The New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards honor current first-generation immigrant business leaders helping local New Jersey communities thrive.
The Awards were created to highlight the history and academic influence of New Jersey’s immigrant entrepreneurs and their contributions to communities throughout the state. The intention of the New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards is to bring together business groups from across the state to join in celebrating the important role of immigrants to today’s economy. The awards honor immigrants for their achievements in growth, advocacy, innovation, sustainability, and leadership.
Historically, New Jersey’s immigrant entrepreneurs were responsible for the invention of the transistor, the modern brassiere, the submarine, Vitamin C, game theory, prong setting for gemstones, the chemical synthesis of penicillin and instant coffee. Iconic companies like Lipton Tea, Welch’s Grape Juice, Ballantine beer, and Colgate-Palmolive were founded by immigrant entrepreneurs who chose New Jersey for their homes and places of business. During its history, New Jersey was home to the first successful glass making business in the colonies as well as the largest marine engine building shop, the largest parachute production company , the fourth largest brewery, the sixth largest home builder in America – all of these companies were founded by immigrant entrepreneurs.
Immigrant Entrepreneurs Honored for Making a Difference in New Jersey
The winners of the 7th Annual New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneurs awards were honored on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at Rutgers University. The awards program featured Rutgers Chancellor Christopher Molloy as the keynote speaker and was hosted by the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“We congratulate this year’s winners for their contributions to the State of New Jersey and recognize the importance of immigrants to NJ’s economy and society,” says Katherine Kish, Executive Director, Einstein’s Alley
The New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards honor immigrant business leaders helping New Jersey communities thrive. The awards were created to highlight the social and economic contributions of New Jersey's immigrants to communities throughout the state and celebrate the important role of immigrants to today's economy. The awards are sponsored by a broad-based coalition of New Jersey chambers, associations and organizations including the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce, Diversity Dynamics, Einstein’s Alley, Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce, NJBIA, the New Jersey Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce, Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.
The 2019 winners, their NJ business location and country of origin are:
- Nicholas Marcalus Award for Sustainability – Anabelle Radcliffe-Trenner (United Kingdom), Founder & Principal, Historic Building Architects LLC, Trenton, NJ
- Caspar Wistar Award for Growth – Sandeep Agarwal (India), President and CEO, Pure Indian Foods, Princeton Junction, NJ
- Albert Einstein Award for Innovation – Wei Wang (China), President and Founder, UrbanTech Consulting Engineering, Mt Laurel, NJ
- Rising Star Entrepreneurial Award- Veronique Cardon (France), Founder and CEO, The CogniDiet Program, Princeton, NJ
Anabelle Radcliffe-Trenner, Founder & Principal, Historic Building Architects LLC, Trenton, NJ will be honored with the Nicholas Marcalus Award for Sustainability. Annabelle Radcliffe-Trenner was born in London and educated in the United Kingdom. In 1983, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Dundee University, Scotland and in 1986 a graduate professional degree in Preservation Architecture from the University of Edinburgh. She passed the UK’s Architects Registration Board Licensure Exam, completed a two-year professional work experience, and was issued a license to practice architecture in the UK in 1986. Radcliffe-Trenner came to the US when she married a citizen in 1988 and worked with local firms. In 1994 she obtained a Certificate in Architectural Conservation (Preservation) from the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, in Rome, Italy.
That year, having earned reciprocal architectural licensing in the U.S., Radcliffe-Trenner founded her own company, Historic Building Architects, LLC, a professional practice focused on restoring nationally significant historic landmark properties. HBA, based in Trenton, recently achieved its 25-year anniversary of successful operations. With a total staff of 8, HBA is certified as a Women-Owned Business Enterprise and a Small Business Enterprise by the State of New Jersey.
HBA has become a national leader in Historic Preservation Architecture, one of a handful of architectural practices in the US combining preservation architecture and material conservation services exclusively for historic properties such as religious buildings, museums, courthouses, and others in the public realm, listed on the National Register; many are National Historic Landmarks. HBA has won awards for over a dozen preservation projects.
Radcliffe-Trenner is a sought-after lecturer and writer on preserving the built cultural heritage, and a longtime Board Member of the Association for Preservation Technology International. She has been interviewed on National Public Radio and NJ Television on historic preservation issues, and about restoration by NBC and Fox Business News, following the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral,.
