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Magnolia awards for city expats

By Jia Feishang   (Shanghai Daily)

14:21, October 01, 2011

Twelve foreigners received Shanghai's Magnolia Gold Award, the city's top honor for expats, yesterday in recognition of their contribution to the city's social and economic development.

The recipients came from Britain, the United States, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands and France.

Mayor Han Zheng presented the awards, named after the city's flower and in the form of a certificate and gold medal, at City Hall.

Award winner Nancy Gougarty, vice president of TRW Asia Pacific Co, expressed thanks on behalf of the recipients.

"Since I arrived in Shanghai in 1997," she said, "I've seen tremendous changes in Shanghai. I proudly tell my friends and colleagues it's a true pleasure and privilege to live in Shanghai."

"The honor provides great encouragement to continue our contributions in Shanghai. We will continue to serve Shanghai loyally and with pride," Gougarty said.

Vice Mayor Tu Guangshao expressed the city's and its citizens' gratitude to the winners for their contributions.

Tu said he was speaking on behalf of the Shanghai government and 23 million citizens when he thanked the recipients for their years of contributions to the city's social and economic development.

"All the achievements that we achieved have everything to do with your hard efforts, wisdom and devotion. You deserve this great honor, and the citizens of Shanghai will remember forever your contribution and your friendship," Tu said.

Steven Kulich, the executive director of Shanghai International Studies University Intercultural Institute, said it was an amazing honor to receive the Magnolia Gold Award. He was glad that people from the field of education had been recognized as few educators had won in recent years.

Kulich has been working in Shanghai for 18 years, and his latest contract will keep him here until 2015.

He said: "I hope there's another five years when I renew my contract."

Frans Greidanus, senior vice president of Philips Research, said receiving the award was one of the most important moments in his life, almost on a par with getting married and the birth of his daughter.

Since the award was first presented in 1993, 247 foreigners have received the honor.

On September 9, 46 foreigners were presented with the Magnolia Silver Award which nearly 790 foreigners have won since 1989.

As a general rule, only recipients of the Magnolia Silver Award are eligible for Magnolia Gold Awards.

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