ELLIS ISLAND, NEW YORK CITY---Following her nomination last month, Tai Wang, co-principal and co-founder of W.A.C. Lighting, has received the prestigious 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award presented by NECO, the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations Foundation, Inc. Mrs. Wang received the Medal of Honor at a Black Tie Ceremony on Saturday evening, May 12th, as "An acknowledgement of the spirit, hard work and value of our ancestors, those who took the American Dream from just a hope, and made it a reality."
The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is presented to outstanding American citizens, from all walks of life. Mrs. Wang is recognized for her significant contributions to the United States and the international community. She represents the very essence of the American way of life, having greatly contributed to our national identity while preserving the distinct values and heritage of our ancestors.
The Ellis Island Medal of Honor has been aptly named, for the island as a symbol of the diversity of America's people- whose genius, culture, artistry and thought have joined to form a single mosaic of many cultures and ancestral backgrounds. It is from this diversity that the United States is still a beacon of hope for so many, and the greatest democracy the world has ever known.
Pictured is Tai Wang (center), with W.A.C. Lighting CEO and husband Tony Wang (left), and GM and daughter Shelley Wang on the right.
"Tai is the perfect model of immigrant entrepreneurs," explains Peter Koo, President of Flushing, NY Chinese Business Association. "She and her husband Tony have founded and developed W.A.C. Lighting, a company which has evolved into a leading and highly recognizable manufacturer of lighting. In addition to her numerous corporate and philanthropic responsibilities, she has sacrificed much of her personal time to teach the culture and virtues of Chinese culture to young Asian people. Tai volunteers her valuable time to teach Chinese children about their culture's traditions and customs, including dance, music and the arts. She is an inspiration to all of us."
In 1984, Tai and her husband Tony Wang established W.A.C. Lighting Company. With their tremendous dedication and unwavering leadership, W.A.C. has grown into a leading manufacturer of track, recessed, monorail, undercabinet and decorative lighting, and has recently launched the W2 Architectural Lighting division. Tai, an accountant by trade who graduated from Zui-Li Business College in her native Taiwan, continues to serve as Vice President of Finance for the firm, where she has been a role model, inspiring many employees that contributed to Katrina, Tsunami and 9-11 relief campaigns.
According to Rony Kessler, current board member and past-President of The Gift of Life and a past President of the West Hempstead, NY Rotary Club, "Tai and the W.A.C. Lighting family have been very supportive of Gift of Life and The Rotary. She has focused on bringing indigent Chinese children, who are born with heart defects, to the U.S. and helping them through these serious health crises. Tai was directly involved in transporting the children from their homes to their hospital beds, and providing around-the-clock, hands-on support during their hospital stay, until their safe return home. She has helped save hundreds of children's lives in the past five years. The children and our organization are forever grateful.
In the past few years, Mrs. Wang has worked with "Alliance for Smiles," making expeditions to China to help children born with cleft lips and palates. "Tai is a fantastic person with a very strong commitment to helping children in need," explains Anita Stangl, President and CEO of Alliance For Smiles. "She has served as an adept liaison, administrator, fund developer and translator on several medical missions to China. Tai has a has been a great ambassador to local families and medical teams in China and has helped build bridges of friendship among people to create international understanding and goodwill."
Tai is a Board Member of LaGuardia Community College's Fundraising Foundation, and also serves the Asian American Cross Cultural Association and Lai Yin Chorus. In addition, she and her husband founded the Hope School at Ziang-Xi and W.A.C. Scholarship Program in China.
About The Ellis Island Medal of Honor
Established in 1986 by NECO, the Ellis Island Medals of Honor pay tribute to the ancestry groups that comprise America's unique cultural mosaic. Held each May on Ellis Island, the event is full of pageantry, grandeur and emotion. Both Houses of Congress officially recognize the Medal of Honor, which ranks among the nation's most prestigious awards. Past Medalists include Supreme Court justices, Nobel Prize winners, American Presidents, famous athletes, entertainers, corporate giants and individuals who have inspired people, improved communities and changed lives for the better. One is presented each year to a foreign citizen for extraordinary service to the United States and the international community.
The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, Inc. serves as an umbrella for over 250 organizations that celebrate, educate and nurture ethnic pride, heritage, culture, tradition and commerce. NECO was created on the conviction of its founders that the diversity of the American people is what makes this nation great. Its mission is to honor and preserve this diversity and to foster tolerance, respect and understanding among religious and ethnic groups.
NECO's multiethnic coalition has sponsored a broad range of programs, events and educational initiatives designed to break down the walls of misunderstanding and ignorance between individuals and groups. Additionally, NECO continues its commitment to the restoration and maintenance of Ellis Island, a living tribute to the courage and hope of all immigrants who have built America.
About W.A.C. Lighting
W.A.C. Lighting, a leading manufacturer and designer of track, recessed, monorail, decorative and undercabinet lighting, is headquartered at 615 South Street, Garden City, New York 11530. The phone is 1.800.526.2588, and the fax is 1.800.526.2585. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the website is www.waclighting.com