- Think Change
- About NetIP
- Contact Us
Panels & Workshops
THINK Media, Entertainment, & Journalism
Lights, camera, action! Enjoy being in the spotlight of the rising media, entertainment, and journalism industries? Meet the press and learn about their insightful experiences with our speakers Ravi Baichwal, a Co-Anchor at ABC 7 Chicago, and Patti Tripathi, a CNN anchor. The celebrities do not stop there – network with Saira Mohan, a supermodel and actress, and Anupy Singly, a cookbook author, as they share their stories. Learn about breaking the barriers in today’s society as South Asian professionals in North America are challenging the stereotypes to reach and excel in high-profile careers.
Meet the Celebrities!
|Ravi Baichwal, Co-Anchor, ABC 7 Chicago
Baichwal is a 2008 Emmy award winner for best anchor in the Chicago/Midwest region of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Baichwal has covered the fast changing world of politics and hostedf two award-winning election night specials. He has also covered other historic moments, including the terrorist attacks on the London Underground system, the discovery of fugitive former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein by U.S. soldiers, and the death of Pope John Paul II.
|Saira Mohan, Super-Model & Actress
Newsweek put Mohan on the cover of their magazine in 2003 with the headline “The Perfect Face”. Mohan has been featured in many magazines, including Vogue, Elle, GQ, Maxim (“Top 100 Models”), and Cosmopolitan. Mohan has walked runways for Chanel, Calvin Klein, Valentino, and Victoria’s Secret. Mohan made her Bollywood debut with the film ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ and her second Bollywood film was Teen Patti, released in February 2010 staring Amitabh Bachchan and Sir Ben Kingsley.
|Patti Tripathi, CNN News Anchor
Anchoring the news for CNN at its world headquarters in Atlanta for years, Patti Tripathi uses her experience in front of the camera to help clients come across poised, believable, and likeable. Patti works with clients to make sure they have the media training they need to get their message out clearly and in an articulate manner. Whether a client is facing a frontline media crisis with a 20/20 interview or is launching a new product on the Today Show, Patti’s insight into the world of journalism helps get them prepared. Patti has launched the strategic direction of an independent news network, American News Network (ANN), which expanded to 300 stations nationwide. She has won numerous Associated Press awards for journalism and is considered an expert at all types of media – TV, radio, and newspaper.
|Anupy Singly, Cookbook Author
Anupy Singla is a television journalist turned cookbook author and successful blogger. In two short years, her style of fast, hassle-free Indian homestyle cooking, has elevated her two books to the number one and two spots on Amazon.com for Indian cookbooks. The Indian Slow Cooker came first, and now Vegan Indian Cooking. Anupy's personally designed and patented version of the Indian masala dabba (her Spice Tiffin) is being sold at Williams-Sonoma stores around the country, while her spice line continues to sell through her website and kitchen specialty stores. She teaches cooking classes for Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods Market, Sur la Table, and various other kitchen retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada. Her food writing has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal. She blogs at www.indianASapplepie.com, and for the Tribune's ChicagoNow at www.chicagoanASapplepie.com.
Like. Tweet. Pin. Common lingo used for the most popular social networking sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Do you have too much or not enough information on your social media site? Learn how to market yourself and your business by using the appropriate tools effectively and professionally with today’s growing technology. Digital marketing experts will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each social media site and how to take benefit from this networking phenomenon.
Meet the Social Media Experts!
|Manish Dayal, Actor
Hailing from South Carolina, Manish Dayal has appeared in projects for film, television, and theater. He played Raj Kher in The CW hit series 90210. Other recent TV credits include: The Good Wife (CBS), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (USA), CSI: Las Vegas (CBS), Rubicon (AMC), and Outsourced (NBC). His most recent film credits include: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Domino Effect, White Frog, Breaking The Girl, Leashed and Walkaway. Manish also played the lead in The New Group's twice-extended off-Broadway comedy hit, Rafta Rafta, named by Entertainment Weekly as one of the 10 best plays of the year. Next up and premiering in September, Manish will co-star in the ABC family series, Switched At Birth.