Sandeep Agarwal, President and CEO, Pure Indian Foods, Princeton Junction, NJ will be honored with the Caspar Wistar Award for Growth. Sandeep Agarwal worked for years as an IT specialist on Wall Street before founding Pure Indian Foods (PIF). His Indian heritage gave him an appreciation for the health benefits of Indian traditional foods like ghee, herbs and spices. He and Nalini started the business part-time after making a small batch of ghee and finding out that his family and friends loved it. It is now their full-time business.
The company has grown rapidly and has created 10 full time jobs in New Jersey, and is recognized as a leader in development and marketing of authentic, organic traditional Indian foods across the U.S. Sandeep’s interest in dairy history grew out of his family’s fifth-generation ghee business (started by his great-great-grandfather in 1889) and the culturally significant role that dairy plays within his Indian heritage.
Today Pure Indian Foods is one of the most respected Organic Ghee companies in North America. He brought the Ayurvedic Medicinal Ghee concept to a culinary level by introducing unique herb/spiced ghee products sold as food, which were recognized by The New York Times. PIF continues the family tradition of creating pure, wholesome Indian-heritage ingredients and foods for everyone to enjoy. PIF ghee is made from milk from grass-fed cows, so the products are natural and non-GMO and certified organic. PIF has expanded rapidly in the last few years as the business has innovated and expanded their product lines. The ghee product now comes in a variety of flavors and is the basis of new meal starter “Curry in a Hurry”.
PIF has been featured in numerous national publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and GQ magazine. Recently Sandeep and Nalini’s story was featured in NJBiz, highlighting their unique and growing New Jersey-based business.
Sandeep is a member of the board of directors for the NJ Food Processors Association and committed to enhancing public health through the promotion of access to natural foods.
Sandeep is a graduate of David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies’ two-year herbalist training program and one-year graduate program. He has spoken at symposiums in USA and India. Sandeep initiated a website (www.butterworld.org) to educate people on the health benefits of dairy fats like ghee.
PIF contributes to the philanthropic organizations KickCancer, Real Food Recovery and the Weston Price Foundation, all devoted to promoting health through improved diet
Wei Wang, Ph.D., PE, President and Founder, UrbanTech Consulting Engineering, Mt Laurel, NJ will receive the Albert Einstein Award for Innovation. Through his successes with UrbanTech after working on the Marine Parkway and Third Avenue Bridges, Dr. Wang has continued to innovate and tackle engineering challenges. In 2011, alongside Kiewit Construction Company, a leading construction firm in the United States, UrbanTech played a major role in Amtrak’s Replacement of Two Bridges in Middletown, Pennsylvania. As principal-in-charge, Dr. Wang served as the structural engineer of record and was responsible for the design and construction procedures to facilitate the removal and replacement of two railroad bridges on the same route over one weekend. UrbanTech has since established itself as a leading force in Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC)Dr. Wang led UrbanTech in the Replacement of the Kosciuszko Bridge in 2017. UrbanTech was responsible for the demolition schemes of the Kosciuszko Bridge approach and main spans. The approach truss spans of the Brooklyn Connector were replaced using Replace-in-Place construction methods. The main span was lowered onto a barge system with eight computer-controlled strand jacks working in tandem. The project was awarded Best Bridge Project by Engineering News-Record.
In the last 3 consecutive years, UrbanTech was selected by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and FORTUNE as one of the 100 fastest-growing inner city companies. UrbanTech has annually increased its rank since its first award in 2016. The Inner City 100 program selects businesses in underprivileged urban areas that offer “access to national visibility, executive education, and networking opportunities”. ICIC considers a company’s annual revenues and high-growth rates from the last five years.
UrbanTech and Dr. Wang’s successes would not have been achieved without the support of the engineers and staff forming the growing and innovative company. With two growing offices in New York City and South Jersey, 86% of UrbanTech’s employees are first and second generation minority immigrants.
Dr. Wang acknowledges the challenges of citizenship in the United States and sponsors employees seeking work visas and the opportunity to receive a green card. UrbanTech’s vast cultural background invites different ideas to the table--allowing for innovation to address current engineering challenges.
The Rising Star award will be presented to Veronique Cardon, Founder and CEO, The CogniDiet Program, Princeton, NJ. Veronique is a Holistic Nutritionist with a Master’s degree (summa cum laude) in Holistic Nutrition from the Clayton College of Natural Health. She started to meditate in 2005 and gained a Certificate of Completion in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) applied to weight loss at the Beck Institute for the Advancement of Human Behavior in Philadelphia-PA, in July 2013. She also holds a Commercial Engineer degree (magna cum laude) from the University of Brussels, Belgium. She also attended special management and leadership programs at INSEAD in France and the Harvard Business School in the US.
