Ten Years of Networking Success
The tradition of recognizing outstanding individuals from the community
continues at the successful 10th Anniversary of IPN.
From its humble beginnings in 1993, the Indian Professionals Network (IPN) has come a long ways as a recognized community entity that has provided a platform for many fruitful networking alliances. In spite of not having a formal charter or membership, the forum is nevertheless central to the community thanks also to founder Dr. Narsi Narasimhan's email broadcast that reaches close to 4000 professionals, entrepreneurs and other key people in the community.
The 10th Anniversary meeting held on Thursday, November 13th at the Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall in Norcross, was organized by Mani Krishnaswamy who was recently appointed to the Board of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce as well to the Board of the Gwinnett Technical College Foundation, and is the founder and CEO of Synergy America, a technology solutions company based in Duluth which also celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.
The meeting was sponsored by RBC Centura Bank. Ron Day, the Regional President of the bank, in a brief appearance, expressed enthusiasm for the Indian community's business acumen.
Keynote speaker Jim Maran, President of Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce kept the audience of over a 100 engaged by his lively tales from a 30 year career with Motorola which took him to several Asian countries including India, where he has stayed at length. The streetwise and seasoned corporate executive, Mr Maran observed in jest how the best way to introduce a new technological gizmo in many countries is to gift it to a high level Minister. Mr. Maran's passion for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce shone through when he eloquently expressed the central role played by many of the Chambers' board members in all things good in Gwinnett.
"Whether you have $2 or $2 million, we want you," said Mr Maran; he also stressed emphatically that racial diversity is a keen interest of the chamber ? thus encouraging businesses of any size and any ethnicity to partake in this rewarding Chamber.
This was followed by the highlight of the evening, the Awards ceremony. Chand Akkineni of Softpros, Inc. introduced the winners who were than presented the award by Deanna E Bidwell of RBC Centura.
Following are the 2003 IPN Award Winners:
Jagan Bhargave holds the distinction of being the first Indian American to be hired by Delta Air Lines in 1966. He is a host for WRFG FM 89.3's "Music from India", which is perhaps the longest running radio program of Indian Music and community activities in the US. Bhargave is former president and an active member of the IACA. He is a founding member of the Atlanta Hindu Society and a former chairman of the Indian American Forum for Political Education (IAFPE), Georgia Chapter. He is also a member of the Red Gate Civic Association.
Ritesh Desai was recently appointed commissioner, Asian-American Commission, by Governor Sonny Perdue. He is also the State of Georgia honorary chairman of the Business Advisory Council for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). Desai is current president of The Gwinnett County Georgia Tech Club and a member of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce. Desai also devotes time to a number of community organizations like the BAPS temple, the Gandhi Foundation of Atlanta, the IPN and the Georgia InterEthnic Coalition. He is also founding member of South Asians for Unity (SA4U).
S. P. Reddy
SP Reddy is the current president of the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (GIACC) and a founding member of the Atlanta chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneur). He is also an active member of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce. The technology firm, enGenius, of which Reddy is the founder, chairman and CEO, was recently awarded the "Local Technology Firm of the Year 2003" by the US Department of Commerce. He is also an advisor in the Center for Good Governance for Andhra Pradesh.
Artiste-activist Alka Roy, who is known for her annual tribute to women on International Women's Day, is also vice-president of Association of India's Development (AID) Atlanta. She volunteers her time for a host of civic organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Raksha, Vibha and the India American Cultural Association (IACA). She wrote the script for IACA's annual Festival of India's cultural program, "A Journey through India". Roy is the founding member and artistic director of Kaya Collective, an art collective for change.
Paddy Sharma is the first woman president of the IACA. As current president, her goal has been to bridge the gap between various Indian communities by celebrating all festivals like Eid, Diwali and Easter together. Dr Sharma has won several awards for her work in helping children and women, both in India and the US. Dr. Sharma also provides sound counseling on immigration issues to the Indian community on a pro bono basis.
Suchita Vadlamani is the co-host of Fox 5's popular daily morning program Good Day Atlanta. Among the notable guests that she has interviewed are First Lady Laura Bush, Oliver North, Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, actors George Clooney, Richard Gere, and Cuba Gooding Jr, and basketball star Magic Johnson. Vadlamani is also involved in the South Asian community, having emceed the Festival of India, Ek Shaam Raksha ke Naam and the IACA annual banquet. She has spoken at many community gatherings, including the Telugu Association of Metro Atlanta's (TAMA) celebration of Ugadi. She is now involved in becoming a volunteer for Raksha.
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