Women’s History Spotlight: Azra Khalfan-Kermali
Azra Khalfan-Kermali, is the founder and CEO of Away in a BOX, a division of Plaques by Azra and Signs and Lucite Products. Plaques by Azra is a trusted supplier for awards and signs and recently expanded to offer a Cultural Intelligence Training Program for employee engagement and leadership development.
Azra was born and raised in Queens, New York but has lived in Tanzania, UAE and has traveled the world extensively. She brings over two decades of entrepreneurial spirit, life experiences, education and passion into her new company— aimed at increasing diversity, equity and inclusion and helping with unconscious biases towards marginalized communities. Away in a BOX brings the world to you, one nation at a time through an experiential sensory BOX and educational culture training.
Azra has been actively building her businesses through educational programs with organizations like the Dartmouth-Tuck School of Business – Minority Business Program and the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program through the Tory Burch Foundation
Azra now lives in New York and Dubai with her husband Kazim and her parents. She has been actively involved with community fundraising and awareness towards assisting orphans, widows, empowerment through education and the building of wells in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East.
With her passion for advocacy, Azra sits on the NYNJ Council’s MBE Input Committee, the Queen’s District Attorney South Asian Advisory Committee and a co-chair for the Manufacturing Committee at the Queens Chamber of Commerce. She has also served on the Board of TPNY, a non-profit organization advocating for victims of Domestic Violence. In 2016, Azra was awarded the MBE Catalyst Award by the NMSDC. In 2019, Azra received the ACCION Award for Integrity.
She has been featured in four books including a New York Times bestseller: Tory Burch: In Color. She is also a contributing writer for an industry specific online platform GraphicsPro and was featured on The Story Exchange, an online media outlet showcasing women entrepreneurs. In 2011, Azra and her mother were featured as the cover story for Azizah Magazine, which highlights the achievements of Muslim women around the world.
In what little spare time she has, Azra enjoys hiking, kayaking and traveling. She is particularly intrigued by Middle Eastern architecture and enjoys learning about different cultures and visiting churches, temples and mosques.