2019-2020 Atlanta Alumni Club Board


The University of Chicago Alumni Club of Atlanta elects board members every two years.

Read short biographies below, and be sure to say hello at the next event!

Neal Idnani, AB'08 - President

I have lived in Atlanta now for 7 years. Born in Augusta and raised in Nashville, I returned to my southern roots a few years after college to found NaanStop, a fast casual Indian restaurant brand based on my mother's recipes. I currently serve as the CEO and Head Chef. It's my pleasure to serve as your alumni club of Atlanta President this year!

I live in the East side neighborhood of Kirkwood with my wife, 2 young children, dog, and cat. I prefer my Harold's dark with hot, mild, salt, pepper.


Nicole M. Baran, AB'09
After graduating from UChicago, Nicole earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University in psychology. She moved to Atlanta in 2015 to begin a job as a postdoctoral research at Georgia Institute of Technology. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Emory University, where she studies the genomic basis of social behavior in songbirds. In addition, Nicole is the Executive Coordinator of Atlanta 500 Women Scientists, the local chapter of a feminist women in science organization. She also volunteers with Atlanta Streets Alive, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, and swing dances in her spare time.

Kedaresh Deshpande, MBA’16

Kedaresh earned his MBA from UChicago (Booth) and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. He is a Product Manager with Acuity Brands, in the electronics manufacturing industry. Kedaresh serves as a youth soccer coach at Dunwoody Fitness Center, and on the Advisory Council at Vanderlyn Elementary School. He loves hiking, with expeditions from Grand Canyon to the Himalayas. His dream Sunday includes trout fishing with his son, a behavioral economics book, and a huge cheesecake.

Chris Johnson, MBA’10

Steven Vickery, AB ’13

After college I returned home to Atlanta to be a high school teacher and track coach. Except for a brief stint in Nashville, I’ve loved being back in Atlanta ever since and like being able to enjoy the outdoors year-round here - whether it's eating with friends and family on the patio of a great BBQ spot, running in Piedmont Park, or canoeing the Chattahoochee (last year a friend and I paddled from Lake Lanier to Atlanta in one day). Recently, I’m usually busy trying to keep up with my very active young daughter or practicing law in midtown at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP. I look forward to talking with you at an upcoming alumni event!