2012 Speakers, Performers and Panelists

V3con features an array of distinguished and exciting speakers! Check our Schedule for detailed program and panel information!


Tanzila Ahmed Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed, Voter Engagement Manager, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center
Taz is a community organizer and policy researcher with over 12 years of electoral organizing experience. At 25, she founded South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), a national organization that organized South Asian American youth to have a political voice and get involved in the electoral process. In 2008, she is managed a three eight language voter education and mobilization campaign for the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance.

Gil Asakawa Gil Asakawa, journalist and blogger who covers Asian American issues and culture
His main blog, Nikkei View (www.Nikkeiview.com), is about pop culture from an Asian American perspective. He also posts short commentary about media and technology at gilasakawa.tumblr.com, and he’s active on Facebook, Twitter, Posterous and some other, forgotten sites and platforms. He is a nationally known speaker, panelist and expert on Asian American and Japanese American issues, and author of “Being Japanese American.” He is currently the chair of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Digital Media Committee. He was a founding member and president of AAJA-Denver and is the diversity chair of SPJ-Colorado.

Lloyd Asato Lloyd Y. Asato, owner and founder of BuildCommunity
BuildCommunity is a full-service consultancy specializing in initiatives that address health inequities and the advancement of social justice. Lloyd has previously served as a senior policy analyst for the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum and as senior planner and interim chief for the Hawai`i State Office of Rural Health. He lives with his best friend and partner in Oakland’s Chinatown.

Diane Belli Diane Belli, chief administrative officer, Keiro Senior HealthCare
Keiro Senior HealthCare, a not-for-profit organization that provides culturally-sensitive long term care, information and resources for older adults. She is also the Executive Director for The Institute for Healthy Aging at Keiro, the division of Keiro which promotes healthy aging in the community. Previously, Dianne was the Vice President of Professional Services and Human Resources for Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. She has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Public Health from UCLA. She is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

P. Kim Bui Kim Bui, associate editor for social media at Southern California Public Radio
Kim manages KPCC’s social media and engagement on and off the Web. She also develops outreach efforts for KPCC’s content and technology partners. She’s worked at major newspapers and news start-ups. As co-founder of #wjchat, a weekly Twitter chat for web journalists, Bui was named one of Poynter’s 35 influential people in social media in 2010.

Frank Buckley Frank Buckley, co-anchor of KTLA Morning News
Frank Buckley is co-anchor of KTLA’s Emmy Award-winning signature broadcast, LA’s #1 rated KTLA Morning News. Frank joined KTLA in June 2005 from CNN where he had been a Los Angeles-based national correspondent. Frank is the recipient of numerous awards and also writes The Buckley Blog at KTLA.com. Frank currently serves on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. He is also a member of the U.S.-Japan Council and served on the Japanese American Leadership Delegation in 2006.

Clara C.Clara C., singer and songwriter
Clara’s music can best be described as a synergy of folk/pop/rock that when blended together creates a unique experience. She has performed at renowned venues such as The White House’s Department of Education, Hollywood Bowl, Shrine Auditorium, among others, where she entertained crowds up to 18,000 people. In a little over a year, Clara has released her debut album, “The Art In My Heart.” Clara’s sophomore album will debut in September 2012.

Garick ChanGarick Chan, digital engagement strategist & outreach specialist
Technocratic solutions to a communal future, Garick is a digital engagement strategist & outreach specialist. Topics are mostly centered on social business and customer service. Additionally, Garick has been a speaker for many social media conferences/events and continues to serve as Board Advisor for Social Media Club – Los Angeles. You can find him online at http://about.me/garick/bio

Cathy Chaplin Cathy Chaplin, writer and photographer at GastronomyBlog.com
Her widely read food blog based in Los Angeles focused on travel, restaurants, and recipes. Gastronomy has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Saveur magazine. Cathy’s photography and writing have appeared in National Geographic, Saveur, and Conde Nast Traveller. She recently signed to write a book, “Food Lovers Guide to Los Angeles,” which will be published in summer, 2013. In addition to her professional pursuits, Cathy is the founder of Eat My Blog, an annual bake sale in Los Angeles that has raised over $16,000 for the L.A. Regional Foodbank.

