PAAIA Highlights Accomplishments of Iranian Americans

Iranian Americans are one of the most highly educated groups in the United States, and have made great contributions to the life of the nation. PAAIA is proud to highlight the accomplishments of the following individuals:

Avid Modjtabai

Avid Modjtabai is Senior Executive Vice President for Consumer Lending at Wells Fargo in San Francisco, CA.  A first generation immigrant from Iran, she has played a series of challenging and diverse roles in Wells Fargo operations.  According to John Stumpf, Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo, she is a “…very, very talented leader… Avid is the best team player I’ve ever been around.”   Since the summer of 2011, Modjtabai has overseen the company’s consumer lending operations, including student lending, mortgages, and auto finance.   She has also served as head of the Technology and Operations Group, as Chief Information Officer, and as head of the Internet Services Group, where she helped Wells Fargo become the biggest provider of financial services on the Internet.

Born in Iran, Modjtabai left the country after attending Iranzamin high school to go to college in the United States.  She received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Stanford University and an MBA in finance from Columbia.  She has been named one of the “Top 25 Women to Watch” and among the “Most Powerful Women in Banking” by American Banker Magazine, as well as one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business” by the San Francisco Business Times and one of “The Innovators” by Bank Technology News.   In 2008, she received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award given to U.S. citizens who are believed to “exemplify outstanding qualities in both their professional and personal lives, while continuing to preserve the richness of their particular heritage.

Bita Ardalan

Bita Ardalan is Executive Vice President for National Specialized Lending Group of Union Bank, N.A. The group provides financial expertise to corporate clients on issues ranging from debt financing, global trade, depository and cash management, and syndications to private placements and high yield financing.  The group is also responsible for identifying and developing new niches for Union Bank.  Ardalan has overhauled the management structure of the group, and has added three new specialties—aerospace and defense, healthcare finance, and nonprofits. She is responsible for overseeing several of the bank’s national growth strategies, including the Environmental Services Group, the Commercial Finance Division, and the Fund Finance Group, that finances the needs of sponsored investment funds. Ardalan is currently working to build a national profile for Union Bank. 

Ardalan received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and finance from Williams College, and joined Union Bank in 1986 as a management trainee.  She frequently speaks and writes on finance related issues, and is a board member of the Women’s Leadership Council, the Los Angeles Police Foundation, and ACG (Association for Corporate Growth) L.A.’s M&A Conference Committee.  She has been named one of the “Top 25 Women to Watch” by American Banker magazine.

Dr. Mansour Razminia, M.D.

Dr. Mansour Raziminia, M.D. is director of the Arrhythmia Center at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.  Over the past few years, he has been working on promoting a new approach to detecting abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmia).   Dr. Razminia has developed a procedure which uses 3-D imaging instead of X-rays to map the heart and its electric signals.  A high frequency ultrasound known as intracardiac echocardiography, or ICE, helps physicians place catheters inside the patient to see where the arrhythmia is coming from.  According to Dr. Raziminia: “Taking X-rays out of the equation means we can perform these tests on children and pregnant women…This new approach is absolutely a boon for overall wellness.”  Dr. Raziminia’s approach also reduces the risk of cancer, cataracts, genetic defects and skin injury.

Dr. Razminia graduated from Hacettepe University School of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey in 1992.  He completed his residency at Hacettepe in 1995, and residency at Chicago Medical School-Finch University in 1999. Dr. Razminia speaks English, Persian and Turkish. 

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