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JAINA Past Executive Committee Biographies

Back to JAINA Executive Committee 2009-2011

Position: President

Name: Lata Champsee

Education: BA

Occupation: Property Management

MemberAssociation: Jain Society of Toronto, Canada


My goal is to make JAINA:

Financially independent ( Currently in RED, about $75,000)

Increased communications between JAINA and its centers.

Increased JAINA’s participation at the international and interfaith level.

Establishment of Senior Community residence.

JAINA and Jain Center Achievements:

Convener for 2009 Convention. Moved convention from expensive venue to local Jain Center to avoid financial disaster for JAINA and make it affordable for the attendees. In spite of lowering registration fee by 45%, 2009 convention will generate slight profit or at least break even.

Jain Digest - Editor in Chief for past 10 years, took the magazine from occasional publication in black and white to colorful voluminous quarterly issues with increased participation from scholars and circulation of 11,000+.

President and Trustee of Jain Society of Toronto

Served JAINA for past 12 years in various capacities as Director, Regional Vice President, Secretary, First Vice President, etc.

Social Level:

Presided over AWIC (South East Asian Women’s Organization), helped establish many new centers in Ontario State during my 25 years of services.

Founder of Ontario Seniors Club

Chaired 2 Kutchi Conventions. Helped in raising over $40,000 for over 500 attendees each.

Fundraising Activities:

Raised $50,000+ for PRIDE India (Social Work Agency) to help promote rural under privileged children.

Raised $30,000 to purchase breast cancer diagnostic equipment for Nargis Dutt Foundation.

Raised $125,000 for Latur Earthquake through telethon.

Business Achievements:

Managing Real estate portfolio of over 100 million dollars.

Supervised mega construction, renovation and sales of real estate

Financial controller of Pharmaceutical Company.


Position: Past President

Name: Dilip V. Shah


Education: MS Civil Eng.

Occupation: Retired businessman

Member Association: Jain Sangh of NJ,

Cherry Hill, NJ


I am a JAINA Director from Cherry Hill Jain Center in NJ for 14 years. I have served in various capacities in my Sangh from the very first day - served as Secretary, Trustee and Chairman of the Trustees.

In JAINA, I served as chair of the Pilgrimage Committee for 8 years and led 8 Yatras to Teerthdhams of India serving 500 Yatris from North America. I was Secretary of JAINA for 2 years; First Vice President for two years (2005-2007) and Convener of the 2007 JAINA Convention in NJ. Currently I am serving as President of JAINA.

I am a retired businessman living in Philadelphia. My passion is reading Jain literatur and writing for magazines. I often write articles in JAIN DIGEST like Convention reports, Book reviews etc. In 2005, I wrote a long article for the 2005 JAINA Convention - 25 Year History of JAINA and in 2007 I followed it up with my vision for JAINA for the next 25 years. JAINA EC has approved my vision as the agenda (Work in progress) for JAINA. That article is available on our website. I plan to continue to work for JAINA to make that vision as reality.

Position: First Vice President

Name: Dr. Sushil Jain, CAPT, US Navy-Ret

Ph 703-208-1861


Education: B. Sc, OD, MS, FAAO (All in USA)

Occupation: Optometric Physician, former Consultant to The White House & The U.S. Capitol. Assistant Professor & Private Practice.

Member Association: Jain Society of Metro DC


·JAINA Secretary 2003-05, 2007-09, Regional VP 2001-2003, & Chairman Public Affairs Council 1999-2008.

·Award of Excellence - International Jain Sangh.

·Lobbied 17 UN ambassadors to gain NGO status

·Co-coordinated a conference at Kellogg School of Management, Chicago, "Jainism to a new level in N. America – yr 2030”. Teaching Leadership, conflict management, Leading and Managing Change at 4 JAINA regional Conferences.

·Member - 2007 JAINA Convention Board.

·Wrote letters to many newspapers correcting misinformation regarding Jainism in various Media publications. Led a multi-pronged protest and prevented Sun micro Systems in their three attempts to use Jain as their product exclusive trademark in US Patent office.

