Six Americans of Indian Descent Among 100 Distinguished Recipients of Ellis Island Medal of Honor on May 12, 2007

Share Article

Six Americans of Indian descent were among 100 distinguished recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor awarded on May 12, 2007 on Ellis Island. The honorees were: Dr. Akshay Desai of St. Petersburg, Fla., the chairman and CEO of Universal Health Care; Mr. Kirti "Kenny" Desai of Clark, N.J., the president of a construction company; Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH, a pediatrician from Alameda, Calif.; Dr. Kiran C. Patel, of Tampa, Fla., a cardiologist, healthcare entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of the nonprofit Patel Foundation for Global Understanding; Ms. Smita N. Shah of Chicago, Ill., the president of an engineering and construction management firm as well as the first female of Indian origin to receive this award, and the youngest recipient this year and Mr. Daniel J. Thomas, a periodontist from Leawood, Kan. They were selected by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO), among other recipients from various heritage groups, to receive this honor because of their dedication and leadership qualities in community service.

Each year, the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) awards the "Ellis Island Medal of Honor" to outstanding individuals who lead a lifestyle dedicated to community service, exhibit interests for the preservation of cultural groups and to those who share and contribute through personal and professional achievements toward the overall benefit of society. The award pays homage to the historical significance of immigration and acknowledges citizens of the United States of various ethnic backgrounds for their exceptional qualities and pride in their heritage. This year, six Americans of Indian descent were among 100 distinguished recipients from diverse heritage groups of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor awarded on May 12, 2007 on Ellis Island. The honorees were: Dr. Akshay Desai, Mr. Kirti "Kenny" Desai, Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH, Dr. Kiran C. Patel, Ms. Smita N. Shah and Mr. Daniel J. Thomas. The Ellis Island ceremony starts with an elegant and festive Welcome Cocktail Reception where all Medalists meet one another. Following the ceremony, the Gala Dinner is held in the beautifully restored Great Hall on Ellis Island, capped by a stunning display of fireworks, which are presented by Grucci.

Dr. Akshay Desai is a visionary leader in the fields of medicine, business and education. He is also the founder, President and CEO of St. Petersburg based Universal Health Care Inc., one of the largest Medicare Advantage health plans in the state of Florida. He is also the President of American Family & Geriatric Care, President, CEO and Chairman of Universal Health Care, President of American Managed Care, LLC, and President of Courtesy Healthcare. Dr. Desai obtained his medical degree from Government Medical College, India and his Masters Degree in Administrative Medicine at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is certified by the American Boards of Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Quality Assurance. As a strong advocate for a good education overcoming the disadvantaged position of non-privileged Americans from various minority backgrounds, Dr. Desai was appointed Chairman of the Council for Education Policy, Research and Improvement (CEPRI) for the state of Florida by Governor Jeb Bush. An active member of the Florida Republican Party and formidable fund-raiser, he was an alternate delegate to the party's 2004 national convention. He was an elected delegate to the party's 2000 convention. He currently serves as the influential 'Committee of 100' of the state GOP. He was appointed by President Bush to the President's Advisory Commission on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders where he currently as Commissioner and Chairman of Health Committee, advising the President on issues effecting Asian Americans. Dr. Desai is also deeply connected to his Indian roots and has been on the Board of Trustees of the India Cultural Center, Tampa, Florida since 1998.

Mr. Kirti 'Kenny' Desai is the president of TAK Construction, which includes real estate development companies and building residential development projects primarily in New Jersey, the Greater New York, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. Since its inception in 1987, TAK has completed over 100 projects with an aggregate value in excess of $400 Million. Desai completed his Bachelor's in Civil Engineering from Baroda, India, before moving to New Jersey for his Master's, which he was awarded by the Stevens Institute of Technology at Hoboken. He is also the Director of the Regional Alliances of construction industries, New York and New Jersey and was recognized by Hon. Frank Pallone of NJ in the House of Representatives, the Mayor of Township of Clark, New Jersey and the Federation of Indian Associations. He was honored with the New Jersey Golden Trowel Award in 2005 and the Top 50 outstanding Asian American Business in 2003. To name a few, his philanthropist activities and diversified affiliations with religious, cultural, social, political and educational organizations include Director of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan premier cultural and educational institution, Chairman of the Indian Cultural Society in Union, NJ and Director and founding member of the Indo-American Cultural Society of North America. His generous personal involvement and donations have resulted in the successful completion of the Mahatma Gandhi Center and the Hindu Temple in Wayne, NJ.

Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH has devoted his medical expertise to the health problems of undernourished children in developing countries and to poor and disturbed juveniles in the United States. Born and educated in India, he was appointed health advisor by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to the Republic of the Philippines, where he catered to the needs of nearly 30,000 Indo-Chinese. Dr. Eapen has devoted his medical expertise to the health problems of undernourished children in developing countries and to poor and disturbed juveniles in the United States. Time and again, he has demonstrated his commitment to the healing ministry and to improving public health for the underserved worldwide. He was appointed Director for Research of Public Health Programs, a non- profit organization in California. His work with organizations such as the International Health Services, Stop Aids World (SAW) and lectures on public health issues affecting children worldwide has earned him this honor. In the words of Hon. Fortney Pete Stark, "he has embraced Public Health Services in an explicit attempt to foster more appropriate and effective policies to benefit poor, undeserved patients" Dr. Eapen serves as a board member of Washington Hospital in Fremont, California and is currently running for re-elections. He was one of the first Indo-Americans ever to win a general election in Northern California. He is also a member of several California State Boards: The Association of California Health Care Districts (ACHD) representing about 44 district hospitals in California Governance, Forum California Hospital Association (CHA) representing more than 500 hospitals in California and the advisory board of California Medical Association (CMA) Foundation. To read more, visit Dr. Eapen's Press Release

Dr. Kiran C. Patel, a board certified cardiologist, was born in Zambia and educated in England and India. He received his medical degree in his family's home state of Gujarat, India. He came to the United States seeking an advanced degree with his wife on Thanksgiving Day, 1976. He recalls, "It was a date of great patriotic significance to my wife and me, one that empowered my life and set me on a road to great opportunity." With his wife, Dr. Pallavi Patel, he has built a billion dollar physician management company which provides service to more than 450,000 members, employing more than 1,200 employees and operating in Florida, New York and Connecticut. Inspired by his father, Dr. Patel and his wife are civic-minded philanthropists dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents in Tampa Bay and communities abroad. He has donated $5 million to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center to fund a school for the performing arts; and funded a recurring annual scholarship that allows 70 students each year to obtain a college education. Today he serves as the Chairman Emeritus for the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding, a non-profit organization that develops and funds a wide variety of programs in health, education and arts & culture. Together with his wife, they have created a versatile non-profit organization designed to create extraordinary results in charity through leveraged giving, while focusing on replicable, scalable and sustainable programming. They have funded many schools, hospitals and village reconstruction projects in Dr. Patel's home village of Mota Fofalia and throughout Gujarat. Other international projects include the construction of a heart hospital in Tanzania and an HIV center in Zambia. In Tampa Bay, the Patels have underwritten a heart research hospital, a charter school, a major performing arts conservatory, and most recently, The Patel Center for Global Solutions at the University of South Florida. In his compassionate words, "when we work selflessly together, there are no little people. Especially in the United States, we can all be generous philanthropists united to create a better world."

Smita Shah is the president of SPAAN Technology, Inc. She is the first female of Indian origin to receive this award, and the youngest recipient this year. Founded in 1998, her Chicago-based firm now employs 41 professionals providing construction management, engineering, and facility/technology services. Shah attended Northwestern University for her undergraduate work where she earned a degree in engineering, and went on to receive her Master's of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). More recently, she has also completed the Advanced Management Program at Oxford University. According to her, a good education is the stepping stone to success: "My dad came here in 1971, landing at Kennedy Airport with education, for education…he started his journey in America to seek a Master's degree in engineering. That is the power of higher education: It brings equality." Her professional accomplishments were acknowledged by Illinois State Treasurer Judy Bar Topinka as a 2004 Woman Making a Difference and she is the recipient of the Non-Traditional Entrepreneurial Trailblazer award. An Illinois Arts Council board member since she was 25, Shah was secretary of the famed Steppenwolf Theater for seven years. "Working with artists is fascinating, great fun, and a real balance in my life," Shah observes. Apart from her professional excellence, Smita has also demonstrated a commitment to give back to her community, her ethnic group and her country by dedicating her time and talents to numerous boards of directors, councils and advisory panels. She has a long history of community service and commitment to the ideals of the American way of life. As a young American of Indian decent Smita has been zealous in supporting and defending the values of American life. An ex White House staffer and member of the White House Advance Team from 1993 until 2001, she was awarded the "Women Making History Award" by Senator Barbara Boxer. Shah was also a delegate at the 1996 and 2004 Democratic National Conventions and was on the DNC's Rules Committee in 2000 and 2004. "I'm a big believer in having a voice at the table. Indian-Americans' political coming of age is exciting, we are such a young community." Smita preserves and celebrates her ancestry as an active member of the Indian community in Chicago, working to bridge the gap between racial and ethnic groups with organizations promoting ethnic diversity as well as those that support the community as a whole. According to the Technology Review, MIT's Magazine of Innovation, "Smita is earning the confidence to build bridges professionally and personally."

