U.S. Representative

Dennis A. Ross

Proudly Serving Florida's 15th Congressional District

Press Releases


Ross Congratulates Florida Cherry Blossom Princess

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Washington, April 20, 2016 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 20, 2016 – U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (FL-15), Senior Deputy Majority Whip, released the following statement, congratulating Rachael Ann Soloway for her First Runner Up finish in the 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess Program:

“It is fantastic to see the roots and historical impact the National Conference of State Societies and the Cherry Blossom Princess Program have made not only in D.C., but throughout all of our wonderful states and territories represented in the program. For nearly 70 years, this program has enabled more than 3,000 young women leaders from across the United States and world to engage in professional and cultural development and celebrate the friendship between the United States and Japan.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have our great State of Florida represented by Rachael Soloway, whose intelligence, charisma and passion for international relations has made her an excellent role model for young women everywhere. We must continue supporting these types of civics and relationship-building programs so our next generations are equipped with the skills and educational tools to positively influence and support our communities, nation and world.”

Rachael was chosen to represent the State of Florida in the program by the Florida State Society. Rachael also hosted a luncheon for all 60 Cherry Blossom Princesses to help engage them in the importance of and need for more domestic and international female leaders. Laura Winthrop Abbot, Senior Vice President of the U.S.-Japan Council and founding Executive Director of the TOMODACHI Generation Initiative joint cultural exchange program, was the guest speaker of the luncheon, which was supported by more than 20 donors, including the Florida State Society, the Florida House on Capitol Hill, Mike Papantonio and Kemal Deger, the chef-owner of Bistro Cacao.

The Cherry Blossom Princess Program is a cultural, educational and professional development program for women leaders ages 19 to 24. The program, which is held each year during the National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C., is sponsored by the National Conference of State Societies and invites all State and Territorial Societies, along with many Embassies and Consulates in D.C., to choose one woman to serve as their representative for the program.

The week-long program this year allowed the princesses to participate in multiple events, meetings, volunteer opportunities and tours throughout the D.C. area, including meetings with White House Senior Director for Global Engagement and Special Assistant to the President, Courtney Beale, and Ambassador and Mrs. Kenichiro Sasae of Japan.   

Rachael, a staff assistant in Rep. Ross’ office and a University of South Florida alumna, is the first princess representing Florida to place in the program, and was accompanied and supported by her parents, Daniel and Natalie Soloway, throughout the program’s activities. Rachael plans to stay involved with the Cherry Blossom Princess Program, as well as help further strengthen the U.S.-Japan relationship throughout her career.



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