LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce announced today that Fred Latuperissa, director of Southern California’s Inland Empire Office for the United States Department of Commerce (USDOC), and Ilse Metchek, president of the California Fashion Association (CFA), will jointly be awarded the prestigious Stanley T. Olafson award at the 90th annual World Trade Week Kickoff Breakfast on Tuesday, May 3. This is the third time in the award’s history that a tie has occurred.
Latuperissa began his International trade career with the USDOC in 1983 and has made his mark over the past 33 years as a leader in both business and education for the international trade community. He was honored with the USDOC International Trade Administration (ITA) Memorial Award for supporting an underserved group to open the first export assistance center on Native American land and the ITA Bronze Medal for foreign direct investment. He was a member of the advance team to APEC meetings in Indonesia. As an educator, Latuperissa spent time with the International Trade Education Program, working to educate high school students about the maritime industry and encouraging students to seek professions in trade, transportation and logistics.
From her work as owner and president of Ilse M. Inc. to her work with the CFA, Metchek has been a huge presence in the apparel and manufacturing community throughout her career. She created the CFA more than 20 years ago with assistance from major financial and manufacturing participants in the California apparel industry and has provided leaders of Southern California’s manufacturing and textile community with the opportunity to share and receive information about doing business in the global economy ever since. Prior to the creation of the CFA, Metchek was the executive director of the California Market, a creative event venue and market for the fashion and apparel industry in downtown Los Angeles.
“Both Fred and Ilse have proven themselves to be invaluable assets to the regional international business community, said L.A. Area Chamber President & CEO Gary Toebben. Their extensive careers have helped shape manufacturing and trade in our region and have had a tremendous impact through their work to educate and inform the trade communities’ current and future members.”
Presented each year to an outstanding member of the world trade community in Southern California, the Stanley T. Olafson award recognizes those who throughout their lifetime have contributed above and beyond their job requirements to the development and advancement of world trade in the region.
Recent recipients of the Stanley T. Olafson award include Ambassador Mickey Kantor, Mayer Brown; Commissioner Mario Cordero, Federal Maritime Commission; and Joseph Czyzyk, chairman and CEO of Mercury Air Group, Inc.
For 90 years, World Trade Week has been dedicated to educating the public on the importance of global trade and its contribution to our local, state and national economy. Celebrated throughout the month of May with more than 30 events hosted by partnering organizations in Southern California, World Trade Week is jumpstarted by the Chamber's annual Kickoff Breakfast with more than 600 guests. World Trade Week supports college and high school scholarships, high school student and career counselor workshops, as well as briefings for civic and business leaders interested in benefiting from the global economy.
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.