Sunday, June 27, 2010

Asians in Washington State

According to the latest (2008) census data, Asian Americans reporting a single race are 4.5% of the total U.S. population. In Washington State, the number of Asians comprise 8.2% of the state population. These numbers are reported in the latest report compiled by the Comission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) of Washington State. These numbers are very important as governments use them to allocate funds towards services serving Asians. Additional data for Asians in Washington State can be viewed at the CAPAA website.

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Art of Possibility

In this book on page 26, I found an anecdote on Michaelangelo. It reads, "Michaelangelo is often quoted as having said that inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue; one need only remove the excess material to reveal the work of art within. If we were to apply this visionary concept to education (in our case leadership) ... all the energy would be focused on chipping away at the stone, getting rid of whatever is in the way of each child's developing skills, mastery and self-expression."

What it says to me that if we put in the context of leadership development, is that we're already leaders and that we have some things to get rid of as it gets in the way of mastery and self-expression.

This book is a quick read as each page provides inspiration and anecdotes to what stops each and everyone one of us from realizing our potential.

If you're looking to get inspired, then read it. I highly recommend it. Again, the book is called The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. And if you need more, then you can watch the YouTube speech from the 2009 World Economic forum in Davos.

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

The “Invasion” left lessons

On May 22, NAAAP-Seattle partnered with the Executive Development Institute (EDI) and Qwest Pacific Asian American Network (PAAN) for a 2010 Leadership Together Educational Forum entitled “Invasion of Social Media - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!”

Charlie Harger, Technology & Social Media Reporter for KOMO Newsradio and President for Bohado Media, spoke to 75 attendees on using social media for professional and business development.

EDI board member and the forum’s organizer, Elaine Kitamura, said she impressed by the number of attendees as well as the breadth of diversity in age and race in the audience.

The event’s sponsor, Prudential, was pleased with the outcome.

“I thought this event was terrific,” said Joneil Custodio, Prudential’s West Coast Diversity Manager and former NAAAP-Seattle PR/Marketing Chair. “My favorite part was hearing actual business owners sharing real life concerns about the use of social media with the audience that really proved the level of safety and comfort created here tonight.”

Social media, literally, brought many to this event.

Liz Shaiken, a development officer at the Wing Luke Museum, learned about the event through NAAAP-Seattle’s Facebook, along with Jeannette Roden, also with the Wing Luke, and Chakrya Lim of Red Lion. For Shaiken and Lim, it was their first time to an EDI event.

“It was a great intro for small businesses,” said Shaiken. “But I wish it showed good and bad examples of how social media is being used in business.”

“I thought it was good,” said Lim. “Though I thought it would be more on personal branding.”

Personal experience with social media varied widely among audience members.

“The content was a big basic,” said Roden, a NAAAP member. “I wish they had delved a bit deeper into the topic.”

“I still have so much more to learn,” said John Tang, EDI board member. “A few things Charlie mentioned, like putting a post up a day, I didn’t realized I could brand myself that way. I just post every now and then but now I’ll try to post more consistently.”

Vichai J. Lim, a Partner at New York Life, was invited to the event by with NAAAP-Seattle member Vanessa Diego.

“I learned a lot,” said J. Lim. “I might look into Facebook. People invite me all the time. I have to learn more about social media.”

Harger also imparted some warnings about social media.

“I learned that I shouldn’t spend too much time on Facebook because I might get addicted and Facebook might start charging me for use!” said Yuwen Dai, a NAAAP-Seattle member.

Colleen Yamaguchi, EDI board member and EDI Navigation coach, said she wished the forum focused more on how social media could be used as a strategic tool for leadership development.

The most important lesson learned?

“Don’t be annoying!” said Yamaguchi.

Photos: Top: Hang-Ping Chen (left), Starr McDonald (seated); Middle: Colleen Yamaguchi, Joneil Custodio, David Eam, Amy Duong; Bottom: Charlie Harger, Technology & Social Media Reporter for KOMO News radio and President for Bohado Media, lectures

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hammering away for Habitat for Humanity

Thirteen NAAAP-Seattle volunteers came from far and wide- Lynnwood, Kirkland, Bellevue, Seattle-and sacrificed an entire sunny day to volunteer at the West Seattle Habitat For Humanity site.

On June 12, NAAAP-Seattle partnered Habitat Young Professionals (HYP)-Seattle. With guidance from the Vajra Allan of HYP, the volunteers were divided into three different teams, working on two houses.

Tasks included prepping and cleaning the interior; installing building paper and house wrapping; and painting the undersiding of the eaves.

“We got to challenge ourselves by trying new things - whether it be putting on Tyvek insulation or using a different kind of staple gun,” said Theresa Ip Froehlich, the coordinator for this NAAAP-Seattle event.

The Energy level was high! Everyone was willing to participate. Not even two malfunctioning vacuum cleaners and plumes of dust prevent the volunteers from getting the work done. Tasks were assigned according to experience and comfort level.

So, volunteer Seng Jiunn said, “I did nothing but push the cart around!”

