The Local Author Program at the San Diego Library

Local Author Program pic
Local Author Program

Based in San Diego, California, Bharat Lall serves Pinnacle Hotels USA as president and chief executive officer. Outside of work, Bharat Lall donates to organizations including the San Diego Public Library.

Donations to the San Diego Public Library go toward sponsoring and hosting programs and events that benefit the community. To highlight the accomplishments of writers in the area, the library sponsors the Local Author Program, which holds the Local Author Showcase each year.

This year, authors in San Diego County began submitting their published books in September. Selected books will be exhibited in the San Diego Central Library lobby in February 2018. For the rest of the year, the showcase will be accessible online. Only books published in 2017 can be submitted; they will be available to the public for checkout in 2018.

The showcase also features Little Local Authors, for outstanding writers under 11 years old, and Teen Local Authors, for writers between 12 and 18 years old.


San Diego Indian American Society Hosts Festival of Lights

San Diego Indian American Societypic
San Diego Indian American Society

A longtime presence in the West Coast hotel business, Pinnacle Hotels USA founder Bharat Lall oversees properties such as Marriott Riverside and the Hyatt Regency North Dallas. Active in his community, Bharat Lall is a lifetime member of the San Diego Indian American Society, an organization that provides annual college scholarships to high school students.

Each October over the past decade, the nonprofit has also been active in sponsoring the Festival of Lights in Balboa Park, California. Initially envisioned as a modest celebration, the annual event now attracts thousands of participants in Diwali celebrations that traditionally involve the lighting of lamps and setting off of fireworks.

In Hindu culture, the lights represent the victory of reason and virtue over negative forces, represented by the night. A symbol of Agni (fire) and Surya (the sun), the lamp celebrates the eternal life force, which carries individual prayers to God. This also takes form in Indian philosophy in the concept of the soul as a “self-lighted torch,” and the flames have an association with one’s “supreme self.”

A Prominent Speaker with the San Diego Indian American Society


San Diego Indian American Society pic
San Diego Indian American Society

In his position as Pinnacle Hotels USA founder, Bharat Lall guides a wide range of properties in locations throughout Southern California and beyond. A prominent member of his local community, Bharat Lall is active with the San Diego Indian American Society, which was established more than three decades ago and provides scholarships and organizes cultural events.

An eagerly awaited event each year is the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture, which had Dr. Jonas Salk as its first presenter in 1984. The most recent speaker was Nisha Desai Biswal, who has achieved a high profile role in the U.S. State Department as Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia.

Previously an administrator with the U.S. Agency for International Development and with American Red Cross experience, Ms. Biswal was appointed to her position by President Barack Obama in 2013. She broke ground as the first person in the role to be of South Asian origin, and currently coordinates bilateral relations with countries ranging from Sri Lanka to Kazakhstan.

As reported in the Times of India, Ms. Biswal’s appointment placed her in the company of well-known politician Bobby Jindal as an Indian-American achieving the assistant secretary level in U.S. government. Speaking with the Telegraph, she noted that her position was one in which reviving talks between India and Pakistan, as well as resolving Indian-Nepalese issues, was a priority.

SDIAS 14th Annual Unity in Diversity Festival of World Dances

San Diego Indian American Society  pic
San Diego Indian American Society

A hospitality executive based in San Diego, Bharat Lall works as the president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA. Aside from his professional responsibilities with Pinnacle, Bharat Lall engages with the community as a member of the San Diego Indian American Society (SDIAS).

Dedicated to serving those in need and sharing Indian culture, SDIAS organizes a number of cultural events. In March 2017, the society held its 14th annual Unity in Diversity Festival of World Dances at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. Each year, the festival presents a different theme, with the 2017 show celebrating 25 years of diplomatic ties between India and Israel.

Performances included intricately choreographed dances from India and Israel, as well as Egypt, Spain, and Japan, replete with detailed costuming and vibrant music. To honor the India-Israel relationship, the festival welcomed Shanee Zamir, a soprano from Israel, and the TNUA Israeli Dance Troupe, who performed the traditional song “Abba Sipur” (Dad, Tell Me a Story) through music, movement, and sign language. Also performing were members of the Ken Jewish Community, a San Diego-based group of Latin Jewish families.

In addition to Israeli dance and music, the festival showcased flamenco-Bollywood fusion dance, Japanese taiko drums, and Israeli-Moroccan dance. In all, more than 200 performers took part in the event, and among the approximately 700 spectators were diplomats from both India and Israel.

The San Diego Public Library’s I CAN! Center

San Diego Public Library pic
San Diego Public Library

The founder, president, and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Bharat Lall focuses on locating, acquiring, and regenerating underperforming hotels throughout the United States. A San Diego resident, Bharat Lall supports numerous city initiatives and entities, including the San Diego Public Library (SDPL).

In an effort to provide services that are accessible to those with disabilities, the SDPL created the I CAN! Center. Located on the central library’s first floor, the I CAN! Center offers a range of programs, services, resources, and professional help so people with disabilities can use the library in a comfortable environment.

Equipped with 16 computers, each with enlarged screens and assistive software, the I CAN! Center also hosts two private study areas. Moreover, it features not just a number of large print and Braille books, but also e-readers and digital talking books.

Service animals are welcome at the I CAN! Center, which also operates a free library-by-mail service for people with significant visual impairments that prevent them from traveling to the library.

What Makes Kiva Stand Apart?

Kiva pic

A successful investor and hotel regeneration expert who purchases and reinvigorates underperforming hotels as part of his work with Pinnacle Hotels USA, a company he founded in 1998, Bharat Lall brings 20-plus years of hospitality-industry experience to the profession. Also a philanthropist, Bharat Lall supports Kiva, which offers loans to budding entrepreneurs to help them realize their potential.

One of the earliest adopters of crowdfunding technology, which websites like Kickstarter have gone on to make famous, Kiva provides a platform that brings together entrepreneurs and lenders. Entrepreneurs are able to obtain funding from hundreds of small lenders via the platform, while the lenders have the opportunity to invest in projects they really believe in.

This model lowers the fees borrowers often have to contend with when trying to launch projects, while increasing the likelihood of lenders receiving their loans back in full so the same money can be used to help others, either in local communities or locales across the world.

Thus far, the organization, which takes nothing from the funds offered by lenders, has distributed close to $1 billion in loans to borrowers in over 80 countries. Further, the platform has a loan repayment rate of over 97 percent.

The Goals of the San Diego Indian American Society


San Diego Indian American Society pic
San Diego Indian American Society

In his work as president and chief executive officer of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Bharat Lall has dedicated himself to ensuring that all hotels under the Pinnacle banner provide exceptional levels of service to their guests. The company’s inception occurred in 1998 when it started to invest in failing hotels that could potentially be improved under its stewardship. Active in his community, Bharat Lall donates to the Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship Fund overseen by the San Diego Indian American Society. The society was created in 1984 with four aims.

1. To establish the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Scholarship, which would be of benefit to college-age high school graduates in the San Diego area while also memorializing the contributions that Gandhi made to the world.

2. To undertake initiatives that would benefit people both in San Diego and India.

3. To recognize contributions and service by any person to the society, regardless of that person’s field, in India or the United States.

4. To foster a stronger relationship between the United States and India in any way it can.
To reach these goals, the society has expanded its program offerings to include the Chakra Award, granted annually to individuals who have been able to focus their efforts enough to earn distinction for their achievements in any field, and the Unity in Diversity program, which shines a spotlight on Indian culture such as music, drama, and dance.