2018 Immigrant Journey Award Winners Announced at Gala in Celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month

2018ImmigrantJourneyInvite2In a time when immigration is the hottest topic discussed, the annual Immigrant Journey Awards (IJA) came just in time. This month, also Immigrant Heritage Month, approximately 200 individuals united to highlight influential immigrants at the 2018 Immigrant Journey Awards Gala, hosted by nationally recognized Dallas law firm Scheef & Stone.

“This will be our 7th year honoring exceptional immigrants at the Immigrant Journey Awards,” said Ann Badmus, immigration attorney and partner. “I believe it is vital that we continue to shine a spotlight on immigrant achievements and support the diversity the immigrant community brings to north Texas and the nation.”

Keynote speaker Gauthami Vemula spoke of her personal Immigrant Journey, as she was born in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India, and later raised in New York and Hobbs, New Mexico.

“I think especially in this day and age, we need to hang onto hope, with all the different crises going on in the world,” Gauthami said. “Being here felt amazing because that’s what this country is built on. It’s about immigrants, and that’s what makes this nation.”

This year’s Entrepreneur Award winners were Andrea Pedraza from Mexico, Guadalupe Mora from Mexico, and Mani Manickavelu from India. The award honored these individuals as business owners who have founded highly successful businesses in DFW and who serve as models and inspirations of success.

“It is very important for immigrants to join together and support each other,” Mani said. “That was the best thing that I saw. Some of the stories that we heard were very inspiring.”

The Immigrant Professional Excellence Award winners were Major Adebayo Adeleke from Nigeria, Akash Patel from India, and Cynthia Nwaubani from Nigeria. This award honored these immigrants for demonstrating significant professional achievements in their fields and for their advancements positively impacting their profession and community.

“Immigrants are so essential to the American economy,” Cynthia said. “We are a vibrant community of people that are resilient, passionate, and are willing to work hard. Events like this help showcase how immigrants impact the community.”

Recognized for making a positive impact on the lives of immigrants and for being advocates on behalf of immigrants, the Immigrant Advocate Award winners were Mary Dominguez-Santini from Panama and Leonid Regheta from Ukraine.

“Standing here with all these immigrants is a great feeling,” Mary said. “Being able to meet new people from different cultures, embrace them, grow together and know that we’re not in it alone.”

Lastly, the Immigrant Spirit Award recognized these winners as immigrant civic leaders who have contributed substantially to the community or region. Honorees were Graciela Katzer from Argentina, Susie Jennings from Philippines, and Raj & Aradhana Asava from India.

“There’s an old saying,” Raj said. “‘Charity begins at home.’ And when we call the US our home, let’s make sure we look at where our needs are. You can volunteer, do food drives, donate money. The awards gave me the opportunity to speak on this. We’re happy to be here.”

Photos of Award Winners and Highlights of Immigrant Journey Awards Gala

Outstanding Immigrant Leaders to be Honored Today at the 2018 Immigrant Journey Awards Gala

Scheef & Stone and sponsors host the 2018 Immigrant Journey Awards Gala today to honor and recognize outstanding immigrant leaders in business, profession, advocacy, and community service.  In celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month, 200 guests are expected to attend the festivities at the Clubs of Prestonwood in Dallas, Texas. A few event day tickets are available at Immigrant Journey ticket

Congratulations to the 2018 finalists!

Adebayo Adeleke, Akash Patel, Alex  Idrees, Alia Adkins-Derrick, Andrea Pedraza, Aradhana Asava, Cynthia Nwaubani, Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, Graciela Katzer, Guadalupe Mora, Joel Betancourth, Lenita Dunlap, Leonid Regheta, Lupita Colmenero,  Mani Raveendran,  Mary Domínguez-Santini, Mary Turner, Muruga  Manickavelu, Pablo DeLeon, Raj Asava, Ron Bultongez, and Susie Jennings.

Keynote Speaker

Gauthami Vemula, Founder & President, Color Me Safe

Master of Ceremony

Rebecca AguilarJournalist, Emmy Award Winner

#CelebrateImmigrants #2018IJAwards2018ImmigrantJourneyInvite2

 

FIFTH ANNUAL IMMIGRANT HERITAGE MONTH KICKS OFF NATIONWIDE CELEBRATION

WASHINGTON, DC – Today marks the start of Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM), a nationwide effort to celebrate immigrants and share inspirational stories of immigration in America. Now in its fifth year, IHM is an opportunity for Americans to celebrate the countless contributions immigrants have made and continue to make to the United States, and to reflect on their family’s heritage.