SlantyAdam Chau aka Slanty of Slant Eye for the Round Eye/Slantyapolis
Adam is a sometimes, occasional, and every now and then blogger from Minneapolis. He lives with his partner, 1/2 time dog, and her associated clan. He likes chicken wings, buffets and really tasty muffins from the oven. Online, you can find his work at: www.slanteyefortheroundeye.com

Christine ChenChristine Chen, executive director of APIAVote
Christine Chen, the founding executive director from 2006-2008 has returned to APIAVote in January 2011 to serve as its current Executive Director. During her previous tenure she had strengthened and expanded APIAVote’s partners in various states. She also served as the national coordinator of the APIAVote Presidential Town Hall. In addition she serves as President of Strategic Alliances USA, a consulting firm specializing in coalition building, institutional development, and partnerships among the corporate sector, government agencies, and the nonprofit and public sector.

Lynn ChenLynn Chen, actor, blogger, The Actor’s Diet & Thick Dumpling Skin 
Lynn Chen made her feature-film debut in Sony Pictures Classic’s “Saving Face,” a role that won her the title of “Outstanding Newcomer” at the 2006 AXAwards. Since then, she has appeared in over a dozen films, most recently starring in the sequel to “Surrogate Valentine,” “Yes We’re Open,” and “Nice Girls Crew.” When she’s not acting, Lynn can be found blogging about food and a healthy body image www.theactorsdiet.com and www.thickdumplingskin.com

Andrew Figueroa Chiang Andrew Figueroa Chiang, songwriter and singer
Andrew Figueroa Chiang is every bit an entertainer. A sweet-voiced songwriter with a genuine love of performing, Andrew has the unique ability to transform any space into a joyful one. His disarming charm, off-the-cuff comedy, and heartfelt delivery make his shows both moving and fun. 

Andrew performs solo and with his rock and roll band – The Blazing Rays of the Sun. They are currently hard at work on their next record, and they can’t wait to meet you.

Curtis ChinCurtis Chin, award-winning writer and producer
Curtis has written for ABC, NBC, Fox, the Disney Channel and more. He has traveled to over 250 colleges and community centers to screen his film, “Vincent Who?” As a community activist, he co-founded the Asian American Writers Workshop and Asian Pacific Americans for Progress. He has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, Newsweek and other media outlet.

Chiwan ChoiChiwan Choi, poet
Chiwan Choi is the author of “The Flood and Abductions,” two full-length poetry collections. His work has appeared in ONTHEBUS, Esquire and The Nervous Breakdown. He and his wife, playwright Judeth Oden, run Writ Large Press, a downtown LA-based independent publisher focused on Los Angeles writers and artists.

David Choi, singer, songwriter and producer
His songs and tracks have been heard on NBC, FOX, VH1, MTV, A&E, E!, Travel Channel, Style, PBS, Food Network, Disney, retail stores all over the U.S. as well as in national commercials overseas. He has worked with brands such as Kellogg’s, Starburst, American Cancer Society, GE, YesStyle, Google, Toyota, Samsung and JCPenney. On YouTube, he has more than 1 million subscribers and 10 million+ total video views.

Keith Chow Keith Chow, Education and Outreach Director for SIUniverse Media
In addition to co-editing Secret Identities and its sequel Shattered — in stores this fall, Keith manages the social media presence of the entire Secret Identities Universe, from Facebook to Twitter and Tumblr . You can find his website at secretidentities.org

Kelly CookKelly Cook, fashion blogger, BagSnob.com
She graduated from the University of Southern California which is where she met Tina Craig. Her first job after college was working for fashion designer Mark Eisen in New York. After her first daughter was born in 2005, she found herself yearning for a creative outlet outside of motherhood. Her friend Jay Brewer had given her the idea of starting a blog. She, of course, knew that the perfect partner for this venture would be Tina, her best friend. Bag Snob was born in September 2005.

