June 17, 2010

On Thursday, June 17, the Multnomah County Citizen Involvement Committee (CIC) held its annual celebration dinner. The dinner honors community members who have dedicated their time and energy as members of the CIC and Citizen Budget Advisory Committees, and those who have extensively supported the efforts of these committees.

The winner of the 3rd annual Sy Award, Thach Nguyen, was recognized at the dinner. The award is given in honor of Sy Kornbrodt whose passion and voice on behalf of underserved and under-represented citizens in Multnomah County is legendary and inspired the CIC to create the award. Past winners include citizen involvement activist Moshe Lenske and Multnomah County Office of Citizen Involvement Director Kathleen Todd.

Thach is currently the Counseling Services Manager in the Juvenile Services Division, Department of Community Justice. Thach was chosen to receive this year’s award based on his service for more than 25 years working on social justice issues, advocating for equity throughout Multnomah County, and building community capacity. His work has included dedicated leadership as a member and president of the Board of Immigrant Refugee Community Organization, collaboration with state and local governments and law enforcement agencies to develop policy changes that support culturally-specific programs and services, and founding the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon. Thach is considered to be a leader and role model for multiple underserved communities in Multnomah County.

CIC Chair Brad McLean said, “Similar to Sy, Thach has exhibited a lifelong commitment to ensuring Multnomah County meets the needs of all its community members. He serves as an excellent example of how one individual’s dedicated service in the community can significantly improve the lives of thousands of people.”

Thach was honored to receive the award and tried to keep the attention focused on the clients that he serves, “I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of the underserved and under-represented individuals and organizations that I have touched, and hope that they think I do deserve this award.”