WALTHAM, MA—INE MultiMedia, a Waltham, MA-based non-profit organization devoted to promoting and supporting charitable organizations, art, culture, education and empowerment , announced the masters of ceremonies for its upcoming New England Choice Awards gala on Oct. 28 at Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA.
The masters of ceremonies for the program are Anu Chitrapu, Senior Vice-President and Executive at Bank of America; and Anupendra Sharma, Senior Investment Partner at Siemens Venture Capital. Aditi Taylor, a Principal with Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Risk Advisory practice, will join Chitrapu and Sharma during a special cultural and entertainment segment at the event.
Massachusetts Treasurer Deb Goldberg will be the chief guest. The keynote speaker will be Eric H. Schultz, Chief Executive Officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, which has been ranked among America’s highest-rated private health plans.
Philanthropists Jaishree and Desh Deshpande, founders of the Deshpande Foundation, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the gala. In addition to honoring the Deshpandes, INE will also honor New England’s eight shining stars for their outstanding contributions in the following areas: Academics, Art and Culture, Business and Entrepreneurship, Community Service, Healthcare, Non-Profit Organization, Philanthropy and Youth Leadership.
About 400 entrepreneurs, corporate executives, philanthropists, educators and community leaders are expected to attend the awards gala, which is presented by INE MultiMedia in collaboration with INDIA New England News, the region’s oldest and largest online, print and video magazine serving the South Asian community.
“I am incredibly excited to see this dream of Manju Sheth of INE MultiMedia and vision of Upendra Mishra of India New England News becoming a reality,” said Sharma. “NECA will become the event that celebrates and recognizes the immense local, national and international contributions of our community for years to come.”
Sharma is Senior Investment Partner at Siemens Venture Capital (SVC) in Boston, where he is responsible for investing in healthcare. Prior to SVC, Sharma worked in investment banking and M&A for eight years at JPMorgan, Citigroup and Siemens. He founded the Startup Leadership Program to educate entrepreneurs, which has been launched in 29 cities in 13 countries; Mobile Medics, a social health venture; the Healthcare Innovation and Commercialization course for Harvard Medical School students; The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at BITS Pilani; and Massachusetts Life Sciences Innovation Day.
Sharma holds an MBA from Cornell University, an MS in Accounting & Finance from Manchester Business School, and a Masters in Economics and Bachelors in Instrumentation Engineering from BITS Pilani, India. To ensure recognize women’s voices and achievements are recognized, Anupendra created the BITSAA Women’s Council at BITS, and devoted a major portion of one of the six-monthly editions highlighting the myriad achievements of the women from his school. At the Startup Leadership Program, women’s entrepreneurship and diversity initiatives have been kept front and center as a top priority since its inception. It has more than 500 female entrepreneurs and innovators connected through the Program, and a Director of Women’s Initiatives, who works on gender, equity and business issues facing women entrepreneurs.
Chitrapu said the New England Choice Awards signifies that Indian diaspora has reached a major milestone.
“It is an honor to be part of the NECA team as we embark on a journey that recognizes the incredible achievements of the Indian community in the New England area,” Chitrapu said. “This event signifies that the diaspora has reached a major milestone and has made tremendous contributions across the board – technology, entrepreneurship, academia, philanthropy, art & culture and non-profits.”
Chitrapu is Senior Vice-President and Executive at Bank of America. She has won awards at the bank for exceptional performance, been named to the high potential women leaders group and is the executive sponsor for the Boston chapter of the Asian Leadership Network.
She is also on the advisory board of Saheli, an organization that empowers South Asian women, and has served as the gala chair for their fundraiser Nirbhaya. She serves as treasurer of DAWN (Direct Action for Women Now), a Boston based non-profit that seeks to end gender based violence. Writing has been a longstanding passion for Chitrapu. She hopes to increase awareness around social issues through her writing.
Chitrapu holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Taylor is a Principal with Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Risk Advisory practice with 18 years of experience. She serves as a leader in the firm’s Life Sciences practice, leading a variety of engagements related to governance, ethics and compliance, risk and controls. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of Mumbai and a MBA from Bentley University in Waltham, MA. Taylor, who was named an emerging leader by the Boston Business Journal, is active in the New England cultural community.
Previously, she served on the board for Indian Association of Greater Boston (IAGB) for 6 years and for 4 years on the board of the New England Marathi Mandal (NEMM). She was a key member of the core leadership team that hosted the 32nd bi-annual Bruhan Maharashtra Mandal’s Convention at the Rhode Island Convention Center in 2013, which was attended by approximately 4,000 people from over 20 different countries. A stage and theater performer since the early age of 4, Taylor continues to nurture her passion for the cultural and performing arts and often directs, produces and performs in large musical and theater productions with participants of many ages.