Saturday, December 25, 2010

Closing out the end of a great year!

2010 is at its end and I want to take some time to close it out and set the stage for the upcoming year.

Thank you to everyone who make this year great. I'd like to bid farewell and future success to our outgoing board members (Jen, Roxanne and Nancy) while welcoming our newest board members (Michael, Sherwin and Jenafer). Congratulations to David Eam and Hang Chen in their new Board roles. David is our VP of Operations, while Hang will take on a larger role as National Representative.

I would like to highlight some of the major accomplishments our organization (locally and nationally) delivered and it amazes me at the dedication and generosity of this community.
  • Congratulations to the nominees and winners of our scholarships and NAAAP 100 awards and the committee selecting them. We gave $8000 in scholarships this year.
  • Thanks to the NAAAP San Francisco Chapter and the convention planning team organized a stellar convention at The Palace Hotel with our first diamond sponsor, Macy's. Our inspiring keynote speakers included CIA Director Leon Panetta, banking executive Doreen Woo Ho, IT leader John Chen, fashion retailers executive Jenny Ming, and so many others.
  • We partnered with great organizations that fosters diversity and leadership: the Executive Development Institute, NHSMBA, NBMBAA, Microsoft and State Farm among many others.
  • We connected members and leadership opportunities and made a difference in our community.

In 2011, our team is coming up with exciting new programming and we'll roll out our plans soon. So please look out for our invitations.

With that, if you missed out, then catch up with NAAAP Seattle with this educational video created by our Marketing Committee led by Julie Pham. See you in 2011!

Best Regards,
Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2011 State Farm Summer Internships - Apply Now

State Farm offers a 10-week paid Summer Internship program in these areas:

Claims, Marketing, and Agency Field Offices in the following locations: DuPont, Bothell & South Seattle

Operations Center (Washington), Billings Operations Center (Montana), Salem Operations Center

(Oregon) and Boise Operations Center (Idaho), Portland Operations Center (Oregon)


• 3.0 GPA or higher.

• Candidates must graduate within December 2011 - June 2012.

• Majors: Business Administration, Communications, Insurance, Management, Marketing, Risk

Management, Sales and Spanish.

• Qualified through pre-employment testing.

• Bilingual skills a plus.

As a State Farm intern, you have the opportunity to contribute to our success as the nation’s premier

provider of insurance and financial services through utilization of your unique knowledge and skills.

Interested candidates can create an online profile and submit an application online at


Cliff Brown (WA, AK, HI)


Ruena Bumagat (WA)

Sun Yi (WA)


Karen Fauser/Patty Meighen (WA, ID, MT OR)


Monday, November 29, 2010

Once again, Microsoft Diversity Event draws hordes hungry for recruiters' secrets

National Society of Hispanic MBAs organized its Diversity Recruiting and Networking Event on Thursday, November 11, 2010, in Microsoft's new The Commons. Once again, NAAAP-Seattle served as one of NHSMBA's lead partners.

The first Diversity Recruiting and Networking Event earlier this spring drew 600 people. This time, organizers anticipated capping attendance at 300.

But 400 showed up to learn and network.

The attendees spent their evening exploring their options at the career fair, engaging in one-on-one sessions with recruiters, and listening to a special panel moderated by Christine Chen on how Microsoft recruiters find new talent using social media.

And for dessert? A fountain of chocolate fondue, in assorted fruit for dipping.

Photo by Cammie Tran: NAAAP-Seattle Web Support Chair Sherwin Tsai and NAAAP-Seattle Students Relations Chair Amy Duong man the NAAAP-Seattle informational booth with Kaplan.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cooking for 80 at Ronald McDonald House

Just as chilly weather descended on Seattle last Sunday, Nov. 21, eleven NAAAP-Seattle volunteers dedicated five hours to cooking a meal for 80 patients at Ronald McDonald House, which supports seriously ill patients and their families at the nearby Children's Hospital.

The incoming 2011 NAAAP-Seattle Community Service Chair Jenafer Park coordinated the event.

Park said that "everyone really liked the food and kept thanking us for being there."

The volunteers not only gave their time, but also their dime. Their individual donations of $20 went to buying the supplies for the meal.

The NAAAP-Seattle team devised a menu of fruits, pigs in a blanket (sausage wrapped in puff pastry), fried rice, chicken cutlets, spinach salad, and, for dessert, ice cream with mint cookies. The volunteers prepped and cooked the entire meal in just two hours.

"We wanted it to be different--not the typical spaghetti and sandwiches--stuff that the patients don't actually get to eat often," said Park. "For example, fruits like pears and pineapples that we provided were actually a treat for them."

Other NAAAP-Seattle volunteers included: John Park, Leigh Momii, 2010 Community Service Chair David Eam, NAAAP-Seattle Membership Chair Kevin Chang, Sherwin Tsao, Heng Sun, Theresa and Hervey Froehlich, Yiqing Wang, and Miles Matsumoto. For half the volunteers, this was their first time at Ronald McDonald House.

The (Original) Social Network - Speed Networking

Over forty people huddled in the Seattle Times auditorium on November 9 to listen to Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan and King 5 reporter Owen Lei divulge their networking secrets. Then the attendees poured into the lobby to apply what they learned in a speed networking session.

Chan is the national president of Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and Lei is the Vice-President of the Seattle Chapter of AAJA. NAAAP-Seattle also partnered with Executive Development Institute (EDI), National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and TAPS.

This was the first NAAAP-Seattle event for both Chan and Lei, who said they appreciated the energy and enthusiam of the crowd, most of whom were NAAAP-Seattle members.

New NAAAP-Seattle member John Tran said at the end of the speed networking session, "I talked so much, my throat hurts now!"

The event was catered by NAAAP-Seattle celebrity chef Tanantha Couilliard of I Just Love My Apron.

Photos by Julie Pham/NAAAP-Seattle.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

31st Annual Leadership and Scholarship Gala: A masquer-Asian Ball

By Ninette Cheng

Last Saturday (November 6), NAAAP-Seattle celebrated thirty-one years of scholarship, leadership and the future at the 31st Annual Leadership and Awards Gala.

180 of us dined, networked, auctioned for items and danced the night away at the Golf Club at Newcastle. This year’s scholarship winners included Stacy Huynh, Erin Kim and Tian Kisch. The NAAAP national scholarship awarded Seattle’s Erika Sanchez, also in attendance.

Huynh is a recent graduate of the University of Washington and former director of UW’s Asian Student Commission. She will be using the scholarship to continue her education in UW’s Master of Professional Accounting Program for Audit & Assurance.

