By Mariah Kline | Profile
On Thursday May 18 at the MOSAIC Awards, Jewish Family & Career Services will honor five international Americans, including new or first-generation immigrants and refugees, who have made a difference. Whether it be contributing in their profession or to the community as a whole, these citizens are notable for the impact they have had on the community and other individuals.
MOSAIC is an acronym for Multicultural Opportunities for Success and Achievement In our Community. The MOSAIC Awards is an annual dinner that benefits Jewish Family & Career Services (JCFS), which was founded in 1908 to address the needs of new citizens coming to the United States.
“While JCFS has significantly expanded its services and adapted to the changing needs of the community, we have continued to provide services focused on the unique issues facing newly arriving immigrants and refugees,” reveals Beverly Bromley, JFCS’s director of marketing and development.
The 2017 occasion marks MOSAIC’s 12th year, and the event has nearly doubled in size since its inception. The event’s title sponsor is the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, and the media sponsor is WLKY. Others include Churchill Downs, PharMerica, TARC and the Papercone Corporation. This year’s dinner will take place in the ballroom of the Louisville Hyatt Regency downtown on May 18.
The night begins at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and business showcase, promoting 10 new businesses and micro-entrepreneurs receiving training and financial assistance from the Jewish Community Center’s Navigate Enterprise Center. At 6:30 p.m., the anticipated 400-500 guests will be served dinner and will see the presentation of the Jeff & Phyllis Osbourn Scholarship, an award given to an immigrant or refugee pursuing a career in healthcare. At 7:30 p.m., MOSAIC nominees will be introduced and awarded with an original piece of art by Louisville artist Dave Caudill.
This year’s event chair is Rachel Greenberg, and past chairs have included Brooks Bower, Mayor Greg Fischer and Dr. Alexandra Gerassimides, and politician Elaine Chao. The night’s emcee is WLKY’s Rick Van Hoose, who will present a video program produced by WLKY and introduce the honorees. The 2017 nominees vary in their professions and accomplishments, but all have made significant contributions to their fields and to the city of Louisville.
Barry Barker of Great Britain is the Director of TARC and was instrumental in adding hybrid and electric buses to TARC’s operations.
Vik Chadha of India is the co-founder of tech companies Backupify and GlowTouch and has helped create hundreds of high-paying jobs in the city.
Dr. Annatjie Faul of South Africa serves as an associate dean at the Kent School of Social Work and the executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at the UofL Health Sciences Center. She has won multiple grants to improve the health of Latinos, Hispanics and people living in rural areas.
John La Barbera, a Sicilian descendant, is a Grammy-nominated jazz composer, lecturer and a professor emeritus at the UofL School of Music.
Coco Tran of Vietnam opened Louisville’s first Chinese fast-food restaurant in 1975 and has since opened a total of nine restaurants in the area. She mentors other Asian entrepreneurs, hired many of the first Vietnam refugees who came to Louisville and has continually promoted healthy eating in the community.
MOSAIC celebrates these and other remarkable people who have come to our country and made names for themselves. The ceremony was created in the post-9/11 era when the country saw an increase in anti-immigrant attitudes, and sadly those sentiments are still being echoed in our nation today.
“It’s now more important than ever to view international Americans as positive contributors to our society and to our Louisville community,” says Bromley. “International Americans make Louisville a more richly diverse community, and this event honors those Americans.” VT
May 18, 5:30 p.m.
Louisville Hyatt Regency