Saskatchewan Distinguished Service Award
Established in 1997, the Saskatchewan Distinguished Service Award provides official recognition by the Government of Saskatchewan of persons from outside the province who have made significant contributions to the well being of Saskatchewan and its residents. The award was introduced to acknowledge the importance of international and inter-provincial relations to Saskatchewan's economy, culture and society.
Recipients receive a gold lapel pin bearing the Saskatchewan coat of arms with the provincial motto Multis e gentibus vires (From many peoples strength), and a certificate to recognize their achievements. The award is presented by the Premier or another Cabinet Minister.
2. Nomination Criteria
Nominees must have made a significant contribution to the economic, social or cultural development of Saskatchewan and its people through leadership and personal activity in areas such as:
- Resource development
- The arts
- Culture industries
They must be either citizens of other countries, or Canadian citizens who reside in other provinces or territories of Canada or in other countries. Former residents of Saskatchewan are eligible if the contribution for which they are being recognized has been made since their departure from the province. Representatives of organizations are eligible for the award but not the organizations themselves. Posthumous nominations are accepted within a year of the death of the nominee.
Nominations for the award may be proposed by any ministry, agency or Crown corporation of the Government of Saskatchewan, or authority in which the government is a direct partner. An annual call for nominations is made.
The Saskatchewan Honours Advisory Council recommends recipients to the Premier.
3. 2017 Recipient
Huseyin Arslan, Executive Chair of the Board, AGT Foods and Ingredients, Mersin, Turkey
Mr. Huseyin Arslan has played an essential role in the transformation of Saskatchewan agriculture by investing in the province to create one of the world's largest pulse processing firms. His partnership has resulted in a Saskatchewan-based company that operates 47 facilities worldwide and employees more than 450 people in the province, while opening new markets for thousands of Saskatchewan farmers.
Mr. Arslan, involved in the global pulses and staple foods business for over 30 years, has presided for almost 20 years as the President of the Arbel Group. In 2001, Mr. Arslan was one of the founding shareholders of Saskcan Pulse Trading providing the nucleus for AGT Food and Ingredients (AGT), where he has served as a director or trustee since 2008 and Executive Chair of the Board of Directors since 2009. Mr. Arslan also serves as a director of AGT subsidiaries, Durum Foods, the producer of the Arbella pasta brand, and Turkpulse, as well as certain companies owned by the Arslan Family in Turkey.
Mr. Arslan holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering from Middle East Technical University in Turkey and has over three decades of experience in the trading of agricultural and food products globally. In 2015, Mr. Arslan was selected as President of the Global Pulse Confederation after serving as Executive Vice-President of the International Pulse Processors and Exporters Federation, the global pulse industry association, since 2013 as well as serving as the President of the Mersin Trade Commodity Exchange Council.
4. Previous Recipients
Robert Banks, Washington, D.C., USA
Peter Gzowski, Toronto, ON
Moto Motohashi, Tokyo, Japan
John Cook, Toronto, ON
Buffy Sainte-Marie, Hawaii, USA
Ian Wahn (1916-1999) , Toronto, ON
Philip Gordon, Toronto, ON
Tom Jackson, Calgary, AB
Ichiro Okamoto, Hyogo, Japan
Ken Battle, Ottawa, ON
Adrian Burns, Ottawa, ON
Judith Maxwell, Ottawa, ON
Steve McGirr, Toronto, ON
John Richards, Vancouver, BC
Sir Conrad Swan, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Dr. Thomas Courchene, Kingston, ON
The Right Honourable Sir Robin Janvrin, London, United Kingdom
John C.S. Lau, Calgary, AB
Wilton J. Littlechild, Hobbema, AB
Sensei Hidetaka Hishiyama, California, USA
Olga Lysenska, Kyiv, Ukraine
Dr. Ronald Cavell, Edmonton, AB
Dr. Daniel Fox, New York, USA
Bob McGrath, Teaneck, New Jersey, USA
Huseyin Arslan, Mersin, Turkey