Judges, whose names are kept secret until the Woman of the Year winner is announced, are the most important part of the Woman of the Year selection process, and each year they are different and they choose from a select list of Outstanding-20 women provided by the editorial team of INDIA New England. The only judge whose name is public is the previous year’s winner. Here is a brief introduction of the members of independent panel of judges.
Poonam Ahluwalia is the 2013 India New England Woman of the Year. She serves as the President of Youth Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (YES) Inc. and has over the last 15 years developed two innovative programs that shaped the global youth employment agenda: YES Campaign and YouthTrade. YES Campaign has helped place the issue of youth employment on the global agenda. YouthTrade, inspired by Conscious Capitalism, is an innovative architecture that certifies mission-driven youth entrepreneur’s businesses and provide access to markets, while building demand for their products.
Ash Ashutosh is founder and CEO of Actifio, whose evaluation reached $1.1 billion this year. Ashutosh was most recently a Partner with Greylock Partners where he focused on making investments in enterprise IT companies. Prior to Greylock, he was Vice President and Chief Technologist for HP Storage.
Ashutosh founded and led AppIQ, a market leader of Storage Resource Management (SRM) solutions, which was acquired by HP in 2005. He was also the founder of Serano Systems, a Fibre Channel controller solutions provider, acquired by Vitesse Semiconductor in 1999. Prior to Serano, Ashutosh was Senior Vice President at StorageNetworks, the industry’s first Storage Service Provider. Ashutosh remains an avid supporter of entrepreneurship and is an advisor and board member for several commercial and non-profit organizations.
Anu Chitrapu is an executive at Bank of America and has won awards at the bank for exceptional performance, named to the high potential women leaders group and nominated to the Diversity & Inclusion council. She serves as a mentor to emerging women leaders in the bank and is passionate about increasing the number of women in senior management teams. Chitrapu works with women applicants to MBA programs, especially South Asian women applicants, and helps them strengthen their applications, thereby increasing their chances of being accepted to top schools. In addition, she is President of Vision Aid, an organization that teaches technology skills to the visually challenged in economically deprived areas. She is on the advisory board of Ubuntu-at-work, an organization aimed at teaching women skills that help them escape poverty; and Saheli an organization that seeks to empower South Asian women. She holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Gaugarin Oliver is president of the Boston chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs, known as TIE-Boston. Oliver is an active Angel investor, startup mentor and has successfully taken 3 startup companies and 2 new business initiatives to market. He has also run large, successful, growth businesses within big corporations. Oliver was the co-founder and CEO of RedEgg Solutions (aka MyMediaInfo) which was acquired by Thomson Reuters and was then acquired by NASDAQ OMX as part of a $390 million transaction. Oliver recently served as the Global Head of PR Services at NASDAQ. Prior to founding RedEgg, Oliver spent many years in the industry working with leading startups including UltiVerse Technologies, Voice Control System, Lojalis, Cymfony, and Mobixell Networks. He received his degree from Government College of Technology, Coimbatore. He also holds a Masters in Industrial Engineering from University of Oklahoma and has completed Executive Education at Harvard Business School.
Jothi Raghavan is a Bharatha Natyam dancer/teacher /choreographer and founder of the Academy of Indian Performing Arts and Nrityanjali School of Dance. Raghavan has performed extensively in India and the United States. As a performer and choreographer she has received many awards which includes the prestigious Choreographers Fellowship from The National Endowment for the Arts.
Yash is an entrepreneur, angel investor and business executive with over 25 years of IT industry experience. He is currently Senior Vice President for Product Management at CA Technologies. Prior to the sale of his company, InteQ Corporation, to CA Technologies, he was President, CTO, and Co-Founder of InteQ. He received his Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University. He is an active supporter of several social organizations in the Boston area.
Usha Vakil, co-founder of Saheli, has been a core member of Saheli since its inception in August 1996 and presently serves as the President of the Board of Saheli. Saheli, a community-based women’s organization in Massachusetts and New Hampshire empowers South Asian women and their families to live safe and healthy lives. Vakil oversees the Saheli programs in the areas of Domestic Violence, Legal and Immigration services, Economic Empowerment and Mental Health. She is a Senior Project Manager at Iron Mountain.