From Nadine

2011 International Professional of the Year

Dr. Ziad Al-Assaad

Born in Horan, Damascus in 1941, Ziad Al-assaad attended the Ain-shams University College of Science in Cairo, Egypt and the Damascus University Medical School, receiving his medical degree in 1966.   He did his post doctoral training at the Damascus University Hospital, the American University Hospital in Beriut, Lebanon and Emory University Affiliated Hospitals in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Al-Assaad is the Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at WJB Dorn Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and is a professor of Pathology and Ophthalmology at USC. He chairs or serves on several committees, including the Tissue and Transfusion Committee, the Tumor Board, the Cancer Registry Committee, the Clinical Executive Board, and the Medical Advisory Committee for Midlands Technical College. Dr. Al-Assaad is the recipient of special recognition and awards from the American Medical Association for Continuing Education and from the Dorn Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  He has several published articles and medical presentations. He is a member of Columbia’s Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.


2011 Volunteer of the Year

Mr. Soon (Steve) Kim of Taejon, South Korea moved to the U.S. as an adult and became a naturalized citizen. He lived here for 35 years, serving in the United States Army for four years and retiring from the US Postal Service after 20 years of employment. Mr. Kim lived in SC for 27 years and owned Dino’s Restaurant on Decker Blvd. for the past 15 years. He was known for his Christian faith, his strong work ethic, and his love for people. Over the years he contributed to our community by creating jobs through his businesses; providing food for school, church, and other charitable events; giving generously to many charitable and civic causes; and by volunteering to serve in any way he could. Mr. Kim was a member of the Decker Business Association and an enthusiastic supporter of Decker Blvd. Revitalization. He was also a member of the Korean Association of Columbia and of Carolina Korean Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder and worshiped and served for over 25 years. In the words of his longtime friend, Sen. Joel Lourie, “His loss will leave a void that cannot be replaced.”

Jean-Marie Mille_Cropped

 2011 International Business Person of the Year

Jean-Marie E. Mille– I was born in eastern France in 1949. I am the oldest of five children.I graduated from the University of Nancy with a licence-es- lettres in 1972, and from the University of South Carolina with a Juris Doctor in 1979. I also completed the course work in the International Studies program at USC in 1979

I became a member of the South Carolina Bar in 1979. I am also qualified to practice as attorney and counselor before the United District Court for the District of South Carolina and before the United States Supreme Court. I am also a member of the Richland County Bar.

Before coming over to the US, I served as a lieutenant in the French military in 1974. At the time we were still drafted.

While in law school, I clerked for the S.C. Carolina Attorney General’s office in the Antitrust Division.

From 1979 until 1982, I worked as an associate in the law firm of Monteith, Monteith and Gottlieb. I then worked in the Department of Consumer Affairs as a lawyer through 1984. I went back to private practice in 1985 with the law firm of Childress, Richstad and Mille. I am currently a solo practitioner with an office on Devine Street in Columbia.

I have been the President of the Alliance Française of Columbia since 2004. I have been particularly active in its theater club, which just completed its fifth production.

I have also coached soccer at the YMCA and at Northeast Columbia for several years.

As an immigrant, I have had the pleasure to assist many foreigners with legal issues, more specifically Koreans and Spanish speakers

I have been married to Katherine Wyly Mille since 1974. Katherine holds a PHD in linguistics and is on the English faculty at Midlands Tech.

We have two sons: Andrew Wyly Mille, a cellist, and in business for himself in Charleston, S.C. and Patrick Johnston Mille, M.D., currently a resident at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. Andrew is married to Elina Vasilyeva from Russia. Patrick is engaged to Felina Kostova, a Bulgarian native, who will start as a resident at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia ( Pennsylvania) this coming June. One of my brothers is married to a Japanese and another to a Guadeloupean. Just to let you know that I can’t seem to get away from the international scene.

Ryan Dupree

2011 Community Ambassador of the Year: Ryan Dupree
Ryan Dupree has been serving the international community of Columbia, SC for the last thirteen years. First, he
served as a volunteer helping with transportation for Shandon Baptist Church’s International Ministry. For the last
seven years, he has served as International Minister at First Baptist Church of Columbia.
Rev. Dupree oversees a ministry that helps internationals–be it students or refugees–to assimilate to American
culture as they work and study in the US. This includes teaching English, providing furniture and providing trips
around the state so they get to know SC, and giving them transportation to various places such as court, doctors
offices, etc.
Rev. Dupreeis also in the process of starting two ethnic churches in Columbia that meet weekly at First Baptist Church: a
Burmese church and a Hispanic church


Special Recognition: Danielle Laulhe Augustin

Danielle Laulhe Augustine was born in Pau, France. After her marriage to Ulrich, they moved to Germany, where
two children were born to them, daughter Natalie and son Sebastian. During their 27 years in Stuttgart, Danielle
studied Philosophy at the University of Stuttgart, then served as a volunteer for Amnesty International and worked
in Fair Trade Stores and in a hospital with the terminally ill.
She came to Columbia in 1999 when her husband’s job was transferred to South Carolina. She quickly connected
with the French Alliance, and the International Festival. Danielle has enjoyed leading a French Book Club and
acting in the French Theater Group. She has also recorded an audio book for the Skipp Pearson Jazz Foundation.
The Augustines will soon be returning to Tarnos, France, a town on the Atlantic coast, and look forward to being closer to their grandchildren.