Governor Wes Moore, Unveils Appointments to Governor’s Commission on South Asian American Affairs


According to the State of Maryland, “Governor Wes Moore today announced appointments to the Governor’s Commission on South Asian American Affairs.” This is the group that gives advice to the government and state agencies on problems affecting Maryland’s rapidly growing South Asian American community. The chair will be Gurpreet “Preet” Takhar.

The new members of the board come from a range of racial and professional backgrounds and have strong ties to Maryland’s South Asian American community.

The New People Hired are:

Gurpreet “Preet” Takhar, who is Indian, is the CEO of Tru Health Now. The company runs neighborhood health centers that offer a range of medical services, from primary care to urgent care. Together with the Greater Washington Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the clinics set up food drives in local Gurdwaras and raised money to send medical goods and personal protective equipment to parts of the world that don’t get enough medical care.

Euro-America Shipping and Trade, Inc. is run by Pakistani Obaid Ahmad, who is also its president. There is a trustee for the Maryland Democratic Party and he teaches softball. He is also on the Business Advisory Council for the Comptroller of Maryland.

Dr. Bishal Bhandari is a Nepalese clinical analytics scientist and healthcare quality worker who works for MedStar Health. He is also the co-founder of Aspirenix, a company that helps healthcare organizations use technology to improve their services. He works for free for the Lions Club of Baltimore Nepalese as a community health supervisor.

Indian woman Arti Bhatt works for the non-profit Public Company Accounting Oversight Board as a diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner. She also sits on the racial equity group for the Frederick County Public School Board of Education. She has also been on the Human Rights Commission for the state of Massachusetts before.

Raj Borsellino (Indian) is vice president and head of national programming at the Truist Foundation right now. The foundation works with non-profits to help them do their jobs. He used to work as a senior program officer for Robin Hood, which is one of the biggest groups in the country fighting poverty, and as a board member for Immigrant Advocates’ Response Collaborative.

Kausik Das, Ph. D, is a physics professor at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the director of the Center for Student Excellence. He is Indian. He writes books and gives talks, and he is a part of the Indian Association of Salisbury and the Hindu Temple of the Eastern Shore’s governing body.

Indian-born Preeti Emrick, JD, is the top Asian American official in Anne Arundel County. She is in charge of the county’s emergency management office. She used to work for the University of Maryland Capital Region Health as their Corporate Emergency Manager. She is the first person in her family to be Indian American, and she wants to help future generations with immigration and community problems.

Dr. Raza Khan is from Pakistan and is the division chair of sciences at Carroll Community College. He is also the co-chair of the Maryland Collegiate STEM Conference. He is also a member of the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s faculty advisory board and used to be president of the Islamic Society of Carroll County.

Preeti Menon is an Indian woman who helped start the Children’s Institute of Cultural Appreciation and Understanding and is now its executive head. In her spare time, she helps Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America with state events and is the head of the Parent Teacher Association at her child’s elementary school.

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Dr. Ahmed Nawaz is a Pakistani doctor who specializes in internal medicine. He helps people in the community at health events and food distribution centers all over Maryland as part of his work with the American Diversity Group and the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America.

Nivea Ohri (Indian) is a junior attorney at the Waldorf law firm of Baldwin, Briscoe & Steinmetz, P.C., where she helps people with civil, family, criminal, and real estate issues. She is a part of the Leadership Southern Maryland Candidate class of 2024. She speaks English, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu very well and has served in the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Air Force as a Judge Advocate General.

MKA Designs, Inc. in Frederick County is owned and run by Sushma Potluri, who is Indian. She started heritage nights to share her practices and culture with the people of Urbana and is currently the president of the Parent-Teacher Association at Urbana High School.

Faisal Quader is a professor at the University of Maryland and the president and co-founder of Technuf LLC. He also has a PhD from Bangladesh. The American Association of Bangladeshi Engineers and Architects, the Bangladeshi Entrepreneurs Society of Talents, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers are some of the non-profits he has led.

Afghan Fahim Rafiq used to be an officer for the Baltimore County Police Department. He now runs the small business ZiZa Kabob. For his work in the community, he has received the Commendation Award, the Chief of Police Award, and the Community Service Award.

Dr. Shahid Rafiq is a doctor, businessman, and the president and CEO of Comprehensive Neurology Services in Pakistan. He is also an innovator in health care and a market disruptor. He has been a member of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent in North America for life.

Indian businessman Amarjeet Sandhu is a famous businessman who owns several franchises, including Exxon, Circle K, and Subway. For the last five years, he was president of the Punjabi Club of Maryland. Now he is president of the Sikhs of DMV.

Devang Shah is an Indian immigration lawyer, investor, and business owner who runs companies in the food, biotech, and hospitality fields. As vice president of the National Council of Asian Indian Associations, a board member of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, and a board member of the Asian Institute for Community Service, he works to make sure that the AAPI community has access to fair and equal health care.

Harshid Shah is an Indian guy who is in charge of delivery program management in the Department of Information Technology in Maryland. He is a leader in managing IT projects and programs. He is also a director at the Federation of Jain Association in Northern America and a member at the Jain Society of Metropolitan Washington.

Aman Shergill is an Indian woman who is involved in her community. She helped start Communities United Against Hate and is on its executive committee. She is also on the executive board of the Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington and helped start the EcoSikh Summer Youth Camp.

Dr. Archana Thakkar is an Indian doctor who has worked in the medical field for more than 25 years. She has been volunteering with Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, a major Hindu faith and social service group, for 15 years to reach out to the community and work on public issues.

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