Family is thousands of miles away for some BBVA Compass employees and contractors. And around the holidays, this distance is especially felt. So, Pavani Vepuri – BBVA Compass Quality Assurance Analyst who was born and raised in Nandivelugu, Tenali, India – decided to bring a bit of home to Birmingham.
Nearly five years ago, Vepuri and a small group, Indian and Indian-American contractors and employees, hosted a potluck to celebrate Diwali, a traditional Hindu celebration known as the Festival of Lights.
India native and Quality Assurance Analyst Pavani Vepuri helped the bank celebrate its first Diwali event nearly five years ago.
To help celebrate Diwali, BBVA Compass employees designed traditional Indian artwork known as rangoli.
Each year since then, the event has grown, adding more teams, more food, and more festivities. Others like Ariba Systems Administrator Kruti Malkan and Technical Architect Raha Kahakashan have come aboard and helped to expand Vepuri’s vision.
This year, like the last, employees at the bank's Brock Service Center building were invited to attend the event, which featured Bollywood dancing, Indian dishes, and decorations like rangoli. Nearly 750 employees came out to enjoy the festivities.
Vepuri: This day is so special to me because I get to share my culture and see my colleagues celebrating it, too.
“I see my family in the faces of the people I work with,” said Vepuri. “This day is so special to me because I get to share my culture and see my colleagues celebrating it, too. It fills my heart with happiness.
The event, which is funded by contracting agencies and 160 employees and contractors, is a source of pride for the Diwali organizers and supporters who vary in background, religion, and ethnicity, but who all feel passionately about the event’s spirit of light and togetherness.
BBVA Compass employees Vishali Pothu and Kruti Malkan (left to right) performed an Indian dance at the bank's Diwali celebration in Birmingham.
“The opportunities we have to celebrate differences brings us closer together and makes us better as a team,” said Executive Director of Data Management and Administration Rebecca Stowe. “Respecting, appreciating, and valuing everyone is what truly makes BBVA Compass a great place to work.”
Stowe: The opportunities we have to celebrate differences brings us closer together and makes us better as a team.
Employees at the Brock Service Center weren't the only ones celebrating this year. The Dallas Creation Center (DCC), the bank’s full-service end-to-end design and development shop, hosted its first-ever Diwali Festival. Like the festival at Brock, employees catered food, performed dances, and even sang a few popular Indian songs.
BBVA Compass employees enjoyed Indian dance at the bank's Diwali celebration in Birmingham. (Back, Left to right) Sai Viviek Kodeboyina, Surender Komalla | (Front, Left to right) Kruti Malkan, Vishali Pothu
Employees at the BBVA Compass Brock Service Center in Birmingham took part in Diwali celebration. (Left to right) Kruti Malkan, Priyanka Nuthala, Jyothi Pasala , Gracia Diaz, Kanaka Bodem, Shalian Pantam, Srujana Chintala, Jorge Ortiz, Pavani Vepuri, Rebecca Stowe, Padmaja Parimi, Rayudu Parimi, Raha Kahakashan, Paramjeet Dhaliwal
Patra: Moments like this make you feel good about where you work.
“Dallas Creation Center is a place of innovation, and innovation can only originate from open minds and hearts,” said Software Development Manager Deepak Patra. “The DCC is a global community with an open and accepting culture. Moments like this make you feel good about where you work.”
BBVA Compass' Diwali celebration also took place in Dallas, where these employees from the bank's Dallas Creation Center participated in Indian dance.