April 2015 \ Diaspora News \ Diaspora—USA
Indo-American community’s growing influence

By Arun Kumar

Recognising the growing influence of Indian-Americans in public life, several top politicians, including three women members of the US Congress, attended the 18th biennial convention of the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA). The three-day meeting of the largest umbrella organization in the US, representing over 3.5 million Americans of Indian origin, in Cerritos, California was inaugurated by Indian Consul General Venkatesan Ashok and California State Treasurer John Chiang. The meeting was held form March 6 to 8, 2015.

Besides US House members Ms Judy Chu, Ms Loretta Sanchez, Ms Linda Sanchez, the convention was attended by the Mayor of Cerritos, Mr Mark Pulido, according to a media release. The opening session on the convention theme “Indian Americans Making an Impact in America” was chaired by NFIA Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham. It was followed by three more sessions: Indian Americans Contributing to India, chaired: Mr Inder Singh, past NFIA chairman; Indian American Impact in The Area of Technology and Medicine, chaired by Boeing Company Technical Fellow Paul Sikand and Impact in US-India Trade and Business, chaired by Amritt Inc. Managing Director Ms Gunjan Bagla.

Speakers included Long Beach Vice Mayor Ms Suja Lowenthal, former Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu, Stem cell therapy practitioner Dr. Gaurav Goswami, and Attorney Mr Sunny Kalara. The election of NFIA office bearers was held after the General Body Meeting (GBM) chaired by Mr Sohan Joshi of Chicago. Mr Ashok Madan from Southern California was elected as president unopposed. Mr Sudip Gorakshakar from Washington State was elected as Executive Vice President.

The three vice presidents elected unopposed were Mr Ajoy Dube from California, Mr Babu K. Patel from Illinois, and Mr Satheesan Nair also from Illinois. The position of the NFIA secretary went to Dr. Yogendra Gupta from Maryland and Joint Secretary to Mr Vasu Pawar from Southern California. Mr Makam Subbarao from Southern California was elected as the Treasurer. The seven Directors—at—Large were Ms Rachel Verghese (Texas), Ms Anjali Sachdev (Washington State), Dr. Satish Misra (Maryland), Mr Madhavan Nair (Illinois), Mr Ramesh Ramnani (Southern California) and Mr Sachin Amin and Mr Ashok Patnaik from California.

The six Regional Vice Presidents (RVP) elected unopposed were: Dr. Om Sharma (National Capital Region), Vandana Jhingan (Illinois), Mihir Patel (New York), Raj Razdan (Georgia), Lavanya Reddy (Washington State), and Kewal Kanda (California)

The new Board appointed Chandu Patel from Southern California as Chairman of the NFIA Foundation, Dr. Hari Har Singh from NCR as Executive Director (Administration) and Dr. Joydeb Roy from NCR as Executive Director. Ms Angela Anand was appointed to chair the taskforce on Women’s Affairs.

Tags: USA, Diaspora