The Virginia chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin(GOPIO), hosted an award gala to mark its 14th anniversary on April 30, 2023. Nine members of the Indian American community received awards of excellence from Virginia Senators David Marsden and Chap Petersen as well as 43rd Speaker Eileen Filer Corn during the event.
The recipients were recognised for their contributions to education, medicine, science, technology, philanthropy, the arts, culture, choreography, and community service.
They included Michael Rao, president of Virginia Commonwealth University for Education, Siva Subramaniam, emeritus professor George Town University, Rahul Gupta director of National Drug Policy Control (White House) for Public Service, Sant Gupta for Science & Technology, Mayur Shah for Philanthropy, Ghazal singer Vatsala Mehra (Arts & Culture), Choreographer Navin KC (Arts & Culture), Rajeev Bhambri for Journalism and Mayur Modi for Community Service.
Senators and Delegates from Virginia, Dev. Marsden, Chap Petersen, Eileen Filler-Corn, David Bulova, Holly Siebold, and Fairfax county board of Supervisors chairman Jeff McKay, graced the packed event. Several American, Hispanic, and diverse Asian community leaders were also present.
Speaking at the event GOPIO Virginia president, Jay Bhandari, congratulated the award winners and said “Many people of Indian Origin are holding high positions in the US and are extremely accomplished and have demonstrated innovations and leadership in almost every field. They have significantly contributed to building a strong relationship between India and the USA towards economic, social, educational, and cultural progress of both these great nations.”
The event also had cultural performances including classical and bollywood Dances as well as live music performances that entertained the guests. The event concluded with a 5-course vegetarian dinner for the guests.