in Richland County to make fiberglass, an investment that will create 400 jobs.

Currently, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, more than 1,200 international firms have facilities in South Carolina, employing more than 100,000 South Carolinians.

Governor Nikki R. Haley will be leaving the South Carolina Governor’s office to accept an appointment made by President Elect Donald J. Trump to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations (pending approval by the United States Senate). Governor Haley’s legacy will be felt in our state for many years to come as economic improvements and growth from international investment continue to benefit all South Carolinians.

For more information about the Columbia World Affairs Council and the Global Vision Award, visit www.columbiawac.org. (Economic data and detailed information on the international firms that have moved to South Carolina since 2014 was provided by the Columbia World Affairs Council).

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