The Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, located in Lanham, Maryland is about 12 miles from Washington D.C. What started off as a very small idea, in the living rooms of a few devotees in the late seventies, has now blossomed into being one of the largest temples in the western hemisphere. The actual temple construction began in 1988 and has incorporated the Mayan, Pallava, Vijayanagara, Kerala and the South Canara styles of temple architecture.
The Temple houses several Sannidhis with several deities which were consecrated between the years of 1990 and 2002. The last deity consecrated was in 2002, and they were all re-consecrated during the Jeernodharana Kumbhabhishekam in 2003.
Temple Hours (The Temple is open on all Important Holidays)
|Weekdays ||9 am – 1 pm
5 pm – 9 pm
|Weekends/Holidays||9 am – 9 pm|
Weekly Puja Schedule
|Temple Opening & Suprabhaatam||9 am Mon-Fri|
|Abhishekam||9.30 am Daily|
|Evening Arathi||6.30 pm Daily|
The seed for the idea that a Hindu temple should be built in the nation’s capital was planted in 1976 among a few friends. By 1980, that idea had been nurtured and shared with others, and the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple Trust was formed. Its goals seemed fitting for immigrants thousands of miles from their ancestral home: to unite Hindus in America, individuals diverse in their customs but unified in their devotion and values, and to offer a place where Hindu culture could thrive among immigrants, their children and their children’s children.
In 1984, the SSVT Trust acquired a plot of land with a small house in suburban Washington. This house was the Balalaya, where the shrines were initially installed. As more people began to share in the vision for a grand temple of traditional architecture and sculpture, plans were drawn up, with the blessings of the Shankaracharyas, under the direction of eminent temple architect Dr. Ganapati Sthapati.
1400 people witnessed in 1990 the consecration and installation of the first shrines in the temple building we see today.
In 1991, the Temple held its first Kumbabhishekam, as shrines for several deities were built and consecrated. Over the years, SSVT adapted to the growing needs of the congregation, acquiring more land and adding shrines for Venkateshwara and Ayyappa.
In 2002 the Mahakumbabiskem ushered in the majestic Rajagopuram and the spacious Vasantha Mandapam. In July 2003, the new gopurams for Venkateswara and Ayyappa were completed. In addition, the temple has a auditorium for concerts, dance performances and other special events, a large dining hall to meet the devotees needs and 2 homakundams, a large one for Temple Homams and a smaller one for personal Homams. Both the auditorium and the dining hall can be rented out for weddings and other personal functions.
Today, the Temple is the enterprise of dedicated volunteers, administrative staff and eleven priests, and the symbol of a community’s joint aspirations and efforts.
Sri Siva Vishnu Temple began with the concept of bringing Hindus together, but increasingly it has become a place that brings together Hindu customs and heritage with American values of community and volunteerism. In a new millennium, it will be a symbol of the Hindu community in America.
SSVT’s commitment to this future is already in evidence. In 1997, it launched the Children’s Fund in an effort to develop youth and education programs and meet the needs of a fast-growing Hindu population in Washington. In 1998, SSVT is developing a new initiative on community service and volunteerism, focusing on Hindu families as well as the broader community.
As the Hindu community has grown, its needs have diversified, and increasingly, more families need help in dealing with illness, coping with grief, mentoring young people and assisting seniors. SSVT will draw on its greatest resource — its volunteers — to tackle some of these new problems. In a new project with other like-minded groups, SSVT volunteers in Mitra Mandala, or Circle of Friends, will provide a compassionate ear to those in need and assist them in obtaining relief from service organizations in the area.
SSVT will undertake service projects beyond the Hindu community, offering help through local charities such as soup kitchens and shelters. Youth will play an important role in this effort to fully embrace the needs of the Hindu community and its role in the community at large: Just as SSVT began in 1976 in the minds of a few recent immigrants from India, its future lies in the hands of younger generation and its vision for a Hindu community in America.
Bylaws of the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple
Whereas the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple Trust (Religious Trust) has been created under the Deed of Trust dated January 31, 1980, in the State of Maryland, and the Trustees have been vested with the powers under the common law and statutory and other powers granted under the Declaration of Trust to administer the properties of the Trust, and
Whereas the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple Trust has been recognized as a tax-exempt religious Trust by the Internal Revenue Service under the ID #52-1179969 dated June 06- 1980.
Consistent with their vested responsibilities, the Board of Trustees has unanimously adopted these bylaws to promote the objectives of the Trust and maintain the operations of the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple (SSVT) in the service of the Hindu congregation.
1. The Congregation:
All followers of the Hindu faith and worshippers who subscribe to the objectives of the Temple embodied in the Deed of Trust and accept the obligations of the Deed of Trust constitute the congregation of the Temple.
2. The Governance Structure:
The SSVT governance structure will consist of:
(a) a General Council (GC);
(b) 3 Governance Board (GB); and
(c) a Board of Trustees ( BOT).
The membership, roles, and responsibilities of these three bodies are further described in the sections that follow and the SSVT Deed of Trust, Bylaws, and any amendments thereto.
