COLUMBIA, SC – April 2, 2012 – The Columbia World Affairs announcesthat Robert M. “Bobby” Hitt III, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce,will receive the 2012 Global Vision Award. Hitt will be honored at ablack-tie gala at the Columbia Marriott October 9. This is the 19th yearthe Columbia World Affairs Council has presented the award to a leaderwhose contributions have had a significant impact on South Carolina andhelped project the state globally.
“From his career in journalismto his post as Secretary of Commerce, Bobby has always had a globalperspective that epitomizes the phrase ‘think globally, act locally,’”said Bob Coble, chair of the Columbia World Affairs Council. Coble alsosaid Hitt was instrumental in BMW’s growth in South Carolina, includingconnecting with the General Assembly, local suppliers and theinternational media. He was also heavily involved in the formation ofthe Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research(CU-ICAR) and in creating the BMW Charity Pro-Am Golf Tournament thatpromotes South Carolina to a worldwide audience. Hitt was instrumentalin projecting the Upstate Alliance and AdvanceSC and played a pivotalrole in the South Carolina Centers for Economic Excellence, otherwiseknown as the Endowed Chairs program. In one year as Secretary ofCommerce, he has created a sense of teamwork across the state and helpedSouth Carolina set a new pace for international investment andmarketing.
“Bobby is an excellent choice to receive this year’sGlobal Vision Award,” said Fred Monk, chairman emeritus of the ColumbiaWorld Affairs Council and chair of the selection committee. “He hashelped bring important recognition to South Carolina throughout hiscareer, and that leadership now extends to his position as Secretary ofCommerce.”
Hitt also contributes significantly to philanthropy within the state. Hehas served as chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance,vice chairman of the Public Affairs Steering Committee for the SoutheastRegion of the National Association of Manufacturers and is theimmediate past president and tournament chairman of S.C. Charities Inc.(BMW Charity Pro-Am).
Hitt is a South Carolina native who worked for more than 17 years at TheState newspaper, The Columbia Record and the Charleston Post andCourier. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and wasnamed a 2006 Distinguished Journalism Alumni of the Year.
The Columbia World Affairs Council was established in 1993 to raiseawareness of international activities in the Midlands, help peopleconnect across the region, bring distinguished speakers and foreigndiplomats to Columbia to address international issues and create abridge to build new international relationships. The Council administersthe Sister-City program for the City of Columbia and is a member of theWashington-based World Affairs Councils of America.
The Global Vision Award was established in 1994, and the first recipientwas Gov. Carroll A. Campbell. Last year, the honor went to both U.S.Congressman James Clyburn and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham.
For more information about the Global Vision Award, please visit www.columbiawac.org.