Nerijus Jakubauskas from Norway
For inspiring youth from a province for improvement
After a decade abroad, Nerijus Jakubauskas has returned to Pelėdnagiai village in Kėdainiai region in 2018. He started offering auto services in Kėdainiai and in his free time, is an active member of Pelėdnagiai community. He became a councilman there and has established a gym on the unemployed premises of the city council building. On Monday-Friday evenings, the little gym is filled with around 20 active athletes. Nerijus is coaching them himself, free of charge, and with hopes to encourage their desire to improve.
Vytautas Jonas Juška from Australia
For preserving the Lithuanian history with cultural stories
After 50 years in Australia, Vytautas Jonas Juška emigrated to Lithuania in 2011. While working at the Macquarie University, he was promoting Baltics, led radio shows in Lithuanian, wrote articles to the Lithuanian press, researched the issues of Australian-Lithuanians, and held lectures for Lithuanian community and at international conferences.
Now living in Lithuania, Vytautas Jonas holds lectures, teaches English, works in translation, highlights the problems of emigration and diaspora, and cooperates with Lithuanian cultural organizations. He still maintains his connections to Australia and his network and uses it for the good of Lithuanian. V.J. Juška travels through Lithuania with the project dedicated to the Year of World Lithuanians “Lietuviais esame mes gimę!”
Lukas Povilauskas from Europe
For spreading the spirit of entrepreneurship in Varėna district
Lukas Povilauskas has returned to his home region of Varėna after traveling around Europe with his camper and working at ecological farms. During that time, he has saved enough money to buy a house in Margionys village and establish an IT company upon his return.
With his point of view and work, Lukas is breaking the myth about distant regions being a place for retirees only and unsuitable for business. He’s also a board member of the Varėna business association and is cooperating closely with the most active people in the food, hospitality, and timber sectors.
Mindaugas Dzikaras from UK
For coming back with skills, knowledge and innovations
After 8 years researching the biological element metallization with gold nanoparticles and its use, in 2018, Mindaugas Dzikaras has accepted the invitation of professor Darius Viržonis in Panevėžys to join the scientific group researching the starch production recycling possibilities.
With the scholarship program of science council, Mindaugas has returned to Panevėžys and is actively creating green biotechnologies that should help increase the efficiency of the wheat processing industry as well as decrease the environmental pollution.
Kasparas Ramonas, Paulius Ramonas, Vaida Gruštaitė ir Artūras Grabauskas from Norway, Netherlands, Portugal
For a breakthrough of creativity in a silent town
Dominic Zastarskis, Jonas Bidva
GP Transco, USA
For leading technological shift in logistics and engagement into the growth of talents in transport engineering
The logistics company GP Transco established by the US Lithuanians is on the list of the fastest-growing companies for 4 consecutive years and has chosen Lithuania for its European expansion.
The company’s success is based on the technology management innovations of cargo transportation.
High level IT and logistics specialists working in Vilnius offer cargo transportation services and are creating software for the US market. One of the main products of the business is the trucking logistics management system, Open Road.
The company is an active co-operator with the VGTU university by creating internship opportunities for the students of the transport and logistics studies, encouraging the IT studies' intensity.
Aurimas Sabulis, Roland Talalas
Intus Windows, USA
For trusting Lithuanian manufacturers and promoting the quality of their work globally
Intus Windows was established in 2008 by the US Lithuanians, who have noticed the need for quality windows in the largest US cities. The company’s production is used in large commercial construction projects in the US – apartments, schools, and commercial real estate centers.
After the customer network has expanded, the need to build a factory and to produce energy-saving polymer windows and doors has arisen. Per the agreement with Siauliai FEZ, the construction of the company’s production factory subdivision has started.
At the moment, the company buys 90% of the necessary construction materials and services from Lithuanian partners. The production is then exported to the US. The company also has signed a contract with Siauliai University about education at the workplace opportunities.
MJJ Foundation, USA, Lithuania
For consistent, long-term improvement of various business areas and investments into the future
After building a successful career in the US, Marius has moved from New York to Vilnius. He has been growing as an investor ever since. Marius has established the law firm AAA Law which was the first one in the intellectual property and business law fields. He is also the chairman of the AAA Holding board.
The company has brought the Radisson and Grand Hotel Kempinski hotels to Vilnius. Marius has also co-established Nordic Hotels Fund, which is dedicated to develop, purchase, and build hotels near the airports of Vilnius, Krakow, Riga, and other European cities.
In 2019 he has established the Marius Jakulis Jason foundation.
It provides financial support to talented business creators, academics, and students who then contribute to the economic growth of Lithuania by establishing businesses or striving for academic success after studying at the best world's universities.
Arminas Ragauskas, Professor
For aiming to expand human potential of getting to know our universe
Professor Arminas Ragauskas is a scientist, founder, and director of Health Telematics Science Institute at Kaunas technology university, innovator, and inventor that’s registered more than 100 inventions worldwide. In 2016 he was nominated for Europe’s Inventor of the year award for his non-invasive intracranial pressure measurement device that has caught the interest of NASA.
