Arab Chamber honors Professionals of the Year

DEARBORN — The American Arab Professionals Network of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce celebrated its sixth annual Celebrating Success Banquet May 18 with networking, awards, speeches and music at Greenfield Manor.

The AAPN annually honors Arab-American professionals who serve as mentors and role models for other Arab-Americans in the region. The event attracted more than 500 people, including local and state elected officials, professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs, chamber members and business community members.

“This is a great event,” said AACC Chairman Ahmad Chebbani. “Congratulations to all of the awardees for their great accomplishments.”

The AAPN presented six Arab-Americans with the 2011 American Arab Professionals of the Year award.
The awardees are:

• Education — Michael Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council of the State Universities of Michgian.

• Entrepreneurship — Wissam Merhi, founder and CEO of Game Headz

• Finance — Ed Siaje, senior vice president and consumer market executive, Bank of America

• Legal — Noel Saleh, attorney

• Medicine — Mohamad Rustom, Director of Clinical Language Services at Oakwood Health System

• Technology — Mohamed Hamieh.

Chamber Executive Director Nasser Beydoun said the AACC has been working to serve the business community and to help train the leaders of tomorrow through the American Arab Professionals Network.

“We’re proud to showcase our dedicated American Arab professionals and to celebrate their accomplishments,” she said.

Beydoun said for 19 years, the AACC has been a leader in building bridges among the various businesses and communities to ensure these businesses grow and prosper.

“Today, we are stronger than ever,” he said. “We have tackled many challenges despite the difficulties we face. Thanks to the strong leadership of our board, the dedication of our members and the efforts of our staff, the American Arab Chamber of Commerce is the largest Arab-American business organization in the United States, and one of the most influential business leaders, linking our community to our state and national governments and to our land of origin.”

The chamber has increased membership, enhanced marketing of its members, provided more visibility for its supporters, implemented better educational programs and created better economic opportunities for its members, Beydoun said.

“This is why we are thriving today, and tonight’s dinner is just one example of the influence and importance of the Chamber,” Beydoun said. “And we will continue to develop innovative programs, enhance services that are focused on the bottom line of our members and build economic bridges to promote growth and development at all levels.”

Chase Bank was the presenting sponsor for the banquet.

Premier sponsors of the event include the CIA, Hamadeh Educational Services and Oakwood Healthcare System.

For more information on sponsorship or joining the chamber go to, or call (313) 945-1700.