The Immigrant Learning Center » Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year 2016

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Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Dinner
Honoring immigrant entrepreneurs in Massachusetts

Royal Sonesta Hotel, Cambridge, MA
Thursday, April 28, 2016, 6:00 p.m.


The 2016 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Dinner will honor outstanding Massachusetts immigrant entrepreneurs in four categories: business growth, neighborhood business, high-tech and life science. The evening will commence with a networking reception, followed by dinner and an awards ceremony with Master of Ceremonies, MA Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash and pre-recorded remarks from United States Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, head of America’s Innovation Agency and a champion for immigrant issues.


Jay Ash9

Master of Ceremonies Jay Ash

Sponsorship & Tickets

There are many levels of sponsorship opportunities available.
For sponsorship and ticket information, click here.

Schedule of Events

6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception
7:00 p.m. Dinner
8:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony

ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Sponsors


The nominees for The 2016 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year are:



Business Growth

  • Herby Duverne, Taino Consulting Group, LLC, Boston
  • Wendy Estrella, Estrella Law Firm, Lawrence
  • Eduardo & German Fernandez, Brothers Market, Inc., Dorchester
  • Francisco Fernandez, Happy Supermarket, Dorchester
  • Marc-Andre Lebel, FRX Polymers, Inc., Chelmsford
  • Larry O’Toole, Gentle Giant Moving Company, Somerville
  • Hitendra Patel, IXL Center, Cambridge
  • Jose de la Rosa, Guardian Healthcare, Jamaica Plain
  • Tony Salem, Sea-Dar Construction, Boston



Neighborhood Business

  • Angelica & Diana Cardona, Chocolafee, Revere
  • Eva and Nick Chau, Tai Tung Pharmacy, Boston
  • Joe de Souza, Modelos Market and Cafe, Somerville
  • Mai Du, Wah Lum Kung Fu & Tai Chi Academy, Malden
  • Julia Frenkle, Opus Design LLC, Brighton
  • Suraj Gurung, Asian Star Markets LLC, West Springfield
  • Dheyaa Habeed, Baghdad Bakery and Market, West Springfield
  • Sandra Katz-Deleon, Center For Bilingual Services, Lawrence
  • Fatima Langa, Muqueca Restaurant, Cambridge
  • Gerardo Loza and Hilda Torres, My Little Best Friends Early Learning Center, Malden
  • Danaris Mazara, Sweet Grace Heavenly Cakes, Lawrence
  • Moe Mobasherat, Omnidentix & Associates, Medford
  • Elizabeth Nolberto, Ellie’s CPR and First Aid Training, Lawrence
  • Jignesh Patel, Jay Square, Beverly
  • Colette Phillips, Colette Phillips Communications, Boston
  • Antonio Rodrigues, TNT Cleaning Services Inc., Assonet
  • Magbe Savane, Makomas LLC, Revere
  • Douglas Tran, All Seasons Table Restaurant, Malden
  • Angela Westen, Angela Westen Insurance Agency, Lowell



High-Tech Business

  • Edison Almeida, eCurv Inc., Cambridge
  • Rajini Anachi, mZeal Communications, Littleton
  • Vladimir Bulovic, QD Vision, Lexington
  • Mihael Mikek, Celtra Inc., Boston
  • Markus Rex, ownCloud, Lexington
  • Omri Shor, Medisafe, Boston



Life Science Business

  • Sudhir Agrawal, Idera Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge
  • PJ Anand, Alcyone Lifesciences, Lowell
  • Garo H. Armen, Agenus Inc., Lexington
  • Magdalena Leszczyniecka, STC Biologics, Cambridge
  • Bernat Olle, Vedanta Biosciences, Inc., Cambridge
  • Elisabet de los Pinos, Aura Biosciences, Cambridge
  • Oliver Yu, Conagen, Bedford



The Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards selection committee will review nominations and select one winner in each category. The selection committee members are:



Business Growth

  • Debi Kleiman,  Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, Babson College
  • Denzil Mohammed, Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.
  • David Parker, Entrepreneurship for All
  • Jose Luis Rojas Villarreal, Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation



Neighborhood Business

  • Leandro Freire, Accion East
  • Denzil Mohammed, Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.
  • Theresa Park, City of Lawrence
  • Saritin Rizzuto, Metro Credit Union



High-Tech Business

  • Doug Banks, Boston Business Journal
  • Abi Barrow, Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center
  • Kathleen Hagan, Hagan and Company
  • Denzil Mohammed, Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.
  • Julianne Zimmerman, Reinventure Capital



Life Science Business

  • Lauren Celano, Propel Careers
  • Alison Farquhar, GTL Coaching & Consulting, LLC
  • Bonnie Fendrock, Cyta Therapeutics, Inc. LLC
  • Frank Hoy, Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Denzil Mohammed, Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.



