Bellevue wireless company Trilogy Partners today received the Award for Corporate Excellence from teh U.S. State Department, the first time a Washington company has received the award for “exemplary business practices in the area of global citizenship.”
Trilogy Chairman John Stanton was in Washington, D.C., to receive the award from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Stanton, in a phone interview this morning, credited the Trilogy team for its work in Haiti over the past decade.
“They didn’t do this for recognition,” he said. “The group’s been doing the great work for about 10 years in Haiti and years before that in other markets, and worked hard because it’s the right thing to do.”
The company’s Voila-brand phone service employs more than 500 Haitians and creates jobs indirectly for more than 15,000 through a micro-enterprise venture in which local entrepreneurs sell time on customized phones.
Trilogy also heavily supports education in the impoverished country, providing scholarships to more than 5,000 elementary schoolchildren in partership with musician Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti foundation.
Stanton, his wife and his business partner acquired the Haiti business and networks in other international markets that were left from their sale of Western Wireless.
In addition to Haiti, the company now operates wireless networks in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and New Zealand.
Besides making direct contributions, the company is also helping emerging markets by increasing access to telephony and wireless computing.
“For us it really is a great enabler of commerce,” Stanton said. “It’s also an enabler of freedom, democracy if you will — but it’s a great business growth opportunity as well.”
U.S. ambassadors around the world nominated 42 companies for the award program, started in 1999. The list was narrowed to 11 finalists in October, including Chevron for work in the Philippines, Cisco Systems for work in Lebanon, Intel in Costa Rica and Oracle in Romania.
Finalists “are businesses that recognize the critical role our companies play globally in advancing good corporate citizenship, innovation and democratic principles,” the October release said.