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“The mission of The American Society of Mexico is to help improve bilateral relations between the United States and Mexico. We strive to do this by fostering friendship, cultural, business, and civic ties between the United States and Mexico, as well as with other countries that have diplomatic relations with both nations.”

WHO WE ARE

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MEXICO, A.C. (AmSoc) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established in its original charter to represent all U.S. private interests in Mexico. As a non-governmental association, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico has always been our Honorary President with whom the Society works closely.

OUR OBJECTIVES

OUR OBJECTIVES

Foster stronger ties
between Mexicans
and Americans

Promote development

Represent collective
interests

Increase visibility

Giving back to
the community

Promote culture
and diversity

HISTORY

Our First Honorary President

Our Honorary President, George Strausser Messersmith was born on October 3, 1883 in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. He entered the Foreign Service and served in different countries, including Germany during World War II, where he was best known for his controversial decision to issue a visa to Albert Einstein. In Mexico Ambassador Messersmith was not only responsible for the foundation of The American Society of Mexico, but also for establishing in the same year of 1942, the well renowned Benjamin Franklin Library in Mexico City. He was appointed the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico up until 1947 by President Harry S. Truman.

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Our Founding President

Lorem ipsum The founding president was Mr. Russell Ford Moody who was born on June 13, 1902 in Michigan and received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineer by the University of Michigan in 1925. He was the Vice President of the Canada Dry Bottling Company of Mexico, had been Assistant General Manager of the Compañía Hulera Euzkadi, and was alternate director of the Banco Internacional, Bank of London. He was also a Board Director to the American British Cowdray (ABC) Hospital, YMCA, and a standing member of the University Club, the American Club, Club de Banqueros, Masons and Tau Beta Pi. Married to Louise, he had twho children: Jean Carol and Beverly.

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On Wednesday July 22nd of the year 1942 at 8.00pm, a meeting was called in the auditorium of The American School Foundation by the United States Ambassador to Mexico, the Honorable George S. Messersmith and other community leaders, to establish an organization that would be an over all group in the American community, thus the beginning of The American Society in Mexico.

The leadership of AmSoc has always been intertwined with many other important organizations operating in Mexico that were instrumental in the formation of this umbrella organization. The Presidents & Chairmen of the Board of The American Society of Mexico have also been President & Chairmen of the Board of other fine institutions such as The American Chamber of Commerce, United Way, American Benevolent Society, US Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Red Cross, American School Foundation, ABC Hospital, University Club, Rotary International, and many other. Former Presidents of AmSoc with leadership roles in these organizations include our founder, 1942 President Russell Moody and each one of the Presidents that succeeded Moody, up to 2010 President Mark Alexander, who also was also General Manager for McCain Foods, a large international food processing company operating in Mexico.

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In 1945, The American Society of Mexico through an active fundraising drive led by Mr. Thomas Saunders, its then President & Chairman of the Board and with the enthusiasm of George Messersmith, its Honorary President, the association purchased a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (a.k.a. Jug or T-bolt) fighter aircraft, which was produced in the United States. At the time there was enormous concern over the war efforts and since Amb. Messersmith had been direct witness to the rise of the Nazis in Germany since he had served in the US Consulate in Germany from 1930-1934 and he convinced the AmSoc Board, and thus the P-47 was purchased for the Mexican Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Mexicana) and used by the historically renowned Escuadrón 201, that fought in the Philippines during World War II. They are known in Mexico as Aguilas Aztecas and the squadron was trained in both Texas and Idaho. The veterans of the Escuadrón 201 were proudly part of every single one of The American Society of Mexico 4th of July celebrations and marched until the last one celebrated with them in 2002.

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During its first years of operation, AmSoc launched “Amistad” magazine that was printed from the 1940’s throughout many more decades. Exclusive content that marked the evolution of the American community in Mexico and highlighted many actions and events that showcased the collaboration between Mexico and the United States. This important magazine was distributed to Americans and Mexicans throughout the community.

In the 1950’s The Society continued to offer to the community a number of events, more notably were 4th of July Independence Day Celebration, Election Night, special dinners and receptions with diverse dignitaries, Thanksgiving dinner, conferences, seminars, business gatherings, Networkers that were formed in 2002 with the idea of helping leaders meet other leaders. An active committee system was also developed where people could come together with a whole array of objectives.

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President John F. Kennedy

On Saturday June 30, 1962, during the 20th anniversary of The American Society of Mexico, it had the distinct privilege of hosting in Ciudad Satélite at 12:35 President John F. Kennedy in his State visit to Mexico. During the ceremony celebrated in JFK’s honor, Mr. Willard D. Andrews, then President and Chairman of the Board of The American Society of Mexico and CEO of Becton Dickinson de México, the Hon. Thomas C. Mann, then U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, together with Mr. Michael Hazzard, then Vice President of AmSoc  (President of the organization 1962-1963) and President of RCA Victor Mexicana, and Entertainment Chairman of AmSoc, Mr. Leonard Klein (President of the organization 1963-1964) and CEO of Charles Klein, welcomed President Kennedy to the American community in Mexico. President Kennedy delivered a wonderful speech worthy of being remembered:

