2011 Sikh Leadership Summit

Inspiring & Developing the Next Generation of Leaders



Asia Society & Museum
(725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, New York, NYC)



Matthew Breitfelder

Matthew Breitfelder

Chief Talent Officer, BlackRock

Matthew Breitfelder, Managing Director, is BlackRock's Chief Talent Officer with global responsibilities for talent management, recruiting, learning and development, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, and philanthropy.

Prior to joining BlackRock, Breitfelder was Vice President for Talent Management and Organizational Development at MasterCard Worldwide.  Previously, he held talent management and strategy roles at MasterCard Worldwide, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Siebel Systems, and the Corporate Executive Board.  Earlier in his career, Breitfelder served as a senior international trade advisor with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Breitfelder earned a BA in Economics from the University of Southern California, an MS from the London School of Economics, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Scheduled Speakers


Gurinder Chadha

Gurinder Chadha

Internationally Acclaimed Director / Writer

Gurinder Chadha is one of the UK’s most proven and respected film makers with a successful track record in directing films which are international box office successes.

Gurinder began her career as a BBC news reporter.  She went on to direct award-winning documentaries for the British Film Institute, BBC and Channel Four. Her first feature, Bhaji on the Beach, won numerous international awards including a BAFTA Nomination for ‘Best British Film of 1994’ and the Evening Standard British Film Award for ‘Best Newcomer to British Cinema’.


In 1995 she directed Rich Deceiver, a two-part drama for the BBC, watched by 11 million viewers.

What’s Cooking?, the Opening Night Film of the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, was the first British script to be invited to the Sundance Institute’s Writer’s Lab.  The film was voted joint audience award winner in the New York Film Critics’ 2000 season (tied with 'Billy Elliott'), and Gurinder won the award for Best British Director in the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards.

Bend It Like Beckham was the highest grossing British-financed, British-distributed film, ever in the UK box-office (prior to the success of Slumdog Millionaire).  The film was a critical and commercial success internationally, topping the box-office charts in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and South Africa, and winning audience favourite film awards at the Locarno, Sydney and Toronto film festivals.  The film received a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), a BAFTA Nomination for Best British Film, a European Film Academy Nomination for Best Film, and a Writers Guild of America Nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Bride and Prejudice - a film which marries Jane Austen with Indian and Western musicals - was the first film ever to open at Number One in the UK and India on the same day.

Gurinder has received several Honorary Doctorates from British Universities and was awarded an O.B.E. in the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to the British Film Industry.

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging - based on the international bestseller, was released worldwide by Paramount Pictures in 2008/2009.

It’s A Wonderful Afterlife premiered at the Sundance Film Festival before releasing internationally in 2010.

Gurinder is currently collaborating with composer A.R. Rahman and lyricist Stephen Schwartz on Dreamworks Animation's first musical set in India.  

Her next film is an epic drama on Indian Independence and Partition, to be released in 2012.


Mohanbir S. Sawhney

Mohanbir S. Sawhney

Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation Clinical Professor of Technology; Director of the Center for Research in Technology & Innovation at Kellogg School of Management

Prof. Sawhney is a globally recognized scholar, teacher, consultant and speaker in strategic marketing, innovation and new media. His research and teaching interests include marketing and media in the digital world, process-centric marketing, collaborative marketing, organic growth and network-centric innovation. He has been widely recognized as a thought leader. Business Week named him as one of the 25 most influential people in e-Business. Crain’s Chicago Business named him a member of “40 under 40”, a select group of young business leaders in the Chicago area. He is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum.


