On November 16, 2017, AAAEA-CA held its 9th Annual End Of Year Gala Dinner. With over 180 attendees and 23 sponsors, the event was very successful and a great and fun filled evening.
We had an exceptional keynote speaker Mr Phil Washington, LA Metro CEO. Mr. Washington spoke from the heart about commitment to excellence and working hard to make a difference especially when it comes to our youth and students. Mr. Washington and LA Metro were recognized at the event with an award for their leadership and commitment to the industry and the community.
We had high level representatives representing LA Mayor Eric Garcetti including Deputy Mayor Miguel Sangalang, Board of Public Works President Kevin James and Commissioner Luz Rivas. AAAEA-CA presented the Mayor with an appreciation and recognition award for his leadership, innovation and his commitment to diversity.
The highlight of the evening was the award of the scholarships. Mr. Washington and Mr. Sangalang joined the Board with awarding eight scholarship totaling $9,000. This brought the total given since 2010 to 89 scholarship totaling $78,000.
Special career and community involvement awards were also presented to Dilara Bahjat El-Assaad Rodriguez with LA Metro and Walid Azar of PMCS. Both awardees signify great professionalism, accomplishments and commitment to the industry and the community. In addition, outgoing Adel Hagekhalil was recognized for his two year of service as president of AAAEA-CA.
In addition to the great middle eastern food, the attendees enjoyed great entertainment by Magician Mr. Michael Gutenplan who engaged the audience and wowed everyone with his performance. Saed Joudeh and his Dabkeh Group performed traditional dance that brought the attendees to join.
AAAEA-CA new board was sworn in at the end of the ceremony with Ms. Ghina Yamout-Jomaa as the President, Adel Hagekhalil as Vice President, Dilara El-Assaad as Secretary and Haitham Aranki as Treasurer.