Board of Directors

Harkishan Vasa

Harkishan Vasa

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 in 1968 from West Virginia University, Mr. Vasa worked at Union Carbide and at Dialog Computing. In 1980, Mr. Vasa relocated to Los Angeles where he set up a business unit named Pacific Decision Sciences Corp (PDSC) and in 1983, he purchased the PDSC business unit and became President and CEO of PDSC.

PDSC started expanding rapidly under Mr. Vasa’s leadership and Mr. Vasa then set up several offices and relationships for PDSC in various countries including in Santa Ana USA (HQ), Florida-USA, UK, Singapore, and India. Under Mr. Vasa’s leadership, PDSC carried out over $100 Million of projects in Customer Service, Info Tech, and consulting services for various major corporations. In 2000, Mr. Vasa sold the PDSC business to Applied Digital and continued to work there as President of PDSC through the end of Dec 2002.

From 2003 through 2007, Mr. Vasa worked on several non-profit community services activities to help Indo-American communities.

Mr. Vasa was a founding Director and major donor to Indo-American Cultural center (Since then renamed Artwallah. Mr. Vasa is a founding director of Friends of Sardar Patel Award Association where $250K endowment fund was set up from several donors to give out annual awards.

Mr. Vasa is a founding director of Indo American Senior Heritage Group, which provides variety of community services to people over the age of 50. Mr. Vasa is also very active and Director of Jain Center of Southern California. Mr. Vasa is also a founding Director of Anekant Community Center which provides a variety of community services worldwide.

During October 2007, Mr. Vasa set up a new business, Vasa Business Services (VBS). VBS will provide various services including raising money for businesses, Merger/Acquisitions, Set up collaborations and technology transfer, provide marketing and sales guidance, consult top level management to help them with business expansion globally and outsourcing services. Mr. Vasa resides in North Tustin and is married to Kusum since 1970. Mr. Vasa has two daughters (Anita, Sarita) both are married.

Ronda Berkeley

Ronda Berkeley
Manager, Legal Clearance
CBS Television Studios

Ronda Berkeley has been helping writers, directors, producers, programmers and distributors create, buy and sell movies, television and live stage programming since 1986 providing services to: CBS Television Studios, Walden Media, Universal Studios, Showtime Inc., USA Network, SciFi Channel, Lifetime Television, Shorenstein Hayes Nederlander Theatres and many others. She has taught screenwriting and writing for television for Vanderbilt University, The New York Film Academy and Belmont University. 

Working with Love Letters Ltd., Ronda was integral in the branding and creation of content for the WORLD BOOK KIDS website, the most popular English language paid children's reference site in the world with more than 20 million subscribers and WORLD BOOK TEACH WITH THEATRE, the most popular arts education program in the world with more than 11 million paid subscribers in 23 countries.

For Anschutz Film Group/Walden Media, Ronda supervised the branding and development of WALDEN FAMILY PLAYHOUSE a new series of live productions at the historic Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco and a newly built 7 million dollar theatrical venue for Regal Entertainment/Walden Media in Denver. She also provided development, research and writing services on a multi-media game promotion, THE EARTH DINNER CARDS now in its 10th year, for Organic Valley -North America’s largest farmer-owned organic dairy.

During Ronda’s tenure as Associate Artistic Director of AMAN WORLD MUSIC AND DANCE, she 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 MCOT (Music Center on Tour) roster of performers and teachers in Los Angeles.  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. 

Ronda has served on the board of a number of non-profit organizations including AMAN WORLD MUSIC AND DANCE, BALLET ESPANOL DE LOS ANGELES, ARABIC DANCE THEATRE and IN HIS SHOES MINISTRIES.

