First "Green Business Awards Gala" to be Held in Queens, New York

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GABPC to honor head of state, US senator and outstanding scientist at dinner, expo and networking event at the Marriott LaGuardia Hotel on June 24th

The Guyanese and American Business and Professional Council (GABPC) “Green Gala” awards dinner on June 24th emphasizes the fact that we are connected in more ways than by international trade. The greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide that our industries push into the atmosphere are absorbed by the rainforests in Guyana, the Amazon and elsewhere. When we cut the trees in the rainforests, we send carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and reduce the world’s capacity to absorb the greenhouse gases that contribute to “Global Warming”.

The June 24th Dinner at the Marriott LaGuardia Hotel, Queens, New York will honor His Excellency Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, President of the Republic of Guyana, U.S. Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand and an outstanding scientist, Dr. Frank Douglas, MD, President/CEO, Austen Bio/Innovation Institute, Akron, Ohio. “This is an outstanding group of honorees that are making exceptional contributions to our society and the world community”, says Leyland Hazlewood, President, GABPC.

Last month in Seoul, Korea, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo received the United Nations highest award for environmental leadership, “The Champion of the Earth” award by the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban ki-Moon. The UN Secretary-General also appointed President Jagdeo to the High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing. During the past three years, Jagdeo, who has been one of the youngest presidents of a country, has lead an international campaign promoting the recognition and value of forests that remain untouched. This contrasts with the destruction of forests that degrade the environment and contribute to global warming. Until this time, the world has been more inclined to reward the replanting of trees after they have been cut. Jagdeo has pledged not to cut Guyana’s forests, the size of Great Britain, as his country’s contribution towards mitigating the effects of global warming. He has enlisted the assistance of the Government of Norway and experts that include McKinsey management consultants and Conservation International (CI) to help craft his strategy. Jagdeo has so caught the attention of the world community that Time Magazine and CNN have named him as one of their “Heroes of the Environment”.

GABPC’s honoree, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, US Senator for New York supports aggressive action aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050, in an effort to reverse the effects of global climate change. She is a leading advocate for investments in renewable energy production and energy efficient technology. Senator Gillibrand has worked closely with federal, state and local leaders as well as the private sector to encourage green development across the state. As a member of the Green Jobs & New Economy Subcommittee she continues to advocate the policies that will help New York to be a leader in the green revolution.

The central mission of the Guyanese and American Business and Professional Council ( is to promote stronger ties between Guyana and the United States and forge closer relations between the business and professional communities of both nations. Leyland Hazlewood, GABPC’s president believes that there is an important difference between GABPC and the typical bilateral chamber of commerce. Hazlewood says, “We are especially interested in professionals, independent or within corporate structures, who can contribute to our objectives. Each year, we select one such Guyanese American who has made an outstanding contribution in the US or internationally. We were extremely excited that Dr. Frank Douglas accepted our award.”

Dr. Frank L. Douglas has already been the recipient of many awards. They include the 2007 Black History Makers Award and have been honored twice as the Global Pharmaceutical R&D Director of the Year, in recognition of his leadership and success in improving innovation and productivity in pharmaceutical companies. Other awards include: Louis B. Russell Memorial American Heart Association Award, the Chicago Heart Association’s Heart of the Year Award, the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest’s Odyssey Award, and the National Organization of Chemists and Chemical Engineers – Lifetime Achievement Award. He was involved in the discovery, development and/or approval of more than 20 medications. He has also received the Medal of Honor and an Honorary Professorship from the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. Dr. Douglas holds a PhD in physical chemistry and a MD from Cornell University. He is the President and CEO, Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, Ohio. He is University Professor in the Department of Polymer Science at the University of Akron, Professor of Integrated Medical Sciences at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Pharmacy.

When asked, ‘Why a Green Gala’, Hazlewood says, “We want to emphasize that we are part of one of the most important movements of our time that pertains to our very survival and future generations. Leaders with foresight and those who understand the imperatives of the emerging green lifestyles believe that it will provide the underpinnings of a new era of economic development and growth. It offers immense opportunities for business. Some will ignore it at their own peril.”

GABPC is expecting a sizable turnout of business executives including representatives from ‘green organizations’ and members of the diplomatic community. There will be a “green carpet”, not a “red carpet” reception for the VIPs and exhibits of green initiatives and technologies of sponsors and supporters of the Gala Awards Dinner.

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