A Letter from the BANA 2019 President, Ashish Shetty
Dear BANA Community,
It is with great excitement and pride that I write this final letter to the community. It feels like just yesterday that I was at a gathering with some fellow Bunts on a rooftop in midtown Manhattan and the topic of leading BANA came up.
The mere thought was simultaneously jarring and exciting. Hosting BANA was an intense undertaking that the aunties and uncles handled traditionally; would a team of millennials be up for the challenge? Going to BANA over the years had provided me with so many memorable experiences - ranging from great parties and impromptu chats to lasting friendships and my first stand-up comedy performance - that I felt a need to pay it forward.
Fueled by memories and some youthful bravado and gusto, our team charged forward with the confidence that we could rise to the challenge and create an experience which fit our executive team's unique vibe and mutual love of New York City.
For our BANA, our executive team wanted to showcase New York City and spread each of the main functions to different venues. We wanted to ensure that we created an authentic New York City experience curated by locals that would far exceed the experience a casual visitor might cobble together.
Our final itinerary promises to be special: fireworks overlooking the New York harbor, a picnic at Governor's island with scenic views and authentic food trucks, a multi-story party at the Marriott and a private party at the iconic, downtown Manhattan hotspot, Tao.
In addition to creating a unique BANA experience in lower Manhattan, I'm proud of our team's many accomplishments during our tenure, including:
The development of a Tulu language course which has been viewed by over 5,000 people.
The modernization of the website with a fresh aesthetic and functionality.
The update of our online membership functionality with the addition of MembershipWorks
The expansion of our social media presence on Facebook and Instagram
The addition of new members
Leading BANA has been a team effort and it couldn't have happened without the extraordinary efforts of the entire executive team and committee members. In parallel with already busy lives, our team and committees spent countless hours to create a great BANA experience.
It has been an honor to serve as the 22nd President of BANA. This entire process has given me the opportunity to reconnect with our community in a way that has been deeply fulfilling. I'm proud of our team's efforts to keep our community connections alive and well.
I hope that everyone has an epic, unforgettable BANA in Manhattan filled with vibrant connections and great energy. Bunts are truly a dynamic people and I'm excited to see our proud community thrive for many years to come.
BANA 2019 Itinerary
Details below, and you may also view all BANA venues on this BANA 2019 map.
THURSDAY, JULY 4th
3PM - 7PM: Check-in and registration - Financial Ballroom Foyer III of the New York Marriott Downtown - 85 West Street, New York, NY.
7PM - 11PM: Welcome dinner and drinks at Pier A - 22 Battery Place, New York, NY. Casual attire. Location is a ten minute walk from the hotel.
FRIDAY, JULY 5th
8AM - 9AM: Breakfast in the Financial Ballroom.
9:50AM: Ferry departs for Governor's Island from the Battery Maritime Building (Slip 5) - 10 South Street, New York, NY. 2nd ferry leaves at 10:50AM. Please note that the ferry is a fifteen minute walk from the hotel. The ferry ride will be about ten minutes.
10AM - 4PM: BANA picnic festivities on Governor's Island, including activities like yoga*, cricket, volleyball, and more! Be sure to look in your welcome bag for a full list of activities available. Casual athletic attire suggested.
6PM: Cocktail hour in the Grand Ballroom Foyer of the Marriott. Formal attire.
6PM - 11PM: Babysitting will be in the Empire Room.
8:30PM: Dinner and dancing.
SATURDAY, JULY 6th
8AM - 9AM: Breakfast in the Financial Ballroom.
8AM - 9AM: Yoga* in the Treasury Room (2nd floor).
9AM - 10AM: General body meeting in the Financial Ballroom.
10AM - 11AM: Leadership forum in the Financial Ballroom.
11AM - 1PM: Yakshagana performance put on by Yakshadhruva Patla Foundation USA. Performance will be in the Financial Ballroom.
5:15PM - 5:30PM: Meet in the lobby for transportation to Tao Downtown. We will be transporting guests to the location in luxury vans. Please make an effort to be punctual, so we can all enjoy the maximum amount of time at the BANA 2019's final banquet!
6PM - 11PM: Dinner at Tao Downtown - 92 9th Avenue. Formal attire. Babysitting will be in the Empire Room of the Marriott.
6PM - 11PM: Babysitting will be in the Treasury Room.
SUNDAY, JULY 7th
Check out from the hotel.
*For yoga classes, a suggested donation of $10 towards Yakshadhruva Patla Foundation USA is appreciated, but not required.