3. General Council (GC)
1) All current trustees of the BOT and Trustees Emeriti (TE) will serve as members of the GC.
2) Upon invitation by the Chairperson of the BOT, the following persons also may serve as members of the GC:
- a) Donors who have contributed in excess of the minimum threshold fixed by the BOT for SSVT designated donor recognition programs. The BOT will set the minimum threshold upon introduction of any new Donor Recognition Program.
New donors of the SSVT designated donor recognition programs will become eligible two years after the designated programs are closed. At present, donors who have contributed at least $10,000 for two completed SSVT donor recognition programs (known as Founder Donor Recognition Program and Rajagopuram Donor Recognition Program) as well as the SSVT Capital Fund Donation program which will end on December 31, 2011 qualify for GC membership.
- b) Legators are persons who have contributed at least $50,000 to SSVT. Endowment over any rolling 5 year period and will also qualify for GC membership.
- c) Past coordinators of the devotee committees that are represented on the Operations Committee.
3) An invitation to become a 60 member will be sent by the Chairperson of BOT to those who reside in the Greater Washington-Baltimore area and a timely acceptance of this invitation is necessary before being inducted into the GC. Periodic reaffirmation of membership will be sought based on active participation in GC matters. The BOT Secretary will maintain a full list of 60 members and the list will be displayed on the SSVT website. New GC members will be inducted annually to coincide with the induction of new BOT Trustees in January.
1) GC will provide guidance and direction to Governance Board and BOT on matters relating to strategic direction, governan Be, and accountability. GC will also provide “advice and consent” to the BOT for:
- (a) any proposed changes to the By Laws or Declaration of Trust, including amended By Laws and amended Declaration of Trust;
- (b) for any proposed borrowing by SSVT in excess of certain limits set in Article 12 (Hand use of funds from SSVT Endowment as described in Article 12(2);
- (c) or for issues that may arise during implementation of the Procedures Manual that governs the interactions between the GB and BOT.
2) GC will be vested with the powers to remove any member of the General Council, Governance Board, and/or BOT (including an Officer of the Trust), as deemed necessary for acts or omissions to act which in the opinion ofther General Council are prejudicial to the interests of SSVT Trust. Only TE members of GC will determine disciplinary matters and vote on the removal of any member of the 60, GB, and/or BOT (including an Ofﬁcer ofthe Trust}. A removal of any member of the GC, GB, andlor BOT (including an Officer ofthe Trust) must be based upon an afﬁrmative vote of 75% of the TE members of the GC casting secret ballots at a meeting that has a quorum requirement of 50% of the TE members of the GC. While the GB may authorize voting by proxy on a case basis, proxies shall not be permitted regarding disciplinary actions. A person directly affected by a disciplinary action may not vote on such action. A removed person may not serve on the GC, GB or the BOT.
3) GC (excluding the BOT members) will appoint the four TE members of the Governance Board using a nomination process that includes identification of one or more slates of candidates, and an election process as described below. One of the four TE members will be selected by the GB as President of GB, who will also serve as President of GC.
4) The GB will nominate two TE members of GC as a nominating committee that will propose a slate to fill vacancies on the GB. After the announcement of the slate, any other GC member with the support of a seconder, can propose a different slate within 1 week of the scheduled balloting. Nominations from the floor are not allowed for this ballot in which only the GC members who are not currently on the BOT may participate, with a quorum requirement of 25% of the TE members of the GC present either in person or by proxy as may be permitted by GB as provided in Article 3.(B).(2). The GB vacancies will be filled by the slate garnering the most votes cast by secret ballot.
1) The GC will have a mandatory meeting annually to receive a report from BOT on the results of the fiscal year just concluded and to discuss matters relating to the Trust’s operations. In addition to 60 members, an open invitation to attend this Annual meeting as observers will be issued in the SSVT Newsletter to all volunteers of the Temple.
2) The GC may be convened any other time at the request of either one third of the members of the BOT, or by a minimum of three members of the Governance Board, or by 10% of the members of GC to discuss specific items of strategic importance. A meeting so convened will also announce whether proxy voting will be permitted.
3) The GC shall be chaired by the President of the GB representing all stakeholders of SSVT.
4. Governance Board
1) The Governance Board (GB) will consist of four TE, current Chairperson of the BOT, and two members appointed by the BOT for a one-year term. GB will be chaired by the President who is selected or elected as prescribed under the appropriate procedures.
2) The TE elected to serve on the GB by the GC will be selected for service of one, two, or three years such that there is staggering of service during any period of turnover, and a normal period of service is a two year term. Those TE who have served on the GB may be selected for additional terms after a five year gap between each term of service.
3) The GB will be chaired by a President. The President must be one of the four TE members of the GB. The seven members of the GB shall choose and appoint, or elect, the President from the pool of four TE members. The President will normally serve a two year term, but, depending on tenure on the GB, may be selected for one or two years of service.
