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Let's forever end hunger & malnourishment. We can do this.

The Meera and Ashok Vasudevan Foundation (MAVF)

Who We Are:

MAVF is a fully funded initiative by Meera & Ashok Vasudevan, co-founders of Preferred Brands International, a Connecticut based food company that manufactures and markets TastyBite® and other natural & organic foods whose products are sold in several countries including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Japan and India.

Our Mission:

MAVF is dedicated to the idea that it is possible to permanently move people out of hunger and malnourishment in a manner that is sustainable, self-reliant and healthy.

Our Approach:

We will provide grants, collaborate with and support an ecosystem of grassroots organizations, non-profits, research institutions, think tanks, independent scholars, artists, and social entrepreneurs who are aligned with our mission.

Spending #HungerActionDay with our friends Beverly Catchpole and Mary Kate Carofano from the Connecticut Food Bank! 

Three Focus Areas

1. Grassroots Support
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Green the Pantry: Ensure availability of fresh produce in all food pantries across America. This will have an immediate and lasting effect on the health of all visitors

Remove the Stigma: Help create a fresh market image and eliminate the embarrassment of visiting a pantry.

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2. Hunger Collaborative

Work with Experts: We envision the collaborative to represent the entire food ecosystem including farmers markets, food companies, groceries, technology providers, food banks & pantries, food rescue organizations, local, state and national policy advocates. This will allow us to pool resources

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3. Research Grants
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Build a Think Tank: Provide Grants to researchers to gain insights and enable synthesis of data, information and analysis on the issues of hunger and malnutrition

Develop a Toolkit: Create a set of metrics or measurement tools to evaluate program effectiveness and help scale across projects and regions

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About Meera

Meera Vasudevan is Co-founder of Preferred Brands International, a Connecticut-based food company that makes Tasty Bite, a range of natural, ethnic food sold in major supermarkets around the world.

Meera also co-founded ASG-Omni a US and India based consulting firm involved in the design and execution of entry strategies for large US corporations looking to do business in India.

Meera began her career in market research at MARG (Marketing & Research Group), India. MARG is now part of the Nielsen group. After nearly a decade there, Meera co-founded India’s first specialist and largest qualitative research firm, Quantum Market Research. She worked on a number of entry strategies for global brands looking to enter the Indian market and on national social research projects for UNICEF.

She has served on some non-profit boards in the US, and is currently on the board of the United Way of Western Connecticut.

Meera has a Bachelors in English with post-graduate qualifications in Marketing from the University of Madras and INSEAD, France.

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About Ashok

Ashok Vasudevan is Co-founder & CEO of Preferred Brands International, a Connecticut-based food company that makes Tasty Bite and a range of other natural, ethnic and specialty foods sold in major supermarkets globally.

Prior to Tasty Bite, Ashok headed the India desk of Pepsi World Trade in Somers, New York. He received Pepsi’s prestigious MVP award in 1991.

Before joining Pepsi, Ashok spent 10 years with Unilever in various functions that included Management Development, Sales & Marketing and International Business

He is involved in several non-profit organizations in India and the US including:

  • Director on the Board of The Fairfield County Business Council
  • Member of the Chairman’s Circle of the US-India Business Council,
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Entrepreneurship and a member of the Business advisory Council of Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai, India.

Ashok Vasudevan graduated in Agricultural Sciences from Bangalore, and post graduate degrees at Bajaj Institute of Management in Bombay and the Harvard Business School.

 

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About Anil

Dr. Nigam worked at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center for over three decades as Research Staff Member.  His research at IBM spanned a broad range of areas, including Parallel Processing Architectures and Database Machines, Artificial Intelligence and Qualitative Reasoning, and Operational Business Modeling and Business Design. Over his last decade at IBM, he worked extensively on conceiving, developing, practicing and evolving the “business artifact” approach to building Business Operation Models. The technique was used in a number of engagements with a range of businesses. At IBM he has received Research Division Awards, Research Commercialization Award, an IBM Consulting Group Engagement Excellence Award, a Technical Group Award and an Outstanding Technical Achievement Award. In 2007 he was named Master Inventor. He has published extensively in the areas listed above.

He holds a B Tech (Mechanical Engg) and M Tech (Computer Science) from IIT/Kanpur. Later he obtained MS  and PhD,  both in Computer Science, from University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. He worked as Research Assistant  (Computational Fluid Dynamics) at Imperial College, London.  He also worked as a systems analyst at Tata Consultancy Services, during the early years of the company.

