Happy Makara Sankranthi wishes!
2016 has been a very blessed year for our VPA family! It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we took over as the Board of Trustees of our VPA Association. As promised every Chapter officer, Chapter President, Board of trustee and Executive committee member has worked hard and contributed their valuable time and expertise to push our association forward. I am proud of each one of them. My sincere thanks to all of you for your support.
In 2016, I’m happy to report that there were several milestones achieved and many processes put in place to meet compliances for the betterment of the organization.
The website has been updated and is now more secure, expandable and robust. Much awaited, PayPal has been introduced to collect payments at each chapter level, national level, and for our upcoming convention. Additionally, a members only area on the website is in process.
We now use “Robert’s Rules of order” to conduct all BOT and chapter meetings. We are in the process of instituting Quickbooks at all levels for book-keeping. All the association documents are converted to a digital format for easy transfer to the succeeding office bearers. The membership roster and life members have been reviewed and updated. Membership growth has been modest in a non-convention year. Our association’s constitution is being revised to be presented at 2017 General body meeting. Our bi-annual convention will now on be called “Heritage festival and Convention.” I have received immense positive feedback from inside and outside the association about all of the above changes.
Quite a bit of our time has been consumed by a routine IRS audit for the fiscal year 2013-14. There were several lessons learnt and loop holes identified. Processes have been put in place for future compliance. Several of our officers have received phishing emails. As a result we have removed individual contact information on our website and officers have been made aware of phishing scams.
We’re a Non-profit 501(c)(3) designated organization. We need to maintain our status with our community service and generous charitable contributions. I request you all to do community service in your localities and channel your charitable donations through VPA.
Please encourage your children and youth to get involved with our organization to learn our heritage, celebrate our festivals, and network with other youth and young professionals for long term friendships. I urge you all to become Life members if you believe in our cause like I do.
I’m elated to report that the preparation for our upcoming Heritage Festival has been in full swing and is energetic under the leadership of our Convention chair Dinesh Gowda. We are working hard to make this event one of the most attended and exciting event. The focus of this festival is to incorporate our traditional food, discussions, comedy, drama, dance, and music – all representing our heritage. We’re working hard to promote our youth and young professionals under the leadership of our youth BOTs Nidhish Lokesh and Vaibhav Gowda. We’re striving to make your visit worthwhile for every penny and minute spent. Please mark your calendars to include your trip to Dallas on July 1-3, 2017. Let’s all get together and strengthen our bonds, celebrate our heritage, DANCE AND DINE.
On my recent trip to India, I was fortunate to meet and invite our own Sri Sri Sri Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji, many celebrities, artists, and other prominent Vokkaligas. Please show your support through your attendance, participation in programs, volunteering and sponsorships. Remember to invite your friends and extended family members from India and elsewhere. As you all know this is a heavily subsidized event driven by sponsorship and donations. Please open your hearts and your wallet to support this cause.
Let’s all “TILL our TOMORROW in TEXAS!!!”
Wishing you all a Very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2017!
Balu Chandra, M.D.,
President VPA 2016-17