BURLINGTON, MA—Desh Deshpande, one of the nation’s leading philanthropists, will be the chief guest at the upcoming 12th Annual Woman of the Year Awards banquet on June 5th at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA, organizers of the red carpet event said.
Over 400 business and community leaders from across New England are expected to attend the annual red-carpet gala and honor 20 outstanding women from the region for their contribution in various areas, including art and culture, business, social and community service, charity, health, politics, science, research and technology. An independent panel of seven judges will also pick one of these 20 outstanding women as Woman of the Year 2014.
“We are very pleased that Mr. Deshpande will be the chief guest at our flagship annual event,” said Upendra Mishra, publisher of INDIA New England News and the IndUS Business Journal and the producer of the annual Woman of the Year Awards gala. “We expect a sold-out event on June 5.”
Deshpande, a trustee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), also serves as Chairman of the Akshaya Patra Foundation USA, whose dual mission is to address childhood hunger and malnutrition and to promote education for underserved children in India. Akshaya Patra now feeds 1.3 million children every day.
Well known as the co-founder of tech giant Sycamore Networks, Deshpande also founded Cascade Communications Corp. and is a founding investor in other companies such as Airvana, Cimaron, Webdialogs and Relicore. He is chairman at Tejas Networks and HiveFire, as well as president and chairman of Sparta Group LLC. He serves as a life-member of the MIT Corporation, and his support has made possible MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. He and his wife Jaishree have established the Deshpande Foundation though which they support numerous charitable causes.
This year marks the 12th anniversary of the Woman of the Year award.