Harkishan Vasa

Board Chair

Mr. Vasa came to the USA from Mumbai, India in 1967, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. After getting his Masters degree in Computer Sciences and Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University, Mr. Vasa worked at Union Carbide and Dialog Computing. In 1980, Mr. Vasa set up a business unit named Pacific Decision Sciences Corp (PDSC) in Los Angeles, which he purchased three years later. He served as President and CEO of PDSC until 2000 when he sold the company to Applied Digital. Since 2003, Mr. Vasa has worked on many non-profit ventures serving Indo-American communities. Mr. Vasa is a Founding Director and current President of Friends of Sardar Patel Award Association at UCLA which provides annual awards of $10,000 to post-doctoral fellows working on India. Mr. Vasa has also been active in the founding, leadership and patronage of several organizations including the Indo-American Cultural Center (renamed Artwallah), Indo-American Senior Heritage Group, Jain Center of Southern California, Anekant Community Center, and Asian Indian Senior Association. Mr. Vasa is the owner of H & K Vasa Mgmt. Inc. He resides in North Tustin with his wife Kusum and is the proud father of two daughters.

Dinesh Mehta

Board Treasurer

Dinesh Mehta was born and raised in Dar-e-salaam, Tanzania. Upon completing high school he traveled to Mumbai, India where he received his Bachelor's degree from Wilson College, Mumbai University. After receiving his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Oklahoma University in 1972, he worked for many years as an accountant and financial manager in the fast food industry. In 1987 he moved to Los Angeles, California where he joined The Elmore Group Limited, a company known for managing major world sporting events such as the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup in addition to managing tour companies around the world and sporting teams across the United States. Mr. Mehta retired from The Elmore Group in 2015 as Vice President of Finance. Since arriving in California, Mr. Mehta has been actively involved in several community and nonprofit ventures including the San Fernando Valley Gujurati Association, the Anavil Samaj, the Chhandam School of Kathak, and most recently, The Leela Institute. Mr. Mehta currently serves on The Leela Institute Board of Directors in the position of Treasurer. Mr. Mehta is an avid listener of Indian classical music and continues to support artists and arts endeavors in California and around the world. He currently resides in West Hills with his wife Shaila Mehta and is a proud father of two daughters.

Ronda Berkeley

Board Secretary

Ronda Berkeley has been helping writers, directors and producers create, buy and sell movies, television and live stage programming since 1986 and is currently the VP of Legal Clearance at CBS Television Studios. Working with Love Letters Ltd., Ronda was integral in the branding and creation of the WORLD BOOK KIDS website (20 million subscribers) and WORLD BOOK TEACH WITH THEATRE (11 million subscribers). For Walden Media, Ronda supervised the branding and development of WALDEN FAMILY PLAYHOUSE a series of live productions produced at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, Walden Family Playhouse in Denver and the Adrienne Arscht Center in Miami. As Associate Artistic Director of AMAN WORLD MUSIC AND DANCE, Ronda was integral in development of new works, traveling gallery installations, administration, grant-writing, marketing materials and fund-raising and participated in a wide-reaching educational program of teaching residencies across the country as well as membership on the LA Music Center on Tour roster of performers and teachers. At that time, AMAN WORLD MUSIC AND DANCE was one of the top ten dance recipients in the nation of funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and was granted the Lester Horton Award for Production of Multi-Cultural Dance and Music.

Dinker Shah

Board Member

Dinker Shah has been the president of Dato Property Management for 25 years now providing real estate development, brokerage, management and financing services to a wide range of clients across Southern California. He has built his business on the core values of hard work, responsibility, and strong character. Dinker received his B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, his Masters in Industrial Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and his M.B.A from CSLA. Dinker is 73 years young, has been married to Aruna Shah for more than 45 years and is a proud father of two children.

