The Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center ( will honor five Indian American Malayalees for their outstanding achievements in their field of specialization or for their service to the society at its 26th Annual Awards Banquet to be held on November 3rd.

“Kerala Center has been honoring outstanding achievers since 1991 and every year we invite nominations and the committee has to make a unanimous choice for a candidate in a category to receive the award and this year is no different from previous years in terms of their achievements,” said Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of the 26th Kerala Center Awards Committee.

“In 27 years, Kerala Center has become a secular civic institution providing services to the Indian American community and we are recognizing those who are achievers and contributors to society,” said Kerala Center President Thambi Thalappillil.

This year’s honorees include two achievers in corporate leadership; Bobby V. Abraham, former Chairman of the BOD and CEO of Paragon Trade Brands (Seattle, WA) and Jayasankar Nair, former CEO and currently Senior Advisor to Sabinsa Corporation (East Brunswick, NJ). Other recipients are: Malini Nair is the Owner and Director of Sowparnika Dance Academy in New Jersey for performing Arts; writer Chacko M. Chacko for Literature and Community volunteer Joy Ittan for Community Service.

KERALA CENTER TO HONOR FIVE INDIAN AMERICAN KERALITES AT ITS ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUETThe chief guest Devadasan Nair, Consul for Community Service at the Indian Consulate in New York. Keynote speaker is Dr. S.N. Sridhar, Professor of Linguistics and India Studies, and Director of the Center for India Studies at Stony Brook University. Shanti Bhavan Founder Dr. Abraham George will also address the evening. This year’s Gust/Hosts are Philanthropist Sreedhar Menon; Columbia University Professor P. Somasundaran and Entrepreneur and Businessman Dilip Varghese.

The awardees will be honored at the Kerala Center’s 25th Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 3rdstarting at 6.30 p.m. at The Kerala Center, 1824 Fairfax St., Elmont, New York. World’s Fair Marina in Flushing (Queens, New York City, address: 1 World’s Fair Marina,

Kerala Center Founder and Executive Director E.M. Stephen said that the Center had recognized 145 achievers in the last 26 years who have continued to become bigger achievers and contributors to the society.

Bobby V. Abraham, Recognition for Achievement in Corporate Leadership – Bobby V. Abraham, was Chairman of the BOD and CEO of Paragon Trade Brands from 1992 to 2000 – an NYSE listed Company that he took Public while running it previously as a division of Weyerhaeuser Co. He has also served as a Member of the BOD and lead Director for several other US and International Co’s in the last 20+ years. In addition, he has been actively involved as an investor and mentor to start-ups & non-profits. Currently he lives in Seattle, WA

Recognition for Achievement in Corporate Leadership – Jayasankar Nair

Jayasankar Nair, hailing from Trivandrum in Kerala, had his education in Ranchi and Kerala. Joined State Bank of India as Probationary Officer, held very senior management positions with that premier Bank, then had important assignments with Centurion and IndusInd Banks. He held positions with Sabinsa Corporation of Chief Financial Officer for 9 years and Chief Executive Officer for 5 years and is currently helping the Sabinsa Group as Senior Advisor. He has had tremendous success in all his assignments and has been a sought-after speaker on Management, Marketing and Behavioral Science with the Rotary Organization and various Banks in USA and India. He also contributed to social causes through Rotary, State Bank of India and own efforts.

 Recognition for Achievement and Contributions in Performing Arts – Malini Nair

 Malini Nair is the Owner and Director of Sowparnika Dance Academy, an unique and premier Indian Dance Institution in NJ. A native of Trivandrum,Malini Nair completed her b-tech in Civil engineering from College of Engineering Trivandrum. After working in the IT sector for 10 years, Malini Nair chose her passion as a profession and established the dance academy. Currently she trains more than 150 students in different Indian forms like Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattom, Fusion and Folk dances. Malini Nair is also an active community leader who is a part of many major Indian Associations in the NY-NJ Area. Malini Nair is married to Jay Maniyil and the couple has teenage twin boys Arjun and Ajay.

Recognition for Outstanding Contribution as a Writer – Chacko M. Chaco

Chacko M. Chacko, a retired furniture businessman also known as CMC, is a short story writer. His stories were regularly published in Malyalam Pathram with the writer name as CMC. Although, studied only up to 10th standard in Kerala, he got encouraged to write short stories after attending FOKANA Convention in 1992. Altogether CMC has published six books. Among them, one is a drama titled Kakkathi Pravachanam. Two books are translation from Jiddish writer Shalom Aleichem. Three other books include short stories and one is titled CMC stories. CMC is also a silent helper of the poor and needy. CMC lives with his wife in New Rochelle and blessed with three children and three grandchildren.

Recognition in Community Service – Joy Ittan

Joy Ittan has been involved in various kinds of political, social and cultural activities since his school days.  He has been active in organizing various labor unions in Kerala, involved in human rights movements for uplifting the underprivileged and besides contributing charity projects. Even after moving to the US, he continued his services for the betterment of the unfortunates in Kerala while serving the immigrant Keralite communities in local and national level at various capacities.  He served the Westchester Malayalee Association in various positions including as its President, Vice President of FOKANA and Chairman of its Charity Committee as well as Convener and Coordinator of FOKANA Conventions. Joy had contributed for building six houses for the poor, provided scholarship to underprivileged students and paid full wedding expense for four girls in Kerala. A recipient of India Press Club’s 2017 Best Social Worker Award, Joy live with his wife Jesy and children in Valhalla, New York

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