2017 VRIC BoD Elections Central

In Alphabetical Order, List of Candidates for BOD 2017 Election:

Abdussamad Khalilullah

AbdusSamad's Bio

Abdus Samad has been serving on the VRIC BoD for the past two years in several capacities including board liaison for the Programs and Quran School committees and other initiatives.In his two-year tenure as a BoD member he has prioritized strengthening ongoing VRIC programs while also initiating new ones to serve the community’s vision.

Alhumdullilah, he has been an active member of VRIC for more than 7 years and served on the VRIC Services/Programs and Ramadan Committees during this period.

He has been in the IT industry for almost 17 years now in different capacities. With his professional experience of problem-solving, and initiating and maintaining ongoing projects with VRIC, he is prepared to further the VRIC vision as a successful BoD member insha Allah.

Amjad Saeed

Amjad's Bio

Married, 2 kids, moved to Valley Ranch in 2005.

Have been part of the VRIC community since the start. Over the years have volunteered in many different capacities, in operations, AV team, security, programs committee and leading of food prep/distribution during events.

Reasons for running for BOD:

  1. I got tired of telling everyone that I am NOT part of the board.
  2. VRIC is a comparatively a small community, we need to stay together, there should be no them, no current board vs. the past board, it’s all us and I think I can help.


Senior Enterprise Architect at Greyhound, is responsible for enterprise data strategy and analytics platform.

Have been in several leadership positions previously:

10 years at Sabre – responsible for Data and Analytics architecture and platform teams

2 years at Infor – managing a Data Warehouse for U.S. Customs

7 years at BAAN – ERP and CRM Industry implementations

Amjad hold a degree in Management Information Systems from UT San Antonio

Hassan Sheikh

Hassan's Bio

Hassan Sheikh moved from New York City 4 years ago and since has been an active part of Valley Ranch Community. He has been the Lead of VRIC Programs Committee for past 2 years. In this role, he has successfully managed to scale up community events by targeting diverse audience using effective marketing techniques. He has also streamlined operational and financial processes and has continuously maintained a budget surplus independent of any fundings.

He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). He has been working for Deloitte as Senior Tax Manager for 6+ years. His expertise include providing strategic tax advisory and compliance services to large private equity clients. He leads Deloitte’s largest Investment Management client while managing a team of 40+ tax professionals globally. His financial advisory and project management skillset will be a valuable asset on the VRIC Board.

Mustafa Paracha

Mustafa's Bio

My name is Mustafa Paracha and I am a former New Yorker who lived there for 20 years. I moved to VRIC community 2 ½ years ago due to my work as a software engineer. I currently live in Coppell with my wife and son. I have been volunteering actively in the VRIC community for the last 2 years. As a board member, I want to help by trying to resolve problems that arise in our community by finding a solution that will satisfy everyone.

Obaid Zafar

Obaid's Bio

Obaid Zafar is a Director of Software Development at Oracle, where he manages multiple teams. He also teaches as Adjunct Faculty at Metropolitan State University, MN.

He moved to Valley Ranch from MN almost 3 years ago to be closer to family living in the DFW area. He is married with 3 children.

While in MN, he was a founding member and served on the board of an Islamic community outreach organization focused on providing educational and social service programs, for over 10 years. He has also volunteered with AlMaghrib Institute in various roles over the last 6 years.

In VRIC, he has been actively involved in the Ramadan Setup team and the Outreach Committee.

As part of the BoD, he is hoping to serve the community to help fulfill the larger vision and mission of VRIC. In the short term, he would like to focus on building community relationships in order to realize the vision of building the new Islamic Center together, to better serve all segments of our growing community.

Sahar Ayad

Sahar's Bio

Sahar Ayad is currently serving on VRIC’s BOD as Secretary, VRIC Women’s Coordinator, and formerly served on the VRIC Programs Committee. In these positions, she has developed and implemented improved communication strategies to enhance the community’s access to information, to keep everyone feeling connected to the masjid.