Denise DadorDenise Dador, Eyewitness News Health specialist
Her “Healthy Living” segment is seen every day on ABC7 Eyewitness News at 4pm and 5pm. Denise has received numerous journalism and community service awards. She was the recipient of an Emmy for outstanding news feature reporting. She was awarded an “Outstanding Health Reporting” award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and received the “Profiles in Progress” award from the American Cancer Society for a series on breast cancer.

Jennifer De La FuenteJennifer de la Fuente, web expert and former sports journalist
Jennifer has watched journalism step into the Digital Age and worked as a web producer at The Sacramento Bee. In her career, she has advised many journalists about social media, web skills and shaping content for the web. Online you can find her at the sports blog The Rebel State.

Elyse Dinh-McCrillisElyse Dinh-McCrillis, freelance editor
Elyse Dinh-McCrillis is a former journalist and has been a freelance editor for over ten years. She specializes in crime fiction, occasionally does work for CreateSpace, and helps self-published authors bring out eBooks and paperbacks that match the quality of traditionally published work. She also blogs as Pop Culture Nerd.

Sheila Bernus Dowd Sheila Bernus Dowd, CEO of Clever Girls Collective
As a prominent blogger and speaker, Sheila is co-founder a social media agency powered by one of the world’s largest blog networks. She is an experienced communications expert, working with media and producing events that combine the best of real-life and online gatherings. She is the founder of Lookiloos.com, a home and garden site about Silicon Valley homes and style.

Stephen Dypiangco Stephen Dypiangco, co-founder of the National Film Society
Stephen Dypiangco is a filmmaker and co-founder (along with Patrick Epino) of the National Film Society, a new media studio that produces
brainy, offbeat and ridiculously good-looking web videos for PBS. Online, their work can be found at http://youtube.com/nationalfilmsociety.

Michi FuDr. Michi Fu, clinical psychology professor at the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University
She is also a supervisor at the Asian Pacific Family Center, where she administers an intensive mental health program to Asian and Pacific Islander children and their families across Los Angeles County. She offers consultation, trainings and workshops related to culturally sensitive mental health. She has authored/edited the Handbook of Asian American Psychology (2nd Ed.), and online, she can be found at asianamericanpsych.blogspot.com and @drmichifu

Henry FuhrmannHenry Fuhrmann, assistant managing editor at the Los Angeles Times
Henry Fuhrmann is assistant managing editor for the copy desks, the library and standards at the Los Angeles Times. Since joining the Times in 1990, he has worked in every corner of the newsroom, including the metro, foreign, entertainment and business desks and the Times’ website. He holds two degrees in journalism: a bachelor’s from Cal State L.A. and a master’s from Columbia. He is a longtime officer of the Los Angeles Chapter of AAJA.

Kun Gao, CEO of crunchyroll.com
Kun is a co-founder of Crunchyroll.com, the largest anime and Asian professional content site, which he has led from idea to a profitable firm with tens of millions in revenue, thanks to a focus on spearheading international content licensing, product, operations and monetization. He has over seven years of experience in consumer websites, including founding Frappr.com (acquired by Slide), and joining HOTorNOT, driving top 10 Facebook applications.

Colin Guh and Yen Yen WooColin Guh and Yen Yen Woo, funders of Yumcha Studios
The husband and wife team of Yen Yen Woo and Colin Goh are the creators and writers of Dim Sum Warriors, a comic about kung fu-fighting Chinese snacks, available as an iPad app. Yen Yen is also an associate professor at the College of Education and Information Sciences at Long Island University, C.W. Post, while Colin, a former attorney, has been a professional cartoonist for more than 20 years. In Singapore, they founded TalkingCock.com, a satirical website.

