The Thai Finnish Chamber of Commerce (TFCC), on 10 October 2017, celebrated its 25 years Anniversary with an Awards Night at Hotel St. Regis, Bangkok.
The 150 guests attending the auspicious night included the Finnish Ambassador and Embassy staff, the largest Finnish companies operating in Thailand, Thai government officials and other TFCC members, partners and their invited guests.
Beginning the procedures for the evening the gathered Finns and Thais honoured the late His Majesty the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej with a remembrance, with the King’s Song played by the live band for the night, N-Joy.
Master of Ceremony (MC) of the evening was no other than Mr Lasse Norres, a legend in Finnish entertainment business. Following his welcome remarks TFCC President Mr Jari Hietala in turn welcomed the guests and also introduced the entire new TFCC Board on stage.
Also in attendance H.E. Ambassador of Finland to Thailand Ms Satu Suikkari-Kleven graced the night with her attendance and welcome speech.
After the first course had been served Lasse Norres introduced to the guests Zero-to-Hero Foundation (Z2H) and invited its representative khun Ja-Oh to the stage. Ja-Oh held a short introduction, combined with a video about the foundation, which helps Thai families in Na Yom village close to Petchabun. The evening’s charity auction supported Z2H.
Two strong elements made up the Finnish and Thai motorsports stars theme for the Anniversary. First, two young Thai circuit race drivers took part in the Finnish V1600 racing series this year and as the first Thai ever the young man, Nathayos Sirigaya won the whole national series! His nickname is Miang. His girlfriend, nicknamed Ploy, a much more experienced driver, Tachapan Vijittranon, also did well. The MC shared the history of these two young drivers and how they ended up racing in Finland.
“Never before has a Thai driver won any national motorsport series before in Europe. Impressively this was also the first time Miang took part in actual car races, as he had before only been involved in simulator races!” reported Executive Director TFC Mr Karri Kivela, and added: “As Finland is also very famous for its motorsport stars we intend to work more closely between Thailand and Finland in motorsports in future.”
Handing the Thai drivers an award the Finnish Ambassador commended: “On behalf of the Finnish Embassy I want to award you Khun Miang and Khun Ploy with these small gifts from Finland and congratulate you both for your roles and performances as Thai motorsports ambassadors in Finland this year. I give my special congratulations to Khun Miang for winning a European motorsport series as the first Thai ever!”
Second, having heard about the Zero-to-Hero Charity Finnish Formula One race driver Kimi Räikkönen had come to Thailand personally, after the race in Malaysia, to hand TFCC his PRO PUMA FERRARI items all signed by him! “There is no need to say how high these products are valued by hard core Ferrari and Kimi fans around the world. You don’t get Kimi’s racing gloves from nowhere,” stated TFCC.
Before the evening’s auction, and following on the main course being served, it was time for the TFCC 25 Years Awards, where Mr Kai Tuorila guided the guests through the milestones of TFCC’s past 25 years.
Selected companies and individuals were awarded for their contributions for TFCC during our first 25 years. The following were awarded with Loyalty Awards (companies who have been TFCC member since 1992): Finnair, Wiik&Höglund and C.L. International.
Country Manager of Finnair Ms Nantiya Wongrojaree as well as CEO of Wiik & Hoeglund, Mr Wiboon Sangwithayanon received the Loyalty Awards from the event’s Diamond sponsor Mr Lucien Heijstee, Executive Vice President of Thaivivat Insurance PCL. Mr Chartchai Lertsachanat, MD of C.L. International was unable to attend the anniversary event and the award would be presented to him later.
The Finnish Employment Award went to the company with the most Finnish employees in Thailand right now, Madison-Mayflower. MD Mr Tim Olsbom received the awards from the event’s Diamond Sponsor Kone Thailand, represented by MD Mr Anthony Tan.
The TFCC Partnership award was given to the company with the most active partnership with TFCC, Thaivivat Insurance PCL. Executive Vice President Mr Lucien Heijstee received this award from the Diamond sponsor of this event Mr. Jukka Katajaharju, Managing Director of Codemate.
Last by not least the TFCC lifetime award, which was given to the person who has contributed to the wellbeing of TFCC throughout its history: Mr Kai Tuorila! Jari Hietala presented the award.
Matched with the dessert the auction for Zero-to-Hero Foundation commenced with fabulous prizes up for grabs. The Executive Director for TFCC, Karri Kivela, explained to the guests the idea of the auction again, followed by the start of the bidding for the items auctioned on the stage. Other items not auctioned on the stage were valued at the prices of bids already given.
Two ‘First Aid’ courses for 12 people already auctioned for pre-determined companies/persons were presented on stage to the highest bidders by MD Vladimir Alidis from Euro-Center (donor).
For the other action items, GM of Finnair Thailand Ms. Nantiya Wongrojaree presented the Finnair return ticket to Europe to the highest bidder.
For the Mikko Ilonen (best Finnish golfer ever) golf bag Karri invited the Managing Director Mr Anthony Tan of Kone Thailand to presented the golf bag. Mikko plays mainly on the European Tour where he has won five events. Mikko has been sponsored a long time by Kone and Mikko’s bag that he used in training for the Olympics was donated to this auction.
Furthermore, Mika Kallio, a Finnish Grand Prix motorcycle racer, donated his 2017 racing gloves to Zero-to-Hero Charity auction.
And, representing another sport Finland is famous for, ice-hockey player Teemu Selanne donated his Finnish National Team jersey with this signature. Selanne is the highest scoring Finn in NHL history and one of the highest overall.
And then there was the gift from the Finnish Formula One living legend, Kimi Räikkönen, also contributing to the auction.
The charity auction made 296,000 bath for Z2H (www.z2h.fi)