Thursday, October 25, 2007

Celebrate Diversity! Honorees Announced

Each of the countries in the spotlight at Celebrate Diversity! chooses an individual to honor. Sometimes the person they choose may be a community leader; sometimes, an example of the American dream. Often it's an individual who gives of their time and talents to assist others as they strive to accomplish their dreams. It's always someone who makes their community proud.

This year's honorees include:

Egyptian Honoree:

Mona Aboelnaga Kanaan is President and CEO of Proctor Investment Managers LLC, a New York City-based firm which makes strategic private equity investments in asset management firms, and which she co-founded in 2006. Proctor affiliates manage nearly $9 billion in assets in diversified traditional and alternative strategies. She was previously Vice Chairman and Senior Managing Director of Proctor’s predecessor firm, Overture Asset Managers, LLC. With a career spanning over 15 years in the private equity and investment banking fields, Mona oversees Proctor's strategic development and acquisition program as well as its international expansion strategy.

Before co-founding Overture in 2002, Mona was a Senior Vice President at Communications Equity Associates where she worked on expanding the firm's private equity business as well as investing in and launching new businesses. Prior to joining CEA, she was a Vice President and Portfolio Manager at Siguler Guff & Company, a NY-based diversified private equity firm with over $3.5 billion under management. Mona has also held various positions at PaineWebber Investment Banking in the Leveraged Transactions and Financial Institutions Groups. She began her career as a financial analyst at Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management.

Mona is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the boards of Proctor Investment Managers, Conquest Capital Group, Explorer Alternative Management, Capital Programs, Inc., American Near East Refugee Aid; The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding and The Arab Bankers Association of North America. Mona is a frequent speaker/commentator on private equity and asset management within the international finance industry and national business and financial media, including in the Annual Meetings of the IMF/World Bank, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg News.

Mona earned a B.S. in Economics and Marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in Finance and International Business from Columbia Business School. Mona lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

Assad JebaraAssad Jebara, a resident of Staten Island, is President and CEO of Zana-Di Jeans/Alpha Garment, Inc., one of the largest junior denim brands and Arab-American owned companies in the United States.

He is on the Board of Governors of the Arab American Institute and a Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Frank Powers
Irish Honoree:
Frank Powers of Tottenville

Francis H. Powers was a partner and managing director of Weiss, Peck & Greer, LLC, from 1977 to 2002, a firm now owned by Robobank/Robesco. While at the firm he was head of its Operations and Clearing Services Division, served as treasurer for the company’s public mutual funds, provided management supervision for information technology, and was in charge of human resources functions. He also served on the firm’s Management and Operations Committees.

Prior to joining Weiss, Peck & Greer, Mr. Powers was a partner with Faulkner, Dawkins & Sullivan, Inc. for nearly ten years, where he was in charge of operations processing, human resources, and facilities planning. He also helped merge the firm into what became Shearson Lehman, Inc.

In addition to being a member of the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board of Options for more than 20 years, Mr. Powers has been one of Wall Street’s innovators and pioneers in securities processing operations. He led the effort to reengineer and provide automation of the movement of securities, working with all of the major industry firms and facilities, and served as president of the Securities Industries Operations Division.

He has demonstrated a substantial commitment to giving back to the community in many ways. Highlights include service as president of the Staten Island Academy, the oldest independent school in New York City; 20 years of membership on the board of trustees of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Staten Island, serving on its Finance Committee and as assistant treasurer. He has also been president of the Downtown Athletic Club and president of the Heisman Trophy Foundation.

Sam Owusu-SekyereGhanaian Honoree:

Sam Owusu-Sekyere of New Brighton of New Brighton, is a Supervisor for Five Star Packing at Newark Airport.

Liberian Honoree: George Curtis of Park Hill is President of the Staten Island Liberian Community Association. (No picture available)

Elizabeth LopezMexican Honoree: Elizabeth Lopez of New Brighton served two terms as President of "Las Senoras De Santa Maria", a domestic worker cooperative, and is currently a board member of El Centro.

Lamberto 'Bert' Garcia

Philippine Honoree: Lamberto "Bert" Garcia of Todt Hill is the Owner, Manager of Caigar Corporation.

At Celebrate Diversity! children and their families will be able to travel from country to country by visiting the "marketplace" with a "passport". After learning a few facts about these six countries, their passports will be "officially" stamped and children will receive a free t-shirt.

There will be a diversity-themed puppet show and music and dance performances from each of the cultures. You can sample foods from the countries and attend the awards ceremony for students who entered essay and banner contests.

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