PR Newswire; 4/13/2005
WASHINGTON, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- National leaders in industry, medicine, entertainment and charitable work will be honored at the Vietnamese American National Gala (VANG) with the 2nd Annual Golden Torch Awards on Monday, May 2, 2005 , at the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington , D.C.
VANG will present an "Honorary Vietnamese American" award and National Leadership Award to:
-- Dr. John B. Tsu, Honorary Vietnamese American: A posthumous award is being bestowed upon Dr. John B. Tsu for his lifetime work in the promotion of education, inclusion in government, and the advancement of the Asian Pacific American community. The award is presented to a non-Vietnamese individual who has made a significant contribution to the lives of Vietnamese Americans. Dr. Tsu served on many high-level boards and commissions including appointments by Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In 2001, President George W. Bush named him chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. His involvement with the Vietnamese people dates back to the time of the late President Ngo Dinh Diem.
-- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), National Leadership Award: LIRS is being honored for its work in the resettlement of tens of thousands of Vietnamese refugees in America . Over the past 60 years, LIRS has helped over 280,000 refugees from all over the world. The award is presented to an organization that, through its ground-breaking efforts, has allowed Vietnamese Americans to realize and expand their opportunities in the United States .
VANG will present the Golden Torch Award to six (6) Vietnamese Americans for their distinguished achievements in their profession and/or in their service to the community including:
-- Kieu Chinh, Actor, Arts & Entertainment ( Garden Grove , CA ) -- Ms. Kieu Chinh is a legendary actress whose distinguished career spans nearly 50 years. She has contributed her talents to more than 100 television shows and movies from Viet Nam, India, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and certainly in the US, including M*A*S*H and The Joy Luck Club.
-- Loc Nam Nguyen, Director of Immigration and Refugee Department, Catholics Charities, Community Services (Los Angeles, CA) -- Mr. Nguyen is the Director at Catholic Charities, one of the largest and busiest immigration and resettlement offices in the country which assists more than 10,000 people a year. Mr. Nguyen is also an accomplished music composer and MC for many Vietnamese cultural shows and programs.
-- Binh Nguyen, Co-Founder & CEO, Pho Hoa, Business ( Sacramento , CA ) -- Mr. Nguyen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Pho Hoa. It is the largest Vietnamese restaurant chain in the world with locations in almost every city with a large Asian population. In 1983, the first Pho Hoa restaurant opened in San Jose , CA with a tiny kitchen and a few seats. Today, Pho Hoa has more than 100 locations worldwide.
-- Chi Van Dang, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Dean & Professor, Johns Hopkins University , Education & Medicine ( Baltimore , MD ) -- Dr. Dang is a Vice Dean and professor at Johns Hopkins University . He is highest-ranking physician of Vietnamese heritage in academic medicine worldwide. He is being considered for the Lasker Prize in Medicine -- which is the equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
-- Tony Quang Lam, City Council Member (Ret.,) City of Westminster, Government (Westminster, CA) -- In 1992, Mr. Lam became the first Vietnamese American to be elected to public office in the U.S. He successfully served three terms on the Westminster City Council until his retirement in 2002. He has paved the way for many Vietnamese Americans to enter into public service.
-- Hau Thai-Tang, Chief Engineer, Ford Motor Company, Science & Technology (Plymouth, MI) - Mr. Thai-Tang is the Chief Engineer for the iconic 40th Anniversary Ford 2005 Mustang, involving more than 300 people, for a company with 335,000 employees. It is the second-most significant automotive product in the 20th century after the Model T.
The Masters of Ceremonies for the black-tie dinner gala are Ms. Betty Nguyen, anchor for CNN/U.S., and Mr. Quang X. Nguyen, author of A Sense of Duty - My Father, My American Journey.
Prior to VANG awards dinner is a three-day celebration from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1, 2005 that includes a golf outing and dinner, a 30-year commemoration ceremony of Vietnamese Diaspora in America on the West Lawn of Capitol Hill, a special welcoming reception at the Smithsonian Institution, a White House briefing, and a Congressional luncheon on Capitol Hill.
In 2004, eight VANG Golden Torch Awards were bestowed upon the following distinguished individuals and organization for their achievements and contributions to the Vietnamese American Community and America: Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, "Honorary Vietnamese American;" Catholic Charities USA, "National Leadership Award;" Mr. Dat Nguyen, Dallas Cowboys player; Mr. Do Ngoc Yen, Publisher, Nguoi Viet Daily News; Mr. Trung Dung, CEO, Fogbreak Software; Ms. Ngoan Le, City of Chicago; Mr. Tran Dinh Truong, Proprietor of Hotel Carter and Philanthropist, and Dr. Eugene Trinh, NASA.
The Vietnamese American National Gala (VANG) is a national celebration of Vietnamese heritage and pride that is held in conjunction with the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a month-long celebration that honors the achievements of Asian Pacific Americans and recognizes their contributions to America . With its overwhelming success in 2004, VANG is proud to present the Second Annual Golden Torch Award. Hundreds of prominent Vietnamese Americans across the country will gather at VANG to honor some of America 's best and brightest.
VANG is hosted by Viet Heritage Society, a 501(c )( 3) non-profit organization based in San Jose , California that is responsible for the construction of the first Vietnamese Heritage Garden in the nation. Other co-title sponsors include the law firm of Greenberg Traurig and the Vietnamese American Real Estate Professional Association (VAREPA).