Kerala Center Announces 2019 Honorees For Annual Awards Banquet

Kerala Center Announces 2019 Honorees For Annual Awards Banquet

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 27th Annual Awards Banquet to be held on November 2nd and will be chaired by Kerala Center’s Founding Patron and Vice President Alex Esthappan. The chief guest is Mr. Shatrugna Sinha, India’s Deputy Consul General in New York.

“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, Kerala Center’s Founding Benefactor and Trustee.

“In 29 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 Yale University Business School professor Prof. K. Sudhir, who is also the keynote speaker for his achievement in Business Management and Education; Dr. Thomas Mathew, Immediate Past President of Association of Kerala Medical Graduates (AKMG) in Community Service; Malayalam Writer Elcy Yohannan Sankarathil; for her contribution in the Malayalam literature New York State Senator Kevin Thomas for Political Leadership and Involvement and Jose Kadapuram for his contribution in Mass Media.

The awardees will be honored at the Kerala Center’s 27th Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 2nd starting at 6.00 p.m. at The Kerala Center, 1824 Fairfax St., Elmont, New York. Program includes entertainment by Thoom Dance Group of New City, New York. For tickets contact the Kerala Center, 516-358-2000.

Kerala Center Founder and Executive Director E.M. Stephen said that the Center had recognized 150 achievers in the last 27 years who have continued to become bigger achievers and contributors to the society.

Dr. K. Sudhir is the James Frank Professor of Private Enterprise, Management and Marketing and founder-director of the China India Insights Program at the Yale School of Management. He leads research and consulting collaborations on business problems for a range of Fortune 500 companies and non-profits in the US and internationally through the Yale Center for Customer Insights. Sudhir’s academic research has been honored with numerous awards across many leading marketing journals. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Marketing Science, the leading quantitative academic research journal in marketing. Sudhir received his B.E. (Electronics and Communication) from the College of Engineering Guindy at Anna University, M.Tech. (Industrial Management) from IIT Madras, and MS and PhD in Marketing from Cornell University.

Recognition for Achievement in Community Service – Thomas P. Mathew, MD. FACP

Dr. Thomas P. Mathew is a Fellow of American College of Physicians and currently Adjunct Professor in Medicine at St. John’s University and has his own private practice in Internal Medicine in Long Island.  He is the Executive Director of ECHO (Enhance Community through Harmonious Outreach) a non-for-profit organization which he cofounded in 2014, conducting charitable activities to lend a helping hand to the local community. He spear-headed the collection of large amounts of funds during Nepal Earthquake Relief and Kerala flood relief events.  Dr Mathew is a former National President and currently a Board of Trustees of Association of Kerala Medical Graduates (AKMG).

Recognition for Achievement and Contributions in Political Leadership– NY State Senator Kevin Thomas

Kevin Thomas is a New York State Senator representing the 6th Senate District in Nassau County. He was elected in 2018, becoming the first Indian-American to serve in the Empire State’s Senate. Kevin serves as Chairman of the Consumer Protection Committee and sits on the Judiciary, Finance, Banking, Aging, Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committees. Prior to his election, he worked as an attorney and appointee of the US Commission on Civil Rights to the New York State Advisory Committee.  Kevin immigrated to the United States from Dubai at 10 years old. He grew up in Queens and received his J.D. from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, where he developed a passion for consumer protections.

Recognition for Outstanding Contribution as a Writer – Elcy Yohannan Sankarathil

Mrs. Sankarathil has been a popular presence in American Malayalam literature. Her published works are eleven so far, with eight collections of poems, a translation of Tagore’s Gitanjali, a collection of short stories as well as its English translation for the benefit of the younger generation. She has garnered numerous awards and continues to write poetry and short stories.  She received Masters in Education and Engineering. She was a teacher prior to coming to America in 1970 and worked as an engineer with Nassau County for 35 years

Recognition in Mass Media – Jose Kadapuram

Mr. Kadapuram is a prominent media person in the North American Malayalee Community. Currently, he works as the Director in Charge of Kairali TV USA.  He was the executive producer of the super hit series ‘Akkara Kazhchakal’ and several other hit shows.  He is a co-founder of the India Press Club of North America (IPCNA).  Jose Kadapuram is one of the few Malayalee media persons having a Certified Press ID from the US Department of State. He received his Masters in Economics from Maharajas College Ernakulam.

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