Aldon E. Habacon Alden E. Habacon, director of intercultural understanding for UBC and Publisher of Schema Magazine
Alden is the former manager of diversity iIitiatives for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Television network and co-founder of the Asian Canadian Journalists Association (ACJA) of Vancouver. He is an accomplished diversity and inclusion specialist, international speaker and consultant. He is also on the National Advisory Committee for the Multimedia and Multiculturalism program of the United Nations Association of Canada. Alden is a recipient of the 2010 Power of Peace Award of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, and NAAAP Vancouver’s 2011 Leadership Honouree for Arts and Media.

Erika Hayasaki Erika Hayasaki, journalist/author/professor at the University of California, Irvine
Erika Hayasaki is a former metro reporter and national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. She is the author of the bestselling Kindle single, “Dead or Alive,” as well as a forthcoming true crime narrative for Byliner. She is also an assistant professor of literary journalism at UCI, and her nonfiction book, “The Death Class,” published by Simon & Schuster, will be out later in 2012. Online, her work can be found at ljdigital.tumblr.com and @erikahayasaki

Naomi Hirahara Naomi Hirahara, author of the Mas Arai mystery series
Naomi Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai mystery series which features a Japanese American gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo newspaper, she has also written, edited and published several nonfiction books. Her novel, “1001 Cranes,” published by Delacorte, won an honorable mention from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association.

Susan Hirasuna Susan Hirasuna, KTTV Fox 11 weekend anchor
Award-winning broadcast journalist Susan Hirasuna has been at KTTV FOX 11 since 1995. Hirasuna has also carved out a reputation as the resident foodie in “See Susan’s Secret,” where she has spotlighted celebrity chefs and bartenders. She has received Golden Mikes from the LA Press Club; Emmy and Emmy nominations for her specials for Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

Ren Hsieh Ren Hsieh, executive director of Dynasty Project
His work focuses on Dynasty Project, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that promotes health and wellness in the New York AAPI community through organized athletic programs. He is also the resident sports blogger for the AAWW- produced OurChinatown.org and guest curator at the Museum of Chinese in America, developing a program on the history of sports in Chinatown. Online, you can find him at OurChinatown.org.

LiAnn Ishizuka LiAnn Ishizuka, part of a project promoting leukemia awareness called Team Janet
Team Janet was founded by her best friend, Janet Liang, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2009. Since the start of the campaign, Team Janet has helped to register more than 20,000 individuals in the National Bone Marrow Registry, amassed a following on Facebook and was recognized by the White House in a conference call for its inspirational efforts on behalf of leukemia and bone marrow transplantation in the AAPI community.

G.W. KimuraG.W. Kimura, president and CEO of Japanese American National Museum
G. W. (Greg) Kimura, Ph.D. is also the immediate past president and CEO of the Alaskan Humanities Forum, the state’s humanities council. Dr. Kimura has an extensive academic background as a department head and professor with a Masters in Divinity from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in philosophy of religion from Cambridge University. He is the author of works of fiction and nonfiction, including “Neopragmatism and Theological Reason,” (Ashgate, 2007), “Alaska at 50: The Past, Present and Next 50 Years of Statehood,” (University of Alaska Press, 2009), and the forthcoming “Neopragmatism and Theological Method,” (to be published by Peter Lang).

Abe KwokAbe Kwok, Online News Editor, azcentral.com/The Arizona Republic
Abe oversees all things news on azcentraland also serves as the interim home page manager. He went kicking and screaming to the digital side of The Republic in 2000, his own Y2K scare. His fretting proved to be unwarranted, and he now champions the idea of giving people the info they seek in whatever time and format they want.

Calvin Lee Calvin Lee, designer of Mayhem Studios and citizen influencer
Calvin Lee is an award-winning designer for Mayhem Studios, focusing on developing identity and brand recognition for both small and large companies. Calvin’s work has been featured in many design books on branding and design. Calvin’s also a social media enthusiast and Twitter addict. He’s been featured in Forbes, Wired, Huffington Post and as a case study in the book, “Return on Influence.” Online, you can view his work at
www.mayhemstudios.com | Twitter: @mayhemstudios.

