By Amberlie Romney
First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Thomas S. Monson, presented M. Anthony Burns with the Marriott School of Management”s 2001 Executive of the Year Award at a banquet Friday, Nov. 16.
“I came here to honor Tony Burns, a wonderful humanitarian, a great member of the church and a dear friend,” President Monson said.
In his tribute speech to Burns, President Monson quoted a passage from the book of Acts in the Bible. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth … who went about doing good … for God was with him.” President Monson then related this description of Christ to Burns.
“Anthony Burns has spent his life going about doing good, and God is with him,” President Monson said.
Going about doing good with his life is what made Anthony Burns the best candidate for this prestigious award said Don Davis, retired senior vice president of CSX Corporation and member of the National Advisory Council.
The National Advisory Council is an organization comprised of executives and business people from around the world who meet regularly to share their experience and understanding on ways to help and benefit the Marriott School of Management and its students, Davis said.
The International Executive of the Year Award is presented to a member of the business community who has been nominated by the National Advisory Council and approved by Dean of the Marriott School, Ned Hill.
Burns said receiving this prestigious award from his peers and colleagues is the greatest honor he has ever received.
Over the past 27 years, the Executive of the Year Award has been presented to influential CEOs and business persons from such companies as Procter & Gamble, CSX Corporation and McDonnell Douglas.
“The 2001 International Executive of Year Award is predicated on achievements, career contributions to industry, humanity and how they make the world a better place in their company and throughout business environment,” Davis said.
Burns was president and CEO of Ryder, Inc. and is now serving as chair on the board of directors. He said he is also serving on the board of directors for Coca-Cola, Black & Decker Corporation, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Pfizer Inc. and J.C. Penney Company Inc.
“He shows the way to be successful without doing what the world thinks you have to do to be successful,” Hill said.
Burns also sets an example of success by serving.
Don Davis is a business associate and a close friend to Burns. He said Burns serves as the president of the South Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America, is on the University of Miami Board of Trustees and is the chair of the Second Century Fund of the Performing Arts Center Foundation of Greater Miami.
“He has reached and blessed lives after lives after lives,” President Bateman said in his tribute speech to Burns.
However, the most important reason Anthony Burns is the 2001 International Executive of the Year is he sets an example for the students in the Marriott School of Management, Hill said.
“We want to hold up to our students” examples of how one can be a professionally successful person, but also someone who can balance that with service, with faith in the gospel and with devotion to his family. Here”s a person we can say very honestly to students ”Go thou and do likewise,”” Hill said.
Brooks Lindberg, the MBA president, also said Burns sets a good example.
“His commitment to integrity and service and trying to do the right thing in his leadership role within the corporation,” Lindberg said. “I think that sets a good example for all of us.”
Burns said he hopes to set an example for students as to what is possible through hard work.
“Show them that they can become executives, that they can become successful if they work hard,” Burns said.