Meet the 10 Members of the Independent Jury Selecting the Woman of the Year 2022

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2022 Woman of the Year Judges
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BOSTON–The independent jury of 10 judges for the 2022 Woman of the Year this year focused on personal journey, corporate success and leadership instead of voting someone on with community service and charity work.

In 2021 also, judges broke from the tradition and instead of voting a women with riche and diversified experience, they took a bold step and selected a 27-yearl-old climate activist Varshini Prakash.

During the selection process for the Woman of the Year every year, judges have the toughest job of choosing the Woman of the Year. This year, they had to choose one out of 11 finalists.

Judges, whose names are not disclosed until the Woman of the Year winner is announced at the gala, are the key part of the Woman of the Year selection process.  Like in the past, the independent panel of judges this year consisted of 10 respected individuals from the community, representing various fields.

The judging committee was chaired by Chief Judge Nilanjana Bhowmik. Here are brief bios of 2022 Independent Jury in alphabetical order by last name:

Sushil Bhatia

Sushil Bhatia

Mr. Bhatia is Executive in Residence, Management and Entrepreneurship at Suffolk University. In addition, he is the president and CEO of JMD Manufacturing, a manufacturer and global distributor of marking and coding equipment.

Mr. Bhatia has co-developed or invented many products, including Glue Stic, unique convention/seminar name badges, mailing labels, laser/copier labels, binding systems and electro-sensitive paper.

He founded DeCopier Technologies Inc., Kriticka, and Control Print India. He also established a manufacturing plant in India and created a distribution network for a Fortune 200 company in India, China, and Hong Kong.

Nilanjana Bhowmik

Nilanjana Bhowmik

Ms. Bhowmik brings a rigorous focus on B2B tech as a co-Founder of Converge, an early-stage venture capital firm, drawing on her 23 years as a venture capitalist, investment banker and operating executive. Prior to founding Converge, Ms. Bhowmik was a General Partner at Longworth Venture Partners where she led the firm’s investments in enterprise tech. As an investment banker at Broadview (now Jefferies), she executed numerous M&A transactions of leading enterprise tech companies and led the bank’s research publications of market maps on middleware, application and security software.

After publishing her graduate dissertation on object-oriented class libraries, Ms. Bhowmik was recruited to Object Design Inc., the leading object-oriented database and INC 500, #1 private Company in 1994. There she held several positions through the company’s fast growth from venture-backed to IPO, including running the professional services organization for the Americas, delivering a third of the company’s annual revenues.

Ms. Bhowmik is a two-term Board Member and a past President of TiE Boston, a founder of the TiE Boston Foundation, and a Trustee at the Museum of Science Boston, where she serves on the Investment Committee and Finance Committee.

She received her B.Eng. in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, her M.S. in Computer Science from University of South Carolina, and her MBA from INSEAD.

Pranav Gill (File Photo)

Pranav Gill

Mr. Gill is the General Manager of Herb Chambers BMW of Sudbury in Sudbury, MA, servicing Herb Chambers clients for the past 17 years. He was born in Austria but is a Bostonian at heart starting fresh out of college in the Internet Sales department where he worked his way up through the Herb Chambers Company along its different luxury brands and have been a General Manager with the Herb Chambers Companies for the past 10 years.

In 2016, Mr. Gill was awarded General Manager of the year for his company. In 2017, he was awarded Top 40 under 40 in North America by Automotive News. His branch was voted in 2018 as Dealer Rater’s Dealer of the Year, Awarded the JD Power Excellence Award for Customer Satisfaction and BMWs prestigious Center of Excellence in Award in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020  and 2022 ranking it in the top 30 BMW dealerships in the country for Superior Sales, Service and Parts performance.

