Byline: Marc Karimzadeh

NEW YORK — Rolex, known worldwide for its production of fine quality watches, has taken the time to recognize and support humanitarian works.
Held at The Regent Wall Street in New York last Thursday, the Rolex Awards for Enterprise honored five individuals — referred to by Rolex as Laureates — who are breaking new ground to advance human knowledge and well being.
The Laureates, selected by a committee of 10 members chaired by Patrick Heiniger, Montres Rolex’s chief executive officer, each received $75,000 and a gold Rolex chronometer.
Created in 1976, this was the ninth Awards for Enterprise ceremony, held bienially since 1996, and marked the first time the event was held outside Switzerland.
“We wanted to start abroad and why not start with the most powerful market,” said Heiniger. “I always said whatever you are selling, it’s not the quantity. If its not in the U.S., it’s not worldwide.”
Among those attending the ceremony were Chris Evert, with her husband Andrew Mill, and Dr. Mathilde Krim.
Tom Brokaw, who was the master of ceremony and introduced each of the presenters of the award, said he agreed to be part of this not just because he admired the awards’ “pragmatic nature,” but also, with a nod to the host, because he knew this event would run on time.
The winners were:
Nigerian teacher Mohammed Bah Abba with his “pot-in-pot” cooling system to preserve perishable foods in developing countries.
French anthropologist Laurent Pordie, who is reviving traditional Tibetan medicine to improve health care in Northern India.
David Schweidenback, from New Jersey, who is recovering used bicycles to provide affordable transportation in developing countries.
Ecuadorian Maria Eliza Manteca Onate with her promotion of sustainable farming techniques in the Andes.
Canadian-American Elizabeth Nicholls, who is working on excavating the largest discovered marine reptile.

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