Dear Fellow VPA Members,
We are very excited to update you about the
upcoming 10th Vokkaligara Parishat of America Convention which will
be held in Palo Alto, California (Silicon Valley) starting from
the evening of Friday, June 29th through Sunday, July 1st, 2007.
Like past Conventions, the event promises to be fun-filled and exciting.
There will be a host of cultural and entertainment programs in addition
to events focusing on key areas such as business opportunities,
entrepreneurship, community service, and philanthropy.
We will be inviting eminent members of our
community (from both the US and India) to speak on a number of areas
(mentioned above). From their words of wisdom, we hope we can all
learn from their experiences, as well as be inspired to further
develop ourselves and our community for the future.
This year’s theme “From the Soil
to Silicon” will focus not only on the contributions of our
fellow VPA members in the United States but also, the recent success
stories that have emerged out of Bangalore. Indeed, no one can dispute
the fact that our community has played a key role in helping Bangalore
become a household name around the world. As such, our Convention’s
goal will be to explore these successes as well as use the opportunity
to uncover new ones.
To this end, we will focus on the following
- Developing a Business Plan – Turning
Ideas into a Solid Business Plan
- Venture Capital Financing – Keys
to Getting the Most for your Business Plan
- US/India Partnerships – Developing
the Right Cross-Collaborative Alliance
- Indian Success Stories – From Café
Coffee Day to Infosys
- US Success Stories – Going from
a Garage-Based operation to a Multimillion Dollar Global Corporation
In addition, this year’s Convention
will particularly focus on the youth of our community. The overall
goal is to make sure that they have an opportunity to network with
their peers as well as identify mentors who they can relate to,
learn from, and share ideas with so that the foundations for even
more achievements can be built.
The 2005 Detroit VPA Convention set new standards
of excellence in terms of not just program content but also, its
outstanding cuisine. We would like to build upon this success and
after conducting numerous food tasting of local caterers, decided
that it is well worth flying the same crew of chefs in all the way
from the East Coast to cater the food at our event as well.
This year, the July 4th holiday falls on a
Wednesday. Keeping in mind that a lot of our members are taking
the time and expense to fly all the way to beautiful Northern California,
the Convention Committee has arranged for tour buses to take members
who want to make a vacation out of their VPA visit to world renowned
destinations such as San Francisco, Monterey/ Carmel and Napa Valley
on the Monday and Tuesday immediately following the Convention.
This way you and your families can enjoy the scenic beauty and weather
of lovely San Francisco Bay Area and fly back on Wednesday, July
4th. Please let us know your interest in taking advantage of this
arrangement which will of course be organized at cost separate from
the Convention fees.
Talking about Convention fees, you may be
aware that past Conventions were heavily subsidized by major donations
from a small number of patrons. This year, rather than have a massive
budget shortfall and have to arm twist the same donors again and
again for money, we have decided to pass a significant chunk of
the Convention expenses to the attendees themselves. With this in
mind – and after getting approval from the Board of Trustees
– we have decided to charge $175 per adult registration.
While even this rate will need to be subsidized with contributions,
we feel that we have a better chance of making up the deficit created
with our fund raising efforts. (Breakdown: $110 of the fee will
be applied towards the hotel hall rentals and service charges while
the remaining balance will be used to cover other convention related
costs including food). We felt this number was fair and justified
- especially if you think about how much we typically have to spend
to go out and have seven outstanding meals.
Though almost all of the members of our community have done well
for themselves in America, understanding that there are financial
restraints to consider, this year we have arranged for major donors
to sponsor those who would like to attend but are not able to pay
the Convention registration fees. Our registration form will have
a box for you to tick for our consideration.
We are looking forward to an exciting Convention.
The keystone to the success of our 2007 event is your willingness
to participate and contribute. We urge each and every one of you
to attend the event and make sure to spread the word to as many
Vokkaligas as you can. Please keep visiting our website www.myvpa.org
for more frequent updates as well as feel free to contact us with
your suggestions and feedback.
We guarantee you that this will be one reunion
not to be missed!
VPA National President