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2007 AWARDEES

Susan Shirasawa Muranishi was born in San Francisco and raised in Berkeley, California. Her parents, Takeo and Maye Shirasawa are second-generation Japanese-Americans who were both interned with their families during World War II in Arizona and Arkansas. Susan’s grandparents were born and raised in Japan before coming to the United States.

Susan is clearly one of the most influential and effective leaders in the Bay Area. As Administrator for the County of Alameda, she is responsible for a government agency comparable to a Fortune 500 company – a $2.2 billion budget, an estimated 8,700 employees, and serving about 1.5 million residents. Susan is highly respected for her professionalism, strong work ethic and integrity. She is an excellent role model and as a strong successful leader, she has established business relationships that encourage teamwork, collaboration and innovation.

Susan has been actively involved in the diverse communities of Alameda County and especially, the Japanese American community in the Bay Area. She serves on the Board of Directors of Safe Passages, Executive Council, Fremont Family Resource Center, Founding Member, California Asian Public Administrators Network and Caucus of Elected Asians (PANACEA), volunteer for a wide-range of community and school programs, among others. Her access to a vast network and boundless energy has served her community well.

Dr. Yvonne Lau is a nationally-known educator and leading activist in the Asian American community in the Midwest. She served as the founding president of the Asian American Institute in Chicago, a non-profit organization committed to research and advocacy.

In 2003, Yvonne developed the first early college “bridge” program between DePaul University and Chicago Public Schools (CPS). DePaul’s Asian and Asian American Opportunities (DAAAO) Program invites academically talented high school students to take courses in Asian languages and Asian & Asian American Studies, earning dual college credits. Hailed as a model “pipeline” program stimulating interest in the study of Asia and Asian languages, the DAAAO Program has paved the way for other national initiatives, including the federal STARTALK Programs
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In 2004, she was appointed to the CPS Blue Ribbon Commission on Select and Magnet School Admissions. Currently, she serves on the CPS Chicago Multi-lingual Parents Council and the co-chair of the Asian American Advisory Committee. Beyond curricular changes, she has led AACE to investigate and lobby for the advancement and promotion of Asian American teachers and administrators, and for the statewide reform of the school codes and legislation to prioritize the certification of Asian language teachers.

Dr. Lau She has made significant contributions to race-based policies in K-16, Asian American communities, educa

Divya R Bali, MD, MPA, FACP is the Medical Director of Geriatrics Associates, PC in Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Bali was born in India. Her community service began as a child when she volunteered (with her mother) to serve meals to the Indian Army soldiers at the train stations. She organized fundraisers and charity shows for the war victims.

Service has been the single most important aim in Dr. Bali’s life. In an era when physicians are not easily accessible, Dr. Bali has made housecalls, on her own time and without any extra charge. During the middle of night, she has prescribed medicines to patients, given them medicines that she may have with her. She has bought prescription drugs from a pharmacy to patients who may have difficulty in purchasing them. As a physician, her only satisfaction is to see the patient’s speedy recovery.

Serving patients does not complete Dr. Bali’s service to the community. She has participated in teaching medical classes, mentoring future doctors. She has gone to high schools in the city to talk to girls as well as boys telling them, cajoling them to keep studying and never give up. She has counseled them about careers, and given hopes of a bright future that awaits them if they just work hard.

As a member of the Health Promotion and Disease Management Committee, she has contributed significantly to improving the health status of various age groups by developing and implementing prevention and screening guidelines such as cancer screening, immunizations and others.

When not seeing her patients, Dr. Bali devotes time for the Asian community. She has taken upon herself the task of educating the community about preventive health care, with special emphasis on improving women’s health, discussing and meeting their ongoing needs. Dr. Bali is the founder of Hari Om Mandir, a non-profit organization for religious, cultural and social activities for the Asian-Indian community.

