History & Timeline
Co founders Reena Patnaik Rao, Mahesh Nihalani and Mahesh Pakala got together to set up sister city relationship between Cupertino, CA (hi tech city) and Bhubaneswar, Odisha (fastest growing tech hub). Reena initiated the sister city relationship and started discussions in Sep 2009 with Cupertino community leader, Nihalni and the then Mayor, Orrin Mahoney. Subsequently former Mayor Gilbert Wong, Mahesh Pakala, Mahesh Nihalani visited Bhubaneswar twice to meet with the BBSR Mayor, Anant Narayan Jena and his team, met with some local citizens, and visited schools for student exchange program. After several rounds of meetings, convincing presentations and discussions with the Cupertino City officials, finally, in Aug 2011 City of Cupertino approved the relationship at their council meeting, and in Nov 2012 the MOU was signed in BBSR between Mayor Wong and Vice Mayor Bharati. JB Pani, Suchitra Patnaik, and the government officials supported our efforts in BBSR.
A successful visit by Cupertino Rotary team to Bhubaneswar followed suit and since then a few Mayor trips - led by Mahesh Pakala - have been to BBSR. Ministers, city officials and student delegations from Bhubaneswar have visited Cupertino since 2010.
The Cupertino-BBSR Sister City Initiative (CBSCI) is a community-based non-profit organization that supports art, culture, student, technology exchange programs between the two cities thereby forming a bridge between two cultures. It is a non profit 501c3 voluntary based organization.
CBSCI organizes programs in partnership with the City of Cupertino. Participation by the Cupertino community has been phenomenal. So far 50 plus volunteers from the City of Cupertino help in our programs. We are open to more volunteer participation from the city. Our programs include an annual festival, fall festival participation, flag hoisting on India Independence Day and a student exchange program besides several smaller ones through the year.