Stop by the Biz Kidz (a GCF grant recipient) booth at the festival and get one of their delicious bicycle-blended smoothies May 13 and 14. Support this CHEARS program for 3rd-5th grade kids from Greenbelt West who are raising funds to support the Earth Squad, an after school homework and environmental education program in which many of us BizKidz participate....Read More
Some parents discovered that their children were musically talented after they participated in Greenbelt Nursery School partnership with a Wolf Trap Teaching Artist and an early childhood educator. The program provided hands-on professional development for the teachers in their classrooms and fostered children’s learning through the use of music and arts.Read More
In 2007, GCF provided start-up funding to help launch a farmers market at Roosevelt Center in the parking lot. An additional grant was made the following year to assist with marketing and programs on nutrition. ...Read More
"Nourishing all of Greenbelt's Neighborhoods"
Philanthropy and Man’s Best Friend
By: Caroline H. Fuchs
Paradyme Management is a Greenbelt-based information technology consulting company. The organization aligns information technology and business processes to drive measurable results for their clients. Unique to Paradyme’s culture is their Chief Canine Officer, a disarming French bulldog named Kayden.
Kayden’s owner, Viraj Gandhi, founded Paradyme Management in 2003 with the vision of bringing data understanding to stakeholders through the connection of computer systems. Company headquarters moved in 2011 to Greenbelt where success continued. Paradyme was recently recognized by the Washington Business Journal, for the second year in a row, as one of the top minority-owned businesses in the region.
With company growth, Gandhi, along with Paradyme partners Edward O and Sang Na, recognized the benefits of integration into the local community, so they fostered a culture of corporate social responsibility. For the past two years, Paradyme has partnered with the Greenbelt Community Foundation, and the organization has also provided computers to Springhill Lake Recreation Center in Greenbelt, donated Thanksgiving food baskets for local families, and given to the Toys for Tots program. In addition, Paradyme employees volunteer regularly with local nonprofits.
Gandhi’s early entrepreneurial bent focused on commercial success. Growing up, Gandhi saw his family’s electronics store struggle after the arrival of big box retailers; he vowed to never be in that position again. Now responsible for the work life of more than 150 employees and one cute Chief Canine Officer, Gandhi sees it differently. He said, “It is all about the people who are the heart and personality of an organization. I enjoy paying it forward and watching people grow.”
Involvement is in Gandhi’s DNA. He contends that he sleeps a full eight hours, but packs the other hours with family (his wife and 18 month old son), work, hobbies like skiing and photography, and, of course, giving back to the broader community. Gandhi values the power of small generosities, such as sending daily handwritten notes to staff and colleagues, and the satisfaction of tangible volunteer endeavors.
“We used to write checks, but now we’re interested in how individuals can engage with their community,” noted Gandhi. This philosophy led to increased opportunities for staff participation with local non-profits. So much so, that Noah Parker, Paradyme’s Training and Development Manager, was a recent recipient of the Washington Business Journal’s Corporate Citizenship Award, for a body of good works including intern support for the Greenbelt Community Foundation’s 10th Anniversary campaign. Now in conjunction with GCF, an expanded program has been launched with Paradyme interns to provide pro bono support to a variety of Greenbelt non-profits.
In addition to Paradyme’s community work, Gandhi is a member of the Board of Directors for FLOC (For Love of Children), a non-profit that brings students—first grade and above—together with volunteers, families, and community partners to provide transformative educational services. This follows Gandhi’s interest in organizations that support children; he also serves on the Corporate Advisory Council at Children’s National Hospital.
Chief Canine Officer Kayden joins Paradyme interns and staff members twice weekly at their Greenbelt headquarters. Kayden has given his bark of approval to Paradyme’s ongoing community engagement and to CEO Viraj Gandhi’s inspiring words: “I love going to work. I love giving back.”Read More