MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J., Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Honeywell (NYSE: HON) honored Richard Walden, President, CEO and Founder of Operation USA, with the Honeywell Hometown Heroes Award at an all-employee meeting in Dana Point, CA, today. The Honeywell Hometown Heroes Award is given to individuals who improve the lives of others and make their hometowns better places to live and work through long-term dedication, compassion, and the desire to do the right work, right now.
"It gives me great pleasure to recognize a man who has helped so many people in times of desperate need around the world," said Honeywell Chairman and CEO Dave Cote before a live audience of 400, with thousands of employees around the world viewing via web streaming. "Honeywell's partnership with Operation USA began 10 years ago, and we have been on a remarkable journey together, helping to make individuals and communities whole again after a natural disaster."
Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit international relief and development organization established in 1979, helps communities alleviate the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately funded relief, reconstruction and development aid throughout the world.
In the 35 years since Richard Walden founded Operation USA, his organization has delivered more than $350 million in aid to more than 100 countries after natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Long-term development projects include El Salvador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Ethiopia. Operation USA has also been active in Chile, Iraq, Iran, the Balkans, Turkey, Georgia, Japan, Rwanda, Taiwan, North Korea, Somalia, Kenya and East Timor.Collaboration between Honeywell Hometown Solutions and Operation USA began with the reconstruction of an entire fishing village in Sri Lanka hit by a devastating tsunami. Other projects included building health clinics in Pakistan after a 2005 earthquake; construction of clean water systems in Bangalore, India, in 2007; rebuilding two elementary schools and five health clinics in Sichuan Province, China, after a 2008 earthquake; building a new school in Jacmel, Haiti, following a 2010 earthquake; and building the Honeywell Ibasho House, a new community center for the elderly following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. "I am humbled and honored to accept this award," said Walden. "What is most gratifying is seeing how many Honeywell employees participate in our relief efforts. It means so much for people reeling from a natural disaster to know that a company and its people not only donate relief funds, but stand behind a project they have funded."