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President Lyndon B. Johnson

In April 14th and 15th of the year 1966, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson traveled to Mexico together with U.S. Senators and Congressmen from the states of Illinois and Kentucky with an initiative that the American Society had been deeply involved in for many months. The idea of the community which was relayed to the Hon. Fulton Freeman, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Honorary President of AmSoc by Harold J. Campbell, the President & Chairman of the Board at the time who had also been Past President of The American Chamber of Commerce, proposed the edification of a tribute to one of the greatest American Presidents of all time, Abraham Lincoln to show a friendly and respectful bond between both nations. The idea was agreed to by Johnson’s government and a replica was commissioned to Felix DeWeldon from a mold of “Standing Lincoln” completed in 1887 by American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. Pres. Johnson came personally to deliver it and speak to a group of about 5,000 people gathered in Parque Polanco in Mexico City for the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln monument.

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Since its founding AmSoc, has had as one of its core principles, to do good and donate to many worthy causes in Mexico, such as Red Cross, Pro-Ciegos of Junior League, orphanages, senior citizen centers, centers for the disabled, The American School, among many others reputable causes and institutions. It has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout its history. During the major force majeure events like the September 19th earthquakes, the Society has raised funds and its members have participated in rescue efforts. It has done the same activities over and over again throughout the country when there have been people and victims in need. 

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In 1979 The American Society of Mexico, under the leadership of Donald Fraser, then President & Chairman of the Board, the Hon. Patrick Joseph Lucey, then United States Ambassador to Mexico, established United Way in Mexico. United Way is the largest non-profit organization in the world focusing its efforts on education, income generation and health. Bringing United Way to Mexico, the largest charitable organization in the world, has been one of the most important accomplishments that The American Society of Mexico has had in its recent past. Today Larry Rubin, current President & Chairman of the Board of AmSoc is and has been a part of the Board of United Way Mexico, a true collaboration that helps work on projects together. The organization raises millions of pesos and currently operates in 24 states of Mexico. In 1991, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States recognizes the efforts of United Way Mexico becoming an Honorary Member.

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In 1980, President Ronald Reagan proposed a North American common market during his campaign. The Hon. John Gavin, who later became U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Honorary President of AmSoc worked tirelessly, meeting and having a number of discussions with Gilbert Jimenez and Robert Harper, former Presidents and Chairmen of the Board of The American Society of Mexico and other key community leaders. In 1984, Congress passed the Trade and Tariff Act, which gave “fast-track” authority to negotiate bilateral free trade agreements. During 1985, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney agreed to discussions for a Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Soon thereafter Mexico was brought into the discussions during the tenure of Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and the 41st United States President George HW Bush

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Since 1984, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter had donated his time to Habitat for Humanity, a large charitable American organization, but it wasn’t until 1989 with the enthusiastic support of Craig Dudley, then President and Chairman of the Board of the Society and the Hon. Charles J. Pilliod Jr. U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Honorary President of The American Society of Mexico that Habitat for Humanity was launched in Mexico. Today this amazing organization has had a decided impact in thousands of communities through its 23 regional offices in Mexico. Larry Rubin, current President & Chairman of the Board of AmSoc has been a Board member of Habitat para la Humanidad, as it is known in Mexico.

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In 1985, during the tenure of Alfonso Martinez Fonts as President & Chairman of the Board of The American Society of Mexico and who later became Assistant Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security under the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, AmSoc received its first computer.  This is a very relevant feat because this “Commodore 64” opened up the technology era that was soon to follow throughout the world and was when the Society moved from managing with paper to managing the day-to-day with a computer. This donation came from Larry Newell, who besides being the Society’s President in 1987, also went on to become President of the University Club.

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The American Society of Mexico continued to operate United Way for some years until it became extremely large, complex and successful in Mexico and in 1988 during the tenure of Larry Newell, then President & Chairman of the Board, AmSoc decided it was time for United Way to operate as a stand-alone. Together with the preceding President & Chairman of the Board Steve Spencer, and Newell’s successor Craig Dudley, who at the time was the Vice President, United Way was spun off to continue its so very important work in Mexico. Larry Newell served for many years in the Board of United Way and assured that this transition was remarkably successful for both organizations.  United Way grew very much in the succeeding years.

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NAFTA Agreement

In 1992 NAFTA was signed by the 3 leaders of the region. It was then ratified by Congress and signed into law by President William J. Clinton. AmSoc was not only an enthusiastic proponent of the opportunities such an agreement would create for Mexico and the United States but Ronald Midden, then President & Chairman of the Board of The American Society of Mexico worked tirelessly to garner support in both countries together with other Mexican and American associations, chambers, and organizations.

