The Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce (AICC) celebrated its 25th Anniversary with Achievement Awards and a Gala Dinner held Sept. 20, at the Westin Hotel at Forrestal Village in Princeton, NJ.
President Priti Pandya Patel praised all the members, sponsors, past presidents and boards of directors, current and past in her speech. She pledged to continue making more positive changes during her term working to increase membership and seek participation from all businesses to work together, build relationships and grow with each other.
One of the founders of AICC, Paul Rajan, Esq., addressed the gala via with his video message, speaking of the history and founding of the organization. “It looks like only yesterday some of us were toiling with the idea of creating a new organization to pull together in my office in Iselin NJ and started brainstorming what needed to be done,” he recalled. He pointed to the “complete vacuum” in representing the interests of the Indian-American business community, so the AICC came about to benefit the business professionals, high tech companies, pharmaceutical enterprises, retail and wholesale entrepreneurs, importers and exporters of Asian Indian origin and/or background. Rajan recalled the intense discussions that were held to make the organization a reality, adding, “We must not forget ‘None of us is as strong as all of us’,”.
At the Achievement Awards and Gala Dinner, well-known Canadian singer/songwriter Raghav, along with additional musicians and dancers, including Cube Dance, Ribbon Dance, and Bollywood Dances, performed.
Past President Anil Bansal also addressed the Gala with his welcome message. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who is traveling abroad, sent his representative Rajpal Bath with his personal letter, congratulating the AICC on its 25th Anniversary Gala and included a proclamation.
The Mayor of Princeton, NJ, Liz Lempert, sent her video message and proclamation; Mayor of Plainsboro Township Peter Cantu, , Mayor of Franklin Township Phillip Kramer, and Thomas Lankey, Mayor of Edison, NJ, also sent their messages of praise for AICC.
Mayor, Sadaf Jaffar from Montgomery Township, attended the gala as a special guest.
On this occasion AICC presented awards to the following awardees:
Excellence in Government Awards were given to: Gurbir Grewal, Attorney General of New Jersey, Upendra Chivukula, Commissioner of the NJ Board of Public Utilities, and Ravinder Bhalla, Mayor of Hoboken. Lifetime Achievement Award was given to: Padma Shri Dr. HR Shah, TV Asia. Citizen’s Award went to Navneet Bhalla, Executive Director of Manavi. Excellence in Medicine & Law Award was gven to Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Center for Asthma & Allergy and Sheela Murthy, Murthy Law Firm. Outstanding Achievement in Hospitality and Business went to Hasu Shah, Hersha Group, Shoham Amin, Excel Group, and Komal Arora, Arora Hospitality Group. Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment was given to Falu Shah, Grammy Nominated Artist. Community Service Awards were bestowed on: Thoman M. Coughlin, CEO and President BCB Indus American Bank; Sejal Dave Sharma, Director of Business Development, RWJ; Munmeet K. Singh, United Healthcare; and, Richard Satyavan, AARP.
The Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce evolved to meet the need for entrepreneurial leadership in the Asian Indian business community. It organizes and supports business expos, nonprofit cultural events, symposiums, and humanitarian causes. Based in NJ, the Chamber has memberships all over the country and has sent delegations to India.