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Difference-Making Houston Couple Given Major International Award in Asia Society Night

Changing the World Starts at Home

BY // 11.02.18

What: Asia Society Texas Center 2018 Huffington Award

Where: The Houstonian Hotel

PC Seen: Internationally and locally known societal influencers gathered in The Houstonian to celebrate the Asia Society Texas Center’s annual Roy M. Huffington Award, recognizing leaders who have been a major force on the international stage. Guests were welcomed by honorary co-chairs Dr. Chinhui Juhn and Eddie AllenAnne and Albert Chao, and Andrea and former Houston mayor Bill White.

The 400 attendees took part in the award ceremony dinner, which was held in honor of award recipients  Marie and Vijay Goradia, founder of Vinmar International, a global petrochemical trading and marketing company. Marie, who earned masters and PhD degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology from Bombay University, journeyed to the United States to do scientific research. In addition to Asia Society, Marie has been deeply engaged with the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others.

Like her husband, she shared her reasons for giving back to the community, saying, “[Philanthropy] is important because you never have the opportunity to thank everyone who helped you in the past, but we can pay it forward and help provide a better life for those who have less.”

During dinner, guests savored elegant entrees, including an arugula salad with dried cherries and crumbled feta, BBQ-glazed wild salmon and delectable chocolate desserts, were treated to the music of Divisi Strings, and basked in the enchanting floral arrangements by Lanson B. Jones & Co. Concluding the banquet, KTRK Channel 13 anchor Melanie Lawson moderated a conversation with the Goradias about their life stories and dedication to advancing educational and health care awareness and action around the world.

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When Lawson asked Vijay about the source of his philanthropic inspiration, he responded, “My parents taught me empathy and sympathy, thus giving back to the society we adopted was a natural thing to do… it is fulfilling to give back to those less fortunate.”

Who: Nancy Allen, Y. Ping Sun, Monjula and Ravi Chidambaram, Sylvia and Gordon Quan, Shaista and Shahzad Bashir, Lynn Wyatt, Sushila and Durga Agrawal, Muffet Blake and Bob Murray, Lily and Charles Foster, Dr. Ellen Gritz and Mickey Rosenau, Nancy Pollok Guinee, Akeni Saitoh, Nathalie and Charles Roff, John Cogan, Paul Murphy, Shazma and Arshad Matin.

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