SCA’s Great Achievement Award was presented to Mrs. Siri Eliason on April 9, 2011, at the Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon.
Mrs. Eliason, of Thousand Oaks, CA, has been an active member throughout Swedish America for many decades. She states, “It is just part of my life and who I am.”
Siri and her huband immigrated to the US in1960.They embarked on business careers,starting the Scandiline Corp, which focused on office and institutionalfurniture. The company had factories in Norway and Denmark,an assembly plant in south LA, and developed offices in NewYork, Chicago, and San Francisco.Later, they started a retail Scandinavian furniturecompany called Danika; Siri became its CEO, and it eventually had 5 locationsin 3 states.
From early times, Siri was involved in the SwedishAmerican Chamber of Commerce, and the American Scandinavian Foundation, andsoon held leadership positions in these organizations.She was a member of the Swedish Women’sEducational Association from its inception, and was instrumental in itscontinued success, through her influence and encouragement of its founder.
In 1978, she became a decorated member of theRoyal Order of the Polar Star (rank Commander) by His Majesty King Carl Gustavof Swedenfor her contributions to Swedish-American relations and business.In1985, following the untimely death of her husband, she was appointed honorary Consul General ofSweden for the San Franciscoarea, a position which she held for 14 years. The jurisdiction was later increased to encompassall of northern California.During part of this time, she also served as Secretary of the San FranciscoConsular Corps, which represented some 30 countries.
In 1984, Siri received a Royal Medal for herwork with the Scandinavia Today project, and in 1997 she received the Scandinavianof the Year Award by the American Swedish Foundation.She has also been active in leadershippositions in the Church of Sweden in California.Her accomplishments have been recognized onboth sides of the Atlantic, and in 1996 she receivedin Sweden the Swedish American of theYear Award by two districts of VASA.
In 1994, Siri received the Ellis Island Awardfrom the National Ethnic Coalition in New York,an award shared by 6 USPresidents, Nobel Prize winners, as well as leaders of industry, education, andgovernment.
Siri has also been active in the field ofeducation, and served on the Board of Regents for 9 years at California Lutheran University, and asChair of the Board for 4 years. She received the University’s Exemplar Medallion in 1986.
In thesame year, Siri became a director on the Board of SCA, and was Chair of thisBoard from 2005-2007, as well as Chair of its Royal Round Table.
2011 – Siri Eliason