Carlson Receives International Corporate Award For Social Responsibility, Global Business Development

Minneapolis, MN | April 06, 2007

Carlson, a brand leader in the travel, hotel, cruise, restaurant, and marketing industries, has received the 2007 Twin Cities International Citizen Awards' International Corporate Award for corporate and social responsibility, and global business development.

Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Carlson, accepted the award presented by the International Leadership Institute on Wednesday evening in Minneapolis.

The Institute recognized Carlson on two fronts: working to stop the trafficking and exploitation of children for sexual purposes, and encouraging economic development in underdeveloped countries.

Through the Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation, Carlson became a co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation in 1999, linking the company to the fight against the sexual exploitation of children.

"We are passionate about our work with the World Childhood Foundation, and we actively encourage other companies and organizations to support it," Nelson said. "Trafficking is a form of 21st Century slavery. World Childhood is addressing the problem by promoting awareness, while at the same time defending the rights of at-risk children and seeking better living conditions for them. As a family business in travel and hospitality, focus on children is close to our heart."

The World Childhood Foundation grew from the global travels of Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, who observed extreme economic, social and emotional poverty of many children. She also saw children and their young, impoverished mothers, who often were pressed into the sex trade to survive. Seeing these conditions too often in too many parts of the world, the Queen personally became involved to address the problem and founded the World Childhood Foundation in 1999. She invited Carlson and other co-founders, including ABB, the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund, SAP AG and Skandia.

In addition to supporting Childhood, Carlson in 2004 became one of the first North American organizations to sign the ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) global code of conduct protecting children from commercial sexual exploitation.

Carlson also was recognized for having hotel brands that provide economic opportunities through operations in South Africa and Tunisia, and a hotel in Nigeria, scheduled to open in late 2007. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism "is regarded as the best development option in many emerging economies, an effective way of utilizing their natural and cultural resources to create jobs and wealth."

The Twin Citizens International Citizen Awards were founded in 1992 to recognize people and corporations in the community who have contributed to international understanding, cooperation, and mutual respect. The awards are divided into three categories: the International Corporate Award, which Carlson received; the International Immigrant Achievement Award, presented to Fred Shaw (Feng Hsiao), president and co-founder of Shaw-Lundquist Associates, Eagan; and the International Citizen Award, presented to former U.S. Senator and Vice President Walter Mondale and Joan Mondale.

Curtis L. Carlson, who in 1938 founded the Gold Bond Stamp Company, the forerunner of Carlson Companies, received the Twin Cities International Citizens honor in 1993.

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