·Board Member - Interfaith Conference of DC Represented JAINA at The White House conference on "Faith-Based & Community Initiatives” as well as "Caring for ill and Dying.

·Arranged recital of Jain Prayer in the U.S. Congress, MD & VA Assembly as well as Jain Pilgrimage exhibit at Smithsonian Museum.

·Key member of the JAINA Mahavir Memorial Committee to celebrate 2600th Janma Kalyanak of Bhagwan Mahavir.

·As local President 2005-2008 – Leading teams of volunteers to manage activities of Jain Temple. Previously served as Joint-Secretary, and Youth Coordinator in the JSMW for 15 years.

·As representative to the United Hindu & Jain Temples of Metro Washington DC, elected to lead in organizing the annual Diwali Mela attended by over 20,000 people. 2000-07

·Jain & Hindu representative to Dept. of Defense to develop Faith based meals for use in operational environment.

·Participated in 18 eye camp missions (10 days each) around the globe for over 6500 under-served people.

Statement: I believe the Jain community has an important contribution to make to mainstream society. Promote young parents to get involved in local and National Jain organizations. Improve communication, Non Jain community education, and media coverage.

Position: Secretary

Name: Dilip B.Punatar

Tel: (h) 937-848-3228 (c) 614-440-4239


Education: Master of Science

Occupation: Engineer, Program Manager

MemberAssociation: Jain Center of Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio


·2007-2009 – Vice President-Jaina Midwest , Convention Board member & Secretary for 15thBiennial JAINA Convention Buena Park, CA, Editor-Jain Digest Magazine, JAINA Director-Jain Center of Cincinnati Dayton

·2006-2007 - Co-Convener, 14th Biennial JAINA Convention 2007, Edison, NJ. , JAINA Director, Jain Center of Cincinnati-Dayton

·2004 - 2006 - Donated/shipped over $10,000 worth of surgical supplies to JAINA supported Bidada Medical Camp in Kutch, India

·2004 - 2005 - Convention Board Member, 13th Biennial JAINA Convention, Santa Clara, CA.

·2002-2003 - Co-Convener, & Chairman, Program & VIP Invitation, 12thBiennial JAINA Convention, Cincinnati, OH.

·1999 - President, Jain Center of Cincinnati-Dayton, OH.

·Supported the start of first Ahimsa Day celebration in North America

·Active Member of International Alumni Association of Shri Mahavir Jain Vidhyalaya to promote the cause of professional higher education in the Jain community.

·Active Temple Committee member to build temples in Chicago and Cincinnati

·1998- Received Distinguished Service Award in recognition of Exceptional Leadership and Devoted Service to The Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago

·Participated actively in many fund raising events: March of Dimes, Day of Caring Breakfast for Homeless, Cancer Research and Treatment, Served vegetarian food to homeless people in soup kitchen

  • Other services: taking care of older parents, family counseling, suicide awareness and prevention, mentoring of young professionals
  • Life Membership: Jain Center of Cincinnati Dayton, The Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago, India Club of Greater Dayton, Umang Gujarati Samaj of Dayton

Statement of Interest in serving JAINA:

  • As a Secretary, arrange for teleconferences and meetings, prepare agenda, keep the minutes of all meetings of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors and distribute such minutes.
  • Promote religious, educational and charitable service activities leading toward nonviolence community
  • Promote principles and understanding of Jain religion
  • Assist in formation of new Jain Centers and temples in North America
  • Represent Jains/JAINA in any governmental agencies
  • Transition the activities of JAINA to next generation of youth
  • Leadership role in Biennial Jaina Convention
  • Develop and implement Process for the Jain Digest publication


Position: Vice President, Canada

Name: Lalit Vora

Tel Home.: (514) 631-1393


Education: M.S. Chemistry – Eastern Illinois Univ., U.S.A. 1970 – 1972

Occupation: Retired/Consultant

Member Association: Jain Samaj of Montreal


Director – Gujarati Samaj Funeral Committee 2005 – Present

Board of Directors – Dorval Athletic Association 1998 – Present

Director – Jain Samaj of Montreal 2007

Performed two weddings as per Jain Vidhi

Performs funeral vidhi when in need.