NAAAP-Seattle MasquerAsian Ball Photo Booth, Nov. 6, 2010, Newcastle Golf Club.
To see more:
Photo by Don Pham (
Kim is a graduating senior from Issaquah and founder of charity Fostering Tunes, a branch of the Treehouse foster care organization, which allows foster children to share their stories through music.

Kisch is the co-president and co-founder of Redmond High School’s first Asian Student Association and is a lifelong member of the Families with Children from China Northwest (FCC-NW). Kisch organized and planned a volunteer trip to work in Chinese orphanages in and around Beijing and Xian during the summer of 2009.

Sanchez is a senior at Seattle University. She is currently involved with the United Filipino Club (UFC) and her youth group Bukas Loob sa Diyos (BLD).

Christine Umayam, founder and CEO of Child United, stepped in at the last minute (replacing James Sun) as the keynote interviewer. Umayam spoke about her charity and the importance of working with and helping children receive an education.

“Education is the key to everything: a better future, limitless opportunities and intellectual growth,” Umayam said. “Through education, we are seeing a ripple effect happening before our own eyes... seeing a child shine gives hope to their families, in turn it helps their community.”

The gala is not only for the scholarship; like all our events, it’s a great networking opportunity and time for our members.

“It’s a good way to network and meet people and see what’s happening in the community a little bit,” guest and NAAAP member Ed Goh said. “In that sense it was good to see some of the work and the initiatives that are happening. It was good to see young people moving ahead and getting their dreams fulfilled. I didn’t grow up here so to hear these high school kids talk about their conflicts and confusions was a little interesting.”

Despite the stormy weather outside, the evening was great fun. We hope you had fun and if you did not attend, be sure to join us next year!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Work hard, play hard, NAAAP hard" video marketing campaign launched

The Seattle chapter of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) launched its "Work hard, play hard, NAAAP hard" marketing campaign this week with two online video commercials. The first is a general introduction to NAAAP-Seattle and the second represents the first in a series that will focus on NAAAP-Seattle's award-winning community service program's partnerships with other local non-profits, in this case, FareStart.

NAAAP-Seattle PR/Marketing Chair Julie Pham came up with the idea of producing an online video campaign to promote the NAAAP-Seattle brand after fellow NAAAP-Seattle member, Connie Sugahara, suggested filming the chapter's professional development lectures and posting them online.

"This kind of video marketing will bring people closer to NAAAP," said Gil Gido, NAAAP-Seattle president and principal at the social media firm, Ulysses' Social Media Marketing Company (USMMC).

In Gido's "President's Perspective" blog, former NAAAP-Seattle President Andy Yip was quoted as saying, "I work, I play, I NAAAP." Yip’s words inspired Pham to think of how "NAAAP" could also be used as a verb.

"I started to think of what NAAAP means to me," said Pham. "I'm constantly inspired by the dedication of my fellow NAAAP board members in pursuing our mission to build leaders. Through brainstorming with other board members, we decided 'to NAAAP' can mean to give, to grow, to learn, to mentor, to be mentored, to network, to volunteer....a whole lot of things."

"Work hard, play hard, NAAAP hard" became the new slogan for NAAAP-Seattle.

Eventually, each NAAAP-Seattle program director will be featured in at least one commercial. In one of the debut commercials, NAAAP-Seattle Community Service Chair David Eam spoke about NAAAP-Seattle's partnership with FareStart.

FareStart Marketing Communications Manager Karla Smith-Jones said, “FareStart is grateful to the NAAAP for all of their support of FareStart, including their volunteer commitment and their interest in partnering with us to raise awareness for both organizations."

Pham explained, "We can help build each other's brand through cross-marketing. We produce the clip and our community partners will share it with their audience."

"At FareStart, we think building community is key to creating better lives, and there’s no better way to build community than nonprofits working together," Smith-Jones added. She will share the commercial with the 14,000 FareStart supporters.

The general introduction to NAAAP featured many other local non-profits as well, including organizations as diverse as the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, Foodline, Executive Development Institute, and National Association of Hispanic MBAs.

NAAAP-Seattle produced the commercials on a shoestring. Pham and NAAAP-Seattle member and New York Life financial adviser Vanessa Diego lent their voices to the project. Pham enlisted the help of her younger brother, Don Pham, to edit and produce the clips.

You can find NAAAP-Seattle's commercials on YouTube.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Do's and Don'ts of Business School Admission

In the middle of school week, on October 16, over 30 students and working professionals gathered at the University of Washington's Seattle campus to attend the “The Do’s and Don’ts of Business School Admissions" workshop.

The attendees were all thinking the same thing, "How do I get into business school and how do I get ahead of the game?"

NAAAP-Seattle, Kaplan, and the Asian Student Business Association co-organized the workshop.

During the first half of the evening, Kaplan instructor, James Yeh gave 10 great tips on things to do to become a strong candidate for business school. Afterward, NAAAP member Ted Yamamura, regional manager at Boeing, and David Teng, a product manager at Microsoft, shared their thoughts and experiences in business school with the attendees.

People reported great feedback on the content of the presentation. Many lingered afterwards for a chance to thank and speak with the presenters.

Filming and food fun at FareStart

NAAAP-Seattle filmed the first of its "Work hard. Play hard. NAAAP hard" commercial series at FareStart in Seattle on September 26. That event also marked NAAAP-Seattle's fourth time volunteering with FareStart in 2010 alone.

NAAAP-Seattle boasts the top-ranked community service program among NAAAP chapters located in the United States.

There were several first-time NAAAP-Seattle volunteers that day.

Passion Julinsey found out about it through Facebook. She said, “Cooking is fun. Being able to give and have fun at the same time is rewarding.”

“I like the teamwork aspect and like to see the concrete results," said Julinsey, pointing to the pile of sandwiches. "An hour ago, these sandwiches weren’t even made.”

Kenny Chen was another first time Farestart/NAAAP volunteer. He found out about the event through a friend.

“I had some free time. I thought I would give it a try. It’s a good opportunity to help out. I will do it again," said Chen.

Jen Park, the NAAAP-Seattle coordinator for Farestart activities, said that there is always a waiting list to get to volunteer with Farestart.

Tokusan Svenson was one lucky volunteer when he was pulled off the waiting list the night before.

“We have a whole army of volunteers to activate and help out the community," said Svenson. "It’s good to have a lot of fun activities that we can pair up with Community Service.

Svenson moved from Boston 10 months ago and he had participated in some NAAAP Boston Activities.