Manish is the spokesman for The Nanubhai Education foundation, a non-profit working to improve rural education in India.
|Gargi Nalawade, Founder and CEO of Sepalz
Gargi Nalawade is the Founder and CEO of Sepalz, a social intelligence platform (8 patents) for making your social universe come alive by showing you intelligent analytics on it and empowering targeted networking. She won the Grand Prize for the platform among 400 other startups at a BizPlan competition held by CAPE. Gargi started her career with a marketing stint, worked for several years as a technical (routing) architect at Cisco, built and managed the Routing team at Ericsson, and has authored 26 USPTO patents. She blogs at http://sepalz.blogspot.com/. Follow her on Twitter at @Astra_9
|Naveen Krishnamurthy, Founder of RIVA Solutions, Inc.
Naveen Krishnamurthy is the founder of RIVA Solutions, Inc. (RIVA) which provides Web Solutions, Mobile Applications and Social Media consulting services to the Federal Government. RIVA’s current customers include the Intel Community, U.S. Army, Department of Commerce, Department of Health & Human Services & the Department of Education.
Prior to RIVA in the Public Sector, Naveen worked at CACI, Booz Allen & Hamilton and helped lead another small business to $15M in annual revenue before exiting.
His greatest passion is creating an organization culture which caters to talented employees. Within RIVA he developed a Social Media Division which focuses on Online Brand Management, Customer Service Command Centers, Social Media Campaigns & Community Management. The goal within this division is to provide a home for passionate social media “rockstars” and build out a repeatable framework & methodology using management consulting best practices to drive value to customers. Follow him today @naveenk22
|Vijay Setlur, Marketing Lecturer
Vijay Setlur is a marketing lecturer, freelance soccer journalist/analyst, and aspiring sport business leader with a passion for soccer, particularly Canada’s men’s national team. Currently, Vijay teaches sport and tourism marketing in the Bachelor of Business Administration program at Schulich School of Business-York University, and sport marketing at Ryerson University in Toronto, where he applies an industry-centric approach to business education.
His passion for the business of sport parlayed into providing opinions on industry developments for the Toronto Star and Bloomberg.com. Recently, Vijay orchestrated Schulich's inclusion into the NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion case competition for 2012-2013, marking the first time an international business school will be participating in the popular competition. Vijay reports on international soccer as a freelance journalist and analyst. He covers Canada’s national teams and international soccer for CONCACAF.com - website of the governing body of soccer for North America, Central America and the Caribbean, while serving as an analyst for Toronto's all-sports radio station, Sportsnet 590 The Fan, and CBC Radio. Since 2007, Vijay has participated in nearly 400 radio, TV, webcast, podcast and print interviews analyzing soccer and the business of sport. Over his professional life, Vijay has held editorial positions in the sports departments of The Canadian Press, Toronto Star and Toronto Sun.
His career highlight to date is managing communications for the Toronto organizing committee of the record-setting FIFA Under-20 World Cup Canada 2007, which drew nearly 1.2-million spectators across the country.
THINK Climbing the Corporate Ladder
Stuck in the same position and looking for a promotion? Ask questions to the professionals to enhance your corporate skills. The panelists will emphasize the influential skills and traits that help gain visibility and recognition in large organizations. Create a successful career path with attainable milestones and be inspired with objective goals to seize career opportunities. Learn more about the steps you can take to advance within your company.
Meet the Corporate Leaders!
|Gita Kulkarni, President, Avinta Services
Gita Kulkarni is the President of Avinta Services, which was founded in 2008. Avinta Services consults companies on growth and transformation using the cloud-based application Salesforce.com. Avinta offers everything from business cloud consulting to Salesforce design to Salesforce training.
Prior to Avinta Services, Gita worked in marketing and sales for GT Nexus, Beckman Coulter and Verizon. This industry diversity and continued engagement feedback are the keys to Avinta’s explosive 70% annual
|Reggie Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Cvent
Reggie is the CEO and Founder of Cvent, the world’s largest provider of event management technology. He led the company from a two-person startup to a 1100 person company that helped manage 350,000 events in 90 countries.
In July 2011, Reggie led the company’s first round of funding in over a decade—a $136 million investment—which, according to the Wall Street Journal, was the biggest U.S. software funding deal since 2007.
