WBC Sits Down with Sam Scott to Discuss the Award
The distinguished 2019 Global Citizen Award will be presented to Samuel C. Scott III, Retired President & CEO, Corn Products International at the Chicago Consular Corps Gala in November. Sam is being honored by the Chicago Consular Corps for his extraordinary contributions to the international reputation, stature, and outreach of Chicago. World Business Chicago sat down with Sam to discuss the award.
Q: You are the Chairman of Chicago Sister Cities International. Can you share a little more about your role and responsibilities in this position?
A: The role has changed over time from when I first took it over. When I first became Chairman, Chicago Sister Cities was a separate organization from World Business Chicago and reported directly to the mayor. Our goal was to synergize the organization as best we could and therefore we capitalized on what each individual committee could do best, with cultural events being the primary focus. About 5 or 6 years ago, Chicago Sister Cities joined World Business Chicago and in this capacity we aligned the two organizations. There were some differences regarding what each organization could do, but we worked through it. Through this we learned best practices and outlined how to be as effective as possible with our volunteers.
Q: As someone who is heavily involved in Chicago and serves on multiple boards dedicated to strengthening and promoting Chicago, why is your work for Chicago Sister Cities International so important to you?
A: We’ve heard all our mayors say that Chicago is a city of immigrants, made up of many languages and cultures. We are a global city and the nature of what Sister Cities is about is important to the city of Chicago. Chicago Sister Cities represents different countries and ties in well with the Consular Corps. Chicago Sister Cities is all about understanding different cultures and bringing them together, and I think with this goal in mind, the city has benefited with the opportunity for different cultures and ethnicities to be heard.
Q: Chicago is a global city with an international presence. Can you comment on the importance of the longstanding relationship between the city and the Consular Corps?
A: Chicago has the second largest Consular Corps outside of Washington D.C. and because of this the Consular Corps has been very engaged and active inside Chicago. In this instance, we’re talking about 86 countries that are represented here. As Chicago is a global city, it’s important to understand the different cultures and the deep longstanding relationship. I think the Consular Corps has learned to love Chicago because of the work we do here and our high level of engagement. A few years ago, we worked with the Consular Corps to create the annual Chicago Consular Corps Gala to raise funds for Sister Cities and to give scholarships to University of Illinois at Chicago, which has been a great partnership.
Q: You’re being honored for your extraordinary contributions to the international reputation, stature, and outreach of Chicago. In your own words, can you outline why it’s important to promote citizen diplomacy in Chicago?
A: It’s important to promote citizen diplomacy in the world, not just in Chicago. People to people relationships that allow individuals to discuss various things is the base of what Chicago Sister Cities is built on. In today’s polarized world, it’s important to get together and talk. I think it’s important to have these discussions at the city level but also at the national level, when possible. As we know, this hasn’t happened over the last few years, so to me it’s probably the most important part of the organization that Sister Cities puts on the table.
Q: Anything else to share?
A: Chicago Sister Cities and World Business Chicago are great organizations and I’ve enjoyed working with them for the last ten years.
World Business Chicago extends our congratulations to Sam Scott for his diligent efforts to elevate Chicago as a leading global city. This year’s Chicago Consular Corps Gala will take place on Friday, November 1, 2019 at the Hilton Chicago.