ICC Votes in Eight Directors, Executive Committee Elections Jan 7

The ICC Board and the Election Committee at India House with the newly installed Directors at the election held on Sunday, December 3.

The ICC Board and the Election Committee at India House with the newly installed Directors at the election held on Sunday, December 3.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: If all elections could be this amicable, there certainly wouldn’t be much to argue about and things could go much more smoothly!

As a member of the Election Committee for the India Culture Center, I had the duty of fielding all the nominations and ensuring there were no mistakes in that process.  My other Committee members were Girish Pandya and Sam Merchant and the three of us conducted the election of upto nine Directors this past Sunday, December 3 at India House. A room full of ICC members, Directors and Trustees were present for the hour long process, following which the ICC held its General Body meeting.

This year, as last year, there were eight seats available for Directors for two-year terms and one for a one-year term, and two vacancies for three-year Trustee positions and one for two years.  The ICC started advertising the election a month earlier and during that time, seven nominations were received for Directors and two for Trustees.

ICC President Falguni Gandhi opened up the meeting with a rundown of the long list of activities that the group had organized and participated in throughout the year. For the past few years, to follow its motto of being a communitywide umbrella organization, the ICC has made sure that some of its Directors are present at most Indian community event in the Metroplex, which makes for an impressive list indeed. The group is now preparing for one of its flagship events: the celebration of India’s Republic Day on January 20 at the Stafford Civic Centre on Cash Road.

The names of the seven who were nominated were read out and verified and all but two – Ajt Patel and Harshad Patel – were present and, as there wasn’t any opposition, there was no need for an election. One nomination was solicited from the floor and Nagar Raj agreed to be become a Director and he gave a short description of his community involvement and professional career. In addition to these three, the other newly elected Directors are Santosh Verma, Nirmala Patel, Nisha Mirani, Pramod Bengani and Dr. K.D. Upadhya. Two nominations for Trustees have been received for Praful Gandhi and Charlie Patel but these will be voted on during the Executive Committee election on January 7, 2018.

Following the election, Trustee Swapan Dhariyawan gave a report of the finances, a position that he will relinquish as he transitions to President of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston next year. Many lamented his loss, but Dhariyawan, who has been an ardent supporter of the ICC, promised to help wherever he could.