BURLINGTON, MA—An independent panel of ten judges on Friday selected Sheetal Acharya as the Woman of the Year 2022 at the packed Grand Ballroom of the Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA.
Ms. Acharya, a cancer survivor, is Director of Operations and a change leader at National Grid. She currently leads the organizational enablement team for the $3.8 billion divestiture of the Rhode Island business. She coaches leaders at all levels on how to articulate the changes with empathy. In addition, Ms. Acharya has been an active community leader and supports many causes focused on women and children.
“Ms. Acharya’s progressive success in the corporate world, leadership in business and community groups from a young age, and an inspiring personal journey swung the decision in her favor,” said Chief Judge Nilanjana Bhowmik.
“Each of the nominees is no doubt just getting started on her path to success and accomplishments. We hope that this award will encourage each to share their talents, success and wisdom with others, and in so doing, pave the way forward.”
Ms. Bhowmik, Founder and General Partner at the Boston-based venture capital firm Converge, presided the 10-member judging committee. Other members of jury were: Sushil Bhatia, Executive in Residence, Management and Entrepreneurship at Suffolk University and President & CEO of JMD Manufacturing; Pranav Gill, General Manager of Herb Chambers BMW of Sudbury; Viji Krishnan, former Chief Revenue Officer at S&P Market Intelligence; Bharat Patel, Co-Founder of Braintree-based New England Office Supply; Punita Sinha, Founding Partner of Pacific Paradigm Advisors; Kartik Shah, Co-Founder and COO of Skyscape; Manoj Sujanani, Chief Procurement Officer at Sappi North America; and Neelam Wali, President of Saheli Boston and owner of Printing and Graphic Services.
Ms. Acharya thanked INDIA New England News and the organizing committee of the 19th Annual Woman of the Years Awards gala, the judges, and “the amazing Indian-American community in Greater Boston for presenting the Woman of the Year Award to me.”
“I’m truly honored by the love and support I have felt from this community since moving to Boston many years ago. I was privileged to be nominated with so many other accomplished women. Each nominee has brought unique skills, leadership, and inspiration to the community. Receiving the Corporate Executive of the Year Award was such a special recognition for me. My career goal has been to be a senior leader in a corporate setting. This award was a validation of the many years of commitment to pursuing my career,” said Ms. Acharya.
Ms. Acharya said that she was thankful for her family and friends who gave her the strength to beat cancer.
“Yesterday (Saturday) Facebook reminded me, that two years ago this weekend, I had my second lumpectomy. To be named Woman of the Year for 2022 in the same weekend was a lovely surprise and a chance to reflect on how far I’m come since starting my breast cancer journey in 2020,” said Ms. Acharya. “Many gala attendees congratulated me and offered their well wishes. More importantly, an attendee shared her breast cancer survival story with me. I was so touched from the warmth of Friday evening, and I will carry that feeling with me for as long as I can.”
She added: I’m grateful that my company, National Grid, and colleagues never wavered in supporting me. To paraphrase Linda Mason’s keynote, it’s not about having it all but having what’s important. For me, it’s family and friends. It’s professional endeavors. And, it’s taking the time for self-care.”
Bright Horizons Co-Founder and the Boston Foundation Chair Linda Mason served as Chief Guest and Keynote speaker. Member of Indian Parliament Jayant Sinha was the honored guest.
Judge Kartik Shah said that it was indeed a privilege to be there alongside with the other nine very accomplished judges.
“It was a super event perfectly orchestrated,” said Mr. Shah. “Each of the eleven 2022 Women of the Year finalists exemplified excellence all around and leading by example they have inspired the community at large to do good.”
The 11 finalists were: Sheetal Acharya, Director, Business Change & Transformation, National Grid; Nagasree Chakka, Associate Scientist, Biogen and Director Ekam Boston Chapter; Sulochana Devadas, Principal, Shishu Bharati; Vaishali Gade, President, India Association of Greater Boston; Meenakshi Garodia, Vice President, Board of Saheli Boston and Ceramic Artist; Pooja Ika, Founde & CEO, eternalHealth; Vaishnavi Kondapalli, Software Technologist and Indian Classical Musician; Shiamin Melville, Chair, ISW University Initiative and Former ISW Executive Board member; Smita K. Patel, MD, Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center; Dipali Trivedi, CEO & Co-Founder, Everyday Life and MIT Tech entrepreneur, Empowering STEM, Women; Kiran Uppuluri, Founder and CEO, vertex, abd TiE Boston Board Member.
“WOY Gala brought us all together post-COVID to celebrate and to cherish every moment of life with joy and passion, proving that resilience and power of human spirit conquers it all,” said Dr. Manju Sheth, Director and Hostess of the Woman of the Year. “The energy in the room was vibrant and dynamic with an abundance of joy. Thank you to everyone who joined us in making a super successful event.”
Mandy Pant, Academic Research Director at Intel, and Jharna Madan, a senior interior designer and project manager and a TV Asia correspondent in Boston, served mas masters of ceremony.
The Woman of the Year was produced by Upendra Mishra, publisher of INDIA New England News and its sister publications Life Sciences Times, Boston Real Estate Times and IndUS Business Journal.
The event was sponsored by: Platinum Sponsor: BMW Sudbury, Pranav Gill, General Manager; Gold Sponsors: The Boston Group and Dr. Manju Sheth; Silver Sponsors: Burlington Marriott, The Mishra Group and INE Multimedia. The event was supported by Yash & Jigna Shah, Dyuti Majumdar Photography, and SRAVEO.