Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner Announced

Call for nominations to honor outstanding immigrant entrepreneurs in Massachusetts


Today, The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) announced the Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner to be held on May 9, 2012, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Mass. The event will honor the significant contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs in Massachusetts.

The evening will include a reception, dinner and award ceremony. An award will be given to one outstanding Massachusetts immigrant business owner in each of three categories: business growth, neighborhood business and science or technology business. Nominations are being accepted now through March 14, 2012. Nomination forms as well as sponsorship and ticket information can be found on The ILC website at

“This is an exciting opportunity to recognize immigrant entrepreneurs who have given so much to the Commonwealth.  I look forward to this event,” said Richard A. Davey, Jr., ILC board trustee and secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation who will be the evening’s master of ceremonies.

Diane Portnoy, The ILC’s founder, president and CEO, explained the reason for the awards saying, “Immigrant entrepreneurs are critical to the Massachusetts economy. Governor Deval Patrick underscored the importance of immigrant entrepreneurs last fall when he declared the first Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month. This event is The ILC’s way of bringing attention to an often-ignored group of people who work tirelessly to make a better life for themselves and their communities.”

The Immigrant Entrepreneur Award selection committee will review nominations and select one winner in each category. The selection committee members are:


Business Growth

Marcia Hohn, Director, Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.

Raymond Milano, Branch Manager, U.S. Small Business Administration

David Parker, Senior Program Manager, Merrimack Valley Sandbox

Andre Porter, Executive Director, Massachusetts Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Janet Strimaitis, Managing Director, Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, Babson College


Neighborhood Business

Heather P. Boulger, Executive Director, Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Inc.

Rodrigo Cerveira, Team Leader, ACCION USA New England

Marcia Hohn, Director, Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.

Alison Moranta, Business Development Director, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp.

Theresa Park, Director of Economic Development, Lowell Office of Economic Development

Science or Technology Business

Abi Barrow, Director, Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center

George Donnelly, Editor, Boston Business Journal

Marcia Hohn, Director, Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.

Tom Hopcroft, President & CEO, Mass Technology Leadership Council

Frank Hoy, Director, Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Anna Voronova, Principal, AV Consulting, LLC (Biotech/Pharma Expert Consulting)