Daniel J. Thomas is President and CEO of Periodontal Specialists, in Leawood, Kansas, a periodontal group practice which employs several board certified dental specialists, registered dental hygienists, surgical assistants, scaling assistants and several support personal and provides non surgical and surgical care to thousands of patients in Kansas and Missouri. He also serves as CEO of a large pediatric dental specialty group practice serving patients in Kansas and Missouri. His wife is also a pediatric dentist. Along with his DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery), Dr. Thomas has also earned Certificates in Periodontics, Implant Dentistry and Conscious Sedation. He went on to earn a Master's of Science degree in Oral Biology. He made significant achievements beyond the mandatory educational requirements of the specialty and was certified by the American Board of Periodontology as a Diplomat. Dr. Thomas has served as President of the Heart of America Dental Society and is currently the President of the Heartland Dental Society. He is also on the Dental Advisory Committee for Blue Cross and Blue Shield. As the founder and Vice President of the Indian American Republican Council, he is a prominent fund-raiser for the Republican Party and provides a platform for Indian Americans to work with the Party and participate actively at local, state and Federal levels nationwide in the formulation of policies that are of importance to the community and to the country. Dr. Thomas has devoted his medical expertise to teaching at the UMKC School of Dentistry as an Associate professor in the Department of Periodontics. His erudite articles have been published in esteemed periodontal journals both in the United States and abroad. His knowledge is sought after by several leading dental associations and professional clubs such as the American Academy of Periodontology where he has been invited to give presentations. Dr. Thomas has served as a Representative to the American Student Dental Association, as Delegate of the Missouri Student Dental Association and finally as an expert witness in Periodontics in Kansas. He was also elected to Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. Dr. Thomas has proven his commitment not only to the field of dentistry but also to philanthropy and aiding the less fortunate. For several years, he has been involved in pro-bono social work, treating homeless, handicapped and mentally challenged individuals. He is also a clinical assistant professor in Periodontics at University of Missouri of Missouri-Kansas City. To read more, visit Dr. Thomas' Press Release

Another Ellis Island recipient, MZI Global Marketing President and CEO Mira Zivkovich-Choudhary, although of Serbian descent, has a special affinity for Indian culture. A widow of a prominent Indian doctor in New York, she travels extensively to India with her son, Brian, who is now an international investment banker, to aid the local economy and family of her deceased husband. She has worked to advance the networking capabilities of one million physicians of Indian heritage globally by promoting the custom published magazine, IndianDR and the web community, IndianDR online. As a multicultural marketing expert, Ms. Zivkovich has developed MZI's proprietary methodology, Ethnosynergism™ a marketing approach which provides insights into the attitudes and behaviors of numerous market segments and connects companies and brands with diverse consumer groups.

Because of their many achievements and his ability to touch individuals, these Indians have been honored at this year's ceremony at the historic Ellis Island in New York City. They have brought pride to Indians everywhere. They have now joined the honored ranks of past recipients such as former American presidents--Bill Clinton, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford as well as other famed individuals such as Frank Sinatra, Donald Trump, Lee Iacocca, and Barbara Walters, whose success has been an inspiration in their adopted homeland.

Courtesy of MZI Global Marketing and Mira Zivkovich-Choudhary.

Special thanks and congratulations to all Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