Reggie was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year® for Greater Washington in 2010, selected as one of Washingtonian Magazine’s 100 Top Tech Titans in 2010 and 2011, and named a rising star of Washington by Forbes Magazine. MeetingNews has twice named him one of the 25 most influential people in the $250 billion dollar meetings industry along with the CEOs of Marriott, Hilton and Linkedin . In addition, Cvent was honored for the 2010 “Management Team of the Year” by the American Business Awards, and voted one of the “50 Best Places to Work” in Washington three years in a row by the Washington Business Journal. Reggie has been featured in over 100 articles in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Businessweek, USA Today, Forbes, and The Washington Post, and has appeared on ABC News, CBS News, NBC News and CNN.
THINK Activism: South Asians Engaged in Activism, Advocacy, & Community Organizing
Meet those who give a voice to the voiceless, who work on research and policies to better serve our community, and who work against misrepresentations, both religious and racial. Chris Zala, Executive Director, Northside Community Resource (NCR) will be among the panelists.
Meet the International Philanthropists!
|Ami Gandhi, Executive Director, South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI)
Ami Gandhi has served as Executive Director of SAAPRI since 2011. SAAPRI is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established in 2001 to improve the lives of South Asian Americans in the Chicago area, by using research to formulate equitable and socially responsible public policy. SAAPRI’s work has included initiatives on civic engagement, access to health care, economic development, and the experiences of immigrants. Ami is an attorney who is passionate about serving the South Asian American community and has significant experience advocating for minorities and immigrants. She frequently writes, teaches, and makes media appearances about racial justice and civil rights issues.
Ami works with a broad spectrum of organizations across Chicago. She serves on the advisory council for the City of Chicago’s Office of New Americans and on the advisory board of Common Cause Illinois. She is a volunteer attorney for Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS), which runs a legal aid hotline for lowincome residents of Cook County.
|Manpreet Kaur Teji, Program Associate, SAALT
Manpreet Kaur Teji joined SAALT in July 2012 as the Program Associate. Manpreet supports SAALT’s community programs including civic engagement campaigns and leadership development initiatives. She was born and brought up in Illinois and graduated from Saint Louis University with a degree in Economics in 2012. Manpreet has worked very closely with the Sikh community through her internship with the Sikh Coalition; she organized a community hearing dealing with post 9/11 discrimination and worked with Sikh youth camps in Illinois. She has also obtained a background in data analysis through her internship with US Senator Dick Durbin. Manpreet has a keen interest and desire in working with the South Asian community to address needs and concerns through projects and effective policy.
|Amisha Patel, Executive Director, Grassroots Collaborative
Amisha Patel serves as the Executive Director of the Grassroots Collaborative, a community-labor coalition working to win racial and economic justice in Chicago and Statewide. This follows six years of work at Service Employees International Union Local 73, where she organized hospital employees and Head Start workers, as well as worked in coalition with community organizations to fight against school closings and to win more resources for parks in communities of color. She worked for five years doing arts-based violence against women prevention programming in communities of color in the Bay Area. The documentary that her youth created, Young Azns Rising! Breaking Down Violence Against Women, screened in numerous film festivals and won the Asian Emmy for best documentary.
THINK Community at Home
Experts will discuss the different societal issues facing the South Asian community, including domestic violence, healthcare needs, and immigration services, and the various organizations that are providing outreach services as well as volunteer opportunities.
Meet the Community Activists!
|Chris Zala, Executive Director, Northside Community Resource (NCR)
Chris is the Executive Director of the Northside Community Resource (NCR), a sixty year-old non-profit community service agency in Chicago’s Roger’s Park neighborhood, which provides advocacy and programming for affordable housing, community and economic development, domestic violence court advocacy, landlord-tenant mediation, senior services case management, small accessibility repairs for seniors and multi-cultural resources. Prior to joining NCR, Chris served as the Director of the Council on Asian Affairs for the City of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations. In this position, he served the interests of 18 Asian American communities in Chicago and raised the visibility of the Asian American community in Chicago, while identifying and addressing practices and issues which had a discriminatory and disparate impact on Chicago’s Asian American community. Chris’ role was also that of community liaison between City government and the Asian American constituency to enhance communication and improve access to city services. Chris currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Indian American Medical Association’s Charitable Foundation (IAMACF) - a free, non-profit medical clinic serving Chicago’s West Ridge community and is a former member of the 2012 NATO Chicago Welcome Committee, the Asian American Action Fund of Greater Chicago, the City of Chicago’s CDBG Public Services Committee and is also a former president of NetIP Chicago (1998).
