Veena, future microlending NPO leader

I had a couple of important appointments today – not to mention some day-job tasks – that kept me away from GoodCause. One of the things I did was have lunch with my friend Veena Vadgama, with whom I worked at Prodigy. Veena and her husband Jami now live in Minneapolis, where Veena runs a marcom dept for a technology company and Jami puts his advanced degree in nanotechnology to use. Veena was in town for work.

In addition to her full-time job and being six-months pregnant with her first child, Veena is completing a master’s degree in nonprofit management. Though she says she has not particular cause in mind, she did light up when talking about microlending and sites like She has actually met Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi banker who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. He’s the one who pioneered idea of granting microloans to the very poor to enable them to pull themselves out of poverty by starting and running their own businesses.

Veena loves her job now and feels very invested in what she’s created for that company, but we all have our dream jobs (see About GoodCause to learn something about mine), and I think she’d be happiest running a nonprofit in Bangladesh, working there as an American but living there among family.

I wish she were back in Austin, but I suppose this city can’t hog all the good people. More tomorrow!


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