DFW Internatinal Community Alliance

The DFW International Hall of Fame is designed to recognize prominent North Texas individuals and organizations who have significantly impacted our communities.  Those inducted into our Hall of Fame have demonstrated dedication to empowering New Americans and minorities, courageous thinking, hard work, innovation, and motivating leadership.  They are a true example of the Texas Pioneer Spirit, and a reflection of the pluralism that is the foundation of the American dream.
Shawn Bhagat (Tanzania) Betru Gebregziabher (Ethiopia) Baldev Singh (Sikh)
Noeli Biggs (Brazil) Brian Kwesiga (Uganda) Norma Westurn (Brazil)
Daphne Branche (Sierra Leone) Bill Matthews (USA) Ahmed Yanouri (Morocco)
Howard Cho (Korea) Gabriela Quezada (Bolivia) AWARDEES FOR 2006 and 2007   
Eritrean American Family Association Miriam Rodriguez (Cuba)  
Saduman Gurbuz (Turkey) Sisters of Sierra Leone  

Shawn Bhagat was selected as Minority Business Owner of the year by Dallas Business Journal In addition to having founded the One World Bank, he possesses an impressive portfolio of business successes, from restaurants to full service car washes to fuel distribution. The SMU Cox School of Business listed one of his companies among the 100 fastest growing privately held businesses for the past six years, and in the Top Ten in 2006.


Noeli Piccoli Biggs is originally from Brazil.  Currently she is an International Programs Coordinator at Richland College.  Noeli holds an M.A. in International Relations and her passion is to promote international social development by cultural understanding with a strong commitment for Peace, Human Rights, Women Empowerment and Global Sustainability.  Noeli Biggs also works with the Dallas Saratov Sister Cities organization.  She won the Earl Eames Award in 2008 from Richland College.


Daphne Branche is a Director in the Dallas office of Deloitte Tax, LLP. She is a frequent speaker at international tax seminars and is active in fostering Deloitte’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Daphne received her Bachelors of Science in Economics & Accounting from the University of Sierra Leone, West Africa; and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in International Management from the University of Dallas, Irving, Texas. She is a member of Texas Society of CPAs and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She received the A Woman to Watch Award from the Dallas Business Journal.


Howard Cho is the chairman and founder of CVE Technology Group, Inc. and recipient of the Minority Manufacturer of the Year Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce. CVE has been serving the consumer products industry for 20 years by processing, repairing, and refurbishing millions of concumer products. The company was founded by President Cho in New Jersey and in 2002 they relocated to Plano, TX. Mr. Cho and CVE were honored by the City of Plano with a citation proclaiming "CVE Technology Group Day."


Eritrean American Family Association received the Outstanding DFW African Community awarded by DFW International. Arriving 30 years ago as refugees, many of whom were illiterate, the Eritrean community has remained unified around their children. Through the dedicated and untiring leadership team of United Eritrean American Families they offer radio and tv programs, as well as a school and youth leadership group. 80% are now registered voters, and 50% own their own home, but they remain focused on maintaining their Eritrean heritage and language and exposing their children to traditional values and traditions.


Betru Gebregziabher is Speaker of the Ethiopian Leadership Council and President of the Ethiopian American Chamber of Commerce in DFW. He was president of Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce before moving to the U.S.A. Professionally; Betru is a Mortgage Banker & International Trade and Development specialist. In 2009, Bertru was named Wells Fargo Volunteer of the Year, and he also received the National Community Hero Award from the SAFECO foundation.


Brian Kwesiga is the recipient of the DFW International 2009 Outstanding Student Leadership Award. He is the Team Manager of the Dallas Cranes F.C. Soccer Team that participated in DFW International's African Unity Festival and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ugandan American Association of Greater Dallas/Fort Worth (UAA-DFW) and also serves as the External Vice Chair of the International Committee of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the largest student run organization in the United States. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.A. in International Studies from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas


Bill Matthews serves as chair of the Interfaith Council, Thanks-Giving Square Foundation of Dallas, Texas Division President of United Nations Association of the U.S.A. He is past president of the Dallas Chapter, UNA USA and the Dallas Peace Center. The retired United Methodist clergyman has served posts in the Philippines, South Pacific (Fiji), Italy and the former Soviet Union, in addition to church-related appointments in the U. S.


Gabriela Quezada is the Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Quezada has received numerous awards which include the 2007 SBA Small Business Champion of the Year Award; the 2008 Minority Enterprise Development Week- Business Advocate of the Year Award, 2008 Al Dia Emerging Leader Award and 2008 GDHCC Leadership Award. She was born and raised in Bolivia where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Nuestra Senora de La Paz.


Miriam Rodriguez was the recipient of the Zora Neale Hurston Award for organizing the Tulisoma Book Fair. As Assistant Director and Multicultural Services Coordinator for the Dallas Public Library Miriam links resources and customers to enhance lives, in particular those who are Limited English Proficient and Immigrants. Knowing that education is the key to success she promotes programs and resources available to all. In her off time she is involved with the immigrant community in Dallas helping with acculturation issues. She also serves on the DFW International Advisory Board.


Sisters of Sierra Leone is a non-profit organization founded by women with roots or ties to Sierra Leone residing in the Dallas Metropolis. We formed this group with a collective dedication to “aid displaced women and children in war-torn Sierra Leone ." It is the vision of The Sisters of Sierra Leone of North Texas, to contribute to the redevelopment and rehabilitation of the nation by giving assistance to various communities, through empowering the leaders of these communities; enabling them to return to a life of productivity and purpose.


Baldev Singh Baldev Singh owner of Subzi Mandi (Vegetable Market), is a businessman born in a village in Punjab, India. His first Subzi Mandi store opened on November 29, 2003. Baldev has been named the Subzi Mandi Distinguished Businessman and Punjabi Cultural Association of North Texas named him Man of the Year. The Pakistani Association of North Texas awarded him their Platinum award. In addition to his store in Irving, he is planning to open another store in N. Plano.


Norma Westurn, a native of Brazil founded Centro de Mi Salud, a bilingual behavioral healthcare cervice center. Norma advocates for better treatment and decreased stigma for the mentally ill, especially those in the Latino community. She helps clients not only to overcome behavioral problems and drug addiction but also to overcome social problems as discrimination, financial issues, lack of basic necesseticies, and family violence. In 2009, Norma was named a Persona Ejemplar, New Latina Leader by Al Dia.


Ahmed Yanouri is the recipitent of DFW International's African Businessman of the Year Award. A native of Morocco, he holds a PhD in Molecular Biology, has worked as a molecular biologist and has also formed his own company, specializing first in consulting, marketing, and sales of medical and scientific research equipment, then later branching into other business sectors.  He has always been active in the international community, has served as a board member of Global Interact, and co-founded AMANT (American Moroccan Association of North Texas) in 2005.


Saduman Gurbuz


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