WASHINGTON (Aug. 11, 2020) /PRNewswire/ — This summer marks 10 years since William Loiry organized the main disaster response summits that followed the BP Oil Spill, also known as the Deepwater Horizon disaster, named for the offshore drilling rig where it took place, in April 2010. This was the largest environmental catastrophe in U.S. history, which killed eleven oil drilling rig workers, pumped between 168 million to 210 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, led to extensive health problems with Gulf Coast residents, and caused substantial damage to marine and wildlife habitats.
The Gulf Oil Spill Disaster Response Summits brought together local, State, and National leaders to empower the recovery of the U.S. Gulf region by identifying the emerging impact of the oil spill on health, the environment, and Gulf communities; by providing the latest details on the BP claims process; and by featuring effective oil spill containment and response solutions. The first Summit was held in Mobile, Alabama on June 17, 2010. The second Summit was held in New Orleans on July 9, 2010. These were followed by years of Gulf Coast Restoration Summits along the Gulf Coast, which brought community, business, and Government leaders together to discuss restoration priorities for the billions in BP oil spill response monies. News media coverage included CNN, the Associated Press, and local newspapers and television stations.
“The Summits provided a profoundly important service in the aftermath of that unprecedented disaster, by catalyzing the affected communities and local, State, and national Government agencies to work together to develop effective and fair restoration programs,” said Loiry.
Praise for Loiry’s Gulf Coast summits was widespread. Former Plaquemines Parish President, and now Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser stated, “The people involved in this organization should be praised. They are doing a great job at keeping the response, effects, and aftermath issues of the BP oil spill on the forefront. Bill Loiry should also be praised for his efforts with the Summit. Myself, Plaquemines Parish, and all of coastal Louisiana are so thankful to him for the work he is doing.” Senator Bob Graham, Co-Chairman of the National Oil Spill Commission, stated, “Thank you for your many years of commitment to Gulf restoration.”
WASHINGTON (June 29, 2020) – This month marks 30 years since William Loiry’s arrival in Moscow, where he was instrumental in facilitating the economic transition of the Soviet Union.
Loiry grew up during the Cold War and was concerned about the possibility of a thermonuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union began opening under President Mikhail Gorbachev, Loiry’s plan was to promote peace through business. “If you are a Soviet businessman and I’m helping you make American dollars, you’re not going to want to shoot me,” Loiry stated.
In 1990, Loiry published the first U.S.-Soviet business guide, which became widely used in both the Soviet Union and the United States.
Loiry traveled throughout the Soviet Union, promoting his business guide, becoming the first American thousands of Russians had ever met, and one of the few Americans to meet Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Red Square. In July 1990, Loiry became the first American to visit Saratov, a city on the Volga River. Having served as President of the Tallahassee (FL)-Krasnodar Sister City Program in 1989, he also spent time learning about the culture and economy in Krasnodar during his visit in 1990. Loiry also visited both eastern and western Siberia as well as Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan.
After meeting with many business leaders throughout the Soviet Union, Loiry opened an office in Moscow with supporting offices in the United States. Throughout the four years that followed, Loiry brought hundreds of Soviet oil executives, bankers, and other business leaders to the U.S. to understand American business, get a taste of American culture, and to see American democracy at work. The trips included visiting the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, meetings on Capitol Hill, and even experiencing Disney World in Florida.
“These four years were crucial in making sure the new democracies in Russia and the other former Soviet countries did not go back to an authoritarian state, which was a threat to the United States,” said Loiry. “My work in creating peace through business shows that people-to-people diplomacy can make a significant difference.”