The Solas Awards are a hallmark of our organization and the primary fundraising event to recognize key community organizations and business leaders for their work supporting immigrant integration in Philadelphia. Solas means ‘light’ in Irish. Each year at the Solas Awards, the Welcoming Center honors individuals and organizations that illuminate the positive impact that immigrants make to the regional economy.
This year, the Solas Awards is happening on Thursday, February 27, 5:30 p.m., at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Solas Award Honoree, Angelina Branca, owner-chef of Sate Kampar
Angelina Branca grew up in Malaysia where she learned the traditional techniques of Malaysian cooking from her grandmother. Ange spent the first part of her career in business consulting for international corporations like Deloitte and IBM, which landed her in the U.S. Her nostalgia for the Malaysian cooking she grew up with and what she saw as a dying appreciation for Malaysian cuisine inspired Ange to open Saté Kampar, one of the top restaurants in Philadelphia. Saté Kampar specializes in sate (skewered meat grilled on coconut shell charcoal) and traditional Malaysian cooking. The restaurant was nominated for the James Beard Award in 2017, voted Best New BYOB in Best of Philly 2016, and named in Zagat’s Top 10 Most Important Restaurant Openings.
In addition to opening a nationally recognized restaurant, Ange started a charity dinner series known as Muhibbah Dinners. Muhibbah is a Malay term meaning the harmony of multiple races, religions, and cultures coming together in peace and tolerance. The dinner series brings together chefs of different backgrounds and cultures to celebrate diversity and raise money for nonprofits working with immigrants and refugees.
Atlas Award For Advancing Opportunity Honoree, Patrick Clancy, President and CEO of Philadelphia Works, Inc.
Patrick Clancy has 30 years of experience in workforce development, is the President and CEO of Philadelphia Works, Inc. (PhilaWorks), and is an advocate and supporter of the Welcoming Center. His belief in the Welcoming Center’s mission is evident both in his leadership at PhilaWorks, the city’s Workforce Development Board, and his personal support of the Welcoming Center.
Patrick’s support began in 2001 when the Welcoming Center Founder, Anne O’Callaghan shared her vision to better assist the city’s immigrant populations in navigating our local workforce system. Patrick helped Anne find the available resources to turn her vision into reality. Through his years of involvement with the Welcoming Center and his connection to workforce on the national, state, and local levels, Patrick has proven that he is dedicated to helping immigrants enter the workforce and create a home right here in Philadelphia.
As the city’s Workforce Development Board, PhilaWorks develops and manages smart workforce solutions that respond to business needs and increase economic opportunity for all Philadelphians. PhilaWorks supports and/or manages many workforce organizations and programs including, but not limited to, the local PA CareerLink® system, Philadelphia’s Youth Workforce Development System, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Manufacturing Association (SEPMA), and many of the pre-apprenticeship/apprenticeship resources throughout the city. In addition to helping immigrants find jobs and access career pathways, they have assisted in funding the Welcoming Center’s immigrant workforce training programs since the Welcoming Center opened in 2003.