|HOUSTON -- The Asian Chamber of Commerce (ACC) announced its 2010 Entrepreneurs of the Year at the monthly luncheon held today at the Westin Galleria Hotel. Alice Chen, chair of the Selection Committee announced that there was a tie in two categories. In the “Entrepreneur of the Year” category, the honorees are Vincent Chau and Trung Doan with Studio Red Architects. In the “Community Service Entrepreneur of the Year” category, the honorees are Neeta Sane with and Alison Wen with Safari Texas . “We congratulate all of our honorees in a year in which our businesses are still challenged by a tight economy. The selection was not easy and we commend all of the nominees and those who took the time to nominate them,” remarked Ms. Chen.|
Vincent Chau epitomizes the many immigrants who come to the United States with very little to his name. He arrived in Houston at age 16 with $20 in his pocket. He learned English from scratch, worked full-time while attending school and struggled to stay afloat financially, adapting to a world drastically different from his native Vietnam. He quickly realized that he would have to work twice as hard as others if he wanted to be a successful entrepreneur. And twice as hard he did work and succeed, whether if it was in door-to-door sales, real estate investing, securities trading, managing shopping centers and apartment complexes or operating one of the many diverse businesses in which he invested. Throughout it all, he maintained the characteristics of honesty, determination, perseverance, courage and passion in shaping what he has become today. He always practices what he preaches and treats all people fairly and equitably. Vincent donates to those who are less fortunate or are suffering from devastating disasters such as the earthquakes and floods in China . He has provided jobs and housing for the thousands of Burmese refugees who have settled in Houston’s Chinatown escaping from political strife and persecution. He has donated to and helps build Chinese temples in Houston . He is a member of the American Confucius Foundation and the Sino-Indo Chinese Association of Texas.
Trung H. Doan, AIA, is a founding partner of Studio Red Architect, L.P. and has been instrumental in making the firm one of the leading architectural firms in Houston . His commitment and interest in trade and business started with an award of the Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research on the redevelopment of Vietnam and Southeast Asia in 1999-2000. The firm was founded in 2004 and has grown tremendously since then. Currently, Studio Red Architects has three offices in Houston , San Diego and Ho Chi Minh City , Vietnam . The firm has created 45 jobs in the Houston area since its inception. Studio Red Architects has led many landmark projects in Houston including Lakewood church, Toyota Center and Memorial City Mall. The firm and Trung have received numerous awards, most recently “The Best Church Design” and Houston Business Journal’s “40 under 40 Awards,” which recognized 40 future leaders and entrepreneurs of Houston under the age of 40. Trung Doan and Studio Red are committed to promoting trade between the U.S. and Asian countries and continue to conduct business with Vietnam and China and providing their expertise to foreign entities. They also leave their legacy throughout with beautiful, functional and environmentally-respectful architectural landmarks.
Neeta Sane leads a successful software development and consulting company, Positronic Systems, LLC, established eight years ago. Positronic provides businesses with the tools to protect their financial transactions and to train personnel in effective management and compliance with industry standards. However, her reputation may be better known for the significant community service positions she holds. She was the founder of the county-wide International Festival in Ft. Bend County , one of the fastest growing and ethnically diverse counties in the U.S. The fourth annual festival will take place in October 2010. She was elected to serve as a member of the Houston Community College Board of Trustees, representing District VII. Neeta strongly believes that educational attainment is a basic necessity for all members of the community to succeed and reach their fullest potential in life. Her vision and desire is to make educational opportunities available for every household through HCC and equip residents with greater knowledge, skills and enhanced earning potential in the global economy, thereby strengthening the local community. In her role as HCC trustee, she is committed to establishing stronger business partnerships and developing and promoting diversity programs where students and employees from all backgrounds, ethnicities and genders are recognized, respected and supported.
Allison Wen is the embodiment of the French word “entrepreneur,” which means “one who undertakes an endeavor.” What once started as an idea, Allison’s most notable endeavor is the pursuance and accomplishment of his goal: to own and operate a full-service event facility and conference center, Safari Texas Ranch. Located in Ft. Bend County , Safari Texas Ranch sits on 44 acres and is experiencing growth at a steady pace to meet the growth of Ft. Bend County and the increasing demand for hospitality, event and conference facilities. Nominated for the 2009 Texas Small Business of the Year Award from the Texas Association of Business, Allison was cited for his generosity in sponsoring fundraisers for numerous non-profit organizations throughout the greater Houston area. Furthermore, he has shared his leadership abilities with prominent area chambers of commerce, economic development councils and community-based organizations. His most important legacy, however, might be in serving as a role model to the many young men and women who see Allison’s example as not only a successful entrepreneur but also as a humanitarian.
All four honorees overwhelmingly fulfill the selection criteria of the ACC’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. They possess the entrepreneurial spirit demonstrating independence, creativity, individuality and risk-taking; personal integrity and community involvement; market impact, and financial performance and sustainability. “We are very proud of our honorees this year and look forward to an evening of much deserved recognition and appreciation at our gala on April 23 at Kim Son Restaurant Bellaire,” exclaimed president Rogene Gee Calvert . “We look forward to joining our businesses and community members salute these extraordinary entrepreneurs.”