Board of Advisors
Dr. Moin Ahmed is a chemical engineer who worked for Union Carbide Corp, Dow Chemical, and Chevron in their Research and Development departments before retiring in 2014. He now lives in Austin, TX.
Salma Ali is a Washington D.C. based writer focusing on personal essays, cross-cultural reflections, and profiles about inspiring people. She attended Columbia College, and has a master’s degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. In addition to her writing, she is passionate about promoting volunteerism and service, and sees this as another way to listen to and share stories that allow people to connect with their community. Salma is undoubtedly one of the most compassionate, caring, committed, and inspiring role models for all. Young and old, females as well as males and for those she has touched locally and globally. Just one of her blogs "30days30deeds" during Ramadan is sufficient to convince anyone of her passionate devotion to further the causes for a better humanity. Again, citing only one of her many contributions internationally, we have personally been very blessed to have Salma and her entire family's varied contributions to a nonprofit organization "Pennies for Education and Health (PEH)" operating in India since its inception. During PEH'S 10th anniversary in 2013, Salma and Saanya traveled all the way to Ahmedabad and in spite of the jet lag, had thrilled the audience of more than 2000 with their awe inspiring words of wisdom.
Amaar Bangee is a native Houstonian and has been involved with PEH since he began as a student-intern in 2013, while completing his bachelor's degree in Accounting at the University of Houston. Passionate about PEH's cause and mission, he continued to work with the organization after graduating and has continued to stay involved in the years since. He is currently working as an accountant at EOG Resources.
Riaz Essa is a Houston resident for 40 years with roots in Zambia and Gujarat, India. He currently serves as the Controller and Operations Manager for a multi-national marketing technology company with operations in Houston and Eastern Europe. He has spent a large part of his career in the advertising industry, including serving as a CEO of a manufacturing company in Dubai and as a General Manager/Equity Partner in a food distribution company serving the Southwestern US. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.
Munira Gandhi joins PEH as Advisory board member to volunteer and assist with technology, communication and marketing. She is an Analytics and Information Management Leader with 18 years of experience in Data Science and Analytics, Business Intelligence and Master Data Management. She has over 15 years of experience in the Oil & Gas Industry working with Major E&P such as Chevron, BP, Shell/Motiva, Anadarko. She has a Masters in Mathematics/Statistics and Computer Science. Munira's volunteering experience includes being a board member with Katy Gifted and Talented organization for 5+ years. And volunteering at organizations such Houston Food bank, Dress for success, etc.
Ruhi Khan has over 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry in areas of business development, finance and venture capital investing. Ms. Khan has been advising start-up biotech companies on sourcing, structuring, negotiating and managing strategic alliances. Previously, Ms. Khan was the Vice President, Business Development at Acorda therapeutics. Prior to that Ms. Khan also held roles in Business Development at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals. Before Lexicon, Ms. Khan was a member of the founding team at Fidelity Biosciences (F-Prime Capital), the life sciences venture capital arm of Fidelity Investments where she had business development and finance responsibilities at EnVivo(Forum) Pharmaceuticals. Earlier in her career Ms. Khan worked on new business development, product strategy and commercialization projects with biopharma companies. Ms. Khan has a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School.
Mubeen Khumawala is the Director of Operations for City Forward Collective, an education non- profit supporting students and teachers in Milwaukee. Prior to that, he was at Deloitte Consulting and the Texas Education Agency. Mubeen’s journey in education began through Teach for America as a founding middle school math teacher at YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Texas. Mubeen is no stranger to India, having visited his grandparents many times growing up. He also interned at the U.S. Department of State in New Delhi, India for a summer along with leading a group of high school students for community service projects in Rajasthan. Mubeen earned a BBA in Accounting and Finance from the Honors College, University of Houston and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
Menhaz Merchant is an Accounting graduate from the Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. She has been a Houston resident for over three decades and has also lived in India, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. She worked as a middle school Math teacher and has also volunteered at schools and service organizations.
Bilal Safree is a native of Ahmedabad, India currently residing in the Bay Area, California where he works as a Financial Analyst at Visa. He is an Industrial Engineer with an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. He has worked with local mosques volunteering/lending a hand with their community service programs. Being passionate about PEH’s cause and their mission of providing quality education and healthcare infrastructure in his home country, he also wishes to use this platform to fulfill his personal intentions of serving the community. He is an avid newsreader with keen interests in sports, global news & politics. He also loves traveling (road trips especially) and trying out different cuisines.
Sohel Sareshwala is an industrialist and inventor. He has 5 patents for specialty tube and pipe fittings, and is currently the President and CEO of Accu-Swiss Inc., which manufactures precision components for OEM bio medical, semi-conductor, food, and instrumentation industries. He currently stands as the board of advisor for San Jose State University in the Industrial Engineering department. In the past he served as President of two Non Profit Organizations: Islamic Society of East Bay and Islamic Center of Modesto. He is also the founder of Central Valley Crescent, a non-profit organization in the Central Valley, California. As president of CVC, apart from religious activities, his current focus is on serving new immigrant families. In his free time, he enjoys playing cricket, table-tennis, traveling with his family, gardening, and tending to his 400+ koi fish.