Nov 09, 2015
Board of Directors Member Spotlight – Hirdesh Lal
We welcomed Hirdesh Lal onto the Janus Board of Directors just over a year ago. He is the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at Kaiser Permanente and currently serves on the Board Fiscal Committee. We appreciate the time he took to answer our questions for this quarter’s Board Member Spotlight.
Please give us a brief overview of your professional background.
I am a Financial Planning professional and Certified Public Accountant (Inactive). In this capacity, I am able to serve and aid individuals and corporations to become financially independent, sustainable, and viable in long run. We partner with clients in decision making process to convert business ideas from dream to reality. I started my career with a CPA firm. Currently I work for Kaiser Permanente as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis.
Are you a native Oregonian? If not, what brought you to the Northwest?
I was born and raised in the Fiji Islands and moved to Portland with my parents about 30 years ago. My mother was the primary driver of this move to US. She wanted to be closer to her family while demanding her children have ambitious careers rather than a laid back Fijian life style. She was the first individual in her very large family to have kids graduate from college – all four of them.
Why do you feel it’s important to invest in your community?
It is critical to invest in the community, especially when it comes to vulnerable kids. They will be the future community. Our ability to intervene today will help change, craft and shape the future that you want to see.
Are you involved with any other organizations other than Janus?
I actively participate in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs which also work with children. I have worked with two little brothers who are incredible and have unique abilities to make a difference in this community when they grow up. In addition, I am an active Advisory Board member of PSU Business School. As the first person in our entire family to earn a college degree, I have found that obtaining college level education is foundational to a successful, happy and independent future. Therefore, I am passionate about my participation in academia to help make college opportunities available for every potential individual.
What originally inspired you to join the Janus board?
The mission of Janus Youth Programs and my mentor, Karen Schartman, CFO, Kaiser Permanente, inspired me to join the organization to advance its mission of protecting children and helping them realize their full potential in our community.
What do you hope to accomplish by serving as a Janus board member?
I hope to harness my passion and professional experience to make Janus Youth Programs a sustainable, efficient organization that continues to make a difference in the lives of our vulnerable population. In addition, I have an interest in fostering good health and healthy living and finding paths to sustain the Village Gardens program.
It is the people. Janus Youth is an organization of passionate people who have chosen a difficult path to advance the community by focusing on improving the lives of individuals of our future community. They do meaningful work and it is a pleasure to be present in the same environment.
What extra-curricular activities do you enjoy when not working or volunteering?
I enjoy spending time learning to play musical instruments (guitar and keyboard), sports (soccer and football), travel, and spend time with families and friends.