Wiesenthal Center Honors Pepsico Chairman & CEO Indra Nooyi With Humanitarian Award at Its 2016 National Tribute Dinner in New York

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Nooryi tells guests, "I know this is a big-hearted, generous country – the only country on earth where a female immigrant could work her way up to the CEO’s chair in one of the world’s most iconic companies.”; Dinner raises over $2 million for Center's work.

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Indra K. Nooyi, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, accepting the Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center

The Simon Wiesenthal Center recently honored Indra K. Nooyi, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, with the Humanitarian Award, the Center’s highest honor. The Dinner, held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, raised over $2 million.

The Chairman of the Dinner was Nelson Peltz, Honorary Co-Chairman of the Wiesenthal Center’s Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Center’s Board of Governors, and CEO and a Founding Partner of Trian Fund Management, L.P., who praised Mrs. Nooyi’s dedication to social responsibility saying, “Throughout her career, Indra Nooyi has shown commitment to tackling some of society’s biggest challenges [and has] done so with creativity, determination and vision.”  

The Co-Chair of the Dinner was Tony West, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary PepsiCo. Among the Vice Chairs were Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman, The Starr Foundation; Barbara K. and Ira A. Lipman; Milken Family Foundation; Larry and Carol Mizel; Rupert Murdoch; the New York Yankees; and Trian Partners.

Accepting the Humanitarian Award, Mrs. Nooyi spoke of her experiences earlier in her life where, as a person of color and a member of a religious minority in the U.S., she was sometimes made to feel unwelcome. “But I also know something else. I know this is a big-hearted, generous country – the only country on earth where a female immigrant could work her way up to the CEO’s chair in one of the world’s most iconic companies,” she said. “And I also know that part of the reason my story is even possible is because there are organizations like the Simon Wiesenthal Center fighting – day in and day out, year after year – to make this country and our world more equal and more just,” she also said.

The SWC Medal of Valor award was presented to acclaimed Lithuanian writer, Ruta Vanagaite, whose latest book Our People; Journey with an Enemy (Mūsiškiai), co-authored with the SWC’s Jerusalem Director and Holocaust historian, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, deals with the complicity of Lithuanians in Holocaust crimes and the efforts of all Lithuanian governments since independence to hide the role played by local Nazi collaborators.

Also attending the Dinner were Edward Breen – Chairman & CEO of DuPont; Jim Cramer--- host of Mad Money and Co-Anchor of Squawk on the Street on CNBC, attending with his wife Lisa Detwiler of The Corcoran Group; Peter May – President and a Founding Partner of Trian Partners; Assembly member Walter T. Mosley - a Democratic politician that represents the 57th district of the New York State Assembly; Nancy Reyes  - Managing Director, New York Office, of TBWA\Chiat\Day (part of Omnicom); and Tom Secunda –one of the original four co-founders of Bloomberg L.P. and current Vice Chairman as well the recipient of the SWC 2012 Humanitarian Award, who attended with his wife, Cindy.

Past honorees of the Humanitarian Award have included world statesmen, Nobel Laureates and leaders in the business and entertainment communities.  This distinguished list includes the late King Hussein of Jordan, the Dalai Lama, Presidents Reagan and Bush, Vice President Al Gore, Senator Ted Kennedy, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Billy Crystal, Bono, Bob Wright, Jeffrey Immelt, Tom Secunda, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Tom Cruise, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Ted Sarandos.  In April 2017, the SWC will honor Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBC Universal.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036. Join the Center on Facebook or Twitter @simonwiesenthal for news updates.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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