Other NAAAP-Seattle volunteers that day included: John Park, Kevin Chang, Sherwin Tsao, Yan Jue Xiang, Tracy Zhen, and Monica Yuen.

To find out about joining or supporting NAAAP-Seattle "army of volunteers", please contact NAAAP-Seattle Community Service Chair David Eam at ,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Shifting your view

I think you'll appreciate this next post since we all have had the experience of learning Newton's laws in Physics class. Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan, authors of the Three Laws of Performance, identify and define laws, like gravity, pertaining to the world of performance. They get to the bottom of why you can only get certain results. In a nutshell, your view of a particular situation or circumstance is associated with a specific outcome or result.

Said another way, your view gives you the actions to take to get results specific to that view. For example, if your view of life is that it’s hard. Typically that view is constrained with certain moods, feelings and thoughts. Your only actions you could take really is to complain or not do anything. And the result is obvious…no result near to what you want. Yes, you’ll get a result…just not the result you want.

On the other hand, if your view of life is that it’s easy (or rich or fun). What actions could you now take? The possibilities are endless and they’d be very consistent with your view that life is easy. You’d certainly get a result consistent with that view.

Don't believe me? Try it on with any view you have. You'll see that this works with just about anything. Again, like gravity, its a law.

Once you realize that certain views can only generate outcomes specific to that view, you'll need to shift your view to come up with different outcomes.

If you're interested in reading more about the 3 laws of performance, you can read it from the cannon of Warren Bennis' management and leadership series.

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

Sunday, October 3, 2010

So you want to be a manager, eh?

Organization chart

Shuffling through my desk of old papers this weekend, I discovered an old manager feedback form I wrote for a previous manager and decided I should write about what it takes to be a manager and what it looks like for those of you interested in becoming one and being skilled and successful in the role. You might be wondering and thinking to yourself, "I can do that." And that's a good place to start - by inquiring. As a start, a manager sits within an organization having direct reports and itself being managed by another manager. They have a responsibility to get results of the organization through the work of others, namely their direct reports. They not only have their own projects, but also the projects of their direct reports. In general, they have a greater span of control and need additional skills not required by being an individual contributor, one with no direct reports.

As you think about your plan for becoming a manager, keep these areas in mind and find opportunities in your current role to build your skill and gain experience. (Also, see last month's post on Stretch Projects.) If they don't exist, then you can find opportunities in other organizations and activities, such as volunteering.

The areas I want to focus on are Communications, Development, Diversity, Team Building, Goal Setting, Customer focus, and Values. I'll stray away from the why for now and focus more on the definitions. The why's is such a larger topic of discussion and can lead to discussions regarding legal issues. If you keep your context of being a manager to someone committed to the success of their organization, you'll avoid most issues related to poor people management.

As a manager your communications become very important as you want to encourage discussions that are open and productive. For example, when issues arise within your team, are you open to listening? Or do you blame the messenger? Can you see a deeper commitment of the message and not just the message itself? Are you able to share information that your direct reports need to do their jobs and help them to understand how your division or group contribute to the company's overall success? Do you avoid sharing unpopular news?

As a manager, you become the advocate and supporter of your team's development. This aids not only in achieving your immediate team goals, but also in providing the company a talent pipeline such that your team can move on to other roles that the company needs and provides your team a pathway for career success and their potential. You will want to show sincere interest in your direct's career by not only creating opportunities within their current role, but giving them challenging opportunities. If a training and development opportunities comes up like a conference or an outside program, can you support your direct's time away from work?

As a manager, you will definitely work with different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. Respecting diversity will only help to make you a better manager and ambassador for your group. What it looks like is you considering points of view that are contrary to your own and leveraging those strengths and differences. When you have a diverse group of people working for you, then you have additional skills and inputs to get your job done.

As a manager, you are not only concerned for yourself, but for your group and so team building becomes more of your focus. You'll need to be vigilant on the status of your group's integrity and morale. You'll be now seen as a leader. (Of course, you can lead also as an individual contributor.) You'll be required to inspire your team to achieve business results, effectively as opposed to burning out your team. You'll also be asked to remove obstacles and roadblocks while placing your own needs after the groups.

As a manager, you are setting the bar for your organization. This is called goal setting. Can you set, prioritize and communicate realistic and achievable goals? Do you have conversations with your group on where they are at on meeting their goals?

As a manager, you get customers as part of your added responsibilities so you'll need to take action on customer feedback demonstrating your focus on keeping your relationships positive. Sharing customer feedback with your team is also something you need to take into consideration.

Last, but not least, as a manager, whether it's integrity, operational excellence, and customer focus you are responsible for having your team be aligned to the values set at your company.

In summary, being a manager takes alot of preparation and people skills and developing these skills takes time and investment on your part.

Having read this, do you see actions you can take today that tomorrow will lead you one step closer to being a manager?

And if you're wondering about what happened to my manager who I gave feedback. Today, she is now a Sr. Executive and is very successful.

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What would you do if you couldn't fail?

House of Hong Restaurant, Seattle -  This was the question I asked at a recently held Women of Power Luncheon hosted by Assunta Ng, Publisher of the NW Asian Weekly and Seattle Chinese Post newspapers.  Before I get to the answer of that question, though, let me first tell you that this luncheon, now in its third year, benefits one of NAAAP Seattle's partners, the Executive Development Institute (EDI). Twelve lucky auction winners from EDI's Inclusion Fusion held earlier this year got to lunch with some very powerful women. In fact, I had the privilege and pleasure of being seated at one of the tables. I'll introduce them one by one as I go through their stories.

Women of Power Luncheon (l to r) Martha ChoeDonna Giordano, Grace Chien, and Amelia Ransom Letcher (Not pictured: Sandra Madrid)

As the food arrived, Donna Giordano, President of the Quality Food Centers (QFC), shared what she thought were her keys to success(es); that was:
  • to listen and learn from others;
  • to take any job offered as it would lead people to know that you're the obvious choice when opportunities arose;
  • to know you are in the driver's seat of your career;
  • to know and articulate your value; and most of all,
  • to have a positive attitude as this will assist you in achieving results, both at home and at work. 
Next, the top Girl Scout or CEO, Grace Chien, made a point to stand firm with your commitments and define successes and failures in relation to these.

Martha Choe, Chief Administrative Officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and also a 2010 NAAAP100 recipient, talked not only about change, but about having it be sustained and lasting. She talked about how important it is to building lasting and effective relationships and used the term, "total leadership", when addressing one's well-being: mind, body and soul. Said another way, "When you're health isn't well, neither is your leadership."