1) Nominations for BOT vacancies:
The GB will appoint a Nominations Committee, and will instruct it to focus on finding candidates who are likely to meet specific needs of the BOT or contribute to effecting inter-generational transition. Additionally, the GB will include in its instructions guidance regarding types of candidates to be avoided so as to prevent exposure of SSVT to conflicts of interest. The Nominations Committee will nominate members for any BOT vacancies. Nominations Committee members will be two TE from the GC, one current member of the BOT, one representative of donors from a recognized SSVT donor program, and one devotee committee or task force volunteer who has served in such a capacity for at least two years.
2) Financial oversight:
GB will exercise its financial oversight function as follows:
- a) The GB will appoint an Audit Committee consisting of three members. The mandate will be specified in a charter approved by the GB and BOT as described in Article 11. The Audit Committee will report to the GB.
- b) The GB has responsibility to consider, and authority regarding approval, of any new borrowing in excess of $500,000 in any fiscal year; and
- c) The BOT will seek the ratification of GB for allocating the operating surplus in any fiscal year.
3) Dispute Resolution and Grievance Redressal
- a) Office of Ombudsperson:
- The GB shall create and supervise such an Office, and appoint two persons to serve two year terms, with option to continue for another year.
- Additionally, the GB shall have the option, at its sole discretion, to appoint: (1) special Ombudspersons for a limited, specific time not to exceed 6 (six) months to address a particular issue, dispute, or complaint: and (2) a Grievance Committee of three persons to address situations when mediation appears not to be succeeding.
- Purpose: An Ombudsman is to act as a mediator to receive, review, investigate, address and resolve disputes or complaints that cannot be resolved through normal Temple channels. Operational issues are intended to be resolved first through the manager(s), responsible officer(s), devotee committees and/or the BOT. This Office does not make final decisions on issues, disputes or complaints, but shall make best efforts to effect amicable resolutions of these. The Office of Ombudsman shall operate pursuant to the Dispute Resolution Procedures of the Temple.
- Confidentiality: All communications to and from, and all efforts at mediating disputes and/or complaints by the Office of Ombudsman shall be kept strictly confidential.
- Qualifications: Ombudspersons generally: (1) have an understanding of the Hindu faith; (2) have an understanding of SSVT, particularly its history, religious practices, commitment to community welfare, culture and congregation; and (3) be persons considered to be trustworthy and held in the highest esteem by the congregation.
- The following would not be suitable as Ombudspersons: Presently serving members of: the Board of Trustees, the Governance Board, Officers, Employees, Committee Members, or any person who would have a conflict of interest in mediating an issue, dispute or complaint. If any serving Ombudsperson has a conflict of interest, such a person shall not serve in that particular mediation. If no Ombudsperson can serve in a mediation, then the Governance Board shall appoint a special Ombudsperson as per 1(c) above.
- b) Grievance Committee:
- The Governance Board shall create the Grievance Committee as- and when-needed under the broad guidelines below.
- The ad-hoc Grievance Committee shall consist of 3 (three) persons serving for periods to be specified by GB taking into account the nature of the specific dispute that needs to be resolved.
- Purpose: The Grievance Committee shall act as the final body of appeal to address substantive disputes, including operational and personnel issues. The decisions of the Grievance Committee are final and binding on all parties. The Grievance Committee shall operate pursuant to the Dispute Resolution Procedures of the Temple.
- Confidentiality: All communications to and from, and all decisions of the Grievance Committee shall be kept strictly confidential.
- Qualifications: The Governance Board shall select as members of the Grievance Committee those persons who: (1) shall have an understanding of the Hindu faith, (2) shall have an understanding of SSVT; (3) have experience in dispute mediation and (4) be considered trustworthy. Further, members of the Grievance Committee shall be drawn as follows: one (1) member who has experience in the Temple’s administration, one (1) member with a legal background, and one (1) member with human resources/employment background. Further, members of the Grievance Committee shall be drawn as follows: one (1) member who was a former Officer of the Temple, one (1) member who is familiar with the Temple but has never served in the Board of Trustees, the Governance Board, or any other Temple body or as an Officer, Employee, Committee Member, and one (1) member from the congregation at large.
The Governance Board shall not appoint any person as a member of the Grievance Committee who is presently serving as member of: the Board of Trustees, the Governance Board, Officers, Employees, Committee Members, or any person who would have a conflict of interest in mediating an issue, dispute or complaint.
- a) The GB shall work to assure that
- The Board of Trustees should approve and publish Protocols and Etiquettes for the Congregation defining Internal and External Stakeholders and then will periodically update it.
- Access to the Temple and its services will be provided to all.
- No member of the Public shall be excluded from participating in the worship on account of their caste, race, gender, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.
- Purity of the ritual shall be maintained as far as possible and circumstances permit.
- The Temple shall provide a peaceful environment that is non-discriminatory and free of all forms of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, including written or verbal intimidation or harassment.
- 1) The GB will have the responsibility and authority to independently collect information regarding SSVT operations, governance, and functioning.
- 2) The GB will have the responsibility and authority to draw independent inferences regarding progress towards SSVT’s strategic objectives and take actions through its function of appointing a Nominations Committee, Audit Committee, etc.
