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County Supervisor Dave Roberts
Named Asian Heritage Awards Gala Chairman
San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts will serve as the Gala Chairman of the 2014 Asian Heritage Awards to be held Saturday, Nov. 22 at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido.

The awards, in their eleventh year, celebrate Asian achievement in categories ranging from business to public health while honoring the legacy of Asian Americans.  Individuals and organizations  who  serve the Asian or Asian and Pacific Islander community here or abroad are also eligible.

Supervisor  Roberts represents District 3, which has one of the larger constituencies of Asian Americans, comprising 19 percent of the county’s population.
“’Visionary’ and ‘leadership’ are the two best words I have to describe Dave Roberts,” said Rosalyn Carmen, president of the Asian Heritage Society, which has produced the award-winning event and celebration since 2004. Referring to Roberts, she said, “He recognizes and empathizes with our mission to empower the community and recognize Asian American  contributions  to the business of San Diego County, thei r cultural value and the entrepreneurial spirit that has ties to both worlds. That is how you bring talent and investment to the community.”

The following individuals have been selected to receive honors in these categories:

Public Health: Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal, a molecular biologist and virologist, is one of the world’s authorities on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In 1983, when many researchers still did not think retroviruses played a significant role as disease agents in humans, working with colleagues in the lab of noted researcher Robert Gallo, she helped identify the retrovirus HIV as the cause of AIDS.  Two years later, she became the first to clone HIV, paving the way for the first genetic map of the virus and the development of HIV blood tests.  Flossie now serves as chief scientific officer and an executive for itherX Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a drug development company she co-founded in San Diego.

Global Outreach: Alex Chuang. The  slogan of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum  is “Never weary of learning, never tire of teaching.” That could also be the slogan of the museum’s co-founder and Executive Director, Alexander Chuang. After his engineering career, Dr. Chuang “retired” but never tired of teaching about the Chinese American experience in San Diego or the history, culture, and art of China.

Science and Technology: UCSD Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan discovered the greenhouse effect of halocarbons in 1975. Along with R. Madden,he  predicted in 1980 that global warming would be detected by 2000 and in1985, he led the first international NASA assessment on the climate effects of non-CO2 greenhouse gases and concluded that they are as important as CO2 to global climate change.

Innovation: Tina Guo has developed an international multi-faceted performance and recording career as a classical cellist, heavy metal electric cellist and composer known for her distinctive sound and improvisatory style in major motion picture, television, and game scores. She’s been featured in major commercials and was a featured soloist in Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson “The Immortal” World Tour from 2011-2013, performing to sold out arenas around the world.

Diversity Pioneer: California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has served in the California State Assembly since 2010, and was elevated to the top leadership post in 2014, when her colleagues unanimously elected her 69th Speaker of the California Assembly. Assemblywoman Atkins is a coalition-builder who believes government policies can improve people’s lives and is a leading voice for affordable housing, a powerful advocate for women, and champion for veterans and the homeless.
The Asian Heritage Society’s Nominating and Planning Committee is also reviewing nominations in business enterprise, entrepreneurship, medicine and candidates for Special Recognition. Recipients will be honored in a special outdoor reception and entertainment gathering and the awards presented in the venue’s  Center Theater. Seating is limited.

Tickets go on sale July 15 for $200 each and $1,850 for a block of ten and $250 and $2,500, respectively, after Oct. 1. Seating is limited and preserved seating is on a first come, first served basis.
To reserve now, go to www.asianheritageawards.com

-- ROSALYNN CARMEN AND LEN NOVARRO
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