The former president of Huntington Ingalls Industries' (NYSE:HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division led Mississippi's Special Olympics team in the opening ceremony of the 2014 USA Games Saturday in New Jersey. Irwin F. Edenzon, who stepped down as president in March and now serves as HII's corporate vice president of strategic projects, participated in the ceremony with 56 athletes and coaches from Jackson County, where Ingalls is located.
"Special Olympics is a worldwide movement that reveals champions," Edenzon said. "Team Mississippi is competing at the national level and, win or lose, each and every athlete is a champion. I'm proud that Huntington Ingalls Industries played a role in making it possible."
Edenzon currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Special Olympics Mississippi but will step down after this year's games. He will be replaced by Robin Poppenhouse, an operations administration generalist at Ingalls.
Helen Parish, president and CEO of Special Olympics Mississippi, said Edenzon has been an active and passionate board member over the years. "Irwin is very dedicated to Special Olympics and to the athletes," she said. "He has been very supportive, not only through his employees at Ingalls Shipbuilding but also personally in raising funds."
HII donated $25,000 to help the Jackson County athletes and coaches travel to the games. Ingalls also hosts the annual 5K on the Causeway event to benefit Special Olympics, and the division regularly provides up to 200 employee volunteers for the summer games and organizes a stuffed animal drive to give as gifts to the athletes.
Edenzon's brother, Marc Edenzon, is president and CEO of Special Olympics New Jersey and traveled to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina to help support the local Special Olympics chapter's recovery. Edenzon also has a nephew who is a Special Olympics athlete.
Huntington Ingalls Industries designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder at its Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding divisions. Employing about 38,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, HII also provides a wide variety of products and services to the commercial energy industry and other government customers, including the Department of Energy. For more information about HII, visit:
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