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Local Community Heroes Honored 2012

Kniss recognizes Asian American contributions
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.—On November 16th, County Supervisor Liz Kniss will once again host the Annual Asian American Heroes Awards ceremony at the Quinlan Community Center in Cupertino. This year, 16 community leaders and organizations will be honored in the 12th and final year of this event, including a special accommodation for work related to Domestic Violence.  The Annual Asian American Heroes Awards ceremony, conceived in 2001, has honored over 120 community leaders and organizations for their remarkable commitment within Santa Clara County, creating a stream of positive role modeling.
As Supervisor Kniss’s third and final term comes to an end due to term limits, the legacy of the Asian American Heroes Awards ceremony “has created a tremendous connection to the community for me, and has also served to facilitate collaboration amongst the Asian-American community, which then spills over into the entire County.”
As the year comes to an end, Kniss states, “it is my honor to celebrate individuals and organizations whose actions strengthen the foundation of our community, and the spirit that encourages others to follow.”
Honorees for 2012 are: Ms. Beverly Harada of Saratoga, Trustee of the Hakone Foundation in Saratoga; Ms. Manjula Gupta, Producer & Host of Chai with Manjula, a show about giving; Ms. Cathy Tam of Cupertino, a dedicated community leader within the Cupertino Union School District; Ms. June Klein of Palo Alto, VP for Business Affairs and CFO of Palo Alto University; Ms. Chiao-Wen Chen, founder of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Chinese Family Support Group at River of Life Church, & Mr. Jeffrey Pea, founder of Lynbrook High School’s NAMI club; Santa Clara County Hepatitis B Free Campaign, promoting awareness of hepatitis B and liver cancer; Ms. Anita Sathe of Mountain View, Volunteer Chair and Case Manager at the South Asian Heart Center; Mr. Malaya Arevalo of San Jose, HIV Program Manager at Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI); Ms. Chen Sung of Cupertino, full time volunteer and community organizer; Mr. Jeremy Nishihara of Cupertino, Communications Director at Cupertino Union School District; Asian American Cancer Support Network, a community resource network for Asian Americans affected by cancer in the Bay Area; India Currents, a multicultural identity publication devoted to the exploration of heritage and culture of India as it exists in the United States; Dujari Anjali, co-founder of Maitri, creating a community without violence.
Each year a call for nominations from the community provides responses from which Kniss and her office select honorees. Categories of recognition are arts, education, team/family, health and human services, leadership, and organization/agency. The criteria for consideration of an award include demonstrating a commitment in the selected category, inspiring others to believe they can make a difference, engaging community members, and bridging differences among communities. Past honorees have included CEO’s, civic leaders who are now in elected office, educators from our local colleges and universities, and everyday heroes who volunteer or go the extra mile in their service.
Media Contact: Arcadi Kolchak, Office of Supervisor Liz Kniss (408)299-5050 or (408)472-4925
Posted: November 14, 2012