MIRA ZIVKOVICH

Media

Spectacular fireworks display ends the Ellis Island EventSpectacular fireworks display ends the Ellis Island EventFamed Grucci fireworks end the Ellis Island festivities as the medalists and attendees ferry back to Battery Park ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comFireworks to honor the medalistsFireworks to honor the medalistsThe dinner is capped by a stunning display of fireworks presented by Grucci at the New York Harbor as the medalists sail back to Battery Park ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comGrucci fireworks over the Statue of LibertyGrucci fireworks over the Statue of LibertyUndeterred by the rain, the famed Grucci fireworks burst over the Statue of Liberty ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comFireworks presented by Grucci at the New York HarborFireworks presented by Grucci at the New York HarborA stunning display of fireworks presented by Grucci at the New York Harbor as the medalists sail back to the Battery ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comCultural DancersCultural DancersCultural Dancers are among the 250 entertainers to greet VIPs and their families at the Ellis Island Harbor, New York ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comThe ceiling of the Registry RoomThe ceiling of the Registry RoomRegistry Room Great Hall décor of a ceiling full of stars and the American flag, enhanced the evening with a grand sense of heritage and history ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comThe ceiling of the Registry Room Great Hall with its flag and sparkling starsThe ceiling of the Registry Room Great Hall with its flag and sparkling starsThe Medalists and their guests are invited to a black-tie Gala Dinner, held in the beautifully restored Registry Room with its ceiling of painted stars in the Great Hall on Ellis Island. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comEllis Island Medal of Honor Gala in the Registry Room of the Great Hall on Ellis IslandEllis Island Medal of Honor Gala in the Registry Room of the Great Hall on Ellis IslandIn a production worthy of Hollywood, filled with glitz and glamour, 1500 guests gathered in this breathtaking venue adorned with flowers, candles and a ceiling full of stars ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comVIP PerfomanceVIP PerfomanceRecipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor are honored with a military performance and patriotic songs ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comRed Carpet Honor with military receptionRed Carpet Honor with military receptionU.S. Military Corps of Cadets Color Guard march at the military reception for Ellis Island Medalists on Ellis Island New York Harbor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comCadets welcome recipients entering the hallCadets welcome recipients entering the hallThe recipients are honored with a military reception ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comCadets honor recipients and their guestsCadets honor recipients and their guestsA military reception to honor the recipients at Ellis island Harbor, New York, NY ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comCadets honor recipients and their guestsCadets honor recipients and their guestsOver 250 members of the military march outside Ellis Island to honor the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comDocking the ship at Ellis Island HarborDocking the ship at Ellis Island HarborRecipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor wait to disembark, amazed by the greeting by the Honor Guard. Military commands included the Hanscom Air Force Base, The United States Air Force Band of Liberty, US Military Academy, US Corps of Cadets, Honor Guard, United States Naval Academy, United States Army XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army 82nd Airborne Division, HQS 3rd Battalion 321st Field Artillery Regiment and Military Color Guards ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comThe Metropolitan Club, New York, NY Family and friends of the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor are proud to be a part of the Gala Cocktail Reception at the Metropolitan Club, New York, NYThe Metropolitan Club, New York, NY Family and friends of the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor are proud to be a part of the Gala Cocktail Reception at the Metropolitan Club, New York, NY©Photo: www.mziglobal.comThe Metropolitan ClubThe Metropolitan ClubThe grand entrance of the exclusive and private Metropolitan Club, New York City, NY ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists, family and friends are proud to attend the Welcome Cocktail Reception at the Metropolitan ClubMedalists, family and friends are proud to attend the Welcome Cocktail Reception at the Metropolitan Club©Photo: www.mziglobal.comThe May 11,2007 Welcome Cocktail Reception at the Metropolitan ClubThe May 11,2007 Welcome Cocktail Reception at the Metropolitan Club©Photo: www.mziglobal.comUSO PerformersUSO Performers“The American Belles” entertain the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.com2007 Ellis Island Medals of Honor presented by NECO2007 Ellis Island Medals of Honor presented by NECO©Photo: www.mziglobal.comNECO passport, medal and other mementosNECO passport, medal and other mementos©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Dr. Daniel J. Thomas, Mrs. Thomas and Marvin ScottMedalist Dr. Daniel J. Thomas, Mrs. Thomas and Marvin ScottMedalist Dr. Daniel J. Thomas and Mrs. Thomas with CW11(WPIX-TV) Senior Correspondent, Marvin Scott, who was interviewing the recipients at the Metropolitan