LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston resident Sejal Lakhani-Bhatt found herself a single parent when her 39-year-old husband died of a heart attack in February. While dealing with the grief and helping her two young boys cope, Lakhani-Bhatt also suddenly had to run the information technology (IT) company her husband founded and scramble for child care arrangements.
A desire to ensure that parents—especially single mothers—have access reliable, affordable child care inspired Lakhani-Bhatt to join the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges Board of Directors this month.
“I was going through this challenging and emotional time, and thinking, how do single mothers who don’t have the (financial) means or the flexibility in their work schedule do it?” said Lakhani-Bhatt, who is eager to help the Metro YMCA expand opportunities. “The YMCA provides relief for single parents, and gives kids a place to be with other kids."
According to the Metro YMCA, Lakhani-Bhatt had been invited to join the board a year earlier, but that she felt her schedule wouldn’t permit it at the time. Despite having even more to juggle now, Lakhani-Bhatt said she felt compelled to get involved and help others.
“Sejal is a powerful force, and the Metro YMCA is fortunate that she is willing to pour her energy and talent into helping our Y strengthen families and promote healthy, safe childhoods,” said Richard Gorab, Metro YMCA president and chief executive officer (CEO).
Lakhani-Bhatt is now the CEO of TechWerxe, a Livingston-based IT company created by her late husband, Tejas Bhatt. She joined in 2015, handling sales, marketing and operations, and is now sole owner.
The Livingston resident is very involved in raising awareness about child sex abuse, an issue the Metro YMCA also champions. Lakhani-Bhatt serves on the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking. She is a founder of the networking organization, Connect 4 Business Exchange (C4BX), serves as social impact chair on the Board of Entrepreneurs Organization, and is involved in several industry Mastermind groups.
A globetrotter since childhood, Lakhani-Bhatt lived in Japan, London, Hong Kong and Singapore while working in the banking industry for 12 years. She has also shared that love of travel with her sons, 10-year-old Anay and 8-year-old Aanav.
Lakhani Bhatt, who minored in dance at college, has training in ballet, salsa and Indian folk dances. Another one of her passions is food—everything from hot dogs to a 13-course French feast. Although her husband had been the family chef, Lakhani Bhatt said her kids sometimes cook for her now.