Using a unique technology created in Lithuania has made it possible to perform the analysis of the intracranial pressure of healthy people, astronauts, and neurological patients.
The technology is being used by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute of the US, where the effect of long term space travel to the human brain and sight is measured.
Arthur Jonas Ragauskas, Professor
For engagement to improve the quality of energy studies on all levels of education
Professor Arthur Jonas Ragauskas is a scientist, leading the change in the fields of bio-fuel and chemical particle engineering.
He’s the head of the Tennessee university Oak Ridge national laboratory and The Center for Bioenergy Innovation. The professor is making an impact on renewable energy studies with his research and multiple publications. Since 2002 he cooperates closely with the Kaunas Technology University and regularly participates in the Baltic Organicum Syntheticum conferences. He also participates in the preparation of the laws in the energy field, writes scientific works together with the Lithuanian science institutes and business associations as well as creates energy study curriculums together with the education institutions.
Lina Basel Salmon, MD, PhD
For sharing the newest discoveries of genetics
Professor Lina Basel-Salmon left for Israel in 1991 to continue her studies and live there. Today she’s leading one of the most recognized medical institutions there – Raphael Recanati genetic institute. She specializes in biomedicine research to identify new genes and their effect on diseases.
The research group led by professor Basel has discovered more than 20 new genes that cause previously unknown disorders, two of which are named after her – Basel-Vanagaine-Smirin-Yosef and Basel-Vanagaite-Sirota. Lina keeps close connections to Lithuanian scientists, doctors, she participates in the conferences, seminars and shares her experience and achievements with the new generation of Lithuanian medical professionals.
Edmond P. Saliklis, Ph.D., P.E.
For architectural knowledge exchange between Lithuanian and US students and professors
Edmundas Saliklis is an architectural engineering professor at the California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly). Since 2013 he is cooperating with the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) faculty of Architecture.
Professor organizes international 6-week summer schools that are attended by 20-25 students from the US and 2-3 international professors. Before arriving in Lithuania, the students are already familiar with the country’s history and culture and know a few phrases in Lithuanian.
At the summer schools, Californian and VGTU students gain many specific skills, learn MATLAB programming, acquaint themselves with modeling using SAP2000 software, analyze ethical questions.
During the practical workshops, they complete tasks using both MATLAB and SAP2000 tools. The summer school enables sharing knowledge and spreading a positive message about Lithuania.
Mūsų metas DABAR
For stimulating the public spirit of Lithuanian diaspora
Mūsų Metas DABAR is a citizen initiative that has encouraged the world Lithuanians to vote in the 2019 Presidential election and citizenship referendum. Its efforts have increased voter turnout 3 times – from ~ 16000 in 2016 to 53000 in 2019. It has enabled the establishment of a separate voting district for Lithuanians abroad.
The initiative has begun in Lithuanian-American community in 2016. In 2019, a special commission DABAR2019 was established by World Lithuanian Community that united the forces of World Lithuanian Youth Community, clubs of Lithuanian professionals abroad, and members of Global Lithuanian Leaders.
Rimvydas Baltaduonis is the leader of the initiative; he has created a team of global Lithuanians and encouraged communities, business organizations, and professional clubs in the US and Europe to be active. He also organized funding for a wide-reaching campaign to get to the Lithuanians abroad who rarely vote.
For engaging Lithuanians in France towards improving the global standing of Lithuania
Inga Lanchas came to France in 1992 and immediately became an active member of the French-Lithuanian community. She has initiated a Lithuanian school in Paris and was leading it until 1997. She works with the France-Lithuania associations as well as honorary consuls in France.
From 2006 to 2012, she was the director of Lithuania's Tourism information center in Paris, whose main goal was creating a tourism image of Lithuania. In 2012 she established a tourism association, Baltic Wave Communication, to promote Lithuania in culture and tourism. During her studies at the Sorbonne, Inga Lanchas has achieved an important goal – to include a course about Lithuania's (and Baltic countries) tourism potential in the French tourism institute master’s degree.
For maintaining a steady bond between Lithuanians and Poles
Vytautas Liškauskas was born in Punskas. He was elected Punskas councilman three times and during the last elections received 90% votes. Vytautas supports the activity of Poland’s Lithuanian community, cultural heritage, and cultural and educational institutions. Because of his efforts, the Punskas city council has signed cooperation contracts with many Lithuanian city councils and is implementing successful economic and cultural projects.
Vytautas often participates in Poland’s committees of various institutions, funds, and city council organizations. He puts his efforts in supporting the interests of Poland’s Lithuanians and improving the infrastructure of the Lithuanian-Polish border region, its tourism and investment development.
For connecting Lithuanians in Ireland
Arūnas Teišerskis has been living in Ireland since 2004. He has graduated from the Chemistry faculty of Vilnius University and has a doctor's degree in natural sciences. Arūnas Teišerskis has come to Ireland to work as a staff scientist in Dublin's Trinity College.