Organizer – Toronto Sangh 2003 – 2004

Organized the visit of Pujya Shree Rakeshbhai

President – Jain Samaj of Montreal 2002 – 2004

Performed Snatrapuja and Jain Chopda Pujan for the past 7 years

Vice-President – Dorval Soccer Association 1994 – 1998

Committee Member – Montreal Gujarati Samaj Cultural Committee 1994 – 1996

Play Organizer – Gujarati Diwali Show of Montreal 1986 – 1996

Volunteer Soccer Coach – Dorval Soccer Association 1987 – 1994

Committee Member – Toronto Gujarati Samaj 1975 – 1976


Over the course of my lifetime, I have had the privilege of serving my community to the best of my abilities. I believe that the opportunity to serve the Jain community in a new way (through JAINA) will be the greatest yet. I believe in past two years EC has accomplished a lot and I was proud to be a contributor in that. We raised fund for Jaina, Calendars and Jive Daya.

In Canada and many parts of the world, there are many small Jain communities who are in need of spreading the message of Lord Mahavira. For example, in Montreal, we have a very small Jain community where only half of the families are active. We have to come up with ideas to not only interest the elders, but the youth as well. The youths are also in need of financial and moral support and guidance to move forward. Together, we will be able to generate the goals that we need to achieve in order to develop Jainism across North America.


Position: VicePresident, WestUSA

Name: Ashok Domadia

Tel: (h) 510-364-7938 (c) 510-364-7939


Education: M.S., Mechanical Engineering

Occupation: Manufacturing Manager, Cisco Systems

MemberAssociation: Jain Center of Northern California, CA


1.Chairman, JAINA Campus Outreach Committee, July 2007 – Present

2.Director-at-large, JAINA, July 2007-Present

3.JAINA Convention Board Member, 2009 & Chairman, Programming Committee - 2009

4. JAINA Convention Board Member, 2007 & Chairman, Registration Committee- 2007

5.Co-chair, Registration Committee, JAINA Convention 2005, San Francisco

6.Director, Board of Directors, Jain Center of Northern California (JCNC) 2003-2004

7.Co- Vice President, Religious Committee, JCNC, 2001-2002

Actively involved in JAINA Conventions planning and execution for last 5 years. Developed and implemented a robust Registration Process, which is now used for every JAINA Convention. Wait time for Registration was reduced to less than a minute with this innovative Registration Process at 2005 Convention.

Currently serving as Chairman, Programming Committee to develop and execute Programming for 2009 JAINA Convention. Responsibilities include morning, day and evening programming for both Adults and Youths. Visit convention to obtain a sense of work being done under my leadership.

Initiated Campus Outreach Committee. The goal of Campus Outreach program is to link Jain students attending college away from home with a Jain temple in their college’s vicinity. We continue to identify Jain Students in each major metropolitan area and encourage them to attend the nearest Jain temple and participate in local activities including Paryushana, Das Laxana, Mahavir Jayanti, and similar major/minor programs. Objective is also to standardize and support formation of Jain Clubs on college campuses through-out U.S.A / Canada and regularly bring visiting Jain scholars to college campuses. Campus Outreach program provides our youths link to Jain Dharma when they leave home for college.

Effectively served as Co-VP, Religious in the first Executive Committee upon inauguration of Jain Bhavan in Milpitas, California in 2001. Invited over 100 religious scholars including Jin Chandra Maharajsaheb, Acharya Chandanaji, Gurudev Chitrabhanu. Elected to the Board of Directors by JCNC community in 2003.

World is continuing to adopt many aspects of Jain way of living including vegetarian diet, ecology and meditation over last decade. We Jains have been practicing these traits for more than 2,600 years. As such, JAINA has a unique opportunity to lead the global community in its recent quest of green living and further contribute significantly in animal rights, non-violence, vegetarian food and yoga movements.

