Suraj "Raj" Bhatia, President of Technology Consultants Service International Inc., was a recipient of the 25th Annual Ellis Island Medal of Honor this year, one of the most prestigious civilian awards given to American citizens in the United States.

    Raj joined other recipients like the legendary actor and entertainer Mickey Rooney, Golden Globe award-winning actress Jane Seymour, Academy Award-winning director James Keach and baseball player Mike Piazza at the awards ceremony, hosted by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) at Ellis Island, NY. The awards ceremony, followed by the annual Gala Awards Dinner in the historic Great Hall at Ellis Island, saw two Masters of Ceremony for the evening, WPIX Senior Correspondent Marvin Scott and Comedian Tom Dreesen.

     Each year since 1986, NECO — whose mission is to honor the country’s diverse past, to advocate for positive change in the present and to build strong leaders for the future — has honored the nation’s diversity by sponsoring the Ellis Island Medals of Honor. Nasser J. Kazeminy, chairman of NECO, said the organization is “about investing in the power of caring, whereas people from all cultures and walks of life stand together arm in arm to make a real difference in our world through shared compassion and philanthropy — not just for now but to also inspire future generations who will continue to preserve and build upon the legacy that each of our cultures has contributed. With our Medalists, we will see America — at its best. We will see every color, every race from so many walks of life — together — celebrating the magic that is America. Our Medalists’ influence and achievements truly inspire and touch the lives of people everywhere.”

     Past Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients include six Presidents of the United States, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, leaders of industry, artists and others whose work has made a lasting impact on humanity. They are awarded annually to outstanding American citizens, from all walks of life, who have distinguished themselves through their significant contributions to the country. The US Senate and House of Representatives have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor and each year the recipients are listed in the Congressional Record. To date, more than 1,600 American citizens have received Ellis Island Medals of Honor.


NECO website