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NFIA Conference in Seattle, Washington on November 21, 2008


NFIA Conference in Seattle, Washington on November 21
Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, Ambassador Ronen Sen,
Consulate General Sushmita Thomas and Congressman Jim McDermott were the host of the dinner reception

Seattle WA, Nov. 22, 2008
Amrik S Kamoh

The National Federation of Indian Associations 15th convention kicked off on November 21st with a dinner at Bombay Grill restaurant in University District in Seattle WA. The dignitaries for the three day conference included NFIA members from all over America and Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, Ambassador Ronen Sen, Consulate General Sushmita Thomas and Congressman Jim McDermott. Other prominent Attendees included Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chair and Mr. Inder Singh, President of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International). Master of Ceremony Sheetal Shah compeered the event proceedings under the direction of Dr. Rashmee Sharma CEO of Roshni Media while Ms Prabha Devi Prasad, famous local singer entertained the attendees with her ghazals.

On Nov 22nd, Conference started with a welcome address by Co-Convener Sudip Gorkshaker followed by lamp lighting ceremony. Minister Vayalar Ravi praised the achievements of the Indian Immigrants and applauded them for keeping their culture alive. He also lauded their involvement in the political process of their adopted land.

The first sessions was on Aviation - Sky to space and beyond, chaired by Dr. Dinesh Keskar Senior VP of Boeing and was moderated by S. HariRam of Boeing, followed by a session on Initiative India, addressed by Bill Stafford, president of Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle , Thomas Boydell, Manager, Economic Development City of Bellevue, Prof Sitaraman, Project director of Amity University, Edgar Morales CEO of Strategic Diversity Solutions, Akhtar Badshah, Sr. Director, Microsoft Global Community Affairs, and Conrad Lee Bellevue City Council Member. Other sessions included “Indian American with an Edge”. The speakers included Shalini Govil Pai of Pixar Google, Raj Bhavsar Olympic Gymnast, Raj Shah CEO of Shah Safari, Naveen Jain CEO of Intellius. The session on “India US Relations” was addressed by Congressman Jim McDermott, Habib M Habib, Washington State Treasurer of Democratic party along with youth panel members. The last session, on Immigration, was chaired by Habib M Habib and was moderated by Amrik S Kamoh president of India Arts & Heritage Society. The panelists included - Madhuri Popuri, Amulya Uppala and Rasan Cherela. During these sessions, Dr. Rashmee Sharma CEO of Roshni Media gave Roshni Media awards to – Habib M Habib, Naveen Jain, Raj Shah, Shetal Shah, Amrik Kamoh and Shalini Govin Pai.

In the evening, the NFIA banquet started with GOPIO President Inder Singh recognizing several community members for their notable contributions. The award recipients included Dr. Ramesh Gangolli, Dr. Ratna Roy and Dr Surinderjit Singh. Entertainment program included OmNamaste Bolo, Vandemataram, Fiesta Medley and Chamka Chamka Chmaka Rey songs dances along with Punjabi folk dances by Rhythms of India Dance school performers. Entertainment program included items by Dreams, India Arts & Heritage Society and Seattle Telegu Samithi.groups.

Honorable Ambassador Ronen Sen, while delivering his keynote speech, applauded the NFIA for its work and extended a hand of mutual cooperation with the entire community. He declared that Seattle will have its own Consulate office in December. “This is primarily made possible based on the contributions by this important region”, said Mr. Sen.





The National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), an umbrella organization of over 200
organizations representing over 2.8 million Americans who trace their roots to India, held its 15th
biennial convention on November 21-23 in Seattle WA



Chandu K. Patel who is the President-elect of NFIA