Ambassador Robert A. Sherman spoke on March 2 at IBM’s annual/kick off meeting entitled “Innovation Ecosystem” that included approximately 100 of IBM Portugal’s top business partners, an audience composed of CEOs and other board members of IBM’s top business partners. Members of IBM’s board of directors, António Raposo de Lima, President, António Cerejeira, HR, Lara Campos Tropa, Marketing and Communications Director, Diogo Franca, CFO and José Manuel Paraíso, Global Business Services director were present. The Ambassador delivered some inspirational words about the possibilities of Portugal, transatlantic commerce, and how one becomes successful in business, as well as what the USG and Embassy have been doing in these areas, including on TTIP, SelectUSA, entrepreneurship, and Connect to Success. The objective of this meeting was for IBM to revisit 2015 business results and achievements, and look into its 2016’s joint strategy and priorities.
Echoing the words of welcome by António Raposo de Lima, IBM Portugal President, of being “at home at IBM,” the Ambassador also showed the audience a plaque that was given to him as a child by his father on which the word “THINK” is displayed. He recounted a story about how his father challenged him to think innovatively, referring also to an IBM motto coined by Thomas J. Watson in 1911, who then led IBM from 1914 to 1956. THINK has since become a center place of IBM’s branding. The Ambassador shared that he still holds this plaque dearly, and keeps it in his office still today.
The Ambassador ended his presentation, saying: “I am honored to join this group of IBM business partners at its annual Ecosystem meeting. This event and those assembled here demonstrate IBM’s reputation for excellence, its impact on society and commerce, its commitment to diversity, and its ongoing partnership with the Embassy… You here today are the ones who will rise to the challenge in Portugal and beyond. You are its leaders. You are the ones whose ideas and efforts will create employment, prosperity, and a more welcoming society in this beautiful country that my wife and I feel lucky to now consider our own.”