- 3) The GB will have the responsibility and authority to continually assess the borrowing needs of the SSVT and collaborate with the BOT in any approvals in excess of $500,000.
- 1) The GB will meet at least once every quarter to receive and review BOT minutes and financial reports. GB will receive minutes of all BOT proceedings in a timely manner. GB will have the authority and responsibility to independently collect information regarding SSVT operations, governance, and functioning.
- 2) All decisions of GB will normally be taken on the basis of consensus. If consensus is not reached, all members of the GB will vote on issues using electronic communications and/or remote participation. Under exigent circumstances, the vote may be held with a quorum of five out of seven members and with an affirmative vote from a minimum of 5 members.
5. Board of Trustees (BOT)
- 1) The BOT shall comprise a minimum of three and a maximum of 17 Trustees. Upon the retirement or removal of a Trustee, the BOT may induct 3) new Trustees from the congregation in accordance with the provisions of Bylaws and in recognition of exemplary volunteer service to SSVT. The term “Trustee” in this section signifies a trustee serving on the BOT at a given time.
- 2) The BOT will determine the number of persons serving as Trustees depending upon the circumstances and requirements of the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple Trust to sustain the religious objectives of the Trust and to maintain the services to the congregation.
- 3) The responsibility and authority for final decisions on all matters will remain with the BOT, except that on matters relating to specific functions of the GC and GB as provided in Articles 3 and 4 respectively of these ByLaws, the BOT will need to consult or obtain approval as appropriate prior to making final decisions.
6. Composition of the Board of Trustees
1) Guiding Principles:
The BOT is the authority to induct new Trustees under the articles of incorporation of the Trust. In the induction of new Trustees, the considerations will include one or more of the following: (1) that the nominee is familiar with the modes of worship in the shrines of the SSVT; (2) the nominee possesses professional expertise directly necessary for the volunteer activities as a Trustee in the management of the operations of the Trust and Temple; (3) institutional memory will be served; (4) continuity in professional expertise required for temple operations and management will be maintained; (5) in order that the privilege and the opportunity of volunteered dedicated service to the Temple are accessible to active devotees, spouses of serving Trustees or both spouses will not be identified for induction as new Trustees for the same term; and (6) every effort will be made to ensure that the BOT is broadly representative of the Temple’s congregation, in particular the women and younger members thereof.
2) The BOT will be guided by these principles in determining the number of trustees on the BOT:
- a) The term of office of Trustee will be three years. After completion of one term, trustees are eligible for re-nomination as Trustees for a second term; a Trustee will be eligible for future terms after an interval of at least one year.
- b) Induction of New Trustees: Each year, GB will establish the date for nominations to the Board of Trustees and appoint a Nominations Committee composed of two TEs, one sitting trustee and two persons from the congregation (other than trustees past or present) who have contributed funds to designated Donor Recognition programs of the Trust or actively served on volunteer Committees for at least two preceding years. The Nominations Committee will be invited to propose a slate of nominees in conformity with the principles and requirements set forth in the Bylaws and instructions provided by the GB. The BOT will make the final identification of new inductees from among the nominees in the slate provided by the Nominating Committee and invite them to serve on the BOT. If it became necessary for any reason, the BOT may refer the slate back to the Nominations Committee with a request to prepare additional or fresh nomination(s). The proceedings and nominations of the Nominations Committee will be kept confidential.
7. Committees established by the Trustees
The BOT may establish appropriate Committees and delegate specific administrative functions and powers consistent with the objectives stated in the Deed of Trust for the maintenance of the activities of the Temple to meet the needs of the congregation. The composition and functioning of the Committees, including guidelines relating to such matters as the quorum for meetings of the Committees, will be based on guidelines and policies approved by the BOT. The BOT may from time to time change the number of Committees and their scope of operations as necessary.
8. Procedures Manual, Policy Guide and Administrative Manual
- 1) The BOT will maintain a Procedures Manual for the operations of the GB and GC, as well as guide the interactions of these bodies with the BOT.
- 2) The BOT will establish a Policy Guide and an Administrative Manual for the operations of the Temple. The Policy Guide will reflect the long term strategic objectives of the BOT and incorporate operational policy guidelines to the Committees ratified by the BOT as appropriate.
9. Officers of the Trust
- 1) The President of GB will designate two of the trustees who have no interest in serving as Officers to propose a slate of candidates after informally ascertaining the preferences of all the trustees. After the slate is announced, any trustee, with the support of a seconder, may offer other name(s) for any position(s), resulting in an alternate slate. The BOT must have at least a week’s notice of alternative slates, if that is to occur. There shall be no floor nominations. BOT will then proceed to appoint Officers of the Trust by secret ballot voting conducted under the supervision of the President of the GB.
- 2) The Officers of the Trust will function in accordance with the following provisions: all officers will serve for one year from the first day of January to the last day of December of the year, and will be eligible for re-appointment for one more consecutive term. The officers of the Trust are: the Chairperson, two Vice-Chairpersons (one as VC-Policy, and the other as VC-Operations), the Treasurer and the Secretary.
