Vivek Malek, Missouri's 48th State Treasurer, who became the first person of Indian-origin to hold a statewide office, said that America is a place of unlimited possibilities, where one can achieve anything by working hard.
"America is a place of unlimited possibilities, where you can achieve anything if you work hard and get an education - this is the American Dream. As your State Treasurer, I will stand up for Missourians to ensure you are able to realize your God-given potential," Malek said in the Missouri House Chamber, after being sworn into office by US District Judge Stephen N Limbaugh Jr.
He has been a successful immigration law attorney, helping others achieve the American dream of legal citizenship. He was appointed on December 20 by Governor Mike Parson to succeed Scott Fitzpatrick, who became Missouri State Auditor.
Parson administered the oath of office to Vivek Malek as the state's 48th Treasurer on January 17, 2023.
He pledged a fiscally conservative approach to protecting tax dollars, providing opportunities for growth and promoting success for all Missourians.
"As a strong fiscal conservative, my approach centers on what I call the Three P's: First: Protect Taxpayers' Money - to ensure our investments earn the best rate of return for Missourians. Second: Provide the Opportunity for Growth - with programs including MOST, MoScholars, MoAble, and MoBucks. And, third: Promote the Promise of America," said Malek.
Malek is originally from Haryana. His native village Amli is situated in the Sonipat district. Imbued with Arya Samaj ideology, Vivek studied at Maharishi Dayanand University, a famous educational institution in Rohtak.
Malek recounted how he travelled 14 hours on his first airplane trip from India to the United States in 2001, with two suitcases and USD 300 in his pocket, to pursue his MBA at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau.
"Like so many generations before me, St Louis, on the mighty Mississippi River, was my jumping-off point," he said.
Malekk started practising law in the year 2006 and established a law firm in 2011. He was recognized for his service and contributions by the Missouri Senate (2015) and the Missouri House (2007). Business Today magazine ranked him among the Top 30 Businessmen Under 30 in 2007.
"As I built a law practice over 15 years, I helped others to become American citizens, pledging loyalty and faith in the United States. I know what it is to create and run a small business. To make a payroll, to save for rewards down the road, to take care of employees and clients, and to work for something bigger than ones' self. I owe so much to America and Missouri - I wanted to give back," Malek said.
He has been married for more than 18 years to Riju Malek, and they have three children: Daughter Naija, 12; son Viraj, 10; and daughter Myra, 5. Malek spoke of the importance of family: "I am thinking today of my father and mother, who have passed on. I feel them, in my heart, and I know they are watching from Heaven."
He gave the credit for his success to his parents and said that they only taught him to serve, work hard and achieve his goal with full devotion.
"My mother and father were born on farms. My parents worked tirelessly, all their lives. Education helped them leave the farm, and make better lives for their children. They taught me, by daily example, the virtues of hard work, honesty, and staying focused on achieving my God-given potential," Malek said. (ANI)