BAMBERG - Bamberg native Mitti Randhawa, brother of United States U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, will speak Thursday night at the annual Bamberg County Chamber of Commerce Banquet.
The banquet will be held at 6 p.m. at the Bamberg Civic Center on U.S. 301.
Randhawa, who was born in Punjab, Amritsar, India in 1962, is the son of former Bamberg residents Dr. Ajit and Raj Randhawa. He is the oldest of four children, and his siblings are Simran Singh; Ambassador Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor; and Gogi Randhawa.
He and his parents moved from India to Canada in 1963 and then relocated to Bamberg in 1968. He graduated from Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School in 1980 and from Wofford College in 1984 with a B.S. in biology and was an ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate.
After college graduation, Randhawa was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the U.S. Army Chemical Corps and began his military career at Fort McClellan, Alabama. He served in the U.S. Army for 25 years, both active and reserves, with tours in South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Japan, England, Germany and at several Army posts in the U.S. He served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, receiving the Bronze Star for Combat Service while leading a Chemical Defense Company of 250 soldiers.
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During his military career, Randhawa served as battalion chemical officer, chemical platoon leader, company executive officer, three times as company commander, battalion operations officer and battalion executive officer. He concluded his career as a chemical battalion commander.
His awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (4 OLCs), Army Achievement Medal (4 OLCs), Southwest Asia Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Saudi Arabia for the Liberation of Kuwait Medal, Overseas Service Medal and the Airborne Parachute Badge.
Randhawa retired from the U.S. Army in December 2009. In 1993, he returned to Bamberg and worked in the family clothing business, Exotica International Inc. While at Exotica, he oversaw bringing in the men’s clothing line and was responsible for preparing the business's move to a larger building in Orangeburg.
After four years at Exotica, Randhawa began his career with Johnson & Johnson, where today he oversees the entire pharmaceutical portfolio and is responsible for operations in North America and the Caribbean. He was received numerous professional awards.
Randhawa and his wife of 30 years, Sonya, have three children and one grandchild. The couple reside near Atlanta.