On June 18, 2004, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter was appointed Chairman of the American Red Cross by President George W. Bush. She is the former United States Ambassador to Finland (2001-2003) and the CEO and owner of Pace Communications, Inc., the largest private custom publishing company in the United States. The company's clients include such Fortune 500 companies as United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, AT&T, Carlson Hotels, and Toyota.
As US Ambassador to Finland, Ambassador McElveen-Hunter led several initiatives to success, including The Helsinki Women Business Leaders Summit (2002); Stop Child Trafficking: End Modern-Day Slavery (2003); and Children of Karelia. The program helped Finnish and Russian charities assist children at risk for drugs, crime, HIV/AIDS and trafficking.
For her exceptional and outstanding services, she was awarded by the President of Finland one of that country's highest honors-the Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion. She also received the Dr. Carl-Christian Rosenbröijer Award. Previous recipients were former President George H.W. Bush and Dr. Henry Kissinger.
Ambassador McElveen-Hunter is one of the nation's most successful entrepreneurs, ranked by Working Woman Magazine as one of the top 175 women-owned business owners in America. Known as a generous philanthropist and extraordinary fundraiser, she has served as a member of the International Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity, and a board member of Habitat's First Ladies Build.
She also has chaired the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, United Way of Greater Greensboro, North Carolina, and served as a board member and National Leadership Council member for the United Way of America. She is the founder of the Women's Initiative of Greensboro and, under her leadership, 100 women in Greensboro joined what has become a model for the Billion Dollar National Women's Leadership Initiative.
She now lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with her husband, Bynum Merritt Hunter, an attorney in the law firm of Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore. They have a 21-year-old son, Bynum Merritt Hunter, Jr., a recent graduate of Williams College.