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USPAACE-SE 3rd Annual Diversity in Action (DIA) Awards
Gala filled with cultural performances, awards and scholarships

By Ravi R Ponangi:

Atlanta, GA – The US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Southeast Region (USPAACC-SE) hosted its 3rd Annual Diversity in Action (DIA) Awards Gala on Saturday, October 5 at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, with more than four hundred business and community leaders in attendance.


DIA awards gala takes place every year in Atlanta during Indian festival Diwali, known as the “Festival of lights”. Diwali is the biggest festival of the year not only in India but also many faiths celebrate worldwide. Día means lamp/light. Diwali, a row of lights or lamps is festival of lights commemorating the victory of good over evil. It's an occasion for prosperity and family togetherness. Diwali symbolizes "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance." Light is a metaphor for knowledge and consciousness.

Dr. Raj Pandya
Dr. Raj Pandya of Atlanta Arthopaedic Institute receiving the award

Each year, at the Diversity in Action (DIA) awards, the USPAACC Southeast Region shines the spotlight on exemplary Asian American Business Enterprises (AABEs) who are doing great things and exceeding expectations. Many Indian entrepreneurs bagged AABE awards this year besides other awardees of AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) community.

Shiv Aggarwal Global Mall Atlanta
Shiv Aggarwal receiving the award


Recipients included Ramu Venigandla, Veridic Solutions; Ricky Walia, Walia Hospitality Group; Goutham Goli, Rapid IT; GT Realty Inc.; Karun Asireddy, Infosmart Technologies; Dr. Raj Pandya, Atlanta Orthopedic Institute; Sangeeta Agarwal, Sara Hospitality; and Satya Sid Ahuja, Open Systems Inc./Adapt One. Attorney Neera Bahl, founder of One Path Legal and immediate past President of USPAACC Southeast was honored for her years of service to the USPAACC community. Attorney Bahl is the first Asian American of Indian descent who has been appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to serve on the Judicial Nominating Commission.

Ricky Walia  Ashiana Cafe Bombay
Ricky Walia of Ashiana Restaurant receiving the award

Five Outstanding Asian Americans were also recognized who have made a difference within their communities. Amongst the winners were Dr. May Gao, Professor of Communication and Asian Studies at Kennesaw State University; Dr. Suvrat Bhargave, The Center for Family Psychiatry Board Certified Psychiatrist and Published Author; Hon. Alvin T Wong, Dekalb County Division 1 Judge; Shiv Aggarwal, well known community leader, philanthropist and owner of the Global Mall, and Dr. Gulshan Harjee, Certified Internist, Certified Civil Surgeon and cofounder of Clark Community Health Center.
Also honored were corporations whose support and engagement are the very fibers that help the USPAACC Southeast Region grow and serve the community.

Karun Asireddy of InfoSmart receiving the award
Karun Asireddy of InfoSmart receiving the award


Ramu Venigandla of Veridic Solutions
Ramu Venigandla of Veridic Solutions receiving the awards


Goutam Goli of Rapid IT receiving the award



These corporations and individuals go above and beyond, tirelessly and relentlessly pursuing opportunities for Asian American and other diverse businesses. They set the pace in procurement opportunities, economic development activities and support of the mission and vision of USPAACC Southeast Region. The Diversity in Action (DIA) prestigious awards were presented by Ravi Chander, the Chapter’s President and CEO of Softpath System accompanied by Susan Allen, the USPAACC National President and CEO.

Ravi Chander, reagional president and Susan Au Allen, National president announcing awards

The US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce has been in existence for more than 30 years. The organization’s primary goal is to stimulate economic development by facilitating supply chain partnerships between AABE firms and corporate partners. The USPAACC Southeast promotes, nurtures and propels economic growth by opening doors to contracts, educational and professional opportunities for Asian Americans and their business partners. USPAACC seek to connect, collaborate and engage partners within Corporate America, the federal government, and the small and minority business community throughout the U.S. and globally.

Aligned with the mission of the national organization, USPAACC Southeast Region focuses on serving Asian American owned businesses in the Southeast USA through regularly scheduled programs and initiatives designed to assist members in developing their capabilities; gain access to business opportunities; and grow their respective businesses.

The night was full of special award recognitions but by far the most impressive were the Pathway Scholarship Awards. The Gala’s theme is ‘Lighting Pathways to Success’ and these awards do just that, by providing scholarships to deserving students within the community. The USPAACC Southeast region believes an essential element of creating lasting legacies within the community and families, is to help empower the next generation of leaders.

The 3rd Annual Diversity in Action Awards Gala proved to be an amazing night, filled with rich cultural performances, cultural attire, awards, scholarships, kinship, and positivity. It was a celebration of all things that make AAPI community unique, special and make them who they are.


' Nov-01-2019