ISW hosted its Annual General Body meeting on January 31st 2021 (virtually). The meeting had a record number of attendees, from the ISW member base.
Ashish Cowlagi, ISW President, shared the state of society expanding on the amazing work our volunteers did to host a record number of events in 2020. He added, that the pandemic did not slow us down but accelerated some of the events by leveraging the virtual model. Rajesh Khare, ISW Treasurer, shared the strong financial growth of the society along with the annual financial report. Ashish added to the growth story by sharing the completion of the top 10 pursuits of the ISW 2020 strategy, wrapping them up with the largest of all, the expansion of our India Center. He shared exciting news about the project completion in next couple months and the plans to open the doors before summer.
Rajiv Dayal, chair of the India Center expansion and Sanjay Shah, chair of the India Center fundraising committee shared the details of the expansion progress, the budget, and the great response from the community that helped raise the funds for the expansion. Sanjay Shah, requested the community to help bridge the still remaining gap of about $460,000+ of the total project cost of $2.5M. He shared his personal contact, 508-410-2936, and requested people to reach out to him for details of how to help the India Center expansion project with donations.
Jagan Srinivasan, ISW General Secretary who was moderating the event, moved the meeting to committee reports. The ISW Cultural, Language School, IYG, Crisis, Rental, Humrahee, Religious, IT and Free Health Stop committees shared a video montage of the terrific work each of these groups did in 2020. Puneet Kohli, VP ISW presented the ISW 2025 strategy. He shared that as the ISW 2020 strategy accomplishes its goals of 10 pursuits, ISW was embarking on the next challenge by introducing 4 new initiatives in addition to current activities. These four initiatives - ISW Symphony, ISW University, ISW Women Empowering Women and ISW Professional & Entrepreneur Network - will be launched in coming weeks. The audience very appreciative of the reports presented and shared expressed their appreciation of the work ISW does for the community.
The proceedings than moved to the Governance Committee who proposed to update the By-Laws to ensure appropriate financial governance for the society. Dr Sahdev Passey, Chair of the Governance Committee, presented the changes to the By-Laws and it was unanimously approved by the general body. Please see the link to the updated By-Laws. Renuka Garg, Chair of the Nominating Committee, took over the proceedings to conduct the elections for the new executive board and governance committee. A slate of 15 members for the executive board and 3 members for the governance committee was presented to the general body. Renuka shared the confidence and selection process of the nominating committee. The general body accepted the slate and elected the new Executive board and the Governance Committee unanimously.
Congratulations to all the members of Executive board and the Governance Committee as they start to build on top of the framework established by the society and begin to execute the ISW 2025 strategy. Before closing the meeting, outgoing ISW President, Ashish Cowlagi, shared emotional and heartwarming words of his tenure as president and his 18 years as a volunteer with ISW. He thanked the community, the volunteers, the board members and his family and shared the ISW mantra - once a volunteer of ISW, you are in ISW for life.
Puneet Kohli, the incoming President of the ISW Executive Board, shared his vision of leading ISW forward with its next chapter of community engagement with an active community center and an expanded volunteer and member base. He thanked the community and called upon all the members of ISW to join him in growing ISW’s presence and reaching out to all those who would benefit by being part of the ISW community. ISW is a home away from home for many of us.
As the 3-hour virtual event came to close you could still see 60+ folks on the zoom call engaged and eager to congratulate the new committee members and proud to be part of the India Society of Worcester.
Highlights of the virtual general body meeting