Honorees 2006

   Dr. Amarjit Singh Marwah
SCORE Lifetime Achievement Honoree

   Dr.Amarjit Singh Marwah, a well known and respected philanthropist in both the United States and India, is credited as the first dentist of Indian heritage to practice in America. After finishing high school from Kot Kapura, Punjab, he joined college in Lahore and also graduated in dentistry from there. He came to USA on a scholarship and became alumni of the University of Illinois and Harvard University which have been recipient of a large grant from him. Professionally he has had very lucrative career but Dr. Marwah always kept close touch with community. He has held a series of high profile positions within Southern California. He has been conferred the honor of chairing Arts commission in Los angles, World Affair Council of Los Angeles, occupied prestigious position on the Board on Navy League of America , International Visitors Council. He has been closely associated with the political circles in Los Angeles including the Mayor Tom Bradley and the current Mayor. He is also a co-founder of the Bank of Punjab, a service oriented bank formed entirely on modern technology with underpinning of community service, a concept unheard of in the banking world in India 11 years ago.

Dr. Marwah is also known as the Founder of the first Sikh Gurudwara in Los Angeles in 1969. He also helped finance and support Dalip Singh Saund in the late 1950s, who was the first ever United States Congressman of South Asian descent. One of well known Sikh in North America, Dr. Marwah has served the community in varied ways. His hospitality has been legendry and innumerable needy people have been helped by him personally in USA. In addition, he has supported many humanitarian causes in Punjab. Imparting education to poor is his passion and he has single handedly financed the education of many disadvantaged students in Punjab by way of scholarships and also by building infrastructure. His far sightedness envisioned that healthy and wholesome development of community is possible only if women are educated and to achieve this purpose he started KK Marwah Girls College (named after his wife, Kuljit Kaur Marwah) in Faridkot , Punjab. In Mahindra College, Patiala, he helped built an auditorium with matching funds.

Dr. Amarjit Singh Marwah has been a successful professional, a committed citizen, a dedicated Sikh, and a humanitarian who made enormous contribution to enrich the lives of those he touched. He is leading a very active and productive life in the society he lives in but the beauty is he is still connected to his roots.

  Kanwal Bajaj

  Ms. Bajaj is a true entrepreneur. Her reputation and her accomplishments speak for themselves. She is a pioneer businesswoman who has received many awards over the past 18 years.

In 1985, Ms. Bajaj founded I-NET, a premier global provider of network and IT services. The company provided critical services to general government clients including the Department of Defense, Department of Justice and NASA, as well as other Fortune 500 industry giants in the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, and telecom industries. The company had over 3,000 employees and was sold to Wang Labs in 1996.

After the sale of I-NET, Ms. Bajaj has been managing other investment holdings in both technology and real estate. She has a BS in Home Economics from Lady Irwin College in New Delhi, India. When she is not working, she is a benefactor to several non-profit organizations, several organizations within the Bajaj Family Foundation, and is also involved with mentoring young women entrepreneurs. Ms. Bajaj is also a motivational speaker at conferences for women.

Awards include:
Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year"
Avon "Women of Enterprise Award"
Glory of India International Award

  Satinder Singh Rekhi
Chairman & Managing Director of R Systems International Ltd

  Founded in 1993 by Satinder Singh Rekhi, R Systems International Ltd. is a multi-million dollar software product development company. It helps companies bring products and services to market quicker by using its proprietary pSuite execution framework. Customers can choose services specific to their needs from R Systems iPLM suite of services. R Systems rapidly growing customer list includes a variety Fortune 1000, Government and mid-sized organizations across a wide range of industry verticals including Banking and Finance, Government, HealthCare, High Technology and Independent Software Vendors.Prior to R Systems, Mr. Singh held senior management positions with HCL Technologies and DISC (now Synergex) in the United States, Singapore and India. Mr. Singh recieved a Bachelor of Technology from IIT, Kharagpur, India and a Masters in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento.He has completed Harvard Business School's "Leading Professional Service Firms", and participated in UC Berkeley's Center for Executive Development's Advanced Management Program. Mr. Singh is currently a member of the Industry Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science, California State University.Satinder Singh Rekhi also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE).


Daya Singh Khalsa (right),
Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Akal Security

Sat Nirmal Kaur Khalsa
CEO of Akal Security

Gurutej Singh Khalsa (center)
Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Akal Security

Akal Security is dedicated to serving its clients and employees with exceptional service. Akal Security's experience in providing security services to industry and government has earned them an unparalleled reputation for quality and value.

Akal was founded in 1980, bringing professional security services to local markets throughout New Mexico.

By 1985, the Akal model of exceptional service had attracted clients in Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and California, from remote gold mines to modern office complexes. Akal was listed on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in the United States for two consecutive years.

In 2002 and 2003, Akal was awarded four contracts under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In 2003, the U.S. Army awarded three contracts to Akal to provide security at Army bases and installations in eight states. In 2004, the DHS, Federal Protective Service (FPS) awarded a contract to Akal to protect more than 100 federal government buildings in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Other Akal federal-government contracts protect major public office buildings and overseas military installations.

  Aziz Haniffa
Managing Editor and Chief Diplomatic and Political Correspondent of India Abroad

  Aziz Haniffa is the Managing Editor and Chief Diplomatic and Political Correspondent of India Abroad—the oldest and largest circulating South Asian newspaper in North America—which is owned by rediff.com.

