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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 18, 2000


When I called on the business community in 1996 to work with the Administration to develop a new Presidential award for corporate citizenship, the response was immediate and enthusiastic. The Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership is now a preeminent corporate citizenship award in America. And so today I am pleased to welcome to the White House the most recent winners of this honor.

The five companies we recognize today earned this award because they've developed some of the nation's most innovative, successful programs in employee and community relations. General Mills is strengthening communities through an inner-city joint venture. GTE's literacy programs reach 40 millions adult Americans who struggle with basic reading. Hewlett-Packard's commitment to diversity in education reaches talented individuals from kindergarten to graduate school. IBM's partnerships with our public schools bring new ideas and new technologies to American youngsters. US WEST's commitment to diversity benefits employees and communities across a broad swath of America.

As I had hoped, the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership is making a significant difference in America by showing that businesses can do well by doing good -- something that Ron Brown, for whom this award is named, often reminded us. Like the Malcolm Baldrige award, it exemplifies the best of American business. Managed by the independent research organization, The Conference Board, this award has broad support in the business community. I know it will continue to strengthen employees, families and communities for many years to come by celebrating and spreading the highest achievements in corporate citizenship.