This year, IHM is bringing interactive #CelebrateImmigrants experiences to diverse neighborhoods across the country, featuring public art installations and a blend of cultural performances, custom t-shirts, and appearances by public officials. The first event kicks off June 5 in our nation’s capital. Other events will be held throughout the month of June in ChicagoAtlanta, San Diego, Houston and Salt Lake City.

Also new to IHM in 2018 is a star-studded video featuring celebrities in film and entertainment — including Bellamy Young (Scandal), Javier Muñoz (Hamilton), Shannon Woodward (Westworld) and Matt McGorry (Orange Is The New BlackHow to Get Away with Murder) — as they reflect on their family’s immigrant heritage.

“I think standing with immigrants means I’m standing for hope, for the future, for authenticity and for not having to sacrifice where you came from for where you are now,” said Broadway star Ana Villafañe, known for portraying pop icon Gloria Estefan in the musical On Your Feet!.

Westworld actress Shannon Woodward noted that immigrants are part of the fabric of the United States, adding that “to be an immigrant in this country is to be an American.”

Governors and mayors from 34 states have already issued 152 proclamations officially declaring June as Immigrant Heritage Month in their jurisdictions, including Governors Brian Sandoval of NevadaTom Wolf of PennsylvaniaHenry McMaster of South CarolinaGina Raimondo of Rhode Island and Rick Snyder of Michigan. Additional proclamations are expected throughout the month from all 50 states.

Since its launch in 2014, Immigrant Heritage Month has grown into a powerful, impactful celebration of millions of individuals’ heritage as immigrants. Last year, hundreds of artists, entertainers and elected officials representing all 50 states, and more than 540 companies and nonprofit partners, came together to celebrate IHM 2017 – leading to over half a billion impressions on social media in June alone, and more than dozens of IHM-linked events held around the country.

IHM 2017 participants included famed fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, Postmates CEO Bastian LehmannPaypal Co-Founder Max LevchinAmerica FerreraBellamy YoungGeorge Takei, Paul WesleyMatt McGorryDebra MessingChristina MilianRussell SimmonsAna VillafaneMinka KellyIlana GlazerJack FalaheeTara StrongPiper PeraboJavier MunozDwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Phoebe Tonkin.

The campaign’s popularity is a testament to the rapidly growing grassroots support for immigrant communities and their significance to the social, cultural and economic fabric of the United States. For more information or to join an Immigrant Heritage Month celebration in your community, visit www.iamanimmigrant.com.

-from press release – Iamanimmigrant.com

North Texas Immigrant Leaders To Be Honored At 2018 Immigrant Journey Awards

IJa3
Immigrant Journey Awards

For the seventh year in a row, the Immigrant Journey Awards will be spotlighting DFW’s most influential immigrants. With numerous award nomination submissions for 2018, presenting sponsor and Dallas law firm Scheef & Stone LLP is excited to announce the program finalists.

Started back in 2011 by attorney Ann Badmus, the Immigrant Journey Awards are known for giving credit where credit is due when it comes to immigrant achievements and contributions to North Texas and the nation. Through various award categories, such as Immigrant Entrepreneur, Immigrant Professional Excellence, Immigrant Spirit, and Immigrant Advocate, the program recognizes incredible contributions from the immigrant community to the civic and economic vitality of the region.

“There’s no question that immigrants are vital to the community, business, and the future of this country, so we are pleased to see the list of finalists for this year’s ceremony. We are honored to recognize their achievements during June’s Immigrant Heritage Month,” said Ann Massey Badmus, immigration partner and awards program chair.

Finalists represent a broad scope of immigrants living in North Texas communities with roots in places like India, Nigeria, Philippines, Mexico, Ukraine,  Argentina,  Colombia, Congo, and Pakistan.

This year’s finalists are Adebayo Adeleke, Akash Patel, Alex  Idrees, Alia Adkins-Derrick, Andrea Pedraza, Aradhana Asava, Cynthia Nwaubani, Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, Graciela Katzer, Guadalupe Mora, Joel Betancourth, Lenita Dunlap, Leonid Regheta, Lupita Colmenero,  Mani Raveendran,  Mary Domínguez-Santini, Mary Turner, Muruga  Manickavelu, Pablo DeLeon, Raj Asava, Ron Bultongez, and Susie Jennings.