When addressing work life-balance, "there is no perfect balance and it's a matter of balancing daily or weekly based on what is important to you. Put another way, if you are on your death bed, would you regret having gone to one more meeting?"
(l to r) Sandra Madrid, Carol Butterfield and Sandi Heddington
Now, Amelia Ransom Letcher, VP Corp Diversity Affairs at Nordstrom, rallied around people first and effective communication. Can you imagine the power in having people believe flowers grow in concrete? Getting to this level of effectiveness can help you become very influential.

Sandra Madrid, Sr. Advisor to the Dean, UW, shared a story about her own career transition. She was let go from the UW after 20 years of service. Her main point was to be part of a community because no one can do it by themselves. It was with the community's support that she got her job back at the UW.

As by now, I'm guessing you want to know what they said when asked, "what would you do if you couldn't fail?" I asked this question because throughout our careers we face fear and indecision and having gone through this themselves, they would give really good insight. Well, in short, the answer was not surprising. To paraphrase what each one of them said, "I would do anything".

Given that we're already on the topic of powerful women, I would like now to take a moment to let you know about the Women in NAAAP! program, which is our own program created and developed to build competent and confident women leaders within NAAAP and within the Asian Pacific community. If you don't already know about it, you can visit our website.

Special thanks to Char Grinolds of EDI and Assunta Ng, Publisher of NW Asian Weekly and the Chinese Seattle Post newspapers for creating a great meeting.

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Where are they now? Andy Yip, NAAAP Seattle President 2007-2008

My name is Andy Yip, President for the National Association of Asian American Professionals – Seattle Chapter from 2007 to 2008. I am a registered principal at my firm Raymond James, with a focus on estate planning and investment portfolio management. In my past careers, I have led numerous leadership positions including being the state manager for Prudential Financial. In 2007, we were the number one firm for Prudential in the entire nation. After much hard work and teamwork in achieving that, I became independent and had my own operation in Mercer Island, WA with my business partner.
NAAAP-Seattle gave me the opportunity to get in touch with the Asian American community and since then, I have gone on to serve many other community organizations, such as:

Being on the board of an active organization also broadened my network, I was able to meet many young professionals that are passionate about their communities; found many mentors that have been where I was and formed many valuable relationship with key personnel across various industries.
It is exciting to see many new leaders are taking the lead at NAAAP-Seattle now, and I am proud to continue serving as a member of the Executive Advisory Board of NAAAP-Seattle, having input on the direction of the organization, and continue to bring resources to foster the next generation of leaders.

To those that are still on the fence of deciding whether to become part of this great organization, just know that NAAAP-Seattle leaders are all about giving back to the community while elevating their professionalism in their own career path. You will find many excellent mentors, great friends, fun activities, and top notch training.
i work, i play, i NAAAP!

Andy Yip
NAAAP Seattle President 2007-2008

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Career Transitions panel emphasized: Make your “someday, I’ll do this…” to “everyday, I'll do this…”

Over seventy people attended the “Career Transitions” panel on September 8 at the Seattle Design Center. State Farm Insurance sponsored the event and they worked with NAAAP-Seattle, NSHMBA, and National Black MBA Association to organize it. The panel was followed by professional resume reviews.

The panelists included: Albert Torres, CEO and publisher of Tu Decides Newspapers; Ted Yamamura, Regional Director at the Boeing Company; Jeffrey Taylor, State Farm Insurance Agent; and Norman Sigler, who has his own executive search and coaching firm.

The panelists represented a wide range of experiences.

Torres described growing up as a migrant farm laborer to working at Microsoft as a computer science engineer and then establishing Washington’s first bilingual Spanish-English newspaper with his wife and a group of investors.

“The only thing we regret is not having done it earlier,” said Torres. “We have this phrase, ‘someday, I’ll do this…’. Find something you love so that you can make your ‘someday’ an ‘everyday.’ It’s not where the dream takes you, but where you take the dream.”

Taylor grew up in Illinois, home to State Farm Insurance headquarters. He started his 23-year career with the company as a college intern and climbed the corporate ranks.

He was being relocated every few years between headquarters and the regional offices until he realized he wanted to plant his roots in one place and be connected to his community. That is when he decided to become a State Farm insurance agent himself. He owns an agency in Columbia City.

“Instead of asking ‘what do I want to do,’ you should describe your ideal work setting,” said Taylor. “When you do that, you’ll know your passion.”

Ted Yamamura started at the Boeing Company 30 years ago as an engineer; 15 years later, he moved to sales. For those who want to make a transition and move up in their companies, Yamamura stressed the importance of networking and personal branding.

“To be successful, networking is 70% and work is 30%,” said Yamamura. “If people don’t know you did it, it doesn’t matter if you did the work.”

Yamamura is a former NAAAP-Seattle President and the co-founder of the Executive Development Institute.

Like Torres and Taylor, Sigler decided to become an entrepreneur after years of working in corporate America. Today, he runs his own successful executive search firm.

Sigler said those considering career transitions should maximize their previous experience as they strategize the next step in their professional life.

“You have to know the business in order to help your clients and understand what they need,” said Sigler. “I went from working in corporations to finding executives for corporations.”

Audience member Toni Thomas said the panelists “knew how to answer audience’s questions and gave real answers.”

She said her take-home lesson was, “When you have a passion, you have to ask questions of yourself. You have to move on that passion and just do it. If you can’t answer the questions, just look for help. There are many opportunities for support and follow through.”

This event marked the first time this year NAAAP-Seattle partnered with the National Association of Black MBAs and the third time it has partnered with NSHMBA.

Thomas added she was impressed by the diversity of the audience.

Claims agent Emma Molinar said State Farm Insurance sponsored the event not only to potentially recruit those interested in starting their own agencies, but to also show “State Farm supports diversity, and that we reach out to diverse communities.”

For first-time attendee to a NAAAP-Seattle event, Shinichi Ogawa noted, “It’s great to see Asians step out and intermix more. It’s a great mix of cultures.”

Attendees also had ample time to network.

“I’m excited to meet both young professional and seasoned professionals to get their advice,” said Joshua Wei, a recent college graduate.

“I came because the topics look interesting, but I’m surprised by how friendly people are and how easy it has been to meet new people,” said Robert Ng, an engineer at Boeing and a first-time NAAAP-Seattle event attendee.

