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5th Annual New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneur Award Winners Chosen

Honorees Recognized From Elmwood Park, Princeton, Cranbury and Warren

Photo caption (left to right):  Rashaad Bajwa, Domain Computer Services, Inc., Country of Origin: Pakistan (Winner of the Avid Sarnoff Award for Advocacy); K. Peter Yu, Yu & Associates, Inc.  Country of Origin: Hong Kong, SAR (China) (Winner of the Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year); Mihai Banu, Blue Danube Systems, Country of Origin: Romania (Winner of the Albert Einstein Award for Innovation); Carlos Momo, Terra Momo Restaurant Group, Country of Origin: Brazil (Winner of the Caspar Wistar Award for Growth).

Missing from the photo: Raoul Momo, Terra Momo Restaurant Group, Country of Origin:  Brazil (Winner of the Caspar Wistar Award for Growth); Rekha Rao, Rao Legal Group, LLC    Country of Origin: India (Rising Star Recognition).


Princeton, NJ (Sept. 29, 2017) – The winners of the New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneurs Awards were announced at the Global Opportunities Summit last week by NJIEA, a broad based coalition of New Jersey business and trade organizations in partnership with the Middlesex County Regional and the Princeton Regional Chambers of Commerce. The award program was created to recognize   the importance of immigrants to NJ's economy and society and honor the past and present contributions of immigrant business owners in the State of New Jersey. 


The 2017 winners, their NJ business location and country of origin are:


§   2017 Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year – K. Peter Yu, YU & Associates, Elmwood Park, NJ (Hong Kong)

§   Caspar Wistar Award for Growth   - Carlo and Raoul Momo, Terra Momo Restaurant Group Princeton, NJ (Brazil)

§   David Sarnoff Award for Advocacy and Community Engagement – Rashaad Bajwa, Domain Computers, Cranbury, NJ (Pakistan)

§   Albert Einstein Award for Innovation - Mihai BanuBlue Danube Systems, Warren, NJ (Romania)

§   Rekha Rao, President, Rao Legal Group, Princeton, NJ was named a Rising Star (India).


K. Peter Yu, Founder & Managing Principal of YU & Associates in Elmwood Park, NJ was chosen as the 2017 Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year. Born in Hong Kong, Peter first came to the United States in to study Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University and also earned a M.S. Degree in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. After 18 years working as a geotechnical engineer, Peter founded YU & Associates (YU) in 1992 and has grown the company, hiring 58 men and women of diversified ethnicities, and providing civil/site, geotechnical and environmental engineering services. The US Department of Transportation, the Asian American Heritage Council, the Asian American Business Development Center, the New Jersey Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce, the OCA-NJ, and the Career-Mobility Partnership have also honored Peter.


Carlo Momo (CEO) and Raoul Momo (COO) of Terra Momo Restaurant Group In Princeton were awarded Caspar Wistar Award for Growth. With a family from Brazil, brothers Carlo and Raoul and their mother, Teresa, opened the very first "Teresa", an Italian specialty food store in the mid-1970's. Today, their Terra Momo Restaurant Group owns and operates three restaurants: Teresa Caffe and Mediterra in Princeton, and Eno Terra in Kingston. It also operates a small cafe in the Princeton Public Library and a bakery, the Terra Momo Bread Company.


Rashaad Bajwa (Pakistan), CEO/President of Domain Computers in Cranbury, NJ was selected for the David Sarnoff Award for Advocacy and Community Engagement. A native of Pakistan, Rashaad founded Domain Computers in 1997 and it has become the largest IT firm in New Jersey. Rashaad recently formed an IT partnership with Mercer County Community College, designed to provide students with on-site paid internships and guaranteed job opportunities at Domain Computers when they graduate.


Mihai Banu, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Blue Danube Systems in Warren, NJ was awarded the Albert Einstein Award for InnovationMihai came to the United States in 1977 at the age of 23, as a refugee from former communist Romania He earned his BS, MS and PhD in Engineering at Columbia University and joined Bell Labs. At the end of 2004, after taking early retirement, Mihai started a small consulting business, which became Blue Danube Systems and now employs 51 people. Blue Danube Systems was responsible for creating a new and improved Radio Access Network for wireless communication.


Rekha Rao, President, Rao Legal Group, Princeton, NJ was recognized as a Rising Star (India). The idea of Rao Legal Group took root in Bangalore, India where Rekha grew up and attended a convent school. She moved to the U.S. at the age of 21 and worked or a number of law firms here. Rekha went on to open her own firm in 2016 to help multiple generations, including seniors and their children. Rekha also volunteers on a Community Options Advisory Board and she has served on the Board of the SABA (South Asian Bar Association), which helps with outreach and advocacy efforts to the community atlarge.


The awards are named for historic New Jersey immigrant entrepreneurs. The many nominees for the Immigrant Entrepreneur awards have come from Europe, South and Central America, the Middle East and Asia hailing from countries from Argentina to Taiwan.  They represent small mom and pop businesses as well as large corporations; range from high-tech firms to professional service providers, from manufacturing operations to restaurant and financial institutions. Combined, they employ hundreds of people and do billions in sales.


The judges for this year's Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards were previous winners: Dr. Jianping Wang, President of Mercer County Community College, Dr. Tavit Najarian, CEO of Najarian Associates, Marino Posso, CEO of Advertise IT, Meiling Kravarik, CEO of Nextage M3 Realty.

The fifth annual awards are sponsored by a broad-based coalition of New Jersey chambers, associations and organizations including AILA, Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce, Diversity Dynamics, Einstein's Alley, Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Morris County Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce, Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.

For more information about visit the NJ Immigrant Entrepreneur website.


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