Her education is a B.S. degree in Business Management with a minor in Marketing. She has been a resident of the DFW area for 34 years and a part of the Valley Ranch community with her husband, Ayman Alkurdi, and their 4 children for 17 years. She is also grandmother of 4.

Sahar has worked in management and accounting for the past 30 years and is currently a business owner and VP/Office Mgr of Moose Construction LLC.  Her strengths are organization, transparency, management, communication and developing standards of operations.

Her vision is to continue to serve Allah’s cause as a Community Organizer, while empowering & encouraging the next generation of leaders.

Shafe Syed

Shafe's Bio

Shafe Syed works for a Management consulting firm and is a certified Technology Architect. Shafe his wife and three children live in the Campion Hollows neighborhood and has been part of the Valley Ranch community for over 2 years.

Shafe has been an active volunteer with the VRIC Security Team since 2016. Shafe has also been working with the Membership committee. He is developing the membership enrollment and renewal system which is currently scheduled to be released in Jan 2018.

As part of the BoD, Shafe has two specific goals he wants to pursue:

(1) Automate VRIC processes that help improve efficiency and increase transparency. Goals for 2018

  •  Membership application and processes
  •  Donation application

(2) Introduce Community involvement projects specific in progressing spiritually

  •  Would like to establish an adult Quran memorization program
  •  Would like to introduce smart measures for quality improvement in Hifz school.
Shakil Khan

Shakil's Bio

Personal Information
– Living in Valley Ranch for over 7 years
– Earned Ph.D.; Worked in several different countries and currently a practicing Veterinarian for the leading pet care company in North America
– My wife and three kids have all played an active role in the VRIC community
– Have experience working with several Islamic establishments in Canada, Russia, Pakistan, and the US

Contributions to VRIC
– Always helping newcomers feel welcome in the community
– Organizing a daily Halaqa after Fajr, which has been on going for several years
– Teaching a weekly adult Arabic grammar class which has been consistent over the past six months
– Playing an active role in providing feedback towards day-to-day issues arising in the community

Objectives for Participating in Election
– Understanding that it is an obligation on each community member to contribute to the advancement of this Islamic community
– Strive to create a dynamic and innovative environment for spiritual, educational and social activities at VRIC; ranging from both adults to youth
– To make sincere efforts to fulfill dream of constructing new VRIC building as endorsed by Procedural Election held on 11/16/2017

Shaukat Syed

Shaukat's Bio

Shaukat Syed is a Contracting Officer with the United States Department of Agriculture, where he currently manages large scale construction and architect-engineer service contracts.

Shaukat moved from New York to Dallas in 2014 and lives with his mother, wife, and two children. For the past two years he has volunteered at Valley Ranch Islamic Center in multiple capacities, most notably in the Ramadan Food Distribution and Taraweeh Musalli traffic team.

When elected to the BoD, Shaukat would work towards an environment where Valley Ranch Islamic Center becomes a second home to everyone. He believes this will be achieved by increasing the number of programs and activities for women and children who rely on the masjid for tarbiyya and spiritually supportive social circles.

Tahir Husain

Tahir's Bio

Tahir Husain volunteers on the AV team at VRIC, handling audio & streaming for khatiras, educational events, and outdoor programs. He also handles AV & logistics for Al-Maghrib seminars. He’s worked at Goldman Sachs for over 20 years, leading development efforts for strategic platforms that are used across the company. Along the way he has recruited and developed many talented engineers who have worked with him to achieve his strategic objectives. He’s the father of 5 girls who are all involved with VRIC in some capacity, as well as his wife Huma who has been serving on the programs committee.

Zeba Khan

Zeba's Bio

Zeba Khan is VRIC’s Coordinator for Special Needs, and is known in the community for her teaching, writing, and disability awareness advocacy.  She is also a volunteer on the Friday setup team, responsible for chairs and special accommodations in the ladies section during Jummah salah. Zeba is also a long-time volunteer for Al Maghrib, a Muslim Matters associate, and a teacher at Sound Hearts Academy.