 

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About Chris

Chris Bruhl is the president and chief executive officer of The Business Council of Fairfield County, a private, non-profit corporation. The Business Council leads private sector involvement in developing public policy that promotes economic growth in Fairfield County and is the vehicle for a network of business leaders to work cooperatively to strengthen their enterprises and their communities. The organization has gained a national reputation for its work in transportation, education, workforce development, support for entrepreneurship and health care policy.

Mr. Bruhl has been a frequent consultant, writer, and speaker on the subjects of the relationship between education and economic competitiveness, leadership network development, economic issues and trends, and workforce development.  He serves on a variety of boards, commissions and advisory groups, including the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century, Connecticut Planning Commission for Higher Education, Connecticut Campus Compact, Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau, Connecticut Employment & Training Commission, the Sea Research Foundation’s President’s Council, and the Stamford Partnership.  He is an adjunct faculty member in the UConn School of Business MBA program and taught in a similar capacity at Manhattanville College, in New York.

He has represented the United States at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and has addressed conferences presented by the national Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, the U.S. Department of Labor, Arts for America, the National Association of State Land Grant Colleges and Universities, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials, Clean Air, Cool Planet (environmental policy advocates), the YMCAs of America, the Regional Plan Association (NY, NJ, CT); and higher education faculty convocations of Connecticut State University, the Connecticut Community College System, Housatonic Community College (Bridgeport), and Norwalk Community College. As a consultant, he has served clients in the public and private sectors throughout the United States.

Mr. Bruhl is a U.S. Army veteran, a contributing author to two books and was, for four years, the director of a national training program for non-profit board and staff, conducted in affiliation with faculty from Yale University. He holds a BA, in American Civilization, from Brown University, an MA, in English, from Louisiana State University, and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.  

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About Kim

Kim Morgan is the Chief Executive Officer for United Way of Western Connecticut. With more than twenty five years experience working in the non-profit field, she has worked to improve the quality of life for those impacted by mental health and substance abuse issues, homelessness, and poverty. Kim has consulted with non-profits on outcome measurements, strategic planning and grant writing.

Kim has served on several boards including the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Christian Community Outreach Ministries and the New Fairfield Community Foundation, and currently serves on the board of the United Way of CT. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Management Communications.

She has been with United Way of Western Connecticut for the past eleven years. Kim is a native and current resident of New Fairfield, CT. She and her husband have 3 daughters. They served as licensed foster/adoptive parents for DCF for over 10 years.

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About Supriya

Supriya Srinivasan is a scientist and professor at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. Her lab is focused on finding answers to the following questions: How do we regulate our metabolism, and how does this impact how we age? To what extent do our genes, behavior and the environment influence the ability to defend metabolic homeostasis? What are the genes and molecules that underlie behavior and physiology over a lifetime?

Her lab studies these fundamental questions in neuroendocrine biology using the nematode C. elegans, in which the core functionality of these processes has been preserved. Using a simple model system allows her group to query biology across several orders of magnitude, from small molecules and neural circuit activity to the whole genome, and to discover the most important and ancient features of animal metabolism.

Supriya was raised in India and in Australia before coming to the US for graduate study, where she has remained ever since. She is deeply interested the biology of nutrition, metabolism and healthy aging in humans. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two children.

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About Charles

Charles Hill is Executive Program Manager, Information Governance and Data Lake. In this role, Mr. Hill is responsible for implementing IBM’s internal Data Lake and Information Governance programs within the Chief Data Office.

Charles joined IBM in November 1978. Since then, he has held a variety of leadership positions in Sales, Marketing, Information Technology, Information Governance, Consulting and Business Transformation. Mr. Hill has extensive global experience, having lead teams in the US, India, Brazil, Germany, the UK, Australia, Japan and recently concluded a two year consulting engagement in China.

He has led many key projects for IBM, including leading the successful delivery of large, complex projects in information management, including customer information, product information, data integration, ERP deployments, data warehousing and service oriented architecture solutions across the entire enterprise (Sales & Marketing, Supply Chain, Fulfillment & Finance). He has effectively built and led global teams focused on driving business benefits leveraging business process and information technology.

Charles attended the University of Rochester, and participated in executive education programs at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, M.I.T., and the Harvard Business School.

Charles enjoys singing and traveling to different parts of the world learning about new cultures. Charlie currently resides in Stamford, CT USA with his wife and their 2 children.