For more information on the NAAAP-Seattle Professional Development events and program, please contact NAAAP-Seattle Professional Development Chair Hang Chen at

Photos: (top, front left to right) Norman Sigler, Jeffrey Taylor, Ted Yamamura, Albert Torres, Stephanie Jordan; (center) audience; (bottom) Shinichi Ogawa and Joshua Wei.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Leaving a Mark on the University of Washington (UW)

Photos by Lori Call © Alabastro Photography
Mark Emmert after six years of having been the University of Washington President has accepted the honorable position of President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In a farewell event at Kane Hall last week, many acknowleged his contributions to the history of the university. He is leaving the University of Washington having many achievements including creating new colleges: the UW College of the Environment and the Department of Global Health, which was done in collaboration with the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health and with tremendous support from the Gates Foundation.

In words said at this event, President Emmert built a diverse administration based on merit and knowledge-based perspectives. In addition, his focus on social justice and responsibility led to the Long Journey Home event, in which Nikkei graduates of 1941-1942, who had been denied the opportunity to complete their higher-education at the UW during World War II, were honored with degrees .  This also served as an opportunity to recognize present and future generations of Japanese Americans and more broadly the Asian American community. The University of Washington was the first university to advocate providing honorary degrees to the Nikkei graduates of 1941-1942. Other universities, such as Berkeley, have since followed the leadership of the UW. (Note: You can read more about Japansese American history at Densho)

Photos by Lori Call © Alabastro Photography
Phyllis Wise will take on the role as President of the University of Washington. It's definitely a first, since she will be the first Asian American woman to hold the position. His wife, DeLaine, accomplished herself, will be leaving with Mark after having made contributions to the community in terms of environmental sustainability and wildlife preservation.

Congratulations to Mark, DeLaine and Phyllis on their new roles.

Thanks to the University of Washington, the Executive Development Institute, and UnionBank for organizing the program. Special thanks to community leaders Ted Yamamura, a former NAAAP Seattle President, Diane Adachi, Dr. Testu Kashima, Dennis Yamashita, and Dr. Phyllis Wise for their speeches.

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Volunteers take pride in helping keep the International District clean

August 29, 10am--a team of 17 NAAAP-Seattle volunteers hit the streets to clean the organization’s adopted streets. Their efforts were especially needed because the International District Night Market took place the night before.

NAAAP-Seattle have adopted King and Jackson streets, between 5th and 12th Avenues, under City of Seattle-Seattle Public Utilities’ Adopt-A-Street Program. Every few months, Community Service Chair David Eam organizes volunteers to clean up the streets.

Eam said, “We wish to keep the streets clean to make the ID experience more enjoyable.”

Those walking by thanked the cleaning crews as they picked their way down King St. and Jackson St. Although many businesses do take the time to clean the streets, the ID accumulates a lot of litter because of the high number of transients and careless litterers.

Former NAAAP-Seattle President Ki Kim and current NAAAP-Seattle Vice-President Jen Phang were among the volunteers. The volunteers included: David Eam, Heng Sun, Lily Liao, Ki Kim, Jen Phang, Katie Phan, Andrew Liu, Jimmy Wong, Mikii Liu, Keith Couilliard, Sherwin Tsao, Ron Warkentin, Homan Leung, Amy Hsieh, and Angela Phan.

Of the 17 volunteers, nine were first-time NAAAP-Seattle volunteers.

Although Jimmy Wong has attended NAAAP-Seattle social events, the ID Clean-up was his first time participating in NAAAP-Seattle’s Community Service program.

Wong said, “I wanted to participate because I wanted to give back to my community and to join and help out some close friends who are passionate in helping others out.”

It made him appreciate the service NAAAP-Seattle provides to the community.

“The ID Cleanup event was a very needed event,” said Wong. “King Street from 12th Ave to 5th Ave was very dirty.”

First-time volunteers said they would get their hands dirty again to help out their community.

“I would like to volunteer again, it was great event,” Wong added. “The people that you volunteer with makes the event enjoyable.”

Another first-time volunteer, Katie Phan, said, “The event was so much fun. It was a great experience and I'm so happy I did it.”

“It was a great opportunity to help clean up Seattle and meet new people,” said Phan. “I enjoy volunteering, and I wanted to give back to the community, and meet other volunteers. I would like to volunteer again. Not only did I enjoy volunteering but it was nice that so many people stopped and thanked us for our hard work.”

The fun didn’t stop with picking up garbage though. The majority of volunteers continued to socialize over dim sum in the neighborhood. They washed their hands before eating.

Want to participate or lead a community service project? Contact David Eam at

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Take me out to the ballgame, me some Wasabi Sesame Popcorn

In lieu of its usual monthly mixer for September, NAAAP-Seattle organized an outing to Safeco Field to watch the Mariners play the Los Angeles Angels on the Mariners’ Asian American Heritage Night on September 1.

According to Mariners’ Director of Public Information Rebecca Hale, NAAAP-Seattle was one of six organizations that evening to help the Mariners sell the special Asian Heritage Night tickets.

Asian Heritage Night’s major sponsors include Gobo Enterprises, General Biodiesel, and Mulvanny G2.

“We find this event to be a great way to connect with different segments of our community,” said Hale. “We have a strong, direct connection with the local Asian community.”

NAAAP-Seattle sold 34 tickets. For every $16 Mariners ticket sold through NAAAP-Seattle, $8 went to benefit two local non-profits that serve Asian elders, Nikkei Concerns and Kin On. Hale said that $3,208 of the proceeds from ticket sales went to the two non-profit organizations.

The Mariners awarded NAAAP-Seattle for its marketing efforts by flashing on the reader board “National Association of Asian American Professionals-Seattle” at the bottom of the fourth inning.

Of the people who bought tickets through NAAAP-Seattle, a number were newcomers to NAAAP-Seattle.

Sandi Lin said she receives the NAAAP-Seattle weekly e-newsletter, but this was her first time attending a NAAAP-Seattle event.

“The baseball game seemed like an informal way to meet people and it was a fun activity,” said Lin. “I liked that it was on a weekday because weekends can be inconvenient for me.”

For some of the game-goers, the event marked their first ever baseball game.

“I probably wouldn’t have gone to a Mariners game if NAAAP hadn’t organized it,” said C.M. Chin, who has been attending NAAAP-Seattle events for two years.

“It’s a great way to celebrate APA Heritage,” added Chin.

NAAAP-Seattle also awarded two tickets to Leigh Momii for answering “Who was the first Asian to play for the Mariners” on a NAAAP-Seattle Twitter contest.
Momii said she follows the NAAAP-Seattle Twitter so “that I can be up-to-date on the latest NAAAP news and activities in the most efficient way.”

How did Momii know the answer was Mac Suzuki?

