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VIVA Gala Award 2011

2011 Vietnamese Innovators and Visionary Award to …
Lifetime Community Achievement Award
  • Graduated with BSc. in Chemical Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, M. Eng. in Chemical Engineering, a MA in Economics from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and a Ph D. in Economics from the University of Toronto. 
  • Worked as a senior economist and manager in the Canadian government for 32 years (1973-2005). 
  • Co-founded a number of social and cultural organizations in the Vietnamese community in Canada including the:
    o Vietnamese Fraternal Association of Toronto (1972, predecessor of the Vietnamese Association of Toronto)
    o Vietnamese Community Association of Ottawa-Hull (1977)
    o Vietnamese Canadian Federation (VCF, 1977)
    o Vietnamese Canadian Centre (1987)
    o National Capital Region Vietnamese Canadian Non-Profit Housing Centre (Van Lang Centre, 1990)
  • Served on the Board of Directors of Project 4000 initiated in 1979 by the late mayor of Ottawa, Marion Dewar, to rescue the boat people stranded in Southeast Asia.
  • VCF President (1980-1982), VCF Commissioner for Refugees Affairs (1988-1992), and Commissioner for External Affairs (1982-1990, 1992- present). 
  • National Coordinator of the Freedom at Last project launched by the Vietnamese Canadian Federation in 2007 to help resettle in Canada 276 stateless Vietnamese who had been stranded in the Philippines for close to 20 years.
  • Currently, project leader of the Vietnamese Boat People Museum Project.
Outstanding Community Achievement Award
  • Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Queen's University and MBA Candidate at the Schulich School of Business.
  • Currently works as an Asset Manager overseeing an $800M industrial real estate portfolio on behalf of institutional and pension fund investors.
  • Passionate volunteer with both Vietnamese and Canadian organizations.
  • Helped found SOS Viet-Phi, and led the lobbying efforts with the Canadian Government resulting in the resettlement of 275 stateless Vietnamese and dependants in the Philippines to Canada.
  • Currently President of the Board for AIS Inc., a charity that develops housing and offers support for the homeless and mentally ill in Toronto.
  • Past-President of the Vietnamese Association-Toronto (VAT).
  • Past-President of the Vietnamese Overseas Initiative for Conscience Empowerment (VOICE).  Through VOICE, he continues to advocate on behalf of a number of stateless Vietnamese in Cambodia and Thailand.

Outstanding Community Achievement Award
  • As a psychiatrist, Dr. Nguyen has been a member of the Board of Hong Fook Mental Health Association since 1988.
  • Actively involved in raising social consciousness and helped the Oriental community and Vietnamese community receive funding and access to mental health services.
  • Dr. Nguyen graduated from Saigon University Medical School. He received his residency training in Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical Centre.
  • Served 15 years in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam with the last four years as Chief of Army Psychiatry and Chief Consultant in Neuropsychiatry to the Surgeon General.
  • In 1972, Unit Director at Queen Street Health Centre. In 1980, moved to Ottawa to assist Immigration Canada in the resettlement of the Boat People.
  • In 1987, worked with the United Nations High Commissioner leading a group of Mental Health experts to review the mental health and social services of Southeast Asian Refugee camps.
  • Touched by the amount of suffering of refugees upon returning to Canada, he decided to devote more time to actively help Vietnamese refugees and moved to Toronto.
  • Presently, Dr. Nguyen is in private practice at the East-West Mental Health Clinic in Toronto.
  • Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ontario Government (1992) and the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the confederation of Canada (1993) from the Governor General of Canada.
THIEN LE – Thien Le Studio
Outstanding Community Achievement Award
  • Thien Le is an artist of many trades. A visual artist at heart, he now imparts his natural eye for line, style, and colour into his vibrant creations.
  • Enrolled at the International Academy of Design.
  • Graduated from the International Academy of Design and received the Best Evening Wear Designer award.
  • Launched his own label in 1999, and since then his designs have taken centre stage nationally as well as globally.
  • Thien Le’s creations were presented at the launch of Chrysalid: Lancome’s new line of makeup.
  • Collaborated with Elizabeth Arden the “Red Door Salon” in Los Angeles and New York City.
  • He continues to be known for his intricately detailed designs and elegant formal wear.
  • His fashion show at the Hoi Cho Tet Festival 2011 set a precedent as the most successful youth program ever. The event attracted a great number of participants and more than 1000 youth were in attendance.

DONALD DUONG - Dessert Trends
Outstanding Community Achievement Award
  • Recipient of the top Gold Medal at the prestigious 2004 Culinary Olympics.
  • Studied and worked in Canada, France, Italy, and Switzerland.
  • Has been teaching specialty courses at George Brown since 1996.
  • Has made cake orders to Quebec City, Montreal, and New York City.
  • Master in fruit and vegetable carving.
  • Has been in several Toronto newspapers, Breakfast TV, Culinary TV, and Dini Petty show with his amazing culinary chocolate sculptures.
  • Showcased a culinary artwork in the Royal Ontario Museum for over five years.
  • Made cakes for the Queen, the Pope, the Prime Minister and several other dignitaries, and served desserts to several world leaders.