Announcing 2009 Annual Award Recipients
PARSA Community Foundation Announces 2009 Annual Award Recipients
Persian Community Foundation Announces Forough Hosseini as Philanthropist of the Year and Atossa Soltani as Volunteerism and Action Award Recipient
REDWOOD CITY (September 30, 2009) – PARSA Community Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2009 Annual Awards. Forough Hosseini is the recipient of the Philanthropist of the Year award, designed to honor an individual who is self-made, has achieved world-class success in his/her field, and has culminated that success in civic leadership by actively perpetuating the American Dream for others. Atossa Soltani is the recipient of the Volunteerism and Action award, given to an individual who excels in courageous volunteerism and bold leadership, tackles difficult problems with long-term solutions, and inspires others to make similar commitments to a cause.
Forough Hosseini’s philanthropic passion is to help the underprivileged and support public education in her local Florida community. Hosseini is the Founder of the Forough B. Hosseini Family Foundation which helps local homeless and underprivileged children. She is the chair of Daytona State College’s Board of Trustees, where she also contributed toward the building of the Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality Management. Hosseini is also the Community/Donor Relations Chair at The Community Foundation, a division of United Way. She co-founded the Iranian American Society of Daytona Beach and supports a multitude of Iranian nonprofits nationally. According to PARSA CF Co-Founder and board member Anousheh Ansari, “Forough is a shining example of the strong role that women play in philanthropy the world over. Her life is inspiring Iranian-American women to apply their entrepreneurism, passions and talents to enriching local communities and serving others."
Atossa Soltani's passion as a forest defender originated at the age of 11 in her native Iran when she first encountered the beauty and majesty of the temperate rainforests of the Alborz Mountain Range. Her commitment to indigenous people's rights and cultural survival was first ignited in the Iranian countryside by her encounters with ethnic groups whose close relationships to the land were a source of inspiration and curiosity. Soltani has dedicated her life to defending the rights of indigenous peoples, protecting the rainforest and scaling citizen action through documenting human rights abuses and environmental disasters. As the Founder and Executive Director of Amazon Watch, she leads campaigns on behalf of indigenous peoples in South America and works to hold corporations and governments accountable for their actions. Soltani is heavily involved in public service, serving on the Board of Directors of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, the Board of Trustees of the Christensen Fund and on the Advisory Board of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples. Noosheen Hashemi, Founder and Chairman of PARSA CF says, “Atossa exhibits leadership in the highest form: vision, dedication and courage. We hope that her work inspires Iranian American youth to pursue careers in the service movement, public and citizen sectors.”
This marks PARSA CF’s third year of awarding both Iranians and non-Iranians who have carried out great work for the Iranian and greater community worldwide. Last year’s Philanthropist of the Year awardee was Iranian-American entrepreneur Paul Merage. Ashraf Ghandehari Bahadorzadeh of the Kahrizak Charitable Foundation received the 2008 Volunteerism and Action Award.