Meet the Judges of the 2018 New England Choice Awards

- Advertisement -

WALTHAM, MA—The 2018 New England Choice Award winners were selected by jury of 14 members of diverse backgrounds. Here is a list of the jury members:

Nish Acharya

Nishith (Nish) Acharya

CEO, Equal Innovation

Advisor to global organizations on innovation, entrepreneurship & commercialization

Mr. Acharya is CEO of Equal Innovation, a firm that consults with leading universities, governments, foundations and companies to assist them with innovation, entrepreneurship and philanthropic strategies. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress and the author of the “The India-US Partnership: $1 Trillion By 2030” by Oxford University Press.

He previously served as Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce for the Obama Administration, and as Executive Director of the Deshpande Foundation, a prominent American philanthropy focused on innovation, entrepreneurship and scalability around the world.

Anu Chitrapu

Anu Chitrapu

Senior Vice President

Bank of America

Ms. 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 serves as treasurer of DAWN (Direct Action for Women Now. Ms. Chitrapu holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Santhana Krishnan

Santhana Krishnan

Entrepreneur; Currently President and Founder of Artumanity and the Asian Art Gallery

Mr. Krishnan most recently served as president of CIMCON Lighting, Inc. He has over 20 years’ experience in IT infrastructure management software, managed services and Software-as-a-Service, most recently at CA Technologies where he managed strategy, business development and M&A for a $300 million business unit.

Previously, Mr. Krishnan was Founder and CEO of InteQ, a pioneer in managed services which remotely managed mission-critical IT infrastructure for xSPs and enterprise organizations located in over 90 countries.  Prior to InteQ, he worked at HP and IBM.

Melvyn Menezes

Melvyn Menezes

Associate Professor of Marketing, Boston University

Prof. Menezes is the former president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Indian American Forum for Political Education. He is an associate professor of marketing at Boston University. In addition, he a management educator, consultant, and former member of the faculty at the Harvard Business School.

His primary areas of expertise are marketing strategy, customer and market focus, identification of growth opportunities, strategy, distribution channels, and customer service. He earned his Ph. D. from University of California Los Angeles.

Upendra Mishra

Upendra Mishra


INDIA New England News, Indus Business Journal and Boston Real Estate Times

Mr. Mishra is founder and president of the Waltham, MA-based The Mishra Group, an integrated full-service marketing and public relations firm. Since 1997, the Mishra Group has provided comprehensive, results-oriented solutions for the fast-paced new age of online and traditional marketing through the area’s best writers and editors and most talented graphic and Web designers and digital media strategists. He is also publisher of INDIA New England News, IndUS Business Journal and Boston Real Estate Times.

Mandy Pant

Mandy Pant

Academic Research Director


Ms. Pant is  the Academic Research Director at Intel, and works with leading academic researchers worldwide and technical experts to seed and drive research efforts in areas of strategic importance to Intel in particular and the computing industry in general. She has published 20+ technical papers in prestigious VLSI conferences and journals, has two issued patents and five pending patents. She is regarded as a very strong and motivating technical speaker having given numerous invited talks at various conferences and universities, including several keynote talks and distinguished lectures. She is an active proponent of STE(A) M for Women and young girls.

Dinesh G. Patel

Dr. Dinesh Patel, MD

Emeritus Chief of Arthroscopic Surgery
Associate Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
Harvard Medical School
Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Patel is one of the pioneers of arthroscopic surgery in the world. He has played a key role in showing that arthroscopic technology can reduce healthcare costs by improving safety and quality and decreasing a patient’s post-operative recovery time. In addition, he has been a very active member of the Indian-American community organizations, including TiE-Boston, Indian Medical Association of New England and Indian-American Forum for Political Education, among others.

Indira Patel

Indira Patel


New England Office Supply, Inc.

