Rorion Gracie, President of the Gracie Academy and chairman of the Gracie Museum in Los Angeles will be the recipient of the Brazil-California Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) Southern Cross Merit award during its annual gala dinner.
Gracie was the first Brazilian to bring the Brazilian style of Jiu Jitsu – an old oriental martial art – to the United States, over 20 years ago. He was also the creator of the successful UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship – in 1995 and trainer of several Hollywood celebrities.
The Brazilian entrepreneur and his team still train several branches of the US government including the Navy Seals, FBI and the LAPD. Today Brazilian or Gracie Jiu Jitsu is known virtually all over the United States and Gracie is recognized as the driving force behind it.
Brazil-California Chamber of Commerce started its tradition of honoring members of the community who had strived and excelled in promoting Brazilian business, arts, sports and culture not only in California, but also all over the US in 2003. Former recipients include David Neeleman, President and CEO of JetBlue (2003) and Amauri Soares, CEO of TV Globo International (2004).
BCCC was established in 1996 as a non-profit organization to promote business relations and commercial trade between Brazil and California, also providing a forum for the promotion of cultural exchanges and social interaction between both countries.
Today, BCCC is a proud representative of the Brazilian business community in California, comprised of professionals, entrepreneurs, as well as large and small companies interested in obtaining information on trade, investment and economic issues.
The chamber has been a valuable source for Brazilian and American executives, businessmen and politicians by providing information about trade, commerce and investment leads in California and Brazil.
The BCCC annual gala dinner and the award ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2005, from 6 pm at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California.