Prof. Sawhney is the co-author of five books. His most recent books are Collaborating with Customers to Create (2008) and The Global Brain: your Roadmap for Innovating Smarter and Faster in the Networked World (2007). His research has been published in leading journals like California Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Management Science, Marketing Science, MIT Sloan Management Review, and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. He has also written several influential trade articles in publications like the Financial Times, CIO Magazine, and Business 2.0. He has won several awards for his teaching and research, including the 2006 Sidney Levy Award for Teaching Excellence at the Kellogg School, the 2005 runner-up for Best Paper in Journal of Interactive Marketing, the 2001 Accenture Award for the best paper published in California Management Review in 2000 and the Outstanding Professor of the Year at Kellogg in 1998. He has been named as one of the top 5 professors at Kellogg in 2008 and 2009.

Prof. Sawhney advises and speaks to Global 2000 firms and governments worldwide. His speaking and consulting clients include Accenture, Adobe Systems, Banco Real, Boeing, Cisco Systems, Dell, DuPont, Ericsson, Fidelity Investments, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, HCL Technologies, Honeywell, IBM Consulting Services, Infosys, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg Company, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, Motorola, MTV Networks, Nortel Networks, Nissan Motor, Nomura Research Institute, Raytheon Missile Systems, SAP, Sony, Teradata and Thomson Corporation. He serves on the boards and advisory boards of several technology startup companies, including EXLService, Bahwan Cybertek, vMock and Firescope.

Prof. Sawhney holds a Ph.D. in marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; a Master’s degree in management from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta; and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.

Gurvendra SuriWalia

Gurvendra Suri

Founder and CEO, Optimal Solutions Integration, Inc.

Gurvendra Suri is an entrepreneur, businessman, community leader and devoted father and husband.

Mr. Suri founded Optimal Solutions Integration, Inc., an enterprise technology consulting firm based in Irving, TX, in 1995, and today serves as the company’s chief executive officer. Optimal Solutions helps companies and public sector organizations of all sizes leverage the large building blocks of enterprise technology to plan, deploy and maintain sophisticated solutions that streamline business processes, fuel supply-chain efficiency, and turn raw data into pure competitive advantage. Optimal Solutions serves global clients from offices in Irving, Texas; Washington, DC; Munich, Germany; Toronto, Canada; and Bangalore, India.


Under Mr. Suri’s leadership, Optimal Solutions has sustained year-over-year revenue growth since its inception and today has a global workforce across multiple countries. Mr. Suri was recently named a 2011 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year; He was named Entrepreneur of the Year by DFW Asian American Chamber of Commerce in year 2004; and Entrepreneur of the Year by the Greater Dallas Indo American Chamber of Commerce in year 2002. Additionally, Mr. Suri was recognized as DFW Tech Titan Corporate CEO Finalist in 2010 and named a finalist for the Greater Dallas Business Ethics Award in 2011.

For Optimal Solutions’ commitment to community involvement charitable activity, Mr. Suri was named the DFW Tech Titan Community Hero in 2010. A selection of Optimal Solutions’ ongoing corporate charity includes supporting a local school for economically challenged families; contributing time and funds to Irving Cares, a non-profit organization supporting families in need; providing aid and relief to natural disaster victims; and conducting numerous care-package drives to support U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Among Mr. Suri’s many personal charitable activities is Beyond Borders, a private charity which he founded in 2003 with a $3 million endowment. The mission of Beyond Borders is to provide care and support for disadvantaged people and non-profit organizations across borders in the form of medical care, educational grant scholarships, vocational facilities and cause-based funding.

Mr. Suri generously contributes time and funds to numerous Sikh organizations in the U.S. that support the International Sikh community, promote Sikh values to youth and protect civil rights. He participates actively in local Dallas Sikh community affairs to fund and promote Sikh values. He frequently meets with and serves as an advisor for the leadership of Sikh Coalition, Ensaaf, SALDEF and the Sikh Human Development organization.  SCORE recognized Mr. Suri as the 2008 Sikh Entrepreneur of the Year during its annual conference held on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

Born and raised in Kota, India, Mr. Suri received his engineering degree in Computer Science from M.N.R Engineering College in Allahabad, India.

Mr. Suri currently resides in Southlake, Texas with his wife Manjeet and two daughters, Komal and Bhavi.