President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, recently received the outstanding cross border leadership award.
“During these trying times in US-Canada relations, Brad has been a shining beacon of inspiration and hope on both sides of the border,” Senator Arnie Roblan (OR), PNWER President, said on stage in front of 350 US-Canada legislators and business leaders during the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region’s (PNWER) 2018 Annual Summit in Spokane, WA.
Every year, one private sector individual from business or industry is selected to receive PNWER’s Alan Bluechel Award. Named after PNWER’s founder, the award recognizes exceptional leadership in building cross-border relations and trust.
Smith spoke at the 2017 PNWER Summit about Canadian and United States interests and the Cascadia Innovation Corridor and university partnerships. This award is presented to individuals who go above and beyond their own corporate interests in building relationships across the US-Canada border.
In this past year, Smith was a key leader in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor efforts. He was instrumental in re-establishing the harbor-to-harbour air service between Vancouver’s Coal Harbor and Seattle’s Lake Union.
Nicknamed the “Nerd Bird,” this air service allows people to easily travel between Seattle and Vancouver in about an hour, maximizing their productivity. As President of Microsoft, Smith has partnered with governments and stakeholders to study the potential benefits that high speed rail could bring to the Pacific Northwest. Microsoft leads the way as the only private sector organization to contribute to the High Speed Rail feasibility analysis.
Smith also called to plan for the 100th Anniversary of the Peace Arch in 2021 and his leadership is contributing to the strong ties between the two nations.
The award was accepted by Irene Plenefisch, Director, Government Affairs for Microsoft, at our plenary session on July 24.