Navigate Up
Menu + Public Affairs
Home > News Releases

Local Community Heroes Honored

Kniss recognizes Asian American contributions

CUPERTINO, CA – Today, County Supervisor Liz Kniss hosted the Annual Asian American Heroes Awards ceremony at the Fatima Restaurant in Cupertino. This award program was conceived in 2001 to recognize outstanding Asian Americans for their remarkable commitment to leadership, health and human services, the arts, education, and community spirit in Santa Clara County.

“Today we celebrate individuals and organizations whose actions strengthen the foundation of our community, and the spirit that encourages others to follow,” stated Kniss as she addressed the crowd of more than 125 celebrants. “Each one of us has the opportunity to give to the community, and lifting up those who serve others is truly my honor.”

Each year a call for nominations from the community provides responses from which Kniss and her office select honorees. Categories of recognition are leadership, health or human services, education, arts, volunteerism, agency or organization, team or family. 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.

“It’s been a wonderfully satisfying way to connect with the community over the years,” shared Kniss. “I’ve met so many people in our community who generously give their time and talent – as well as demonstrate progressive leadership.” Past honorees include CEOs, 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.

Honorees for 2011 are: Mr. Jim Sugai of Los Gatos, Horticultural Consultant and Lead Volunteer at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga; Ms. Moy Eng of Palo Alto, Executive Director of the Community School of Music and Arts; The South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View; The California Arts Association of Cupertino; Ms. Sue Barrie of Mountain View, School Nurse for the Mountain View-Whisman School District; Intercultural and International Studies at De-Anza College in Cupertino; Ms. Sarita Kohli of San Jose, Director of Mental Health Services and Community Programs at Asian American’s for Community Involvement (AACI); Ms. Jill Kuendig of San Jose, Psychology Intern at Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI); Ms. Pragati Grover of Saratoga, Saratoga Planning Commissioner; Mr. Masao Kawashima of San Jose, retired engineer; Tiffany Lau of San Jose, youth volunteer with West Valley Community Services; Ken Saxton of Sunnyvale, youth volunteer with West Valley Community Services; Mr. Warren Iwamura of Sunnyvale, active community volunteer; Mr. Pradeep Joshi of Milpitas, retired program director of India Community Center (ICC).

Media Contact: Pattie DeMellopine, Office of Supervisor Liz Kniss, County of Santa Clara
408-299-5050 or 408-472-4925

Posted: November 1, 2011