LEXINGTON, MA–Vision-Aid, a non-profit organization serving the visually impaired, announced several notable additions to its leadership team for 2022-23.
This year’s 100% volunteer leadership team includes its 15-member Board of Directors (BOD), 15-member Board of Advisors (BOA), and 4-member Council of Ambassadors, which provides leadership in the area of community engagement, inclusion and advocacy, with a special focus on youth.
The combined power team includes an eminently qualified and diverse range of members drawn from a wide range of fields including Ophthalmology, Optometry, Occupational Therapy, Finance, Technology, Health, Management, Academia and Law.
Notably, 18 of the 34 members in the leadership team are women. The new team begins its tenure in July 2022 and has as its immediate focus, the upcoming major annual mega-event of Vision-Aid on July 31st, which is going hybrid this year for the first time – offering audiences in Boston a delightful event in person at the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA and audiences everywhere the opportunity to watch the magnificent show on zoom – while helping to mobilize funds for programs for the visually impaired.
Notably, this year, Vision-Aid also appointed its first youth President, Ronak Wakhlu, who will help to provide advocacy and engagement of youth with Vision-Aid’s cause.
This year’s additions include:
Board of Advisors Addition
The organization also welcomes Mr. Ashok Khanna to its Advisory Board.
Ashok C. Khanna has served in many executive positions in leading multinational companies including Senior Vice President & Director at Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc (PB), a 117-year-old engineering/consulting company with a turn-over of $1.3 Billion, a staff of 9000+, and offices in over 100 cities worldwide. Prior to joining Parsons, Ashok was the Director of Auditing at Stone & Webster, a NYSE listed company with world-wide interests in engineering/construction, management consulting, oil and gas, cold storage, and land and property development. Before Stone & Webster, he was with Arthur Young, now Ernst & Young, in London, England as well as Toronto, Canada. Over the years, Ashok published in the prestigious journals of the UK Institute of Financial Managers and was involved in teaching Auditing and Good Business Practices. He is active in many worthwhile charitable causes and is a catalyst for encouraging participation in community services. Ashok is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Ontario, Canada, and was a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Financial Managers, London, England
Board of Director (BOD) Additions
Arathy completed her Ph.D. in pediatric low vision rehabilitation from the Queensland University of Technology, Australia and MPhil and BS in Optometry from Elite School of Optometry, Chennai, India. She moved to the US after her Ph.D. She has been passionate about low vision since her 3rd year of optometry school and worked as a clinical low vision optometrist at Sankara Nethralaya, India for 3 years before leaving for Australia. Her main interest is in studying functional aspects of visual impairment, such as its effect on daily activities. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at
Johns Hopkins and her research is focused on developing a multisensory rehabilitation program for people with profound visual impairment. She is currently supported by the K99/R00 pathway to independence award from the National Eye Institute. Outside work, she enjoys, photography, music, reading and spending time with family.
Sanjay Kudrimoti is an Associate Professor in the Bertolon School of Business at Salem State University. His teaching and research interests include Corporate Finance and Investments. Sanjay is the advisor for Student Managed Investment Fund at SSU with close to half a million-dollar donor funds under his advisement. Sanjay earned his Ph.D. in Business (Finance) from the University of South Florida, Tampa. Sanjay strongly believes in the spirit of volunteerism. Sanjay served as Director on the board of IAGB for two two-year terms spanning the years 2017 – 2021. He is passionate about civic engagement. During his time with IAGB, he was instrumental in reviving the monthly Newsletter as its editor. In the past, Sanjay was an active volunteer and served as Secretary of the Association for India’s Development (Portland, OR chapter) and as a volunteer teacher in Chinmaya Mission in Orlando. His other passions include writing, acting, and photography. He also owns a photography company – FotuDuniya and moonlights as a professional photographer.
Sundar Subramanyam is a patent attorney with more than 20 years of combined in-house and law firm experience in intellectual property. He advises clients on patent strategy, IP portfolio development, due diligence and patent infringement in the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device areas, and on trademark and copyright matters. Prior to starting his own practice, Sundar was Patent Counsel at Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston, and practiced IP law in large Boston law firms. He also worked on pro-bono matters for non-profit organizations on immigration, asylum and border detention issues. Prior to embarking on his legal career, Sundar obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry, following which he worked as a research scientist and patent advisor in a Boston area biotech and medical device company for over 8 years.. Sundar is long-time resident of the Boston area and has been involved with several charitable NGO organizations that are committed to improving education, healthcare and community development services for the economically under-served.
