Captured Event

December 13, 2011 - American India Foundation Washington, D.C. Chapter Annual Gala

What: Celebrating a Decade of Impact

Where: 300 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

When: 12/13/2011

Time: 6:00 PM

Ticket Prices: $500.00

Beneficiary: American India Foundation

Host(s): American India Foundation

Honoree(s): Ranvir Trehan, Former Vice Chairman, Apptis Holdings, Inc.

EMCEE: Natasha Barrett,Channel 7 ABC News

Presenting Sponsor(s): USINDIA Business Council

Gala Chairperson(s): Stephen J. Brogan, Managing Partner, Jones Day

Co-Chair(s): Sudhakar V. Shenoy, Founder, Chairman & CEO, IMC, Ron Somers, President, U.S. - India Business Council, Geoffrey Steward, Partner, Jones Day

Committee Members: Mahinder and Sharad Tak (Benefit Committee Chairs), Sonia and Raj Boveja, Kiran and Dr. Verinder Nirankari, Apra and Rajsesh Rajpal, Sushma Shenoy and Amit Saluja, Neena and Suresh Shenoy

Welcome: Sudhakar V. Shenoy

Speaker: Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary - South & Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Entertainment: Nistha Raj

Music: Shreya Bhatia and Anjali Taneja performed the national anthems of the United States of America and India

Sponsors: USINDIA Business Council, Jones Day

Attire: Blacktie

Blacktie Photos by: Bry Boland

 Philanthropy Award honoree Ranvir Trehan, former Vice Chairman, Apptis Holdings, Inc., Sonali Chandra, Sonali Capital Partners, and Sudhakar V. Shenoy, Founder, Chairman, CEO of iMC
Philanthropy Award honoree Ranvir Trehan, former Vice Chairman, Apptis Holdings, Inc., Sonali Chandra, Sonali Capital Partners, and Sudhakar V. Shenoy, Founder, Chairman, CEO of iMC
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"He was a good neighbor!" Natasha Barrett, ABC7 News DC, and emcee for the American India Foundation second annual gala dinner in Washington, D.C., testified to Sudhakar V. Shenoy's character, and the good work of the American India Foundation, setting a theme of sorts for the evening.

Mr. Shenoy, Chairman and CEO of IMC, Inc. (IMC) was recently named one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Washington, D.C. high-tech industry, as well as being awarded the 2004 Executive of the Year for the Northern Virginia GovCon Council, the Professional Services Council, and Washington Technology.

Something must be said of the Shenoy family clan! Suresh, Rajiv - more Shenoys than we could count. Isn't it wonderful to find a family supporting  a great cause, and enjoying themselves!

Robert O. Blake, Jr. Assistant Secretary, South and Central Asia, was the keynote speaker and another good neighbor. One would have to be to accept the kind of responsbility accompanying any high ranking position at the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Blake bought dignity to the evening, which is de regueur for any event of note in D.C.

Blake complimented the attendees, and those who were not in attendance, saying, "Indian Americans are increasingly seeing their influence grow, whether by election of political stars such as Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana or Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, you see people at every single level of government, at the highest level - business, academia and everywhere else."

The big news of the evening was Blake's announcement of a searchable data base of India's 1.5 million NGOs.

"India is home to about 1.5 million NGOs, but much of their work is not fully known here in the United States. In addition, it is not easy to identify the NGOs credible enough to receive a donor's money.

We want to help change this and are partnering with an Indian nonprofit - Guide Star India - to create an online searchable database of all those Indian NGOs that have been vetted by an independent third party to ensure they are accountable, transparent and keep only a small percentage of a donation to cover their expenses so the maximum can go to the beneficiaries."

Important neighbors participated, like President Bill Clinton, whose video message told of the tens of millions of dollars the foundation has raised and distributed in the ten years since he helped found The American Indian Foundation.  The scope of giving is breathtaking. Training, education, jobs, health care for the poorest of the poor in India.

Caring neighbors in D.C.'s India's diaspora included Kavita Thakrar, CEO, and Sandeep Thakrar, Managing Director, of Skada Capital. Sandeep Thakrar serves on the Board of Meals on Wheels, in keeping with the good neighborly-ness.

Ranvir Trehan, the Philanthropy Award honoree, is the kind of neighbor everyone wants around. The former Vice Chairman, Apptis Holdings, Inc., is  a genuine giver of time and money to his various causes, which include a gift from The Trehan Family Foundation of $2.5 million to CARE, in keeping with his profound commitment to improving the lives of children, particularly girls in deprived areas of the world.

Schools always make good neighbors. Steven Knapp, President, The George Washington Univesity, and Charles W. Steger, President, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, better known as Virginia Tech, were eager participants, posing for Blacktie-DC, and helpfully providing all their contact information. After all, a university president understands fundraising.

Dr. Sanjay Sinho, Chief Executive Officer, American India Foundation trekked all the way from New York City to enjoy the festivities. Naturally, Dr. Sinho was proud to tell AIF's story, and the emergence of the AIF Washington, D.C. Chapter. See the accompanying video for Dr. Sinho's remarks.

Ron Somers, President, US India Business Council, showed why he is so good at his job. Cheerful and helpful, just being there for his friends was obviously a joy. Mr. Somers' colleague, Amy Hariani, Director, Legal Counsel with the US India Business Council was escorted by her husband, Jay Hariani, Manager, Deloitte Counsulting.

Diana Villarreal, Communications with CharityWorks, lent her support to the gala. Blacktie-DC wanted to meet Diana, who confessed she had been referred to us earlier in the day! Women for Women International's Celjka Jaysingh was supporting the cause, so we're giving her credit as well.

SeeClearly*Vision was well represented by Dr. Khoa D. Hoang in Rockville, MD and McLean, VA, optomitrist  Dawn Williams, and Apra Rajpal, Principal.

Jones Day claims the best neighborhood in D.C. with spectacular views of the Capital. It felt like you could reach out and touch from the expansive terrace. Geoffrey S. Stewart, Gala Co-Chair, joked that "if you thought the building (we are in) renovations were a challenge, think about moving the Capitol!" It did seem like it was a movie set designed by Jones Day.

Everyone may want to thank Gaurav Malik, who with other members of the AIF Young Professionals Committee, worked tirelessly to make the gala happen. Guarav tracked Blacktie-DC down at the Silk Road Society Dress to Empress event and invited us to cover the American India Gala, so we thank him too!

That was what Natasha Barrett noticed. Good neighbors who enjoy doing good!

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