Member Spotlight – AJEET & SHUBHADA KULKARNI


THE DYNAMIC DUO – AJEET & SHUBHADA KULKARNI

 

IMG-20150430-WA0006If you’ve ever wondered how every A2MM program is so seamless and how everything functions like clockwork, read on.. Ajeet Kulkarni is one of the members who makes this possible!

A mechanical engineer by training, Ajeet Kulkarni first started participating in A2MM activities 4 years ago. Hailing from Pune, India, which has a very vibrant cultural scene, Ajeet was involved in various cultural activities as a child. As a young adult, he often participated in school or community dramas, dances and other similar cultural activities.

As his college was one of the venues for the famous ‘Pune Festival’, he was involved in a team that made Punt Formations on the river. This was, making multiple boat formations on the river, which were lit up at night! Apart from this, he also took part every year in the regatta (rowing) races held at his college. In Michigan, even among his group of friends, Ajeet would always be at the forefront of organising travels, picnics and other activities.

All these experiences, says Ajeet, taught him group dynamics and he learnt the nuances of working within a group.IMG-20150430-WA0005

It is no wonder then, that ever since he got involved with the Ann Arbor Marathi Mandal, Ajeet has been part of teams responsible for overall program management, Inventory and food management. The Karaoke club, which he and his wife initially got involved with, was the key driver for them to get know the members better and spend time with them in a more informal setting.

Now, since the past year, his responsibilities have increased and he is in-charge of the entire Infrastructure along with his fellow team members. The main purpose of the Infrastructure team, Ajeet explains, is to manage the all important back end for all events. This team facilitates the execution of programs and takes care of all logistics, such as the manpower required for an event, technical assistance, making sure all elements of the program come together seamlessly.

He further adds that this is, and always needs to be a team effort and therefore coherent teams have been created, based on individual skills and talents, to ensure that every program is a success.

Ajeet also points out that as working within the community is always a matter of individual choice and preference. Commitment, perseverance and dedication are the important factors that hold it all together. He believes that the skills he brings to his day job as a Program Manager at Tenneco , help him in his community activities as well.

Ajeet’s wife Shubhada, an IT Project Manager at GE, has also always supported and worked alongside him . Along with Ajeet, she is at the forefront in bringing on board new members and introducing them to broader A2MM community. She is always a welcoming and pleasant host to social get togethers and planning meetings! She gets this drive due to active participation in various school and college activities. She always has her unique contribution to A2MM programs including orchestrating Maharashtra news with Mandar Deshpande or frequently choreographing educational skits with kids.

IMG-20150430-WA0007Talking about their vision for Ann Arbor Marathi Mandal, Ajeet points out that our community has been blessed with individuals that possess great enthusiasm and have a diversified pool of creativity and that this needs to be tapped and used to the fullest. They hope that we will enhance our connection with the Marathi culture and pass it on to our youth. Their older son Saket is also following on his parents’ footsteps and is a Youth Committee Leader this year.

Both also believe that the two Marathi mandals in Michigan area are essentially separated by geography but need to collaborate continuously so the Marathi community enjoys Marathi culture and related activities two fold! It is therefore essential to find synergies and work together towards a common goal which will put the Maharashtrian community in Detroit on the map.

 

 

 

If you are interested in being involved in any part of the infrastructure team, please contact: ajeet_shubhu@yahoo.com .

May 2015

 

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