Mike Patel receives British award from PM Tony Blair
Atlanta entrepreneur and community leader Mukesh "Mike" Patel is a recipient of the 2007 Award for International Cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom. Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair presented the award at a dinner celebration in London on Wednesday, June 20th. In announcing the honor, Keith Vaz, chairman of the House of Commons Ethnic Minority Task Force and Member of Parliament, commended Mike Patel for his "commitment and contributions to improving relations between ethnic communities around the world, notably the U.S., the U.K., and India." For example, Patel has worked closely for several years with former President Bill Clinton, notably in fundraising for earthquake relief in Gujarat and on projects associated with the Clinton Foundation's Global Initiatives on AIDS, hunger, and climate change.
In the Clinton administration, Patel served on a White House Advisory Commission for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, which initiated historic changes for these groups in banking, social services, immigration, and relations with India. He also served as chairman of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), introducing the "12 points of fair franchising" which remain a model for improved relations between franchisers and franchisees in the hotel industry, as well as other franchise-based industries. In accepting the award, Patel said, "Each of us has the ability to make things happen. If we want to improve public life and policies, it's not something we can just download from the Internet or buy at the store—we must take both responsibility and action. I'm proud that my heritage is Indian, my life is multicultural, and my politics are firmly rooted in democracy."
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