These spirited and exceptional advocates and entrepreneurs will be honored, and the award winners will be announced on June 15, 2018, at the Immigrant Journey Awards Gala at 6:30 p.m. at the Clubs at Prestonwood in Dallas.  This year, the keynote speaker will be one of last year’s winners, Gauthami Vemula, who was born in Andhra Pradesh, India. She is Founder and Managing Partner of Color Me Safe, LLC, a family crisis consulting firm committed to protecting families of North Texas by offering guidance and solutions for child welfare and protection issues.

The awards gala serves as a great opportunity to meet notable immigrant individuals who have demonstrated leadership in business or in the civic arena, as well as individuals and organizations that advocate for immigrant communities. Attendees also have the chance to network with business owners, professionals, representatives of members of Congress, international dignitaries, local civic leaders and representatives, and the media.

2018ImmigrantJourneyInvite2

Tickets can be purchased at http://www.immigrantjourney.org.

Immigrant Journey Awards Accepting Nominations

Annual Award Program Opens Nominations to Honor Outstanding Immigrant Achievements

 March 28, 2018 – Dallas, TX – The Immigrant Journey Awards presenting sponsor, Scheef & Stone, L.L.P., along with a number of community partners, is announcing that nominations are now open for the 2018 Immigrant Journey Awards Gala. Everyone is encouraged to nominate extraordinary business, professional, and community leaders and advocates, who have made significant impacts on others and society. Nominations, which are submitted electronically, will remain open from now until April 30, 2018.

Award nominees include entrepreneurs, advocates, civic leaders and individuals who have made substantial professional achievements in their field. They can be nominated for these applicable categories: Immigrant Entrepreneur, Immigrant Professional Excellence, Immigrant Advocate and Immigrant Spirit Awards.

“The path of an immigrant is full of challenges, yet with every step forward they renew the American Dream,” said Gauthami Vemula, Founder of Color Me Safe and 2017 Immigrant Advocate Award winner, “To be able to not only overcome these challenges but to also establish oneself in the community, to build a business, provide jobs and contribute is a testament to the American way, because immigrants are our history. The Immigrant Journey Awards is a beautiful way to highlight and pay tribute to the amazing trailblazers who are making a difference in our community and the world, and who are enriching our society through their heritage and inspiring us to be open to new ideas, to be kind to strangers and to be hopeful for the future.”

The Immigrant Entrepreneur Award is for an individual who has built a highly successful North Texas business and sets an example for other motivated entrepreneurs locally and in the nation. Immigrants who have made remarkable strides in a professional field are eligible for the Immigrant Professional Excellence​ Award, while the Immigrant Spirit Award recognizes an individual who has contributed substantially to the well-being of the entire community or region. Lastly, the Immigrant Advocate Award goes to an individual, organization, business or government entity that has made a powerful and positive impact on the welfare of immigrants via public advocacy.

Honorees have unbelievable backgrounds and stories of perseverance, achievement, and overcoming the odds as immigrants in the community. Having emigrated from India, China, Mexico, Nigeria, Colombia, Sierra Leone, Jamaica, Taiwan, Singapore, Ethiopia, El Salvador,  Honduras, and other countries, nominees have come a long way in their significant achievements in business, education, medicine, athletics, community service, and politics.

The Immigrant Journey Awards will be presented at the annual Immigrant Journey Awards Gala on Friday, June 15, 2018 at the Clubs at Prestonwood in Dallas, Texas.  Award finalists will be notified by May 10, 2018 and expected to attend the gala in order to be considered for an award.  Interested parties should visit www.immigrantjourney.org to find out more and submit a nomination.

Announcing American Dream Scholarships for 2018. Apply now!

Scheef & Stone is proud to announce three (3) American Dream scholarships of $1000 each for qualifying North Texas high school seniors.

You may apply for this highly sought-after scholarship if you:

Are home schooled or high school senior in traditional HS programs in North Texas
Are an immigrant or child of an immigrant
Will graduate from high school by Summer 2018
Plan to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution
Have a current GPA of 3.0 or higher
Winners should plan to attend the Immigrant Journey Awards ceremony on June 15, 2018.

For scholarship criteria and application materials, click here.