“I knew the answer to the quiz question because I am huge sports fanatic and I love my home teams!” said Momii.

As an added treat for the NAAAP-Seattle game-goers, resident celebrity chef Tanantha Couilliard of I Just Love My Apron fame prepared a NAAAP-Seattle exclusive snack: Wasabi Sesame popcorn.

Although the Mariners lost to the Los Angeles Angels 2-4, the NAAAP-Seattle attendees were already having too much of a ball to be disappointed.

Avid baseball fan Karen Lin, said, “It was fun to go with a big group. I just like watching baseball.”

To see more photos from the game, please visit NAAAP-Seattle on Facebook. For more information on NAAAP-Seattle social events or to help out, please email Social Chair Heidi Yan at

Photos: (top) Gene Liang, Sandi Lin, and C. M. Chan; (middle) NAAAP-Seattle Community Service Chair David Eam and Karen Lin enjoyed the “Wasabi Sesame popcorn”; (bottom) NAAAP-Seattle flashed on the Mariners’ Reader board.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

31st Annual Leadership and Scholarship Gala: A masquer-Asian Ball


NOVEMBER 6, 2010
Masquer-Asian Ball | Newcastle Golf Course

Early Bird Registration ends October 15, 2010 | $80 Members | $95 NON Members | $100 Join as a Member with ticket
Buy a table | $375 Half | $750 Full

Become a SPONSOR
Premium | Gold | Silver | Bronze  Download the sponsor package.

Directions >>

2010 ©National Association of Asian American Professionals Seattle

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2010 Leadership Community Picnic a success

On Saturday, August 21, 2010, approximately 350 people came to the 2010 Leadership Community Picnic, held at Lake Boren Park, Newcastle.

The Executive Development Institute (EDI) led the Asian Pacific Alliance, comprised of ten organizations that serve Asian Americans in the Greater Seattle area, in planning for the picnic.

NAAAP-Seattle members who served on the planning committee included: Tanantha Couillaird, Vanessa Diego, David Eam, Wai Yin Ho, Elaine Kitamura, Julie Pham, and Andy Yip.

The 20-member committee began planning for this year’s picnic back in January. Over fifty volunteers helped set up games, including dodge ball and volleyball; man information booths; and pass out lunches. Picnickers enjoyed gourmet Vietnamese-style sandwiches from Baguette Box and dessert from Monsoon Restaurant.

“This has been the best APA picnic in my recent memory. My hat is going off to the leaders and all volunteers involved,” said Jiin-chiang Chen, who represented Boeing Asian-American Professional Association (BAAPA) on the picnic planning committee.
Ador Yano and Marie Chow served as the Co-Chairs of the Leadership Community Picnic planning committee.

"The planning team greatly appreciates the financial sponsorship of Microsoft, Prudential, T-Mobile, and Puget Sound Energy. They helped make this community event possible. I also am honored to have worked with representatives from our Asian Pacific Alliance partners. It’s been a lot of fun working with this group for months, and Saturday’s event would not have been possible without their energy and passion for leadership,” said Yano, EDI board member and EDI alumnus 2004.

At the event, over a dozen organizations and companies set up informational booths that also had games and activities for children.

Vivian Nguyen helped kids decorate cupcakes.

"As a first-time volunteer, I enjoyed seeing how NAAAP comes together socially with other leadership groups and meeting new people from all kinds of local organizations," said Nguyen, a volunteer recruited through NAAAP-Seattle.

Washington State Senator 41st District Randy Gordon and King County Assessor Lloyd Hara also came to mingle with picnickers.

Many picnickers commented on how organized the event was.

“The food was fantastic, the games were fun, and the booths were informative,” said Daniel Jo, a current EDI student. “I think the picnic was well organized and everyone seemed to have fun; singles, family’s, kids, adults….it was great.”

For more information on the picnic, please visit For more photos, please visit NAAAP-Seattle on Facebook.

Photos by Jiin-chiang Chen: (top) Anne Boornjaren manning the NAAAP-Seattle table;(middle) the 2010 Leadership Community Picnic planning committee; (bottom) a watermelon eating contest was one of many activities planned for children at the 2010Leadership Community Picnic.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Women in NAAAP (WIN)! at the 2010 Convention

WIN! IBC on the Macy's Reception Red Carpet. (l to r) Natalie Fong-Yee (Toronto), Natalie Victoria (Atlanta),  Diane Nguyen (Orange County), Sarah Hawk (Atlanta), Judi Rhee Alloway (New York), Sheila Sun (New York) and Gil Gido (Seattle) (Not pictured: Parita Patel (Chicago) and Eric Kalinka (Seattle))
The International Board Committee (IBC) of Women in NAAAP makes due on its promise with a new framework at the 2010 NAAAP Convention and Diversity Career Fair presented by Macy's.  For the first time appearing at the Convention, a WIN! track was delivered. It was a full day track aimed at serving and educating attendees on women's issues in the workplace: work/life balance (integration), enhanced communication, and business strategies.

Session                  Speaker
09:00 - 10:20 am    The Power of the Word - Part 1 with Mable Yee
                              (Engage Her, Inc)
10:30 - 12:00 pm    Public Speaking: The Power of the Word -Part 2
                              with Angela Oh
12:00 - 01:30 pm   Saturday Lunch & Keynote - Highlighting Women
                              In NAAAP! with Betty Lo (Coca-cola Company)
01:40 - 03:00 pm    Work/Life Balance Panel (Sponsored by Macy's)
03:10 - 04:30 pm    Luminaries in Business and Journalism (Sponsored
                               by Wells Fargo)

Women in NAAAP (aka WIN!) is a special program created and developed to build competent and confident women leaders within NAAAP and within the Asian Pacific community.

WIN!’s overall objectives include:

1. Equip Asian women with skills, confidence, and resources to effectively lead in a multicultural environment.
2. Connect Asian leaders to role models and create a mentoring network.
3. Empower Asian women and educate about challenging perceptions.
4. Engage with the community at large and represent Asian women across the world.
5. Inspire Asian women to a make meaningful difference in government, education, business, and society.

Stay connected with the IBC and other followers at:
Please send your questions or ideas to We'd love to hear from you.

Mable Yee (CEO, Engage Her) with the WIN! IBC kicking off the WIN! Convention Track.

Angela Oh receiving her speaking gift from WIN! Social Media Director and NAAAP Seattle President, Gil Gido

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"The Power Grid" - An EDI Leadership Navigation session

Federal Way, Wa - At the Weyerhauser Headquarters last friday, Executive Development Institute (EDI)Leadership Navigation program participants met for its 7th session entitled Gamesmanship: Knowing Your Field of Play and How to Create Wins and learn from executive mentors on organizational politics. (Note: the Leadership navigation program is for mid- to senior level professionals having displayed managerial, entrepreneurial and leadership skills.)

