The Bluegrass Indo-American Civic Society (BIACS) is a Kentucky registered not for profit organization (Tax ID 61-1145155). Founded in 1988, BIACS provides people of Indian heritage and other interested members a platform to engage in civic and charitable activities in the Bluegrass Region. Consistent with its charter, over the years, BIACS has spearheaded or participated in a variety of social, educational, cultural, charitable and civic activities within the Bluegrass Region.
Two marquee events that the society has spearheaded since its inception are a scholarship awards banquet and a free health fair. At the awards banquet, BIACS awards cash scholarships to college bound high school graduates of many different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds from throughout the state of Kentucky. These scholarships are possible because of generous support from BIACS members and Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky. Guests of honor and speakers at these awards banquets have ranged from past presidents, leaders of industry, New York Times Best Selling authors, federal judges, ambassadors to other nations, mayors, and other accomplished members of the community. The annual BIACS health fair is free and open to all. The event, organized with support of the local government sponsored health board and volunteer physicians, provides checkups, basic screenings and consultations from physicians including internists, cardiologists, pediatricians, dentists, pulmonologists, and allergists.
In addition to these signature events, the society also participates in other civic activities such as volunteering at food banks, cultural showcases at events of local interest, and raising funds to assist those affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes and flooding within the state, the nation and beyond.
The executive committee of the BIACS, comprising of a President, President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer are assisted by councilors in managing the activities of the society. Every individual on the executive committee and the council volunteer their time for activities related to BIACS. The executive board serves a one year term, while the councilors serve for two years. A nomination and election process is used to select the executive board and councilors at the annual board meeting of the BIACS.
In order to foster civic engagement among the next generation of Americans of Indian heritage, a youth board works closely with the BIACS board, and often provides volunteers for the activities of the society. The youth board members are also elected.
Membership to the society involves an application and payment of nominal dues and is not restricted to those of Indian heritage.
We welcome you to our website, and encourage you to browse through its contents to learn more about us and what we do.
President: Jaya Pampati MD JD
Jaya is a resident of Hazard, KY for the past three decades and is a Rheumatologist serving Southeastern Kentucky. Jaya has three children who went to local public schools where she has served on the Site based decision making council for several years. She is also a voluntary faculty for the Appalachian Regional Healthcare Internal Medicine Residency program and has served for several years as the Director for Continuing Medical Education for Southeastern Area Health Education Center. She believes that access to affordable education is the key for communities to thrive and grow.
Past President: Hemant Gandhi
Hemant is the treasurer of Alltech, Inc in Nicholasville. Prior to joining Alltech Hemant has held various global treasury roles for over 20 years across financial services, automotive, telecom and information technology industry sectors.
President Elect: Rajni Vaish
Rajni is a physician from India, currently a homemaker, and has been a resident of Lexington, Kentucky for the past 13 years. She is supported by her husband, 3 kids, and loving mother, along with many great friends from different walks of life. She is very receptive to fresh ideas to grow this organization to a new level. She has been involved with the local school system and has run various art and culture programs. In her leisure time, she enjoys walking on the trail in all 4 seasons and having a cup of ginger tea while listening to her kids play the piano.
Secretary: Meghana Munnolimath
Meghana moved to Lexington, KY from Melbourne, Australia in 2015. In Australia Meghana worked with ANZ Banking Group in various service roles for 15 years before choosing a career in real estate when she moved to Lexington and is currently a licensed real estate agent in Kentucky. Meghana has two kids in college and she is passionate about helping students in their educational pursuits and being involved in the community promoting Indian culture.
Treasurer: Vasundhara Bhasker
Vasundhara is a software solutions architect and a certified public accountant. She and her family have lived in Lexington for close to 20 years. Over these years she has been actively engaged in various environmental and community initiatives including several headed by BIACS. She is an artist at heart and is a wonderfully talented bharatnatyam dancer.
Councillor: Cathy Bell
Cathy has been a resident of Lexington throughout her college years and academic career. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with Masters in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education, and a Rank 1 in Administration and Supervision. She is a retired Elementary School Principal in Fayette County and currently serves as a coach for principals new in their position. Cathy serves on the Leadership Advisory Council for the UK Alumni Association and volunteers for other community organizations.
Soreyda Benedit Begley is a fashion designer, a radio host, community organizer and activist originally from Honduras, now based in Lexington, Kentucky. She is has served on a number of boards for local and state organizations. Because of her experience working in sweatshops as a teenager in her native country, Soreyda is an advocate for fair trade, women’s rights and sustainable development. She is known for using unconventional recycled materials in her work, including paper, plastic bags and even tree bark. Soreyda has won many awards for her fashion design work and community organizer, she has been featured in national and international fashion and art publications, as well as in theater, film and gallery productions.
Shobana Venkatesan moved to Lexington, KY from Ottawa, Canada, in 2011. She holds a Masters and an M.Phil degree in Life Sciences. She started her professional career as a Professor of Biochemistry at K. K. College of Pharmacy in Chennai TN India. Later, she was a Product Executive at Sresan Pharmaceuticals, Chennai & Bangalore, India. After emigrating to Canada, she worked at Statistics Canada in Gatineau, ON. From 2014, she started volunteering for Biacs, and from 2015 -2018 she served as a Counselor in Biacs . She has also been a Fundraising chairman from 2019 to present . She also volunteers as dance choreographer for the BIACS and BTCC cultural events . She is presently working as a Scientist in CHFS, Department of Public Health Lab Services , Frankfort, KY.
Co-Presidents: Arushi Bansal and Vibha Bhasker
Community Outreach Director Youth group : Shreya Chandrashekhar
Cultural Director Youth Group : Chakrapani Gudlavalleti
Director of Media Youth Group : Vijay Karthikeyan
Ahaan Thomas, Arushi Bansal, Avneesh Kudrimoti, Chakrapani Gudlavalleti, Daksha Pillai, Dhruv Upreti, Garv Vyas, Harsha Tummala, Ishani Patel, Jaya Murthy, Jessica Mukhopadhyay, Kashvi, Kaya Amin, Kishan Amin, Pranav Kuna, Meher Saini, Neel Kachroo, Nishad Joshi, Phanisree Murty, Pranav Kuna, Sasank, Shreya Chandrashekhar, Sai Vaish, Siddharth Sundar, Sohan Parsi, Sukriti Kapoor, Tanish Garg, Vibha Bhasker, Vijay Karthikeyan.