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Connecticut CEO says State of the Union is a moment for Trump to be a "role model"

SOTU global issues

When Cindi Bigelow, the CEO of Bigelow Tea, got the call from Rep. Jim Himes, D-Connecticut, asking her to attend President Trump's first State of the Union Address as his guest, she said it was a call you just don't turn down. "It's a once in a lifetime offer," said Bigelow. 

"I have great respect for him [Himes], the fact he would think to invite me -- obviously, I thought it was a true honor. He wanted me to represent Connecticut," she said. For Himes, Bigelow embodies the values of entrepreneurship, innovation and community. He said in a statement to CBS News that he invited Bigelow because her family serves as an "inspiration and example" to his state and to the country. 

Peter Baker

Bigelow Tea, a family-run business that calls the coastal town of Fairfield, Connecticut home, has been in operation for over 70 years, run by the same family for three generations. The company, which sells tea worldwide, prides itself on its commitment to issues like the environment, local entrepreneurship and support of the nation's armed services and veterans groups.

In the State of the Union, Bigelow is hoping to see the president act as a "role model" on the global stage.

"The president should remember, understand and carry himself as a role model for all citizens, not just in our country but globally as well."

Fresh off his trip to Davos, Switzerland where he pushed for better trade agreements for the U.S., the president is expected to push his "America First" strategy on Tuesday while touting his administration's accomplishments over the past year, including the tax cut that stands as his lone major legislative accomplishment. 

Trump touts American economy in Davos

"For me, I want to hear things about a global strategy to compete and an environmental strategy and certainly a strategy about putting our country in a position to be competitive in the long term," said Bigelow of the president's speech. 

But as a woman CEO in the midst of the "Me Too" movement gripping much of the political and business world, Bigelow says she also hopes the president address this issue in his speech. Many lawmakers will be bringing guests who embody the movement to the House chamber Tuesday. Mr. Trump has said that he is "not a feminist" but has "tremendous respect for women." Bigelow suggested that the president "should be having a conversation and supporting this movement."

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