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Wichita Asian Association Executive Board


Sonalli Kurlekar


Sonalli Kurlekar is an Infectious Disease epidemiologist and public health professional. She completed her medical studies in her home country, India. Originally from the western part of India, she has been a Wichitan for the last fifteen years.

Sonalli has been associated with Wichita Asian Association for the past eight years and had the pleasure of serving on the board in several capacities. She is a cultural producer and passionate advocate for the community engagement. She is also active in Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) community and volunteer for diverse community organizations across the city. She is a trained Kathak (Indian classical dance) dancer and mother of two young girls.


Panya Amphone

Vice President

Panya Amphone-Suh (He/Him/His), is a dedicated advocate for the Asian community in Wichita. As a member of the Wichita Asian Association, he has served on the Vendor team and as a past co-director of the Miss Wichita Asian Festival Pageant.

In his professional life, Panya serves as the Director of Orchestras and Mariachi at Mayberry Cultural and Fine Arts Magnet Middle School, where he works to help students learn about themselves, and others through the study of music. In his spare time, he can be found performing, doing crossfit, or watching anime.


Daniel Tatum


Daniel Tatum (he, him, his) is currently a System Administrator at Textron Aviation. Born and raised in Southern California, he has lived in several places before moving to Wichita in 2021.
Daniel holds a degree in criminal justice from Utah Valley University. He enjoys spending time with his dog Addison, game nights with family and friends, cooking, and watching movies.

Daniel has volunteered with Wichita Asian Association for the past two years and served as vendor co-chair for the 2023 festival. He is excited to continue working with the residents of Wichita, and surrounding areas to spread awareness and celebrate Asian Culture.


Amelia Phommachanh


Amelia Phommachanh was a 2022 Wichita Asian festival pageant title holder. As a Miss Asian Cultural Ambassador, she represented the Asian community in the 2023 Miss Kansas pageant. Amelia is currently a student at WSU Tech, where she studies digital marketing.

After participating in the pageant, Amelia decided to strengthen her involvement with the Wichita Asian Association by joining the board. A mental health advocate, she also serves on the board of directors for Mental Health America of South-Central Kansas. Amelia looks forward to the impact Wichita Asian Association will have on our community.


Chitra Harris

Board Member

Chitra Harris immigrated to the United States 20 years ago with her family. For the last 18 years, she was a high school science teacher in the Wichita Public School district where she was instrumental in setting up the curriculum and standards for teaching Forensic science in high schools across the state of Kansas. She won the ‘Excellence in Public Service’ award in 2015 and was a chosen as Kansas State Master Teacher in 2018.


Chitra is retired from classroom teaching, but serves as Education Director with League 42, a junior league baseball non-profit, that aspires to enhance playing and academic skills. She has served on the Wichita Asian Association board in various positions over the past 15 years, and was the WAA President 2012 & 2013.  She says, “I am here to help this organization with its vision & goals.”

Lindsay Benacka.jpeg

Lindsay Benacka

Board Member

Lindsay Benacka is the Director of Arts and Cultural Services for the City of Wichita, where she oversees a dynamic roster of programs, facilities, and projects and collaborates with many public and private partners. She re-joined the City of Wichita in December 2021, having previously served as the Artistic Director at CityArts from 2014-2016. During that time, she also taught at Butler Community College and Wichita State University in the Fine Arts Departments.


Lindsay is a Chicago native by way of central Nebraska. She holds a BA from Columbia College Chicago and an MA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her career as a public servant began as a teaching artist for Chicago Public Schools before joining the Peace Corps, where she served as a Youth Development Advisor in Kampong Cham, Cambodia.


Prior to relocating to Wichita, Lindsay served the City of Yuma, Arizona as the Director of the Yuma Art Center, where she oversaw the Historic Yuma Theatre, 270 Black Box Theatre, managed 6 art galleries, and the City’s public art collection. Notably, she received the 2020 Governor's Art Award for Outstanding Arts Organization and Arts Administrator and the 2018 Employee of the Year Award from the City of Yuma. Lindsay is thrilled to join WAA and to support cross-cultural exchanges throughout the Wichita area.


Dr. Ranjini Madhavan

Board Member

Dr. Ranjini Madhavan is a physician who presently works at Ascension Via Christi clinic. In her free time, she volunteers at the Mayflower Clinic, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides free medical care to low-income and uninsured patients.. Ranjini has been with the Mayflower clinic since 2010 and is proud to say that it has allowed her to serve her true passion: to meet the health care needs of the uninsured. The population she serves there is very diverse and is reflective of the community in Wichita.

As a WAA board member, she would like to promote the Asian culture of the different communities along with serving their health care needs. She is an Indian immigrant herself and moved from southern India to Wichita in 1997. Ranjini calls Wichita her second home. She is a busy mom to her two boys and enjoys traveling, gardening, and cooking Indian cuisines. 

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