Portuguese businessman awarded "American Dream"Luis Pedroso is the Portuguese entrepreneur who will receive the first prize "American Dream" of the International Institute of New England, an institution that assists immigrants and refugees in the States of New England since 1918. "The award is given to an individual who embodies the work ethic, ingenuity and generosity that are trademarks of the emigrant experience," announced the institution about the prize that will be awarded to 11 December.
Luis Pedroso, of 54 years is the President and founder of Accutronics company and one of the two philanthropists who allowed the creation of a Center for Portuguese studies at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. The businessman told the Portuguese news agency Lusa that the distinction "is a great honor and a huge surprise, because the institution had many people who could have chosen to give first prize."
Pedroso is original da Ribeira da Areia, in the island of São Jorge in the Azores. Went to the United States at the age of nine, accompanied by the parents and three brothers. "I remember being a kid and see many people leaving for the United States. When my parents said that we also, this was my first American dream. I thought: we're next. Leaving for America was an almost magical thinking, "he says.
The family settled in California, but shortly after was diagnosed with leukemia to the father, which eventually die. The family moved to Massachusetts and that's when I enlisted the services of the International Institute of New England,
Pandey says his second American dream was to have the company itself. He worked for three and a half years in a company of electronic components, but in 1984, with 24 years, saw an opportunity in the market and risked. He founded Qualitronics, a company that was designing, testing, building and selling electronic components repair services. Panda sold the company in 2000, when I had an annual turnover of 25 million dollars and approximately 160 employees.
"As immigrants, we're different. For a long time, you feel like you don't belong or you're not sure, that at any moment you could lose. When I sold the company, for the first time in my life I felt I belonged and that was safe, "said the Manager.
Four years later, become the risk and founded with his brothers to Accutronics, a company in the same area of what is now President.
The businessman is one of philanthropists who donated 850 thousand dollars (660 million euros) to fund the Center Pandey-Saab for Portuguese studies and Culture at the University of Massachusetts in 2013.
"The United States are made of various nationalities and ethnicities and each supports its. I take great pride in being Portuguese, in belonging to this community and I felt it was my duty to help show our value, "said the Manager.
Luis Pedroso made this donation on behalf of the parents, helium and Amelia Pedroso, as a tribute to his courage. The mother, of 85 years, still living in the United States and will attend the award.
During the ceremony, the institution will launch an interactive online platform with files pertaining to some 5,000 families who provided aid since 1918.
The Organization was created near the end of the first world war to provide support to immigrants arriving from Europe. Continues to help about 1500 families every year on issues of health, education, employment and legalization.