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About Saurav

Saurav Adhikari is responsible for driving corporate strategy at HCL (www.hcl.com), and institutional development for the Shiv Nadar Foundation. HCL, established in 1976 is an original IT-garage start up turned into a $6.6 billion global technology enterprise.

Saurav brings over three decades of global strategic business insight to the role, from his diverse experience of leading global firms like Unilever, Pepsi and Group SEB in markets across North America, EMEA, APAC and India. His responsibilities include visioning and execution of HCL’s mid- to long-term business strategy, as well defining its corporate brand and communications positioning. In his 14-year career at HCL, Saurav has been responsible for building valuable relationships with consulting majors, private equity funds, investment banks, partners and customers that have had significant revenue and profit impact for HCL.

More recently, Saurav has also been helping conceptualize and build up Shiv Nadar Foundation’s landmark institutions. The Foundation is one of India’s largest philanthropic institutions focused on empowering individuals to bridge the socio-economic divide, through transformational education, creativity and art.

Saurav spearheads the Foundation’s partnerships with some of the world’s premier educational institutions including the Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, University of Pennsylvania and Babson.

Saurav was earlier President – North America for HCL BPO and was based in Stamford CT, USA from 2002- 2005, after having joined HCL in January 2000 as the President of an enterprise networking startup company.

Saurav schooled at Mayo College, Ajmer in Rajasthan. He earned his B.A. in Economics from Hindu College, Delhi University, an MBA from JBIMS, Bombay University and an AMP from INSEAD Fontainebleau, France. Saurav has a passion for integrating strategic and creative thinking processes into delivering business impact. He enjoys writing, eclectic reading, traveling and fitness.

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About Ramu

Ramu is a General Partner at A.Capital Ventures where he heads the enterprise software investing practice. Founded in 2014, A. Capital Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, CA.

Prior to A.Capital Ventures, Ramu was a Partner at Andreessen Horowitz where he worked on over a dozen investments in the enterprise software space. In addition, he helped shape the firm’s investment thesis in Cloud infrastructure and Big Data. Past investments include Instart Logic, Databricks, Mesosphere and Actifio.

A computer scientist by training, Ramu has over a decade of operating experience in product management and engineering at both startups and public companies. Prior to Andreessen Horowitz, Ramu led new product initiatives in Big Data for Aster Data (acquired by Teradata). Earlier in his career, Ramu was an engineer at VMware where his team developed the industry’s first virtual switch for VMware’s flagship server product line.

Ramu holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, an MS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland and a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering (with University Honors) from Carnegie Mellon University.

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About Bob

I started off at SoundView Technology Group, a boutique investment bank specializing in high tech stocks that was located in Stamford, CT.  I was a Vice President on the Syndicate Desk and in my tenure we raised over 26 Billion in new capital for our clients. After the internet bubble collapse and SoundView was no more, I moved to Wachovia Securities and headed branch operations for their Greenwich office which was later downsized during a restructuring.  After that I was called back to work for Wells Fargo Advisors, which had bought Wachovia Securites during the financial crisis of 2008 and worked on a compliance team that would oversee 220 brokers in CT and NY.    

During that time, the local food bank knew me by name, since each year I would fund raise among friends and family and make an annual cash donation for the needy. It was important for me to share, since I and my friends had been fortunate, and as the saying goes “there but for the grace of God go I.” That phrase is more timely today than it has ever been.  

I am very fortunate to be able to work for the MAV Foundation at this point in my life. After almost 20 years in finance, with a job description amounting to “Make the rich, richer” I reached a point where it’s not about enriching your own net worth, but enriching the lives of others. We will certainly do that and more at MAVF.

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About Byron

Byron is the CEO of the Center for Board Excellence and is architect of CBE’s unique board and CEO evaluation platform, including the trademarked Board Excellence Assessment.

Prior to CBE, Byron was CEO at Select Homes, Inc., from 1998 to 2009, and an investment manager at AIG-VALIC from 1989 to 1998. Byron has held board positions at Select Homes, Inc., Arkosian Software, Greensboro Soccer Club, Guilford County PTA, and Greensboro Downtown Parks, Inc.

Byron is a graduate of James Madison University (BA) and Harvard Business School (OPM). Byron lives in Greensboro, NC with his wife. He has four adult children and two grandsons. When he is not working, he enjoys skiing, golf, traveling, cooking and studying wine.

 

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