Hall of Fame
Posted November 1, 2006
Yesterday evening was most extraordinary. Vai and I traveled to the Little America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake for Dinesh Patel's induction into the Utah Technology Council's Hall of Fame. He had reserved a couple of seats for us at a table with Yogi and Pragna, Satish Kumar (Ganesh Temple priest), Ramesh Acharya, Jayaraman and Rukmini, Rajan Patel, Ramesh Acharya, and Surya.
Driving around looking for a place to park, we realized this was a MAJOR event. Extremely affluent looking ladies and gentlemen were pouring into the hotel from all directions. Inside, Vai counted the number of dinner tables times eight and concluded that 1,000 people were present.
During the introductory comments by Eric Olafson (CEO Tomax Corporation), and Richard Nelson (CEO Utah Technology Council) I learned that the people in the ballroom to honor Dinesh and one other inductee, Jim Kajiya (General Manager, Microsoft Research), provide about 8 per cent of the work force in the state of Utah. Those employees earn 66% more than the average wage in the state. I learned that previous Utah residents inducted into the UTC Hall of Fame (about 22 in the eight years of its existence) include: Founders of Word Perfect, Founders of Novell, Co-Founder of Iomega, Creator of the Laptop Concept, Father of Television, Founder of Netscape, Co Founder of Adobe Systems, Father of Digital Recording, etc.
Senator Hatch introduced the keynote speaker, Steven Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation, a very funny and dynamic fellow.
Scott Anderson's (CEO of Zion's Bank) introduction of Dinesh was inspired. His comments were well thought out, very articulate, and heart felt.
Dinesh's own credentials we have mentioned in other articles on our web site. In a word, he is the father of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals in the Mountain West Region. It has been said he is a Michaelangelo of the field. Yet it is the person as much as the achievements that endear Dinesh to everyone: humble, self effacing, witty, personable, optimistic, committed as no other to the betterment of the less fortunate.
An 8-10 minute video of Dinesh and Kalpana's life together was shown on two big screens to either side of the ball room. Ashok Joshi gave a great commentary with deserved emphasis on Kalpana's inspirational role.
I was honored to have been asked by Dinesh to add my comments to those of Ashok, Governor Huntsman, Senator Hatch, Ed Ekstrom, and Paul Ahllstrom. As I talked, with the Deities of Radha and Krishna just behind me in full definition color, the camera digressed to prolonged clips of the Radha Krishna temple, an apparition of breath taking beauty in rural Utah County. These visions of the temple, built as a labor of love by Vaibhavi, myself, Dinesh, Kalpana, Yogi, Pragna and others, seemed to beckon and challenge all the leaders present to achingly pursue the upward path of truth and beauty. The building itself was mute, yet spoke volumes about the capabilities of the human spirit. It was frequently said of Dinesh during the evening, that "he is unmatched in transforming the world that is into the world that ought to be." As much as any other tribute that evening, the shimmering otherworldliness of the temple on the big screen, gave testimony to that truth.
When Dinesh ended his acceptance speech with these words "I am an African by birth, an Indian by heritage, and a Utahn by choice. Thank you for letting me do what I love. God bless you all", one thousand of the best and brightest, including two senators, a Governor, and about 100 CEO's were instantly on their feet expressing their profound affection and respect with a thunderous, prolonged standing ovation.
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