Lela LeeLela Lee, creator of “Angry Little Asian Girl”
Lela Lee first created “Angry Little Asian Girl” while she was an angry UC Berkeley student. After viewing offensive and chauvinistic cartoons at an animation festival, she made a cartoon about her childhood using typing paper and markers. Now the Angry Little Asian Girl, or ALAG, will be an animated TV series launching this fall on the new cable network MNET. Online, you can view her work at www.angrylittlegirls.com.

Lisa LeeLisa Lee, co-founder of Thick Dumpling Skin
Lisa is a tech geek by day and a do-gooder by night. During work hours, Lisa works in the diversity and inclusion department at Facebook. From 2008 to 2011 she served as the pro-bono publisher of Hyphen magazine an award-winning publication and website that covers Asian American arts, culture and politics. Under Lisa’s leadership, Hyphen also increased readership by 100%. Lisa was listed on Angry Asian Man’s list of 30 Most Influential Asian Americans under 30 in 2009 and is the recipient of the 2011 San Francisco Emerging Leader Asian American Heritage Award. Online, you can find her at www.misslisalee.com.

Melanie LeeMelanie Lee, fashion blogger
Melanie Lee has been running the personal style blog, Wrecked Stellar, since February 2009. She has gone on to appear in an episode of the VH1 television show, “House of Consignment,” interview celebrities such as Paul Walker, and document WWDMAGIC as a Teen Vogue blogger. As a senior project manager at an advertising agency, Melanie works on integrated digital, broadcast and print campaigns. She has a B.A. in broadcast journalism from the University of Maryland. Online, you can find her at wreckedstellar.com and @WreckedStellar.

Tommy LeiTommy Lei, fashion blogger, My Belonging
Tommy Lei is the storyteller behind mybelonging, a personal style journal that is filled with curated stories on his obsessions, foodie adventures, and moments with friends and family. He is also the gay personality of One Straight, One Gay, an emerging fashion blog that showcases menswear from two different perspectives. A recent graduate of Cornell University, Tommy works as a creative strategist at an interactive marketing agency and serves as a freelance, branding and social media consultant during his spare time. Online you can find his work at http://www.mybelonging.com.

Lisa LingLisa Ling, host of “Our America with Lisa Ling” on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network
As a former field correspondent for “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” a host of National Geographic’s “Explorer” and a contributor to ABC News’ “Nightline,” Lisa Ling has reported from dozens of countries — covering stories about gang rape in the Congo, bride burning in India and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, among other issues that are too often ignored. Ling got her start in journalism as a correspondent for Channel One News where she covered the civil war in Afghanistan at 21 years of age. She later went on to become a co-host of ABC Daytime’s hit show “The View,” which won its first daytime Emmy during her tenure. Ling’s popular docu-series, “Our America with Lisa Ling,” premiered on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, in February 2011.

Jane LuiJane Lui, singer & songwriter
Jane is classically trained in piano and voice, yet her voice is somehow husky and soulful. It’s not a story of growing up listening to Stevie Wonder and the Beatles. “Assimilating to western culture as a teenager meant I didn’t have pop music historical context, so I absorbed music randomly and openly: Allison Krauss, Bjork, Michael Jackson, were all on the same playing field for me.” Showcased at CMJ 2010, critics liken her to Cat Power, Fiona Apple, and Rufus Wainwright.

Richard Lui Richard Lui, dayside news anchor for MSNBC
Richard Lui is a U.S. journalist and dayside news anchor for MSNBC. Lui is also a rotating news anchor for NBC’s weekend Today show and contributes reports for NBC News Investigations Unit. He’s based at NBC’s offices at 30 Rockefeller Center. Before MSNBC, Lui anchored at CNN Worldwidefor five years. He is the V3con Opening Awards Reception emcee.

