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

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Being a NAAAP Board Member: 2010 Social Chair, Jenny Xu

Being a NAAAP Board member is a great opportunity for building skills that will make you successful.  We took some time to sit down with Jenny Xu, NAAAP Seattle's Social Chair who served on the Board of Directors through last June.  

1) What did you like most about being NAAAP-Seattle Social Chair?
I built a great network of friends through NAAAP-Seattle and becoming Social Chair really helped me give back to a community that has given so much to me. I loved setting up different venues where people can get to know each other, have fun, and support a great organization.

2) How did this experience help you with your career development?
The Social Chair position allowed me to hone my leadership skills outside of work, such as managing the social committee, leading the individual events, participating in strategic decisions for the organziation, and working with a great team of successful and diverse board members. Demonstrating leadership inside and outside of work was a key factor that helped me get into business school.

On that note, our August social event was held at the Bellevue Grille in Bellevue, Wa last Friday.  Members and non-members alike came together after a long week of working and shared in the fun of meeting new people.

It was standing room only at the Bellevue Grill at the NAAAP August mixer.

NAAAP Board members, Claire Ding and Vivian Hauer, welcoming mixers.


NAAAP Seattle Board