A physical copy of the itinerary will be in your welcome bags as well as other useful pieces of information to ensure you’re stay in NYC is a memorable one!
BANA Tulu Language Lesson 2
In lesson 2, we are discussing times of day. The lesson is once again taught by Saumya Shetty and features Ashish Shetty, Nandan Shetty and Ram Hegde as students. Sarah Myers co-wrote the lesson and exercises, and the video was shot and edited by Henry Willette and Renuka Ballal.
As these lessons are a new endeavor, we will surely have room to improve. Please let us know what is working and what could be better by writing to us. Letting us know particular topics or vocabulary that you'd like us to cover would be helpful as well. Thank you!
Get to Know Your Executive Committee
This is a Q&A we will be doing with each of our BANA 2019 EC members. This issue’s Q&A is with Ashish Shetty, President.
Where did you grow up?
AS: I grew up in the suburbs of Boston through high school and then moved to New York City for college. I have lived around New York City since graduation in various neighborhoods throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Each neighborhood has such a different vibe that keeps it fresh. I now live in lower Manhattan. Prior to that, I lived in the Williamsburg and Bushwick neighborhoods of Brooklyn; I really enjoyed that time.
What did you study and what are you doing for work?
AS: I was a dual major in economics & mathematics and also concentrated in pre-medical studies. I was always fascinated by the world of business and finance, and thought a solid foundation in economic theory combined with mathematical rigor would prepare me well for a career on Wall Street.
After six years at an internal investment fund within Goldman Sachs, I recently started a new job at a private equity fund which invests in small and medium sized businesses. We primarily help founder-owned businesses grow to the next level through investment, guidance and operational strategy. It’s really rewarding to work directly with entrepreneurs and try to help them achieve their dreams of becoming major players within their industries.
What do you think of when you think of BANA?
AS: Community comes to mind first. Growing up, I always looked forward to the bi-annual summer conventions as a fun way to meet up with old friends and make new connections. There was a certain warmth and inclusiveness that was palpable.
Additionally, there is an undefinable Bunt spirit that I always found stimulating – Bunts are full of life, engaging and enterprising. I always enjoyed hearing the stories of the older generation's journey from India to the U.S.; the ingenuity and persistence that drove their success inspired me. The older generation served as role models who reminded me that if I worked hard I could succeed like they did.
I found that people were often very encouraging and always pushed you to be a better version of yourself.
What is your favorite BANA memory?
AS: Performing my first stand-up comedy performance at the Boston BANA sticks out. I had never performed stand-up comedy before but still thought that performing in front of several hundred fellow Bunts would be the right venue for my debut. My adrenaline was flowing and I still remember that day as one of my favorite performances.
Why did you want to be involved in the EC?
AS: I wanted to contribute to our great community and get more involved. I’m proud of my Bunt heritage enjoyed the support and warmth from the community growing up and wanted to do my part to keep the community going. I realized at some point that my parents and their generation had taken the lead for long enough and put in a lot of time and effort to keep the community going. It was time for my generation to start contributing as well. I'm really proud of our team's contributions to the community and feel proud of our efforts to keep our vibrant community going for many generations to come.
What are your hopes for BANA as it moves forward?
AS: My hope is that it continues to evolve in a direction which keeps it relevant with the changing times. When my parents first moved to the US, BANA served a certain purpose to provide some community for those who had just moved to the country.
Now as the demographics shift, we need to evolve. We must always remember our heritage and culture, but also remain relevant to the community's needs, whether those needs are social or professional. When planning this BANA convention, our EC team wanted to provide a fresh feel with an authentic New York vibe that we hope all guests thoroughly enjoy.
Most importantly, I hope that Bunts can continue to help each other and be there for each other. We are stronger as a community than we are as individuals.
Beltway Region (Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware)
Celebrating Mother's Day at the Annual Picnic
The Beltway Bunts held their annual picnic on May 12th. This year it was at the Cabin John Group Picnic Area, which was equipped with baseball and volleyball courts, huge shelters and a cookout patio. The weather didn not cooperate but event the incessant monsoon-like rain could not dampen the get together. It was all under cover of the shelters but more than sixty members turned up to meet, spend time together and savor the excellent food, as this was the first big event after the long winter. And best of all, it was Mother's Day and all the mothers were honored with the presentation of a Red Rose. Santosh Shetty (our Co-Rep) coordinated and managed the event, and everyone pitched in to help it run smoothly.