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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honor, recognize, & celebrate the men and women of the sea services.

Ted Turner, Dan Akerson, General P.X. Kelly to Receive Coveted Lone Sailor Award

Prominent Veterans and U.S. Senator to be Recognized for
Service to Country and Community at September18 Dinner Gala

WASHINGTON, D.C. [August 5, 2013] – Coast Guard veteran and CNN Founder Ted Turner, Navy veteran and Chairman & CEO of General Motors Company Dan Akerson, Marine Corps Commandant and businessmanGeneral P.X. Kelley, and former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will be honored for their service to country and community at the United States Navy Memorial’s 2013 Lone Sailor Awards Dinner on Wednesday, September 18.  The black tie gala will be held at The National Building Museum, located at 401 F Street NW, Washington, D.C.

The Lone Sailor Award is given to Sea Service veterans who have excelled with distinction in their respective civilian careers while exemplifying the Navy’s core values of HonorCourage and Commitment.  In receiving the Lone Sailor Award, Turner, Akerson and Kelley join an impressive list of men and women who have distinguished themselves by drawing upon their military experience.  Senator Hutchison will receive the Naval Heritage Award, an honor awarded to distinguished Americans who have given their unwavering support to this nation’s Sea Services and whose lives and careers also demonstrate the Navy’s core values.

Ted Turner has received recognition for his entrepreneurial acumen, sharp business skills, leadership qualities and unprecedented philanthropy throughout his career.  In 1976, he launched TBS Superstation, the first national cable network, then went on to launch CNN in 1980, the world’s first live 24-hour global news network.  Turner is also known for his dedicated philanthropic efforts.  In 1990, he founded the Turner Foundation, which supports air and water quality improvement, the development of sustainable energy to help protect our climate, safeguarding environmental health, wildlife habitat protection and the development of practices and policies to limit population growth rates.  In 1997, Turner’s historic pledge of $1 billion to the United Nations formed the United Nations Foundation, of which he is chairman.  Turner is also chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc. and founder and co-chairman of Nuclear Threat Initiative, which works to strengthen global security by reducing global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Turner has received numerous industry awards and civic honors, including TIME Magazine’s 1991 Man of the Year, one of TIME 100 World’s Most Influential People in 2009, inductee of the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Overseas Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. A longtime sailing enthusiast, Turner’s interest in the sport began as a child and grew stronger during his time with the Coast Guard as a young man.  The Coast Guard helped hone Turner’s sailing skills, as well as his appreciation for structure and discipline.

Dan Akerson, upon graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, served as a line officer aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer. Following his service in the military, Akerson attended the London School of Economics and went on to hold various executive-level positions at AT&T, MCI Communications, Nextel Communications, XO Communications and General Instrument. Since 2010, Akerson has served as chairman and chief executive officer of GM, one of the world’s largest automakers, where he led GM’s initial public offering in 2010 — the largest in U.S. history.  Akerson is also a dedicated philanthropist. Among other initiatives, he funded a community center for disadvantaged people called Marguerite’s Place, named after his mother. In 2012, he and his wife Karin launched the Habitat for Humanity Leaders to Rebuild Detroit initiative with a cornerstone contribution and also co-chaired the annual Capuchin Soup Kitchen dinner, raising a record sum.  He also chairs his family’s Blue Earth Foundation, which provides financial assistance to programs serving young people.  Throughout his career, Akerson has received various industry awards and civic honors including So Others Might Eat’s 2011 Humanitarian of the Year, Habitat for Humanity Michigan’s 2013 Sponsor of the Year, The Detroit News’ 2013 Michiganian of the Year, and co-winner of The Detroit Free Press’ Automotive Leadership Award.  He has also been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the U.S. military as the recipient of the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation Leatherneck Award and the U.S. Naval Academy Distinguished Graduate Award. 

General P. X. Kelley served as the 28th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps and Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1983 until his retirement in 1987.  He served under three Presidents as Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission where he oversaw the construction of the National World War II Memorial and Korean War Veterans Memorial.  During his 37-year military career, he commanded Marine Corps organizations at every echelon, including command of an infantry battalion and infantry regiment during two separate combat tours in Vietnam.  He remains the youngest Marine to be promoted to the rank of General to this day and is the recipient of Distinguished Service Medals from the Departments of Defense, Navy, Army and Air Force, the Silver Star Medal, three awards of the Legion of Merit and two awards of the Bronze Star Medal.  General Kelley has the unique distinction of having served as a Naval Surface Warfare Officer.  In the business sector, he has served on ten New York Stock Exchange boards and twelve other private corporate boards.  He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for J.F. Lehman and Company and as a Director of Saul Centers, Inc. and The Non-Proliferation Trust.

Former United States Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison served as US Senator from Texas from 1993 to 2013.  She has been a prominent face in politics as the first and only woman to represent the state of Texas in the US Senate.  Senator Hutchison has a well-earned reputation as a national leader on defense issues and as a tireless advocate for our military forces, helping to ensure they have the resources, proper training and modern equipment necessary to defend our nation.  She has fought hard to improve the quality of life for our military personnel, their families and veterans by improving health benefits and education opportunities and modernizing and upgrading military facilities and family housing.  Most recently, Senator Hutchison joined Bracewell & Giuliani law firm in February as Senior Counsel, and is a member of Bank of America's Global Advisory Council and the Campaign to Fix the Debt Congressional Fiscal Leadership Council.  The University of Texas Law School named its new law center the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Latin American Law.

For the second year, the Lone Sailor Awards Dinner will feature a silent auction benefiting the Navy Memorial Foundation.  The auction will offer exciting packages including a week’s vacation in an Outer Banks luxury home, an exotic golf trip to Bermuda, premium wine tastings for seven in Virginia’s wine country and dinner for ten at Jose Andres’ award-winning restaurant, Zaytinya.

For more information on the U.S. Navy Memorial’s 2013 Lone Sailor Awards Dinner, including sponsorship and ticket prices, or for a list of award recipients, visit the Navy Memorial’s web site at www.navymemorial.org or contact M.C. Dunn, Director, Corporate Relations & Special Events, at 202-380-0728 or mcdunn@navymemorial.org.  To arrange an interview or to access images of the awardees, contact Julia Hobbes at (703) 417-2709 orjulia@lindarothpr.com.

About the United States Navy Memorial

The U.S. Navy Memorial is the pre-eminent Navy memorial in the country and through its ceremonies, band concerts and other public offerings, honors and celebrates the service of Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and Merchant Mariners.  For more information on the Navy Memorial, please visit www.navymemorial.org or call (202) 737-2300.