The awards recognize exceptional contributions to the association's global network, celebrating local connectivity, reciprocity/network support, sustainability, and innovation


NEW YORK, March 12, 2024 -- World Trade Centers Association® (WTCA®) — an international trade organization connecting more than 300 World Trade Center® (WTC®) locations in nearly 100 countries — announced the winners of the 3rd Biennial Champions Awards during its 54th Annual WTCA Global Business Forum (GBF) hosted by WTC Bengaluru in Bengaluru, India, honoring exceptional contributions from member businesses within its global network. Nominees were awarded in four key categories: local connectivity, reciprocity/network support, sustainability and innovation. Additionally, outstanding members were honored through the 'Regional Member of the Year' awards across the five regions where the WTCA is active, as well as the 'Global Member of the Year' award.



Winners of the 3rd Biennial WTCA Champions Awards. Pictured left to right: Luciano Menezes (WTC Lisboa), Jan-Willem Kos (WTC Rotterdam), Leigh Ryan (WTC Savannah), Nimeshika Natarajan (WTC Bhubaneswar), John E. Drew (WTCA Chair, Board of Directors), Jasmine Teng (WTC Taipei), Vineet Verma (WTC Bengaluru), Ahmed Tibaoui (WTC Algiers), and Vivek George (WTC Bengaluru). Not pictured: Eugenio José Reyes Guzmán (WTC Monterrey). Photo Credit: WTC Bengaluru. (PRNewsFoto/World Trade Centers Association)

The Champions Awards recognize WTCA members across a global network of highly connected, mutually supporting businesses and organizations who exemplify the association's core values and mission. Each category highlights the efforts of WTCA members in driving positive impact both locally and globally. This year's edition received a total of 45 nominations, recognizing 23 Members across the global network. A judging panel consisting of previous Champions Awards winners, and chairs of WTCA's Member Advisory Councils and Regional Advisory Councils selected the winners of the 10 categories.


"The Biennial Champions Awards not only recognizes our WTCA Members' achievements, but also serves as a catalyst for continued innovation and collaboration within the network. In this year's edition, we introduced several new categories to showcase our global members and the work they do on a daily basis to drive real change that impacts our association's global footprint. As a result, we witnessed a great number of nominations from our members – nearly tripling the number of nominees from the previous edition," said John E. Drew, Chair, WTCA Board of Directors.


The 3rd Biennial WTCA Champions Awards winners are as follows:


  • Champion Award for Local Connectivity: WTC Bhubaneswar for facilitating over 35 trade promotion programs under the Export Facilitation Cell in the last nine months, and being declared as the State Export Facilitation Cell by the State Government of Odisha.
  • Champion Award for Reciprocity & Network Support: WTC Savannah for fulfilling 20 reciprocity desk requests from various WTC businesses across India in 2023, supporting WTC Atlanta in their strategic development, collaborating with WTC Accra for the 2023 WTCA General Assembly, and encouraging prospective WTC businesses to join the invaluable WTCA network.
  • Champion Award for Sustainability: WTC The Hague/Rotterdam for creating a good living and working environment within their premises, receiving significant awards in Sustainability, and supporting the United Nations' Sustainability Goals, aiming to become Paris Proof by 2045 and making their buildings as energy efficient as possible.
  • Champion Award for Innovation: WTC Taipei for utilizing the latest technologies and innovations to enable dynamic MICE experiences for the community, and their B2B platform featuring "Sales Avatars," which will soon enable real-time translation in over 70 languages, thereby helping SMEs overcome language barriers and reach global markets.
  • Regional Member of the Year (Asia Pacific): WTC Bengaluru for operating with transparency, contributing to a culture of trust and reliability among its members and the broader business community in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Regional Member of the Year (Europe): WTC Lisboa for hosting a successful European Regional Meeting, representing the WTCA in China to further connectivity, and helping to spearhead the WTCA as a renowned organization for real estate investment and business clubs.
  • Regional Member of the Year (Latin America): WTC Monterrey for serving as a beacon of education and activity for its region in Mexico, working with more than 6,000 small businesses throughout the year, and shaping the interests of future generations.
  • Regional Member of the Year (Middle East & Africa): WTC Algiers for furthering WTCA's strength in Business Clubs, serving as a gateway to the African and Middle Eastern markets as a reliable partner, and facilitating the exchange of knowledge and expertise by organizing international trade events, conferences, and business forums to enhance economic prospects for its members and the region at large.
  • Regional Member of the Year (North America): WTC Savannah for achieving several milestones in 2023 — hosting its fourth annual signature event, attracting over 500 leaders from Southeast USA and being awarded the 2023 International Business of the Year award; leading one of the largest business delegations from North America to the WTCA General Assembly in Accra; and establishing an official city-to-city partnership between Accra and Savannah covering areas such as trade, culture, urban planning, education, environmental justice, healthcare, tourism, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
  • Global Member of the Year: WTC Bengaluru (selected by the judging panel from the winners of the five Regional "Member of the Year" categories).

"WTC Bengaluru is honored to be named both WTCA's 'Global Member of the Year' as well as 'Regional Member of the Year (Asia Pacific).' Receiving these distinguished awards recognizes our international efforts and our region's position as a rising investment destination around the world. The recognition was a very welcome surprise as we concluded hosting this year's GBF with our colleagues and friends around the WTCA network," said Vineet Verma, Managing Director of WTC Bengaluru, Chennai and Kochi; and newly-appointed WTCA Board Member. "With this great honor, we are committed to bolster international trade and B2B opportunities that positively impacts Karnataka and beyond, with WTCA's mission at the forefront of our work."


Winners were announced and awarded on March 6 during the WTCA's GBF hosted by WTC Bengaluru in Bengaluru, India. Over 245 participants from nearly 110 WTC locations across 36 countries/territories representing 52 different industry sectors came together for the association's premier annual event.


"On behalf of the WTCA, I'm delighted to extend our congratulations to this year's winners and nominees — each of these WTC businesses truly demonstrate how our global network has been driven by the imperative to 'connect locally and prosper globally,'" said Drew. "This year's winners now join an elite group of past Champions Awards winners who have set the standard for global excellence around the network. They are leaders at the forefront of change and innovation, spearheading initiatives that have reshaped industries, forged valuable partnerships, and positively impacted the global landscape for trade and investment. We are proud of the work they do for their local and global communities, and look forward to what they accomplish in the years to come."


To learn more, please visit the Champions Awards website. Also, follow along on social media via #WTCAChampion. 


MEDIA CONTACTS:


World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

Phone: +1 212 432 2644

Email: cdimalanta@wtca.org 


Violet PR

Phone: +1 908 967 2117

Email: kate@violetpr.com 


About World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) is a network of more than 300 highly connected, mutually supporting businesses and organizations in 91 countries. As the owner of the "World Trade Center" and "WTC" trademarks, WTCA licenses exclusive rights to these brands for Members to use in conjunction with their independently owned, iconic properties, facilities and trade services offerings. Through a robust portfolio of events, programming and resources that it offers its Members, the goal of WTCA is to help local economies thrive by encouraging and facilitating trade and investment across the globe through Member engagement. To learn more, visit www.wtca.org.


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