THINK Innovation, Technology & Giving
The past decade has seen an explosion of innovative ways to provide solutions to problems in third world countries; one big example is microfinance, which has truly revolutionized outreach globally. Our panelists will explore this alternative to community outreach and other ways they are leveraging technology for the good of the world.
Meet the Innovators!
|Rahul Brahmbhatt, Director, Magic Bus USA
Rahul Brahmbhatt made a career change after 7 years in engineering and manufacturing to an intersection of two areas he felt more passionate about – sports and development. Rahul interned with the Washington Redskins for projects run by USA Football, Nike, and Ashoka. In 2009, Rahul undertook a one year sport for development Fellowship with Indicorps where he lived and worked in urban slum and rural Gujarat, utilizing Ultimate Frisbee as a tool to galvanize underserved communities. It was during this time in India that Rahul first heard about Magic Bus.
Magic Bus was founded in Mumbai in 1999 that used sport as a catalyst for social change and development. It is Asia’s largest mentoring charity with 700 local staff and 7,000 youth volunteers delivering programs to more than 220,000 children across India. 95% of these children attend school regularly and with 44% girl participation, more than 85% of children in Magic Bus have taken part in mixed gender leadership projects and activities. Magic Bus is on a mission to take 1 million children from childhood to livelihood by 2015.
In 2010, Rahul moved back to the US and founded Magic Bus USA. Events have been held in San Francisco, Houston, and New York City. Magic Bus is proudly supported by global sponsors such as BMW, Nike, Barclay’s, Premier League, Laureus Sport for Good, and others.
|Sheel Mohnot, Business Development, Groupon
Sheel Mohnot has spent most of his life in consulting and technology, including stints at BCG, Kiva.org, The Insitor Fund (a social venture capital fund in Cambodia), and most recently his own startup FeeFighters, which was acquired by Groupon earlier this year. Back in 2006, Sheel was looking to do something to give back to the world and left his job as a management consultant to work at Kiva.org as an Indicorps fellow. He also hosts a South Asian open mic night in Chicago (with proceeds supporting South Asian charities).
|Priya Shah, Founder, The Simple Good
Priya Shah, Founder at the Simple Good is an artist, world traveler, social entrepreneur, diversity/inclusiveness advocate, basketball enthusiast, dessert lover, chai drinker and overall curious wanderer. She has traveled the world as a student, under the corporate scene and as a volunteer working under NGO’s. Her experiences have inspired her many ways her life and have created a desire to continually learn more from every individual I come across.
THINK Politics in your City & State
Panelists will discuss the significance of state and local politics plus the need for South Asian involvement. This is one place in government where an immediate impact can be made, so we will also be discussing ways to get involved and current issues of importance.
Meet the Experts!
|Ashvin Lad, Office of Illinois State Treasurer
Ashvin Lad is the Director of the Invest in Illinois and The Illinois Funds divisions in the Office of Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford. He oversees economic and community development programs related to agriculture, businesses, disaster recovery, charitable organizations, and a venture capital fund; as well as manages merchant processing and a $6 billion pooled investment account for public entities.
Ashvin worked for several years in the financial services industry and the medical device industry serving in product development, marketing, business development and clients relations roles. In 2010, he ran for the Republican nomination for Congress in Illinois’ 5th congressional district earning the endorsement from the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as from many elected officials and organizations.
|Kant Desai, Chief of Policy, Office of the City Treasurer in Chicago
Kant is the Chief of Policy for the Office of the City Treasurer in Chicago. He oversees the office's work on financial empowerment, asset building, and entrepreneurship development. In addition, he supports the Treasurer's work on pension reform and the newly created Infrastructure Trust.