She and her husband Waleed joined the Valley Ranch community two years ago.  Prior to Dallas, Zeba founded and directed a social entrepreneurship in Dubai that provided at-cost therapies and training for children and families with special needs. She served as its Managing Director for over four years before transferring it into the care of a UK-based charity. In 2014, she was one of three IGO-GCC Honorees for her social change initiatives and advocacy.

Zeba’s purpose in running for the BoD is to take VRIC from an outlier to a standard-bearer by:

  1. expanding on the programs that serve women and children
  2. facilitating the inclusion of Muslims otherwise excluded by disability or lack of accommodation
These FAQs are intended to provide guidance on specific topics related to the upcoming elections. When in doubt, please feel free to ask the Elections Committee about any questions you still have. In general, we are requesting and expecting all VRIC member to engage in the election process with proper etiquette and respect, keeping in mind that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is fully aware of all that you do.
Who is eligible to vote?

You must be a regular member of the Valley Ranch Islamic Center (VRIC) to be eligible to vote. A regular member is defined as

  1. Being eighteen (18) years of age or older.
  2. Having completed a Membership form and paid the membership fees.
  3. Residing within a 10-mile radius of VRIC as shown by mapping software.

Each voting regular member shall be entitled to vote once in the 2017 VRIC Board of Directors (BoD) elections.

New members whose membership start date is within 6 months of the elections date will not be eligible to vote.

How can I find out if I'm registered?

Please review the membership list to confirm that you are registered. This list will be posted at VRIC.

The Election Committee will be verifying membership based off this list that the Board of Trustees (BoT) is responsible for maintaining. The Election Committee cannot change or update your membership or voting eligibility. If you have any questions about your membership and voting eligibility, please contact brother Ezazul Bakshi or send an email to membership@valleyranchmasjid.org

What are key dates in the 2017 BoD elections process?
  1. Nominations for the BoD to be submitted between Thursday November 16 until Isha prayer on Thursday November 30, 2017 at VRIC.
  2. Candidates Meet and Greet: Saturday December 9, 2017 after Isha prayer. Each candidate will be given adequate time to talk and describe their vision and qualifications for the position. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the meet and greet.
  3. Date of elections: Thursday December 14, 2017 between 4 PM and 8:30 PM US Central (i.e. from Asr prayer to a little after Isha prayer).
Who is the Election Committee?

The Election Committee consists of 3 non-elected members of VRIC who the BoT have selected to oversee the BoD elections process. Their responsibility is to ensure a fair and unbiased elections process, including but not limited to:

  • Informing and updating the community of important events and dates related to the BoD elections.
  • Intaking all nominee submissions and ensuring they are eligible to run for the BoD, including conducting a full criminal background check.
  • Coordinating the meet and greet event of the nominees.
  • For absentee ballots, verifying voting eligibility and tallying the ballots.
  • On elections day, verifying voting eligibility and tallying the ballots.
  • In the case of a tie, meeting with the concerned candidates to discuss the results and to come to an amicable solution.
  • In the case of a “run-off” elections, overseeing its completion.

Their responsibilities DO NOT include:

  • Changing or updating VRIC membership or voting eligibility

The 2017 Election Committee consists of the following individuals. They can be contacted by email at ec@valleyranchmasjid.org:

Brother Iqbal Mirza
Brother Imran Memon
Brother Tauseef Ansari

Who is eligible to run in the BoD elections?

If you have been a voting member of VRIC for at least one year prior to the date of the 2017 election, you are eligible to be nominated for the BoD positions. That is, you must have been a voting member prior to December 14, 2016.

The list that the BoT will post at VRIC will specify which VRIC members are “BoD Eligible”, i.e. are eligible to be nominated for the BoD elections. If you have any questions about your eligibility for the BoD, please contact brother Ezazul Bakshi or send an email to membership@valleyranchmasjid.org

How can an eligible person be nominated to run for the BoD?

