Chai & just Chat Advisory Board

Chai & just Chat Advisory Board

Shaloo Kaur

Ms. Kaur is an educator at Fulton Academy of Science and Technology. She also runs a small freight business and has great passion for teaching Gurmukhi (Punjabi) to youth and encouraging Interfaith dialogue. Her  hobbies are spending time with kids, yoga, theater and dance. She is strong advocate for mental health awareness, victims of domestic violence and bullying prevention. She also likes to volunteers as an Interpreter for Asylum seekers.

Kirk Canaday

Native of Denver Colorado. Attended Northeastern JC, Army Veteran Nike Hercules ICBM missile technician , Retired IT program manager for major federal contractor in northern Virginia , Member of the JCCA since 2013, Founding member of the Johns Creek Veterans Association , Board member of Johns Creek Board of Zoning and Appeals, Member of American Legion post 201, Past member of JCPD Citizens Auxiliary Police, Graduate of Johns Creek Citizens Fire Academy , Graduate of Fulton County Sheriff’s Academy , Currently Attending Atlanta FBI Citizens Academy.

Sharmista Shankaranarayana

Sharmista brings to table17+ years of social responsibility experience having closely worked with cancer warriors and their caregivers, gifted children through art therapy, fund raising for rural education mainly putting girl children back to school, self help group for sexually abused women and more… She also has 11 years of corporate experience into Financial Services and Finance Project Transitions and Management. She is currently heading the India Chapter of BlueMatch Impact Concepts Netherlands as their Managing Director. Her team and she are passionately, strongly & ecologically driven to make the impact to the world especially through their Sustainable Renewable Resources and Energy company. Their first livelihood project being clean & safe cooking solutions which means it’s continuing progression for many households and to the environment on a larger scale.

Judge Cassandra Kirk

In May 2018 Judge Kirk become the first ever elected Chief Magistrate Judge of Fulton County. Her mission is to Inform, Engage and Empower Our Community. Prior to Magistrate Court, Judge Kirk served Fulton County as a Juvenile Court judge, where she spearheaded its first Juvenile Drug Treatment Court. Judge Kirk’s over twenty-five year legal experience includes service as a jurist, prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, civil litigator, and Administrative Director. As a result of her commitment to the community and the legal profession, Fulton County Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk received several awards in 2019 for service and leadership: Judge of the Year (Rolling Out Magazine), Judge of the Year (Women Works Media Group). She was also nominated for Civil Servant of the Year (R.I.C.E. awards) in 2018. Judge Kirk received her B.A. from Williams College, and her J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Rishi Gowda

Rishi is a rising senior in High School and a graduate of the prestigious Governers Honors Program at Berry College. He is currently an Senior Associate at an Atlanta Tech Startup and a part time public speaking coach to younger children. Rishi aspires to become an entrepreneur in the tech field, as well as obtaining a law degree. Rishi Gowda is also the co-founder of a local non-profit caled Illuminating Minds. He works with establishing better educational environments in India, Nepal, and in Jamaica.

Kristin Morrissey

Kristin is the vice chair of Forsyth County Schools Board of Education. Mrs. Morrissey is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Forsyth and the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, Regional Economic & Leadership Development. She and her husband Joe have two girls, one at Georgia Tech and their youngest at Lambert HS.

Geeta Mehrotra

Geeta draws from her life story and experiences as a freelance writer and motivational speaker. Geeta has a vast repertoire of experiences in her professional career. Geeta has served as CEO of Sadhu Vaswani Atlanta, Past President of Sindhi Sabha of Georgia. She has interacted with individuals of all walks of life as she works as she shares her knowledge and experiences with others as she assists individuals while serving as a life coach. Geeta, has developed many “self-help programs” dealing with self-improvement including the “Be Light Program, The ABC’s of Nutrition, A- Z Steps to Goal Achieving and written , i.e. Garden of Gratitude, a children’s book, How Many Balls? She has written many articles as a freelance writer; she has traveled widely and enjoys photography. Geeta received her education B. Sc. from Maharani’s college Mysore and the MBA from University of Mysore.

Patricia Smith

Patricia is comfortably retired with husband Curtis. She has enjoyed 25 years working in travel with both United and Delta airlines. She has taught technical support through her A+ certification and Bachelors in Management. Her most rewarding work by far has been through United Methodist Women and Health Promotion Coalition (HPAC).The non-profit organization dedicated to improving health outcomes and increasing the number of healthy people and communities through policy; advocacy; community engagement; education; research and leadership development. Through this partnership community gardens, lactation rooms and many other grant-driven deliverable s were awarded.

Ranjit Gangadharan

Ranjit has taken on volunteerism as a passion and been a supporter of non-profits and charitable organizations since he was a teenager. Having lived and worked across Asia, Middle East, Europe and USA, Ranjit considers himself a global citizen as he has a balanced view of all cultures, nationalities and religions. He is an Engineer with a post-graduation in management and build a career in IT Consulting (Strategy, Business Processes, SCM, ERP, and Automation), and Sales. Ranjit currently serves as AVP – Sales for Capgemini America.