Eileen Ma Eileen Ma, executive director of API Equality-LA
Since graduating from Columbia University in 1993, she has worked as an organizer and field coordinator for the AFL-CIO, SEIU, SAG, Health Access, Power U Center for Social Change, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and many others. Eileen is active in the Los Angeles community as a core committee member in the Asian/Pacific Islander Queer Women/Transgender Activists and other groups.

Chelsea Mason, marketing director of Pacific Asia Museum
Chelsea Mason is the Marketing Director of Pacific Asia Museum and has been with the organization for over three years. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame she spent a year living in Taiwan and traveling throughout Asia. She then returned to the U.S. to attend graduate school at USC, earning a Master’s degree in East Asian Studies. While at USC, Chelsea served as the managing editor of the US-China Institute’s online publication US-China Today, and also contributed articles focusing on the arts and social issues in China. Chelsea now oversees all aspects of communications at Pacific Asia Museum, including web and social media, press relations, and marketing.

Ted Nguyen Ted Nguyen, public relations and social media professional
Ted has more than 20 years of developing and executing results-driven programs for corporate executives, elected officials, nonprofit leaders and business entrepreneurs. The Public Relations Society of America in Orange County gave him the Distinguished Service Award in 2012. Online, you can find his work at:You can find him at www.tednguyenusa.com and @TedNguyen.

David Ono, 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. anchor for KABC-TV in Los Angeles
He first arrived at Eyewitness News in 1996 and has been its evening anchor for more than a dozen years. David is also the station’s special projects reporter covering major events around the world. In the last year and a half, his stories have taken him to Japan, London, France, Italy, German, Vietnam, Haiti, the Gulf region, Washington, D.C. and New York.

Sonali Pathak Sonali Pathak, senior director of business operations for DigitalWorks @ iVillage
DigitalWorks @ iVillage is a portfolio of websites co-developed with Procter & Gamble and built to super-serve niche audiences. They include Petside.com, LifeGoesStrong.com and DinnerTool.com. Ms. Pathak joined DigitalWorks after three successful years as director of business operations & development for Digital-Out-of-Home (DOOH) within NBC’s owned-television stations division. Prior to joining DOOH, she was selected for GE/NBCU’s prestigious two-year Experienced Commercial Leadership Program (ECLP). That experience involved her rotating across four divisions within NBCUniversal.

Jackie PerdueJackie Perdue, beauty vlogger
Jackie is a YouTube beauty vlogger with more than 60,000 subscribers and more than 5 million total video views. She’s a self-taught makeup artist who shares her love and passion for all things beauty with her followers all over the world. After graduating from high school in 2009 and going straight to San Diego State University, Jackie struggled to get through her first year of college and found nothing that interested her until she came across a few makeup tutorials on YouTube. It sparked something magical within her and since she always loved being in front of the camera, she decided to create videos. You can find her work and more on YouTube under the username JaaackJack.

Ipo PharrIpo Pharr, singer-songwriter
Writing music since her first guitar lesson in 2006, Ipo (pronounced E-Po) is a singer-songwriter born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Known to make a loud room grow quiet she’s got a story telling style of songwriting, she has graced the stage at such venues as The House of Blues on The Sunset Strip, The Hotel Cafe and Coachella, Bonnaroo and Stagecoach, Ipo will find any intimate setting so that allows her to share her heart and tell her stories. Live shows and frequently made YouTube videos provide her fans- “her sweethearts” with new music exclusively. Recently featured on Katy Perry’s Facebook Page, Ipo has generated half a million views within half a years time.

Denise PoonDenise Poon, Media Consultant
Denise L. Poon serves on the AAJA-LA Board, where she is President-emerita. She is best known as Trivia Bowl Commissioner, shaping and leading the Chapter’s signature “fun-raising” event, now in its seventieth year. Denise has over 15 years of broadcast experience, producing content for nearly every major network and on shows including “DATELINE NBC” and “America’s Most Wanted.” She is the Media Consultant principal of @Cr8tiveStream.