Hiral Desai Wakhlu
Hiral and her family have been serving Vision Aid since 2020. She works a Director at a leading Electronics Design Automation Company. Hiral holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from NIT Surat, and a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering, from Umass Lowell. She enjoys long distance swimming, photography, singing, is an avid reader of various subjects and believes in continuous learning. She also volunteers at various homeless shelters in MA and NH via food preparation and delivery, has participated in Project Bread’s 20 mile Walk for Hunger for 11 years, and has volunteered as a teacher at Chinmaya Mission for 5 years.
Vision-Aid Youth President
Ronak Wakhlu is Vision-Aid’s Youth President for 2022-23. Ronak is a rising Junior at Lexington High School. He has been serving Vision-Aid since 2020 in various capacities such as performing quality assurance on the curriculum and running classes for fundraising. Ronak’s interests include playing tennis for the Lexington High School Boys’ Tennis team, Chess, Math and Biology. In addition to serving Vision-Aid, he is passionate about organizing and preparing meals for various shelters in MA and NH.
Board of Advisors (BOA) members July 2022-June 2023
· Puran Dang (Chairman Emeritus)
· Veena Handa (Vice Chair)
· Cynthia Asmus
Dr. Deeba Husain
Suraja Menon Roychowdhury
Board of Directors (BOD) members July 2022-June 2023
· Lalit Sudan (President)
· Ramakrishna Raju (Founder, Exec. Director)
· Revathy Ramakrishna (Co-Founder, VP)
· Sudhir Varma (Treasurer)
· Ujwala Phene (Asst. Treasurer)
· Syed Ali Rizvi (Past President)
· Sonal Bakre
· Ravi Rastogi
Hiral Desai Wakhlu
Council of Ambassadors COA members
Monika Manocha Wadhwa
Outgoing BOD members
The Vision-Aid Leadership team thanked the following members who are rolling off the BOD this year, having completed their terms:
· Paramesh Garimella (Past President)
· Lovely Singh
· Rita Vachani
To learn more about the Leadership team profiles, please visit https://visionaid.org/about-vision-aid/
Welcoming the new additions for 2022-23, Mr. Puran Dang, Chariman said “Helen Keller wrote ” Alone we can do very little, together we can do so much” We sit on the shoulders of our Team of very devoted members of the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors. While together we have walked miles and miles, we have yet to touch the Himalayas and plant the flag of Vision-Aid on the peak. Shakespeare wrote “Hope springs eternal. Let us be positive and march on with the flame of hope in our hearts.”
Mrs. Veena Handa, Vice Chair, added “I feel so fortunate and blessed to be associated with Vision-Aid. It has been my great pleasure working with such great leaders who not only excelled in their own fields but who contribute so selflessly as volunteers for the organization. I would like to thank our outgoing board members Paramesh, Rita and Lovely Singh who have worked tirelessly for years and welcome the new members to the Board of Directors as well as new members to the Board of Advisors who will help us reach new heights and guide us with their new vision.”
Mr. Lalit Sudan, volunteer President welcoming the new members said “”Vision-Aid’s Board of Directors (BOD), Board of Advisors (BOA) and Council of Ambassadors (COA) provide very valuable perspectives and guidance to our organization to help the Visually Impaired lead productive lives with dignity. We are very grateful to all of them for their invaluable insights and service. Today, I sincerely want to thank and welcome new BOD members Dr. Arathy, Dr. Sanjay, Dr. Sundar and Mrs. Hiral for volunteering to join us and Mr. Ashok Khanna for becoming a valuable part of our BOA. This will ensure continued success of our mission to enable, educate and empower thousands of underprivileged individuals every year. I also want to thank our outgoing BOD members Rita, Paramesh and Lovely Singh for their years of dedication and significant contributions during their terms as BOD members. Finally, I warmly welcome Ronak our first Youth President to Vision-Aid and look forward to working with him!”
Founders Ramakrishna (Ram) Raju and Revathy Ramakrishna added “We have a stellar constellation of leaders in Vision-Aid and look forward to serving alongside each of them in our mission to Enable, Educate and Empower the visually impaired to live with independence and dignity.”