Uma Majmudar

Dr. Uma Majmudar has an innate love of learning and a zest for academic education. Dr. Majmudar earned her Ph.D. in 1996 from Emory University with a dissertation on Mahatma Gandhi’s Trajectory in Truth and Fowler’s Theory of Stages of Faith. She authored a book, Gandhi’s Pilgrimage of Faith: From Darkness to Light, which was published by the State University of New York Press (SUNY, 2005). Her second book: Gandhi and Rajchandra: The Making of the Mahatma is accepted for publication by Lexington Books, an Imprint of Rowman & Littlefield. Dr. Majmudar taught as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Religion Department of Emory University (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007) and was a full-time lecturer in the Religion and Philosophy Department at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia (2013). She continues to teach at Spelman as an Adjunct lecturer in Religion. She is actively involved in citywide intercultural and interfaith associations and has received several awards from IACA and the Gujarati Samaj for her community services. In 2006, Dr. Majmudar was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars of Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Mayor Vince Williams

Vince Williams serves as the mayor of Union City, Georgia. Mayor Williams was elected to office in 2007 during difficult times for Union City. Since becoming mayor, he has focused on developing Union City’s central business district, ending homelessness, increasing transportation opportunities, job creation, public safety initiatives and more. Williams’ leadership and commitment to advancing the Council’s shared vision for Union City helped to transform a dilapidated mall into the thriving multi-million-dollar film studio Atlanta Metro Studios, and reverse a multi-year financial deficit to an 81% increase during his first term as mayor.In addition to his public service, Mayor Williams is also associate pastor at the iThrive Christian Church and an entrepreneur in the real estate, health and wellness industries.

Akil Taher, MD

Dr. Taher is a resident of Atlanta, GA and a practicing physician in NE, AL for the past 30 years. He has spent 11 years in Bahrain, (AG) where he trained physicians and was involved with the American University of Beirut in starting the first medical school in the Gulf. Dr. Taher is a firm believer in exercise, yoga, meditation and spirituality which has helped him profoundly in his personal life. As a physician, he talks about his experiences to inspire my patients to live better, eat well, exercise and learn moderation. Physicians should concentrate more in treating the cause of the disease rather than the consequence of the disease.

Jan Christiansen

Jan is the Executive Director of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV), and has been with the organization since 2009. She has worked in the domestic violence movement for more than twenty years. Previous to coming to GCADV, Jan was the Executive Director of Women Helping Battered Women, the largest domestic violence program in Vermont, and worked for many years in Florida including serving as Executive Director for Micah’s Place, the certified domestic violence center serving Nassau County, Florida. Jan has spoken at the local, state, national and international levels She believes that in order to end domestic violence, you must end all violence and oppression.

Neha Negandhi

Neha Negandhi works in the intersection of companies and communities. She is CEO+Founder of Social Measures, a social impact communications consulting firm. Social Measures bridges organizations social purpose to help those that benefit the most. Her talk radio show on WMLB-Atlanta talked with celebrities and leaders about social impact and philanthropic giving. Through her published writing, including pieces with Nobel Peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi, Pulitzer Prize Winner Jhumpa Lahari, etc crafted her storytelling. The corporations she worked for including Turner Broadcasting, T-Mobile headquarters and Starbucks headquarters mark her expertise in brand marketing, strategy communications and brand storytelling. She recently was selected to be a TEDx speaker. Neha is heavily involved in the community serving on the Board of Directors for Junior League of Atlanta as well as the Executive Board of Pratham Atlanta. Neha lives in Brookhaven with her husband and two kids.

Khanjan ‘Kuki’ Gandhi

Kuki works as a bioinformatics scienstist at Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University. She has a Masters in Bioinformatics from Georgia Tech & MBA from Emory University. She is a startup enthusiast and dabbles on several projects on the side. She loves to support non-profits, has been on the board of several organizations and has helped them grow & succeed. She is always looking to contribute her skills for the betterment of her community and am excited to join Chai & just Chat for the same.

Jaslin Chahal

Jaslin Chahal is the president and founder of Gold Star Mortgage. She earned an honors bachelor degree in commerce from Jesus and Mary College in New Delhi, India. She has worked in banking and mortgage industry for last 15 years. Since opening in 2015, Goldstar Mortgage has been assisting families with purchasing homes via mortgages as well as refinancing existing properties. In addition to home loans, she advises clients on credit improvement strategies to attain long term financial strength. Her company recently earned the Platinum and a Gold award at highly regarded GA MBag awards in 2019. She enjoys working with families to get into their new homes and build better lives for themselves. As a long term member of our community, she looks forward to helping many more community members with their financial needs.

Leanne Rubenstein—Executive Director, Compassionate Atlanta

Leanne Rubenstein brings over 20 years of non-profit experience to Compassionate Atlanta. She has an extensive background working in a leadership capacity with non-profit organizations and serves on several non-profit boards. Leanne’s passion for social justice has led her to take her degree in Special Education and her Master’s level training in counseling to a wider audience through program leadership, fundraising and development. As a passionate storyteller, Leanne has transformed her program development and leadership skills into helping the wider community understand the impact of their voices and their philanthropy in order to make a positive impact in their communities and worldwide.