Koji Steven SkaaiKoji Steven Sakai, manager of programs, Japanese American National Museum
Koji has written two feature films, “Haunted Highway” in 2006 and “The People I’ve Slept With” in 2009, the latter of which he also served as a producer. This summer he has two films going into production, “Chink,” the first Asian American serial killer movie, and “Monster & Me,” a family/Christmas story. Koji is also a screenwriter and blogger for 8Asians.com.

Lac SuLac Su, author of “I Love Yous Are for White People – A Memoir” (HarperCollins, 2009)
Lac Su founded the original Banana conference for Asian American bloggers in 2009 with Steve Nguyen. He is the author of, I Love Yous Are for White People – a memoir (HarperCollins, 2009). Lac received a master’s degree and Ph.D., in industrial-organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. He is vice president of marketing for TalentSmart, a global think tank and management consulting firm, and he lives in San Diego with his wife and three kids.

Debra Suh Debra Suh, executive director, Center for the Pacific Asian Family
Debra Suh has lead CPAF since 1999. CPAF is recognized for its pioneering work to support immigrant Asian and Pacific Islander (API) survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She serves on the California Emergency Management Agency’s Domestic Violence Advisory Council and is a member of Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Strong Field Project Advisory Group.

Angela Sun Angela Sun, host, award-winning “Yahoo! Sports Minute”
Angela serves as sideline correspondent for NBC and G4TV’s summer hit “American Ninja Warrior.” Concurrently, she anchors Tennis Channel’s “Court Report.” She co-hosts D/S2DIO Dance lifestyle channel’s “The Arena,” a break dancing competition to debut in the fall of 2012. Behind the lens, Angela is directing/producing her first independent feature documentary, “Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” She is also a contributing writer for travel site wandermelon.com.

Gordon Tokumatsu Gordon Tokumatsu, Emmy award-winning general assignment reporter for NBC4
Gordon has covered many breaking news stories including one about an LAPD officer who ticketed an elderly woman for moving too slowly in a crosswalk, instead of assisting her to cross the street. The story sparked national interest and was picked up by a number of media outlets. He also introduced viewers to a talented six-year-old artist who was losing her sight to a hereditary disease, has reported from Space Camp in Alabama, the bridge of a NASA space shuttle and the cockpit of an F-16 fighter jet.

Tamlyn Tomita, actress
Tamlyn Tomita made her screen debut as Kumiko in “The Karate Kid, Part II” and has since appeared in numerous feature films, television and theatre projects. She is perhaps known for her roles as Waverly in Wayne Wang’s “The Joy Luck Club” and as Kana, a Hawai’i plantation worker in the early 1900’s in Kayo Hatta’s “Picture Bride”, and starred opposite Dennis Quaid in Alan Parker’s “Come See the Paradise”, a film exploring the lives of a Japanese-American family and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. On television, Tamlyn has had recurring roles on “Glee”, “Law and Order: Los Angeles”, “Chicago Code”, “Heroes”, “Eureka”, “JAG”, “24”, “Stargate: Atlantis”, “Days of Our Lives” and “General Hospital”.

Nguyen TranNguyen Tran, partner of the downtown Pan-Asian eatery, Starry Kitchen
Nguyen Tran is one-half “chief instigator” and “social media addict” of the downtown LA Pan-Asian eatery, Starry Kitchen. Nguyen and his wife Thi launched it in May 2009 as an illegal+underground restaurant experiment out of the back of their apartment literally built on Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. Six months later, their apartment became the No. 1 Asian fusion listing in all of Los Angeles on Yelp. In February 2010, they went “legit” and opened a brick+mortar restaurant with no prior restaurant experience serving their formerly “underground” wares in a very unlikely corporate setting also in downtown LA. Prior to this beautiful accident gone right, Nguyen also worked in the film business for 10 years selling, distributing and marketing independent films.

