India Community Center of Rochester - Professional Forum


ICC Professional Forum

Throughout its history, the ICC has arranged speaking sessions by experts – both local and global – that have provided the community an opportunity for intellectual interaction. In 2011, the ICC BOT decided to formalize this effort to ensure that an intellectual component was added to the cultural and community event calendar at the ICC to ensure that we were executing on all aspects of the ICC Mission to "make a positive difference in the community by providing social, cultural, educational, professional and recreational programs".

It is fitting that the inaugural event in November 2011 was keynoted by the well-known author, writer and then Union Minister for Corporate Affairs for the Government of India, H.E. Dr. Veerappa Moily. That initial event was moderated by the Dean of E. Philips Saunders College of Business at RIT, Dr. Ashok Rao.

Ms. Shaila Shenai, VP Marketing at Xerox and a past Chairperson of the ICC, was requested to form the ICC Professional Forum group. The idea was to extend the reach of the ICC Board, by having an organization structure similar to the CMD, which has been very effective in multiplying the impact of a few BOT members who work closely with other volunteers dedicated to the cause if bringing curated events to the ICC.

Shaila also had the inspired idea to pull in more professional women from the community to expand the reach of this group. Under Shaila’s leadership, the Professional Forum arranged a landmark joint event in June 2012, where the URMC unveiled their India Initiative which was followed up by a highly appreciated session on Heart Healthcare by Dr. J.P. Mishra.

In 2014, Chetna Chandrakala took over as the Chair of the ICC Professional Forum when the Shenais moved to Florida. Since its inception, the Forum has now arranged a total of 11 sessions till the middle of 2016 with plans for more events to come later in 2016.

The audience has appreciated every session – each one has been unique and different – and more importantly, every event has brought new visitors to the ICC. We continue to seek formal feedback at every event and based on the response, the Forum has also expanded its objectives to support the ICC’s mission.

The ICC Professional Forum’s goals are to

  • Arrange sessions on topics of interest to our members and community and curate the events to generate dialog and better understanding
  • Engage the community beyond the ICC’s constituency
  • Leverage the talent amongst youth and women to expand the exchange of knowledge and insight
  • Support ICC’s goals of Outreach, Volunteerism and to provide a bridge to the Indian American subcultures

The sessions are open to everyone and are at no charge to the audience.

The Professional Forum is always looking for opportunities and volunteers. Please reach out to any of the members listed below or to anyone in the ICC BOT if you have any ideas that you want to pursue and places where this group can help you bring those ideas to fruition.