Broomfield, Colorado USA — MWH Soft, a leading global provider of environmental and water resources applications software, today announced that its President and COO, Dr. Paul F. Boulos, has been selected by the National Ethnic Coalition (NECO) to receive one of America’s most prestigious awards, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He will receive the award on May 9, 2009, in New York City.
The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is awarded annually to distinguished American citizens of diverse origins for their outstanding contributions to their communities, their nation and the world. The medal is named for Ellis Island, for decades the main port of entry for immigrants to America and a symbol of the diversity of the country’s population.
Past Recipients Include Six U.S. Presidents, Nobel Prize Winners, Military Heroes, and Leaders of Industry, Education, the Arts, Sports and Government
“Dr. Boulos’ story is one of incredible achievement as both a philanthropist and a business and engineering leader,” says National Ethnic Coalition Executive Director Rosemarie Taglione. “The Ellis Island Medal of Honor Awards give us an opportunity to honor the best in America—those who lend their talents, time, energy and passion to making our country a better place for us all, and Dr. Boulos exemplifies that inspiring standard.”
Said John H. Kelly, former U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon and Finland and Assistant Secretary of State, “I have long admired Dr. Paul Boulos as a friend, an innovator, an environmentally astute business leader, and a philanthropist. His leadership in international education, his giving back to his lovely country of origin, Lebanon, and his contributions here in the United States of America make him a sterling choice. I salute Paul for his accomplishments to date and all that he will achieve in the future.”
For more than twenty years, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor has recognized contributions to our nation by some of its most distinguished citizens — people whose inspired service to others has touched their communities and changed lives. This unique award reflects Dr. Boulos’s distinguished service to humanity and the outstanding contributions he has made to the engineering profession and the education of our youth.
Dr. Boulos joins a prestigious circle of past honorees that includes six former U.S. Presidents (William Jefferson Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon); Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood; Chief Justice William Reinquist; John McCain; and Mario Cuomo. Honorees also include George Pataki, Rudolph Guliani, Janet Reno, Henry Kissinger, Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks, Elie Wiesel, Danny Thomas, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Barbara Walters, Walter Cronkite, Quincy Jones, John Glenn, Generals Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell, and Lee Iacocca.
Medal recipients are selected each year through a national nomination process. Screening committees from NECO’s member organizations select the final nominees, who are then considered by the Board of Directors. Both the United States Senate and House of Representatives have officially passed resolutions recognizing the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which ranks among the nation’s most prestigious awards, and the names of its recipients are listed in the Congressional Record. In October 2000, the Medal was carried into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Dr. Boulos will accept his award at the annual ceremony filled with patriotic pageantry at historic Ellis Island, followed by a black tie gala in Ellis Island’s Great Hall. The evening will be capped by a spectacular fireworks display in New York Harbor. Representatives of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces will be in attendance.
“I am deeply honored and proud to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award, and eternally grateful to my family, friends and colleagues who have supported me in striving to achieve my personal and professional goals,” said Boulos. “It is humbling to be mentioned in the same breath as the distinguished past and present Medal recipients. They truly exemplify the American dream. Guided by their compassionate hearts, they have helped build our great nation and made a shining difference in the lives of so many. I only hope I can continue to live up to their high standard of exemplary leadership and community caring and service.
“Coming to America to live, work and raise a family gave me a deep appreciation for all the noble, inspiring values and ideals this great country holds dear. We must never take the blessings of this country for granted, and always treasure the privilege and honor of being able to celebrate the richness, diversity, freedom and greatness of American life.
“The Ellis Island Medal is one the highest honors of my life, and reminds me why I do what I do. Knowing that I can help make a positive difference in the lives of the communities we serve gives me enormous pride and satisfaction. I will accept the award on behalf of my company; my wonderful family – my source of happiness and strength; and the water engineers of the world whose unsung work so strongly impacts our lives, today and far into the future.”
Dr. Charles Elachi, Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report in 2006, congratulated Dr. Boulos on this richly-deserved award. “The Ellis Island Medal of Honor acknowledges the important contributions of immigrants or their descendants to our great country,” said Dr. Elachi. “Dr. Paul Boulos joins a distinguished list of past recipients, including presidents, ambassadors, business leaders, Nobel Laureates and renowned artists. This honor — and Paul’s many contributions to our country — inspire great pride and joy throughout the Arab American community.”
Added Dr. Raja Kamal, Senior Associate Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago, “Dr. Paul Boulos is an extremely accomplished engineer and a remarkable business leader in the United States and around the world. Additionally, his commitment to higher education defines his character as a visionary leader. He is a pragmatic individual with a keen approach to making a difference in the short run, yet never losing sight of the long run objectives. He is an asset to the community and a source of pride to men and women everywhere. I am proud to know him as an individual and as a dear friend. I cannot congratulate him more enthusiastically on this fitting distinguished honor.”
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