CHAI held it’s 1st board meeting of the year this past weekend in Ellicott City and is kicking the new year off with a bang! Some changes in leadership were made as our long-time, wonderful Board Chair, Swaran Dhawan passed the torch to Mark Borchardt. Also, relatively new to CHAI, Brinda Nair (who you probably met at our annual awards in November) has agreed to take over the treasurer role so that Mark can step into that of Board Chair. We welcomed Bina Pancholi – Martin back to the board after a year off. Also, the existing board was all-in-favor of extending an invitation to a new board member…more details to come. In this post, meet the current board of CHAI. Stay tuned for updates on the advisory board and newest addition!
Razia Kosi, LCSW – C, Executive Director
Co-Founder of Counselors Helping (South) Asians/ Indians, Inc. (CHAI). Razia has contributed and edited several articles to the CHAI resource books written to help the community understand issues about mental health and wellness. She also co-authored a chapter in The Handbook of Group Psychotherapy that addresses diversity issues in group therapy. In addition, Razia created a model for Women’s Wellness groups that builds on the strengths of women while finding commonalities in themes of living between two cultures. She has over a decade of experience in individual, family counseling and group therapy. She currently works in the Howard County Public School System as a Cultural Proficiency Specialist and has a private practice for therapy in Howard County, MD. Her previous workshops have focused on the following subjects: cultural proficiency, strategies for school related behavior problems, healthy youth development, post 9/11 mental health issues, culture shock, cultural diversity, issues of poverty, anger management and cultural competence with the Muslim and the South Asian communities and Islamophobia.
Mark Borchardt, CPA, CMA, CFM, Board Chair
Owner and President of MJB Consulting, LLC specializing in accounting solutions for Federal government clients with 20+ years experience in accounting, finance, budgeting, cash management, technology, and consulting. Has served on Partners for Community Solutions board in addition to CHAI board. Currently teaches CPA and CMA review courses for the CPA School of Washington.
Urmi Chakrabarti, MA
Urmi Chakrabarti received her Masters in Cognition and Education from Teachers College, Columbia and her Masters in Clinical Psychology from University of Massachusetts in Boston. Her area of interest and clinical background are in building sustainable communities for survivors of trauma and having a social justice perspective in mental health. Her work mainly focused on grassroots organizing with immigrant communities and communities of color around different issues of human rights such as work place justice for undocumented workers and domestic worker rights. She is currently pursuing her Masters certificate in Global Health at the George Washington University and hopes to eventually take her domestic approach to mental health organizing and outreach to global settings. She currently works as a part-time research analyst for the DC Department of Health.
Swaran Dhawan, LCSW – C
Former director of Social Work at Taylor Manor Hospital and Director of Professional Services for Family and Children Services of Maryland. Has been practicing Social Work as and Asian Indian living in the United States for over thirty years. Is currently on the Board of Directors for NAMI Baltimore. Provides pro bono counseling for Pro Bono Project. Serves as faculty liaison for graduate students at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and was appointed to the Governor’s Foster Care Review Board.
Shannon Keeny is a Cultural Proficiency Specialist in the Howard County Public School System. Her previous experience includes, resource teacher for Professional and Organizational Development in the Howard County Public School System and teaching in the classroom for five years at the elementary level. She has served in the past as a high school softball coach for three years. She is very committed to the development of teachers and all professionals in her field. Shannon currently lives in the Locust Point neighborhood located in Baltimore City. This is the first year of service within the CHAI organization.
Indira Kotval, LCSW – C, MPH
Graduate of the Tata Institute of Social Work in Bombay (MSW), and a graduate of the Bloomberg School of Public Health (MPH) in Baltimore. Practiced in non profit community – based agencies including Health Education Resource Organization, Project Place, and Women Accepting Responsibility for 25 years. Directed programs, wrote grants, and provided consultation regarding program management and grant writing to several community based agencies. Currently works as Faculty Liaison to the University of Maryland School of Social work.
Brinda Nair, MHM, MS, Treasurer
Brinda Nair was recently named the Administrative Director for the Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Brinda joined the Department of Neurosurgery following her 6 year tenure with Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI). In her role as Assistant Director for International Business Development at JHI she developed strategic platforms to advance the international business development and fundraising mission by utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) and non-profit strategic management. Prior to this, as the International Operations Managers at JHI, Ms. Nair established, grew and managed one of the largest and most successful International Medical Concierge Programs in the United States by establishing and implementing CRM best practices for patient care management for the advocates and opinion leaders who frequent Hopkins. Before assuming this role at Johns Hopkins, Ms. Nair was a Program Manager with the first ever Patient Facilitated Service and International Program at the University of Pennsylvania Health System. An expert at establishing and growing new programs with a business development focus – throughout her career she has developed value propositions for a diverse patient population and worldwide healthcare stakeholders in both institutions.
Bina Pancholi-Martin received her Bachelors in Psychology from Towson State University with a focus on child development. She has over 18 years of experience in the training and development industry. She is currently employed in the private sector as Manager, Professional Development and provides Leadership and Diversity training. Recently, her interests focus on attaining her Global Professional Human Resources (GPHR) certification. Bina is a former board member of CHAI and is back serving on the Fundraising and Events Planning Committee.