American India Foundation’s  Bay Area Gala raises over $2.65 Million

AIF Gala Honoree Aparna Bawa, COO of Zoom, speaking at the June 1, 2024 Bay Area Gala. PHOTO: Nikki Ritcher

The American India Foundation’s (AIF) West Coast Chapter hosted its annual Bay Area Gala attended by a crowd of 360 guests at San Francisco’s City Hall on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

This was the highest grossing gala in the Bay Area’s history, according to organizers, raising over $2.65 million from generous donors, including presenting sponsor Sumir Chadha, and Gala Benefactors, a press release from AIF said.

From left, Uday Keshavdas, AIF Global Board Member, Vasu Jakkal, AIF Global Board Member, Diaz Nesamoney, AIF Global Board Co-Chair, Lata Krishnan, AIF CEO, Nishant Pandey and Usha Nesamoney

The evening spotlighted AIF’s support from the Indian diaspora as well as its range of development programs in India to empower women and girls with health, education, and livelihood opportunities, AIF emphasized.

Whether helping women secure jobs, attain financial literacy, stay healthy through pregnancy and motherhood, or embark on careers in STEM, the AIF partners with the government of India at the central, state, and local levels to implement programs that support women and girls at every point in their journey.

The Gala honored the professional and philanthropic achievements of Revathi Advaithi, CEO of Flex, and Aparna Bawa, COO of Zoom. The event included a musical performance from Stanford Raagapella and entertainment from  the renowned “Brown Mom’ Zarna Garg or New York.

Standup comedian Zarna Garg performing at the AIF Gala June 1, 2024, Bay Area Gala. PHOTO: Courtesy AIF

Innovators, founders, and trailblazers across industries gathered to celebrate AIF’s 23 years of impact, raising more than $2.65 million to support the organization’s transformative work.

AIF Gala Honoree, Revathi Advaithi, CEO, Flex, speaking at the June 1, 2024, Bay Area Gala of the American India Foundation. PHOTO: AIF

“AIF is so proud to have Flex and Zoom as our honorees this year–Revathi and Aparna are true exemplars of inspirational, passionate leaders who are shaping the future of technology at their respective companies,” AIF’s CEO Nishant Pandey, is quoted saying in the press release. “We are grateful to them for our new partnership and grateful for the generosity of all our supporters, corporate and government partners, donors, and friends, thanks to whom, AIF has reached 18.88 million lives across 35 states and union territories of India,” Pandey added.

Revathi Advaithi, CEO of Flex, highlighted the importance of advancing women’s leadership in her speech, focusing on the concepts of being “ready enough” and the “glass cliff” and emphasizing that women are frequently considered unprepared and are often assigned to high-risk roles. According to Advaithi, giving women more top-level roles and diversifying corporate boards, can significantly improve gender representation and support future women leaders, ensuring equitable opportunities in the future.

Stanford Ragapella performing at the AIF Bay Area Gala June 1, 2024. PHOTO: AIF

“AIF’s mission to improve the lives of India’s underprivileged—with an emphasis on educational initiatives for women and girls, is near and dear to my heart, which is why I wholeheartedly support them not only at this gala, but all year long. I’m honored to be recognized by AIF, and am committed to continue evangelizing the foundation’s cause because every single young girl deserves a great education and limitless opportunity no matter her circumstances,” said Aparna Bawa, Chief Operating Officer at Zoom.

The audience had the opportunity to watch videos and hear stirring speeches of those who have benefited from AIF’s development programs, such as Ravina from Haryana, and Sweety, a student in Chennai.



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