Atlantans receive USPAACC-SE Diversity in Action awards
The US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Southeast Region (USPAACC-SE) hosted its 3rd annual Diversity in Action Awards Gala on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, with more than four hundred business and community leaders in attendance. The Gala’s Chair, Estrella Cramer, Corporate Finance Controller for the United Parcel Service, and Vanessa Lane, Supplier Diversity Program Manager at Cox Enterprises, recognized five “Outstanding Asian Americans” who have made a difference within their communities, including Dr. Suvrat Bhargave, Shiv Aggarwal, and Dr. Gulshan Harjee. Also honored were “Top 10 Asian American Businesses” that set the pace in procurement opportunities, economic development activities, and support of the mission of USPAACC-SE. Presenting these awards were Ravi Chander, the Chapter’s President and CEO of Softpath System and Susan Allen, USPAACC National President and CEO. Recipients included Ramu Venigandla; Ricky Walia; Goutham Goli; Karun Asireddy; Dr. Raj Pandya; Sangeeta Agarwal; and Satya Sid Ahuja.
Suvrat Bhargave, M.D., (pictured above) is an educator, speaker, and board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry. He relates to a multi-demographic audience based on empathy, education, and empowerment. He lectures on personal growth, effective parenting, relationship satisfaction, and mental health conditions, and has been featured on CNN, USA Today, and Associated Press. His book is titled A Moment of Insight.
Shiv Aggarwal, (right) owner of Global Mall, has been engaged in community service for 37 years. He founded Global Mall in 2001 as North America’s only indoor South Asian mall, showcasing Indian culture. From 2009, he has served as Atlanta Chapter President of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, supporting education in rural India. He has been a Governing Council Member of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and is a founder member of Balvihar Hindi School. He is a founder member of Gateway 85 Community Improvement District (CID) since 2006 and is a Board Member of Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
Gulshan Harjee, M.D., certified internist and certified civil surgeon, has been recognized by Atlanta magazine as a “Top Doc’ and by Georgia Trend magazine as a “Power Woman of Georgia.” Tanzania-born Dr. Harjee is co-founder of the Clarkston Community Health Center that provides free medical care to marginalized communities and the refugee community of Clarkston. She serves on the UNICEF Board for SE USA and has been engaged in several healthcare reform initiatives. She also funds scholarships to high school students and instituted a scholarship at Morehouse School of Medicine.
Ramu Venigandla (right) is the founder of Veridic Solutions, a 700-strong company established in 2016 that has worked with over 300 companies to create IT products and services that enable effective business and technology strategies. Veridic primarily serves companies in North America, South America, and Canada. The company has helped clients set up their infrastructure on public cloud computing services like Amazon, Microsoft Azure, and Google and helped them adapt to DevOps culture.
Ricky Walia is Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder of Walia Hospitality Group, which operates landmark locations in Atlanta such as Cafe Bombay Restaurant, CB Catering, Masti Atlanta, Masti Johns Creek, Ashiana Banquets, and the Signature Ballroom. Besides being a restaurateur on a roll—creativity, fusion, and a visual appeal define the food offerings of CB catering—he has expanded into show and concert promotions, and has plans to create an empire in the hospitality sector.
Goutham Goli (right) is the founder of Rapid IT, a consulting, solutions, and product development company, founded in 2003, with offices in Atlanta, TX, IL, and CA, and software development centers in Atlanta, Hyderabad, and Noida. RapidIT provides cloud solutions, workday solutions, MobileFirst solutions, and ERP solutions. The company has served Banking & Finance, Insurance, Automobiles, Energy & Utility, Telecom, Healthcare, Retail, Engineering, and Logistics. Goutham Goli supports many nonprofits.
Karun Asireddy is President and CEO of InfoSmart Technologies, a consultancy with core services in Infrastructure and Cloud Solutions, Applications Development, IT consulting and training services, data migration, and resource management. Dr. Asireddy has a Masters in Engineering and a doctorate in Business Administration and has consulted for Texas Instruments, IBM, Hitachi Consulting, Capgemini, Raytheon, Pfizer, Georgia State, City of Atlanta, and U. S. Dept. of Defense. He was on the Entrepreneur 360 List (2018).
Raj Pandya, M.D., (right) is a surgeon, inventor, entrepreneur, and restaurateur. A specialist in sports medicine, he is founder and president of Atlanta Orthopaedic Institute. He is Medical Director and Consultant to several global companies and healthcare initiatives, besides serving as team physician on professional, Olympic, and college-level athletic programs. His Unicore Health helps companies deal with workplace injuries, and he assists service members and veterans to rebuild their working life. He has invented surgical devices, and is involved with the American Diabetes Association and other nonprofits.
Sangeeta “Sara” Agarwal is a hospitality FF&E (furniture, fixtures, and equipment) specialist, and founder of Krystal Stone and Design Ltd, the parent company of Sara Hospitality, in 1988. She expanded by trading building stones and diamonds in Japan and other Asian countries. She developed a manufacturing unit in Jaipur and a sales and marketing office in the U.S. called Countertops & Cabinets Inc., with a fabrication plant. She is developing a furniture manufacturing and warehouse facility in metro Atlanta.
Satya “Sid” Ahuja (right) is founder and CEO of Open Systems and AdaptOne, with customers across the globe. Prior to turning entrepreneur, Sid worked as a technology and business process management consultant with IBM, AT&T, and Delta Airlines. His ability to identify bright talent, build teams, and take on a leadership role in the industry has been recognized with business awards, and he has been selected twice by Catalyst magazine as “Entrepreneur of the Year.” Sid has an MBA and an MS in Computer Engineering, and is an IIT-Delhi graduate.
Attorney Neera Bahl was also honored for her years of service to the USPAACC community. She is the founder of One Path Legal and immediate past president of USPAACC-SE for three years. She is the first Asian American of Indian descent on Georgia’s Judicial Nominating Commission and on the Cobb Board of Elections.
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