He has been covering US-South Asia relations and the Indian American community, based in Washington for over 22 years since joining India Abroad, and over the years has scored many scoops and done tons of exclusives, including interviews with presidents, prime ministers, cabinet ministers, and US and South Asian lawmakers.

In September and October 2004, he was the first only South Asian journalist to have done back-to-back exclusive interviews with both President George W.Bush and Democratic presidential challenger Senator John F. Kerry, on the eve of the 2004 presidential election.

Over the years he has won several awards and accolades, including the Indian American Forum for Political Education’s Outstanding Journalist Award in 1991; the US-Asia Foundation’s Lifetime Service Award in 2001; Project Impact’s Creating a Voice Award in 2002; the Indian American Friendship Council’s Recognition of Excellence Award in 2003 at its annual convention on Capitol Hill in Washington,D.C.; the Indian American Community of Washington,D.C. area’s Distinguished Prabasi Sambad Sarovar Award during the celebration of India’s 55th Republic Day in January 2004;the Indian American Friendship Council’s Most Outstanding Journalist of the Year Award at its gala celebration in Dallas, Texas in March,2006; and the US-Indian American Chamber of Commerce’s Journalist of the Year Award at its first annual convention in Washington,D.C. in October, 2005.

  Preetmohan Singh
Senior Policy Analyst at The Interfaith Alliance

  Preetmohan Singh is currently the Senior Policy Analyst at The Interfaith Alliance (TIA), a national organization of over 150,000 members and 75 local groups based in Washington, DC. In this capacity, he works with TIA’s members across the country and representatives on Capitol Hill to defend religious liberty; challenge hatred and religious bigotry; and reinvigorate informed civic participation.

He previously produced a multimedia educational project for schools called “The Sikh Next Door.” Mr. Singh has also been a faculty member at the Lohgarh Sikh youth summer camp in Chambersburg, PA for the last five years, creating an interactive curriculum about Sikhism and pluralism.

From 2002-2005, Mr. Singh served as National Director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) which is a national non-profit civil rights and educational organization. During his tenure at SALDEF, Mr. Singh trained over 7,500 law enforcement officials to work more effectively with the Sikh American community. He addressed more than 100 audiences at local and national forums across the country about the Sikh American community, civil rights and civil liberties. Mr. Singh participated in discussions at universities across the nation, including Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard, Stanford, University of North Carolina, and University of Virginia.

  Kavi Raz
Director, Producer, and star of “The Golden Bracelet”

  Kavi Raz, a successful Hollywood actor of Indian descent, has appeared in a total of 200 plays, TV shows, and films. Raz is the founder and artistic director of the “Wandering Players Theatre Company.” Furthermore Raz has had roles in prominent television shows such as MASH, A Team, General Hospital, and Crossing Jordan. However he is best known for his memorable role as Dr. V.J. Kochar in the hit NBC TV show of “St. Elsewhere.”

Recently, Kavi Raz directed, wrote, produced and stared in his film “The Gold Bracelet.” Playing as Arjun Singh, Raz has made the first full length feature film highlighting the specific experiences the Sikh American community faced in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

   Pritam Singh Chahil

  Sardar Pritam Singh Chahil was born on Dec 28, 1910 in Punjab, India. He earned a bachelors degree and a law degree from the prestigious Government College, Lahore in the mid 1930's. He was a national hockey player and was a member of the Indian hockey contingent at 1936 Berlin Olympics. After practicing law for a brief period he decided to focus his efforts on rural welfare projects starting the first school at his ancestral village. He also initiated the opening of the first post office in this rural area and he used his own funds to set up a free healthcare facility as well.

He married Champa Dugal in 1941 and moved from Lahore to Patiala in 1947 due the partition of India. Here he established a printing and publishing company and for the next 50 years edited a magazine, Jeewan Preety devoted to ethics and religion. It enjoyed immense prestige amongst scholars because it was totally free of fundamental interpretations of Sikhism. He also initiated and funded the development of the first automatic Punjabi language typesetting machine build by the Monotype Corporation of UK. This equipment was only later acquired by the Punjab Govt. and Universities.

He and Sardarni Champa Chahil raised three children, two daughters and a son. Mrs. Manju Deshbir Singh is an entrepreneur and social worker based in New Delhi. Dr. Renu Chahil-Graf is a Director with UNAIDS in Geneva. Satjiv Singh Chahil is a Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at the Hewlett Packard company in Palo Alto, California.

When Sardar Pritam Singh was in his mid 70's on a visit to his son in California he received divine inspiration to transliterate into the Roman alphabet and translate into simple English the entire Sri Guru Granth Sahib. His mission became to make the universal message Sikhism accessible to all. He worked tirelessly for more than 7 years to fulfill this mission. This enormous work was completed with the old tools of pen and paper. Even the San Francisco earthquake in 1989 did not hamper his endeavor and he continued working in candle light. His selfless devotion was acknowledged was by Sikh Institutions the world over including the SGPS, and perhaps equally importantly by people from many religions from all walks of life around the world.

Even to this day he is devoted to the welfare projects he had initiated so many years ago. He lives a simple life based on the Sikh principles of Kirt Karo (honest hard work), Vand Chhako (charity}, and Naam Japo(meditation on the name of the Lord in gratitude). His daily prayer is concluded by call for 'Sarbat da bhala' - Goodwill for all humanity.