I had the privilege of sitting in and taking part in the discussions.  The session's distinguished executive mentors included George S Kikuchi (US Postal Service Executive, retired); John Okamoto (Executive Director, Washington Education Association); Jenette Ramos (Director, Business Operations, Fabrication; Boeing Commercial Airplanes); and Marvin (Ray) Risco (Vice President of International Operations at Weyerhauser).

What I learned was that organizational politics are as old as the history of business. This session looked at the role of power and politics within organizations.

I widened my awareness, gained a better understanding and tools needed to be able to assess the relevant “rules of the Game” and developed effective strategies and skills to succeed in any organization. More importantly, I wanted to be a much more skillful player.  For example, George mentioned to gain power yourself, you need to start with yourself, expand your circle of influence, and be aware when power is granted to you because identifying the invisible power grid underlying the field of organizational dynamics allows us to appreciate what’s really happening versus what we hear or see taking place. Knowing this gave me, I think, a significant strategic advantage in being able to influence decisions, move projects along and close critical deals.

I want to thank EDI's Executive Director, Starr MacDonald and session facilitator, Colleen Yamaguchi for granting me this privilege. Thanks!

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

A Noble Profession

I returned to Seattle after the Convention last Wednesday at 4pm and with my roller luggage I shuttled off to the Seatac Mariott across the street to where the State Farm Agency Information session was being held and was just about to start. I have known about these sessions but due to my schedule, I haven't been able to attend until now. It's quite different than what I expected and I am so glad that I went. First and foremost, this event was strictly a business opportunity information session; that is, an event providing information to start an agency in which attendees are introduced to the selection and training process.

What you'll learn at an agency information session (the facts):
  • There are 17000 independent contract agents in the U.S.
  • Largest insurer of autos and homes in the U.S.
  • Over 93 insurance and financial services products to offer clients
  • State Farm Insurance is A Fortune Top 50 Company
  • Being an agent is a fantastic small business opportunity involving:
    • Building relationships in the community
    • Client centered sales and marketing activities
    • Leading and motivating people
    • Being the CEO of a small business and dictating your financial worth
    • More at the State Farm website.
What you'll experience:
  • Real agents sharing their experiences
  • Making State Farm executive connections
What they are looking for in individuals:
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Relationship building
  • Sales ability
  • Leadership Skills
  • History of success
  • High integrity
  • Self driven and self motivated
  • Risk tolerant
  • Competitiveness
  • Financial wherewithal and credit worthiness
With that, our next professional development event is on Wednesday, September 8th from 6-9 pm at the Seattle Design Center.  We are partnering up with NHSMBA, NBMBAA and State Farm to discuss career transitions with a panel of speakers from various professions and to perform resume reviews. Click here to register.

Event details:

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

NAAAP100: Dr. Qi Lu, President Microsoft's Online Services Division

Dr. Qi Lu: Leading Through Inspiration

by Tammy K. Dang

Dr. Qi Lu once thought that he would go work for a radio factory after studying computer science. That plan didn't work out the way he thought it would because today, he serves as President of Microsoft's Online Services Division, leading the company's search and online advertising efforts.

Dr. Lu's path to leading a division of one of America's most storied companies reads like a Horatio Alger novel ---with this one spanning two continents and a chance encounter with a Carnegie Mellon professor that would eventually lead him to Microsoft Corporation. During China's cultural Revolution, Dr. Lu's parents sent him away from Shanghai to live with his grandfather in a tiny province in Jiangsu to escape persecution. He lived 5 hours away from them with no plumbing or electricity.

"In retrospect, it was a blessing in disguise," Dr. Lu said regarding the circumstances in which he spent his youth. "It taught you to work hard to earn everything." During difficult times, the government rationed food. Families in the village had to figure out a way to eat for three months out of the year.

Village life also taught Dr. Lu about learning and cultural values. "Village life carries thousands of years of Confucianism," he said. Usually, there was only one teacher in a village who had the respect of everyone. If the teacher came to your house to eat, you would treat him like a king.

Dr. Lu grew up idolizing Ludwig van Beethovan, the German composer and pianist, who despite losing his hearing, continued to compose music. "He symbolizes spiritual adversity as life is about overcoming obstacles," Dr. Lu said. When he was old enough, Dr. Lu passed an exam to attend college. Due to his physical limitations of being too small and light, he had a choice of studying mathematics or computer science. With a mathematics degree, he was told he could become a middle school teacher. With a computer science degree, he was told he could work at a radio factory, which sounded much more interesting.

His chance encounter came when he reluctantly attended the lecture of a computer science professor named Dr. Edmund Clark. By this time, Dr. Lu had earned a master's of science in the computer science field from Fudan University. He asked some impressive questions, which prompted Dr. Clark to offer him a scholarship to earn his doctorate at Carnegie Mellon.

Dr. Lu then worked as a research staff member at IBM's Almaden Research Center and Carnegie Mellon. He also served as a faculty member at Fudan University. He then went on to spend 10 years as a Yahoo! senior executive and finally on to Microsoft. He also holds 20 U.S. patents.

According to Dr. Lu, the Chinese tradition of being humble and respectful has been helpful in helping him get to where he is today. Other factors were also involved, but he points out one key element. "Chances favor the prepared mind," he said. A prepared mind helps you see the right bus so that you can jump on it.

In terms of leadership, a distinguishing factor between a great leader versus a good leader is the ability to inspire. Dr. Lu tries to inspire those who follow him. "When you have hope, you can move mountains," he said. "When a leaders inspires, people perform differently."

Dr. Lu feels blessed to work in the computer industry. "Computing is a general purpose enabler," he said. "It makes anything better."


Check out all of the 2010 NAAAP100 Recipients:

View the NAAAP100 Award Ceremony sponsored by the Coca-cola Company

NAAAP100: Martha Choe, CAO Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Martha Choe: Leadership Success Through Learning

by Shirley Chin

Martha Choe is the current Chief Administrative Officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is no stranger to learning and the success it brings. She began her career as a high school teacher in Eugene, Oregon. The teaching position helped her create a solid foundation for the future positions she would hold. "If you are a great learner and possess people skills, then you will have the necessary tools to be successul in any industry," she said. With her people skills and desire to be a lifelong learner, Ms. Choe has been able to transition into leadership roles in various industries.

