Avis Budget Group Inc. announced on June 23 that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ronald L. Nelson has received the 2011 Donald A. Gemson Cancer Prevention Public Policy Award. The award, presented by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, recognizes leaders for broad-based policy change in the fight against cancer. Mr. Nelson was saluted for both pioneering Avis Budget Group’s landmark smoke-free fleet policy and for being one of the founding co-chairs of the American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer program in the ACS Northeast Region.
“Ron Nelson had the vision to see that moving to a smoke-free fleet was a risk that was worth taking in order to provide a better rental experience to customers,” said Donald Distasio, chief executive officer at the American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey. “He extended his commitment to cancer prevention by sharing his vision with other CEOs and by prohibiting smoking in Avis Budget Group facilities in the United States and Canada.”
In late 2009, Avis Budget Group became the first rental car company to offer a 100 percent smoke-free fleet by prohibiting smoking in Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car vehicles in the United States and Canada. The Company also instituted a tobacco-free policy for all employees and contractors who drive its vehicles. In April 2011, Avis Budget Group designated all of its locations and administrative offices as “tobacco free.”
“We are dedicated to supporting the well-being of the people we employ and providing our customers with clean, smoke-free vehicles,” said Mr. Nelson. “This recognition by the American Cancer Society is a distinguished honor and one I proudly and humbly accept.”
The American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer program brings together leaders of leading businesses to discuss practical ideas for cancer prevention and wellness, to share groundbreaking ideas that have worked for their organizations and to offer concrete solutions that reduce costs by improving the health and well-being of employees.