BURLINGTON, MA—Judges, whose names are not disclosed until the Woman of the Year winner is announced, are the key part of the Woman of the Year selection process. The independent panel of judges this year consisted of seven respected individuals from the community, representing various fields.
Prat Moghe, founder and CEO at Cazena and a trustee on TiE Global Board and an Overseer at Museum of Science in Boston, served as chief judge of the independent judging committee for Woman of the Year 2017. Other members of the committee were: Bharat Patel, Jaya Aravind, Sangeeta Moorjani, Alpa Ladani Chandu Shah and Dr. Steve Singh.
Here are brief bios of all the judges in an alphabetical order:
Jaya Aravind is a Software architect and Technical manager by profession. She has had success in building high performing teams and delivering enterprise network applications and has extensive experience in software technologies. She has worked for Oracle, Ciena, Infosys and Zhone Technologies in her career.
In addition, Aravind is president of New England Malayalee Association, known as NEMA, a registered, non-profit organization. She has served NEMA for last 9 years in varying roles in its board. NEMA strives to cultivate and support the exchange of ideas between Malayalees and other Indian and American communities. NEMA is known to conduct a variety of cultural events for Onam, Halloween, Christmas and highly regarded Drishya series of competitions. Drishya 2017 was attended by over 1400 people for its finale and had more than 900 participants competing in its 5 days of competitions ranging from drawing to writing to dancing to singing. Through these programs, it seeks to promote artistic, literary and inter-generational needs of the wider Indian community.
Captain Alpa Ladani was the highest-ranking Indian-American female officer that served in the United States’ Armed Forces in Kabul, Afghanistan when deployed in support of Operation Resolute Support in 2015. Through her 20 years of service, she was assigned to serve as a combat medic later deploying in 2003 to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2006, CPT Ladani deployed to Germany as a Military Police Officer in order to support a Law Enforcement Mission. In 2012 CPT Ladani deployed to Bahrain in support of a Security Forces Mission. In December of 2014, CPT Ladani took command of a Headquarters Company later deploying to Afghanistan. She served as the Executive Officer for Forward Support Base, Headquarters Resolute Support in Kabul, Afghanistan. CPT Ladani also held numerous positions with the CT National Guard Counterdrug Task Force from 2008 to 2013.
CPT Ladani’s awards and decorations include the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Iraq Campaign medal with 2 Campaign Stars, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ M device, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Driver Mechanic Badge, CTNG Emergency Service Ribbon and the CT Long Service Medal.
Captain Ladani currently resides in Boston, MA and works as Senior Program Manager of Emergency planning for the Boston Public Health Commission’s Office of Public Health Preparedness.
Prat Moghe is Founder and CEO at Cazena (big data as a service) and a Trustee on TiE Global Board. As a seasoned entrepreneur, startup mentor, angel investor, Prat is also TiE Charter Member and an Overseer at Museum of Science, Boston.
Prat has enjoyed success as a strategic leader for various analytics companies. Most recently, he was SVP, Netezza (acquired by IBM for $1.7B) where he led strategy & product for a category-leading big data appliance. Prat was the founder & CEO of two previous big data startups. Prat started his career at Bell Labs, holds several patents and received a PhD in Electrical Engineering from UCLA. Prat was also recently President of TIE Boston, a non-profit where he led a group of 150 successful entrepreneurs to mentor, invest in and accelerate Boston-based startups.
Sangeeta Moorjani is Head of Workplace Managed Accounts for Fidelity Financial Services, a diversified financial services firm. She is a seasoned executive with 20+ years of business strategy, product management and marketing success in the financial services industry. Her expertise is in retail and institutional businesses, retirement, asset management, and high net worth markets. Sangeeta is a strategic leader and has a passion for coaching and developing high performing teams. She serves as an advisor to the Women’s Leadership Group and the Asian Employee Group at Fidelity.
Sangeeta is a TiE Charter Member. She is active in local charities and youth activities. She has served on the Andover Public School Steering Committee to develop 5-year roadmap; and is passionate about imbibing Indian culture and values in youth and has taught courses on the same.
Bharat Patel has been Chairman of Board of Advisors of New England Office Supply since 1993. He has served as Board Member of several profit and non-profit ventures including MIT Sloan and University of Idaho. He has also served as President of IAFPE (Indian American Forum for Public Education), and has served as a Managing Director of a Venture Funding group.
Bharat Patel holds an MBA from MIT Sloan and BS & MS in engineering from University of Idaho and is a strong supporter of the young generation.
Chandu Shah is President and CEO of S4 Inc., a professional services firm providing mission critical support to US Government, Homeland Security and DoD customers. S4 Inc. has been ranked among the prestigious Inc. 500/5000, the fastest growing private companies in America, for seven consecutive years. Mr. Shah was named the state of Massachusetts Minority Business Person of the year in 2007.
In addition to being successful in the information consulting arena, Mr. Shah is also a renowned artist. He is a poet, playwright and screenwriter. In addition to writing many landmark musicals on Mumbai’s professional stage he has been part of Bollywood movies ‘Malamaal Weekly’ as concept writer and ‘Oh My God’ on production side. He wrote the concept and produced independent American film ‘Quarterlife Crisis’ which was on Showtime TV on demand for 2 years. He is the Winner of the National Award (OSCAR of India) for the Best Experimental short Film in 1982. Recently he wrote a Gujarati movie ‘Saptapadii’ which was produced by Amitabh Bachchan’s AB Corp.
Dr. Steve Singh, MD
Dr. Steve Singh is Surgical Director, Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His specialties include Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery. His clinical interests include surgery for coronary artery disease, heart transplant surgery, lung transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support, among others.
Dr. Singh completed his undergraduate and medical school training (M.D., 2003) and his residency training in cardiac surgery at the University of Toronto (2009). During that time he also completed a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology, in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Clinical Evaluation (MSc, 2007). His chief resident year was spent at Stanford University in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, after which he continued as their clinical fellow in Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support (2011).
Dr. Singh is board certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCSC, 2010) and UNOS Certified in Heart and Lung Transplantation Procurement and Implantation. Dr. Singh began his professional career as an assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Cardiac Surgery at McMaster University, Canada, where he was also residency program director (2011-2013).