American Express Announces $10 Million Commitment for Historic Preservation Through 'Partners In Preservation' Program

Two Preservation Groups Selected to Receive Gift Over Five Year Period:

National Trust for Historic Preservation and World Monuments Fund

Jun 14, 2006, 01:00 ET from American Express

    NEW YORK, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- American Express today announced a
 $10 million, five-year commitment to historic preservation and the launch
 of the American Express(R) Partners in Preservation program, expanding the
 Company's focus on securing the use of cultural assets for the future. The
 American Express Partners in Preservation program builds upon the Company's
 decade-long relationship with the World Monuments Fund (WMF) and
 establishes a partnership with the National Trust for Historic
 Preservation. The program is dedicated to preserving sites both in the U.S.
 and around the world.
     "Both the World Monument Fund and the National Trust are valued experts
 in historic preservation and, like American Express, each recognizes the
 vital importance of preserving historic sites for future generations," said
 Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive, American Express.
 "American Express is pleased to acknowledge two such worthy organizations
 as partners in our continued effort to preserve the world's cultural
     American Express' partnership with the National Trust seeks to increase
 public awareness of the importance of historic and environmental
 conservation in the United States, preserve American historic and cultural
 landmarks, and strengthen local communities through preservation efforts.
 The National Trust is a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting
 and restoring America's historic landmarks and communities.
     American Express continues to extend its decade-long relationship with
 the WMF through a renewed commitment to preservation. Based in New York,
 WMF is the foremost private nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving
 the world's cultural and architectural heritage. American Express is the
 founding sponsor of WMF's World Monuments Watch program, established in
 1995 to call international attention to and ensure the preservation of
 cultural heritage sites around the world threatened by neglect, vandalism,
 armed conflict, or natural disaster, and has contributed more than $10
 million over the past ten years to help preserve 119 historic sites in 59
 countries placed on the World Monuments Watch list of 100 Most Endangered
     "It is hard to imagine a company that has demonstrated a stronger, more
 generous commitment to historic preservation than American Express," said
 Richard Moe, president of the National Trust. "We've been proud to work
 with the Company on several occasions in the past, and we're honored to be
 a partner in this new exciting initiative. I believe it can make a real
 difference in preserving the irreplaceable places that tell America's
     American Express has also supported National Trust for Historic
 Preservation initiatives, including the Save America's Treasures and
 Heritage Tourism programs. Last year, the Company assisted WMF and the
 National Trust with a $200,000 grant for their joint efforts to help save
 the devastated Gulf Coast in the wake of the 2005 hurricanes.
     "The World Monuments Fund is very pleased to continue our partnership
 with American Express, which has been such a committed supporter for more
 than ten years," said Bonnie Burnham, president of the World Monuments
 Fund. "Heritage preservation is a critical issue, now more than ever
 before, as significant sites around the world are exposed to
 ever-increasing threats, both manmade and environmental. We are grateful to
 American Express for its strong support for and its championship of our
 projects, and we look forward to many more years of working together to
 save our shared cultural heritage across the globe."
     Through the American Express Partners in Preservation program, American
 Express will provide $5 million for each partner dedicated to preservation
 projects. The initial distribution of funds for the National Trust and WMF
 will be announced in the coming months.
     "We are committed to preserving the world's most precious and
 significant landmarks and the history that accompanies them," said Chenault
 of American Express. "By making a significant pledge to both the National
 Trust and the World Monuments Fund over the next five years, American
 Express can help ensure future generations will have opportunities to
 experience the history and beauty of our past."
     American Express Honored for Preservation Efforts
     On June 13, at its fourth annual Restore America Gala held in
 Washington D.C., the National Trust for Historic Preservation honored
 American Express Company for its commitment and dedication to preservation
 efforts to cultural assets and historic landmarks. Alfred F. Kelly, Jr.,
 Group President, accepted the award on behalf of American Express.
     About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
     The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit
 membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and
 revitalizing America's communities. Recipient of the National Humanities
 Medal, the Trust was founded in 1949 and provides leadership, education,
 advocacy, and resources to protect the irreplaceable places that tell
 America's story. Staff at the Washington, D.C. headquarters, six regional
 offices and 28 historic sites work with the Trust's 270,000 members and
 thousands of preservation groups in all 50 states. For more information,
 visit the Trust's Web site at
     About the World Monuments Fund
     The World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the foremost private, nonprofit
 organization dedicated to the preservation of endangered architectural and
 cultural sites around the world. Since 1965, WMF has worked tirelessly to
 stem the loss of historic structures at more than 400 sites in over 80
 countries. WMF works with local partners and communities to identify and
 save important heritage through innovative programs of project planning,
 fieldwork, advocacy, grant-making, education, and on-site training. For
 more information, please visit
     About American Express
     The American Express Philanthropic Program makes grants in three major
 program areas: Cultural Heritage, Economic Independence and Community
 Service. In 2005, contributions totaled more than $31 million. Grants, made
 on behalf of the American Express family of companies, enrich the lives of
 American Express customers, their families and their communities.
     American Express Company ( is a leading global
 payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

SOURCE American Express