WASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ NEWS: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will announce and present the 15th annual Secretary of State’s Awards for Corporate Excellence (ACE) on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at 9:20 a.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the U.S. Department of State.

Secretary of State John KerryThe ACE, inaugurated in 1999, emphasizes the important role U.S. businesses can play abroad to advance ethical practices, sustainable development, and democratic values through exemplary conduct in their overseas operations.

This year, U.S. ambassadors nominated 43 U.S.-based companies operating in 12 countries. A senior level, interagency committee selected the three winners from among the following 12 finalists: Apache Corporation in Egypt, Ball Corporation in Serbia, Boeing in the Peoples’ Republic of China, Citibank in Brazil, Coca-Cola Company in Romania, Dole Food Company in Ecuador, Esso in Angola, Fruit of the Loom, Inc. in Honduras, Mars Incorporated in Indonesia, Plantronics, Inc. in Mexico, Taylor Guitars in Cameroon, and VOS Flips in Guatemala. The names of the winners will be publicly and officially announced at the ACE ceremony.

After Secretary Kerry’s presentation of the 2013 awards, Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Krishna Urs will lead the interactive portion of the ACE ceremony. Company executives and U.S. ambassadors who submitted winning nominations will participate live from their respective countries by satellite.

The ceremony will be streamed live on