Board of Directors

Jyoti Porwal
Jyoti Porwal

Jyoti is ambitious, enthusiastic and embodies entrepreneurial spirit which she gets from her entrepreneur parents. Also passionate about technology and solving problems, she works in the IT field as a Reporting and Analytics Specialist Consultant currently working at Securian Financial. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from University of Central Missouri. Jyoti has been living in MN for the last 7 years and has been involved with various local nonprofit organizations as a volunteer. She calls MN home and lives in downtown St Paul with her rescue cat Meow. Causes related to animal rescue, children and young women’s mental health are the closest to her heart hence she also actively supports and works with animal rescue and adoption; she has recently also joined Chance Foundation of MN as a Board of director. Through IAM, she aims to promote the values of culture, connection and charity. She enjoys learning about spirituality, Indian culture/history and philosophy. With her learnings she also likes to share and promote ways of healthy physical as well as mental lifestyle. She is an outdoorsy and extroverted person who loves to travel and finds peace in nature. She also occasionally writes poetry and performs for events in MN.

Manoj Prabhu
Manoj Prabhu

Board Member

Manoj Prabhu is a cordial and very enthusiastic person. He is a seasoned business and technology leader with extensive experience in product leadership. He is excited to be part of IAM family to serve the organization and community with a meaningful contribution. He is passionate to involve in social activities, connect with community & associated organization and make new friends contributing to preserve and promote IAM vision and values. He has been an active member in Malayalee community and has served the regional associations. Manoj loves to cook and spends reading especially technology and innovation articles in his spare time. He lives with his wife and two kids in Shoreview, MN.

Mukund Kulkarni
Mukund Kulkarni

Mukund is a Sr IT Professional at Sovos Compliance. Mukund is from Raichur, Karnataka. He currently lives in Corcoran, MN with his wife Roopa Kulkarni and 2 Boys- Shresta Kulkarni (7 yrs) and Sumeru Kulkarni (5 yrs). Mukund has been living in MN over 11 years.

Mukund loves traveling, hiking ,camping and very active runner. Mukund runs full andhalf Marathon every year. Mukund is also a head coach in Wayzata Basket Ball team (2-8 Year kids) and is part of Cultural committee in Sangeetha Kannada Koota.

Ram Gada
Ram Gada

Board Member

Ram has been in Minnesota since 1965 and has been connected with IAM since 1983 in various capacities like Bylaws Revisions and TAC formation, Community Liaison Committee, Nomination Committee, Scholarship Award Judging, and Annual IAM award Judging.

Ram with his wife Neena Gada is involved in several organizations like SILC, Gujarati Samaj, Jain Center of Minnesota, Hindu Society of Minnesota, MAIDA, KOJAIN, and JAINA. Ram has played a very important role in developing IAM oral History Projects since 1992 and bringing Beyond Bollywood Exhibit at the History Center in 2016. Ram is an honorary Council Member at Minnesota Historical Society after serving on the Council from 2003-12 as vice president and served on the finance, and Grant Award Committees.

Ram is a recipient of several awards, including 2014 Lifetime Achievement award from Asia Pacific Council in 2014 and 2019 JAINA Ratna Award from Jain Federation in North America. Ram and Neena Gada are part of the book "$8MAN" published in 2017. Ram was a founder and president of Gada & Associates, Inc., Consulting Engineers (1980-2010) and served as a president of Minnesota ASHRAE in 1982 and as a historian in 1984- 85.

Sajith Padmaja
Sajith Padmaja

Board Member

Sajith has been actively involved with IAM since February 2018. He has been and continues to be part of committees for volunteering, food and charity. He has interest in literature and occasionally writes poems in his native language, Malayalam. Sajith works as Director of Engineering with Anser Innovation based out of Burnsville, MN. He lives at Shoreview with his wife and two kids.

Sayali Amarapurkar
Sayali Amarapurkar

Board Member

Sayali Amarapurkar has a BA in Psychology, Masters is Human Development and graduated with a Ph.D in Family Social Science from University of Minnesota in 2004.

After pursuing teaching and research in the department of Family Social Science for a few years, since 2014 she has been on the board of AshaUSA, a local Minnesota based non-profit organization with a mission to promote health and harmony in the South Asian community.

Currently she is the Executive Director of AshaUSA (www.ashausa.org) where she conducts community research, provides community education and culturally specific programs that proactively address acculturation challenges for the South Asian community in Minnesota. Sayali has collaborated with University of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Health and other organizations to carry out research on physical and mental health and resource needs of South Asian families.

As a South Asian cultural consultant, she focuses on increasing awareness about South Asian culture and family dynamics among American professionals in the fields of education, law, healthcare and government agencies. She is an invited speaker about South Asian parenting practices and culture to various K-12 schools in Minnesota. She also works as a South Asian Cultural Liaison with Edina Public Schools. She lives in Edina with her husband and two sons

Shanti Shah
Shanti Shah

Board Member

Shanti has been in Minnesota since 1974. She has been married to her husband Stefan for over 30 years. She has degrees from University of Minnesota and St. Thomas.

Shanti has been working in the Information technology field for over 35 years. She has been involved in the Twin Cities Indian American community for as long as she lived in Minnesota. She was adjunct faculty at Metro State University for 20 years and currently an adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota.

