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IAFPE Honors Three Local Business Entreprenuers


The Massachusetts Chapter of Indian American Forum for Political Education held its Annual Meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn, Burlington, MA on Saturday, January 30th, 2010. Forum's express charter is to get the Indian American community become more politically aware and more engaged in the broad community.

Joel Barrera, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Commonwealth Seminar, talked about the program which is designed to open the doors of the State House to immigrant leaders and leaders from communities of color. The Commonwealth Seminar provides an in-depth training on how the legislature works, networking opportunities for diverse leaders to interact with high-level state office, and promotes public service job opportunities through an online jobs bank. The seminar meets once a week for six 3-hour sessions. In the past six years, the Commonwealth Seminar has graduated nearly 600 leaders. Barrera strongly encouraged everyone to enroll in the Seminar and be involved in how the State spends $25B annually!

Yogi Chugh, President, IAFPE – National, and Chief Guest of the event, talked about his vision for the national IAFPE. “My goal is to strengthen the local chapters of IAFPE, replicate the internship program of the MA chapter at other locations, work on large issues and broad framework, and cultivate the next generation of leaders,” said Chugh, who strongly believes in ‘all politics is local’.

IAFPE recognized three Business Entrepreneurs who have contributed significantly to the mission of the forum: Malkiat Gill of Bollywood Grill, Shobha Shastry of Alankar Decors & Wedding Planners, and Neelam & Anupam Wali of Printing and Graphics Services.
The nominating committee consisted of Mr. Gope Gidwani, Dr. Janine Saldhana and Ms. Neelam Wali. Congratulations to the members of the newly elected Executive Committee who are:

President: Dr. Melvyn Menezes
Vice President: Ms. Rita Shah
Secretary: Ms. Archana Vahalia
Associate Secretary: Ms. Andrea Menezes
Treasurer: Mr. Ajay Saini
Member at Large: Dr. Sanjay Kaul
Member at Large: Dr. Manju Sheth

"My goal over the next two years for IAFPE-MA expand education activities, partner with other local organizations, increase membership and finish the internal project that were initiated by the outgoing committee," said  Melvyn Menezes, the new President of IAFPE-MA.  Satya Mitra, outgoing president, thanked his team for their support during the past two years while Brinda Kamat gave the vote of thanks.

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New Executive Committee

Malkiat Gill, Satya Mitra & Yogi Chugh

Anupam and Neelam Wali receiving the award

Brinada Kamat, Joel Barera & Melvyn Menezes

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