- 3) The officers will form the Executive Committee (EC), which will provide the leadership of the Trust and will address all issues relevant to the functioning and growth of the Temple. The EC will act in accordance with the established policies of the Board and identify the Officers as required by the First Amendment to the Declaration of Trust. In an emergency, the officers will take action in consultation with as many Trustees as are available, at least by telephone.
- 4) The officers of the Trust directly report to the BOT and will follow the guidelines and policies established by the BOT. The final authority for decisions rests with the BOT, except as otherwise provided to the GC and GB.
- 5) The Chairperson will preside over all meetings of the BOT. The duties and responsibilities of the Chairperson will be to implement the resolutions and decisions of the BOT in conformity with the articles of declaration in the Deed of Trust. The Chairperson will be an ex-officio member of all Committees established by the BOT. The Chairperson will be the official spokesperson of the Trust for all outside contacts.
- 6) A Vice-Chairperson, designated by the BOT, will perform the duties of the Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson. In the event the Chairperson and both Vice-Chairpersons are absent, the BOT will choose one BOT member to lead the monthly meeting. Subject to overall supervision by the Executive committee, one of the Vice Chairpersons will coordinate the activities relating to strategy and policy and the other Vice Chairperson will coordinate activities relating to daily Temple operations.
- 7) All officers will serve no more than two successive terms.
- 8) The BOT shall appoint a Trustee, with requisite education and experience in financial matters, to serve as the Treasurer to serve for a period of one year. The Treasurer may serve only for two consecutive terms. The Treasurer will be assisted by Assistant Treasurer(s) as needed. The Treasurer will:
- be responsible for the recording of receipts, disbursements and safe-keeping of all funds belonging to the Trust
- operate in conformity with policy guidelines established by the BOT.
- submit all accounts of the transactions and will report on the financial condition of the Trust to the BOT on a regular basis
- be responsible for having the accounts and financial statements of the Trust audited by duly appointed external auditors for accounts and transactions during his/her term of office
- be responsible for ensuring completion of the external audit of the financial statements within 365 days of the end of the fiscal year as required by the laws of the State of Maryland. The audited financial statements should be made available to the General Council before its annual meeting
- be responsible for presenting the annual budget for approval by the BOT and for providing periodic financial information to the BOT, Audit and Finance Committees.
- 9) The BOT shall appoint a Trustee to serve as the Secretary for one year with the responsibility to keep records and maintain the minutes of BOT meetings, and to coordinate the activities relating to BOT meetings. The Secretary will maintain a record of policy decisions of the BOT and update the Policy Guide regularly.
- 10) All meetings including correspondence and communications handled by the officers will be available for the BOT for review at least by the following meeting. All official correspondence of the SSVT Trust will be done with the official Sri Siva Vishnu Temple logo on the letterhead.
10. Meetings of the Board of Trustees
- 1) The BOT will meet at least once each month. BOT meetings will be called by the Chairperson, or by the Secretary acting on the behalf of the Chairperson. Notice of the meeting time and place will be given to Trustees by mail or telephone at least one week prior to the meeting. In addition, a special meeting of the BOT may be called by the Chairperson or by at least three Trustees giving written notice at least one week in advance for non-emergency matters stating the specific agenda items for the special meeting. Quorum for a meeting will be the majority of the Trustees serving on the BOT at the time.
- 2) A trustee who fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the BOT in any calendar year without the approval of the BOT is deemed to have vacated the position of trustee, and the BOT may choose in consultation with GB whether or not to fill the vacancy. If it is decided that the vacancy would be filled, the procedures outlined in Article 6 shall be followed.
- 3) Decisions of the BOT
- Decisions on matters relating to the Deed of Trust, By Laws, and any amendments thereto will be taken by BOT only after obtaining the advice and consent of the GC.
- Policy decisions other than those mentioned in Article 10(3) (a) above will normally be taken on the basis of consensus; if consensus cannot be established in two meetings of the BOT, a decision will require an affirmative vote of 75% of the Trustees serving on the BOT at the time; decisions on the induction of new Trustees from among the slate produced by the Nominating Committee in accordance with Article 6will be on this basis.
- All other operational decisions of the BOT will be on the basis of consensus of Trustees attending the meetings of the BOT, subject to quorum requirements. If consensus of the Trustees present at the meeting is not established, an affirmative vote of 75% of those Trustees present at the meeting will constitute a decision.
- BOT may discipline a BOT member, including an Officer of the Trust, in accordance with its broad authority in the Declaration of Trust; subject to the conditions that: (i) discipline will not include removal of a BOT member, which authority is vested solely in the GC; and (ii) such action is supported by 75% of trustees serving at the time.
11. Audit Committee
- 1) An Audit Committee consisting of three members with two members who have requisite financial and accounting qualifications and a member of the Board of Trustees who is not an officer of the Temple will be constituted by the Governance Board. Members of the Audit Committee are appointed for an initial period of two years and may serve for a total of three years, if so appointed by the Governance Board. The committee will be chaired by a member who is not a member of the current Board of Trustees. The mandate of the Audit Committee will be specified in a charter approved by the Governance Board and the Board of Trustees. The mandate will include oversight of financial reporting, external and internal audits, internal controls, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- 2) Internal Audit:
- The Board of Trustees in consultation, with the Audit Committee, will adopt a charter that outlines the functions of an internal auditor. The Audit Committee will appoint an internal auditor in accordance with the charter. The internal auditor will be appointed for a period of two years which may be extended by one more year by the Audit Committee.
