WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mankato High School graduate Dan Akerson will be honored for his service to country and community at the United States Navy Memorial’s 2013 Lone Sailor Awards Dinner in Septembe.
Akerson, General Motors chairman and CEO and Navy veteran, will be among four to be honored at this year’s Lone Sailor Awards Dinner. The others include legendary Marine Corps commandant and businessman General P. X. Kelley; CNN founder and Coast Guard veteran Ted Turner and former United States Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Akerson’s leadership skills have been the driving force behind his successful military and private sector careers. Upon graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, Akerson served as an officer on a Naval destroyer from 1970-1975. Following his service in the military, Akerson attended the London School of Economics and went on to hold various executive-level positions at AT&T, MCI Communications, Nextel Communications, XO Communications and General Instrument.
“I am very humbled and deeply grateful to receive this prestigious award and to be included among this special group of honorees,” Akerson said in a statement issued by the U.S. Navy Memorial. “The Lone Sailor Award exemplifies how I have tried to live my life by three simple, yet powerful principles – honor, courage and commitment.”
Since 2010, Akerson has served as chairman and chief executive officer of GM, one of the world’s largest automakers. He joined GM as a member of its Board of Directors in 2009 and led GM’s initial public offering in 2010 — the largest in U.S. history. Under Akerson’s unwavering leadership, today’s GM is passionate about designing, building and selling the world’s best vehicles.
Akerson has funded a community center for disadvantaged people called Marguerites Place, named after his mother. In 2012, he and his wife Karin launched the Habitat for Humanity Leaders to Rebuild Detroit initiative with a cornerstone contribution and also co-chaired the annual Capuchin Soup Kitchen dinner, raising a record sum. He also chairs his family’s Blue Earth Foundation, which provides financial assistance to programs serving young people.
Throughout his career, Akerson has received various industry awards and civic honors including So Others Might Eat’s 2011 Humanitarian of the Year, Habitat for Humanity Michigan’s 2013 Sponsor of the Year, The Detroit News’ 2013 Michiganian of the Year, and co-winner of The Detroit Free Press’ Automotive Leadership Award. He has also been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the U.S. military as the recipient of the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation Leatherneck Award and the U.S. Naval Academy Distinguished Graduate Award.
He currently serves on the boards of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, the Tsinghua University (China) School of Economics and Management Advisory Board and the International Business Leaders Advisory Council of Shanghai and as a member of The Business Council, comprising 150 active-member CEOs from the world’s largest businesses.