Andrea Jung ’79, the CEO of Avon Products and a board member at Apple and General Electric, has been recognized as one of the most powerful women in business, and at the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards ceremony April 22, she traced her success to a decision made before she was born, when her parents left China to come to America.
“My parents, almost 70 years ago, came to make their family’s dreams come true, to find a better opportunity in this amazing land,” Jung said. “We were given all the opportunities that they dreamed of here — the education, the tennis lessons, all of the wonderful opportunities being raised here offered — but one thing that they have always reminded us of is that we would be very proud, here in America, of our Chinese heritage.”
Recently, Jung felt a different sort of pride when, on a visit to China, she met with Avon sales representatives. A Chinese woman, speaking in Mandarin, saw the female CEO and said, “That’s the American dream.”
Jung was one of four honorees to receive this year’s Family Heritage Award, presented at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The other recipients were musician Bruce Springsteen, businessman and philanthropist Peter G. Peterson, and former pro basketball player Dikembe Mutombo.
Below, watch video of Jung’s remarks at the ceremony.
(Video courtesy of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation)
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