The saying goes that a house is only as strong as its foundation and for KAGW our foundation are our volunteers. For every single President or Secretary there are dozens of volunteers working behind the scenes. These selfless, faceless warriors are the ones who have enabled KAGW to be stronger and scale higher. The KAGW Hall of Fame award was constiuted to recognize these outstanding individuals for their deep dedication and contributions.
-- Saji has been a KAGW committee member consecutively for the last 8 - 9 years.
-- Across the years Saji has served in various positions within the KAGW committee especially in the critical areas of Technology, Publicity and Entertainment, yet has never been part of the KAGW executive team or held a front-desk / customer-facing role. He has always been diligently working behind the scenes to ensure the success of the program – in fact it would not be surprising if 70% - 80% of our people outside the core committee don’t recognize him.
-- Saji has consistently taken responsibility to handle the critical elements of light, sound and projection at ALL our events even when he has not been part of any of the related committees. Many of our programs would have come to a grinding halt had it not been for him stepping in at the right time – this includes all major events: Talent Time, Eid, Onam and Xmas.
-- He will always be the first to arrive at the venue to setup the stage and probably the last to leave after clearing the stage. A TOTAL team player who has never complained.
-- He worked to collect, scan and digitalize all back issues of the KAGW magazines and calendars since start of publication. This has been his pet project that he took up on his own without any compulsion to make sure that our KAGW heritage is not lost: http://kagw.com/kagw- publications/. A thankless job that many people and even most core committee members don’t even know about.
-- He along with Jenson Jose introduced movie and image-based event backgrounds during 2011 Christmas.
-- His significant contributions as part of the Technology team include
-- Hit rate of the KAGW website leapfrogged since Saji took over website administration in 2011.
-- Designed and developed the current KAGW logo, including the ones specially designed for Onam, Christmas and other significant events.
-- Played a key role in converting the KAGW website from a static website to a .NET dynamic site where most of the content loaded from database.
-- Significant contributions to the current CMS (Content management system, earlier Drupal and now WordPress) portal.
-- Actively involved in another KAGW initiative named KAGW news videos
-- Sorting and maintaining KAGW artifacts (Photos/Videos/Publications) online.
-- He has created numerous banners, flyers and images for different KAGW events as part of the Publicity team which are still being used even today – especially the KAGW logo used for all major events
-- He has developed all the Reel Deal nomination videos / presentations for Talent Time since the Reel Deal contest’s inception.
- KAGW committee member since 2008.
- KAGW's incredible "Wizard of OZ" and technical guru.
- A true "ALL-ROUNDER" like no one other KAGW volunteer.
- Jack of all trades and the "Master" of all too.
- Part of multiple KAGW committees- Entertainment, Technology and Publicity.
- Revolutionized KAGW's approach to Light and Sound.
- Spearhead multiple Entertainment Programs across he years leading the critical functions of Editing,Background Score, Lighting, Projection and more.
- A celebrated and accomplished Soloist and Artist.
Arun Mohan works as a Solutions Architect for a Health Care IT company in Rockville, MD. He is a native of Calicut in Kerala, India. Arun’s wife, Simi is a Mohiniattam dancer and daughter, Megha is a 4th grader Arun did his schooling in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Calicut and completed his Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering from LBS College of Engineering, Kasaragod, Kerala.
He is obsessed with the latest in web technologies, so much so that he decided to Volunteer and support the Kerala Association of Greater Washington. It was Manoj Sreenilayam, president of KAGW in 2013 who introduced Arun to KAGW. He initially started assisting the 2013 technology team with updates to the Talent Time portal. Working with Manoj Sreenilayam, he introduced KAGW’s own ticketing portal that paved the way for all of the current technological improvements that Kerala Association of Greater Washington now boasts of.
Out of his passion for Technology, he then worked with Arun Joe, the 2015 president to take the Technology side of KAGW to a new high. He introduced the Membership Portal that allows users to register/sign-in using their social media accounts that allows members to manage and pay for their membership records.
The Talent Time portal was completely rewritten and was released with more powerful features that not only enabled customers to register and sign-up with ease, but also enabled the KAGW team to move completely into the use of technology for all back-office activities. In 2015, KAGW was able to capitalize on the technological improvements and introduce a larger front desk for the Talent Time event that allowed easier check-in and got away from the use of papers and spreadsheets.
Some of the high-level features of the Talent Time portal are as follows: • New improved user interface for customer/participant registration. • Better organized way for creating and managing group events. • Auto generation of participants list for various events. • All payment transactions are now managed via the Talent Time admin portal. • All marks are entered into and managed by the online system, and there is no manual intervention in this process of calculating total marks, picking the winners and/or Kalathilakam/Kala Prathibha. • Download participation certificates and winner certificates in PDF format. • Various statistics that helps KAGW to analyze and decide on future of this event.
In 2015, Arun developed and introduced KAGW’s own newsletter application that allows authoring and sending KAGW’s newsletters and mass emails. Some of the features of this are as follows: • Ability to author email using KAGW’s own email templates. • Ability for the system to plug membership details of the user. • Ability for the system to send targeted emails to a section of the population based on their zip code, city, or state. This means that certain content sections in KAGW’s email are only visible to users living those areas. • Statistics on the email sent out including the hits, number of users who read the email etc.
Under the guidance of the 2016 KAGW president, Raghu Nambiath, Arun introduced many new features into the Ticketing portal, including the ability to choose seats for an event with seating arrangement and also use the same portal for events like Onam, Eid, and Christmas.
Arun also introduced security for the KAGW portals by enabling Transport Layer Security on all KAGW portals including https://www.kagw.com, https://talenttime.kagw.com, https://tickets.kagw.com, https://membership.kagw.com. Security was also introduced for the newsletter application and all KAGW newsletters are now signed and encrypted.
In 2017, working with Hari Nambiar and the Talent Time team, Arun has introduced some exciting features: • Ability to upload mp3 music for events on the Talent Time portal • Ability to upload YouTube videos, and App Champ PowerPoint presentations • Video tutorials for various features that helps a customer to use the Talent Time portal. • QR code for each customer that allows for faster check-in on event days. More exciting technological features and improvements are planned under Arun Mohan’s leadership and it has helped KAGW to go green in more ways than one!