Community News (V13-I13)

Nadeem Syed appointed COO of SumTotal

Nadeem Syed, a software industry veteran, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SumTotal, a talent management solutions company.

Nadeem began his management career in 1991 with Oracle. Over a 19-year period, he received numerous promotions that eventually elevated his role to Group Vice President, with the responsibility of leading a large, multicultural, and globally distributed team

Syed received his Bachelors Degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Bombay University in 1988. In addition, he has received several graduate degrees from Louisiana State University—a Masters Degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Science in Computer Science.

Willowbrook mosque approved by county

CHICAGO,IL–After months of acrimonious debate, the Dupage County board has approved the construction of a mosque in Willowbrook, ABC news reported.

The plan calls for the 47,000-square foot structure for the Muslim Educational and Cultural Center of America to be built on 5 acres of woods along 91st Street near Route 83.

Nearby homeowners voiced concerns over what they call the possible negative impacts on their neighborhoods. The building permit comes with some restrictions on when non-worship activities can take place with no more than 597-people on the property.

Prayer room comes as blessing for Muslim students

CHICAGO,IL–Muslim students at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus are delighted that a designated room is now available for prayers.

Before the availability of the room most students would pray in empty classrooms or the hallways, reports the Torch student newspaper. Shazia Sarwar, a Chemistry major, worked with the university authorities to facilitate the designation of a room to be used by all faiths for prayers.  Sarwar started the Muslim Students Association last year. The group currently has more than 40 members.

They have raised funds for a local homeless shelter and this year raised over a thousand American dollars for the Pakistan Flood Relief. The group is also trying to organize a fundraiser for Japan.

Connecticut mosque plans approved

MANCHESTER, CT–The Town of Manchester in Connecticut has approved a Muslim group’s application to open a mosque. The planning and zoning commission granted a  special exception to open a place of worship at 46 Cottage St., which is in a residential zone.  The group has acquired a 2600 square foot house for the purpose. Almost half of the 40 Muslim residents live in the neighborhood.

Tarek Ambia, treasurer of the Muslim association, told the Hartford Courant  that the home will be ready for worship in two to three months. Some renovation will be necessary to open the first floor for worship, while the second floor will be used for a library and consultation space, Ambia said. Also, the garage will be demolished to make room for a parking lot for 16 cars, he said.

Sodexo introduces halal Indian fast food to US

GAITHERSBURG,MD–Leading food supplier Sodexo has announced that it will introduce halal Indian fast food to non-traditional settings in the US. It has signed  a master retail license agreement with the award-winning Indian concept, Cafe Spice, in this regard.

The concept made its non-traditional debut in the university segment this fall at Sodexo-managed Babson College in Massachusetts and at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Since then, to create an experience that was unique and new for future locations, Retail Brand Group, Sodexo’s strategic branding company, worked with Cafe Spice to develop solid brand positioning and aesthetically capture the essence of their brand through new identity design that helps tell their story and engages customers in a more experiential way.  This included a new look and feel for the concept as well as the addition of the chutney bar.  The ‘new’ Cafe Spice is available as of April 1, 2011 and is exclusive to Sodexo.

The menu features traditional Indian favorites like Chicken Tikka Masala, Curry Bowls and Chicken Vindaloo, all prepared using all natural ingredients and Halal meats. Also available are Cafe Spice’s naan sandwiches, a uniquely ‘made to order’, folded, crispy naan bread with a variety of authentic fillings.  Adding to the experience is the chutney bar where guests can customize their entree with traditional chutneys such as mango, tamarind and mint. 

“Indian fare plays an important role in our brand portfolio as customers seek traditional ethnic flavors, including the aromatic spices and rich flavors that Cafe Spice has to offer,” says John Nappier, vice president of business development for Sodexo’s Retail Brand Group. “Cafe Spice is an award-winning brand that sees the importance of reaching customers in non-traditional locations with an engaging, on-trend offer.” 

The license agreement grants Sodexo the right to open and operate the Cafe Spice concept at its various managed locations for the next 10 years.


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