Contact: Carrie Blewitt
McCain Foods Limited Cofounder G. Wallace F. McCain Honored by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans
108 High School Scholars Also Recognized With $20,000 Scholarship
Washington, DC – (March 6, 2008) –The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is proud to announce that G. Wallace F. McCain, cofounder and vice chairman of McCain Foods Limited and chairman of Maple Leaf Foods Inc., will be presented with the 2008 International Horatio Alger Award and inducted as a lifetime member of the Association during ceremonies in Washington, DC, April 3-5, 2008.
The Association is equally proud to announce 108 high school seniors from across the United States will join McCain in Washington to be honored as Horatio Alger National Scholars. Horatio Alger National Scholars will receive $20,000 scholarships toward a college education. The students have demonstrated integrity, perseverance in overcoming hardships, strength of character, academic promise, commitment to pursue a higher education and a desire to contribute to society.
"Our 2008 members are a diverse group of individuals who serve as extraordinary role models for our nation's most ambitious youth. Each of them has leveraged hard work, courage and determination to overcome extreme adversity and achieve the American Dream of achievement and success," said Horatio Alger Association Chairman Dennis R. Washington. "For over 60 years, the Association has been dedicated to honoring those that have defied the odds. We are proud to continue that tradition this year."
The 61st annual events will take place in various historic landmarks in Washington, D.C. such as the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of State and DAR Constitution Hall. The events will provide an opportunity for some of the nation's most impressive and determined young people to learn firsthand about the philosophies and experiences that helped the 2008 Horatio Alger Award recipients surmount significant obstacles to achieve successful lives.
Also being inducted in April are William F. Austin, CEO, Starkey; J. Robert Beyster, retired chairman and CEO, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC); Gary P. Brinson, founder and chairman, The Brinson Foundation; Joseph "Joe" Clark, chairman, Aviation Partners Boeing and chairman and CEO, Aviation Partners Inc.; Hadi Makarechian, chairman and CEO, Capital Pacific Holdings, Inc.; Lee E. Mikles, cofounder, president and CEO, FutureFuel Corporation; Joseph R. Moderow, senior vice president, general counsel and board member (retired), United Parcel Service; Aulana L. Peters, retired partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and Robert J. Schlegel, chairman and CEO, Pavestone Company, L.P.
In response to receiving the Horatio Alger International Award, G. Wallace F. McCain stated, "I see the very distinguished group of current and past members of the Horatio Alger Association and I am extremely impressed, honored and humbled to stand alongside them. I am eager to become part of an organization that reaches out to today's youth and encourages motivation, determination and ultimately success."
McCain was born in Florenceville, New Brunswick in 1930. In 1956, he and his brother used their savings and investments to build a small potato processing plant in a cow pasture. They were determined to learn the business of processing frozen French fries from the ground up.
This was the start of McCain Foods Limited, which would grow to become one of Canada's leading businesses. McCain and his brother ran the company, and by the early 1960s they had cornered the frozen French fry market in Canada. They then built plants in England, the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, France and other countries around the world. Today, McCain Foods Limited is the world's largest producer of frozen French fries. In addition to expanding geographically, they also increased their product lines to include frozen juices, pizzas and other food items. McCain Foods Limited employs more than 20,000 people on six continents with annual sales of $6.4 billion generated from customers in 110 countries.
While maintaining his shares in the family-owned company, McCain left in 1995 to acquire the publicly-owned Maple Leaf Foods Inc., another leading Canadian food processing company, with sales of $5.9 billion in 2006, employing approximately 22,500 people at its operations across Canada and the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia.
Aside from being a major employer, the McCain family has helped the New Brunswick community to prosper in other ways. McCain's wife, Margaret McCain, served as Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick from 1994 to 1997. Together, they have supported a host of charitable causes including a major gift to McCain's alma mater, Mount Allison University, and a $2 million contribution to establish a business institute at the University of New Brunswick.
McCain has received numerous distinctions and honors including honorary degrees from Mount Allison University, University of King's College, University of New Brunswick, Trent University and University of Toronto. He was also made an Officer of the Order of Canada (1995), inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame (1993) and the New Brunswick Hall of Fame (1997), and selected as the Canadian International Executive of the Year (2003).
About The Horatio Alger Association
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans continues to fulfill its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. The Horatio Alger Association offers scholarships through three annual programs: the National Scholarship Program, State Scholarship Programs for high school seniors and the Horatio Alger Military Veterans Scholarship Program for U.S. veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. The Association now awards more than $12 million annually in college scholarships, totaling $52 million in recent years. For more information about the scholarships, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
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