Calgary Herald

Immigrants of Distinctio­n honoured

- BILL BROOKS

We are a country of immigrants. Some recent. Some not. It is our diversity that makes us strong, especially when we celebrate same. And celebratin­g diversity and multicultu­ralism is what the annual Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards (IDA) is all about.

More than 600 guests gathered at The Westin March 11 for the 20th annual awards gala. Themed ‘Fostering a Legacy of Excellence,” the gala paid homage to the outstandin­g contributi­ons that immigrants and refugees have made to the Calgary community. Whether enriching arts and culture, business, community service or profession­al activities, the immigrants saluted at the event have enriched our society through their dedication, commitment and excellence.

Kudos to all the nominees and heartfelt congratula­tions to the following winners: Dr. Irehobhude O. Iyioha, Achievemen­t Under 35; Jose Gregorio Duque, Arts and Culture; Bojan Tosic, Community Service; Bob Dhillon, Entreprene­urship and Innovation; Dr. Hude Quan and Dr. Serdar Yilmaz, Hadassah Ksienski Lifetime Achievemen­t; Organizati­onal Diversity, Calgary United Soccer Associatio­n, Jasprit Lail; Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura, Science, Technology, Engineerin­g & Math; and Youth Scholarshi­p winners Dan Yang (Lucy) Ni, Moiz Hafeez, Sophie Zhao, Andrew Min and Varun Kundra.

Other highlights this night included welcome remarks from Josephine Pon, chair of the board of directors and IDA 2016 chair and Krystyna Biel, CEO; greetings from Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir, Sen. Victor Oh and Sen. Thanh Hai Ngo; a stirring keynote address from Wayne Chiu, founder and CEO, Trico Homes; and closing remarks from honorary chair Mike Shaikh, Senatorin-Waiting.

Additional guests in attendance this night included: Dr. Asli Yilmaz; Francis Willey; Fluor’s Raul Acosta; Rita El Gada; Matrix Solutions’ Niandry Moreno; Sisay Shimeles and Tigist Getachew; Linda Shaikh; Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci and his wife Christine Ceci; MLA Richard Gotfried and his wife Cathy; Alberta Party leader Greg Clark; CSI’s Kathryn Kaldestad; KPMG’s Chris Day; TD’s Tammy Pomper; Winnie Chan; Dr. Hadeel Qazzaz; and Immigrant Services Calgary board members Paul Avender, Yohannes Afework, Jayashree Bhat, Roland Osske, Vivek Gupta, Anita ReMartinez, Sue McMaster and Rahul Chawla.

 ??  ?? The keynote speaker at the Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards March 11 at the Westin was Trico Homes founder and CEO Wayne Chiu, pictured with wife, Eleanor Chiu.
The keynote speaker at the Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards March 11 at the Westin was Trico Homes founder and CEO Wayne Chiu, pictured with wife, Eleanor Chiu.
 ?? PHOTOS BILL BROOKS ?? At the 20th annual Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards held March 11 at The Westin are honorary chair Senator-inWaiting Mike Shaikh and his wife Linda Shaikh, left, with Josephine Pon, IDA 2016 chair.
PHOTOS BILL BROOKS At the 20th annual Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards held March 11 at The Westin are honorary chair Senator-inWaiting Mike Shaikh and his wife Linda Shaikh, left, with Josephine Pon, IDA 2016 chair.
 ??  ?? From left, at the Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards are Immigrant Services Calgary board members Roland Osske, Jayashree Bhat, Anita ReMartinez, Sue McMaster and Vivek Gupta.
From left, at the Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards are Immigrant Services Calgary board members Roland Osske, Jayashree Bhat, Anita ReMartinez, Sue McMaster and Vivek Gupta.
 ??  ?? From left, at the 20th annual Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards (IDA) 2016 are Entreprene­urship and Innovation Award finalist Winnie Chan, Immigrant Services Calgary board member Rahul Chawla and Community Service Award finalist Dr. Hadeel Qazzaz.
From left, at the 20th annual Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards (IDA) 2016 are Entreprene­urship and Innovation Award finalist Winnie Chan, Immigrant Services Calgary board member Rahul Chawla and Community Service Award finalist Dr. Hadeel Qazzaz.
 ??  ?? Alberta Party leader Greg Clark, left, with pals CSI’s Kathryn Kaldestad and KPMG’s Chris Day at the Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards.
Alberta Party leader Greg Clark, left, with pals CSI’s Kathryn Kaldestad and KPMG’s Chris Day at the Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards.
 ??  ?? Tigist Getachew with Arts and Culture Award finalist Sisay Shimeles at the Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards.
Tigist Getachew with Arts and Culture Award finalist Sisay Shimeles at the Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards.
 ??  ?? Minister of Finance Joe Ceci and his wife, Christine, were among the dignitarie­s in attendance at the 20th annual Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards.
Minister of Finance Joe Ceci and his wife, Christine, were among the dignitarie­s in attendance at the 20th annual Immigrants of Distinctio­n Awards.
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