Meet the Board

Introducing your 2018-2019 YJA Executive Board! They all come from different cities, regions, and walks of life, but share a passion for serving the Jain community. Through local events, national projects, and social impact, every member on this board is ready to make this year's YJA the most successful yet! Check out their bios and video to meet them!

Lots of #yjalove,
Your 2018-19 YJA Executive Board

Monika Jain

Co-Chair

Monika is a recent graduate from Rice University with a BA in Kinesiology-Health Sciences, and a minor in Medical Humanities. She currently works as a research associate at a healthcare startup based in Cambridge, MA. As an active member of her local Jain community in Memphis, TN, a past local representative for the YJA South Region, and a former Director of Fundraising, Monika is thrilled to be Co-Chair this year and to work with an incredibly passionate team! In her free time, she enjoys watching food/dance videos, eating Taco Bell, and tagging people in memes. If you have any questions or want to know how to get more involved with YJA, feel free to email Monika at chairs@yja.org

Charmi Vakharia

Co-Chair

Charmi Vakharia is currently a third year dental student at NYU Dentistry and is also a Rutgers University alum. Her passions include bharatanayam dance, Hindustani vocal singing, and trying new restaurants with friends. After serving as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator from 2010-2012 and Social Co-lead for the 2014 YJA Convention, Charmi is excited to be back and involved YJA once again as co-chair! If you have any questions, or would like to know how to be more involved in YJA, please feel free to reach out to Charmi at chairs@yja.org

Mahima Shah

Director of Project Development

Mahima is a New Jersey native and is currently a senior studying Computer Science at Cornell University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and discussing philosophy and the human psyche. She is also passionate about Jainism and would love to hear your thoughts on any aspect of the religion. Mahima is excited to return for her fourth term with YJA and encourages people to reach out to her at mahima.shah@yja.org

Parshva Vakharia

Director of Education

Parshva Vakharia is a student at the New York University Stern School of Business studying Finance and Accounting. Parshva has a wide range of interests, including tabla, singing, Chinese yo-yo, traveling, and basketball, and he is a diehard Boston Celtics fan. Parshva is extremely excited to continue YJA’s education initiatives this year and expand its efforts even further. For any feedback, suggestions, ideas, or thought-provoking questions, feel free to contact him at education@yja.org

Simmi Nandu

Director of Events

Simmi is a born and raised Texan, currently working as an analyst at Capital One after recently graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in chemical engineering. When she's not working, Simmi enjoys watching sports and medical dramas on TV. She loves discussions on politics, current events, and travel. Simmi had previously served on the 2015-2016 YJA Executive Board, as well as the 2016 and 2018 Convention Committees. Her love for YJA runs deep and she's ready for another stellar year with this board! If you want to bring YJA events to your city or are interested in being involved, feel free to email her at events@yja.org. #texasforever #yjalove

Vatsal Gandhi

Director of Finance

Having spent the first 17 years of his life in Mumbai, Vatsal Gandhi is a Mechanical Engineering alumnus from the University of Illinois (I-L-L!), Chicago resident and consultant in the financial services industry. Vatsal is a passionate soccer, NBA and music fan and loves spending his free time reading, listening to podcasts and re-watching The Office. He attended his first Convention in 2012 and is excited to bring his spreadsheet skills (and more) to this year’s Board! Reach out to him at finance@yja.org with any questions or concerns.

Aanya Gandhi

Director of Fundraising

Aanya Gandhi is currently an Account Executive at FierceMarkets, based out of the Washington D.C. office. As an avid dreamer and passionate leader, Aanya loves to make people laugh, dance like everybody is watching, karaoke until she loses her voice, and dream about being an actress! When she is not working on her passion projects for YJA, you can also find her baking, spending time with family and friends, and of course watching movies. Aanya is pumped to spread some more #yjalove this year, and can't wait to put the FUN in Fundraising! Reach out to her at fundraising@yja.org!