Prior to joining the Treasurer's Office, he spent 8 years as a economist at RCF Economic Consulting, Deputy Policy Director for David Hoffman for US Senate, Environmental Policy Advisor for Obama for America, and volunteer coordinator for SAFO Chicago.
|Selma D’Souza, Chief of the Office of Legislative Affairs, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
Selma D’Souza is the Chief of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IDHFS), appointed to the position in 2011 by Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn. The department is responsible for providing healthcare coverage for adults and children who qualify for Medicaid, and for providing Child Support Services.
Prior to working at IDHFS, Selma was a solo practioner and previously a partner at the law firm of D’Souza & Gosrisirikul Ltd. in Chicago, formerly known as Mondero, D’Souza & Gosrisirikul Ltd.
Last year, she served as a member of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s transition team, and a member of its Intergovernmental Affairs committee. Selma has been volunteering for nearly 16 years to empower the Asian American community, particularly with respect to its political strength. Last year, she received the Vanguard Award from the Chicago Bar Association and Asian American Bar Association, for her work in promoting diversity in the legal profession, and the community at large. She also received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Indo American Democratic Organization (IADO).
Selma also served as a delegate (elected in the 9th Dist.) for Presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008, John Kerry in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000. She also served as the Obama campaign’s Illinois Asian American outreach director.
|Raja Krishnamurthy, President, Sivanathan Laboratories
Raja currently serves as President of Sivananthan Laboratories, a Bolingbrook-based business dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of cutting-edge products and technologies in national security and renewable energy. The company specializes in night vision military technology, solar cells, biosensors to detect weapons of mass destruction, and radiation detectors.
Before joining his current company, Raja served as Deputy Treasurer for Illinois where he helped revamp the state’s unclaimed property system by increasing the amount of returned property while cutting the program’s costs. He also helped to run the technology venture capital fund, which has helped create hundreds of good-paying jobs in Illinois.
In 2006, Raja was appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to serve as Special Assistant Attorney General to help start her Public Integrity Unit. Before that, he served as a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority where he was Chairman of the Audit Committee.
Following law school, Raja clerked for a federal judge in Chicago and rose to become a partner in the international law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He served as issues director for Barack Obama’s successful U.S. Senate campaign in 2004 and as an advisor to his successful presidential campaign in 2008. As a resident of Hoffman Estates, Raja served on the Village’s Comprehensive Planning Advisory Commission.
THINK National Politics: Getting Elected
A panel of South Asian elected officials at various levels from across the country will discuss the new trend happening in the US, where South Asians are taking office in areas where they are not close to being a majority, which is unprecedented by any other minority group. Learn about the challenges and rewards that come with taking office as a South Asian.
Meet the Elected!
|Jay Goyal, Ohio State Representative
TIME Magazine named Rep. Goyal as one of the “Top 40 Under 40 Rising Stars of American Politics”. During his three terms in the legislature, he has received legislator of the year awards from the Area Agency on Aging, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Ohio Association of Developmental Disabilities, the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers, and the American Veterans Organization. In the 128th General Assembly, he served as the Majority Whip and was one of three members of the Ohio House of Representatives to serve on the 2009 Joint House-Senate Budget Conference Committee.
Currently, Rep. Goyal is the Ranking Member of the Financial Institutions, Housing and Urban Development Committee and the Health and Human Services subcommittee of Finance and Appropriations and is a member of the Finance and Appropriations and Economic Development Committees He is also a member of the Legislative Service Commission and the Power Siting Board.
|Swati Dandekar, Iowa Utilities Board Commissioner
Swati Dandekar began serving on the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) as a Commissioner on September 19, 2011. She is a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners member. Dandekar is also a member of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference. She serves as the IUB representative to the Advisory Council of the Iowa Energy Center in Ames. She is a voting member of the North American Numbering Council. Board Member Dandekar serves on the advisory board of the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research..
Prior to joining the IUB Board, Swati Dandekar served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2002 until 2008 and was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2008. She was the chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, vice-chair of the Economic Development Budget Subcommittee, and was elected President of the National Foundation of Women Legislators for 2011.
THINK White House & International Politics
A panel of White House appointees will offer prospective from the federal level, specifically from the White House in how decisions made locally affect the country as a whole as well as the world at large.
