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Connect Asia 2016

India Association of Minnesota’s (IAM) signature event Connect Asia 2016 offered an amazing opportunity for both leaders and community members to Connect, Communicate, Network and Exchange ideas with fellow professionals of Asian origin.

The event was held at the Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, MN. Through this event we also celebrated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. This year, our emphasis was on Women Empowerment as well as our effort to promote diversity within organizations, and help Asian employees achieve their full potential.

As in the past, Connect Asia aims to build a strong and cohesive community of professionals of Asian Origin, network & share best practices with Asian Employee Resource Groups as well as Engage with Minnesota State Government agencies such as CAPM for advancing the interests of Asians at the state level and at all these levels the event was a resounding success.

Here are a few highlights from the event:

  • The program featured address by Minnesota Twins’ Miguel Ramos on the “Importance of Diversity and Inclusion” in workforce. “I don’t see the race, or language or color of the people when I am in a room full pf people, what I see are people – with different things to offer!”
  • The keynote address was delivered by Sarena Lin, President, Cargill - Feed & Nutrition, on “Empowering Women and growing as leaders”. Ms. Lin talked about how it was imperative of leaders to empower others into positions of leadership – “lead by role-modelling, by values and by culture,” she said.
  • A roundtable discussion on a variety of topics addressing concerns of the Asian community such as Growing within your organization, Promoting Inclusion at work place and Gender pay disparity were some of the tops discussed and moderated by leaders from within the community and beyond.
  • IAM President Hasim Khorakiwala delivered his thank you note and implored community members to get involved and give back. Sree Kamojjala, the IAM vice-president delivered the closing few words by thanking the attendees and the keynote speakers.
  • Dinner and some amazing performances by local artists capped off the evening.

A non-profit organization founded in 1973, IAM represents over 40,000 Indians in Minnesota. Through Connect Asia, IAM aims to promote diversity throughout organizations, and to empower employees of Asian descent to achieve their career aspirations.

Media Coverage:

  • Chai News, click here to read.


Round Table Topics

  • Promoting inclusion at work place

    How does an organization take steps to foster an inclusive work culture where uniqueness of beliefs, backgrounds, talents, capabilities, and ways of living are welcomed and leveraged for learning and informing better business decisions?

  • Helping women become leaders

    There exists several societal and organizational/structural barriers to a woman’s rise to leadership, and there are individual and lifestyle factors that come into play as she makes career decisions.  There is no single solution for women as a whole, but how can she adopt a mindset that increases opportunities to lead in any setting.

  • Growing With in your organization

    In today’s resource-constrained environment, many of us are delivering  the current demands of our job—but devoting little time to developing ourselves further or positioning ourselves for a future move. Some  tips to using resources in the organization to grow professionally and keep abreast the  business environment changes

  • Gender pay disparity

    Is Gender Pay disparity real? Are women paid less because they choose lower-paying jobs? Is it because more women work part time than men do? Or is it because women have more caregiving responsibilities? How the pay gap affects women of all ages, races, and education levels; and what you can do to close it.?

  • Employee resource groups as advancement platforms

    What is are the roles and responsibilities of employee resource groups (ERGs) in organizations to transition from social networks to think-tank type groups that directly impacts the growth of the employee and the organization.  How can ERGs continually focus on building a talent pipeline, increase representation and inclusiveness enable it into a powerful advancement platform?

  • Developing & sustaining mentoring relationships

    From increased morale to increased organizational productivity and career development, the benefits of an organization that actively supports mentoring are numerous. How can organizations  devote the time, attention and resources required to make a formal mentoring process work?

  • Communicating across cultures

    The challenge for multinational communication has never been greater. Organizations have discovered that intercultural communication is a subject of importance—not just because of increased globalization, but also because their domestic workforce is growing more and more diverse, ethnically and culturally. Some tips to have effective communication across cultures in organizations

    Topic Leaders

    blankBabu Chimata

    Babu was the President of IAM and works at CenturyLink where he manages a diverse group of individuals from various ethnicities. 






    Amit Kachru

    Amit was the Officer of IAM and works at Medtronic where he is a head of Asia Resource Group and works with individuals from various ethnicities. 

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