January 20, 2011

16th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. We Have a Dream Breakfast


The annual event was held Jan.17th, 2011 is hosted by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Rochester Branch of the NAACP. Mayo Clinic is a sponsor of the event.

Dharani Ramamoorthy filled the audience with inspiration as he told of his journey from India to becoming President and CEO of Xylo Technologies of Rochester, MN. Ramamoorthy is originally from India where he studied computer science, and then came to the United States to pursue graduate studies in Fargo, North Dakota. He began working at Mayo in the IT department, but really enjoyed developing software. After gaining experience and realizing what consumers needed, he had decided to pursue his dream and start his own business. Dharani started Xylo Technologies in 2000. Xylo is a minority owned, diverse supplier and a minority business enterprise (MBE) certified through the Midwest Minority Supplier Diversity Council (MMSDC) in Minneapolis, MN. Xylo Technologies, Inc. is a national, information technology services firm that specializes in IT staff augmentation, program and project management, applications software and systems development for vendors such as Mayo Clinic, General Mills and the State of Minnesota. Information received from Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce   

Although this was very risky quitting his job to pursue and start-up his own company he had faith that he was doing the right thing. He always mentioned the generosity, kindness of others who helped him establish Xylo Technologies. 

Dr. Mays, Program Manager-Diversity Grants, College of Medicine Office for Diversity, states how, “He emphasized the importance of recognizing and acknowledging our differences.” Ramamoorthy’s story was a great success story in which he gave the glory to God. 

Dr. Hayes, Mayo's director of diversity and inclusion, reiterated that having a diverse robust business community vitalizes and energizes the Rochester community, patients, employees and Mayo Clinic. 

Dr. Mays expresses how Ramamoorthy told a funny story about one of his first meals in America.  He accompanied his coworkers to a McDonald’s for breakfast and being a Hindu vegetarian, he searched the menu for something without meat.  He ordered a cheeseburger thinking it was a meatless sandwich with cheese.  After the first bite he realized his mistake and discretely disposed of the sandwich without his coworkers noticing.  Later that day at lunch, he declined to order food at a café that had no vegetarian options.  When asked by his co-workers why he was not eating, he told them he was a vegetarian.  They exclaimed that his conversion to vegetarianism was the fasted they had seen him order a cheeseburger for breakfast!  The moral of the story according to Ramamoorthy is that we should be up front with others about our differences and learn to appreciate our differences.

 A Mayo Clinic postbaccalaureate student Doris Vargas attended the event and here is what she thought: 

“My experience was wonderful.  The talks were very inspirational.  I especially felt identified by Dharani Ramamoorthy, who was also an immigrant and ESL learner.  His story of coming to the States and learning from others to finally achieve success was very moving.  It was also very nice to notice how Mayo commits itself to diversity in every sense of the word (gender, race) as was pointed by Dr Sharonne Hayes. Overall, I've learned more about the Rochester community and their efforts with the Chamber of Commerce and the Mayo Clinic to not only be leaders in business, and health but also to connect with every member of society, from every walk of life.  I thought it was a very nice way to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Thanks for the opportunity to be there!” Doris Vargas

Written by Danielle and edited by Jess (Blog Managers)

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