12. Finance Committee
The Board of Trustees will establish a Finance Committee consisting of a minimum of five members and a maximum of nine members including two members of the Board of Trustees, at least two members who have been Treasurers of the Temple, and at least one congregation member who has not served as a Trustee of the Temple. The Finance Committee will be chaired by the current Treasurer. The functions of the Finance Committee should include:
- review of operating and capital budgets,
- fundraising for capital projects and endowment resources,
- oversight and management of endowment resources,
- developing policies for financing capital projects, borrowing, and establishing limits on borrowing,
- Recommend policies for allocation of annual operating surplus of the Temple to designated reserves and Funds.
1) Borrowing by the temple
Any new borrowing by the temple in excess of $500,000 in any fiscal year will require the recommendation of the Finance Committee and approval of the Board of Trustees and the Governance Board. Any new borrowing in excess of the temple’s debt ceiling, set at $1.5 million (excluding purchase of houses and contiguous land) will additionally require approval by the General Council.
2) Use of Resources in the SSVT Endowment
Resources of the Trust that have been designated to be used for the SSVT Endowment shall be managed under the oversight of the Finance Committee in accordance with approved policies for the endowment. The corpus is to remain untouched. Income generated by the endowment can only be used for purposes designated in the Endowment policies under the direction of the Board of Trustees. Any use of the corpus of the endowment must be extraordinary and will require approval by the super majority of the General Council.
3) Use of Annual Surplus
Within 120 days of the end of each fiscal year, upon the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the Board of Trustees with the ratification of the Governance Board will allocate the operating surplus for the previous fiscal year between the operating account, capital account, and endowment.
13. Advisory Committees
The BOT may appoint from among the Trustees, or from among the congregation outside the BOT, one or more advisory committees to deal with specific issues. The participants in these advisory committees will serve in consonance and approval of BOT.
14. Resolving Ambiguity
- 1) If a conflict arises in the interpretation of the BY LAWS, the ambiguity shall be resolved by an affirmative vote of at least five members of GB.
- 2) In all matters which are not specifically mentioned in these BY LAWS, the rules contained in “Robert’s Rule of Order Revised” shall govern the SSVT.
 Identified as a typographical error in December 2013
 Amended in December 2013
 Amended in December 2014
 Amended December 2014
 Amended December 2014
 Amended December 2014
 Amended December 2014
Details of each committee/task force is given below:
Governance Board (GB)
- Dr. Rajagopala Rao Tripuraneni – President
- Dr. Suryanarayanamurthy Siram
- Smt. Banu Ramakrishnan
- Sri. Rajashekar Doddanna
- Sri. Krishna Bappanad (BOT Rep)
- Sri. Prabhakar Thyagarajan (BOT Rep)
- Sri. Sreekumar Sreedharan (BOT Rep)
Board of Trustees (BOT)
Coordinator: Chairman of the Board of Trustees – Sri. Krishna Bappanad
The The Executive Committee (EC) of BOT consists of:
- Chairman – Sri. Krishna Bappanad
- Vice Chairperson Operations – Sri. Umeshkumar Bangalore
- Vice Chairperson Policy – Sri. Sreekumar Sreedharan
- Treasurer – Sri. Murali Elambilan
- Secretary – Smt. Padma Tipirneni
- Sri. Bangalore Ravindra
- Sri. B.T. Nivas
- Sri. Gunda Reddy
- Sri. Manju Shivacharan
- Sri. Prabhakar Thyagarajan
- Smt. Prabhavathy Pippala
- Smt. Raji Ramesh
- Sri. S.V. Krishnaswamy
- Sri. Subramaniam Jayaraman
- Sri. Swaminatha Reddy
- Sri. Vijay Kumar
SSVT Endowment – Investment Management Committee
Committee Chair: Sri. K.N. Sivasubramanian
SSVT Endowment is designed to complement the temple’s income by creating two Funds to secure the temple’s future and support the achievement of its mission. The Education & Culture Fund shall be managed so as to provide financial support for educational, cultural and other efforts consistent with SSVT’s mission to benefit its congregation and the broader Hindu community. The Financial Security and Stability Fund is to provide long-term financial security to the Temple. It shall be managed so as to provide financial support through its earnings for debt relief and for long capital needs of the Temple. The Committee, consisting of the Treasurer, four trustee-emeritus and two independent financial specialists, is a fiduciary committee, and is responsible for monitoring the investment management of the Endowment and ensuring adherence to the investment guidelines and asset allocation strategies approved by the Board of Trustees. The Investment Management Committee will employ one or more investment managers of varying styles and philosophies to attain the Fund’s objectives.