Position: Vice President, Southeast

Name: Deepika K Dalal

Tel: (h) 954-431-5957, (c )954-980-8730


Education: Physician M.D., Board Certified Anesthesiology

Occupation: Associate Professor in Anesthesiology and Obstetrics-Gynecology

Member Association: Jain Center of S. Florida, FL


Jain Center of South Florida: I have been the instrumental in building Jain Center of South Florida as a President 1997-99 and 2007- 2009. Pratista was performed in April 2009. It is an unique model of Jain unity in diversity. At present Vice president trustee since 2007.

Jaina director from 1996 until 2009

Jaina south east regional vice president 1999-2001, 2005-2007, 2007-2009.

Indian Religion and Cultural Center- president 1986, Vice president 1985.

Speaker in YJP conference 2007.

Jain Pathashala Teacher- lecture on various subjects like Aadinath charitra, why we need temple.

Completed book celebration of life

Volunteer in medical camps.


  1. Make Jaina stronger for future with education.
  2. Try to bridge the gap between first and second generation.
  3. Help to make Jaina community united as ‘Jain’.
  4. Help to globalize Jaina activities.

Position: Vice President, Southwest

Name: Udai C. Jain

Tel: 281-980-0741


Education: Engineering

Occupation: Business wholesale and Importer of Diamonds

Member Association: Jain Society of Houston, TX


·Currently JAINAVP of Southwest

·Chairperson of Patron Committee of JAINA

·Vice Chairperson for 2005 JAINA convention

·Chief Trustee Jain Society of Houston 1990 to 2001..

·Served as Chairman of the Fund Raising, Pritistha, and Constitution of Jain Society of Houston, TX Committee


Position: Vice President, Mid West USA

Name: Manish Mehta

Tel: (h) 734-668-0348 (c) 734- 604-7989


Education: BS (Mech. Eng); MS & Ph.D(Ind. Eng.); Univ of Michigan Executive Program

Occupation: Executive Director of a Manufacturing Research Institute, Ann Arbor, MI

Member Association: Jain Society of Greater Detroit


I am an industrial engineer settled in Ann Arbor, MI since 1991 with my wife and two teenage sons. I have lived/schooled in East Africa, India, Singapore and USA, and am currently active in both, leadership and volunteer positions with non-profits such as Jain Society of Greater Detroit, Rotary clubs and American Red Cross.

I am committed to (1) Introducing Jain Way of Life to the mainstream American population, (2) Addressing challenges facing our aging society members, and (3) Ensuring our next generation of Jains is prepared to carry the leadership torch forward, while steering around societal, moral and ethical dilemmas. My relevant experience includes the following:

·Organizing Chairman of 2009 Jain Diaspora Conference planned July 2;

·JAINA Director since 2005 representing Jain Society of Greater Detroit;

·Attended JAINA Long Range Planning Workshops at Northwestern Kellogg School in 2006 and 2008.

·Represented JAINA since 2007 at Annual Jaina Studies Workshops at University of London’s School of Oriental & African Studies – published event highlights & proceedings- this gave me opportunity to know many international scholars;

·Supporter of JAINA International Summer School for Jain Studies;

·Pathshala Teacher for middle/high school students at (a) Detroit Jain Study Class since 1999, and (b) at Jain Center of Cincinnati-Dayton in 1985-88;

·Chaired Nomination & Election Committee at Detroit Jain Center, 1998-2005;

·Member of Detroit Jain Society’s Constitution Committee since 2004;

·Organizing Rotary Foundation humanitarian projects through international collaborations in areas such as literacy, healthcare, economic development & safe drinking water.


