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.
2017 • Inger M. Tallaksen
2013 • H.M. Queen Sonja
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.
Photo by Helen Tschudi, Manahatta Images Production
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.”
2016 • 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”.
2014 • Mats Zuccarello
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.
2013 • Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg
Norwegian movie directors Joachim Ronning(left) and Espen Sandberg(right) have received the Norwegian‐American Chamber of Commerce Achievement Award.
The Board of Directors of the Norwegian‐American Chamber of Commerce selected the Oscar nominated director team Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning, to receive its distinguished Achievement Award for 2013
Ronning and Sandberg (alias Roenberg) established themselves in the American market with their spots for Capital One, Labatt’s, and especially with their USA Today Superbowl 2001 Viewer’s Poll-winning spot Rex for Budweiser. In 2008 they won a Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival award for their Hydro commercial The Train Loop. Together with fellow Norwegian director, Harald Zwart, they own and run Motion Blur, a production house for commercials. Founded in 2002 it is now one of the largest and most award-winning production companies in Scandinavia.
In 2006 their first feature film Bandidas opened worldwide. In 2008 their second feature Max Manus: Man of War premiered. Max Manus became the highest grossing Norwegian movie in modern times, shattering box office records by selling 1.2 million tickets in Norway alone, meaning 25% of the country’s population went and saw it in theaters. Kon-Tiki became the directing duo’s next opus. Produced by Jeremy Thomas and Aage Aaberge, in cooperation with Recorded Picture Company and Nordisk Film, it is the true story of legendary explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his epic crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947. In 2013 Kon-Tiki made history when, as the first Norwegian film ever, it was nominated for both a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award Oscar in the foreign language category. Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg’s next film will be Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales for Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
2012 • Stargate
The Norwegian record production and songwriting team Stargate have received the Norwegian‐American Chamber of Commerce Achievement Award. Tor Erik Hermansen (left) and Mikkel Eriksen.
The Board of Directors of the Norwegian‐American Chamber of Commerce selected the Grammy Award winning music production company Stargate, consisting of Mikkel Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen, to receive its distinguished Achievement Award for 2012. This Award was presented to individuals whose outstanding personal accomplishments exemplify the spirit of commitment, perseverance and endeavor that sustains the strong relations between Norway and the U.S. In nominating Stargate, the Award Committee cites the extraordinary accomplishments of this remarkable Norwegian duo in an industry where few Norwegians have succeeded previously: the American music industry. Eriksen/Hermansen have had sensational international success with artists like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Ne‐Yo. In fact, they have had a total of nine number one hits on Billboard Hot 100.
Their career as producers and studio owners was launched in Trondheim, Norway in 1997. They were quickly successful, particularly on the British market with more than 40 Top 10 hits in the UK. In 2005 the duo relocated to New York and soon established themselves as associates of the hottest Hip‐ Hop/R&B stars on the US market.
Among Stargate’s most significant accomplishments are winning two Grammy Awards and two Spellemann Awards (in Norway). They won their first Grammy for best R&B song together with Ne‐Yo for “Miss Independent”. The second award was for their Rihanna recording “Only Girl (In the World)”. The duo has twice been named “Songwriter of the year” at the Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards. Master Class In 2011, Stargate together with Music Export Norway presented a unique master class in New York for around 35 Norwegian artists, songwriters, producers and record label professionals at the Tish School of the Arts at NY University. It was an impressive program giving young Norwegians an opportunity to learn from leading music industry professionals and to receive direct feedback on their own music through a session in the studio Stargate shares with music mogul Jay‐Z.
The Achievement Award was presented to Stargate at a dinner on November 1. 2012 in New York City.
2011 • Jack Waitz and Aktiv Mot Kreft/Helle Aanesen
2009 • Arne Wilhelmsen
2007 • Sissel
Sissel Kyrkjebø receives NACC Achievement Award from Blaine Collins, NACC Program Chairman, and Per Heidenreich, NACC Director/Executive Committee Member (and Sissel fan).
She’s sung in front of queens and princes and shared stages with superstars of every musical genre – tenors, punks, pop idols and rappers. She’s performed at the Winter Olympics and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. And she’s on the biggest-selling film soundtrack of all time.