Viji Krishnan

Viji Krishnan

Ms. Krishnan was, until very recently, Chief Revenue Officer at S&P Market Intelligence. In this role, she was accountable for achieving revenue goals for a $2 billion and improving productivity across all client-facing functions. Previously, Ms. Krishnan held several senior leadership positions in the Information Services Industry, including Managing Director of International Markets at Clarivate, Managing Director of CompuMark, and Senior Vice President of Editorial Operations at Thomson Reuters.

Ms. Krishnan is deeply motivated to improve the career prospects for women in the workplace, having been the founding member of women@thomsonreuters. She currently runs ‘back to work’ advisory services for middle management women interested in either getting back to work or making a career change on a pro-bono basis. She is also on the board of Goddard House, one of MA’s oldest elder care facilities.

She considers herself a global citizen, having worked and lived on three continents worldwide, and has currently dropped anchor in Greater Boston with her husband, son, and dog. She holds a master’s degree from the CASS Business School in London and a bachelor’s from Madras University in India. She is an avid reader and traveler and has recently taken up gardening over COVID.

Bharat Patel

Bharat Patel

Mr. Patel co-founded Braintree, MA-based New England Office Supply (NEOS) along with his wife Indira Patel in 1993. NEOS was acquired by W.B. Mason Company Inc. Mr. Patel is one of the founders of Indian American Forum for Political Education and served as its president.

In addition, he has been active in various Indian-American community organizations.

Punita Kumar-Sinha

Punita Kumar-Sinha

Punita Kumar-Sinha, PhD, CFA, has focused on investment management and financial markets during her 30-year career. She has significant governance and board experience across India and North America, having served on boards for more than a decade. She serves as an Independent Director for many companies and Chairs committees on several boards.  Ms. Kumar-Sinha has been investing in emerging markets since the late 1980s and pioneered some of the first foreign investments in the Indian subcontinent in the early 1990s. She is also a Founding partner of Pacific Paradigm Advisors, an investment advisory firm focused on investing in Asia ex Japan. Dr. Kumar-Sinha Chairs the Investment Subcommittee of CFA Institute and is also the Chair of the Investment Advisory Board of IIT Delhi. Prior to this, Ms. Kumar-Sinha was a Senior Managing Director of Blackstone and the Head & Chief Investment Officer of Blackstone Asia Advisors. She also served on the TiE Boston board.

Ms. Kumar-Sinha has a PhD and a master’s in Finance from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with Distinction from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. She has an MBA and is a CFA charter holder. Dr. Kumar-Sinha is a member of CFA Institute, a member of the CFA Society Boston, a TiE Charter Member, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Kumar-Sinha has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT Delhi.

Kartik Shah

Kartik Shah

Mr. Shah is the co-founder and COO of Skyscape, a mobile healthcare IT company and a partner at Mobiuso LLC, a mobile consulting company.

He has more than 25 years’ experience in technology development, business operations and financial management. Mr. Shah was instrumental in the growth of the prior company from its founding to its eventual sale to a private equity fund. He then served as CTO of Physicians Interactive Holdings where he led the strategic technology integration of three healthcare companies.

Mr. Shah serves as a Board of Director for non-profit organization Health eVillages. He also serves on the Business Advisory Council of Rivier University in Nashua, NH and is an Advisory Board Member of Evidence Based Medicine Guidelines, published by the Finnish Medical Society, Duodecim. In the past he has served as a committee member of the TYE (Tie Young Entrepreneurs) program and was on the Life Sciences committee of TechSandBox, an incubator based in Hopkinton, MA.

He has been an invited guest at several speaking engagements including being speaker at the Babson College MBA Entrepreneurship program, and has been involved with the TIE-Boston organization since its inception and is a current charter member of Tie-Boston which fosters entrepreneurship.