Ever since his arrival to Ireland, Arūnas has been active in the Lithuanian community; he was one of the founders of the first Lithuanian school in Ireland, Keturi vėjai where he worked as a teacher and now – as a deputy principal. He is one of the founders of the Lithuanian Association in Ireland, its chairman, board member of the World Lithuanian Community, and Education committee chairman.
Dr. Darius Furmonavičius
For perpetuating the history of global Lithuanians
Dr. Darius Furmonavičius is the idealogue of the Lithuanians in the UK, author of the book Lithuania Rejoins Europe, doctor of the European Studies at Bradford University, historian, lawyer and author of the articles about Lithuania in the Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of the Year.
Dr. Furmonavičius was a member of The Royal Institute for International Relations and International Institute for Strategic Studies in 2002-2008 and since 2008 is an advisory board member in Baltic American Freedom League. More than 20 years, he organizes commemoration events for February-16th Lithuanian independence day with such keynote speakers such as Edward Lucas, editor of The Economist, EU parliament member Rupert Matthews and other prominent British politicians.
For uniting Lithuanians in Belgium for improving the brand of Lithuania
In 2017 Gintaras Marijauskas was elected as a board member of Belgium’s Lithuanian community.
In 2018 in honor of 100 years of Restored Lithuania, he has organized 100 km bike and pedestrian trek through the important to Lithuania locations in Belgium. It had more than 160 participants. In 2019 he has brought together Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian communities in Belgium to honor 30 years of Baltic Way in Brussels, where 3 countries embassies were connected by a live human chain.
He is also organizing the Benilux games, which are being held for 14 years and attract local people as well.
Mirga Gražinytė Tyla, Conductor
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla is the first woman conductor leading the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and is also named the best female conductor in the world.
In 2019 the record company Deutsche Grammophon has published a record of a Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg who’s authors were M. Gražinytė-Tyla, violinist Gidon Kramer, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Kremerata Baltica. In 2017 Daniela Schmidt-Langels has made a documentary about the conductor.
Asmik Grigorian, Opera soloist
At this year's International Opera awards gala ceremony in London Asmik Grigorian has won the Best Female Singer award. After last year's premiere of the R.Strauss's Salome at the prestigious Salzburg opera festival, she has become an opera sensation and has charmed the audiences with her unique talent.
The daughter of prominent opera singers Irena Milkevičiūtė and Geham Grigorian performs on the celebrated world stages - La Scala in Milan, Metropolitan Opera in New York, Royal Opera House in London, Vienna Opera, The Opera Bastille in Paris, etc.
Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė - Authors of "Sun & Sea: Marina"
For the first time in history, one of the most prestigious awards of modern art, the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion was awarded to the Lithuanian Pavillon.
The artists Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė have created an opera-performance Sun&Sea (Marina) where the audience could watch a “singing” beach with the summer-loving people on the sand. With this performance, the authors invited to think about climate change and universal exhaustion. The relevant topic and innovative execution were evaluated by both the audiences and the art critics who had only words of admiration for the creators.
Scientist Agnė Kajackaitė
Scientist Agnė Kajackaitė has received the world's media attention after introducing the results of her research about the temperature's effect on people's cognitive function. The experiment of applied behavior was executed together with colleague Tom Change and has shown that women are much more productive and better at various tasks when the room temperature is higher.
Agne does her research in the field of behavioral economics. She has received her Ph.D. in Germany and has done part of her studies in California. The scientist is leading the Ethics and behavior economics department in Berlin's social science center. Most of Agne's research is related to the psychological price of lying. In 2018 Bank of Lithuania has awarded her and her co-authors Uri Gneezy and Joel Sobel with Vladas Jurgutis prize.
Aušra Kiudulaitė & Evelina Daciūtė, authors of "Laimė yra lapė"
Book Laimė yra lapė by the author Evelina Evelinos Daciūtė and artist Aušra Kiudulaitė was awarded the 2019 The Batchelder award. The American librarian association gives this award for the exceptional children's books published in the US, written by non-US authors and in a non-English language.
"Laimė yra lapė" is the first Lithuanian book to receive this award. The book was also included in the International Board on Books for Young People Honour List 2018 and White Ravens catalog.
The book was published in Lithuania in 2016. It was elected that year's most beautiful children book and later Book of the year in children's literature category. It is translated into 7 languages in the word.
Neuroscientist Urtė Neniškytė
Laureate of Women of Science and International Rising talents. Vilnius university Life sciences centre researcher doctor Urtė Neniškytė is among 15 most-promising women scientists of the world an was honoured at a ceremony in Paris.
Baltic Film Services and Lineta Mišeikytė
The producer of the TV show Chernobyl Lineta Mišeikytė and her professional work has contributed to the decision to film the major part of the show in Lithuania and to recreate the authentic period of the times. The show was awarded 6 Emmys. The executive producer of the show Craig Mazin has thanked Lithuania, its people and government for their hospitality during his acceptance speech.
Lineta Mišeikytė works at Baltic Film Services and, together with international partners, has filmed more than 30 movies in Lithuania. She has collaborated with such movies as War and Peace that helped bring Chernobyl to Lithuania.