IADO BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Susan Patel is one of Chicago's top female entrepreneurs, having founded 3 thriving companies in the last 10 years, she knows what it takes to succeed. She is CEO of Patel Handicrafts, an international goods retail store, Bhandu Ethnics, an online international apparel boutique, and Life Line Concepts, an innovative business utilizing blood testing with wellness coaching to improve her clients health. She is a relationship builder and maintains strong ties to the community by volunteering and serving on 3 executive boards. She and her family live in Old Irving Park and enjoy traveling the world while seeking new adventures together.
Born and raised in Chicago, Abin is a tri-sector leader with significant experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Currently, he leads innovation and venture strategy as Executive Vice President of World Business Chicago. Previously, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff, Director of Public Policy, and Director of Community Engagement for the Cook County Board of Commissioners (Tenth District). He is deeply involved in the Chicagoland South Asian American community, with a focus on civic engagement, political empowerment, and public advocacy. In 2019, Abin was appointed by Governor J.B. Pritzker to the State of Illinois' Asian American Employment Plan Advisory Council. He is also a 2018 Civic Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of Chicago.
Shajan lives in Albany Park with his wife Jennifer. He currently serves as the Strategic Initiatives Manager for BMO Harris Bank’s Anti-Money Laundering Reporting Office. Shajan has been a part of IADO since he was a child. His late father, Kuriakose Mathew was an active member as well as a two term past president of the Board. Shortly after his father’s passing in 2007, Shajan joined IADO to continue the ability to advocate for the South Asian community and address the issues that matter the most. In 2014, he ran for Alderman in Chicago’s 50th Ward where he earned, among others, the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune
Ms. Nazneen Hashmi is an accomplished professional and community leader, she is a resident of Hanover Township for over 30 years. She is an ISO auditor at Robert Bosch. She is also an Adjunct professor at Illinois Institute of Technology. Additionally, she is a Deputy Committeeman for the Hanover Township. First generation immigrant from India, she had her share of challenges to cross as a single mother in making her American dream come true. Breaking 152 years of record as a person of color, she ran for Hanover Township Trustee office in 2013. She door knocked in Elk Hart Indiana for President Obama’s campaign. She has been active in democratic and civic organizations supporting national as well as local races. She has indomitable passion to serve community led her to get certified as Domestic Violence Advocate. She has served several organizations in different capacities as executive board member, mentor, or volunteer for over two decades that includes - Apna Ghar, Streamwood Village, Organization for Chinese Americans (OCA), General Assembly Grant, American Association of Retired Asians (AARA), YMCA, Women’s Club, multiple democratic organizations Greater Chicago Caucus, Hanover Democratic and Independents, Hanover Township Democratic Organization (HTDO) and Indian American Democratic Organization (IADO)
Tom resides in Des Plaines. He has had a distinguished 40 year career as a Respiratory Therapist, the majority of those years as an administrator. Tom has been with IADO since its inception in 1980. The reason Tom continues his steadfast commitment to IADO is because he firmly believes that every Indian has a right and obligation to be involved and active in mainstream American politics so all members of our community have a voice. For example, Tom believes that the healthcare needs of seniors in our community should be sufficiently met in order to avoid our elders from undue stress and struggles in their later years. An interesting fact about Tom is that, in addition to his involvement with IADO, he was also the co-founder of the Kerala Volleyball League of North America (KVLNA), which has organizes a national volleyball tournament over Memorial Day weekend (started in the late 1980s). Tom also serves as a committee member of Knayaya Association of North America (KANA), and is the past president and current Advisory Board Memeber of Malayalee Association of Respiratory Therapists Care (MARC).
Samay Gheewala is an attorney who specializes in Nonprofit Law. Samay is on the board of Raise Your Hand Action, a group dedicated to ensuring equitable education for students across Illinois. He is the treasurer for the Friends of Roosevelt High School and serves on the Local School Council for Patrick Henry Elementary. He lives in Albany Park with his wife Pam and 2 dogs.
Maneesh Limaye is a compensation and benefits professional with over 20 years experience in the field. He has had various roles in consulting and industry, and was a the World Bank for five years. Maneesh was a co-founder of the Chicago chapter of South Asians For Obama. He has an undergraduate from the University of Illinois, and a graduate degree from Loyola University in Chicago. He resides in the western suburbs with his wife and two children.
Sam Kukadia was born and raised in Chicago in 1974 and lives on the far Northwest side of the City with his wife and two small children. As the son of Indian and Filipino immigrants, Mr. Kukadia brings a unique perspective to the organization and bridges the gap between Asian cultures. A graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Civil Engineering, Mr. Kukadia has spent his career in development and heavy highway design and construction. He currently is the CEO of Material Solutions Laboratory and is politically active in Local and State politics. Self-described as a long-range strategic planner, Mr. Kukadia is excited to be involved with the organization.
Dr. Dilara Sayeed’s first memories are of Head Start Preschool for low-income kids and visiting sari stores on Devon with her parents. From Head Start to Harvard, 8th grade teacher to senior executive, and non-profits to corporations, Dilara’s experiences fuel her belief that success in life comes with education, resources, and mentors. In 2017, Dilara founded vPeer.com, an online platform for professionals to Match-Meet-Mentor, and Make Greater Impact! In 2018, taking her public service to the next level, Dilara ran for State Representative- focusing on education, economic security, and gun control. She came in second of four candidates. Dilara is a Fulbright Specialist, a Lecturer at Northwestern University, and serves on several boards. The Sayeed family lives in the South Loop. They love to bicycle on roadways and kayak on waterways – exploring our world and its people.
Vivek lives in the Rogers Park area of Chicago. Vivek is an IT consultant. Vivek has been with IADO for less than a year. He joined IADO to encourage citizens to participate in the political process so that we can make a positive difference in our lives and the lives of future generations. An interesting fact about Vivek is that he went to college in St. Petersburg, Russia.