CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Senator Richard Burr and former Governor James Martin headlined a gathering of more than 500 Charlotte business and civic leaders today to discuss the benefits North Carolina's economy receives from American engagement in the world.
Governor Martin and Governor Jim Hunt are co-chairing this bipartisan effort with top North Carolina business, faith, and veteran leaders to raise awareness of how America's development and diplomacy programs create jobs in the Tar Heel State and protect U.S. national security. As 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside the U.S. and one in five North Carolina jobs are tied to trade, U.S. investments in these tools are critical to the state's economic future.
Senator Burr and Governor Martin presented MANA Nutrition CEO Mark Moore with the "North Carolina Smart Power Innovation Award" at the luncheon for his organization's ground-breaking work in curing children suffering from severe malnutrition worldwide.
"What happens in the world impacts our security and economy right here in North Carolina, which is why American companies and organizations must be active participants on the global stage," said Senator Burr. "I have seen the impact America's investments in global development can make during my own travels in Africa. And I'm proud that a great North Carolina organization like MANA Nutrition is partnering with U.S. efforts in saving the lives of thousands of malnourished children in the world, while also creating jobs here at home."
MANA's life-saving product called "RUTF," short for "Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic-Food," is a fortified peanut paste designed to deliver all of a child's basic nutritional needs. MANA is a partner with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to deliver RUTF to countries from the Horn of Africa to Central America.
"So much of our success is because of our partnerships with USAID, as well as local organizations like Samaritan's Purse, which helps us maximize our impact abroad while strengthening our local economy," said Mark Moore, CEO of MANA Nutrition. "I've seen first-hand the effects of chronic hunger and severe malnutrition during the ten years I spent doing mission work in Uganda, and being a part of the solution is a dream come true."
North Carolina companies exported more than $28 billion in goods and services in 2012, and as over half of U.S. exports already go to the developing world, investing in programs funded by the U.S. International Affairs Budget is critical to growing North Carolina's economy.
"North Carolina's nonprofit, business, military, and faith leaders clearly appreciate the value America's engagement in the world brings to the Tar Heel state," said USGLC Executive Director Liz Schrayer. "International Affairs programs are more effective and efficient than ever, and at just one percent of the federal budget make a tremendous difference both at home and abroad. I want to thank Senator Burr, Governor Hunt, and Governor Martin for their support of the USGLC's efforts to champion our development and diplomacy programs."
Today's luncheon also featured Congressman Richard Hudson, NC Secretary of Commerce Sharon Allred Decker, former NC National Guard Adjutant General William E. Ingram, Jr, and Bill Lane of Caterpillar. The event was organized by the USGLC in collaboration with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Regional Partnership, International House, the North Carolina Technology Association, and the World Affairs Council of Charlotte.
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.
SOURCE U.S. Global Leadership Coalition