“Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) is one organization which not only helps its Diaspora community but all other communities,” said Stamford Mayor David Martin at the launch of GOPIO-CT 2020 activities on Friday, February 7 at the Stamford Hampton Inn and Suites.
“Just by the mere presence of several organizations which provide services to the larger society such as Women’s Mentoring Network, Future 5 and Children’s Learning Center, shows how GOPIO-CT is helping the Fairfield County community and I thank you for the same,” added Mayor Martin.
The inaugural event was chaired by GOPIO-CT Vice President Prasad Chintalapudi who said in his initial remarks said, “GOPIO-CT is a group of like-minded individuals with a commitment for community services.”
GOPIO Internal Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham who is also an advisor and trustee of the chapter said that of all 100+ GOPIO chapters worldwide, GOPIO-CT is number one in organizing the largest number of activities in the last several years and complimented the chapter officials for their new initiatives every year, adding new programs in its schedule.
The new team was introduced by Ms. Bhavna Juneja, Chair of GOPIO-CT Trustees as follows: Ashok Nichani, President; Srinivas Akarappu, Executive Vice President; Prasad Chintalapudi, Vice President; Raj Misra, Secretary; Meera Banta; Jt. Secretary, Biru Sharma, Treasurer; Anita Bhat; Immediate Past President; Board Members: Jaya Daptadar, Ravi Dhingra, Udaya Neelam, Ramya Subramanian, Prachi Narayan, Fr. Sudhir DeSouza; Trustees: Bhavna Juneja (Chair), Thomas Abraham (Secretary, Comptroller), Shailesh Naik, Totty Narang, Joe Simon and Shelly Nichani.
Mayor Martin administered the Oath of Office to the new team. The newly elected GOPIO-CT President Ashok Nichani in his formal welcome said that his team would continue the programs from the previous years plus new initiatives. CT State Representative Matt Blumenthal was a honored guest who thanked GOPIO-CT for its arrays of activities in his Assembly District.
GOPIO-CT Executive Vice president Srinivas Akarappu highlighted the major events planned for this year which include a Health and Wellness Seminar on March 13th, Holi Festival of Color at Mill River Park in April, the signature event the Annual Awards Banquet on June 6th, India Festival and Kite Flying on August 9th, Welcome Dinner for new UConn and other university Indian students in September, Fall Seminar in October, Diwali Festival of Lights in November, Tax and Investment in December and Annual Holiday Party and Election of New Officers in December.
Ms. Laurissa Berk, Associate Director of University of Connecticut (Stamford Campus) Risk Mgmt. Program thanked GOPIO-CT for hosting networking welcome dinner for UConn’s new students. “In addition to the welcome dinner for new students, UConn and GOPIO-CT will jointly host a talk by a prominent speaker this year,” Berk added.
Special guests at the event were Stamford Dollars for Scholars President Bjorn Bumactao, Women’s Mentoring Network Exec. Director Lana Gifas, Future 5 Founder Clif McFeely and Children’s Learning Center of Fairfield County CEO Marc Jaffe. They thanked GOPIO-CT for its continued support of their activities. The event was concluded by GOPIO-CT Secretary Rajneesh Misra with a vote a thanks to all those assembled. Misra said, “I want to thank the political and social leadership of the region, with whom we work closely, for their support without which we cannot achieve our ambitious goal of social service”.
The program ended with a networking dinner. Over the last 14 years, GOPIO-CT, a chapter of GOPIO International has become an active and dynamic organization hosting interactive sessions with policy makers and academicians, community events, youth mentoring and networking workshops, and working with other area organizations to help create a better future. GOPIO-CT – Global Organization of People of Indian Origin – serves as a non-partisan, secular, civic and community service organization – promoting awareness of Indian culture, customs and contributions of PIOs through community programs, forums, events and youth activities. It seeks to strengthen partnerships and create an ongoing dialogue with local communities.