After graduating from university, Veronique was a General Manager in Scandinavia, UK, Latin America, and Eastern Europe for a pharmaceutical company called UCB Pharma. She earned “Young Businesswoman of the Year” from the Financial Times in 1994. She then took a job in Atlanta, GA as the Head of Marketing, for UCB Pharma, working with Pfizer to launch a UCB - invented product for allergies called Zyrtec®. She stayed in the U.S. after her 3-year expatriation contract, got a green card, and ended up at Johnson & Johnson and then Pfizer, in leadership roles of growing importance. After a wonderful career, mostly in marketing and sales, she went back to school, got a master’s in nutrition in 2006 and become a full-time entrepreneur.
Veronique’s weight loss program, The CogniDiet, is based on the principles that your brain is plastic and can develop new behavioral and thought pathways. Applied to weight loss, it allows you to start to adopt new healthier behaviors and lose weight for the long-term.
The judges for this year’s Awards were previous award winners Kamal Bathla, CEO Maestro Technologies and Rashaad Bajwa, CEO Domain Computers and this year’s event host, Lina Llona, President of the Middlesex County Regional Chamber.
The Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards are named for great, historic New Jersey immigrant entrepreneurs. The many nominees represent small mom and pop businesses as well as large corporations; ranging from high-tech firms to professional service providers, from manufacturing operations to restaurant and financial institutions. Combined, they employ hundreds of people and do billions in sales.
September 2018 Event Honors Business Leaders in Trenton, West Windsor,
North Brunswick, Monmouth Jct., Edison, and Elmwood Park New Jersey
Winners of 2018 Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards presented by the NJ Immigrant Entrepreneur Award Coalition
From left to right:
Pierre Hage Boutros, Pierre’s Restaurant, Caspar Wistar Award for Growth
Suchitra Kamath, Minute Man Press of Edison, Rising Star Award
Kamal Bathla, Maestro Technologies, 2018 Immigrant of the Year
Jack Li, Windsor Athletic Club, Albert Einstein Award for Innovation
Anita Guerrero for her father Jose Guerrero, Spencer Bank, David Sarnoff Award for Advocacy
Manuel Hernandez, Manny’s HVAC, Honorable Mention for Growth
Christina Jeng, enfoTech, Honorable Mention for Innovation was not present
Trenton NJ (Sept. 26, 2018) – The winners of the Sixth Annual New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneurs Awards were honored on Wednesday, September 26th at the Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce Multi-Chamber Networking Event at The Embers Restaurant, 3793 US1 South, Monmouth Junction (South Brunswick), NJ. ~ DOWNLOAD PROGRAM BOOK
The 6th Annual New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards honored immigrant business leaders helping New Jersey communities thrive. The awards were created to highlight the social and economic contributions of New Jersey's immigrants to communities throughout the state and celebrate the important role of immigrants to today's economy. The awards are sponsored by a broad-based coalition of New Jersey chambers, associations and organizations including the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce, Diversity Dynamics, Einstein’s Alley, Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce, NJBIA, the New Jersey Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce, Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.
The 2018 winners, their NJ business location and country of origin are:
- 2018 Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year – Kamal Bathla, Managing Director, Maestro Technologies, Trenton, NJ (India)
- Caspar Wistar Award for Growth - Pierre Hage-Boutros, Founder, Pierre’s of South Brunswick, Monmouth Junction, NJ (Lebanon)
- David Sarnoff Award for Advocacy and Community Engagement – Jose Guerrero, President, Chairman and CEO, Spencer Savings Bank, Elmwood Park, NJ (Spain)
- Albert Einstein Award for Innovation - Jack Li, Owner, Windsor Athletic Club, West Windsor, NJ (China)
- Rising Star - Suchitra Kamath, Owner/President, Minuteman Press Edison, NJ (India)
- Honorable Mention Growth - Manuel Hernandez, Owner, Manny’s HVAC & Home Improvement, Trenton, NJ (Dominican Republic)
- Honorable Mention Innovation - Christina Jeng, Founder and President, enfoTech & Consulting, North Brunswick, NJ (Taiwan)
Kamal Bathla, Managing Director, Maestro Technologies, Trenton, NJ will be honored as the 2018 Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year. Employing 180 people, Maestro is an award-winning big data solutions and cloud platform company that Inc Magazine named one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. for three consecutive years, starting in 2011. As the Managing Director of Maestro Technologies, Kamal is guiding the transformation of his company, applying its leading-edge expertise in software architecture to big data, Machine Learning, blockchain, IoT and cyber security Solutions. In November 2017, he moved Maestro Technologies from Edison to Trenton, NJ, to an 85,000-square-foot headquarters known as the SMART Applications Innovation (SAI) Center, a nerve center of technological innovation run by an accomplished team of technologists who serve private and public sectors and the communities in which they operate. He is passionate about transforming Trenton to the Innovation capital of New Jersey with technology centric programs driven by public/private partnerships.