Sheetal Kulkarni
Sheetal Kulkarni

Board Member

An Architect and a Designer, Sheetal is self-employed and owns a franchise for custom window treatments, draperies and interior décor in the North West Suburbs of Twin Cities. She is also the owner and principal style/creative consultant for Saffron Poise – Events, design and Lifestyle studio. Her husband Jaydeep, twin boys Siddharth and Gautam and her golden doodle ‘Google’ live in Maple Grove. Born and raised in Mumbai, she is an extremely creative person at heart. Sheetal is a founding board member and Trustee of the non-profit organization CHANCE Foundation of MN. Over the last six years she has been actively involved in leading community events and fundraisers for various non profits within the United States, Canada and India. She served as a community leader on the India Association of India COVID Emergency Relief Fund 2020 Steering committee. Hindu Mandir of MN, Geeta Ashram, The Need in Deed, SEWA, YUWA, Marathi Association of MN, Minnesota Malayalee Association are some of the other local organizations she has volunteered with. She closely works with children, various artists and organizations and groups working for Womens Empowerment and mental health. She is a performing artist and loves to dance, cook, paint, read, write, meet new people and travel.

Sid Saladi
Sid Saladi

Board Member

Sid has been part of the IAM family since 2014 contributing through various activities and was actively involved in marketing for IAM from 2015 to 2017.

Sid is a budding entrepreneur working on marketing and business development solutions. He is an Innovation Product leader in the smart mobility space working as a product manager for Vontier.

Sid loves reading books and running full marathons. He lives with his wife in Lakeville MN.

Sreeni Checka
Sreeni Checka

Board Member

Sreeni has been involved with IAM since 2011 and engaged with various activities to advance IAM's mission of Culture, Charity & Connections. Sreeni served as IAM Treasurer in 2017. Sreeni is looking forward to enhancing IAM's Partnerships with like-minded Organizations, involvement of Youth and giving back to the broader Minnesota Community. Sreeni is a passionate Healthcare Professional and currently works as Director of Product Strategy for Optum. He holds an MS from Louisiana State University and an MBA from Washington University. Sreeni loves playing Table Tennis and Racquetball in his spare time. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Woodbury.

  • sreeni.checka@iamn.org
Swapna Haldar
Swapna Haldar

Swapna has been an active volunteer with IAM and a resident of Minnesota for 5 years. She is excited to be a part of the IAM family and be able to serve the organization and the greater community in furthering IAM’s vision and goals. Swapna holds an MS in Management Information Systems from University of Houston, an MBA from IISWBM and diploma in Fine Arts from Rabindra Bharati University. Though by day she is a Product Manager, her passions lay in giving back to the community and in various creative pursuits. Active member of the Pangea World Theatre, MN, Chinmaya Mission, Bengali Association of Minnesota and Bengali Association of DFW. She won the best costume award by the Purple Magazine for the play '5 Weeks' in 2017, and a national prize for the Durga Puja mandap in 2014 for Dallas Fort Worth. Outreach lead and founder of youth organization of Bengali Association of MN having led multiple fundraising efforts across the metroplex benefitting Missionaries of Charity, Autism foundation and Children's hospital of MN. Swapna loves to paint, dance, cook and travel with her husband Joydeep, sons Rishab and Gaurav and their dog Oreo.

Swati Agarwal
Swati Agarwal

Swati Agarwal was born in city of Nawab's Lucknow and raised in different cities of Uttar Pradesh in India. She began dance lessons at the age of 7. While in school, she participated in many dance competitions and performed at various events. Her preferred dance genre is folk and Bollywood. She performed in various events in Minnesota like - Festival of Nations, Fringe festival, PAN Asia Festival, EP PeopleFest.

Swati holds a degree in Engineering with Major in Information Technology, and currently works in Optum as Sr Product Manager. She lives in Eden Prairie with her husband Navaneet, son Sanav(9) and daughter (4).

Swati wants to be part of IAM to primarily give back to the community in a meaningful way. Swati loves to spend time with family, travel around the world and volunteer in various activities like - Art Adventure teacher, Junior Achievement Teacher, Teaches dance to groups, Fundraising events.

Tanwi Prigge
Tanwi Prigge

Tanwi Mookherjee Prigge is a proud mother to a sweet 11-year old Raina, a wife to her best friend Jason and a daughter to her loving Bengali parents. Inspired by her mother, she started volunteering at a young age for Mother Teresa and Ram Krishna Mission. She has been a resident of Minnesota for the last 15 years. Tanwi has been an IT professional that believes in service to others through her profession and volunteer work. She is currently self-employed. She believes in making a difference through action, positivism, kindness and generosity. She enjoys working with kids and women in various communities, through her volunteer work, drama/theater/music and encourages folks to step out of their comfort zone and have fun. She is excited about Outreach and Government relations this year with IAM, working with the Indian community and the community-at-large because she believes it takes each of us to make a difference for all of us. She wants to advocate for health equity in our communities, especially within women, children and seniors. Tanwi enjoys listening to NPR, enjoys politics and discussions around it, music, volunteering, watching movies, reading and pursues several other interests. She also learns Italian and loves all things Italian. Tanwi’s favorite quote: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” — Muhammad Ali