To qualify as a nominee, one must be nominated by a member and seconded by another member using a 2017 VRIC BoD Nomination Form. The nominators as well as the one who seconds the nominations shall be active members of VRIC. The nominee must meet the qualifications of the position. Each member can nominate up to a maximum of 4 eligible candidates.

All nominees must agree to undergoing a criminal background check. There are no exceptions to this.

What is the deadline for application to run for the BoD?

The nomination forms must be submitted to the Election Committee 2 weeks prior to the proposed date of Election (in person or via email to ec@valleyranchmasjid.org using the signed nomination form), i.e. Thursday November 30, 2017 until Isha prayer.

If you submit the nomination form via email, please ensure that the nominators and nominee information and signatures are clearly legible.

How many members of the BoD are going to be elected?

The BoD shall consist of 7 members. The 7 members will be comprised of 4 officers and 3 non-officers.

Who will decide the roles of the elected BoD ?

The elected BoD members shall hold a meeting within one week to elect from within themselves the four officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and such other officers as may be appointed in accordance with the provision of the By-laws.

How long will the term of the 2017 BoD last?

After the 2017 elections, the 7 BoD positions shall be elected for two years.

How will the elections take place?
On election day between 4 PM and 8:30 PM US Central, members will first be asked to verify and/or update their membership information. A VRIC Membership Committee booth will be set up where members will do this. Once their membership information has been verified, the member will be allowed to vote with a paper ballot.

This high level diagram of VRIC shows the logistics on the day of the election:

Members can vote for up to a maximum of 7 eligible nominees.

When will the results be announced?

The results will be announced via email and posted on the bulletin board on the same day of the Election.

What is process to decide the outcome in case of a tie in the number of votes obtained by the candidates?

In case of a tie, the Election Committee will meet with the concerned candidates to discuss the results and to come to an amicable solution. If this does not resolve the issue, then a “run-off” elections will be held for the concerned candidates.

Will there be independent observers overlooking the voting/results process?

VRIC plans to have 1 independent observer overlooking the voting process on the day of elections.

Can you vote via email/absentee voting?

Absentee voting or voting via email will start one week before Election Day, i.e. starting Thursday December 7, 2017. Absentee ballots will be accepted until Wednesday, December 13, 2017. The absentee ballot must be given to an Election Committee member in a sealed envelope or placed in the election safe box at VRIC. You can also send the ballot via email to ec@valleyranchmasjid.org. Please make sure that you email a picture of your government issued ID as well.

To request an absentee ballot, please send an email to ec@valleyranchmasjid.org

What ID do I have to show when I vote?

Any government issued photo ID that shows your current home address. Examples are driver’s license and state or federal government issued ID.

If the ID does not list the current address or if the ID is expired, then a separate proof of address is required. Examples of this additional proof will be car or vehicle insurance, recent utility bill, recent paycheck stub, and voter’s registration card.

What is the Candidates ``Meet and Greet``?

This event will be held on Saturday, December 9 after Isha prayer at VRIC. This is your chance to get to know the candidates. Each candidate will be given a chance to speak for a few minutes, and then we will host a Q&A session. You are encouraged to submit your questions for the candidates ahead of time. You can email your question to ec@valleyranchmasjid.org or use this Google form: https://goo.gl/forms/r41UN7PHRKdnjY1a2. If you attend the session in person, you will also be allowed a chance to ask or write down questions then.

What does a sample ballot look like, and how does one correctly fill it in?

Below is an example the election ballot with some fake names of candidates:



Do not worry about filling the “Membership ID” and “ID Verified (Circle One)”. This will be filled out by the Election Committee.
As long as you select 7 or less candidates on your ballot, it will be accepted. Please refer to these examples.
If you select more than 7 candidates on your ballot, it will be disqualified. Please refer to this example.