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

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