Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians celebrates 15 years of connecting immigrants, employers, and communities at its 2018 Solas Awards gala

Philadelphia, PA (April 5, 2018) – Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians will be celebrating 15 years of accomplishments at its 2018 Solas Awards gala on May 3rd, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel.

The Welcoming Center is a nonprofit organization that accelerates immigrant integration and economic advancement through education and training, employment, and entrepreneurship. The Solas Awards is the organization’s annual fundraising gala that shines a light on visionary leaders and honors individuals and companies that illuminate the positive impact that immigrants have on the economy. The gala raises critical revenue through gala ticket sales, program advertisements, sponsorships, and contributions. The Welcoming Center relies on these funds to provide its services at no cost to its program participants.

“Not only are we celebrating 15 years of accomplishments of fostering a more welcoming and inclusive community for immigrants and refugees, but we are proud to be recognized as a national model for the economic integration of immigrants,” says Peter Gonzales, President and CEO of the Welcoming Center. “In today’s political environment, standing up for immigrants and refugees has never been more important. Whether you look at it from a moral or an economic perspective, the facts speak for themselves. Welcoming works to make our region more diverse, dynamic, and competitive in the global economy.”

The 2018 Solas Awards honorees are:

Stephen S. Tang, Outgoing President and CEO of University City Science Center, Incoming President and CEO of OraSure Technologies, will be presented with the Dennis Clark Solas Award for his leadership in highlighting the role of immigrants as innovators and assets that are moving Philadelphia and America forward.

Maria A. Oquendo, Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, will be presented with the Realizing the American Dream Award for using her hard work, talent, and passion to advance the field of psychiatry, both nationally and globally. Dr. Oquendo is an immigrant from Spain who is the first Latina president of the American Psychiatric Association.

Wells Fargo will be presented with the Atlas Award for Advancing Opportunity for their commitment to strengthening the region’s economy through charitable investments and their dedicated employees who volunteer their time, talent, and treasure to help immigrants succeed. Tiffany Tavarez, Vice President of Community Relations, will accept the award on behalf of Wells Fargo.

The evening will begin with cocktails and networking, followed by the awards ceremony. Photo and interview opportunities available with honorees, board members, staff, and program participants. For information, tables, and tickets, go to welcomingcenter.org/solas-awards


Contact: Lina Duffy, Director of Communications, lina@welcomingcenter.org, 215-825-7770.