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Asian American Alliance Brings Business Executives to Speak to Entrepreneurs

2023-10-22 – BE&O D2D

Seven years ago, when Rupal Thanawala entered a conference room inside the Marion County City-County Building, she was after one thing: a seat at the table. Along with 60 other Asian-American business leaders, Rupal, who at the time was CEO of Trident Systems LLC, was attending a meeting with Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett to discuss how to create more opportunities for Asian-American workers in the city. 

Fast forward to this week, and Rupal is the Board President of the Asian American Alliance. The organization has a popular and thriving speakers series called “A Seat at the Table.” Held at Barned and Thornburg earlier this week, the luncheon and networking event was headlined by Lucia Mar. Mar, an SVP with Bank of America, shared her journey as an immigrant student in the United States.

Started seven years ago, the series features high-profile executives from companies such as Eli Lilly, Elanco, and Republic Airways serving as guest speakers. This free event also gives business and community leaders a chance to interact and network with like-minded people. Thanawala says, “We really felt that no one was speaking up for us, so let’s speak up for ourselves.” 

Born from a need for more leading corporate Asian American voices to mentor the next generation, the Asian American Alliance hosts several free events throughout the year. You can learn more at