Pierre Hage-Boutros, Founder, Pierre’s of South Brunswick, Monmouth Junction, NJ will be honored with the Caspar Wistar Award for Growth. In 1990, Pierre bought the Old Butler, a small deli and general grocery and opened Pierre’s Deli adding rooms over the years. He further expanded his establishment, purchasing the property adjacent to the deli and restaurant and opened the bakery. Pierre’s dream all along was to bring together his restaurant, bar, and banquet facilities all under one roof.
Jose Guerrero, President, Chairman and CEO, Spencer Savings Bank, Elmwood Park, NJ was selected for the David Sarnoff Award for Advocacy and Community Engagement. He has been Spencer Bank’s leader for 30+ years as President, CEO and Chairman. He came from Spain when he was 13 and started off as a youth in the Accounting Department and quickly rose up the ranks. He managed all these professional challenges while being both a banker and small business owner.
Jack Li, Owner, Windsor Athletic Club (WAC), West Windsor, NJ will receive the Albert Einstein Award for Innovation. Under Jack's guidance, WAC has transformed from a gym facility to a true community center employing 98 people. Beyond providing its members with state of the art athletic facilities, WAC is a hub for the local community, serving as the venue for a wide array of events, including local commercial events, political campaign events, an Asian Art show and a college job fair. The WAC has also partnered with numerous vendors to provide Advantage Tennis, Monroe Basketball Academy, International Chess Academy, Princeton Art Academy and a summer camp.
The Rising Star Award will be presented to Suchitra Kamath, Owner/President, Minuteman Press, Edison. NJ. In 2016, she started her new enterprise, the Minuteman Press of Edison. Before making this career change to a business owner, she was directing and managing global programs for regulatory & policy change for Tier-1 investment banks on Wall Street in New York City. Since she acquired Minuteman Press, it has seen a 500% growth in terms of sales. Due to her quick expansion of her business, she was awarded “Top Achievement in Marketing“ award during the 2017 Franchise Expo organized by Minuteman Press. Currently she manages a staff of three employees and an intern.
An Honorable Mention Growth Award will be presented to Manuel Hernandez, Owner, Manny’s HVAC & Home Improvement, Trenton, NJ. Manny came to the US in1980 from the Dominican Republic where he started working in restaurants in New York City. Manny has owned different businesses including a mechanic and auto body shop, a grocery store as well as a promotional company promoting the first Latin Nights in Staten Island. When he came to NJ, he started as a construction manager for MYG management from 2004 to 2006 supervising the renovations of at least 75 properties in Trenton, NJ. He then formed a partnership with Melvin Lebron and they created Lebron Mechanical. In 2013, Manny received a Master License for HVAC and started Manny's HVAC and Home Improvement while maintaining Lebron Contracting.
An Honorable Mention Innovation Award will be presented to Christina Jeng, Founder and President, enfoTech & Consulting, North Brunswick, NJ. Christina grew up in Taiwan and earned her law degree from National Cheng Chi University in 1980. She immigrated to the USA in 1982. In 1994, Christina, with other two business partners, created enfoTech & Consulting Inc., which is dedicated to providing IT solutions for environmental protection.
The judges for this year’s Awards were Rashaad Bajwa, CEO of Domain Computer, one of last year’s winners, Dr. Arturo Osorio-Fernandez, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Rutgers University and Lina Llona, Executive Director of the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards are named for great, historic New Jersey immigrant entrepreneurs. The many nominees represent small mom and pop businesses as well as large corporations; ranging from high-tech firms to professional service providers, from manufacturing operations to restaurant and financial institutions. Combined, they employ hundreds of people and do billions in sales. ~ DOWNLOAD PROGRAM BOOK