Immigrants of Distinction honoured
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.