For more details, view our Frequently Asked Questions, our press release, the Awards Dinner brochure or Contact


Previous Nominees and Winners

Growth Nominees for The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Business Growth

  • Fitzroy Alexander, Traditional Breads Inc., Lynn (2014 WINNER)
  • Jose De La Rosa, Guardian Healthcare, Jamaica Plain (2014)
  • Rafael Guzman, RM Technologies, Inc., Lawrence (2013 WINNER)
  • Venkat Kolluri, Chitika Inc./Cidewalk, Westborough (2015)
  • Christine Lin, The Cambridge Institute of International Education, Waltham (2014)
  • Ravi Meruva, IconSoft, Burlington (2015)
  • Helene and Thomas Stohr, swissbakers, Allston and Reading (2015 WINNER)
  • Charbel Najem, Capstone General Contracting, Worcester (2014)
  • Lisandra Mones, Glitterati Style, Salem (2013)
  • Dmitriy Peregudov,, Arlington (2014)
  • Ashish Sangani, GIRI Hotels, Quincy (2012)
  • Julia Silverio, Silverio Insurance, Lawrence (2012, WINNER)
  • Sushil Tuli, Leader Bank, N.A, Arlington (2012)
  • Paolo Volpati-Kedra, Sauces ‘n Love, Inc., Lynn (2013 and 2015)


Neighborhood nominees for The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year AwardNeighborhood Business

  • Rosemary Agbede, Unique You Salon, Lowell (2013)
  • Elias Audy, Cypress Automart, Brookline (2015)
  • Denise and Sambath Ban, Simply Khmer Restaurant, Lowell  (2014)
  • Victor Barros, Systemize Networks, Stoughton  (2014)
  • Arturo Barroso, Boston Shoe Service, Boston  (2014)
  • Edan Barshan, Universal Dental Plan, Boston  (2014)
  • Umesh Bhuju, Zumi’s Espresso and Ice Cream, Ipswich (2012, 2013)
  • Martin Carrera, La Veracruzana, Amherst and Northampton (2015)
  • Alberto Calvo, Stop & Compare Supermarkets, Chelsea (2014 and 2015)
  • Henry Chung, Pho Saigon, Lee (2012)
  • Tom Dang, Pho Da Lat Restaurant, Lowell (2013)
  • Javier Diaz, Rincon Caribeno Restaurant, Hyde Park (2014 and 2015)
  • Larry Dossantos, 912 Auto, Dorchester (2012 WINNER)
  • Calvin Duong, New Century Auto Collision and Service Center, Lowell (2013)
  • Ahmed Egal, Car Service Boston, Boston (2015)
  • Ruth Francis, P&R Ice Cream and Restaurant, Mattapan (2014)

Neighborhood Business nominees for The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Jose Antonio Guerrero, Cafe Azteca, Lawrence (2104)
  • Andres Gutierrez, JP’s Massage Therapy Center, Jamaica Plain (2015)
  • Eli Hsu, Tepthida Khmer, Lowell (2012)
  • Janet Hung and Delia Vildoso, Tiny World Child Care Inc., Brookline (2014)
  • Juan Ingles, Imigrante Latino America Services, Chelsea (2013)
  • Muhmud Jafri, Dover Rug & Home, Natick (2013 WINNER)
  • Marie Claire Jean-Guillaume, La Ronde de Marie Claire Early Learning Center, Hyde Park (2013)
  • Nai Nan Ko, Ko Automotive Group, Wellesley (2014)
  • Hong Liu, A Friendly Inn at Harvard, Cambridge (2015)
  • Francisco Lora, Tropicana Market, Salem (2103)
  • Roger Magalhaes, Shades in Place, Franklin (2012)
  • George V. Markos, Brother’s Deli, Lynn (2015)
  • Ricardo Miranda, Miranda Auto Body, Springfield (2014)
  • Tarun & Simi Narula, Spice Root Indian Restaurant, Williamstown (2012)
  • Anthony O. N. Ngethe, Nursecare Transportation, Methuen (2015)

Neighborhood Business nominees for The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Award

