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Our Team

SHIVAM PUNJYA
founder and CEO
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Shivam Punjya is the founder and CEO of behno. He oversees the brandʼs social and design direction and positioning. Punjya founded the brand with the goal of addressing poverty and global health through traditional and non-traditional enterprise channels. Punjyaʼs professional experiences include luxury hospitality conglomerate InterContinental Hotels Group in London to GreatNonprofits.org, a tech-based nonprofit in the Silicon Valley. Upon completing his B.A. in International Political Economy from U.C. Berkeley, Punjya led extensive fundraising campaigns for the overseas branch of Pratham, India’s largest education advocacy nonprofit. Punjya graduated from Duke University with a M.S. in Global Health from the Duke Global Health Institute. During his time at Duke University, Punjya also studied social entrepreneurship at the Fuqua School of Business.
ASHLEY AUSTIN
designer
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Ashley Austin is behnoʼs  designer. With behno, Austin aims to marry her love for textile development with classic menʼs tailoring to create womenswear that is feminine and powerful. After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design, Austin was mentored by CFDA award-winning designer Chris Benz and was selected to participate in Elle Magazineʼs “Fashion Next” competition as well as its four-part documentary series on the design process. Previously, Austin has sold her collection on MUUSE, and debuted her collection in its showrooms in both Denmark and Sweden. Most recently, Austin worked for Kate Spade New York.
SUNIL PATEL
chairperson
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Sunil Patel is the chairperson of behno and oversees the brandʼs overarching business strategy, and is responsible for aligning behnoʼs Board of Advisors. He practices medicine in California and is a recipient of the Professional of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce and the Champion of Health awards. Patel is actively involved in investments in hospitality, agriculture and tech-based startup companies in the Silicon Valley, and is well networked with textiles innovators and manufacturers in India. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Tracy Hospital Foundation and for Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, and is currently on the board of The Boys and Girls Club. He is a strong supporter of philanthropy and social entrepreneurial ventures both in the U.S. and abroad.
AMANDA PARENTI
sales and business development
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Amanda Parenti heads sales and business development for behno. Assisting with operational logistics and driving sales, she is responsible for streamlining and augmenting behno’s financial targets and business. Parenti recently headed operations and business development at Amour Vert, Alpinestars and Eva Franco. In 2005, she had her own multi-line wholesale showroom in New York City, where she was responsible for placing emerging labels into some of the best doors and department stores internationally. Prior to this, Parenti expanded her specialty store and major department store sales career at Terri Sahagen Sales and BCBG Max Azria, and was also a part of the buying teams Macy’s. Parenti graduated from Florida State University after obtaining a B.A. in Fashion Merchandising, Textiles and Communications.
JOSH LACEY
technical designer and patternmaker
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Josh Lacey is behno's technical designer and patternmaker. He works closely with behno’s manufacturing partners, liaising between behno’s New York-based design team and its factory counterparts in India. Lacey aims to develop and advance the skill set of the core teams and garment workers of behno’s factory partners. Prior to behno, Lacey worked extensively for emerging designer Dominic Louis, where he was a patternmaker. He has also worked with Calvin Klein, Hanley Mellon and ODD, and was also a fit specialist for Indochino. Lacey is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, where he was selected to participate in Elle Magazine’s “Fashion Next” competition and was awarded the “People’s Choice Award”.
JASONPAUL MCCARTHY
brand advisor
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Jasonpaul McCarthy is behnoʼs brand advisor. He oversees the brands creative initiatives and design direction. McCarthy has been teaching internationally for over 10 years, recently working at Parsons New York, where he was involved heavily with the Fashion Benefit and also as a member of the Parsons External Partnerships Committee. He has overseen projects in collaboration with The Kering Group, LVMH, CFDA, and Milk Made Studio. McCarthy shifted location to his current position as the Director of the B.F.A. Fashion Design Program at Parsons Paris. He also works as an editorial reviewer for Lawrence King, AVA and Bloomsburg Publishing. McCarthy has worked on menswear and womenswear collections throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S., and holds an M.A. in Fashion Womenswear from the Royal College of Art in London.
ANKITA IYER
business development advisor
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Ankita Iyer is behnoʼs business development advisor and advises on business strategy and brand commercialization. She is currently a consultant specializing in commercial operations and brand development. Her experiences include budget development and managing multimillion-dollar corporate projects. Iyer specializes in project management execution and risk/issue identification and mitigation. She completed her B.S. in Economics and Biological Sciences from U.C. San Diego and received her Masters in Public Health in Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. Most recently, she has helped bring to market and commercialize a pharmaceutical therapy that will delay disease progression in millions of cardiac patients.