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DANBURY, Conn., Sept. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI) honored Farooq Kathwari, Chairman, President and CEO of Danbury-based Ethan Allen Interiors Inc., with its Legacy Award at a gala dinner in Westport, CT., on September 23.
He was chosen for this honor in recognition of his commitment to humanitarian causes, to justice and human dignity, and to the plight of displaced people across the world. Mr. Kathwari has served in numerous capacities at many nonprofit organizations; among them, he is currently a member of the Board of Overseers of the International Rescue Committee, and a chairman emeritus of Refugees International.
The gala commemorated CIRI's 100 years as the state’s leading champion for refugees, immigrants, survivors of torture, and survivors of human trafficking. Founded in 1918 as the International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN), CIRI remains the state’s preeminent provider of advocacy and high-impact services that empower new Americans to thrive in Connecticut.
Claudia Connor, CIRI CEO and President, said, “Because we believe most Americans value the contributions that immigrants and refugees make to our nation, we continue to fight for their rights in a difficult political climate. Our mission is to provide comprehensive and compassionate legal and social services for vulnerable foreign-born residents of Connecticut. This mission has never been more essential than it is now.”
Ms. Connor continued, “Our gala honoree, Farooq Kathwari, symbolizes the many ways in which foreign-born Americans have helped build our country. As a respected business leader, he has grown Ethan Allen into a leading furniture and design company that employs more than 5,000 people in Connecticut and North America. He embodies the American dream of building a better life for his family and community and has given back many times over through his nonprofit and charitable work.”
Mr. Kathwari said, “I am proud to support the valuable work that CIRI does for immigrant and refugee communities in Connecticut. As an immigrant myself, I know that everyone who comes to America has the opportunity to contribute and enrich his or her new home. But no one can succeed alone. CIRI provides the necessary services that new Americans need to start down the path to success.”
Mr. Kathwari’s family foundation, is the CIRI Centennial Partner for the gala. Other event sponsors include People’s United Bank, Praxair, Synchrony Financial, RBC Wealth Management, and Nuovo Pasta Productions.
Mr. Kathwari emigrated to the United States in 1965. He joined Ethan Allen in 1980, when it acquired KEA International, a company he formed in 1973 in partnership with Ethan Allen. Kathwari quickly rose through the ranks and became president in 1985 and board chair and chief executive officer in 1988. He has overseen the transformation of Ethan Allen, making it a quintessential American brand with a wide-reaching global presence, emphasizing quality, craftsmanship, diversity of styles, and environmental excellence as hallmarks of the brand.
Mr. Kathwari is an active humanitarian and peacemaker. In addition to his work at International Rescue Committee and Refugees International, he is a member of the advisory board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; chairman emeritus of Refugees International; a director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University; co-chairman of the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council; and a member of the International Advisory Council of the United States Institute of Peace. He is the founder of the Kashmir Study Group, and he served as a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from 2010 to 2014. Among his recognitions, Mr. Kathwari is a recipient of the 2018 Ellis Island Medal of Honor and has been recognized as an Outstanding American by Choice by the U.S. government. For more information visit www.farooqkathwari.com.
Ethan Allen Global, Inc.