Four Indian Americans, among many others who hail from different countries, were recognized with the Immigrant Journey Award at their gala hosted by the Dallas, Texas-based law firm Scheef & Stone.
At the gala, Mani Manickavelu received an Entrepreneur Award, Akash Patel received the Immigrant Professional Excellence Award, and Raj and Aradhana Asava received the Immigrant Spirit Award, according to a press release.
Gauthami Vemula was the keynote speaker at the gala and she spoke about her journey from Andhra Pradesh to the U.S.
“I think especially in this day and age, we need to hang onto hope, with all the different crises going on in the world. Being here felt amazing because that’s what this country is built on. It’s about immigrants, and that’s what makes this nation,” Vemula said.
Manickavelu is the chief executive officer of Franchise for Growth as well as the CEO for MyTaxFranchisor, both based in Plano, Texas.
He also serves as a strategic adviser at both Knomadix and Applied Inner Science and was previously the CEO at Siruvai Franchise LLC.
“It is very important for immigrants to join together and support each other. That was the best thing that I saw. Some of the stories that we heard were very inspiring,” Manickavelu said.
Patel was honored for demonstrating significant professional achievements in his field as well as his advancements which have positively impacted their profession and the community.
The Asavas were recognized as immigrant civic leaders who have contributed substantially to the community or region.
“There’s an old saying, ‘charity begins at home.’ And when we call the U.S. our home, let’s make sure we look at where our needs are. You can volunteer, do food drives, donate money. The awards gave me the opportunity to speak on this. We’re happy to be here,” Raj Asava, a philanthropist and co-founder of the North Texas Food Bank Indo-American Council, said at the event.
“This will be our seventh year honoring exceptional immigrants at the Immigrant Journey Awards. I believe it is vital that we continue to shine a spotlight on immigrant achievements and support the diversity the immigrant community brings to north Texas and the nation,” Ann Badmus, immigration attorney and partner, said in a statement.