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Board of Directors

National Board is responsible to oversee the operation of all the regional boards. We are working to get this Board fully functional over time.

Harish Kotecha
Founder & President

Harish Kotecha is a retired engineer from IBM where he worked from “chips to systems” and holds two dozen US patents. Post retirement, he has been involved in leadership roles in cultural, civic, religious and charitable organizations including helping with resettlement of Bhutanese refugees in Austin, Texas area.

Harish was born in Uganda. He migrated to the USA with $200 and an engineering degree when Idi Amin ousted the Asians. His degree helped him live the American Dream.

Harish’s vision is to make our charity nationally recognized for its impact to transform lives of those who live in poverty. He was awarded the 2020 Sandra Neese Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY). He also received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Barbara James
Vice President, Programs

Barbara Wand James is an educational consultant in Austin, TX. She retired from The University of Texas at Austin in 2015, where she was the director of the Texas Homeless Education Office for 19 years. Before that, she was the Texas State Coordinator Homeless Education at the Texas Education Agency for over 5 years. She earned a master’s degree in Counselor Education from the University of Wisconsin System.

Barbara served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children, holding every major board office, including President and Conference Chair, over a span of 12 years.

Barbara also served on the Texas Homeless Network board of Directors for 20 years. Barbara led the team that produced the first comprehensive training tools for the nation’s homeless education liaisons, a project commissioned by the US Department of Education.

Gulshan Singh
Vice President, Communications

Gulshan is a communications strategist with the focus on brand journalism. She has been writing for leading news and literary publications in South Asia and the USA.

Gulshan has managed multiple global assignments in the healthcare and IT services sectors as a project manager including Chief Marketing Officer role at a brain health supplement venture. She was also an editor and activist with Massachusetts Peace Action in Boston, MA. She nowadays works and lives with her family in Austin, TX.

Gulshan holds the master’s degree in journalism at Harvard University. Earlier, she earned MBA from Symbiosis University and BPharm from SNDT University where she General Secretary too.

Ashok Parikh
Treasurer

Ashok Parikh is a retired Finance and Information Systems Management professional. Ashok has BS in Chemistry, MBA in Finance and completed HMO Management Fellowship. The national HMO Management Fellowship Program development and training was a collaborative undertaking between HHS, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Group Health Association of America and American Association of Foundations for Medical Care.

Ashok spent better part of his career working for an HMO (Non-Profit) serving urban indigent population primarily in Metropolitan Detroit area and held Chief Information Officer and later Chief financial Officer Positions. Ashok retired in 2008 and early 2016 he and his wife decided to relocate to Austin, TX.

Varsha Grogan
Secretary

Varsha has been associated with HC4A since its inception as a donor because she believes to give where she lives and is passionate about education.

Varsha has been recruiting and training life insurance agents since 1992. Her Bachelor’s in Accounting and FLMI from LOMA along with the continuing education courses helps her provide relevant and up-to-date insurance solutions. Varsha is a board member and Treasurer of National Brokerage Agencies, Inc (NBA) and a member of National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) which enables her to gain first-hand knowledge on the matters affecting the insurance industry.

Varsha also serves as a mentor on the Agency Successor Network Group of NAILBA that helps 2nd generation agency principals. Varsha has two daughters and enjoys volunteering her time to many local organizations like TiE Austin, Austin Asian Impact, Be the Change and others.

Meena Mutyala
Vice President, Chapter Development

Meena Mutyala moved to Austin with her husband after retirement in 2014.

Meena has a degree from IIT Madras in India, Master’s in Engineering Sciences from Northwestern University and an MBA from University of Pittsburgh. She is a distinguished alumnus of IIT and was conferred with an honorary doctorate from Central Michigan University. During her career, she moved up the ranks in Westinghouse Electric Company and retired as Executive Vice President in 2014. She has two children and five grandchildren who keep her young.

Meena has been a mentor for many, having been a trailblazer as a woman in engineering and management. Meena has been involved in various community Civic, Cultural, and Charitable organizations in Pittsburgh, India and Austin – including the Pittsburgh Arts Council Board, SV Temple Board, President/ Advisor of Indian American Coalition of Central Texas, to name a few.

Meena is excited about serving the cause of HC4A for America and expanding its footprint throughout the USA.

Dinesh Vakharia
Vice President, Chapter Relations

Dinesh Vakharia has a vast experience in IT security industry; specializing in Federal Certifications, standards compliance, project management and business development.

Dinesh retired from IBM in 2005 after 28 years of services. After that, he worked for HP, Dell, and other technology companies in various management capacities.

Dinesh started the Austin Center of Chinmaya Mission and served as its first President for 30+ years. He has been a pillar of support for Hindu Charities for America since 2011 and has served in multiple leadership roles.

Alok R. Singh
Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Relations

Alok is a corporate executive with global experience in the tech industry. He currently works at Dell Technologies as Director, Global Strategy & Transformation.
Alok has been mentoring to entrepreneurs. He is also a professional advisor at MIT’s Entrepreneurship Center. He holds an MBA degree from MIT Sloan School of Management.

While contributing to HC4A’s expansion strategies, he is also involved in USA Cricket’s efforts to develop cricket across the country. While exploring cultural milieu in newer geographies, he writes for multiple publications and speaks in conferences on varied themes.