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In 1993 under the leadership of then President & Chairman of the Board, Ronald W. Nicholas and his beloved wife Wanda, The American Society of Mexico promoted the installing of a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. directly in front of the statue of President Lincoln in Mexico City’s Parque Polanco. Promoting this idea with the Mexican government and President Salinas de Gortari’s initiative, Hon. John Negroponte, then U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Honorary President of AmSoc, made it a reality. Having both Pres. Lincoln and Dr. King, one in front of the other, leaders that gave their life for the promotion of freedom, was of utter significance to the American community in Mexico. One hundred years after Lincoln’s historic Gettysburg address, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his brilliant “I have a dream” speech at Lincoln’s memorial in Washington DC. The 1993 statue ceremony was attended by many members of AmSoc and by Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King who at 66 years old was very proud of seeing her late husband’s statue displayed in one of the largest cities in the world. AmSoc President Ron Nicholas and other Board members enjoyed spending time with her during her Mexico City visit and hearing historical facts from the wife of one of the greatest men of the 20th century

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In the year 2000, a Board member of AmSoc, Frank Devlyn, became Global President of Rotary International. A very important feat representing 35,000 member clubs and over 1.2 million people. He became the Ambassador of goodwill causes for the whole world and traveled extensively to promote the hard work Rotarians do in hundreds of countries. Frank was not only an important leader in The American Society of Mexico, but also in the community and throughout the world. The Cuban-American Nestor Navarro, then President & Chairman of the Society, worked with Frank closely and eventually after ending his worldwide President tenure, Devlyn became very active in the Society becoming a Board member until his death in 2020.

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In 2002, like many times before and after the U.S. Embassy together with AmSoc joined forces in having a non-partisan Election Night at La Hacienda de los Morales, where thousands of Americans, Mexicans, and people of all nationalities, gathered to witness electoral results from the different states during the Presidential election of George W. Bush. Amb. Davidow was the co-host together with the Society. This important event was co-hosted again by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and AmSoc in the 2008 election of President Barack Obama. Then Amb. Antonio Garza, United States Ambassador and Honorary President under the tenure of Kim Hansen as President & Chairman of the Board of The American Society of Mexico organized in November Election Night at the Hotel Camino Real. Election Night has been part of the Society’s history.

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In the year 2003, The American Society of Mexico hosted Utah Governor Michael Leavitt, who was Chairman of the National Governors Association, the important organization that represents U.S. Governors, when he visited Mexico City. AmSoc organized a dinner in his honor led by Larry Rubin, its President & Chairman of the Board, and by the Hon. Antonio Garza, then United States Ambassador to Mexico and Honorary President of the Society.

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In 2014 during the General Assembly of The American Society of Mexico, held at the U.S. Embassy’s Benjamin Franklin Library, the Hon. Earl Anthony Wayne, then U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Honorary President of the Society was accompanied by Ministers under his leadership, to describe to the membership what the mission to the United States does and give an update about the many efforts done in favor of the bilateral relationship and its dynamic agenda. These types of actions have brought more collaboration between government and the American public living in Mexico.

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In 2015 & 2016, AmSoc held and helped organize, as it had done many times in the past, a number of public debates between the leaders of the Democratic and Republican party’s in Mexico. These types of encounters open to the public, regardless of nationality and open to media, have helped promote better understanding between both countries. It has also contributed to educate the Mexican public on how specifically how the U.S. electoral system works, the diversity and options Americans have in a democratic system like the one offered by the United States. These same debates were offered again in 2020 by The American Society of Mexico and the representatives of both political parties to the public. The Society has always been a non-partisan organization promoting democratic values in Mexico.

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On August 16, 2017 under the tenure of Hon. Roberta Jacobson, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Honorary President of AmSoc, the Society became very involved in the negotiations of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, also known as USMCA and became a powerful voice in media speaking in favor of its implementation. Hundreds of public remarks from The American Society of Mexico were printed. These negotiations ended successfully with the implementation of the agreement on July 1, 2020.

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During 2018, April 30th, Día de los Niños, was and has been a very important date in the calendar of The American Society of Mexico. One of the most memorable celebrations the Society has had, was when it organized at Aeromexico’s hangar with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner opened to the Society. Hundreds of children heard directly by a number of pilots and Aeromexico’s management, how aircrafts operate; children and adults had an opportunity to see firsthand the aircraft engines, landing gear, detailed cockpit tour and all organized not only for children, but also as a charitable event where children with cancer, part of the Asociación Mexicana de Niños con Cáncer were the highlight and special guests of this particular event.

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In September 2019, The American Society of Mexico was proud to welcome the newly appointed United States Ambassador to Mexico. A welcome brunch was organized with thousands of people in attendance and hundreds of media present. A truly memorable event where the Hon. Christopher Landau, U.S. Ambassador and Honorary President of the Society, had the opportunity to meet Mexican and American business leaders, community leaders and other promoters of a strong bilateral relationship. Mariachis were also part of the surprises in such an important event. Prior to this important reception, the Ambassador met with business leaders, he met with community leaders that contribute so much through charitable work to Mexico and others also part of AmSoc.

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Moreover in 2020 and due to the Covid pandemia that forced everyone to stay in their homes, The American Society of Mexico quickly reacted and started to offer webinars and more content through the worldwide web. Some of the speakers included Cabinet Secretary’s, politicians, business leaders, cultural and other civic leaders, and also offered webinars for further education. 

FORMER PRESIDENTS

ALLIANCES