Vaishali Gade: Leading IAGB to New Heights and Guided by Humility, Enthusiasm and Optimism

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Vaishali Gade
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BOSTON–Vaishali Gade has been active in many Indian American organizations serving New England Indian American community. Currently, she serves as President of India Association of Greater Boston, known as IAGB, and before that Ms. Gade served as Vice President and Secretary of IAGB.

Prior to IAGB, Ms. Gade served as Vice President of New England Marathi Mandal, an organization devoted to serving the New England Marathi community. She has enjoyed volunteering as a language and culture teacher for 10+ years at the Indian language and culture school ‘Shishu Bharti’. She also serves as a board member and organizes fundraisers for a nonprofit organization ‘Anubhuti’, a school to enlighten and support underprivileged kids in Maharashtra.

Ms. Gade, who holds MBS in Finance from Suffolk University, is a CPA and completed her undergrad at Pune University. She also holds CMA from ICMAI. Ms. Gade, a finance leader by profession, currently works for CGI Inc. Before entering corporate finance, she worked in public accounting. She has held finance positions at various technology companies. Conceptualizing and implementing Financial Policies and Procedures is her specialty.

Here is a Q/A with Ms. Gade:

INDIA New England News: Please tell our readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it?

Vaishali Gade: I am a finance professional and work for one of the largest IT companies in the world. I help deliver world-class solutions to our customers and deliver strong and consistent financial performance for our stakeholders. In my role, I enjoy being the enabler and business partner.

As a community worker and facilitator, I have been fortunate to work with a few different organizations here in the US as well as in India. At the India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB) I get to work closely with the community and community organizations. It’s a pleasure to provide a platform for common causes whether it be, civic engagement, senior education, youth leadership opportunities, or cultural connection.

For Anubhuti, a school in Western Maharashtra, the joy of enabling and sourcing funding to bring education to destitute children is unparalleled. I don’t get to visit them often but do get lots of pictures.

INE: If you’re engaged with any charity or non-profit, please tell us why this organization and what do you do for them?

VG: IAGB is the oldest and one of the leading Indian American community organizations in New England. IAGB serves Indian American communities in the New England region and strives to foster a strong Indian- American social, cultural, and community presence in New England. I have been actively working for the IAGB for the past 7+ years. It was a pleasure and quite a ride to work with two past presidents of IAGB such as Aditi Taylor and Sanjay Gowda to elevate the organization to new heights and make it more resourceful and relevant to the current day lives of Indian Americans in New England.

At IAGB, I get to work on various fronts that touch Indian American communities from social causes, civic education, and cultural connections to strengthening community presence, along with providing a platform for our youth to develop leadership skills. Each one of these touches Indian American lives, fostering our presence as being one and a much-needed sense of belonging- and that is why I am affiliated with IAGB. IAGB’s many flagship events and many initiatives are guided by this principle.

For our youth to promote entrepreneurial leadership I brought the IAGB Jr. Shark Tank competition – providing a platform for budding entrepreneurs to present their business ideas in front of business elites for token seed money. This January we celebrated our 3rd year.

This year working with many public libraries across New England I introduced Discover India Series to mainstream library patrons. As our communities are growing and expanding, we see the need to understand other cultures, as well as create an appreciation for our culture, our heritage. In our passage to diversity and equality, removing information barriers and misinformation is the key and the Discover India series intends to do just that; to excite and ignite the community and bring awareness in an engaging manner.

With India’s diverse culture and unique languages, it’s always challenging to bring everyone together. But with IAGB’s two flagship events Republic Day and India day we strive to celebrate our diverse culture and our unity.

We have embarked on a journey to bring Civic awareness and civic education to our community. We Indian Americans are the growing influential minority and need to stay focused and involved – to aid this we are pulling together resources to guide and encourage our community to participate and contribute to local and state governance.

And as an immigrant community, I feel we are only as strong as other immigrant communities. Thus our new ‘SA Cultural Connection Program’- thru which we are collaborating with many other South Asian communities, to build a strong immigrant community.

For Anubhuti, I have organized fundraiser drives enabling the school to accommodate more students.

INE: What are your hobbies and interests?

VG: Dancing is my other passion, apart from that I love reading, and bike riding. I am a foodie and love trying new cuisines/foods as well as experimenting with new recipes.

INE: In what way do you feel you have most positively influenced or served the local community and your company/organization and professional field?

VG: In a world where we are divided ever more than before by political, technological, riches, and immigration status –the role that my organization IAGB is playing is even more important.

Just past this month, we introduced Indian American Community service month- to give back to the greater community we live in. We facilitated many volunteer opportunities across New England at various food pantries, shelters, donations centers, and soup kitchens. An opportunity to come together, serve, and an opportunity to make new friends with a common interest.

At our spring session of the Discover India series, we saw more than 90% of our attendees were non-Indian Americans – serving the purpose of making an impact at the right level and bringing awareness. The desire of bringing people together for common causes, bridge the gaps, bring awareness and see the differences dissolve have been the driving force of my actions- and I feel that’s how I am furthering IAGB’s goal and serving our community.

For Anubhuti I have facilitated many fundraisers to bring education to rural areas where it’s needed most. With the money raised, we were able to add a new Science wing equipped with top-notch lab instruments. A couple of years back with collected funds and gracious help from Mumbai University professor we were able to buy second-hand computers for our students.

INE: What is your rare talent?

VG: I wouldn’t call it rare – but along with dancing and choreography, I love painting and stenciling. When I see long stretches of free time available I pick up my pending projects.

INE: Your favorite books?

VG: I enjoy reading mystery and science fiction and autobiographies. Some of my favorites are Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson, ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama, and ‘My Own Words’ by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Harry Potter Series is my all-time favorite.

INE: Your favorite quotes?

VG: A verse from Bhagavad Gita and the mantra repeated by my dad all the time – कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन.  “Don’t be afraid of going slowly, be afraid of standing still.”

INE: Who inspires you the most?

VG: My inspiration comes from my family and friends- each of them inspires me in their own way. My mom’s resiliency, my dad’s always giving hands, my husband’s ever-supportive and caring nature, and both my boy’s resolute and wit along with my friend’s love that comes from mutual respect and adoration, inspires me.

INE: Your core value you try to live by?

VG: Humility, enthusiasm and optimism.

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