Position: VicePresident, MidEastUSA
Name: GunvantShah
 12 Ascot Place, North Brunswick, NJ 08902 
 Tel: (h) 732-246-4030 (c) 732-331-5082 
Education: M.S. (USA), M. Sc. (India), LUTCF. 
Occupation: Professor. Motel Business owner. Real Estate Investor. 
 Licensed R.E Agent. Licensed Insurance Agent. 
MemberAssociation: Jain Center of New Jersey, Essex Fells, NJ 
§JAINA, Chairman, Jain Milan; Organized three Matrimonial Conventions in NJ, TX and NY. More than 425 Jain youths took advantage of these gatherings. 
§JAINA, Chairman, Senior Housing Committee; Member, Public Affairs Council, and Campus Outreach Program. Lead to find a site for Senior Housing Project 
§JAINA Director from Jain Center of NJ (JCNJ) 2003-07: 2009-11. 
§Help JAINA Board find 2007 Convention site in Edison, NJ. 
§Executive Committee member of JCNJ (1980-2004); Served as Treasurer, Assistant Secretary and under many subcommittees. 
§Served as Secretary, Treasurer and Public Relation officer and in EC of the largest Indian Cultural Organization in NJ since 1882. 
§Founder/President of Jain Batrishi Sangh of USA. Organized New Year Program and Picnic for last 15 years. 
§Organized Chaitra Paripathis for JCNJ to several Temples of the neighboring states for approx. 150-200 people for number of years. 
§Helped as a R.E. Agent to find a new Dehrasar Site for JCNJ, and served as a member of Construction and fund raising committee. 
§Member of MATRI Organization which arranges "Youth and Parents Conference” to help youth find life partner. 
§Arranged Fund Raising events for NJ Assemblyman Mr Chivukula 
§Participated in Pujas, sponsored religious events and managed Swamivatsalya for 2500 people for number of years for JCNJ. 
§Initiated and organized Jain Bhavana Group, Pathashala and Gujarati Language classes at my house (1980-85). 
§Organize Jain Milan 3-day Convention every year to help Jain youth find Jain life partner. 
§Establish College Scholarship program for Jain students. 
§Work with Campus Outreach Program, and get more youth involvement with JAINA activities. 
§Introduce Senior Activities Program in all Jain Centers of JAINA. 
§Work very closely with the Directors from all Jain Centers, especially from Mid East USA Region. 
§Work with all Jain Centers to bring Jain Centers and JAINA closer to each other. 
§Help JAINA in its Fund Raising activities. 


Position: VicePresident, Northeast USA

Name: Yogendra Jain

Tel: (h) 781-237-6070 (c) 781-856-0769


Education: BS Engg.; M.S., MBA

Occupation: Engineering and Management

Member Association: JainCenterofGreaterBoston, MA


Yogendra Jain is a technologist, serial entrepreneur, and a passionate practitioner and promoter of Jain Way of Life.

He started his career at MIT Lincoln Labs and Texas Instruments before founding and operating several successful companies. He holds a B.S. from Boston University, an M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Rice University, and an M.B.A. from Babson College.

Yogendra grew up in the Boston area for most of his life while observing and participating in the inception and growth of one of the leading Jain Centers in North America. His accomplishments include:

Local Level:
- Co-founders of JCGB Pathshala and developed the earliest English course material
- Coordinated the first Jain Teacher’s Conference in Boston (80 attendees)
- Member of JCGB Executive Committee
- Elected as JAINA Director for second term
- Pathshala teacher for over 25 years; currently teaching Level 5B

National Level:
- Chairman - JAINA Long Range Planning - One of the most active JAINA committees and delivered JAINA Vision/Mission and proposal for strengthening JAINA’s foundation
- Co-developer of (1000 signed members and 4000 others)
- Coordinated and presented at Jain Leadership Conferences in multiple cities
- Coordinated and presented at three Jain Kellogg’s Leadership and Strategy Sessions

- Author of Jain Way of Life book ( – over 2000 in circulation
- Presented and led multiple teams to JAINA/YJA with "out of the box” groundbreaking projects, including Tattvarth Sutra: Ancient Scriptures Come Alive, Comparative Religion, Essence of Jainism, Rebranding and Repackaging Jainism, Discovery of the Soul, Strengthening of Faith, and Measuring JWOL Progress.
- Branding of the "Elevator Speech” (simple way to explain Jainism)
- Presented Tattvarth Sutra: Ancient Scriptures Come Alive at Harvard University
- Presented in India at YJA and other multiple forums

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