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November 3, 2010

Alcoa’s Vanessa Lau Honored with Woman of Distinction “Badge” from Girl Scout Council of New York

NEW YORK--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced Vanessa Lau, chief financial officer for Alcoa Global Rolled Products, was honored today as a “Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York during its 18th annual Women of Distinction Breakfast. Held as part of the celebration of Girl Scout founder Juliette Low’s birthday, the event recognizes several women whose lives and careers represent diverse paths of achievement and the fulfillment of the Girl Scout Promise.

Lau, who grew up in Hong Kong, and her family have been active in Scouting. Her father had been a Boy Scout for years and rose to the rank of “Queen’s Scout” during the time when Hong Kong was a British colony. Lau was selected as a Brownie when she was eight years old, as was the custom in Hong Kong at that time.

“For me and my family, it was considered a great honor. Even as a child, I felt the real responsibility that went with the uniform,” Lau said upon accepting the award. “My Brownies experience reinforced the emphasis my family placed on community service. In Hong Kong we didn’t sell Girl Scout cookies, instead, we sold small stickers to raise money for charity every Saturday which helped prepare me for a lifelong love of numbers. Most importantly, Scouting laid a foundation of high ethics and a sense of responsibility – two principles that are critically important to me not only in my job, but in my personal relationships as well.”

Girl Scout Council Board President Patricia Stensrud said that all recipients are examples of outstanding leadership.

“They represent powerful role models for our girls, demonstrating that if they can dream it, they can do it,” Stensrud said. “Girl Scouting equips girls with confidence, skills and a path for accomplishing their goals. Belief in their own self-worth will serve them, their families and their communities for a lifetime.”

Joining Lau as honorees were:
  • Terri D. Austin, Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, The McGraw-Hill Companies;
  • Barbara J. Cooperman, Global Chief Marketing Officer, LexisNexis Group;
  • Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, Senior Vice President, Moody’s Investment Service; and
  • Nadja Swarovski, Vice President, International Communications, Swarovski.

Over the Women of Distinction Breakfast’s 17-year history other notable honorees include television journalist Maria Bartiromo, Pulitzer Prize-winning Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen, fashion designer Vera Wang, and Vishakha Desai, President and CEO of the Asia Society.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for nine consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at

About the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York

The Girl Scout Council of Greater New York provides New York City’s largest girls-only leadership development program reaching more than 23,000 girls aged 5 to 17. Girl Scout programs reach girls in virtually every zip code of New York City’s five boroughs and every socioeconomic sector. Girl Scouts enjoy programs that include career exploration, financial literacy, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), camping and environmental programs, and the nation’s largest business training program for girls, the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Today’s Girl Scouts are prepared to lead today as well as tomorrow, fulfilling our mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Visit to learn more.