Ruchi Mathur

Ruchi Mathur, MD FRCPC
Director, Diabetes Center, Division of Endocrinology
Endocrinologist, Weight Loss Center

Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C) is Director of the Diabetes Outpatient Treatment and Education Center in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Mathur earned her medical degree from the University of Manitoba, Canada. She completed an Internal Medicine residency at the Health Sciences Center at the University of Manitoba. She fulfilled a clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, followed by a NIH/NRSA awarded research year at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Mathur is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and belongs to a number of academic societies including the American College of Physicians, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, Endocrine Society and American Diabetes Association. She actively works with the local chapter of the ADA and served as Chairwoman for the Diabetes Expo in 2013. Her awards include being named by the Consumers Research council as "One of America's Top Physicians.” She has also received the American Registry’s Patient Choice Award annually from 2008 to present.  In 2012, Dr. Mathur traveled to India to receive the prestigious “Hind-Rattan” Award. As the daughter of first generation immigrants from India, Ruchi is a proud of her Indian culture and background, and looks forward to serving on this board with both gratitude and enthusiasm.

Swamy Venuturupalli

Swamy Venuturupalli
Clinical Chief
Division of Rheumatology, Cedars Sinai Medical Center
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCLA

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. 

Dinkar Shah

Dinker Shah
President, Dato Property Management

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

Nitin Shah
Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Loma Linda University Health

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hetal Sharma

Hetal Sharma

Hetal Sharma moved from India to the US with 16 immediate/extended family members at the tender age of 16. She graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she was lucky to find her better half, Kunal Sharma. She graduated with a BS in Business Administration fro mCal Poly. 

Hetal started her career with ValleyCrest right out of college as a college recruiter before trasitioning to the marketing department. Following the marketing tour, she began the procurement phase, working on special projects for the COO of ValleyCrest Companies. She continued to learn and grow within the company, and her sincere efforts resulted in a promotion the Manager of Procurement, followed by another promotion to Director. Hetal's passion and dedication to customer service drove her to be an effective advocate when negotiating on behalf of the company. 

After having dedicated 13 strong years at ValleyCrest, Hetal decided to take some well deserved time to enjoy with her 9 year old twins, Aman and Jiya, her husband of 14 years, Kunal, and her very large extended family inclusive of over 100 people. A proud Indian-American, Hetal enjoys cultural activites such as Indian dance (Garba, Bhangra, Kathak) as well as the arts (free-hand henna tattoos). In her free time she also enjoys camping, hiking, and playing board games. 

Hetal is humbled to serve on this board with sincerity and excitement, and she welcomes the opportunity to be a part of Leela Dance, who producly works to preserve the legacy and heritage of Kathak. 

Rina Mehta

Rina Mehta

Rina Mehta began studying Kathak under internationally renowned Kathak master and guru, Pandit Chitresh Das in 2000. Since joining the Chitresh Das Dance Company shortly after, she has performed in such critically-acclaimed productions such as Pancha Jati, Shabd, and Sita Haran. She has received the Alliance for California Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant and twice been nominated for an Isodora Duncan Dance Award for Company performance as part of the Chitresh Das Dance Company. She has performed as a soloist and with the company at such prestigious venues/festivals nationally and in India as REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/Cal Arts Theater), Meany Hall for Performing Arts in Mumbai, and the Shaniwarwada Dance Festival in Pune. Rina Mehta's original works include Chandanbala, the classic Jain story interpreted thorugh the Kathak tradition and Speak, a collaboration with Rachna Nivas (kathak) and tap dancers Michelle Dorrance and Dormeisha Sumbry-Edwards. 

Rina is the Executive Producer of UPAJ, a documentary on Pt. Chitresh Das' groundbreaking collaboration with tap star Jason Samuels Smith, India Jazz Suites.

Rina Mehta is a 2013 Fulbright Scholar in Kathak dance. She received her Bachelor of Arts in immunology and her Master in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Neelam Pathikonda, DO, MPH
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Neelam Pathikonda, DO, MPH is an osteopathic physician with specific interest in integrative medicine for underserved communities currently working at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She started her career as a community organizer in the Bay Area working with immigrant women and girls to increase access to healthy food, medical care, translation services, and parks. She was part of successful campaigns to keep public health infrastructure in Alameda County, increase the number of community centers in San Jose, CA, and start a farmers market with fresh produce in San Jose schools. She is also a meditation teacher, having practiced Vietnamese Zen and Vippasana meditation for 10 years, and a visual artist, both with watercolor and acryllic mediums. Neelam hopes to serve immigrant women and girls with an integrative approach that emphasizes wellness, preventive care as well as physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Trina Chaudhuri

Trina Chaudhuri

Bio coming soon!