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 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.




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

#honoringimmigrants #IamanImmigrant #immigrantjourny

Just 7 days left to nominate for the 2017 Awards

The clock is ticking!

Just 7 days left to nominate your choice for the 2017 Immigrant Journey Awards & help recognize the inspiring North Texas immigrants you know! To nominate – just fill out the nomination form at and shine a spotlight on the outstanding business owners, professionals, and advocates making a positive impact in your community! Save the date for the award winner announcement on June 16, 2017!

Betty Manetta Announced as Keynote Speaker for the 2017 Immigrant Journey Awards Gala

We are so excited that 2016 immigrant entrepreneur award winner, Betty Manetta, will be our keynote speaker. Betty heads two of the top 10 Hispanic-owned businesses in north Texas. Her companies, Argent Associates and Asociar, generate over $300 million in annual revenues. Don’t miss hearing her inspiring story! Join us on June 16 for the Immigrant Journey Awards Gala.

Betty Manetta 2015 Picture.jpg
Beatriz “Betty” Manetta