On Saturday November 5, 2016, the AAAEA-CA chapter held a very successful end of year and 8th anniversary gala. The evening was entertaining and fun filled with great keynote speaker, special awardees, amazing entertainment and music. Over 150 members, students, friends, and supporters attended and made the evening memorable. Over 17 companies sponsored the event and the scholarships.
The event MC was Ms. Janeen Obeid. She did a marvelous job in managing the program and keeping the crowd engaged and entertained.
The chapter president Adel Hagekhalil welcomed the attendees and stressed the goal of AAAEA to build a network of professionals to exchange knowledge and expertise and build business and career opportunities.
In addition, Adel highlighted the role of the members and sponsors in lending a helping hand to students through the scholarship program. Adel reported that AAAEA-CA is moving upward and forward with record scholarships and received record sponsorships.
Ten scholarships were presented to ten deserving students by the scholarships committee chaired by Mr. Ahmad Fakih. The committee was represented at the event by Mr. Amjad Obeid, Mr. Samir Khoury, Mr. Marc Damikolas, and Mr. Adel Hagekhalil. The scholarships awarded at the event bring the total to nearly 71 scholarship and $61,000 given to date.
Career and community achievement awards were presented to Ms. Samara Ali-Ahmad and Mr. Hassan Alameddine for their professional achievements and community engagement. Ms. Ali-Ahmad was a principal civil engineer with the City of Los Angeles and has recently retired. Mr. Alameddine is currently an assistant deputy director with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.
Mr. Jim Beil, Director of Capital Programs for the Orange County Transportation Authority, was the keynote speaker. He graciously accepted our invitation and gave a very informative presentation on the future of transportation and transit in Orange County include over $5.5 Billion in capital projects including the first smart street car project.
Mr. Bilal Almasri from the national AAAEA graciously joined the gala where he was acknowledged and recognized for his hard work and the national AAAEA's efforts. The 20-year celebration video of the association was shown for the attendees.
A very entertaining magician, Johnny Wu, wowed the crowd with his wit, humor and magic. DJ Danny entertained the attendees with dance music and songs.
Many thanks go to the event committee who made the event successful. The committee included Amjad Obeid, Rick Hijazi, Ghina Yamout, Adam Chamaa, Azzam Saad, Gus Nakhoul, Janeen Obeid and Haitham Aranki.
Everyone who left the dinner gala felt energized and excited about the great work AAAEA-CA is doing and looking forward a great 2017.