Defying labels and categories simply to be herself, Sissel is truly a one-off. With her unique voice she can turn her hand to any style of music, from operatic arias and centuries-old classical melodies to traditional folk, modern jazz, pop, punk and hip-hop. “My heart is in beautiful music,” she says.
Sissel’s music has already touched millions. A child star since the age of 11, she is now a national institution in Norway and has sung all over the world, selling six million solo albums since her recording debut at the age of 16 and featuring on the 30-million-selling soundtrack to Titanic. Somehow she’s also found time to bring up two children along the way.
With a repertoire ranging from Schubert and Chopin to Lloyd-Webber and Morricone, Handel and Bach to Lennon and Lord (that’s Jon Lord of rockers Deep Purple), Sissel was a crossover artist long before marketing men invented the term.
Sissel has exhibited the very best of Norwegian culture in her many concerts in the US; she has been a highly effective ambassador for UNICEF, and has toured extensively for public television. She has twice performed for NACC, and has been extremely generous in sharing her talent in concerts on behalf of the Norwegian Seamen’s Church, especially during the critical fundraising period. Her pride in her Norwegian heritage shines through in all of her performances, warmly reinforcing the positive image of Norway in the minds and hearts of audiences throughout the USA.
“I don’t think I can focus on any one particular style because I just love singing,” says Sissel. “I love all kinds of music. And as long as it suits my voice I will sing it. I feel very privileged and lucky to be doing what I do. I have so much joy, and if the joy disappears that will be the time to stop.” That time, you sense, is a long way distant. The future for Sissel is only just beginning.
2005 • Grete Waitz
The career of Norway’s Grete Waitz is legendary. As one of the world’s top athletes, her accomplishments include: Nine-time winner of the New York City Marathon; Five-time winner of the World Cross Country Championships; Gold medalist in the 1983 World Championship Marathon in Helsinki; Silver medalist in the 1984 Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles; First woman to break 2:30 in the marathon; she set four world bests in the event, including the first time she ran the distance; Two-time world record holder, 3000 meters; current Norwegian record holder, 1500 and 3000 meters (1978). Award presented by NACC President Per Heidenreich.
2004 • Leif Ove Andsnes
Through his music, Leif Ove Andsnes is a ‘cultural ambassador extraordinaire’ from Norway to the world … playing on the stages of the most spectacular venues in the world of music.
His awards include the Norwegian Grammy award Spellemannprisen” eight times, the latest for his outstanding recording of Grieg/Schumann piano concertos with Mariss Jansons and the Berliner Philharmoniker, released on EMI Classics. Mr. Andsnes enthralled packed audiences at New York’s Carnegie Hall, as did his appearance with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center.
In 2002, Leif Ove Andsnes was appointed Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav – the most distinguished Norwegian award. He serves as Co-Artistic Director of the Risør Chamber Music Festival, an event which every year draws some of the world’s most esteemed classical performers to Norway. Award presented by NACC Executive Vice President Berit Henriksen and Per Heidenreich.
2002 • Ragnhild Myklebust, Kjetil Andre Aamodt, and Ole Einar Bjørndalen
The biggest star of the Salt Lake City Paralympic Games was Ragnhild Myklebust (BBC Sports). Ragnhild, a member of the Norwegian Paralympic Team for fourteen years, has taken an astounding total of 22 gold medals in winter sports competition – the most gold won by any Paralympian. Ms. Myklebust is pictured here accepting the NACC Achievement Award from Norwegian Consul General New York Atle Leikvoll.
Kjetil Andre Aamodt
In Norwegian wintersports history, there is basically one champion in Alpine skiing: Kjetil André Aamodt. Kjetil André burst onto the international scene in 1990 taking the world junior title in downhill and combined. He has lived up to his reputation ever since, his victories at Salt Lake City being the latest evidence’ So far, Kjetil André Aamodt has won three Olympic gold, five World gold, a total of 17 World Championship and Olympic medals and a total of 20 World Cup first place finishes. Kjetil André is pictured here while fellow winners Ragnhild Myklebust and Ole Einar Bjørndalen look on.