“The ladies, Samantha [Fu] and Claire [Xiao] are the ones that really step up the game,” added Seng. “I think we got everything done in about 2-3 hours time. Just amazing.”

The event was a truly collaborative effort. NAAAP-Seattle volunteers even prepared the delicious sandwiches for lunch. As they ate, they discussed with HYP the impact of Habitat for Humanity. NAAAP-Seattle has been coordinating volunteer opportunities with Habitat for Humanity for years.

“The most fun part was seeing the tangible results of our physical labor, visualizing a family moving in when they take possession of the house, and working together with others as a team,” said Theresa.

By the end of the long day, Vajra exclaimed, “We got a lot of work done!"

“The Habitat staff supervisor said that our accomplishment far exceeded his expectation,” Theresa noted.

To find out more about volunteering with NAAAP-Seattle, please email Community Service Chair, David Eam, at

Pathways to Leadership

Most people would agree that a path is always almost easier to follow when it's lighted. When it comes to your career, how do you know how to get to where you want to go and what skills you will need?  When it comes to the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), how does it deliver on its mission to build leaders in the community or its organization?

If you're in a career already, many companies have clear pathways to various job roles and responsibilities and specific requirements for each; for example, there are clear pathways for becoming a manager, paths for becoming a general manager, or paths for becoming the Chief Executive Officer. Similarly for NAAAP, there are also clear pathways from an event or committee volunteer to a committee chair; and pathways from a committee chair to a postion on the Board of Directors; and pathways from a Board of Directors position to a National position and onto the President of the organization.

Let me remind you that each pathway will require a set of skills and identify areas for further training and development.

What are these skills? 
Well, to name a few: written communication, understanding others, time management, intellectual horsepower, building effective teams, process management, problem solving, presentation skills, integrity, authenticity, patience, dealing with ambiguity, negotiations, managing and measuring, priority setting, results driven, managing up, composure, creativity, customer focus, timely decision-making, delegation, developing direct reports, action oriented, approachability, business acumen, self awareness, risk-taking, comfort around top management, compassion, conflict management, diversity, hiring and staffing, humor, reporting, trust, and listening.

These skills often show up on the job or as part of a specific training and development experience. With regards to NAAAP Seattle, we provide many opportunities in which to gain these skills. Beyond volunteering, leading a committee or sitting on the Board of Directors will offer opportunities to gain mastery of the skills that will lead to bigger challenges and opportunities leading you further down your chosen pathway.  

If you are interested in these learning opportunities and gain valuable experience, please visit our website.

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First NAAAP-Seattle College Scholarship awarded to Stacy Huynh

Stacy Huynh is a native of Seattle, Washington and a proud UW Husky. She recently graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration - Accounting and will be continuing her education in the UW's Master of Professional Accounting Program for Audit & Assurance this Fall.

Stacy shares her thoughts on being a scholarship winner, on NAAAP-Seattle, and on where she would like to vacation.

1) How do you feel about being the first-ever recipient of this NAAAP scholarship?

I am extremely honored to be chosen as the first-ever recipient of the NAAAP College Scholarship. I truly admire that NAAAP-Seattle is doing more to help Asian American students develop professionally and by creating a scholarship for graduate school, NAAAP is pushing us to achieve even more. I hope this scholarship continues long into the future.

2) How did you hear about the scholarship and about NAAAP?

I first learned about NAAAP through my connections as the 2009-2010 Asian Student Commission (ASC) Director at the University of Washington. My predecessor and I were both students at the UW's Foster School of Business and we discussed the need for some program or event that would address contemporary issues of Asian Americans on professionalism and achieving our education and career goals. He was the one who first told me about NAAAP and then throughout the year, I received weekly e-newsletters from NAAAP's Seattle chapter and would eventually work with the Student Relations Chair to organize an ASC Networking Night. I hope that ASC continues to work with NAAAP so that the two organizations can work together in helping Asian students at the UW meet their post-college goals.

3) If you had $1000 to spend on anything non-school related, what would it be?

Part of the $1,000 would definitely go to my family because I would not have earned any of my achievements without their love and support. I would also use some of the money to help fund backpacking trips through Europe and Asia. If there is anything left, I would either put it in a savings account (this is the Accounting major in me) or donate it to a worthy cause.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

American warships meet Japanese shores

Attendees of NAAAP-Seattle’s monthly mixer got a special treat this past Friday, June 4, when organizers moved the mingling to a more artistic setting—the ArtXchange Gallery in Pioneer Square. NAAAPsters were greeted by American warships and Japanese shores; nineteenth century world history and twenty-first century pop art; graffiti spraypaint and ukiyo-e woodblock printing, as embodied in the paintings of local artist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer.

This is the first time NAAAP-Seattle has organized an event at the gallery.
Cora Edwards, the director and owner of Art Xchange, said she wants the “space to be for the community.” She enjoyed collaborating with NAAAP-Seattle to organize the special showing.

“This is just the most energetic, outgoing and engaging group,” said Edwards. “I loved learning about what everyone does. As an audience, they are intelligent and curious and they asked great questions.”

