Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, recipient of the AWIU 2011 Internationalism Award. is the founder and CEO of Pace Communications, the nation’s largest custom publishing company serving Fortune 500 companies. In 2001, she was appointed to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Finland. A philanthropist and charitable cause activist and initiator of Stop Child Trafficking: End Modern-Day Slavery and Children of Karelia, Ms. McElveen-Hunter was awarded the Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion–one of Finland’s highest honors. She also founded the Women Business Leaders Summit, a model for business entrepreneurship Ms. McElveen-Hunter is currently. Chairman of the Board of American Red Cross. She is also a member of numerous boards including Malaria No More, Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.
Bette Miriam Rothstein, 2011 recipient of the Bernice Behrens Founder’s Award, is a professor emeritus of Comparative Literature and Composition. She has served as a consultant in the area of Correctional Education Funding and published on topics relating to educational television in the United States, Africa, China, England and Israel. She has served as an Oral History Interviewer interviewing survivors for the Shoah Oral History Foundation. She is also a former President of the Ethel and Erwin Fast Foundation for Native Americans, focusing on post-secondary education.
Mrs. Rothstein has been an active member of American Women for International Understanding since its earliest days. She has participated in three delegations ) China, Syria and Israel). She led the 2000 delegation to Israel with her daughter, AWIU member Audrey Rothstein. Along with her late husband, Ralph Rothstein, Mrs. Rothstein has been a major supporter of the Tel Aviv University School of Dental Medicine. Their support has advanced research and dental care of Arabs and Israelis.
Comments by Bette Rothstein upon receiving the Bernice Behrens Founder’s Award. “Thank you Jane and AWIU for this opportunity to express my appreciation for the important difference AWIU makes in the lives of our members and others touched by the relationships we have made. My participation in AWIU has been and continues to be an extremely enriching part of my life. The exchanges AWIU fosters with women around the world broaden our understanding and appreciation for their struggles for progress.
When we open our newspapers, or go online, we can read about their challenges, but nothing means more than meeting them and hearing their personal stories. Only then can we truly appreciate the difficult road they have taken. AWIU’s founder; Bernice Behrens, left this organization as her legacy. It was her passion that gave AWIU roots and her commitment that enabled us to soar. I am extremely grateful for the leadership Bernice provided. She would have loved this evening, especially the opportunity to meet these Women of Courage.
Thank you again, members of AWIU, for this wonderful and deeply meaningful tribute. I only wish my late husband, Ralph Rothstein, whom I lost just a few months ago, could be with me and my family tonight to share in this happy time.”