Ole Einar Bjørndalen
Considered by many to be one of Norway’s greatest athletic personalities, Ole Einar Bjørndalen is most certainly the best biathlete in Norway … the birthplace of biathlon. He has claimed the most Norwegian championship gold medals in history. Ole Einar has won six Olympic gold medals, five world championship medals, and an overall World Cup title. According to Ole Einar, his success is attributable to his unique approach to sustaining creativity, personal discipline, conditioning, and training. Ole Einar is pictured here receiving the NACC Achievement Award from previous year’s winner Per Heidenreich
2001 • Liv Arnesen, Ann Bancroft, and Per Heidenreich
1999 • Bjørn Dæhlie
1996 • Liv Ullmann
1995 • Joachim Rønneberg, Gunnar Sønsteby, and Erling S. Lorentzen
1994 • Dan Jansen, Johann Olav Koss, Neal Pilson, and Gerhard J. Heiberg
1993 • Jacob Stolt-Nielsen and Erling Kagge
1992 • Stein Eriksen and Finn Chr. Jagge
2005 • Egil Almaas
2004 • Jim Johnson and Lawrence Hauge
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.
2016 • Kongsberg Gruppen
Kongsberg is an international, knowledge-based group that supplies high-technology systems and solutions to customers in the oil and gas industry, the merchant marine, and the defense and aerospace industries. The company, which enjoys a more than 200 year long history since the establishment in Norway in 1814, has a successful business history in the U.S. which goes all the way back to the late 19th century. As of November 2016 the company has locations in 12 U.S. states.
2015 • Innovation Norway
2014 • Jotun Paints, Inc.
The Board of Directors of the Norwegian‐American Chamber of Commerce selected Jotun Paints, Inc., to receive its distinguished Trade Award for 2014.
The award goes to Jotun Paints, Inc. in recognition of their recent investment and strong presence in the USA. The company has opened a new manufacturing facility in Louisiana and has become an important employer in that region during difficult economic times in the U.S. Jotun’s main focus in North America is Marine and Protective coatings. Jotun Paints, Inc. is headquartered in Houston with offices in various regions of the United States and Canada.
Jotun is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of decorative paints, marine, protective and powder coatings. The Group has 70 companies and 36 production facilities on all continents. Jotun products are available in more than 90 countries. Jotun has more than 9,500 employees and is headquartered in Sandefjord, Norway.
2013 • Aker Philadelphia Shipyard
The Board of Directors of the Norwegian‐American Chamber of Commerce selected Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, to receive its distinguished Trade Award for 2013
Aker Philadelphia Shipyard(“APSI”) is a leading U.S. commercial shipyard constructing vessels for operation in the U.S. Jones Act market. The Jones Act requires all commercial vessels transporting merchandise between ports in the United States to be built, owned, operated, and manned by U.S. citizens and be registered under the U.S. flag.
Aker Philadelphia Shipyard was founded in 1997 by the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the U.S. government and the (then) Kvaerner Shipbuilding Division (now Aker), after the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard closed its doors. Aker Philadelphia is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and is 71.2 per cent owned by Converto Capital Fund, which in turn is majority-owned by Aker ASA. Aker is a Norwegian industrial investment company that creates value through active ownership. Aker’s investment portfolio is concentrated on key Norwegian industries that are international in scope: oil and gas, fisheries and biotechnology, and marine assets. Aker’s industrial holdings comprise ownership interests in Aker Solutions, Kvaerner, Det norske oljeselskap, Aker BioMarine, Ocean Yield and Havfisk.
APSI encompasses 114 acres of the former Philadelphia Naval Yard. It was completely rebuilt in 1998 and has been optimally designed to support commercial shipbuilding operations. The facility includes a plate priming facility, a 430,000 sq ft Fabrication Shop, Grand Block Shop, two Paint Halls and two 1100′ x 150′ docks for building and outfitting.
2010 • Snøhetta
2008 • Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics
2005 • Norsk Hydro ASA
2003 • Statoil Marketing & Trading US
2000 • Alpharma, Inc.
1998 • Norseland, Inc.
1996 • Lærdal Medical Corporation