Over sixty people circulated the ArtXchange, a gallery that often exhibits works by Asian and Asian Americans or that feature Asian culture. Eight attendees became new NAAAP-Seattle members.

NAAAP-Seattle members, old and new, enjoyed the event.

“It was an impressive event. It good to see Japanese culture,” said Barret Seifer, who has been a NAAAP-Seattle member for three years. “The Art was beautiful. I wish I could buy some!”

Seifer added, “The NAAAP organization is the best. It has something going on all the time!”

“This was my first time going to a NAAAP event and it was great to talk to a lot of people,” said Jialin Jiao. “I do wish there were more events on the Eastside though.”

Artist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer said he was “impressed with the turn-out and by the crowd.” Although he nows lives in Ballard, Fischer is from Wisconsin, which has a much smaller Asian population.

“When I came to Seattle, there were Asians and it was a really different experience,” said Fischer. “I hadn’t lived in a community like this before. It was something I was searching for, but I didn’t know it.”

And last Friday was proof of a strong community of Asians, Asian Americans and those interested in Asian culture coming together, through NAAAP-Seattle.

Photos: NAAAP-Seattle PR/Marketing chair Julie Pham interviewing artist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer, sitting under his signature work, "Future’s Past: The Black Ships"; the crowd listening to Jonathan Wakuda Fischer talk about his paintings; the ArtXchange team, including gallery owner and director Cora Edwards (far right).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Expanding Local Asian Community Services

Part celebration and part fundraising, local Asian non-profits held events last month to support the Asian community in areas such as healthcare, economic and leadership development, and many more. These organizations have been one of the hardest hit from the economy and it was great to see many in the community showing their support and giving generously. In addition, many volunteers gave their time - alot of it behind the scenes. 

Now in June the Chinese Information and Service Center (CISC), a local multi-language organization providing information, referral, advocacy, social, and support services will host their Friendship Dinner on June 12th at Olive 8 and the Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), a King county area food bank serving 5000 families will hold their annual Walk for Rice on June 19th at Seward Park.

Picture 1. Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority's (SCIDpda) 2010 ID Spring Roll held on May 24th at Union Station.

Picture 2. Me and Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Picture 3. The Executive Development Institute's Inclusion Fusion Event held on May 20th at SODO Park.

Picture 4. The Executive Development Institute's Inclusion Fusion Event (Full view)

Organization Links:

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Get Interested

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” ~ Dale Carnegie

Figure 1 Christine Chen (Presenter), Bopha Cheng and Dr. Shirley I. Metcalf (Lake Washington Technical College)

Held at the Westin in downtown Seattle in-person and online networking married one another in this Seminar Group presented workshop with Candace BelAir and Christine Chen.

Candace, a media and crisis communication expert, led the one-two punch with tips from the field. “It’s (networking) not all about you. It’s about contributing to others,” she explained. “Get interested in the other person. Ask open-ended questions using the 5 W’s and H. (What, where, when, why, who, and how.)”

She also advised, that when approaching a group of people, try an odd number. The single person or triad will be more welcoming as opposed to interrupting a pair.

In the second session, Christine, a Principal with Chen Communications, covered online networking emphasizing being a thought leader and a resource for your network. “After any event, continue building your relationships online using networking tools, like LinkedIn or AVVO, a legal peer review tool.” Christine also adds, ”while these tools save time, budget your online time just as one would for meeting for coffee”.

For those that could stay and continue networking, we all adjourned to the Westin Lounge and practiced what we were taught.

Thanks to the Seminar group and Ms. BelAir and Ms. Chen.

Figure 2 Post-seminar networking with Christine Chen and Candace BelAir (Presenters)

Related links:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Feeding the hungry through Farestart, Part II

On May 29, NAAAP-Seattle volunteers made their second appearance this spring at the Farestart kitchen.

Nine volunteers spent much of their Saturday preparing sack lunches and hot meals for food that will get distributed to childcare centers, including Head Start programs, and homeless shelters around the Seattle area.

NAAAP-Seattle member Jenafer Park said she found the work very rewarding, “knowing that we were helping put together meals that would feed about 2000 people.”

In the Farestart kitchen, Jenafer was accompanied by husband, John Park.

“We enjoyed meeting the people that were being trained through the Farestart program,” Jenafer said. “We got to see first-hand that Farestart makes a difference in their lives. It was an enjoyable and amazing experience overall.”

"Volunteering at Farestart was a very well rewarding and heart warming experience," said Nelson Siu, a veteran NAAAP-Seattle volunteer. "Knowing the food you helped prepare will be delivered to some needy person on the street that afternoon brings a sense of satisfaction that is hard to top."

NAAAP-Seattle Community Service Chair David Eam reported that all the volunteers said they “really enjoyed the activity and would return again.”

If you have a few spare hours and want to contribute to your community, consider volunteering in one of NAAAP-Seattle’s numerous community service opportunities. Coming up are opportunities to volunteer at CISC’s 38th Friendship dinner on June 12 and Habitat for Humanity, also on June 12.

Want to lead a community service project? Please contact David Eam at