The 2011 Swedish-American of the Year: Kerstin Lane

The Vasa Order of America names Kerstin Lane, Honorary Consul General of Sweden to Chicago, Illinois, the 2011 Swedish-American of the Year. This is an annual award that has been given out by the Vasa Order of America since 1960. Recipients can be either Swedish or American by birth, but must have made significant contributions to the relationship between the two countries. Recipients are honored with a Golden Plaque, a diploma, and their name added to the commemorative Swedish American of the Year tablet, which is kept in Växjö. They are feted with several celebrations in Sweden, including lunch at the Foreign Office, a reception at Stockholm City Hall, activities at Skansen, a dinner hosted by the Vasa Order and sometimes a reception at the American Embassy in Stockholm.
Kerstin Lane, an immigrant of Sweden since 1974, quickly saw the importance of preserving the Swedish heritage. She became the founding Executive Director of the Swedish American Museum in Chicago. She was the first paid employee in 1988 until her retirement in 2006. In 2003 she was appointed the Swedish Honorary Consul General for Illinois. Kerstin is a bright and inspiring presence to the Swedish-American community by being involved in SWEA (Swedish Women Educational Association), the Swedish American Historical Society, North Park University’s Center for Scandinavian Studies and the Chicago Cultural Alliance.


An earlier profile on this year's Swedish American of the Year: Kerstin Lane: Creator, founder, visionary