NEW YORK, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Humane Association, the country's first national humane organization, honored its board member Liz Lyman with the prestigious National Humanitarian Medal at an event at the Japan Society in New York City this week. Ms. Lyman, who serves as the Head of Corporate Communications, Headquarters for the Americas at MUFG, was presented this award because of her heroic efforts undertaken for animals in crisis following the March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that devastated the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan.
By receiving the highest distinction offered by America's only charity dedicated to the protection of both children and animals, she joins past luminaries like lifestyle icon Martha Stewart, philanthropist Candy Spelling, country music superstar Miranda Lambert, Hollywood director Jon Turteltaub, and poultry producer Gus Arrendale. Actress Kelly Rutherford, star of the hit television shows "Gossip Girl" and "Melrose Place," joined American Humane Association board members Amanda Bowman and Bill Davis as well as President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert in presenting the award to Ms. Lyman.
Immediately following the Fukushima disaster, American Humane Association sent donations and a shipment of supplies to relief agencies on the ground as they worked to shelter and save the lives of animals in jeopardy. Ms. Lyman then opened doors and made it possible for Dr. Ganzert to travel to Japan on behalf of American Humane Association on an aid visit to Fukushima where she built bridges to local agencies and community leaders as they came to terms with the impact of the events on March 11. Dr. Ganzert directed her humane intervention team to develop a long-term grant-making strategy, along with a slate of community preparation materials and coping tips to protect children and animals. To date, the organization has granted more than $130,000 to relief agencies in Japan.
Because a tragedy of this scope could strike again at any time, American Humane Association translated their famed disaster sheltering training curriculum into Japanese for broad and continuing dissemination to the people of Japan. The information is based on techniques developed by the charity's renowned Red Star® Rescue program, which has been involved in nearly every major relief effort over the past century, from saving horses on the battlefields of World War I Europe to the Haitian earthquake, Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.
"It truly is an honor to receive American Humane Association's National Humanitarian Medal," said Ms. Lyman following the ceremony. "The 2011 disaster in Japan affected many of my friends and colleagues over there, and had a devastating impact for so many people and their animals in Fukushima. I worked hard to help organize Dr. Ganzert's trip to Japan, and I'm pleased to see that American Humane Association is continuing to work with relief agencies there because there are still nearly 150 animals languishing in shelters, unable to return home and be reunited with their families."
Ms. Lyman has been head of corporate communications for the Headquarters for the Americas for MUFG Union Bank since October 2010. She also holds dual positions in Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) and its parent company Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) — Chief Manager of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility activities for the BTMU Global Business Unit. She was previously Director of Executive Communications for Union Bank. She was the Chief Speechwriter for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, where her principal responsibility was speechwriter to the Under Secretary, the Deputy Under Secretary, and the Administrator. She contributed to speeches for Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush, Vice President Al Gore, and members of Congress.
Prior to Union Bank, she was Senior Speechwriter and Executive Communications Manager, Technology Solutions Group, at Hewlett-Packard. A native New Yorker, Liz holds a bachelor's degree in English from Upsala College and master's degrees in both Human Relations and International Relations from Webster University. She is also a graduate of the Cambridge University (England) Choral Scholars Seminar and has had a lengthy career as a professional musician.
"The animals of Fukushima have had no bigger ally than Liz Lyman," said Dr. Ganzert. "Indeed, if it were not for her Herculean efforts to build bridges between the relief agencies and our team at American Humane Association, I think many more animals would have suffered. Liz truly is a humanitarian and embodies what it means to be humane."
To watch a special video about the animals of Fukushima that premiered at the ceremony, please visit http://youtu.be/H3hP7C8GFGM.
About American Humane Association
American Humane Association is the country's first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
SOURCE American Humane Association