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Common Ground Awardees Honored at State of the Union

January 26, 2011


Brandon and Julie Fisher behind Michelle Obama at the State of the Union Address (from


In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama ended his speech by acknowledging Brandon and Julie Fisher, of Center Rock Inc., for their efforts to quickly build the drill bit that was needed to drill the hole that eventually freed the 33 trapped Chilean miners.  SFCG honored Center Rock with a Common Ground Award in November 2010, and now the rest of the nation knows the story that has inspired us at Search for Common Ground.

Center Rock, together with their partners, Drillers Supply Inc., developed the plan that rescued the Chilean miners. His team travelled halfway around the world, working day and night, always knowing that they had the “right stuff” to get the job done.  Brandon and Julie watched the State of the Union as guests of Michelle Obama in the first lady’s box.

President Obama singled out this story as one that exemplified the American dream, quoting one of Center Rock’s employees who said, “We proved that Center Rock is a little company, but we do big things.”

We do big things,” Obama went on. “From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream. That’s how we win the future…The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it’s because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward and the state of our union is strong.”

We congratulate our Common Ground Awardees, Center Rock, on this wonderful acknowledgement of their work. Their story illustrates not only the American dream but also the power of compassion to transcend borders.


Brandon Fisher recieving the Common Ground Award from Senior VP, Susan Collin Marks



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