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Enterprise Mentors honors Guatemalan

An organization founded in 1990 by Church members with business experience to provide loans and mentoring to family-based businesses in developing nations has honored the First Lady of the Republic of Guatemala with its International Humanitarian Service Award.
Photo by Liz Martin/Deseret Morning NewsBarbara Thompson left and Sylvia H. Allred of Relief Society general presidency are applauded by Menlo F. Smith EMI founder.
Wendy Widmann de Berger was the featured guest in Salt Lake City Nov. 2 at the third annual benefit dinner of Enterprise Mentors International where she was given the organizations first International Humanitarian Service Award.
Earlier in connection with her EMI visit to Salt Lake City Mrs. de Berger toured the Churchs Humanitarian Service Center and Welfare Square met with the First Presidency and addressed students at BYU and Utah Valley State College (see related report).
In remarks to hundreds of assembled donors and officers of EMI Mrs. de Berger said I would like you to all take home a message of hope and faith this evening faith in God that He is always with us when we are doing His work.
Earlier Menlo F. Smith addressed the group. He helped found EMI after having served as a mission president in the Philippines and observed the conditions there of people caught in a spiral of poverty and at the mercy of unscrupulous lenders who charged as much as 20 percent interest daily on loans given to people trying to work at home-based businesses.
Brother Smith gave the organizations Distinguished Service Award to the Relief Society general presidency for their deep commitment to humanitarian service. Sister Julie B. Beck general president was on assignment in California in the wake of devastating fires in that state; the award was received by her counselors Sister Sylvia H. Allred and Sister Barbara Thompson.
G. Richard Oscarson retiring president and CEO of the organization was honored for his 17 years of service. Brother Oscarson former president of the St. Louis Missouri Stake and of the Sweden Stockholm Mission retired in 1990 as vice president of a major national retail corporation then at the urging of Brother Smith went to work with EMI taking the leadership reins soon thereafter. He said that with his retirement he felt the time was right to move the EMI headquarters from St. Louis Mo. to Draper Utah. This puts the headquarters closer to many donors and members of the boards of directors and governors are located in or near Utah.
E-mail to: rscott@desnews.com

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