Ms. Patel is the co-founder of of New England Office Supply, Inc. (NEOS), and served as its CEO. During her leadership, NEOS was one of the Top 100 Woman-led businesses in Massachusetts, and one of the Top 500 woman owned businesses in the United States.
She received her MBA degree from Simmons College in Boston, and was invited by President Bill Clinton to participate in the White House Conference on Small Business in 1995.
Gaugarin Oliver

Gaugarin Oliver

Entrepreneur, Angel Investor and former President oTiE-Boston; Currently, Chairman, CapeStart, Inc.

Mr. Oliver is an active Angel investor, startup mentor and has successfully taken 3 startup companies and 2 new business initiatives to market. He has also run large, successful, growth businesses within big corporations.

He was the co-founder and CEO of RedEgg Solutions (aka MyMediaInfo) which was acquired by Thomson Reuters and was then acquired by NASDAQ OMX as part of a $390 million transaction. Prior to founding RedEgg, Mr. Oliver spent many years in the industry working with leading startups including UltiVerse Technologies, Voice Control System, Lojalis, Cymfony, and Mobixell Networks. He received his degree from Government College of Technology, Coimbatore. He also holds a Masters in Industrial Engineering from University of Oklahoma and has completed Executive Education at Harvard Business School.

Purnanand Sarma

Purnanand Sarma

President & CEO

Taris Biomedical

Mr. Sarma is President & CEO of Taris Biomedical, a specialty pharmaceutical Company, focused on treating genito-urinary diseases using drug-device convergence. He has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical experience and has been involved in all aspects of the drug delivery business.

In August of 2014, four years after he took over, Mr. Sarma sold TARIS Biomedical’s first clinical-stage product for the treatment of interstitial cystitis, a debilitating bladder condition, to Allergan (NYSE:AGN) in a deal worth nearly $600 million. Prior to TARIS, he was the VP and General Manager of World-wide Drug Delivery Technologies for Cephalon Corporation (NYSE:CEPH, later acquired by TEVA Pharmaceuticals).

Anupendra Sharma

Anupendra Sharma

Senior Investment Partner

Siemens Venture Capital

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.

Manju Sheth

Dr. Manju Sheth, MD

Co-founder, INE Multimedia

Physician at Lahey Health

Co-founder, INE MultiMedia, and Physician at Lahey Health

Dr. Sheth, a Board Certified Internist with keen interest in women’s health, is co-founder of INE Multimedia, a Waltham, MA-based (501c-3) non-profit organization devoted to promoting and supporting charitable organizations, art, culture, education and empowerment through workshops, seminars and multimedia. She works at Lahey Health. She was voted in the 150 ‘Women of Influence’ by YW of Boston in 2016. Dr. Sheth served as president of Indian Medical Association of New England in 2013. She has been a big advocate for empowerment of women and has been voted Woman of the year in 2011. Dr. Sheth is the creator and host of the popular “Chai with Manju” celebrity interview series as well as “Dreamcatchers”  featuring people from the local community who have made their dreams a reality.

Aditi Taylor

Aditi Taylor

Chief Risk Officer

MFS Investment Management

Ms. Taylor is president of the India Association of Greater Boston and serves as Chief Risk Officer of MFS Investment Management. Previously, she was is a Principal with Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Risk Advisory practice where she serves as a leader in the firm’s Life Sciences practice leading variety of engagements related to governance, ethics and compliance, risk and controls.

She holds a BA Economics from University of Mumbai and a MBA from Bentley University, Waltham, MA. Ms. Taylor, who was named an emerging leader by the Boston Business Journal, is active in the New England cultural community.

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.

Ramila Thakkar

Ramila Thakkar

President, Gujarati Association of New England (Gurjar)

Member of the core finance team at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington

Ms. Thakkar is president of Gujarati Association of New England, popularly known as Gurjar. She has been part of Gurjar executive committee for last 24 years in various capacities as a director, secretary and vice president. Previously in 1996, Thakkar had also served as president of Gurjar. Prior to joining Gurjar, she was involved with Shishu Bharti for seven years, first as a teacher and later as a committee member.

Ms. Thakkar works for Lahey Health in Burlington, MA, where she has been a member of the corporate finance team for over 30 years.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here