Plastpro CEO Receives Ellis Island Honor

May 3, 2011
Noteworthy

Shirley Wang, founder and CEO of Plastpro Inc., will be among several Americans who will be honored on May 7 with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Presented by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, the award recognizes community leaders from diverse ethnic origins for their outstanding contributions to the nation and the world.

NECO is recognizing Wang for her efforts to foster deeper understanding and communication between the peoples of the United States and China. Beyond her professional efforts in leading Plastpro, a fiberglass door manufacturer with more than $70 million in revenue, Wang devotes much of her time to charitable and community activities that pay tribute to her Chinese-American heritage. Through her alma mater UCLA, Wang has endowed teacher trips to China in the hopes of promoting a better understanding of the Chinese culture for American educators.

Shirley Wang and her husband, Walter Wang, CEO of JM Eagle, also funded the first endowed chair at UCLA's Asian American Studies Center for a national program focused on U.S.-China relations. Through Plastpro, Wang actively supports Habitat for Humanity's efforts and has provided fiberglass doors in the aid of constructing homes nationwide. Plastpro has also donated technology labs to the public schools of Ashtabula County, Ohio, where the company has a manufacturing facility.

"Shirley Wang, with her extraordinary business acumen, has given life to the small town of Ashtabula, Ohio, by providing work that supports hundreds of families in and around the Plastpro plant and by her generous support of local schools," says Brad Corbett, Sr., president of S&B Technical Products, who nominated her for the award. "She is also a generous philanthropist to a number of deserving groups including the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, which funds staff positions that provide legal services to immigrant domestic-violence survivors."

In the Los Angeles community, the Wangs are lead supporters of the Drug Enforcement Agency Foundation and helped bring the DEA Museum to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The Wangs have also established an endowed chair at the Los Angeles Cedar Sinai Medical Center for Pediatric Surgery to fund cutting edge research in pediatric surgery and to assist underprivileged children in need of surgery.

At the upcoming awards ceremony in New York City, Shirley Wang will join more than 200 award recipients, including entertainer Jerry Lewis and New York Fire Department Commissioner Salvatore Cassano.

"With our medalists, we will see America at its best," says Nasser J. Kazeminy, chairman of NECO. "We will see every color, every race from so many walks of life together, celebrating the magic that is America. Our medalists' influence and achievements truly inspire and touch the lives of people everywhere."

Walter Wang is a previous winner and Shirley and Walter Wang are now the eighth husband-and-wife duo to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor since it began 25 years ago. Previous couple recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor include Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as Emilio and Gloria Estefan.