Andrew J. Wertheim, Class of 1983, representing Sorwathé Ltd. of Rwanda, a company founded by his father Joseph Wertheim, received the Secretary of State's 2012 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) on behalf of his company.
The ACE is an annual award recognizing U.S.-owned businesses that exhibit exemplary corporate citizenship, promote innovation, and advance democratic principles around the world. The award was presented to Wertheim on November 28 by Secretary of State Hillard Rodham Clinton.
Wertheim's U.S. firm, Tea Importers, is the majority shareholder of Sorwathé, which is, located in Kinihira, Rwanda. Sorwathé won the 2012 ACE for small-medium-size companies. The company was honored for its efforts to support adult literacy, worker association and collective bargaining rights; sustainable agriculture, forestry and water management; and to produce socially and environmentally responsible high quality teas. Sorwathé also distinguished itself by leading the charge for the eradication of child labor in Rwanda’s tea sector.
“I am extremely proud to accept this award on behalf of the employees of Sorwathé, Tea Importers, my family, and especially on behalf of the 4,573 small farmers that we support through tea production in Rwanda,” said Wertheim. “We are committed to maintaining the standards we have set in corporate social responsibility and stewardship and hope our efforts will serve as a model for others.”
Sorwathé was one of 83 firms nominated this year for the ACE selection process.
Wertheim, who earned his undergraduate degree from Carleton College, practiced securities law in both the private and public sectors before he entered the tea business.