At the 20th Annual Banquet of the Asian Reporter Foundation, one of East Portland Neighborhood Office's long-time volunteers, Mr. Hongsa Chanthavong, received the "2018 Most Honored Elder" award. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Hongsa Chanthavong on all his accomplishments and thank him for his many years of service so far!
From the Asian Reporter's Facebook page announcement:
Hongsa Chanthavong was born October 1, 1934 in Savannakhet, Laos. Mr. Hongsa came to the United States in 1959 where he studied government and political science at the University of Miami on a U.S. government scholarship. After graduating in 1964, he worked for the U.S. State Department as an escort interpreter for three months, after which he returned to Laos to work for the Lao government until the country fell in 1975. Mr. Hongsa was captured by the communists and spent several years in a “re-education camp” during the new regime. In 1983, he immigrated to the United States with his wife, Khamphanh, and three sons — Khamsouk, Phonesavanh, and Viengsavanh. The following year, he began his nearly 30-year career at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) as a business specialist in the economic development project. Mr. Hongsa helped found the IRCO Asian Family Center in 1994 and served as its director from 1994 to 2004. He also was instrumental in founding the Wat Buddhathammaram, a Lao Buddhist temple. He serves on many boards, including the Wat Buddhathammaram, the Lao American Foundation, and the Lao Business Association, and is the president of the Lao American Foundation and the Lao Senior Association of Oregon. In addition, he is director emeritus and the community development/special projects department program coordinator of the Asian Family Center. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling, gardening, exercising, and advising younger community leaders.