The Virginia Chapter of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has honored six Indian Americans with the Award of Excellence for their extraordinary achievements, at Chinmaya Somnath Auditorium, in Chantilly, Virginia.
U.S. Senator Timothy Kaine and Congressman Gerald Connolly awarded all six in front of more than 200 people.
The honorees were:
- Ravi Chaudhary, Director of Commercial Space and Federal Aviation and a former Lt. Colonial in Airforce: Science and Technology
- Prashant Bhardwaj, Professor; Education
- Rajesh Mehra, a 25-year veteran physician; Medicine
- Ram Reddy; Entrepreneurship
- Jay Mandal; Photo Journalism
- Swati Sharma; Arts and Culture
Community Affair Minister at the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC, Anurag Kumar was present at the event on behalf of the Ambassador of India, Navtej Sarna.
Virginia Legislative House Delegates Mark Keam and Jennifer Boysko were also present, along with GOPIO International Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham and prominent Indian and American community leaders.
The national anthem of both countries was sung by Anjali Taneja, followed by Ganesh Vandana by Sumangala Bhandari and speeches from the president of GOPIO Virginia as well as GOPIO International Chairman.
The evening ended with discussions of the India-U.S. relations and a cultural program.