2013 was declared the Year of Women in Norway in recognition of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. With this in mind, the NACC’s board of directors agreed to establish an award focusing on women’s achievements. Inspired by one of Henrik Ibsen’s most famous fictional women, Nora in A Doll’s House, who made a daring decision for herself at a time when women were not in control of their own destinies, the NACC board decided to name this award: The Nora Award for Women of Achievement.
Her Majesty Queen Sonja, Executive Vice President Craig Dykers and General Manager Inger Tallaksen. Photo by Helen Tschudi, Manahatta Images Production
The NACC Board of Directors has unanimously agreed that HM Queen Sonja should be the first recipient of the Nora award in recognition of her accomplishments in her role as the Queen of Norway.
When she married the then Crown Prince Harald, she had to shape her own role within a very male dominated organization. Norway had not had a Crown Princess since 1954 when Crown Princess Märtha passed away, nor a Queen since Queen Maud passed away in 1938. Queen Sonja has succeeded in carving out an important and most relevant role for herself as Queen of Norway serving as a fine example to young women wanting to shape their own futures.
H.M. Queen Sonja is a most important supporter of Norwegian contemporary artists, a keen collector and a spokesperson for Norwegian art on her travels abroad. She is also a respected artist in her own right including as a photographer. Her photographs present the dramatic beauty of the Norwegian mountains and fjords. On several occasions, in Norway and abroad, Queen Sonja has given lectures on Norway as a tourist destination sharing with the audiences her private photographs.
The Queen is socially engaged: she works for equality and inclusion in the public schools and is concerned with the conditions of immigrant women as well as refugees from war torn countries. For this work she has been awarded the Nansen Medal by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Also, through her very active lifestyle including mountain hiking, skiing and sailing, the Queen sets an example and promotes a healthy lifestyle.
In the course of her many travels abroad, including to the United States, the Queen has tirelessly promoted Norwegian art, culture and nature thereby advancing Norway’s image as a country with a modern, well-functioning society, and as an excellent place to do business or to vacation.
The Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce Achievement Award has been presented since 1992 to individuals “whose outstanding personal accomplishments exemplify the spirit of commitment, perseverance and endeavor that sustains the strong relations between Norway and the United States of America.”
ARE TRAASDAHL: Norwegian Entrepreneur in New York, the founder and CEO of TAPAD, a company on Forbes’ list of America’s most promising companies. Prior to TAPAD, Mr. Traasdahl founded Thumbplay, a mobile entertainment service that he grew to $100 MM in revenue in less than 3 years before exiting.
Mr. Traasdahl has more than 15 years’ experience in mobile and digital content. He is a frequent contributor on mobile advertising technology for outlets such as CNBC and Bloomberg News, and he has been featured in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Ad Age and other major news outlets. He was recently named one of Business Insider’s “Most Important People in Mobile Advertising”.
Norwegian ice hockey player with the New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello, has received the Norwegian‐American Achievement Award.
The Board of Directors of the Norwegian‐American Chamber of Commerce selected the popular ice hockey player, to receive its distinguished Achievement Award for 2014.
Zuccarello received the award for his outstanding performance as a major hockey player who was the highest point scorer during the regular season, taking the NY Rangers to the Stanley Cup play-offs. In recognition of his efforts, the fans voted him the player who performed above and beyond expectations, earning him the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award last winter. Zucca, as he is popularly called, is considered one of the highest achieving sports persons in Norway, and that says a lot for a country with so many Olympic gold medal winners. Off the ice, Zucca is much involved in charitable activities focusing on children; he is an Ambassador for the charitable organization, Right to Play, founded by another Achievement Award recipient and Olympic Gold medal winner, Johann Olav Koss.
In 1996, the NACC presented its first Norwegian-American Trade Award. Recipients are chosen by an independent selection committee based on a number of measurements, including performance in expanding trade between Norway and the United States, innovation in marketing and distribution, business integrity, and service to the community.
Jim Johnson and Lawrence Hauge