Rodney H. Brady has yet another honor to add to his resume.
The International Visitors Utah Council gave Brady its Citizen Diplomat of the Year award Thursday night at a banquet at the Little America Hotel.The president and CEO of Deseret Management Corp. and former Weber State University president has given much to promote diversity and cultural awareness in Utah. That's why he was given the award, said Rhonda Berg, executive director of the nonprofit organization.
"He's done a lot to further the relationship with Utah and the rest of the world," Berg said. "He's made people want to come to Utah."
Brady also served as president of Bonneville International Corp., a media conglomerate owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During his tenure, he did a lot to promote Utah through the media, Berg said.
The International Visitors Utah Council arranges for about 500 professionals from foreign countries to visit the state every year. The goal is to increase understanding between Utah's culture and those around the world.
During the ceremony, some well-known personalities praised Brady, including Hillary Rodham Clinton who sent her congratulations in a letter. Longtime friend and colleague Don Gale praised Brady for all his accomplishments.
"I could go on and on about Rod, but it would only embarrass him," said Gale, a vice president with Bonneville International Corp. "He heaves praise on others but downplays his own achievements."
Gale presented the award to Brady, who then stressed the importance for understanding between all of the world's countries.
U.S. leaders need to increase communication with leaders abroad, he told the crowd. And rank-and-file citizens should try to eliminate misunderstandings by getting to know each other.
"No worldwide challenge is more important than this," he said.
Brady offered some ways to increase understanding. Americans should learn a second language, study the geography of at least 100 countries, keep caught up on world news, travel abroad, make friends with a citizen of another country and invite foreign visitors to spend time with their families.