NEW YORK CITY (TIP): Engineers, architects and contractors of Indian origin celebrated their accomplishments at the 32nd Gala Dinner Night of the Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA), a leading professional group of engineers and architects of Indian origin in the Tri-State area at Grand Hyatt Hotel and Convention Center in Mid-town Manhattan, Saturday, September 29.
The highlight of the evening was felicitation of four women professionals: Meenakshi Srinivasan, Chairperson, NYC Board and Standard and Appeals, Suman Sorg, Principal, Sorg Architects, Bhavna Raval, Director, Engineering Audit Office, Department of Citywide Administration Services (DCAS). The fourth honoree Kalpana Patel, President, Unique Comp, Inc. was awarded with a special recognition.
Presenting the awards, Nayan Parikh, President of SIAEA praised the courage of women entrepreneurs and professionals who crossed many hurdles to reach leadership positions. He said that the Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects was proud of them. “We will continue to encourage the younger generation of professionals, especially women, to move up the ladder of their career by offering professional development opportunities”, he commented.
Prominent city officials who attended the event included Michael Garner, Chief Diversity Officer, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, who was honored with Special Award on the occasion. Parikh spoke about his special relations with the officials and hoped that members of the society will continue to play important roles in development of New York City by participating in its various development projects.
Underscoring the need for unity among Indo-American professionals Parikh said that his organization worked hard to get fair share for its members in government contracting. He said, “We will continue to demand for better representation in projects initiated by the New York City government where Indian American contractors are yet to be categorized as a minority group.”
The Society also presented scholarship awards of $2,500 each to ten engineering and architecture students of South Asian origin. They were Radhika Agarwal, Jigar Bafna, Yush Chandat, Saajan Chopra, Mandeep Desai, Mohammad Imran, Anulya Kattimani, Chintav Shah, Narayan Subramanian and Gursimarn Toor.
Bill Thompson, Jr., former Comptroller of New York City and a Mayoral candidate, complimented the members of the Society for their contributions towards city’s growth and development. He said that city of New York continues to develop because of the hard work and innovations of SIAEA members. He promised his support for the cause of fair share for minority and women owned businesses in the city.
Congratulating SIAEA’s president Nayan Parikh for receiving the awarded of ‘Contractor of the Year’ a day before the Annual Gala, Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, Consul General of India in New York, said that Parikh’s leadership helped raise the image and profile of his organization.
Nayan Parikh had received the ‘Contractor of the Year’ award a day earlier, on September 28, from the Regional Alliance for Small Contractors. “It is an honor for the Indian American community as a whole. We have made our mark in the profession and now are rightly recognized by the mainstream America”, commented Mihir Patel, president-elect, Society of Indo American Engineers and Architects.
Luis Tormenta, CEO and Vice Chairman of the LiRo Group, commented that New York City was a peaceful place to work and live. “The city was the chosen home for people form a diverse ethnicities and nationalities”, he said adding that engineers, contractors and architects were testimony for all of us who came here to realize our American dream.
Ketan Shah, Gala Chair, congratulated the honorees and scholarship winners in his speech. Mihir Patel, SIAEA’s president-elect delivered a vote of thanks. A fusion music and dance performance was presented by Shakti Foundation on this occasion. SIAEA Special Advisor Vinod Devgan was the Master of Ceremony. CNBC Reporter Seema Mody as announcer acquitted herself admirably.