Nearly 300 professionals affiliated with the Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA) enjoyed one another’s company in ideal weather conditions on the Hudson River during the 2022 Annual Networking Dinner Cruise on July 23, 2022.
Dignitaries present at the event included Consul (Politics & PIC) of India-NY Vipul Dev; Gordon Tung, vice president of the New York City Board of Education; Deputy Chief Engineer, Port Authority of NY and NJ, Rizwan Baig; Mark Ebrahim, Director of Mentoring at NYCSCA, and Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Founder and Chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media. According to a press release from SIAEA, 280 guests attended the networking cruise.
Ketan Shah, President of SIAEA, welcomed the gathering and shared the achievements and highlights of the organization since it was founded in 1981 with just 20 members now numbering more than 1,200.
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Members include professional engineers and architects of Indian descent, including those of the second and third generation who were born in the United States. Members represent the private and public sectors who have “made tremendous contributions in engineering, architecture, construction management, contracting and construction-related specialty services,” according to a SIAEA press release. The organization has provided a platform for professional development and collaboration.
To date, SIAEA has awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships to engineering and architecture students; introduction of a technical seminar program to raise the level of vocational training; hosted a series of networking events throughout the year that created opportunities for new professional relationships.
It also did philanthropic work during the height of the COVID pandemic, raising $100,000 to send medical supplies to India to meet the needs of hard-hit areas.
Several special guests spoke during the cruise and commended SIAEA for their contributions.
Consul Dev, who is also an Architect by training, congratulated the SIAEA and its members on the vital role they play in building the city and keeping the infrastructure running smoothly and providing a platform for Indian-origin professionals in the field.
Gordon Tung, vice president of the New York City School Construction Authority, outlined the opportunities available to “minority and women-owned businesses” and presented ways NYCSCA could provide support in a variety of ways, from mentoring small emerging ones Enterprises to full-on blown general contractors or design A/E firms like Ashnu Int’l.
Port Authority of NY and NJ Deputy Chief Engineer Rizwan Baig spoke about the billion-dollar budget PANYNJ has available for engineering and construction opportunities, particularly for the renovation and rebuilding of La Guardia and JFK airports.
Ebrahim, director of the mentoring program at NYCSCA, enlightened those present on the benefits of the mentoring program as a springboard for growth.
dr Sudhir Parikh stressed the importance of SIAEA to the Indian American community and thanked Shah for the opportunity to attend the networking event.
The cruise ended with dinner and dancing and, according to the organizers, provided the setting for fruitful interactions between members as well as opportunities for networking with key industry and media figures.