Speakers for SVA2014


Ms. Karolyn Kirchgesler – has been Chief Executive Officer of Team San Jose since September 2013. Ms. Kirchgesler served as President & Chief Executive Officer of Visit Saint Paul. She joined San Jose with more than 25 years of industry experience and just completed a three-year term as board member for the leading convention and tourism industry association, Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). Prior to serving as leader of Visit Saint Paul, she held executive level roles with Greater New Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau (executive director), Sioux Falls Convention Center (Director of Sales & Marketing) and Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau (Executive Director). She has been a Director of Destination Marketing Association International since July 23, 2012.

David Rathod – is a creative director who specializes in creating engaging videos and viewer experiences that are content rich, beautifully crafted and engaging. He has conceptualized and directed over 200 videos and multi-screen projects for special events, new product announcements and commercials. His creative work ranges from being nominated Best Director in the MTV Video Music Awards to memorable work for Fortune 500 companies. Recent clients include Google, Philips Healthcare, HP, YouTube and Proactiv. He’s directed graphics intensive videos for Gartner, AT&T and Yahoo, documentary videos for IBM and Apple and humor videos for Cisco, AMD and Sony.

Raised in Mumbai, he wrote and directed the independent feature film West Is West. It starred Ashutosh Gowarikar who went on to direct Lagaan, Jodhaa Akbar and other films.


Omi Vaidya – is one of the few actors and filmmakers who works in both Hollywood and Bollywood. A graduate of NYU Film School, Omi started as a video editor on independent films and went on to direct short films that have won awards at film festivals worldwide. Omi’s work in front of the camera includes memorable characters on American TV shows like The Office, Arrested Development, Bones, Growing Up Fischer and the upcoming season of The Comeback. Omi made his mark in Bollywood in the Aamir Khan film, 3 Idiots, which became the biggest Indian box office success of all time. When he’s not acting, Omi develops media campaigns for national brands, agencies and non-profits organizations. He is strong believer in helping the underserved and enjoys his work as an ambassador for Pratham and Habitat for Humanity.

Omi just moved to DC with his wife who’s been awarded a prestigious post-doc in Cancer Prevention at the National Institute of Health. He’s currently developing an inspirational film on the life of Dalip Singh Saund, the first Indian American Congressman.