Celebration of Business Diversity 2015
Presented by Forward/Adelante Business Alliance
in partnership with the UVA Office for Diversity and Equity
A multicultural audience gathered on Wednesday, June 3, to congratulate 2015 Chuck Lewis Passion Award winners Sun Da and Dragana Katalina-Sun of Marco & Luca Dumplings. The lively group included former Chuck Lewis Award recipients Melvin & Tia Walker of Mel’s Café, Daisy & Geiner Rojas of Rojas Stevens Painting, and Gilbert & Teresa Lopez of Guadalajara Restaurants.
Gary Decatur of the Latin Ballet of Virginia, with his partner Iren Prosb, led off the evening program with an elegant & sensual demonstration of social tango dance.
FABA Vice President Alex Urpí shared inspiring remarks on FABA’s mission of cultivating diversity in business. He explained that diversity shouldn’t be viewed as “something you do every once in a while – it’s something you practice over time.” True diversity is an ongoing exchange of culture, values and learning that will enrich those who practice it.
Sun Da and Dragana Katalina-Sun accepted the Chuck Lewis Passion Award with their sons Marco, Luca and Nicola, expressing their gratitude to the many people who have welcomed and embraced them here in Charlottesville. Dragana remarked that although she and Sun Da came from different countries, met in a foreign land, and traveled halfway around the world to arrive here, this city has become their true home.
FABA co-founder Olga Alcaide-Morse bid a fond farewell to her Charlottesville community as she prepares for a new chapter in her life, returning to live in her native Puerto Rico with her husband, Don Morse. “I arrived in the U.S. with only 4 boxes and my young children,” Olga said. “I leave with 25 boxes; my children are grown” – and she now counts grandchildren, a wonderful husband, and an enormous community of friends among her blessings. The audience rose for a standing ovation in honor of Olga’s tireless work in the community and her place in our hearts.
FABA would like to express our special thanks to:
- The family of Chuck Lewis III
- Our sponsors and partners: UVA Office for Diversity and Equity, City of Charlottesville Office of Economic Development, Community Investment Collaborative, and Wells Fargo
- Susan Donovan of the International Rescue Committee
- Pearl Island Foods, photographer Melody Robbins, dancers Gary Decatur & Iren Prosb, event coordinator Lily Garay, and our team of volunteers
- The staff and volunteers of The Paramount Theater
Click here to view the entire gallery of photos by Melody Robbins Photography. You will be asked to enter your name and email to access the photo gallery.
Forward/Adelante Business Alliance (FABA) is a culturally diverse business alliance where professionals, business leaders and organizations can share ideas, provide education and build relationships. Together, we’ll learn from each other, expand our network base, promote our services, and support our local economy.
Support FABA’s work: become a FABA Member today! Visit FABAconnect.com/membership