Judge to be honored at annual Hall of Fame event

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Robert Colombo Jr. will be among the inductees into the Heritage Hall of Fame November 9 in Detroit.

The International Institute Foundation will host its 27th annual Heritage Hall of Fame Celebration on Tuesday at the Detroit Marriott in the Renaissance Center. The event honors leaders from various ethnic backgrounds who have made outstanding contributions to the American way of life, demonstrated their concern and commitment to multiculturalism, and have generously supported ethnic and cultural traditions.

Colombo joined the Third Judicial Circuit Court bench in 1983 after spending six years in private practice with Riley & Roumell. Prior to that he was a law clerk for Judge George Bashara Jr. of the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The son of longtime Detroit Recorder's Court Judge Robert Colombo Sr., after graduating from Catholic Central High School in 1968, Colombo enrolled at the University of Miami in Florida and obtained a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1972. He received his law degree from Detroit College of Law in 1975. He is married to Jane Sullivan, daughter of Joseph A. Sullivan, the late chief judge of Wayne County Circuit Court. They have two adult children.

Other honorees include:

Subir Chowdhury, internationally known as a "quality" guru, best-selling author, and the chairman and CEO of ASI Consulting Group.

Stephanie Germack, known throughout Detroit for her support of and participation in numerous civic and cultural organizations. The Germack family introduced pistachios to the U.S. in 1924, and has continued doing business since that time in Detroit's historic Eastern Market area.

Wassim Mahfouz (receiving the first Emerging Leader award), the executive director of the Lebanese American Heritage Club for the past nine years. Wassim also serves as an assistant for Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.

Antonio Francisco Rugiero Sr., who will be posthumously honored. A native of Italy, Rugiero came to America in 1960 and four years later opened the Roman Village restaurant, eventually opening three more outlets. He employed and assisted many immigrants in achieving American citizenship..

Fr. George Shalhoub, the founder of the Basilica of St. Mary. He is known to the Detroit Metro area as a servant of all people and a humble and spiritual guide for his parish, family, and community.

All Heritage Hall of Fame Honoree portraits are showcased in the Heritage Hall of Fame located in the Atrium of Cobo Center.

Tarik Daoud, chairman/owner of Long Family Auto Center, is the chairman of the International Institute Foundation and Frank D. Stella, who recently passed away, was chairman emeritus. A tribute to Mr. Stella will be presented at the event.

The International Institute Foundation raises money in support of the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit (IIMD). Founded in 1919, IIMD provides assistance to foreign-born residents and promotes understanding of cultures. IIMD provides legal immigration services, promotes understanding of different cultures through ethnic and cultural education presentations and demonstrations, foreign language classes and cultural sensitivity training. It also offers English as a second language courses to immigrants.

For ticket information on the Hall of Fame dinner, go to www.iimd.org and click on International Institute Foundation or contact Ann Clark (313) 590-7493 or ann@iimd.org.

Published: Fri, Nov 5, 2010

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