Dr. Bali’s community is very large, indeed. Whenever she goes to India, she devotes significant time in various clinics seeing poor patients at no charge. She has donated many state-of-the-art medical equipments, books, computers to those health care institutions.
Bob Gill is a 30-plus year resident of San Jose , California. He was born in a tiny village in the Punjab region of India. He immigrated to the United States in his mid-20's. Bob's entrepreneurial activities started as early as 1976 when he managed a gas station and at the same time, successfully obtained his high school diploma from Independence High School and finished a self-study course in Basic Electronics.
For Bob Gill, reaching out to the growing Indo-American population in Silicon Valley began in 1983. Informal gatherings at various public places and eating establishments spawned into the formation of a more organized group. Two years later, Bob organized a temple-sponsored festival in San Jose, known as "Vaisakhi Mela" world-wide, which originated from the Sikh community in Punjab, India. The event was so successful that it became an annual gathering.
In 2003, Bob transformed the temple-sponsored festival into "a cultural activity with social significance." The "mela" benefited its growing senior community, represented by the Indo-American Senior Center of San Jose, which sought to celebrate its cultural roots in the United States. Attendance currently averages 10,000, and supported by live radio broadcasts that reached out to over 40,000 Punjabi-speaking American residents.
The branding of the "San Jose Punjabi Mela" in 2006 is noteworthy for its mission in showcasing the diverse talents and resources of the Punjab region without reference to race, gender, or spiritual beliefs. In 1992, Bob started the plans for a temple (gurdwara) for the Sikh community in San Jose. Bob bought a trailer on White Road, which served as a makeshift temple. Then, his group bought 2-1/2 acres of land on Quimby Road --- and then again, bought adjoining property of 2-1/2 acres. After his group sold the property for $11 million, they bought 42 acres of the current Murillo Street property that currently houses the San Jose Gurdwara. The first phase of the temple was completed in 2003. Bob Gill had served as general manager for the temple's construction project.
Currently, Bob is the Executive Director of the San Jose Gurdwara. He also oversees the management of the food and beverage activities of the temple, which serves free daily meals to its members and guests. Every week, Bob exposes his community members and their guests to different speakers, from social service providers to political leaders, from the wider communities. The Indo-American seniors continue to socialize in the temple's grounds. Bob Gill continues his role of "building bridges of friendship and goodwill" in Silicon Valley for the Indo-American community.
Ananda S. Prasad, MD, PhD - Dr. Ananda Prasad’s pioneering studies from the Middle East in the early sixties established for the first time the essentiality of zinc for human nutrition and showed that its deficiency occured in humans. The impact of this discovery include establishment of RDA for zinc in 1974, its mandatory inclusion in TPN fluids in 1978 resulting in saving of many lives, its use in children with acute diarrhea decreasing the mortality and its use in the elderly with age related macular degeneration for prevention of blindness. Meta analysis shows that growth retardation in the developing world is due to zinc deficiency, which may affect nearly 2 billion subjects.

Dr. Prasad’s observations that zinc decreases copper burden in vivo has led to a successful treatment of Wilson’s disease with zinc. Other pioneering contributions of Dr. Prasad include the demonstration of decreased thymulin activity and a shift from Th1 to Th2 functions in zinc deficient humans accounting for decreased cell mediated immunity and the role of zinc in gene expression of IL-2 via NF-kB activation.

Dr. Prasad’s several papers have been cited as citation classics. He has received many awards, which include Goldberger award (AMA), Mastership of the American College of Physicians, Robert H. Herman award (ASCN), Medal of Honor from the Mayor of Lyon, Honorary doctorate from Claude Bernard University, Lyon, France, election as corresponding member of The European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Humanities, and American College of Physicians (ACP) award for outstanding work in science as related to Medicine.

As Founder President of the India League of America, Michigan and member of the, Michigan Governor’s Advisory Council for Asian and Pacific Affairs, he has rendered countless hours of dedicated community service that led to his recognition by the Consul-General of India in Chicago for “Outstanding and Inspiring Leadership”.

Cora Reyes was born in the Philippines, immigrated to America in 1967 and married Dr. Francisco Reyes. She worked as a Foreign Exchange Nurse at Texas Medical Branch Hospitals in Galveston for 2 years, ICU/CCU Nurse at St. Elizabeth of St. Clare's Hospital in New York for 11 years, has been working at JPMorgan Chase Health Services as corporate nurse for 25 years. She is currently a Unit Manager and Human Resources Officer.