Meet the White House Officials!
|Gautam Raghavan, Associate Director of Public Engagement for The White House
Gautam Raghavan functions as the White House’s liaison to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities. Prior to joining The White House, Raghavan served as Deputy White House Liaison for the Department of Defense and as Outreach Lead for DoD’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Working Group. Before joining the Obama Administration, Raghavan served as Midwest Finance Director for the Democratic National Committee and Director of the Obama campaign’s National Asian American Finance Committee. Raghavan was born in India, raised in the Seattle suburbs, and graduated from Stanford University.
|Toby Chaudhuri, President Obama Administration
Toby Chaudhuri works with President Obama’s Administration, where he advises the White House’s race-based Initiatives and democracy and governance projects around the world for the U.S. State Department.
Chaudhuri is co-founder of SocialxDesign, a strategy consulting firm with offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Most recently, Chaudhuri helped Dilma Rousseff become the first female president of Brazil and helped re-elect Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, in major upset elections in the last midterm elections. Chaudhuri has managed more than $100 million in state and federal campaigns in the U.S. and abroad and has worked at the helm of national media operations. He worked hard to protect children as civil rights leader Marian Wright Edelman’s spokesman and media strategist at the Children’s Defense Fund; took on corporate polluters to provide safe drinking water and clean air as a political appointee to President Bill Clinton; and worked to elect several principled state and federal candidates including serving as deputy press secretary to Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.
Chaudhuri has received several accolades for his work, including the American Association of Political Scientists’ Pollie Award, Campaigns & Elections Magazine’s Rising Star Award and the highly-coveted Reed Award and India Abroad’s Community Service Award. He has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and The Times of India and as a commentator on National Public Radio, the BBC, MSNBC, CNN, and Al-Jazeera English.
|Ann Kalayil, Regional Administrator, General Services Administration’s Great Lakes Region
Ann Kalayil was named Regional Administrator of the General Services Administration’s Great Lakes Region in January 2011. As the agency’s regional chief executive, Kalayil heads operations that provide Federal agencies and the U.S. Courts in six states with support in vital areas such as real estate services, procurements, information technology, supplies, equipment, and vehicles. Headquartered in Chicago, the Region has a workforce of 950 employees and an annual operating budget of approximately $450 million.
Prior to this appointment, Ann worked for more than 18 years at the University of Chicago in Information Technology Services, where she worked in Emerging Technologies and Communications but previously was Director of Client Services and Support. Ann has taught interdisciplinary courses on Asian Americans at DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
She is very active in many community and civic activities dealing with education policy, campaign finance reform, immigration reform, and documenting Asian American history. A Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, Ann has also served on several government task forces and has participated in many panel discussions on the above issues. She is also co-Director of the South Asian American Policy & Research Institute and a member of many community based organizations. Ann's appointment is historic as she is the first woman to serve as Regional Administrator of the General Services Administration in this Region.
THINK Health & Wellness: Ancient Traditions impacting Modern Times
Experts in ayurveda/holistic medicine, yoga, meditation, and beauty will discuss the benefits of Desi regimens in our day to day lives.
Meet the Spiritual Experts!
|Prashant Bhargava, Filmmaker
At the age of 19, Jyotsna Patel came in contact with the Brahma Kumaris Organization and immediately found that their core principles of mediation and peace were things that she wanted to incorporate in her life. With the Brahma Kumaris, she began to spread knowledge of peace and mediation in many communities in India and after years of service in India she joined the Brahma Kumaris organization. She is dedicated to help people bring peace in their lives and teach meditation. She currently practices Meditation and teaches courses in stress management, positive thinking, and spirituality at the Brahma Kumaris Center.
|Mary Friedland, Spiritual Expert, Brahma Kumaris
Mary Friedland has practiced Raja Yoga Meditation with the Brahma Kumaris since 1987. She enjoys experimenting with the spiritual principles and methods of meditation to achieve higher levels of clarity and freedom in her life. Professionally, she has worked in the field of education as a classroom teacher, corporate trainer, textbook editor and yoga instructor. She currently resides at the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center in Chicago and teaches meditation and courses in practical spirituality throughout the United States.