  • Ky Nguyen, Kingston Station, Boston (2015)
  • Phong Nguyen, Yoki Restaurant, Medford (2014)
  • Mayur Patel, Little Market, Acton (2014)
  • Damaris Pimentel, ULTRA Beauty Salon, Jamaica Plain (2015 WINNER)
  • Roger Samkhon Pin and Soben Pin, KhmerPost USA, Lowell  (2014)
  • Gladys Ruiz and Elizabeth Rodriguez, Little Children Schoolhouse, Brookline (2015)
  • Maria Rosa, Yeska Cakes, Lawrence (2013)
  • Nabil and Joseph Sater, The Middle East & ZuZu, Cambridge (2014)
  • Manuel Silva, Silva’s Mini-Market, Lowell (2013)
  • Marc Silva, Somerville Sustainable Cleaning, Cambridge (2014)
  • Neily Soto, Soto Real Estate Services, Lawrence (2012)
  • Helene and Thomas Stohr, swissbakers, Reading (2013)
  • Abrar Ali Syed, Pine Banks Animal Hospital, Malden (2012)
  • Sabrina Tan and Chin Lee, Flavours of Malaysia, Pittsfield (2014)
  • Rosa and Nisaury Tejeda and Victoria Amador, Tremendous Maid LLC, Jamaica Plain (2014 WINNER)

The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Neighborhood Nominees

  • Malee Thai, Pailin Market, Lowell (2012)
  • Tran Family, My Xuyen Corporation (2012)
  • Douglas Tran, All Seasons Table, LLC, Malden (2013)
  • Long Tran, Viet Thai Restaurant, Lowell (2012)
  • Angel Valdivia, Angel’s Painting, Inc., Framingham (2013)
  • Carlos Vargas, Vargas & Vargas Insurance, Dorchester and Stoughton (2015)
  • Tania Vega and Jose Roberto Vega, River Grille, Hyde Park (2015)
  • Patria Veras Valenzuela, Sonia’s Bridal, Jamaica Plain (2013)
  • Yolanda Villamil, Alpha Travel Agency, Worcester (2015)
  • Weidong Wang, Baba Sushi and Chuan Sushi Restaurants, Worcester (2014)
  • Angela Westen, Angela Westen Insurance Agency, Lowell (2013)


Science and Technology

  • Vikram Aggarwal, EnergySage, Cambridge (2014 High-Tech)
  • Ash Ashutosh, Actifio, Inc., Waltham (2013)
  • Bela Asztalos, PhD, Boston Heart Diagnostics Corporation, Framingham (2014 and 2015 Life Science)
  • Mahmud Awan, Tech Man International LLC, Charlton City (2015 High-Tech)
  • Himanshu Bhatnagar, HB Software Solutions, Lowell (2013)

Science and High-Tech nominees for The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards

  • Dries Buytaert, Acquia, Burlington (2015 High-Tech WINNER)
  • Kris Canekeratne, Virtusa Coroporation, Westborough (2012)
  • Pravin Chaturvedi, PhD, IndUS Pharmaceuticals, Woburn (2014 Life Science)
  • Vincent W. Coljee, Excelimmune, Inc., Woburn (2012)
  • Laxman Desai, Toxikon Corporation, Bedford (2015 Life Science WINNER)
  • Semyon Dukach, SMTP, Inc., Cambridge (2015 High-Tech)
  • Joshua Feast, Cogito Corporation, Boston (2015 High-Tech)
  • Ashifi Gogo, Sproxil, Inc., Cambridge (2013, 2014 High-Tech)
  • Bettina Hein, Pixability, Boston (2014 High-Tech)
  • Fauzia Khan, and Mansoor Khan, Alere Analytics, Lowell (2014 High-Tech WINNER)
  • Chiang J. Li, Boston Biomedical, Inc., Cambridge (2013 WINNER)
  • Vincent Linder, Claros Diagnostics, Woburn (2012)
  • Davide Marini, Firefly BioWorks, Inc., Cambridge (2014 Life Science)
  • Krishna Menon, Cellceutix Corporation, Beverly (2015 Life Science)
  • Gaugarin Oliver, RedEgg Solutions, Waltham (2012)
  • Vasu Ram, Content Raven, Marlborough (2015 High-Tech)
  • Rama Ramakrishnan, CQuotient, Cambridge (2015 High-Tech)
  • Josef von Rickenbach, PAREXEL International Corp., Waltham (2014 Life Science WINNER)

Science and High-Tech nominees for The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Award

  • Derrick J. Rossi, Moderna Therapeutics, Cambridge (2015 Life Science)
  • Pedro Santos, OsComp Systems, Somerville (2014 High Tech)
  • Amarpreet Singh Sawhney, Ocular Therapeutix, Inc., Bedford (2012 WINNER)
  • Swapnil Shah, FirstFuel Software, Lexington (2014 High Tech)
  • Marin Solja?i?, WiTricity Corporation, Watertown (2013)
  • Dinesh Wadhwani, ThinkLite LLC, Natick (2015 High-Tech)
  • Anita Worden, Solectria – A Yaskawa Company, Lawrence (2015 High-Tech)
  • Xavier Xicay, Tuatara Corp., Boston (2014 High Tech)
  • Andrey Zarur, Greenlight Biosciences, Medford (2014 Life Science)
  • Yang Zhao, Memsic, Inc., Andover (2012, 2013)

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