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American Ambassador, Azerbaijani Corporate Philanthropist Presented With 2011 USACC Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 13, 2011

American Ambassador, Azerbaijani Corporate Philanthropist Presented With 2011 USACC Awards

BAKU, Azerbaijan—At a gathering of top business leaders and government officials, the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) presented two of its most prestigious annual awards to US Ambassador Matthew Bryza and corporate philanthropist Abdolbari Goozal, the CEO of Azersun Holding.

Ambassador Bryza, who was named to his post in 2010, was presented the USACC Leadership Award. The award recognizes exceptional leadership in promoting the development of bilateral relations between the United States and Azerbaijan. Past recipients include former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and the late Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev.

Bryza has led a distinguished diplomatic career, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and as the American representative to the Minsk Group, the effort to advance the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He also previously served at the National Security Council as Director for Europe and Eurasia.

Mr. Goozal was presented the USACC’s prestigious Taghiyev Award. As the CEO of Azersun, a group of companies, Mr. Goozal is recognized as a leader in enhancing Azerbaijan’s business environment and preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage. The company has positioned itself at the forefront of corporate social responsibility, with programs such as organizing blood drives for children suffering from Thalassemia, making food donations to families in need, supporting the performing arts, and more.

The Taghiyev Award is named for Zeynalabdin Taghiyev, a 19th century Azerbaijani oil baron noted for his philanthropic efforts. Past recipients of the award include Dr. Shapoor Ansari and Richard Armitage.

The awards were presented at a gala dinner at the historic Art Garden restaurant in Baku's Icheri Sheher that capped the USACC’s major conference “Business Opportunities for America and Azerbaijan” on June 3, 2011. The conference consisted of five major sessions with topics including: a look beyond oil exports; IT and technology; investment and untapped sources of American capital; new energy realities of Azerbaijan; and franchising opportunities. The conference was made possible with the sponsorship of the International Bank of Azerbaijan and Azercell (Platinum Sponsors); Chevron (Gold Sponsor); and BP (Silver Sponsor).

View photos from 2011 USACC Gala Dinner here


About the USACC: The United States - Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that seeks to promote trade and investments between the United States and Azerbaijan by rendering various business services. The USACC actively seeks U.S. and international investments and companies whose products and strategic interests can be advanced in the Azerbaijani market. It also serves as a liaison between foreign companies and Azerbaijani businesses and government officials. To learn more about the USACC, please visit www.usacc.org.


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