One of her jobs was serving as Vice President at the Bank of California Credit Administration for ten years. After seeking a desire for change from the bank, Ms. Choe embarked on a career in public service. She served two four-year terms on the Seattle City Council. During her tenure she oversaw important issues by working on the transportation, economic development and finance committees. She has also served as the Director of the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development. Ms. Choe has provided leadership for sustainable job growth throughout the state of Washington.

Ms. Choe believes that there are many steps that need to be taken in order to be an effective leader. Those steps include having the courage to take risks and handling failure in a positive manner. Cultivating and motivating your staff towards achieving a goal is another step. "Creating a vision and clearly articulating to a team to rally suport and success is important," she said.

Through her work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ms. Choe has been able to foster a team environment that encourages cross collaboration to find effective solutions. This can vary from complex research studies to local education initiatives for children. "I was drawn to the mission that focuses on every person having an opportunity to live a healthy productive life and our underlying belief that all lives have equal value," she commented. The foundation's primary mission is to help people live healthy and productive lives. The work includes helping individuals in developing countries to improve health conditions and work towards self-sufficiency. In the United States, this involves helping individuals that have limited resources gain the assistance that they need.

Martha received her bachelor's degree in speech and ethnic studes from the University of Washington and master's in business administration from Seattle University.


View the NAAAP100 Award Ceremony sponsored by the Coca-cola Company

Discover all of NAAAP100 recipients at the soon to be launched Asian Leaders online magazine:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Highlights from the 2010 Convention and Diversity Career Fair presented by Macy's

If you missed the 2010 NAAAP Convention and Diversity Career Fair presented by Macy's, or just want to experience the excitement again, you can watch keynote addresses and session recordings. See for yourself how NAAAP is delivering on its core mission about building leaders and understand about NAAAP's core benefits. Thanks to the convention team and host chapter, NAAAP San Francisco for a great event and we look forward to the 25th Annual Convention being held in Boston, MA.

Congratulations to the Toronto Chapter led by Ben Hum for being named Chapter of the Year, the Connecticut Chapter led by Heang Tan for being named Venture of the Year, Erika Sanchez of Seattle University for being named as a recipient of a $3000 Verizon Scholarship and lastly, we're also excited to have two local leaders exemplifying our vision and mission be recognized with the NAAAP 100 Program: Martha Choe (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and Dr. Qi Lu (Microsoft Corporation). And for the first time at a NAAAP Convention, there was a Women in NAAAP! track featuring Mable Yee (Engage Her, Inc) and Angela Oh (Western Justice Center Foundation).

Most importantly, Brad Baldia was re-elected as NAAAP National President for another 2-year commitment. Congratulations, Brad!


A. Leon Edward Panetta
19th Director of Central Intelligence Agency

2010 NAAAP Convention Keynote - Leon Panetta, CIA Director from John 8Asians on Vimeo.

B. John Chen, NAAAP Keynote 2010
CEO and President of Sybase John Chen, NAAAP Keynote 2010 from John 8Asians on Vimeo.


A. NAAAP 100 Recipients for 2010

NAAAP is a leadership development organization that provides a broad range of professional and education services. It is only fitting then, that NAAAP recognizes leaders who exemplify our vision and mission. NAAAP is paying tribute to these leaders with the NAAAP 100 Program.

2010 NAAAP 100 Award Winners from John 8Asians on Vimeo.

B. 2010 NAAAP Ever Made Image Fashion Show

2010 NAAAP Ever Made Image Fashion Show from John 8Asians on Vimeo.

C. John Ki, Korean Canadian Comedian 2010 NAAAP - John Ki, Comedian from John 8Asians on Vimeo.  
Videos courtesy of 8Asians:

2010 National Convention - San Francisco

(Top) Richard Lui (HLN and MSNBC); Palace Hotel (Second row from top) "The Language of Innovation" Comcast (Third row from top) National Board Meeting; Comcast panel (Bottom) NAAAP Seattle; Garden Court at the Palace Hotel

Monday, August 9, 2010

Where are they now? Albert Shen, NAAAP President 1996 - 1997

Albert Shen, Exec. Advisor to NAAAP Seattle
My name is Albert Shen and I am the owner/founder of Shen Consulting, a small engineering company specializing in project/construction management and engineering services in the aviation and transportation services market. In 2009 Shen Consulting was awarded the City of Seattle Mayors’ Small Business of the Year Award.

I served as NAAAP National President 1996-1997, NAAAP National Convention Co Chair in 1998 and NAAAP Seattle President in 1999. Since my days at NAAAP I have gone on to serve with many diverse boards in the community. Including running my own business (Shen Consulting, Inc.) I serve as:

* The Council Chair for the Seattle Chinatown International District and Preservation and Development Authority (SCIPDA)
* Board member of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
* Commissioner for Washington State Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA)
* Board President of the NW Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans Political Action Committee

My NAAAP experiences opened up many new networking opportunities and friendships nationwide and to this day, I still stay in contact with some of the great people I worked with. Having served in numerous leadership positions at the national and local level, those experiences enabled me to develop skills that translate to where I am today. The experience gave me many opportunities for public speaking, which is one thing many Asian-Americans absolutely dread and more importantly gave me the foundation in developing skills in governing a board of directors and fundraising skills for non-profits. These 3 fundamental skills are what every Asian American professional should have in their own resume if they hope to develop their careers in this more globally competitive modern work environment.

In addition I have been actively involved with local and national level politics in both fundraising and advocacy for economic development. Thru my political activities I have been able to meet many of our political leaders and have exchanged many ideas to better the livelihood for all Asian Americans. Politics is often a feared word when it comes to Asian American professional advancement and we often forget that politics is just as and perhaps even more important for Asian Americans and NAAAP. From my days on the board, I can remember many of the executive board members who were elected officials from my days and were always encouraging NAAAP to be more politically aware of the issues impacting Asian Americans.

Overall, there were many lessons that I learned during my countless days at NAAAP however the one lesson that stands out for me that I will always remember from all the NAAAP people I met is that: All our parents, no matter where they came from, immigrated here to the United States so that our generation can build a better life for ourselves. Because of their sacrifice it is our responsibility to be generous to others and always give back to our community so that what they started will never be lost and we must never lose our cultural identity.

With that, I am excited about this new generation and we get another opportunity to come together at the 24th Annual Gateway to Leadership Convention and Diversity Career Fair presented by Macy's. I'll be attending and hope to meet you.

Albert Shen
National Association of Asian American Professionals
President 1996-1997
NAAAP Seattle President 1999