Club reception in New York City ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists Dr. Daniel J. Thomas and George HamiltonMedalists Dr. Daniel J. Thomas and George HamiltonDr. Daniel J. Thomas and George Hamilton at the reception at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Daniel J. ThomasMedalist Daniel J. ThomasDaniel J. Thomas eagerly awaits his Ellis Island Medal of Honor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.com2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor presented by NECO2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor presented by NECO©Photo: www.mziglobal.comNasser J. Kazeminy congratulates the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of HonorNasser J. Kazeminy congratulates the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of HonorNECO Chairman of the Executive Committee, on the big screen in front of 1500 guests, under a 16000 sq foot tentThe United States Air force Band of LibertyThe United States Air force Band of LibertyConducted by Lt. Col. Larry Lang, this select group of professional musicians honored the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor with an entertaining performance ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Daniel J. Thomas with his family Medalist Daniel J. Thomas with his family Dr. Daniel J. Thomas Preston Thomas with his wife Dr. Donna Thomas, their son Preston and daughter Alexandria Thomas, attending the Metropolitan Club event ©Photo: www.mziglobal.com Medalists: RADM Stephen W. Rochon, USCG, Commander and Daniel J. Thomas, with Mrs. Thomas Medalists: RADM Stephen W. Rochon, USCG, Commander and Daniel J. Thomas, with Mrs. Thomas RADM Stephen W. Rochon, USCG, Commander, Daniel J. Thomas and Dr. Donna Thomas at the Metropolitan Club, NYC ©Photo: www.mziglobal.com Medalist Daniel Thomas and his wife and children with NECO Board MembersMedalist Daniel Thomas and his wife and children with NECO Board MembersFrom left: William Denis Fugazy, NECO Co-Chairmen; Nasser J. Kazeminy, NECO Chairman of the Executive Committee; Preston Thomas, Alexandria Thomas, Dr. Daniel J. Thomas and Dr. Donna Thomas at the Metropolitan Club, NYC ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists Daniel J. Thomas and Mira Zivkovich Medalists Daniel J. Thomas and Mira Zivkovich Daniel J. Thomas, DDS, President of Periodontal Specialists with Mira Zivkovich, President and CEO of MZI Global Marketing eagerly await their Ellis Island Medal of Honor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comEllis Island Medalists: Dr. Mammen Zachariah and Dr. Daniel Thomas, with Mr. Adib C. Kassis Ellis Island Medalists: Dr. Mammen Zachariah and Dr. Daniel Thomas, with Mr. Adib C. Kassis ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Dr. Daniel Thomas, his wife and. Adib C. KassisMedalist Dr. Daniel Thomas, his wife and. Adib C. KassisAdib C. Kassis, USA Manager of Middle East Airlines with Dr. Daniel Thomas and Dr. Donna Thomas at the Gala Dinner after the ceremony ©Photo: www.mziglobal.com2007 Medalist Dr. Daniel Thomas with his fellow doctors2007 Medalist Dr. Daniel Thomas with his fellow doctors(From Left) Dr. Joseph Thomas, Dr. Donna Thomas, Mr. Samuel Thomas, Ellis Island Medalists: Dr. Mammen Zachariah and Dr. Daniel Thomas and Dr. George Thomas at the Gala Dinner after the ceremony ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists: Mitchell Modell and Dr. Daniel J. Thomas with his wife and Harvey MacKayMedalists: Mitchell Modell and Dr. Daniel J. Thomas with his wife and Harvey MacKayFrom left: Mitchell Modell, CEO of Modell's Sporting Goods; Dr. Daniel J. Thomas, DDS, President of Periodontal Specialists; Dr. Donna Thomas; Harvey MacKay, Chairman of MacKay Envelope Co. ©Photo:www.mziglobal.comMedalist Dr. Daniel Thomas and. Adib C. Kassis Medalist Dr. Daniel Thomas and. Adib C. Kassis Adib C. Kassis, USA Manager of Middle East Airlines with Dr. Daniel Thomas at the Gala Dinner after the ceremony ©Photo:www.mziglobal.comMedalists: CPT Gary A. Maynard and Dr. Daniel J. Thomas Medalists: CPT Gary A. Maynard and Dr. Daniel J. Thomas CPT Gary A. Maynard, USN, Commander of the Naval Weapon Station Earle and Daniel J. Thomas, DDS, President of Periodontal Specialists at the banquet in the Great Hall on Ellis Island ©Photo:www.mziglobal.comMedalist Dr. Daniel Thomas with his family Medalist Dr. Daniel Thomas with his family Daniel Thomas is proud to share his honor with his beautiful wife Dr. Donna Thomas and two children, Alexandria and Preston at the banquet preceding the ceremony ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Dr. Daniel J. Thomas and his wife Medalist Dr. Daniel J. Thomas and his wife Dr. Daniel J. Thomas is proud to stand with his wife Dr. Donna Thomas in the Registry Room in the Great Hall on Ellis Island ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Daniel J. Thomas stands proudly with military officer after receiving 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Medalist Daniel J. Thomas stands proudly with military officer after receiving 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Indian doctor Daniel J. Thomas, DDS, President of Periodontal Specialists, receives the prestigious award ©Photo: www.mziglobal.com Medalist Daniel J. Thomas Medalist Daniel J. Thomas Proud Medalist Daniel J. Thomas, DDS, President of Periodontal Specialists, PA, receives his 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.com Tribute to Medalist Daniel Thomas Tribute to Medalist Daniel Thomas Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient Daniel J Thomas’ well wishers pay him tribute in the NECO “Commemorative Journal” ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Smita Shah at a book releaseMedalist Smita Shah at a book releaseDavid Sutphen, Smita Shah and Marland E. Buckner at a release party for CSI: New York star Hill Harper's ‘Letters to a Younger Brother’, in inspiration to troubled youth. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists Smita Shah and Tom LantosMedalists Smita Shah and Tom LantosU.S. Congressman Rep. Tom Lantos gets to know Smita Shah, President of SPAAN Tech ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists Daniel J. Sullivan, Smita Shah and George HamiltonMedalists Daniel J. Sullivan, Smita Shah and George HamiltonMedalists Smita ShahMedalists Smita ShahFlanked by the military guard, Shah poses on the red carpet on Ellis Island in Hollywood style ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Smita N. ShahMedalist Smita N. ShahMedalist Smita N. Shah from Chicago, a successful leader in IT and President of SPAAN Tech, Inc. on the way to the ferry in all her elegance ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Smita Shah and her familyMedalist Smita Shah and her familyOn the way to the ferry at Battery Park, Smita Shah is thrilled to have her family with her on this special day. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comSmita Shah gives a speech on receiving the Ellis Island Medal of HonorSmita Shah gives a speech on receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor“As the first generation in the county people often ask me if I feel more Indian or American. I am proud that I am Indian American and I am proud and honored to receive this award.” ©Photo: www.mziglobal.com Medalist Smita Shah with military officer receiving her 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Medalist Smita Shah with military officer receiving her 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Smita Shah, President of SPAAN Tech, Inc. is first female of Indian origin and the youngest this year to receive this award ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comTribute to Medalist Smita Shah Tribute to Medalist Smita Shah Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient Smita Shah’s family congratulates her in the NECO commemorative journal ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kiran PatelMedalist Kiran PatelDr. Patel is very much involved in his charity work ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kiran PatelMedalist Kiran PatelDrs. Pallavi and Kiran Patel at the University of South Florida, Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solution, launched in May 2005 ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists Kiran Patel and his wifeMedalists Kiran Patel and his wifeDrs Kiran and Pallavi Patel met while studying medicine in Ahmadabad, India and married as soon as they completed their degrees ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kiran Patel and his wifeMedalist Kiran Patel and his wifeDrs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel at the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kiran Patel and his wife with Muhammad YunusMedalist Kiran Patel and his wife with Muhammad YunusDrs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel with Professor Muhammad Yunus recipient of the 2006 Global Citizen of the Year Award from the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kiran and his wifeMedalist Kiran and his wifeDrs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel, founders of the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding are truly Global Citizens ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kiran Patel with Asia tsunami reliefMedalist Kiran Patel with Asia tsunami reliefWhen a destructive tsunami struck Asia, Dr. Patel and his wife organized fundraising efforts and secondary relief plans to build schools and clinics along India's devastated eastern shore. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kiran Patel with Gujarat earthquake reliefMedalist Kiran Patel with Gujarat earthquake reliefWhen a major earthquake devastated villages throughout Gujarat, India, Dr. Kiran C. Patel united the Tampa Bay community and AAPI and led an effort that eventually rehabilitated the villagers' homes, constructed an orphanage and model school and created four modern hospitals. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kiran Patel with Desmond TutuMedalist Kiran Patel with Desmond TutuDr. Kiran C. Patel, Chairman of the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding with Desmond Tutu, Nobel Prize laureate and former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kiran Patel with his wifeMedalist Kiran Patel with his wifeDrs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel pose inside one of the ballet studios at the new conservatory they helped fund. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kiran Patel being honored by Dharmatma Saran as Philanthropist of the YearMedalist Kiran Patel being honored by Dharmatma Saran as Philanthropist of the YearAt the Miss India USA Pageant 2005, at the prestigious Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comIndian Medalist Kiran C. PatelIndian Medalist Kiran C. PatelDr. Kiran C. Patel, cardiologist and philanthropist ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists Dr Kiran Patel with his wifeMedalists Dr Kiran Patel with his wifeDr. Kiran Patel, a board certified cardiologist and Dr. Pallavi Patel, a board certified pediatrician, cofounders of the nonprofit Foundation for Global Understanding at the Gala Dinner at Ellis Island ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kiran C. PatelMedalist Kiran C. PatelDr. Kiran C. Patel, Chairman