Coordinator: BOT Treasurer – Sri. Murali Elambilan
Finance committee advises Board of Trustees on all financial matters: debt levels, budgeting, congregation loan rates, expense ratios and other management tools. Day-to-day operations are managed by the Accounting Team, which is overseen by the Treasurer.
Accounting Team: Sri. Murali Elambilan, Smt. Swathi Chandrasekharan
Tax Deductible donations: Smt. Usha Krishnamurthy
Coordinator: Vice Chairperson Operations: Sri. Umeshkumar Bangalore
- Coordinates the day-to-day operations of the temple including scheduling and devotee services.
- Authorized to spend up to $2,500 within budget parameters for operational expenses.
- The Operations Committee coordinates the work of all Devotee committees and Task Forces which are listed below
BOT Liaison: S. V. Krishnaswamy, Coordinator: Sri. Raghu Tumkur
- Organizes and conducts dance, music, drama, and other cultural programs under Temple’s auspices.
- Provides a venue for exhibiting the talents of young artistes in the region.
- Assists in raising additional resources for sponsoring artistes from India.
- Oversees the making and selling of audio tapes.
BOT Liaison: Sri. Prabhakar Thyagarajan, Coordinators: Sri. Anagha Sundararajan and Smt. Kavita Pallod Sekhsaria
Educate children of Hindu roots about their rich culture & religion
Increase the learning for parents and adults so that they can better teach their children and better represent the Hindu community in interfaith settings
Provide an opportunity for those from non-Indian background to learn about Hindu culture.
BOT Liaison/Coordinator – Sri. Krishna Bappanad
Provides technical advice on all matters relating to construction, installation, remodeling and maintenance of all temple buildings and grounds
Fund Raising Committee:
Co-chairs – Sri. K.G. Venkatraman (Ramani) and Sri. Gunda Reddy
Information Technology (IT) Committee:
BOT Liaison: Sri. Bangalore Ravindra, Coordinator: Sri. Ravikumar Ramachandran
- Develops and implements computer systems and networks to support and automate Temple operations. Implement IT processes in various functional areas, including the phone system and front desk operations, Point of Sale (POS) and payment system, security system, ssvt website, email services including flyers/newsletter/program announcements, employee management (scheduling, time cards, payroll, accounting), audio/video operation and maintenance, temple document archival, and social media.
BOT Liaison: Smt. Prabhavathy Pippalla, Coordinator: Sri. Vijay Veldurthi
- Provides refreshments during weekends, holidays and special puja days.
- Assists in Temple’s annual bazaar and special fund raising events.
Public Relations Committee:
BOT Liaison: Sri. Gunda Reddy, Coordinator: Smt. Anusha Polavarapu
- Provides information on Temple services and programs to the congregation.
- Recruits volunteers to assist in religious, administrative and other special programs.
- Conducts ongoing and special fund raising activities.
- Schedule Front Desk volunteers
BOT Liaison: Smt. Raji Ramesh, Coordinator: Sri Ramanathan Narayanan
Plans and manages Temple’s religious programs.
Organizes relevant pujas for Hindu religious days and special occasions.
Selects priests specialized in different services to serve the needs of the congregation.
Ensures the cleaning of sarees and dhotis for idols
Maintains inventory of jewelry and other idols-related assets.
Youth & Community Service Committee (Aakaar):
Coordinator: Rugmini Gopal
- Provides a venue to teach Hindu mythology and rituals to children and young adults.
- Involves children and young adults in religious, cultural, and social programs of the Temple.
- Creates opportunities for social services in the larger community.
Coordinator: Smt. Priya Narayan
- Decorates Temple premises during special pujas and functions.
- Assists with decorations when devotees rent the Temple auditorium for marriages and religious events.
Devotee Database Services Taskforce
Coordinator: Smt. Usha Krishnamurthy –
- Maintains current database of congregation members for mailing newsletters and other promotional materials.
- Prepares congregation lists for fundraising and special events.
- Maintains an account of donations and provides devotees with a report of their contributions for tax filing.
Coordinator: Smt. Prabhavathy Pippalla
- Prepares garlands for all deities.
- Estimates flower needs for special pujas.
Coordinator: K.G. Venkatraman
- Plants and maintains flowers in Temple premises
- Supervises workers who take care of Temple grounds.
Coordinators: Sasi Menon, K.G. Venkatraman
- Deal with all temple employee insurance benefits, including health, workmen’s compensation and other insurance, ensuring the best pricing, benefits and coverage for all
- Deal with all temple building insurance matters and ensure that the temple’s assets are well protected
Hundi Collection Task Force
Coordinator: Geeta Mani
Collecting, recording and depositing of all temple funds on a routine basis.
Publications Task Force
BOT Liaison: Sri. Manju Shivacharan
Publishes Temple’s monthly newsletter.
Prepares souvenirs and other special publications.
Releases new or updated versions of religious texts for devotees.
Transportation Task Force
Sri Angarai Venkat Subramanian
Coordinates and manages devotee transportation and parking during temple special events and weekends.
Please serve your Temple in the committees and task forces that you like.
