International

RUPAL THANAWALA RECEIVES ROSA PARKS TRAILBLAZER AWARD

January 19, 2020 04:45 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (BALBIR SINGH)

Mumbai-born Rupal Thanawala was among 16 individuals and organizations, who were felicitated at the 15th annual Champions of Diversity Awards Dinner, hosted by Recorder Media Group which is the 3rd largest minority magazine and newspaper in its 125th year, in Marriott Downtown, Indianapolis, on Friday night.

 
 
Watched by more than 1000 guests and others, Rupal Thanawala, Managing Director of Trident Systems, was presented the prestigious Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award. She has been a leader in emerging technologies, life sciences and corporate responsibility for years. Thanawala’s previous positions included Indiana market director for Accenture, client director for PwC and a former partner at Tenthpin Management Consultants.

*Asian American Alliance President Rupal is a Mitch Daniels Foundation Fellow, serves on the TechPoint board of directors, the Lung Association of Indiana Chapter and vice president of Strategic Partnership for Black Data Professional Association Indiana.**The 16 individuals and organizations exemplified diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in Indiana. From hiring practices to community outreach, the award recipients continue to push for a better Indiana by ensuring more people aren’t just tokens of diversity but have meaningful roles. Rupal got the 2020 Champion of Diversity Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award.

 

Asian American Alliance President Rupal is a Mitch Daniels Foundation Fellow, serves on the TechPoint board of directors, the Lung Association of Indiana Chapter and vice president of Strategic Partnership for Black Data Professional Association Indiana.

Speaking on the occasion, Rupal Thanawala said "It is a gratifying feeling for me and the award comes not with an honour but an obligation as well. Being an trailblazer means guide others and in particular girls and undeserved population to achieve their dreams. Together, we will get a seat at the table, help break glass ceiling and we will not be hidden figures anymore. It is my responsibility to mentor them to get education, financial stability and achieve professional success.

"Despite of financial and social barriers, my parents encouraged me to be the first bio-medical engineer in my class and first working women in family. I have done nothing outstanding to receive this honour but simply follow the lessons taught to me by parents to be a true Hindu. A true Hindu is a person who every single day practices humanity."

Rupal also expressed deep gratitude to her husband and kids who have been part of her all of the community service projects.

The 16 individuals and organizations exemplified diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in Indiana. From hiring practices to community outreach, the award recipients continue to push for a better Indiana by ensuring more people aren’t just tokens of diversity but have meaningful roles. Rupal got the 2020 Champion of Diversity Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award. 2020 Champion of Diversity Winnie Bulaya was presented Martin Luther King Jr. Award. Bulaya has worked nights as a custodian at IUPUI for six years, and she delivers donations during the day through her ministry, “Welcome Basket Inc.”

Elizabeth J. Henry received William G. Mays Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award. Elizabeth J. Henry owns and operates three McDonald’s restaurants. She is recipient of the Golden Arch Award, one of the highest honors given to a McDonald’s owner/operator.

Laurie Ann Henry was felicitated with William G Meys Excellence Entrepreneurship Award. Laurie has received six outstanding GM awards, Black History Makers of Today and Tomorrow Award and the Ray Kroc Award, given to top one per cent performing managers in the USA. She is an executive board member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana.

Eugene White was conferred with Lifetime Education Advocate Award. Eugene White retired from Martin University in March 2019 after a 47-year career in education in Indiana. After a short retirement, White became the fourth president of Martin University in 2013. He was named president emeritus in May 2019.

INDIVIDUAL HONOREES: Tavonna Harris Askew, Jeffrey Harrison, Candy King, Mario Rodriguez, Mariama Shaheed and Vernon Williams.

ORGANIZATION HONOREES: Bloom Project (Arnetta Scruggs), Evansville African American Museum (Ashley Jordan), Indiana Donor Network (Kellie Hanner), Indianapolis Urban League (Tony Mason) and Special Olympics (Jeff Mohler).

It may be recalled that Gurinder Singh Khalsa was the first Indian American to receive the prestigious Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award in 2019.

Award winning media professional Young-Hee Yedinak, Danish international singer Lerche and international artist and community leader KP Singh were among hundreds of well wishers congratulated Rupal Thanawala for receiving the glittering Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award and other honorees.

Young-Hee Yedinak wrote: What a night! Our heart-felt congratulations to Rupal Thanawala, President of Asian American Alliance and the 2020 Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award recipient! She received this prestigious recognition during tonight's Champions of Diversity gala honoring individuals and organizations for their work in advancing diversity and inclusion in Indiana. We are so proud of you!

Thank you, State Representative Chris Chyung, for joining us tonight for the Champions of Diversity Awards Gala hosted by the Recorder Media Group! Chris is the first Asian (Korean) American lawmaker in Indiana.

Anita Hjorth Lerche wrote: Tonight we are celebrating Rupal Thakker Thanawala, our President of the Asian American Alliance, Inc., who is a true Champion of Diversity!! Big congrats on receiving the prestigious Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award, you so deserve it."

 
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