Indian-American entrepreneur Ram Gopal has been honoured by the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce and Asian American Business Council for his work in bridging the gap between different communities and faiths.
Cupertino is a city of 55,000 in heart of Silicon Valley in California and home of technological giants including Apple Computers.
Gopal was awarded "Community Bridge Award" for 2007 during the celebration of the Lunar New year -- a very important day for many Asian countries and cultures. This Lunar year is also known as 'The Year of the Pig or Boar'.
Gopal, who came to America in 1991 to pursue higher education, had moved to Cupertino in May 2004.
"I moved to Cupertino mainly because of the good education system for my child. Now I like it more for other reasons -- friendly and caring people, easy access to services like freeways, library, post office, banks etc," says Gopal.
Since his family moved to Cupertino, he has actively participated in the affairs of the city 50 per cent of whose population comprises Asian Americans.
Among other things, Gopal was instrumental in bringing Diwali -- the festival of lights to the city.
Speaking at the function honouring Gopal, Mayor Kris Wang said, "We are all proud of you."
As a result of his community work, he has been appointed library commissioner for the City. "As a member of the library commission, I intend to raise funds to make the library open for all 7 days and as a community person, organise regular inter community cultural activities and represent all citizens of the City of Cupertino."
Gopal is the President and CEO of RS Tech Corp., also based in Cupertino.