BOSTON—India Association of Greater Boston this month elected a new president, Vaishali Gade, and a new executive team for a two-year term that starts on Oct. 1, 2021. Ms. Gade, who replaces outgoing President Sanjay Gowda, most recently served as Vice President of IAGB.
In addition to Ms. Gade as President, the following individuals were elected by a majority vote of the members present at its General Body meeting.
Nagendra Rao – Vice President
Gini Pookottil – Secretary
Pallavi Datar -Treasurer
At the IAGB General Body meeting, which was attended by approximately 40 people, in the absence of additional nominations for directors, the rest of the director positions were left empty to be filled by the new Executive Committee. Subsequently, the new EC has filled the following individuals for the director positions:
“Along with community service, civic leadership will be our focus and priority will be to pave the way for aspiring Indian American candidates hoping to set foot in the city and local governments and establishing local/state-level government partnerships,” said Ms. Gade. “Feels great to be part of this ambitious organization which truly has taken the center stage for things that matter to the New England Indian American Community. We have taken the organization up yet another notch under the leadership of Mr. Sanjay Gowda.”
She said the IAGB journey continues as COVID and the lingering aftermath have forced the organization to re-evaluate its connections.
“We and our many Indian regional organizations have realized that and are working together to stand as one. We will be working to strengthen this relationship. But along with we will be working to be the Global Citizens –Global Immigrant Citizens if you will,” said Ms. Gade. “As the first wave of our Indian immigrants is hitting the golden years our goal is to re-assess their requirements –whether it be community or personal and partner with them to make a sustainable transition.”
With the IAGB Youth wing, the organization will be working with Indian American youth to help them develop leadership skills and serve the larger community.
“IAGB cultural activities will always be the focal point which ties us all together and we will strive to make it bigger and better,” said Ms. Gade. “Very honored to carry the baton forward for this almost 60-year-old organization with a newly formed 2021-23 EC team.”
Ms. Gade, a finance leader by profession, has been living in Massachusetts for 20 years. She has been active in many area Indian American organizations serving New England Indian American community.
Most recently, Ms. Gade served as Vice President of IAGB. Before that she served as Secretary of IAGB, Vice President of New England Marathi Mandal- an organization devoted to serving the New England Marathi community. She has enjoyed volunteering as a teacher for more than 10 years at the Indian languages school ‘Shishubharti’.
Ms. Gade also also serves as a board member and organizes fundraisers for a nonprofit organization ‘Anubhuti’- a school to enlighten and support underprivileged kids in the Naxalite area-Brahmpuri, Maharashtra. She has been actively participating/choreographing at many cultural and community fundraisers organized by local community organizations.
“I express my sincere gratitude to the community – community members, leaders, sponsors, supporters, performers, Indian Consulate/Embassy, city/state/town administrations, elected representatives, etc – for the overwhelming support for the last two years,” outgoing IAGB President Mr. Gowda said. “It was my honor and was fortunate to be part of IAGB for over a decade in various roles and lead and serve this largest and oldest Indian Community organization for the last two years, during the most challenging times in our generation.”
Mr. Gowda said that COVID-19 pandemic abruptly upended lives and disrupting everything around.
“We were able to pivot quickly and adapt to the new environment and challenges. We thrived on, embracing the new reality using the new virtual tools and platforms. We brought new and expanded initiatives aligned with the current community needs and focused efforts with long-term objectives,” Mr. Gowda said. “We collaborated and partnered with over 40+ local community organizations for a stronger community voice and presence. We coordinated assistance/response to the emergencies and crises of COVID-19 – locally here in the US and India – with fundraising efforts through creative programs/events and emergency crisis assistance initiatives.”
Mr. Gowda said that there were many firsts during his time and his team raised the bar high with creative and high-quality professional cultural programs at IAGB signature events – bringing creative events and activities such as distributing flag-raising events across New England region.
“With the formal Flag raising events, we were able to connect and collaborate with many towns/cities while creating awareness of the Indian community, its contributions, and culture/traditions at the grass-root level,” said Mr. Gowda. “We have a stronger engagement with various Government administrations and agencies and elected representatives for all issues that matter to the Indian American Community.”
Mr. Gowda said that he is proud of the IAGB team of 2019-21 and all that his team was able to accomplish during these unprecedented times.
“Huge kudos to the entire IAGB team for their dedication, hard work, and community service. I truly enjoyed my interaction and association with everyone in the community,” Mr. Gowda said. “My heartiest congratulations to Vaishali Gade and Nagendra Rao and the new IAGB team 2021-23. I have no doubt that the new team will take IAGB to newer heights.”