Vineet Shah

Director of IT

Vineet Shah is a junior studying computer science at the University of Maryland, College Park. He grew up in Maryland and has been a part of the DC Sangh since he was six years old. Outside of his nerdy life he is on Board for Maryland Minza, UMD's fusion dance competition. He enjoys chasing sunsets, playing video games, and golfing. If you have any questions, feel free to email Vineet at web@yja.org.

Rachna Shah

Director of Publications

Rachna Shah is a sophomore at Dartmouth College, where she studies economics and public policy. While a Chicagoan at heart, she enjoys living in the woods for a while. Rachna is passionate about civic engagement and healthcare reform. When she's not writing or reading, she loves traveling and long walks. Rachna loves talking with new and old friends alike, so if you want to talk about anything, contribute to Young Minds, or have any questions, please email her at publications@yja.org!

Sanjana Jhaveri

Director of Public Relations

A recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and now a Partner Manager at Facebook, Sanjana is thrilled to serve as Director of PR this year. When she’s not taking YJA pictures #ForTheGram, you can almost always find her experimenting in the kitchen, belting Tori Kelly classics, or rewatching The Office. Tag YJA in your tweets and posts because Sanjana loves to like, comment, and share! Feel free to also contact her at pr@yja.org with any questions or concerns.

Achal Shah

Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator

Achal Shah is a sophomore at Rutgers University studying Business Analytics and Information Technology and Quantitative Economics. Away from school, he enjoys playing basketball, listening to and recommending music for his friends to listen to, and binge watching “Suits” and “How I Met Your Mother.” This past year, he attended his first convention while serving as a Local Representative and an education subcommittee member. Achal is thrilled to have the chance to plan events and build off of the continued success of the Mid-Atlantic region. Feel free to contact him at midatlantic@yja.org.

Janvi Shah

Mid-West Regional Coordinator

As a past LR for Chicago and an active member for the Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago, Janvi is excited to finally be on the YJA Executive Board! She is a senior in high school and enjoys writing, listening to music, and meeting new people! Feel free to reach out with any ideas for the upcoming year at midwest@yja.org.

Kaivan Shah

Northeast Regional Coordinator

Kaivan is new to the Northeast and currently works as a software engineer at InterSystems. He graduated from UT Austin and will be going to UMass Amherst next year for grad school. Having studied Jainism from a young age, he believes it makes him kinder, peaceful, and more tolerant. You can find him sleeping at work or being lazy in his free time. He also likes to watch the best player ever, Lionel Messi, Barcelona FC live, hang out with friends, explore the city, and cook questionable food. Kaivan is excited to meet new YJA members in the Northeast and increase YJA's reach and impact this year. Email him at northeast@yja.org with your ideas, questions, or feedback!

Ketan Kapasi

South Regional Coordinator

A lifelong Texan except for that year he lived in Alaska, Ketan is currently an internal product manager at Dell. Originally from Houston, he majored in computer science and finance at the University of Texas at Austin. He loves discussing the complexities of traditional Jainism and modern life (but don’t get Ketan Kaka started on politics). He spends his downtime playing FIFA and Fortnite, and his Coldplay karaoke skills have him thinking he could open for Adele. He is also skilled at opening a Dell and is a big fan of England midfielder Dele Alli. And cringe-worthy wordplay. He looks forward to a great year serving as South RC - email him at south@yja.org with your ideas, questions, or feedback!

Juhi Nahata

Southeast Regional Coordinator

Juhi Nahata was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, but now lives in Atlanta, Georgia studying Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, shopping, and learning how to cook. She is also on GT Ramblin’ Raas and a member of BME Robotics. After having been a YJA Local Representative for 3 years, she’s really excited to serve as Southeast Regional Coordinator and see what the Southeast is all about! Email her at southeast@yja.org if you have any ideas, questions, or concerns!

Akshay Madhani

West Regional Coordinator

Akshay grew up in the Bay Area and currently works at Facebook. He graduated in 2017 with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley, where he was the captain of a Bollywood dance team and a member of the Jain Students Association. In his free time, you will find him supporting the Raiders and Warriors, playing FIFA, or planning his next vacation that's bound to get canceled. He loves to meet new people and hear new ideas, so feel free to email him at west@yja.org!