THINK Film & Television: A Homecoming for Chicago Celebrities
The overall discussion will focus on Indian professionals in Film and Television. In keeping with the conference theme of "Think Change," the panel will consider how we are at an inflection point (or have already passed it) of Indians in entertainment in the Western world, and what we can expect in the future. Given the panel's collective backgrounds, the conversation will touch upon previous careers and experiences that have influenced them to end up where they are now. One common factor is that of starting out in Chicago - just like the first NetIP conference.
Check out the Stars!
|Prashant Bhargava, Filmmaker
Hailed as a “masterful” filmmaker with “hypnotically beautiful visuals”, “naturalistic storytelling” and a “colorfully vivid” poetic style, Prashant Bhargava stands at the leading edge of independent Indian cinema. His feature length directorial debut, Patang, currently in theatrical release, garnered four stars from Roger Ebert and was selected as a New York Times Critics Pick. Patang premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival, showcased in over 30 international film festivals, winning several awards.
Bhargava's filmmaking builds from his pioneering work as a commercial director and motion designer. Bhargava spear headed the campaigns for HBO's The Wire, Def Poetry Jam, Rome and OZ. His other clients include Accenture, NBC, Woolrich, PBS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Volvo and OMango.
Bhargava is currently collaborating with grammy nominated musician Vijay Iyer on a film/orchestral work entitled Radhe Radhe. Bhargava's next feature film, in development, is set on the south side of Chicago, and is entitled The Highlands.
|Melanie Kannokada, Actress & Philanthropist
Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, Kannokada is a Stanford engineering graduate-turned McKinsey consultant-turned full time actress. In 2010, she chose to leave the corporate world to pursue her childhood dream, and since has performed guest spots on popular TV shows such as Rules of Engagement, The Nine Lives of Chloe King, and NBC's Parenthood while playing the title role in the indie feature film Love, Lies & Seeta.
Currently, she is one of the five faces of Bare Escentuals International, becoming the first Indian American to represent a global cosmetics brand. She is also a co-founder of Hospital for Hope, a non-profit focusing on the construction of hospitals in rural India.
|Puja Mohindra, Actress and Writer
A Chicago native, Puja Mohindra is an actor and writer based out of Los Angeles. She is most often recognized for her digital media work, such as the comedic sketches, Sh*t White Girls Say To Indian Girls, To Ashton Kutcher, Love Kimmy Patel, and her recurring roles in the web series, Debt Collectors and The Lady’s Discourse. She has created, written, produced, and starred in the comedic web series, Friendly Confines, which is currently being shopped around to production companies.
She will next star in the horror feature film, Muck. Other recent film work includes the comedic feature, I’m Not Like That No More, where she played alongside comedians Paul Rodriguez and Felipe Esparza. Puja’s dramatic work can be seen in the films, Foreign and Second Best, which have traveled to festivals worldwide.
She will return to her stage roots later this year when she brings her one-woman show to Los Angeles and New York. TV Credits include: Undercovers, CSI: Miami, Three Rivers, Miami Medical, Ghost Whisperer, All My Children, Valentine, and the HBO pilot, “1%.
THINK Arts: Pursuing your Passion
A panel of artists will discusses the impact of South Asian influences in mainstream fine arts across dance, music, literature, and the visual arts. Saira Mohan, Super-Model & Actress will be among the panelists.
Meet the Artists!
Amrapali Ambegaokar, Dancer & Actress
|Tulika Mehrotra, Journalist & Author
Tulika Mehrotra is a Chicago-based journalist and author with Penguin Publishing Group. She is also a contributing writer for Elle and Vogue Magazine and has interviewed several international celebrities and designers.
Born in Lucknow, India, Tulika received her Bachelors in finance from the University of Illinois and obtained her masters in fashion design from the European Institute of Design, Moda Lab.
Following a short stint studying French in Paris, Tulika moved to New York to enter Manhattan’s fashion industry before leaving for Los Angeles to work in the evolving media industry. She returned to Chicago this year to focus on her writing.
Delhi Stopover is her first novel which delves into India fashion industry and will be available this fall. She is working on her second novel, which explores Mumbai's film culture and will release in 2013.