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Seven Iranian-Americans Receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Seven Iranian-Americans have received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor including Mr. Ali Ebrahimi, Mr. Morteza Hosseini, Mr. Jamie Masada, Dr. Fariborz Maseeh, Mr. Hamid Moghadam, Mr. Farhad Pezeshkan, and Dr. Hosein Shokouh-Amiri in a ceremony in the Great Hall on Ellis Island on Saturday, May 13, 2006. This year's other honorees include Secretary Thomas Ridge, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Deepak Chopra, Governor Tim Pawlenty and Rita Cosby of MSNBC.

The Ellis Island Medals of Honor are awarded annually by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) in recognition of distinguished Americans of various ethnic backgrounds for their extraordinary contributions to American society. Prior Iranian American recipients include Mr. Michael S. Ansari, Mr. Hushang Ansary, Dr. Homayoun Firouztash, Mr. Nasser J. Kazeminy and Mr. Akbar Lari.

Established in 1986 by NECO, the Ellis Island Medals of Honor pay tribute to the heritage of those groups that compromise America's unique cultural mosaic and extraordinary individual achievement. With over 5 million members, NECO serves as an umbrella group for over 250 organizations that celebrate, educate and nurture ethnic pride, heritage, culture, tradition and commerce. Four Presidents, several members of the U.S. Congress and Nobel Prize winners as well as Dr. Henry Kissinger and Muhammad Ali are among the remarkable group of individuals to have previously received the award. The Ellis Island Medals of Honor are sanctioned by the U.S. Congress and recipients' names are listed in the Congressional Record.

Mr. Mori Hosseini is the Chairman of ICI Homes, amongst the top 100 home builders in the country. Over the years, he has been passionately giving back to many organizations in his community including the ICI Sports Complex at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and the hospitality center at Daytona Beach Community College among other activities.

Mr. Hamid Moghadam is Chairman and CEO of AMB Property Corporation, amongst the top Real Estate Investment Trusts in the country. Among numerous other community-related activities, he has established the Moghadam Family Endowment for Iranian Studies at Stanford University as well as the International Relief Micro-Lending Program in Bam, Iran.

Mr. Farhad Pezeshkan is the Chairman and CEO of Kraft Construction ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in 2003. Among many other activities, he currently serves as the Chairman of the Collier County Economic Development Council and sits on the board of Naples Community Hospital Foundation. He is also Co-Chair for the Naples Community Hospital Capitol Campaign raising over $35million.

Dr. Fariborz Maseeh is a worldwide recognized expert in the field of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). He is the founder and managing principal of Picoco LLC, an investment management firm and the Founder and the President of the Massiah Foundation for venture philanthropy. Massiah Foundation makes investments for public benefit where there are unmet needs and has made numerous investments in education, health care, spirituality, arts and culture including the Iranian Studies program at University of California Irvine and the Fariborz Maseeh Engineering School at Portland State University in Oregon.

Mr. Ali Ebrahimi is the Chairman and CEO of Ersa Grae one of the largest real estate development companies in Southern Florida. Mr. Ebrahimi has been a major contributor to the renovation and revitalization of downtown Sarasota.

Mr. Jamie Masada is one of America's top comedy impresarios and a founder of the Laugh Factory. According to Business Week "entertainment producers and managers routinely prowl his club to find the next Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock all of whom got their start on Masada's stage."

Dr. Hosein Shokouh-Amiri is a transplant surgeon with the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute and professor of surgery and medical director of pediatric liver transplantation at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Shokouh-Amiri has has made great advances in the practice of kidney, kidney-pancreas, and liver transplantation.

... Payvand News - 5/18/06 ... --

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