General Council Members
|Ananth Krishnan||Ananth Rao||Ananth Badrinath||B. T. Nivas|
|Anjana Sriram||Ananth RaoNancherla||Aparna Ramaswamy||Bangalore Ravindra|
|Anu Iyer||Ashwin Ramamuthy||Bharathi Reddy||Gunda Reddy|
|B. K. Radhakrishnan||Bavani Rajagopalan||Bhavani Sivaramakrishnan||Krishna Bappanad|
|Bangalore Shivacharan||CP Subramanian||Chitra Rajaram||Manju Shivacharan|
|Banu Ramakrishnan||Dev Ganesan||Gopal Gopinath||Murali Elambilan|
|Barthi Setty||Dhamu Thamodaran||Hanumanth Vishnuvajjhala||Padma Tipirneni|
|Bhaskar Ganti||G. Krishnan||Jyotsna Venkat||Prabhakar Thyagarajan|
|Boggarm Setty||Gita Mani||Kannan Subramanian||Prabhavathy Pippalla|
|C. K. Dhananjayan||Gopal Potti||Madhavan||Raji Ramesh|
|C. R. Nath||J. G. S. Mani||Madhuri Tallapragada||S. V. Krishnaswamy|
|Chaitanya Ravi||Jay Sriram||Malini Ivaturi||Sreekumar Sreedharan|
|Chandra Bappanad||Jyothi Gadde||Mukunda Ram||Subramanyam Jayaraman|
|Chandrasekaran||K. S. Gokulanathan||Nalini Iyer||Swaminatha Reddy|
|Charu Narasimhan||Kalyani Sundararajan||Narayan Arakoni||Umesh Kumar|
|D. Rajagopal||Kempanna Sudhakar||Prabha Narasimhan||Vijay Kumar|
|Doddanna Rajashekar||Krishna P Jayaraman||Priya Cherry|
|Girija Vallabhan||Krishnan Kumar||R.S. Venkatachalam|
|Gundu Rau||Krishnan Ramesh||Radha Shivakumar|
|Harihar Singh||Lakshmi Natarajan||Raji Ramesh|
|Jayapradha Valluripalli||Leela Krishna||Ramesh Godbole|
|K.G. Venkatraman (Ramani)||Mani Kiran||Ramesh Kommuri|
|K.N. Sivasubramanian||N. T. Umamaheswaran||RavanaSamudram Venkatachalam|
|Kanesa Thasan||N.C. Krishnamurthy||Ravi Mittal|
|Krishna Murthy, Kaveri||Nalini Pillai||Ravi Prasad|
|Krishnan Suthanthiran||Nallan Ramakrishna||Rugminy Gopal|
|Kuntimaddi Sadananda||Namperumal Sundararajan||S. Jayaraman|
|Lee Bachu||Nirmala Rao||Sanyasirao Kalla|
|Leela Mandava||P. Krishnamurthy||Sasi menon|
|M.G. Menon||Pichammal Nagarajan||Sham Narula|
|Madhu Murthy||R Balakrishnan||Srinivas Tirumalasetti|
|Meena Krishnan||Raghavan Srinivasan||Subha Chandar|
|Narayanaswami Subramanian||Raj Ananthanpillai||Sudharshan Gupta|
|Nirmala Cherukupalle||Raju Chidambaram||Thaila Ramanathan|
|Nithya Nagarajan||Ramabhadra Chari||Uma babu|
|P. G. Periasamy||Sagar Nootheti||Umakant Rajguru|
|Parmesh Dwivedi||Sampath Krishnan||Uthra Mysore|
|Potarazu Krishnarao||Sankaran Nayar|
|Prakash Hosadurga||Sateesh K Singh|
|Prasad Kadambi||Shankar Kothakota|
|Pria Ganesh||Shankar Rachakonda|
|Priya Narayan||Shrinivas Udapi|
|RajagopalaRao Tripuraneni||Shyamsundar Rajan|
|Rajan Iyer||Subha Vinayakom|
|Ram Mukunda||Sudhakar Shenoy|
|Ramarao Mysore||Sunitha Trehan|
|Ramaswamy Chandramouli||Swaminatha Reddy|
|Ramu Potarazu||Tampil Pankaj|
|Ravi Narayan||Venkat Subramanian|
|S. E. Oonnithan||Venkata Changanti|
|S. Sriramachandran||Venkata Mattay|
|S. V. Acharya||Vijaya Lakshmi Nimmagadda|
|Sachidananda Babu||Vinay Murthy|
|Venkat A.R. Subramanian|
To apply for a position please email your application with a detailed resume to email@example.com mentioning the position you are applying for-
Position 001: Hindu Cook
Wanted (1) experienced Hindu cook for the kitchen to prepare “prasadam” under the supervision of a senior religious cook. Must be legally permitted to work in the U.S. Competitive salary based on skills. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Position 002: Kitchen Helper
Wanted hourly kitchen helper to assist the cook. Must be legally permitted to work in the U.S. Contact email@example.com.
Office of Ombudsman
Ombudsman services may be availed by any member of the SSVT congregation or staff.
Currently serving in the Office of Ombudsman are:
Smt. Usha Krishnamurthy