Manoj Sujanani

Manoj Sujanani

Mr. Sujanani, PhD, is Chief Procurement Officer at Sappi North America, a global forest products company. He manages an organization of 70 people across multiple departments at the company. He has over 20 years of experience in negotiating and managing large contracts that create value for all parties. His current interests and endeavors include active collaboration with suppliers to reduce carbon emissions in conjunction with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Mr. Sujanani received his PhD in Chemical Engineering in 1990 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, specializing in interfacial phenomena, heat transfer and thin film research. He spent 16 years at Polaroid Corporation spanning multiple roles across R&D, Manufacturing and Strategy. He holds an Executive MBA from Boston University and spent two years as an Adjunct Professor teaching Data Analysis & Statistics.

Neelam Wali

Neelam Wali

Ms. Wali is a graduate of Sir J. J. School of Art in Bombay, the oldest art institution in Mumbai, India. She is the owner of Printing and Graphic Services in Billerica, MA for the last 30 years. She is the President of Saheli Boston, a non-profit organization working against domestic violence and supporting and empowering women of Indian and South Asian origin in New England. In 2006 she was honored as Billerica’s Business Champion of the Year and women of the year in 2007 and has been involved in various activities in the town of Billerica. She was
the President of the Chamber of Commerce promoting community involvement and local governance. She also created programs for the Billerica school system in engaging elementary and middle school children to bring out their talents and leadership qualities.

She was nominated as the 1st Chair for the Asian American Commission, a body dedicated
to political advocacy on behalf of the Asian American community in the State of Massachusetts. She has joined the Boston Foundation’s Asian American advisory group.
She is a Life Member of India Society of Worcester, Life Member India Association of
Greater Boston, Life Member of United India, and serves on various Town Committees and
non profits groups in MA.

Ms. Wali’s association with Saheli for the past 20 plus years has taught her the fragility of
human beings. To quote her, “Domestic violence affects all sections of society equally,
though it is much harder on the new immigrants with no social connections. Saheli’s
services fill the cultural gap with understanding and services to the needy.”

She has been a Saheli supporter, an advocate against domestic violence in the community.
She has guided and supported Saheli during the fundraisers since 2010. She chaired the
Saheli Advisory committee for two years and successfully managed Saheli’s Biennial
Nirbhaya Gala in 2019, providing leadership in the design, build and execution of the
program. Her dedication, passion and commitment are embraced by her husband Anupam and her three daughters who are also long-time Saheli volunteers and advocates.

Clint Valladares

Clint Valladares

Mr. Valladares is the Senior Managing Director of Global Engagement, Middle East and India at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, where he oversees collaborations with talent from the Middle East and South East Asia.

In 2015, he co-founded the Berklee India Exchange, a wildly successful initiative that celebrates the rich musical heritage of his home country and has grown Berklee’s reach in the subcontinent through workshops, cultural exchange events, mentorship and scholarship programs. He also played a key role in establishing the Berklee Abu Dhabi Center, to discover, develop and distribute talent in the MENA region. ​

Mr. Valladares has years of fundraising experience and has built strategic alliances with leading brands like Facebook, Google, Intel, Shure and Yamaha. With an MBA from Hult International Business School and a Certificate in Executive Management and Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management, he takes a dynamic, hands-on approach to every project he works on and has brought music to diverse communities over the years. He has also liaised with renowned international artists, including Grammy and Oscar-winning composer A. R. Rahman, tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and record producer and songwriter Quincy Jones.

Mr. Valladares spearheaded a project to raise funds in support of the arts in India during the COVID19 crisis, working with Berklee students to recreate the iconic title track of 2000’s cult Bollywood film Dil Chata Hai, which has gone viral with over half a million views in a few days. ​

Currently, he is working closely as a music advisor with the Oscar & Grammy winning icon A R Rahman to assemble a 50 piece ensemble “Firdaus Orchestra” for the Dubai Expo 2020. This is the first orchestra of its kind in the Middle East – with the aspiration and potential to be a world class symphony orchestra.  Mr. Valladares is a prolific pianist himself and has a particular talent for scouting budding artists. The strong network of connections he has built through years of work in the international musical circuit make him especially adept at connecting creative minds to devise momentous musical collaborations and engaging live concerts.

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