Nitin Shah

Board Member

Nitin Shah is the past president of the Anekant Community Center and Jain Center of Southern California. He is involved with many non-profit organizations and has been organizing free community health fairs in Southern California. He also arranges International Medical/Surgical Missions. He has been helping The Leela Institute from the beginning.

Swamy Venuturupalli

Board Member

Dr. Swamy Venuturupalli is a board-certified rheumatologist practicing in Los Angeles. He is Clinical Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Venuturupalli grew up in Bombay, India, and moved to the United States in 1995 after completing medical education at Topiwala National Medical College in Mumbai, India. He completed a residency and Chief Residency in Internal medicine, at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse after which he completed his fellowship in Rheumatology at UCLA. He has received numerous awards for patient care and is involved in several research trials. He has served as the president of the Southern California Rheumatology Society and Editor-in-Chief of Current Rheumatology Reviews. His current research is studying the use of mobile technologies in monitoring and managing chronic rheumatic condition like RA, Lupus etc. Dr. Venuturupalli actively teaches rheumatology fellows and residents and lectures to the public and peers. He is married with 2 children and enjoys listening to music and exercising.

Trina Chaudhuri

Board Member

Trina Chaudhuri is currently a partner and investment analyst with Chakra Capital in Boston, MA. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Chaudhuri followed the digital media and internet space in various capacities ranging from underwriting, equities research, investor relations and business development. Chaudhuri has also completed coursework towards a PhD in South Asian Studies, which was prompted by her keen interest in Indian Classical Music and its relation to Indian literature. Her interest in dance began at a young age, when she was yanked out of a parking lot whilst playing a ball game, to watch Chitresh Das perform at the Bengali Association Durga Puja in Pasadena, California. She also enjoys reading dictionaries, cooking, and beer.

Rina Mehta

Board Member

Rina is a founding artist of the Leela Dance Collective, which brings together leading artists from around the world to advance a collective vision for Kathak. Rina’s original works include SPEAK, a kathak-tap collaboration; Chandanbala, the story of the revered Jain saint interpreted through the Kathak tradition; and Son of the Wind, the story of the India’s mythological hero, Hanuman, brought to life through dance-drama. She has received funding to create and tour her works by such prestigious institutions such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council and the Zellerbach Family Fund. Prior to her work with the Leela Dance Collective, Rina was a principal dancer with the Chitresh Das Dance Company, performing and touring with the company’s critically acclaimed productions including Shabd, Pancha Jati, and Sita Haran across the United States and in India. She has received the Alliance for California Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant and twice been nominated for an Isodara Duncan Dance Award for Company performance as part of the Chitresh Das Dance Company. She has performed at such prestigious venues/festivals nationally and in India as REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/Cal Arts Theater), Meany Hall for Performing Arts (University of Washington), UCLA’s World Festival of Sacred Music, and the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai, as a soloist and with the Chitresh Das Dance Company. Rina’s is the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright award and researched the effectiveness of Kathak dance education as a social intervention in underprivileged communities in Mumbai, India. In addition to her work as an artist, Rina has a passion for creating the financial infrastructure necessary for India's artistic traditions to thrive. The Leela Endowment is her brainchild and as a board member Rina continues to provide critical vision and leadership for this initiative.

Board of Directors

 

Harkishan Vasa

Harkishan Vasa

Board Chair

Harkishan Vasa

Board Chair

Dinesh Mehta

Dinesh Mehta

Board Treasurer

Dinesh Mehta

Board Treasurer

Ronda Berkeley

Ronda Berkeley

Board Secretary

Ronda Berkeley

Board Secretary

Dinker Shah

Dinker Shah

Board Member

Dinker Shah

Board Member

Nitin Shah

Nitin Shah

Board Member

Nitin Shah

Board Member

Swamy Venuturupalli

Board Member

Trina Chaudhuri

Trina Chaudhuri

Board Member

Trina Chaudhuri

Board Member

Rina Mehta

Rina Mehta

Board Member

Rina Mehta

Board Member