The National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), elected Angela Anand as their first female president at their annual convention at the Sheraton Tyson corner in Washington D.C., from November 16 to 18.
The convention started with a White House briefing at the Diplomatic Reception room of the White House– Eisenhour Executive building, where Deputy Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Public Liaison Stephen Peter Munisteri spoke to the delegates on the topics of health and drugs, along with his assistant Melissa Fwu, as well as White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to President Raj Shah and Pranay Udutha.
In the evening, all of the delegates were hosted by the Embassy of India where delegates met many officials.
Seminars were held during the second day on health and fitness, diabetes, yoga, Ayurveda, philanthropy, business and entrepreneurship.
A Technology 20-20 seminar also took place and was moderated by Nanotechnology expert and a well-known community personality, Dr. Thomas Abraham, the NFIA Founder and the current chairman of GOPIO-CT.
Panelists for the seminar included Digvijay “Danny” Gaekward, Founder and CEO of NDS USA Information Technology; Vijay Lakshman, a serial entrepreneur, video gamer, designer, author of books; who is in technology management at present and Dr. Satyam Priyadarshy, Chief Data Scientist at Halliburton, Founder of Reignite Strategy and an adjunct faculty of several educational institutions.
An awards banquet was held on Saturday evening, where students from Natya Marg Bharat Natyam dance school performed along with students from Nrityaki, a kathak dance school and vocalist Kshama Garg, as well as Aloke Das Gupta on Sitar.
A fashion show was organized by Indrani Davaluri, as well.
At the banquet, Dr. Michael Griffin, Under Secretary of Defense; Congressman Todd Rokita (Indiana – R), Dr. John Anderson, Curator, Air and Space Museum, along with Swami Deerananda Ji, from Chinmaya Mission, spoke to an audience of NFIA delegates from across the country and leaders of the community from the Nation’s Capital.
Gerald Connolly, a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia’s 11th congressional district, sent a congratulatory message as he was traveling out of the country.
The NFIA elections were held after the general body meeting and the following were elected as the new team for 2019:
- President: Angela Anand
- Executive Vice President: Lavanya Reddy
- Vice President: Dr. Yogendra Gupta, Ashok (Pat) Patnaik and Subbarao Makam
- Secretary: Rachel Verghese
- Joint Secretary: Dr. Satish Misra
- Treasurer: Ajoy Dube
- Directors-at-Large: Pooja Thomre, Satheesan Nair, Dr. Om Sharma, Padma Gupta, Babu K Patel, Dr. Lalita Kaul and Aparna Hande
- Regional Vice Presidents: Kamlesh Munshi (Capital), Vasu Pawar (South Pacific), Raj Razdan (South East) and Amrik Kamoh (North Pacific)
- Chairman NFIA Foundation: Sudip Gorakshakar
- Executive Director Admin: Dr. Hari Har Singh
- Second Executive Director: Kewal Kanda
“Indian American women involved in the community activities have made history at the NFIA convention when all the positions for which elections have been conducted gone to women, which shows women power in our community. We hope that the new team will reach out to all Indian American community and professional organizations and make a truly representative body for the whole 4.5 million community,” Dr. Abraham is quoted saying in a press release.
NFIA also awarded nine individuals in various categories, including:
- Ajay Kothari in Engineering
- Digvijay “Danny” Gaekwad in Business and Entrepreneurship
- Shweta Misra in Classical Dance Art form and the Performing Arts
- Aman Mann in Health Sciences
- Umi Mukherjee for Service to Indian American Seniors
- Koshy Thomas in Media
- Arti Manek in Folk and Classical Dance Art Forms
- Aloke Dasgupta in Performing Arts and Sitar playing in Classical Tradition
- Nami Kaur for Service to Non-profit Institutions
The main organizer of the convention was convener Pooja Thomre of San Diego, California.