Top leaders attend GOPIO’s business meet & Gala

Lamp lighting ceremony with dignitaries and executive Board
Lamp lighting ceremony with dignitaries and executive Board

CHICAGO: Global Organization of Persons of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Chicago Chapter’s first Business Conference and Annual Gala was held at the Oak Brook Marriott Hotel on Saturday, April 18 with a good number of US political leaders, Consul General of India, business leaders, CEOs, & CFOs attending this event.

Among those who attended were Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, Indian CG Dr Ausuf Sayeed, Congressman Danny Davis, Former Illinois Deputy Treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi, Illinois State Senators Don Kotowski, Tom Cullerton, Michael Noland; Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Padmasree Dr Bala Balachandran and Oak Brook Mayor Dr Gopal Lalmalani.

Gladson Varghese, President of GOPIO Chicago, welcomed guests and delivered the Presidential address outlining vision for GOPIO Chicago. He said that one of the aims is to provide a platform for business community in Chicagoland for networking and learn about tax incentives for doing business in India. Savinder Singh, secretary of GOPIO Chicago served as the emcee and conducted the meeting.

Gladson’s speech was followed by an address from Dr Ausaf Sayeed, who asked the Chicago area Indian community to work closely with the Indian Consulate to resolve any problems that they may face in dealing with or doing business in India. He also outlined key steps that the new Indian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking to promote business with India.

This was then followed by the formal inauguration of the event with the lighting of the traditional Indian lamp jointly by Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, Dr Ausuf Sayeed and Congressman Danny Davis. This was followed with Raja Krishnamoorthi, Don Kotowski, Tom Cullerton, Michael Noland, Michael Frerichs, taking their turn lighting the ceremonial lamp.

In her remarks, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth praised the achievements of the Indian Diaspora in Chicago and urged them to build upon their success as professionals, businessmen and entrepreneurs and get more active participants in the election process. Tammy, who hopes to be the next US Senator from Illinois, then introduced Raja Krishnamoorthi who intends to succeed Tammy as the US Representative from the Illinois 8th district. Raja urged Indian community members to vote and have their opinions count in the 2016 elections.

This was followed by speeches from Senators Don Kotowski, Tom Cullerton and IL Treasurer Michael Frerichs.

The keynote address was given by Padmasree Dr Bala Balachandran, former Dean of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He was in his elements and impressed all those present with his depth of knowledge about business processes and words of wisdom about life in general. He mentioned his keynote speech during his recent visit to Gujarat where he talked about Empowering Society through Innovation in Education.

Dr Gopal Lalmalani in his speech asked the Indian community to start businesses in Oak Brook and offered his full support to anyone in the Indian community who wishes to do business with the village of Oak Brook.

The formal meeting was followed by cultural events that included dazzling dances from the various states of India. Musical performances were by Chetan Saini and Nipa Shah. The dances of India portrayed a brief glimpse of Indian art forms, namely Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam, Bhangra and Bollywood fusion styles. Aananda Dance Theatre presented Thillana, Bharatanjanli Dance School presented Saraswati Slokam, Soorya Dance Academy performed a fusion dance and Men of Dance performed the vibrant Bhangra. The cultural events were emceed by Vikrant Singh and Shree Gurusamy. These were followed by a night of dinner, dancing and socializing.

Asian Media USA

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