Meet our Founding Members:
Dr. Manu Chandaria, Kenya
Dr. Chandaria is a businessman based in Kenya and for a number of years, sat at the head of a family multi-million dollar enterprise (the Comcraft Group), operating in 40 different countries. He sits on the boards of several prominent companies and is the Chancellor of the United States International University – Africa(USIU – Africa) and Technical University of Kenya (TUK). He has won several awards in East Africa and internationally in recognition of his entrepreneurial endeavors, and has received various accolades for his very worthy service. Dr. Chandaria was named an officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003. He was awarded Elder of the Burning Spear by HE President Mwai Kibaki, Chief of the Burning Spear by HE President Uhuru Kenyatta. He has received four honorary doctorates from the following institutions: University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Kenya Methodist University and Technical University of Kenya. From India, Dr. Chandaria has been the recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Sanmam Puraskar, the Bharat Gaurav Award, the Vijay Rattna Award and the Jawaharlal Nehru Excellence Award, among several others. Dr. Chandaria was also awarded the Korea Trade Day Award in recognition of his business support as the best trading partner with Korea. Further, in 2013 Dr. Chandaria was the recipient of the Forbes Africa Lifetime Achievement Award, and Forbes Magazine said the following about him: “[Dr.] Chandaria is also one of Africa’s most celebrated philanthropists. According to sources at Comcraft Group, has given away more than $100 million in his lifetime to causes in children’s health and education.”
See Dr. Chandaria speak about philanthropy here.
Maya Shahani (India)
Maya Shahani brings a wealth of experience to the table and has an extensive background in philanthropy, specifically related to children and education. She currently serves as the Chairperson of SAGE Foundation and co-founded the organization in 2012 as a step towards fulfilling her vision of building schools for underprivileged children throughout India and providing them with skills that make them employable. SAGE is committed to educating under-resourced children and giving wealth generating skills training to their families for creating extraordinary lives. Through adopting major slums and villages in and around Mumbai, SAGE envisages transforming the world one village at a time and received recognition at the Clinton Global Initiative for this vision. Ms. Shahani is also the Trustee of the Thadomal Shahani Trust, founded in 1952, with the primary objective of promoting quality education, healthcare, and housing. She is the Governing Board Member of the HSNC Board, running 27 prime educational institutes in Mumbai with over 50,000 students graduating every year. Ms. Shahani further serves as the Chairperson of the Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management, the Business School of the future, which imparts global quality management education and focuses on creating heart-centric business leaders. CFM has recently won the DNA Award for the best business school for industry-academia linkages. She is also the Vice Chairperson of Global Dialogue Foundation and Founder Trustee of Women’s Movement for Peace and Prosperity under the aegis of Times Foundation. She is the Education board member of Sadhu Vaswani Mission and Priyadarshni Academy, Patron of Cancer Patients Aid Association and Governing Board Member of the Bombay Mothers’ and Children Welfare Society as well as Chairperson of the Justice H.K. Chainani Elder’s Home. Ms. Shahani is the winner of the Global Peace Award, The Jewel of India Award and the Light of Asia Award. Her family owns the East India Paper Company, one of India’s oldest and largest paper & paperboard companies.
Sach Chandaria (Switzerland)
Mr. Chandaria is a 5th generation member of a multi-generation family with interests in leading global businesses which began from modest origins in East Africa a hundred years ago. The family‘s core focus is on nurturing entrepreneurial talent. It seeks to identify a very specific breed of entrepreneur or entrepreneurial team and create a context for them, where their entrepreneurial fire can flourish, by providing very patient capital, active strategic inputs and broad operating latitude. Mr. Chandaria, with other family members, is investing significant time in understanding the global philanthropic and social impact landscape with the objective of defining clear focus areas for the family’s philanthropic efforts and institutionalizing existing initiatives to allow for global execution. Mr. Chandaria was born in Kenya and grew up mostly in North America. He is currently based in Geneva, Switzerland prior to which he spent time in Singapore, Shanghai and Nairobi. He completed his MBA at Harvard and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Brown University. He is a member of YPO and a trustee of Internews Europe.
Dee Vaidya (United States of America)
Mr. Vaidya holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and a Master’s Degree in Polymer Science from the University of Akron, Ohio, and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Administration from Purdue University. Mr. Vaidya started a business from his home in Wooster, Ohio, in 1993 with $5,000 and a dream. That was the beginning of TechniGraphics, Inc. In 1994, Dee acquired the tiny, 10-employee TGS Technology division of Johnson Controls in Fort Collins, Colorado, which was a federal contractor for Geospatial Intelligence Systems (GIS). The company produced digital maps for the U.S. government. Dee grew TechniGraphics and sold it, with over 400 employees, to a large federal contractor in November 2010. In January 2014, at the annual dinner of the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce, attended by 800 people, Dee was presented with a flag of the United States of America that was flown over the U.S. Capitol building in his honor on November 6, 2013, at the request of Ohio Congressman Jim Renacci. Dee serves as Chairman of NobleTek, a technology company with customers in Asia, the European Union and the United States.
The Honourable Dave Levac (Canada)
Mr. Levac is the current Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. He has been heralded by most MPPs and political commentators as one of the most effective Speakers in recent memory, presiding with dignity and integrity. Once the current government completes its mandate in 2018, Mr. Levac will become the longest-serving elected Speaker in Ontario history. Mr. Levac received the Canada 125 Medal in 1993 and was named Brantford, Ontario’s Citizen of the Year in 1997. He also served as coordinator of Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Visit to Brantford in 1997. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012. He has also been awarded an Ontario Service Award and the YMCA Canada Peace Medal. Mr. Levac is a teacher by profession and therefore is very passionate about this cause.
Kiran Kulkarni (Canada)
Mr. Kulkarni began his career with Nortel Networks. His last role with the company was that of an assistant corporate controller. Upon leaving Nortel Networks, Mr. Kulkarni embarked on a successful entrepreneurial career with a Toronto-based plastics business. Over the past thirty years, he has been instrumental in acquisitions, mergers, divestitures and the operation of multiple international businesses in various industries including plastics, electronics, retail, manufacturing and financial services in Canada, the United States and India. Mr. Kulkarni holds a Masters in Engineering from and took courses towards his MBA from the University of Ottawa.
Arun Kulkarni (Canada)
Mr. Kulkarni holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and an MBA from the University of Saskatchewan. In the 1970s, Mr. Kulkarni purchased a small company and has since turned it into a multi-million dollar corporation operating globally including in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Hong Kong. Mr. Kulkarni’s business interests range from manufacturing and distribution of thermoelectric coolers to injection-molded goods servicing the horticulture industry in Canada and the United States. Mr. Kulkarni, together with his brother Kiran, employs over 3,000 people worldwide through their various business concerns.