 

Call for Nominations for 2018 Immigrant Journey Awards

About-Page-Nominate-Now-Button-2013Shining a spotlight on immigrant achievements and contributions in North Texas, Scheef &  Stone, LLP and sponsors seek nominations for the 2018 Immigrant Journey Awards.  This awards program celebrate its 7th anniversary by continuing to honor immigrants in four categories:

Immigrant Entrepreneur Award

 

In recognition of an immigrant business owner who has founded a highly successful business in North Texas and who serves as a model and inspiration of success.
Immigrant Professional Excellence Award  In recognition of an immigrant who has demonstrated significant professional achievements in their field and whose advancements in their field have a positive impact their profession or community.
Immigrant Spirit Award In recognition of  an immigrant civic leader or elected official who has contributed substantially to the community or the region.
Immigrant Advocate Award

 

In recognition of an individual or organization making positive impact on the lives of immigrants, as an advocate.  Nominee may be an individual, an organization, a business, a governmental or community entity, or a non-profit organization.

The deadline for nominations is 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 30, 2018.

submit-a-nomination-button_white

 

DFW IMMIGRANT LEADERS HONORED AT THE 2017 IMMIGRANT JOURNEY AWARDS

The annual Immigrant Journey Awards (IJA) were a success, as almost 200 individuals gathered under the same roof at Crowne Plaza Dallas for a common cause to highlight influential immigrant achievements and celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month. For the past six years, the ceremony has gained momentum, bringing together professionals, entrepreneurs, friends, and families alike to celebrate the impact that immigrants have had on the community.

With numerous award nomination submissions for 2017, presenting sponsor and Dallas law firm Scheef & Stone was pleased at the turnout and proud of those who made it as finalists and winners.

This year’s Immigrant Entrepreneur Award winners include Giuseppe Piccinini, Shanthi Rajaram, and Sudhir Pai. This category is granted to individuals who have built highly successful North Texas businesses, and who have set a great example for other motivated entrepreneurs around the state and nation. Gabriela Smith and Juan Williams were honored for the Immigrant Professional Excellence Award, which highlights immigrants who have made remarkable strides in a professional field.

The Immigrant Advocate Award, which goes to an individual, organization, business or government entity that has made a powerful and positive impact on the welfare of immigrants via public advocacy went to Etalemahu Taddesse Fikre and Gauthami Vemula. Lastly, the two Immigrant Spirit Award winners, Plano Council member Angela Miner and Madan Goyal, were recognized for contributing substantially to the well-being of the entire community through their influential platforms.

Three exceptional high school seniors, Adewale Adewuyi of Plano East High School, Aimee Shimwa of Conrad High School, and Devany Morales of Hillcrest High School, also received American Dream Scholarships to attend the college of their choice.

Announcing the 2017 IJA Finalists

The annual Immigrant Journey Awards (IJA) have gained momentum over the last six years, as the program highlights DFW’s most influential professional immigrants. With numerous award nomination submissions for 2017, presenting sponsor and Dallas law firm Scheef & Stone LLP is excited to announce the program finalists.

Finalists have been nominated for the categories of Immigrant Entrepreneur, Immigrant Professional Excellence, Immigrant Spirit and Immigrant Advocate. They represent a broad scope of immigrants living in North Texas communities with roots in places like Italy, Argentina, Greece, Australia, Ethiopia, Cambodia, and India.

This year’s finalists include leaders and influencers Angela Miner, CJ Comu, Etalemahu Taddesse, Gabriela Smith, Gauthami Vemula, Giuseppe (JP) Piccinini, Juan Williams, Madan Goyal, Pithou Nuth, Ruby Bhandari, Shanthi Rajaram, and Sudhir Pai. These spirited and excellent advocates and entrepreneurs will be honored June 16, 2017, at the Immigrant Journey Awards Gala from 6:30 to 9pm at the Crowne Plaza Dallas.

“We are blessed to have made it here in this amazing country that is still today the greatest country in the world to live in,” said JP Piccinini, Founder-CEO of JP & Associates Realtors and Immigrant Entrepreneur Award finalist. “If your journey here was anything like mine, you can appreciate and understand that anything worthwhile doesn’t come easy. Take pride in your achievement. You are living the American dream, the dream we hoped to live out as children.”

The awards serve as a great opportunity to meet notable immigrant individuals who have demonstrated leadership in business or in the civic arena, as well as individuals and organizations that advocate for immigrant communities. Attendees also have the chance to network with business owners, professionals, representatives of members of Congress, international dignitaries, local civic leaders and representatives, and the media.

Take this opportunity to hear keynote inspirational speaker Beatrix “Betty” Manetta, CEO of Argent and Asociar, two of the largest Hispanic-owned businesses in North Texas. Tickets can be purchased at www.immigrantjourney.org.

#honoringimmigrants #IamanImmigrant #immigrantjourny