Eisenhower Award Dinner

At a dinner in their honor, Business Executives for National Security on April 30th presented their 2019 Eisenhower Award to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Ross Perot, Jr., and Gary Sinise. BENS presents the award semiannually to recognize extraordinary Americans who have made significant contributions to the nation’s security.

Speaking to the 600 industry and national security leaders attending the dinner in Washington, D.C., BENS President and CEO, retired Air Force General Norty Schwartz summarized the honorees’ recognition. “On the surface, it appears there is little which connects them, but we need not dig too far to understand how – together – [Pompeo, Perot, and Sinise] are a powerful example of President Eisenhower’s belief that security is the “total product of our economic, intellectual, moral and military strength.””

Pompeo has dedicated much of his life to public service and has been a national security and foreign policy stalwart for over a decade. Prior to his current role, Pompeo served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was the sixth Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Perot has been a leading industry executive as Chairman of the Perot Companies and Hillwood, who, for three decades, has spearheaded innovative achievements such as the global logistics hub, Alliance Texas. As chairman of the esteemed, nonprofit East West Institute, Perot has also made a positive impact globally, facilitating intercontinental dialogue that has help shepherd greater understanding and coordination among competitive nations.

Sinise, an award-winning actor, director and best-selling author, continues to be one of the nation’s preeminent advocates for veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders. For the past 25 years, he has visited and performed for troops and their families stationed around the world and has provided a series of services, to include providing wounded veterans specially-adapted smart homes. Retired U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Matthew Slaydon and his wife Annette highlighted the evening in their introduction of the actor. Slaydon was gravely wounded in an IED explosion while deployed in Iraq, and he and his wife discussed their long recovery and the significance of receiving a smart home from the Gary Sinise Foundation.

The BENS Eisenhower Award has honored, among others, past Secretaries of Defense, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, Combatant Commanders, Cabinet Secretaries, a Vice President, and a former President of the United States.

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