Cora shines in her stellar role as leader of humanitarian projects. She leads yearly medical/surgical/dental missions to the Philippines and performs numerous charitable and humanitarian activities. She has been serving the Philippine-American communities for over 27 years in various capacities. Currently, she is President of the Bulacan Medical Missions, Secretary - Friends Indeed, USA, Board of Governor- Auxiliary to the Association of Philippine Physicians in America. A leader, nurse, mother, philanthropist, educator, Cora Reyes has distinguisehd herself as a humanitarian leader for the past 27 years.
Dr. Gemorsita Macavinta-Tenazas is a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice and Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She was selected as one of Americas Top Family Doctors in 2007 Edition by the Consumers Research Council of America. She has been employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center (LAACC)) for almost 32 years. She is the primary care provider of nearly eight hundred veterans who are eighty percent geriatric.

She came to the United States forty years ago, as an immigrant with her husband and three small boys, the eldest was 3 years and the youngest was six months. A year later she had another son. She worked as a technician to help augment her husband’s income but they were so hard up that she had to apply for food stamps to make ends meet. Seeking a better life for her family, she left her four boys with her husband in California and went into residency training in Family Practice at Texas Tech University. She weathered the hardships of family separation, training and discrimination. Her sacrifices paid off. She succeeded and all her boys are now successful professionals.

She is very active in the community. She is one of the Founders, Past President and current Board Member of the Aklanons of America. This organization provides scholarships to deserving students in Aklan, sends used medical equipments, blankets/sheets, medicines and cash monies to Aklan. In the US, the organization teaches the youth the values, customs and the traditions of the Philippines and Aklan through workshops and seminars. It also lends a helping hand to new arrivals and guide them to assimilate in the American society. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Philippine-American Association of Family Physicians. Giving back, she participates in medical missions to the Philippines doing free clinics in medical and surgical work.

HOANG TAING has been a vivid embodiment of the American dream and an inspiration to countless Americans and people everywhere around the world. Over a decade ago, she walked out of the “Killing Fields” in Cambodia after the brutal murders of her loved ones by the Khmer Rouge. Since arriving in America, she has succeeded in overcoming a series of obstacles to achieve an honored place in American society and civic life.
Ms. Taing’s life in America has been a brilliant success. College graduate, honor student, White House intern, White House Fellowship Regional Finalist, Fulbright Fellow, Washington, D.C. Teaching Fellow, Delta Kappa Gamma Scholar, George Washington Medal of Honor recipient, Commissioner on the Status of Women in Arlington, Virginia, and now “2007 Asian Academy Hall of Fame & Distinction” award winner. All of these things are a part of the life she has made for herself here in the USA.
Hoang has traveled to all 50 States throughout the U.S., and has been to over 25 countries in all seven continents, counseling, motivating, and educating people from all walks of life about the importance of education, self-esteem, and resiliency.

Ms. Taing co-founded “X & O” Film and Media Company, with Christian Oh, to help young people with life skills. She has appeared in many major television and radio programs and has been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles. She has shared panel discussions with many prominent figures including Senator John McCain, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, author Jack Canfield, astronaut Alan Bean and others.
Hoang is a great leader and a caring mentor. She believes in Chinese Confucius teaching and family values. Ms. Taing appreciates the opportunities that America has given her and is taking the responsibility to give back to the community by promoting community and volunteer service throughout the world. Ms. Taing is the beacon of hope for people of all ages.
 
 

2006 AWARDEES
Dr. S.K. Park
Dr. Christina R. Sevilla
Ms. Edith Ardiente
Mr. El Cid Butuyan
Dr. Sonny Lee

2005 AWARDEES
Mr. Antonio David
Mr. Pablito Alarcon
Ms. Francesca Close
Dr. Josie Olympia
Dr. Ding Lee

2004 AWARDEES
Dr. Hector Sulit
Dr. Sook Wilkinson