On January 16, a distinguished group of community leaders and members of the Chamber attended the 2020 IACCGH Inaugural Reception at City Hall to welcome Tarush Anand, IACCGH’s new President, and his Board. Luminaries like Mayor Turner, ACG Surendra Adhana, Sheriff Ed Gonzales, Former Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Rice University President Dr. David Leebron graced the occasion.
Welcoming the gathering, Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia highlighted the main events of the year such as the popular Distinguished Lecture and Women Mean Business Series sponsored by Shell, the NexGen Young Professionals which is the Chamber’s engagement with millennials and the well-received Generational Transition Panel Discussions. The year also saw the Chamber reaching out to a wider audience through various organizations like the Indian Doctors Association, the Jamatkhana, and Meenakshi Temple. Jagdip thanked the Chamber Advisors and Board members and helped welcome Malisha Patel who joined the IACCGH Board in 2020.
Guest of Honor Mayor Turner who was introduced as “a man who not only gives every Houstonian a seat at the table but also a voice at the table”, in his remarks, alluded to the successful trade delegation to India in 2018 which he led with the Greater Houston Partnership and the Chamber. He cited that since then trade between Houston and India “continues to grow and exports from Houston to India have grown by 50%.”
Thanking the Mayor for his “genuine ongoing support to the Chamber,” President Tarush Anand spoke of the Chamber’s constant efforts to innovate with new programs to create value for its members. As President for the next two years, he intends to initiate networking type events for new members and new businesses so they can integrate, meet new people and find new business connections. He is also working on a Business Mentorship Series which will bring together a small group of business owners to meet periodically and a mentor to guide the discussion and help find solutions to problems they may be facing. NexGen Exchange programs which brings young professionals into the fold will also take priority “because ultimately that’s where we grow.”
The 2019 IACCGH Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Former County Judge Ed Emmett for his “contributions to the city, state, and country” as Past President Sanjay Ramabhadran put it, as well as for his “steady leadership through the good times and the tough times and for his collaborative style.”
Accepting the award, the former Judge, who was recently in India to work on a joint partnership between Rice University and IIT, Kanpur, reflected on his deep relationship with India and the Chamber. He added that he would continue to look for ways to further his relationship with India.
A plaque of appreciation was presented to Immediate Past President Swapan Dhairyawan for his “exemplary service to the Chamber.” In his remarks, Swapan spoke of his indebtedness to a unified Board for his success and the rewarding experience of leading the Chamber.
Acting Consul General Surendra Adhana, in a lighter vein, called the Chamber “a part of the Consulate team” for the work it does in strengthening ties between Houston and India and added that the “India-US relationship….is on an unprecedented trajectory.”