Business Council for International Understanding Enriches Global Vision by Electing Irish-American Business Leader John Campion as Chairman
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) today announced the election of APR Energy Founder and Chairman John Campion as the new chairman of its board of directors. Campion, who succeeds William (Bill) J. Mills, chief executive officer of North America for Citi, will formally assume the role as chairman on Jan. 1, 2019.
Campion, an Irish-American entrepreneur, leads APR Energy, a global company specializing in the deployment of fast-track power solutions. Under Campion’s leadership, APR Energy has grown from a single project in Sri Lanka to a global power generation leader that provides electricity to homes, businesses and industries across more than 35 countries. Campion has served on BCIU’s volunteer board of directors for nearly five years, and APR Energy has held BCIU membership for more than a decade.
“John’s integrity, values and passion reflect the spirit that President Dwight D. Eisenhower envisioned for BCIU when he launched the organization from the White House in 1955,” said Peter Tichansky, President & CEO, BCIU. “During his tenure, departing Chairman Bill Mills ensured that BCIU’s vision to drive business engagement and success was carried out on a global scale. As an authentic citizen and diplomat, John was the ideal candidate and leader to continue that legacy and build on President Eisenhower’s intention that BCIU focus its efforts on increasing global connectivity.”
In his role as BCIU chairman, Campion’s global interests and entrepreneurial acumen will help further expand the organization’s business and humanitarian outreach around the world. His ability to engage with business, government and philanthropic leaders across a wide array of cultures makes him an indispensable asset to elevate BCIU’s global status.
“International trade and commerce help drive the progress of global economies and determine the overall quality of life for its citizens,” said Campion. “Through a combination of its unique mission and its gifted leadership, BCIU has enabled unprecedented levels of business growth and success over the years. I’m grateful to Bill Mills for his crucial and successful chairmanship and am eager to stand alongside the BCIU board and management to expand the global prosperity with which BCIU has become synonymous.”
A nonpartisan and nonprofit organization, BCIU exists to expand international trade and commerce. With more than 200 member companies – including Fortune 500 firms such as The Coca-Cola Company and Chevron – and strong relationships with the U.S. and foreign governments and agencies, BCIU connects business leaders and senior government officials on issues of common concern and opportunity through a variety of forums. BCIU has organized thousands of conferences, roundtable discussions, private meetings and trade missions around the world, each reflecting the organization’s deep understanding of business and economic policy issues and its commitment to encouraging dialogue among the participants.
Long-standing BCIU nominating committee member Maurice Tempelsman said, “I’m delighted that John has agreed to accept the position as the next chairman of BCIU. He follows a long line of able and dedicated businessmen who have freely given up their time and energy to make this organization stronger. He brings great enthusiasm, entrepreneurship and a full understanding of what the mission of BCIU is and I’m sure it will be a great benefit to its members.”
A native of Cork, Ireland, Campion immigrated to the United States in 1984 with $26 in his possession and started a job working as a member of a music band’s lighting crew. After years of working with international artists in this capacity, Campion founded his first company, Showpower, Inc., to provide portable power generators to the entertainment industry. Campion later served as executive vice president of sales and marketing at GE before creating what is now known as APR Energy. Campion holds various patents and has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the 2016 Ellis Island Medal of Honor award. He has also been a featured commentator on international media outlets such as Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox News and Forbes.
BCIU was formed at the White House Industrial Cooperation Council Conference on November 10, 1955, under the leadership of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as a “people-to-people” initiative. BCIU encourages international understanding by bringing together senior government officials and business leaders on issues of common concern by facilitating public-private partnerships in the global marketplace, and by assisting with problem-solving in turbulent situations and markets. BCIU also conducts commercial diplomacy training courses for U.S. Foreign Service, U.S. Commercial Service, and other U.S. Government trade promotion personnel. BCIU utilizes a mix of business executives and experienced trade promotion officials as faculty instructors for these courses.