Impact Austin Spotlight on Shubhada Saxena
We asked Shubhada how she heard about Impact Austin and what inspired her to join.
“I heard about Impact Austin in 2012 from Sudha Thiruvengadam, whose parents-in-law had joined as senior citizen volunteers at an organization I founded called SAIVA (South Asians’ International Volunteer Association). Sudha is a neighbor of Impact Austin’s founder, Rebecca Powers. I was exploring various philanthropic organizations at the time, and immediately connected with the empowering way these women have been making an impact. I decided to join so I could be part of this group of strong women who step up to make a difference!”
What have you done at Impact Austin so far?
“I have participated as a member and have been exploring the committees. I would like to be part of the Philanthropic Education Committee. I see this as an important need in the community - learning about strategic giving. I would like to see Austin grow in its philanthropic maturity level rating. I understand Austin is still estimated to be a teenager, while New York is in its 60s.”
What is your profession?
“I spent over 20 years in the IT industry. I came to the United States in 1987 as a programmer after completing an Electrical & Electronics Engineering degree in India. I have worked over 8 years in the nonprofit world and I am currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Social Work at The University of Texas in Austin.”
What other nonprofits are you affiliated with and how?
“I serve on the board of Family Eldercare, which provides quality care through many services for our growing elderly population. As President of SAIVA and as a member of the Aging Services Council, I work with a continuum of organizations serving the elderly in and around Austin.”
“I serve on the City of Austin Asian American Quality of Life Advisory Commission, and in an advisory capacity with the Indian American Coalition of Texas. I work with various Asian American organizations to ensure civic participation of newer immigrants including SAALT (South Asian Americans Leading Together) which organizes a “Be The Change” Day of Service around Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, and APIAVote (Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote). APIAVote’s goal is to help bring Texas up from its 49th place nationally, as ranked by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. In addition, I have joined the founding board of the Austin chapter of New Leaders Council, focused on providing training to build progressive leaders.”
Tell us a bit about your family.
“I have lived in Austin for over 20 years with my extended family, including parents, in-laws, my sister, and two daughters Maya (21) and Shilpa (17). I look forward to expanding the definition of family to include three generations.
What is the most important knowledge you have gained by being an Impact Austin member and what is your favorite feature of the organization?
“The most important thing I have learned is that a larger, high impact grant can make a huge difference for nonprofits that are expending a great deal of energy and resources to get multiple, smaller grants from a variety of sources.”
“My favorite features of Impact Austin are the training we get that helps us understand the needs of our community and the opportunity to meet and get to know some amazing women.”
What else would you like to share about yourself?
“As I have transitioned personally and professionally, I have noticed a thread of passion in myself for community work. I volunteered in the National Social Service program as an Engineering undergraduate student; my patent through IBM is on Network Based Help Architecture; and I care deeply for the spirit of service embodied in the teachings of the Hindu philosophy and yoga. I think these threads have woven together to allow me to be of great service to my community.”
Shubhada was recognized in 2014 as a YWCA Woman of the Year for her work with SAIVA.
Shubhada is one of many outstanding women in Impact Austin who are making a difference in their community and choosing collective giving as a powerful way to do that. Join us today!