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2013 Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner



The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) held its second annual Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner on May 8, 2013, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, MA. With Master of Ceremonies Richard A. Davey, Jr., secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and ILC trustee, and guest speaker Massachusetts Treasurer and Receiver General Steven Grossman 200 attendees celebrated the achievements of three award winners:

Mahmud JafriMahmud Jafri, Outstanding Neighborhood Business

Mahmud, from Pakistan, founded Dover Rug & Home out of his house in 1989. Today, Dover Rug & Home occupies a 36,000-square-foot space on Route 9 in Natick. He is a good neighbor supporting many school programs, interfaith initiatives and charitable organizations in his neighborhood.


Guzman croppedRafael Guzman, Outstanding Business Growth

Rafael, from the Dominican Republic, grew RM Technologies, Inc. in Lawrence from $800,000 annual revenue in 1997 when he took control of the company to nearly $8 million in 2012 with plans to grow much more. Rafael also gives back by sponsoring community events and establishing a scholarship fund for prospective engineering students.


Dr. Chiang LiChiang Li, Outstanding Science/Technology Business

Chiang, from China, has founded five companies and is the named inventor on 230 patents. He founded Boston Biomedical, Inc. in Cambridge in 2006 to develop a clinical-stage product pipeline that targets cancer stem cells. The company was sold to Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma in 2012, and Chiang currently serves as president, CEO and chief medical officer.



All of the nominees are shining examples of the critical contributions that immigrant entrepreneurs make in Massachusetts and the United States. Many of them attended the Awards Dinner. Here is a complete list of nominees:

Suggest a nominee for the 2014 awards.

If you know an immigrant business owner who deserves some recognition, please let us know by completing this short form. This is not a complete nomination, but when it’s time for 2014 nominations The ILC will let them know you recommended them.



The ILC is deeply grateful to all its supporters for making this a memorable event.

Event Sponsor: Sullivan & Worcester LLP

Dinner Sponsor: Reit Management & Research LLC

Patron Sponsors: Diane and Barry Portnoy, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Gold Sponsors: Maureen and John Harrington, Ropes & Gray LLP, and Ann and Bill Sheehan

Silver Sponsors: Cheryl and Evrett Benton, Jamila and Stuart Bornstein, Boston Private Bank & Trust Company, Tushara Canekeratne, Vaia I. and Arthur G. Koumantzelis, and Pierce Atwood LLP

Selection Committees

The selection committees had the difficult task of selecting only one winner in each category. The ILC thanks each of them for all of their hard work.

  • Abi Barrow, Director, Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center
  • Rodrigo Cerveira, Team Leader, ACCION USA New England
  • George Donnelly, Editor, Boston Business Journal
  • Frank Hoy, Director, Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Raymond Milano, Branch Manager, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Alison Moronta, Business Development Director, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp.
  • Theresa Park, Director of Economic Development, Lowell Office of Economic Development
  • David Parker, Senior Program Manager, Merrimack Valley Sandbox
  • Lauren Paro, Office Executive, Berkshire County Regional Employment Board
  • Andre Porter, Executive Director, Massachusetts Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Janet Strimaitis, Managing Director, Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, Babson College

The Immigrant Learning Center, 442 Main Street, Malden, Massachusetts, 02148     (781) 322-9777

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