ALF and IACCGH Celebrate Sanjay Ramabhadran

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Picture Credit: Bijay Dixit

Article by: Somdatta Basu

Houston Community Comes Together to Celebrate Sanjay Ramabhadran’s Leadership and Service


March 27, Houston, TX – Gathered in a touching display of unity, the Houston community came together to honor and celebrate the outstanding leadership and service of Sanjay Ramabhadran, former Chair of Houston METRO. Organized by the American Leadership Forum (ALF) and the Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH), the occasion united a broad spectrum of entities and individuals to recognize Sanjay’s exceptional impact and achievements. The event, held at The Ballroom at Tanglewood marked a poignant moment as speakers from various sectors shared anecdotes, insights, and sincere appreciation for Sanjay’s impact on the community. From elected officials to civic leaders, each speaker offered unique perspectives on Sanjay’s character, achievements and enduring legacy.

Jagdip Ahluwalia, the founding secretary and executive director of the IACCGH, set the tone for the evening by emphasizing the collective admiration and respect for Sanjay among the community organizations. “All of us know who he is, all of us know the organizations in the room,” said Ahluwalia.

“The overwhelming response we received while hosting the event is a sign of the affection and respect the community has for him.” President of IACCGH, Rajiv Bhavsar highlighted the exceptional contribution of Sanjay. “Proud to honor his 25 years of dedication! ” Bhavsar said while welcoming the attendees.

Tina Peterman, ALF Board Chair, reflected on Sanjay’s genuine kindness and his ability to foster collaboration. “Sanjay, people say that you have made it when you can go by your first name. Beyoncé, Oprah, Sanjay,” she remarked, highlighting his prominent status within the community.

Shirley Kwan, Leadership Houston Chair, praised Sanjay’s role in uniting diverse organizations for the betterment of Houston. “Sanjay is not only a consummate professional and a dedicated community leader, but he’s also a true friend. I’ve experienced firsthand his willingness to lend a helping hand and provide guidance, even during challenging times. His unwavering support and genuine friendship mean the world to me. Thank you, Sanjay, for exemplifying what it truly means to be a trusted friend,” Kwan said.

Rita Hicks, who recently stepped down as chair of Texas Lyceum, commended Sanjay’s visionary leadership and his ability to anticipate the broader impact of his actions. “Part of what makes Sanjay so special is he can anticipate the ripples,” noted Hicks, highlighting his strategic foresight and inclusive approach.

Mustafa Tameez, Chairman of the Board of the Transportation Advocacy Group (TAG), praised Sanjay’s instrumental role in advocating for transportation infrastructure and securing funding for critical projects. “Sanjay has been phenomenal in bringing transportation dollars and ensuring their effective utilization,” said Tameez, acknowledging Sanjay’s dedication to enhancing mobility in the region.

Consul General of India to Houston, D.C. Manjunath remarked, “it is truly inspiring to witness the remarkable achievements and contributions of individuals like Sanjay. His unwavering dedication to both his professional endeavors and his community leadership sets a shining example for us all. Sanjay’s commitment to fostering meaningful connections and providing support to those in need embodies the spirit of friendship and solidarity. We are fortunate to have him as a valuable member of our community.”

Former Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner expressed gratitude for Sanjay’s leadership at Houston METRO and his unwavering commitment to public service. “Sanjay just took Metro to another level,” said Mayor Turner, applauding Sanjay’s transformative impact on Houston’s transit system.

Judge KP George shared personal anecdotes illustrating Sanjay’s expertise and friendship. “I always call Sanjay for any engineering question,” said Judge George, highlighting Sanjay’s willingness to offer guidance and support.

Commissioners Rodney Ellis and Harris County Commissioner Lesley Briones underscored Sanjay’s ability to unite people from diverse backgrounds and political persuasions. Commissioner Briones described Sanjay as a beacon of the American dream, while Commissioner Ellis praised his exceptional listening skills and leadership qualities.

Sanjay Ramabhadran expressed heartfelt gratitude to those gathered at the event in his honor. He reflected on his journey from his roots in India to his impactful role in shaping Houston’s transportation landscape.  “Each of you in this room has been my friends, guides, philosophers, and sounding boards,” Sanjay remarked. “This recognition is as much about each of you as it is about me, because it truly takes a village, and you are my village,” he added. The former Houston MTERO Chair who stepped down after a successful stint of 8 years and 9 months reflected on his journey from India to Texas and his role in improving mobility in Houston. “To be able to play a role in improving mobility for the fourth largest city in the United States is truly a privilege,” Sanjay shared. “Houston, with its diverse culture and opportunities, empowers individuals to make a difference,” he said. Sanjay shared insights into his upbringing and the values instilled by his parents. “Growing up watching my parents build our town taught me the importance of giving back to the community,” he reflected. “I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve and make a difference,” Sanjay added. 

As the event concluded, Nory Angel, ALF President, emphasized the power of community and the enduring example set by Sanjay. “Let’s celebrate the spirit of unity and connection tonight,” said Angel, encapsulating the sentiment of solidarity that pervaded the evening