Derek Dewan has a rich ethnic heritage. The son of Lebanese immigrants, Derek Dewan has built a successful career as an entrepreneur and was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1999.
The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is an award sponsored by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO). NECO, established in 1986, focuses on preserving the diversity of American culture and promoting tolerance, respect, and understanding. One of the hallmarks of NECO’s efforts is in the preservation of the Ellis Island Monument, which stands as an icon of the American dream. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is awarded to United States citizens who have distinguished themselves as members of their own ethnic groups. Nominees are selected based on their actions and achievements in serving their communities and the nation as a whole. The medal has been awarded to governmental and business leaders, Nobel Prize winners, and everyday citizens who excel as members of their community.