Sheela came to the United States in 1989 with her family. Her pleasant smile and helping mentality become a delight for the aging community in New York. One elderly woman recently demanded to see her infant photograph, she was not surprised to see the same smile in the black and white picture of six month old baby Sheela. Working in the social service department for the New York City and working for Kerala, Indian and multinational community are thrilling as well as fulfilling experiences to her. She is recognized as one of the best employees of NYCHA in 2005. And was the Chairperson of Domestic Violence Conferences and Senior Volunteer Luncheons for Staten Island. She is the 1st Lady in Malayalam TV Production in U.S. and Canada which was aired by TV Asia and was also a pioneer in helping Asianet to bring Malayalam programs to U.S. for our community.
Currently Sheela is volunteering as March of Dimes Ambassador Mother, PSEandamp;G’s Out Reach Ambassador, Joint Secretary of Karuna Charities and Secretary to KANJ; we wish to see her more active and energetic to uplift the community to a new level of enduring happiness in the coming years. She lives in Sayreville with her husband Sreekumar, who is a Senior Software Engineer in UPS and the son Vishnu.
BINA MENON : BINA MENON
Mrs. Bina Menon, a Bharata Natyam, Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudi and Kathakali artiste is the founder and Director of Kalashri School of Arts. A versatile dance conductor and choreographer, Mrs. Menon is also a musician, costume designer as well as painting artist.
Bina Balakrishna Menon, at a very young age, found a place for herself in the field of art. She did shows that stood apart and made an attempt to take dance closer to a layman or a common viewer. Dashavataram, Krishna Leela, The Bible and Putana Moksham are some of her choreographies that have been successfully presented to the American audience. Mrs. Menon has been able to promote tourism to India by taking part in the Government of India’s tourism promotion held at the worlds biggest Bronx Zoo for 3 consecutive years and also for Asia Society, New York.
Mrs. Bina Menon, a student of dance perfectionist 'Kalamandalam Natanam' Gopalakrishnan, had performed all over India and abroad at a very young age . She started choreographing dances by the age of 16. At the age of 20 she had a school stadium in Chennai filled with 500 dancers dancing to 'Dances of India' for a sports event. She travelled nationally and internationally with Bollywood’s 'Dream girl' Hema Malini in her teens. National award winner 'Urvashi' Shobana, a prominent classical dancer and actress of South India has been part of Bina Menon’s Kalashri School of Arts for several years. Meenakshi Sheshadri of Bollywood , who is also a classical dance exponent, has had her shows with Bina Menon and the students of Kalashri School of Arts.
JAYSHREE J. PATEL : JAYSHREE J. PATEL Being grown up as the progeny of a prominent Royal family of Kerala ,where education and fine arts like Karnatic Music and South Indian Classical dances were equally encouraged and nourished by ancestors, academic achievements and classical dances like Bharatnatyam and Mohini Attom from early years of life was nothing but natural to Mrs. Patel. She has been taught by prominent teachers from Kottakkal Kathakali group’s Bharatanatyam wing disciples and Kalamandalam teachers like Kshemavathy etc. she has performed extensively on several stages and one first prizes in Kerala ,India and later on public functions like mayoral fund raising events etc in Chicago, ILL after her settling in US with her husband, Dr. J.M.Patel. Even though retired from active stage performances due to hectic professional commitments and family life, she has never hesitated to encourage and give full support any incoming artist, cultural associations and groups etc which try to impart our valuable ancient art form to the second generation Indians in US and Western world itself.
Academic achievements are also extremely noteworthy. Mrs. Patel came to US with a Maters degree in Sociology from Kerala university and Bachelor of law degree from Cochin University, Kerala, India. Additionally she has received a Master’s degree in Social work from Columbia University, NY and JD from City University of New York. Before coming to US, She was working as a lecturer in a local college in Trichur Dist,Kerala. Her first job in America would have been one of the challenging to most of the Indian women of her generation but according to her it was the most inspiring, eye opening and learning experience she gained in US rather than all the degrees she acquired in her life.It is her Social Worker’s job in New York Harlem Hospital in Adult Inpatient Psych unit, turning down much lucrative suburban hospitals offers of NY and NJ . She is still maintaining her CSW Certification license of Social Work in New York State. But after two years of sincere commitment to her profession , it became very clear to her that she cannot do much to her community or even needy fellow Americans with a mere Social work qualification.
Slide5: Aney Chandy-Attorney
The name ‘Anna Chandy’ is very famous in India as the first woman Chief Justice of Kerala as well as in the whole of India. Ms. Aney Chandy who now heads the Law Department of one of the top cities of US is looked at by all Keralites as the re-birth of the famous ‘Anna Chandy’ and we wish
her all success and God’s Spree in her making of a modern and famous ‘Anna Chandy’ in USA
Aney K. Chandy currently serves as Corporation Counsel for the City
of Newark, New Jersey during one of the most important and exciting times
in this major epicenter’s history. In her role as Corporation
Charles Kannankeril: Charles Kannankeril Charles Kannankeril, a native of Cochin, has been in the United States for over 30 years.
He received his MS degree in Chemistry and MS degree in Chemical Engineering, both from the
University of Massachusetts. After graduation, he moved to Canada where he worked as a
Research Scientist for Amerace Corporation in Toronto. He returned to the United States to
join Sealed Air Corporation as a Senior Research Scientist. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed
as the Director of Research and Development at Sealed Air Corporation. Many of his inventions have been successfully commercialized in Medical and Food Industries,
Packaging Industry, Supermarkets, and Financial Institutions. Inflatable Bubble Wrap, Easy
Dispensing Produce Bag, Absorbent Meat Pad, and Tamper Evident Security Bag are some of
the familiar products invented by him. He also holds two patents for a mail bag designed for the
US Post Office to prevent Postal employees from biohazardous contamination, such as Anthrax.
Charles lives in North Caldwell, New Jersey with his wife Dr. Mary. They have two daughters:
Dr. Charlene, who lives in Washington, DC with her husband Stephen Voss; and Crystal, who is
a Psychology doctoral student at Loyola University in Maryland.
Slide7: Raju Joseph – Film making
First Malayalee NRI Film director. Has produced and directed two Malayalam
films (Dollar, Niyogam) and an English independent feature film 'Under the Sky'. A rising star in the sky of Film production in USA. Mr. Raju Joseph,
famous as ‘Dollar Raju’ after his malayalam film ‘Dollar, Niyogam’,
is showing the way to the young malayalee talents how to be a successful
film maker in USA. Knight Shyamalan a Malayalee Philadelphian is challenging
the Hollywood world of film producers while Raju is trying to fuse the East and West
approach for the new world.