of the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding at Ellis Island after the ceremony ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists: Dr. Eapen, George Hamilton, and Mira ZivkovichMedalists: Dr. Eapen, George Hamilton, and Mira ZivkovichMedalist Recipients from left: Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH; George Hamilton, actor; Mira Zivkovich, President and CEO of MZI Global Marketing, during the Medalists Reception at Ritz Carlton Battery Park, New York, NY ©Photo: www.mziglobal.com Jacob Eapen and Mother Teresa Jacob Eapen and Mother TeresaDr. Eapen met Mother Theresa in Calcutta, India, while serving as the Director of International Affairs for Stop Aids Worldwide ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comIndian Medalist Jacob EapenIndian Medalist Jacob EapenHon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH of the Alameda County Medical Center ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Jacob EapenMedalist Jacob EapenDr. Eapen at the medalists-only reception at Ritz Carlton ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Jacob Eapen and his family pose with fellow medalist George HamiltonMedalist Jacob Eapen and his family pose with fellow medalist George HamiltonAt the Gala Dinner in the Great Hall on Ellis Island, Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH, Alameda County Medical Center is proud to share his medal with his family and fellow medalist and Hollywood star George Hamilton ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Jacob Eapen and his familyMedalist Jacob Eapen and his family(From left) His son Naveen, his daughter Sandhya, his wife Shirley and Jacob Eapen, MD.MPH at the black-tie Gala Dinner ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists Hon. Jacob Eapen and Mira ZivkovichMedalists Hon. Jacob Eapen and Mira ZivkovichMedalists Mira Zivkovich, President and CEO of MZI Global Marketing and Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH, Alameda County Medical Center at the reception at Ritz Carlton Battery Park, New York, NY enjoy a mutual interest when Mira reveals that she is indeed Indian by marriage. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists Jacob Eapen and Mira Zivkovich with their familiesMedalists Jacob Eapen and Mira Zivkovich with their familiesHon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH, Alameda County Medical Center with his wife and son Naveen. A friend of the family stands with Mira Zivkovich, President and CEO of MZI Global Marketing and her son Brian Zivkovich-Choudhary at the Metropolitan Club, NYC ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH Medalist Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH Proud moment of receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor on May 12, 2007 ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists Kenny Desai and George HamiltonMedalists Kenny Desai and George HamiltonKenny Desai and his wife meet Hollywood star George Hamilton at the Ellis Island Gala Dinner ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comKirti Desai with Nasser J. KazeminyKirti Desai with Nasser J. KazeminyNECO Chairman of the Executive Committee Nasser J. Kazeminy stands with Kirti Desai, President of TAK Construction, Inc at the Ellis Island Gala Dinner ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kirti “Kenny” Desai with friends and family at the Ellis Island Gala DinnerMedalist Kirti “Kenny” Desai with friends and family at the Ellis Island Gala Dinner©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kirti Desai is proud to share his honor with his supportive friends and familyMedalist Kirti Desai is proud to share his honor with his supportive friends and family©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kirti “Kenny” Desai with his familyMedalist Kirti “Kenny” Desai with his familyKenny Desai and his family are regaled by the violin player at the Ellis Island Gala Dinner ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kirti “Kenny” Desai with his familyMedalist Kirti “Kenny” Desai with his familyKirti Desai and his family enjoy the banquet at the Ellis Island Gala Dinner ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kirti “Kenny” Desai with his familyMedalist Kirti “Kenny” Desai with his familyKirti Desai is proud of share his honor with his friends and family in the beautifully restored Registry Room in the Great Hall on Ellis Island ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kirti “Kenny” DesaiMedalist Kirti “Kenny” DesaiA proud moment for Kenny Desai, President of TAK Group of Companies. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kirti “Kenny” Desai Medalist Kirti “Kenny” Desai Kirti Kenny Desai receives his Ellis Island Medal of Honor from a military officer. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kirti Desai greets fellow nomineesMedalist Kirti Desai greets fellow nomineesEllis Island Medal of Honor recipient Kirti (Kenny) Desai at the Metropolitan Club, New York City ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comTribute to Medalist Kenny DesaiTribute to Medalist Kenny DesaiThe TAK Team pays tribute in the commemorative journal to President, Kenny Desai, Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Kirti “Kenny” DesaiMedalist Kirti “Kenny” DesaiPresident of TAK Group of Companies after the Ellis Island Ceremony ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai and his family at a fundraiser at their homeMedalist Akshay Desai and his family at a fundraiser at their homeDr. Desai with his wife, Seema and children Parth and Crystal ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai with his familyMedalist Akshay Desai with his familyFrom left: Priyanka Desai, Akshay Desai, Seema Desai, Crystal Desai, Path Desai ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai and with Jon Voight Medalist Akshay Desai and with Jon Voight Dr. Akshay Desai stands with Jon Voight an Oscar-winning actor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai and his family with Falguni Pathak Medalist Akshay Desai and his family with Falguni Pathak Dr. Akshay Desai with his wife, Seema, son, Path and daughter, Crystal stand with Falguni Pathak is a leading Indian Hindi pop singer and performing artist ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comAkshay Desai at the White House on Diwali, the Indian Festival of LightsAkshay Desai at the White House on Diwali, the Indian Festival of LightsAkshay Desai, a commissioner for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, says a few words at the celebration ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai and his family with Charlie Crist Medalist Akshay Desai and his family with Charlie Crist Dr. Akshay Desai with his wife, Seema and daughter, Crystal stand with Florida Governor Charlie Crist ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai with Charlie Crist Medalist Akshay Desai with Charlie Crist Dr. Akshay Desai, President and CEO of Universal Health Care with Charlie Crist, the current Governor of Florida ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai stands with Karl RoveMedalist Akshay Desai stands with Karl RoveDr. Akshay Desai, President and CEO of Universal Health Care with Karl Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Dr. Akshay Desai and his family with Jeb BushMedalist Dr. Akshay Desai and his family with Jeb BushJeb Bush, former Governor of Florida stands with, Akshay Desai, his daughters Priyanka and Crystal and his wife Seema ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Dr. Akshay Desai is proud to stand with U.S. President George W. Bush and his brother, former Florida Governor Jeb BushMedalist Dr. Akshay Desai is proud to stand with U.S. President George W. Bush and his brother, former Florida Governor Jeb BushAkshay Desai was appointed to Florida Board of Governors in 2005 by Jeb Bush ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai with Rudolph Giuliani Medalist Akshay Desai with Rudolph Giuliani Akshay Desai, President and CEO of Universal Health Care stands with Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City of the Republican National Committee ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai with Dick CheneyMedalist Akshay Desai with Dick CheneyAkshay Desai, President and CEO of Universal Health Care is proud to shake hands with Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai with President George W. BushMedalist Akshay Desai with President George W. BushAkshay Desai, President and CEO of Universal Health Care is proud to shake hands with George W Bush, President of the United States ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai with George Bush and Manmohan Singh Medalist Akshay Desai with George Bush and Manmohan Singh Akshay Desai (extreme right) as part of the delegation welcoming Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai and his childrenMedalist Akshay Desai and his childrenAkshay Desai is proud to share this honor with his son Parth, and daughters Priyanka and Crystal ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay Desai and his wifeMedalist Akshay Desai and his wifeAkshay Desai and his wife, Seema enthralled by the Gala Dinner in the Registry Room of the Great Hall on Ellis Island ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Akshay DesaiMedalist Akshay DesaiDr. Akshay Desai, Chairman, President and CEO of Universal Health Care ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comTribute to Medalist Dr. Akshay DesaiTribute to Medalist Dr. Akshay DesaiEllis Island Medal of Honor Recipient Akshay Desai’s family, friends, employees and clients pay him tribute in the NECO commemorative journal ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comIndian Medalists: Hon. Jacob Eapen, Smita N. Shah, Kirti ‘Kenny’ Desai, Daniel J. Thomas, Dr. Kiran C. Patel, Dr. Akshay DesaiIndian Medalists: Hon. Jacob Eapen, Smita N. Shah, Kirti ‘Kenny’ Desai, Daniel J. Thomas, Dr. Kiran C. Patel, Dr. Akshay DesaiEllis Island Award recipients of Indian origin: Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH, Alameda County Medical Center; Smita N. Shah, President of SPAAN Tech, Inc.; Kirti ‘Kenny’ Desai, President of TAK Construction, Inc.; Daniel J. Thomas, DDS, President of Periodontal Specialists; Dr. Kiran C. Patel, Chairman of the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding; Dr. Akshay Desai, Chairman, President & CEO of Universal Health Care ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comIndian Medalists: Hon. Jacob Eapen, Daniel J. Thomas, Smita N. Shah, Kirti ‘Kenny’ Desai, Dr. Akshay Desai, Dr. Kiran C. PatelIndian Medalists: Hon. Jacob Eapen, Daniel J. Thomas, Smita N. Shah, Kirti ‘Kenny’ Desai, Dr. Akshay Desai, Dr. Kiran C. PatelIndian medalists are proud to stand together at the Gala Dinner after the Ellis Island Medals of Honor Ceremony: Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH, Alameda County Medical Center; Daniel J. Thomas, DDS, President of Periodontal Specialists; Smita N. Shah, President of SPAAN Tech, Inc.; Kirti ‘Kenny’ Desai, President of TAK Construction, Inc.; Dr. Akshay Desai, Chairman, President & CEO of Universal Health Care; Dr. Kiran C. Patel, Chairman of the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding ©Photo: www.mziglobal.com