Jen WangJen Wang, cofounder and author of Disgrasian
She’s been featured on Nightline, NPR, The Associated Press, BBC News, The Daily Beast, Hyphen magazine, and KoreAm Journal, among others. Jen is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and xoJane. Jen received her B.A. in literature from Yale and her MFA in creative writing from Columbia. She has also worked as a freelance journalist and her writing has been published in Vogue Hommes, C Magazine and The New York Times’ T Magazine.

Joz WangJoz Wang, Co-Editor of the popular Asian American collaborative blog 8Asians.com 8Asians
Jocelyn “Joz” Wang is the President of the AAJA-LA. Joz is known online– and offline– for her personal blog jozjozjoz.com. She is also a long-time contributor to blogging.la, flagship site of the Metroblogging network, for which she is now Publisher and CEO of. She is also currently part of the Creative Team at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Online. Joz also serves on the AAJA National Advisory Board and National Governing Board.

Bill Wong, award-winning political strategic advisor
Bill Wong specializes in the emergent advocacy, voting and fundraising power of California’s Asian Pacific American communities. He has played a role in major victories such as Judy Chu’s campaigns and worked directly in organizing Asian Pacific American support that contributed to victories for the “No on Prop. 54,” “Yes on Prop. 55” and “Yes on Prop. 39” campaigns. Check out his political blog online: http://thesunfire.blogspot.com

Jeff Yang Jeff Yang, columnist at the Wall Street Journal

Jeff Yang founded aMagazine: Inside Asian America, growing it into Asian America’s largest and most influential English-language media institution. He also founded aOnline.com, one of the first Asian American content and community sites on the Web. He currently writes “Tao Jones,” a weekly column for the online Wall Street Journal. The second volume of his graphic novel collection, “Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology,” titled “Shattered,” is scheduled for a fall 2012 release.

Donald  Yee Donald H. Yee, lawyer for sports and entertainment figures
Donald H. Yee is a graduate of UCLA and the University of Virginia School of Law. He has represented sports and entertainment personalities throughout his career, as well as counseled a diverse group of owners, leagues and sports business companies. Don is a frequent speaker on sports-related issues and has served on the boards of sports industry organizations. Online, you can find him at: http://www.yeedubin.com/.

Erin Yoshimura Erin Yoshimura, executive director for the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival
Prior to joining the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, Erin established Empowerful Changes™, a company that focuses on empowering clients to find their voice and stand with vigor through emotional intelligence training, personal branding and career coaching. Because she brings diversity to every room she enters, Erin uses her personal experiences to catalyze cultural awareness. In 2010, Erin was selected as the “Advocate of the Year” by the Colorado chapter of Minority Enterprise & Education Development for her work in serving women and people of color. She also was selected as a 2010 “Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction.”

Phil Yu Phil Yu, founder of Angry Asian Man
Phil Yu is the founder and editor of Angry Asian Man, a popular Asian American news/culture blog. Building a steady, loyal readership since 2001, the Washington Post calls Angry Asian Man “a daily must-read for the media-savvy, socially conscious, pop-cultured Asian American.” He worked previously at the Center for Asian American Media in San Francisco, and currently serves on the board of Visual Communications and Projekt Newspeak, both in Los Angeles. You can find him online at www.angryasianman.com.

Teddy Zee Teddy Zee, film producer, entertainment and marketing executive
Currently, he is creative director of Rambus after serving as chief creative officer of Mozaik, a Silicon Valley-based interactive media firm. Zee’s films have grossed more than $1.7 billion. Among the first Asian Americans to reach prominence in the film industry, he served as senior vice president at Paramount Pictures and executive vice president at Columbia Pictures, in charge of such films as “Charlie’s Angels,” “Cable Guy,” “My Girl,” “Fools Rush In,” “Anaconda” and “Indecent Proposal.”