Speakers, Performers and Panelists

V3con will feature an array of distinguished and exciting speakers! Check out who we featured last year!


Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed is a writer, poet, artist and activist based in Southern California. As the Voter Engagement Manager for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles, she coordinates the largest Asian American & Pacific Islander specific non-partisan voter engagement effort. A South Asian/Muslim identity political activist, Taz helps to organize the Desi youth camp “Bay Area Solidarity Summer” and puts out zines with “Totally Radical Muslims.

Twitter: @TazzyStar

Ashley Alvarado is the Public Engagement Editor for Southern California Public Radio. Alvarado is focused on helping to reach and engage communities across Southern California in KPCC stories through the Public Insight Network as well as offline outreach. Alvarado currently serves as managing editor of Los Cabos Magazine and previously worked at the Center for Investigative Reporting as well as Los Angeles and Tu Ciudad Los Angeles magazines.

Twitter: @AshleyAlvarado

Gil Asakawa is a journalist and blogger who covers Asian American issues and culture. His main blog, Nikkei View, is about pop culture from an Asian American perspective; Asakawa also posts short commentary about media and technology at gilasakawa.tumblr.com. A nationally known speaker, panelist and expert on Asian American and Japanese American issues, Asakawa is currently the chair of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Digital Media Committee.

Twitter: @GilAsakawa

Mallika Bajaj, 23, is a little box of big ideas. When she’s not managing the helm of affairs at Little Yellow Beetle, she is also Chief Marketing Officer at Mixilion, Middle-east’s first creative crowd-sourcing platform for all design and marketing solutions, based in Doha, Qatar. She takes immense pride in being the youngest at every job she’s marched into (BBC, ABC Australia, Hindustan Times MINT, NewsX, etc).

Twitter: @mbajaj20

Dr. Meghana Bhatt is a co-founder of FEM Inc., a content discovery and recommendation technology company with a social mission is to promote positive, diverse, empowering female portrayals in popular entertainment. She previously worked in academia, researching and understanding human behavior and preferences using a combination of mathematical modeling and biological and behavioral recording.

Twitter: @feminc

Grace Lee Boggs (b. 1915) is an activist, writer, and speaker based in Detroit. A daughter of Chinese immigrants, Boggs received her B.A. from Barnard College (1935) and her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College (1940). She is author or co-author of [ital book titles] Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century (with James Boggs), Living for Change, and The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century.

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 currently serves on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association.

Twitter: @ktlafbuckley

Parvesh Cheena is an actor and new producer working in TV and online. You can see squad85.com for more.

Twitter: @parvesh

Joyce Chen is a second-generation Taiwanese American journalist and current web editor at Us Weekly, where she pores over celebrity court cases, recaps “The Bachelorette” and wades her way through all things entertainment and gossip — with tongue firmly in cheek, of course. She is also currently a blogger and book reviewer for Hyphen magazine, as well the public relations director for Kollaboration New York, a nonprofit emphasizing Asian American empowerment through entertainment. Previously, Joyce was a multimedia editor at the New York Daily News, and her writings have appeared in People magazine, Los Angeles magazine, the Los Angeles Daily News, and Citysearch Los Angeles.

Twitter: @joycechenchen

Lynn Chen is an actress, blogger and body image activist living in Los Angeles.

Twitter: @mslynnchen

Marilyn Chung is the Multimedia Editor at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif. She has produced award-winning videos and photographs for the newspaper and website MyDesert.com.

Twitter: @mchungphoto

Denise Dador, is the Eyewitness News Health specialist for ABC7. Her Healthy Living segment is seen every day on ABC7 Eyewitness News at 4pm and 5pm. Denise has also covered breaking news, including the February 2001 Seattle Earthquake, as well as an exclusive interview with the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo regarding terrorist activities in the Philippines.

Twitter: @abc7Denise

Kathy David, CEO and President of IT Tech Pros, Inc, is known as The “It” Girl of I.T.™; Kathy has an extensive background in information technology, business management, business development and entrepreneurship, and is a published author. The San Diego Small Business Administration also recently named her company as the 2013 Minority Owned Small Business of the Year.

Twitter: @kathydavidittp

Anh Do covers multicultural communities & issues at the Los Angeles Times. A second-generation journalist, she served as vice president of Nguoi Viet Daily News, the largest Vietnamese-language publication in the US, founded by her late father. She has worked at the Dallas Morning News, the Seattle Times and the Orange County Register, and she’s currently an Acting Co-President of AAJA-LA.

Twitter: @newsterrier

Patrick Epino is a filmmaker and co-founder of the National Film Society on PBS Digital Studios. He’s also co-creator of the upcoming action-comedy web series Awesome Asian Bad Guys, starring Tamlyn Tomita, Randall Park, Aaron Takahashi and Dante Basco.

Twitter: @PatrickEpino

Deepa Fernandes is an Early Childhood Development Correspondent at KPCC Radio and co-founder of People’s Production House & illuminUs. Fernandes is the mother of two little love-bugs.

Twitter: @deepaKPCC

Henry Fuhrmann is an assistant managing editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he oversees the copy desks and leads the editorial standards and practices committee. He is a numbers nerd as well as a word nerd, having studied engineering at Caltech and UCLA, and since 1990 he has served all over the newsroom, working as an editor on the Metro, Foreign, Calendar, Business and Web desks. He is a current AAJA-Los Angeles co-president and longtime chapter officer, as well as active in the American Copy Editors Society.

Twitter: @hfuhrmann

Megan Garvey is an assistant managing editor for the Los Angeles Times, where she oversees the digital news operation and data teams. She has been with The Times since 1998, covering beats such as transportation, crime and politics. Garvey was one of the main writers on coverage of the wildfires that earned the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 2004.

Twitter: @garveylatimes

Gena S. Hamamoto is an independent film producer and media arts educator. From incarcerated youth to Bangladeshi high school students living in Koreatown to senior filmmakers, Gena has had the pleasure and privilege of working for media programs with diverse communities of all ages and skill levels throughout Los Angeles. She discovered filmmaking as a graduate student in the UCLA Center for EthnoCommunications, and she has produced her first feature narrative film, THE CRUMBLES, which is currently being released at selected theaters nationally.

Twitter: @TheCrumbles

Gregory Han is tech editor at shelter site, Apartment Therapy, where he reports on the convergence of technology and home design. He currently lives in Silver Lake with his partner Emily and their two cats, Eames and Eero.

Twitter: @typefiend

Robert Hernandez, aka WebJournalist, has made a name for himself as a journalist of the Web, not just on the Web. His primary focus is exploring and developing the intersection of technology and journalism – to empower people, inform reporting and storytelling, engage community, improve distribution and, whenever possible, enhance revenue. He is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, but he’s not an academic… he’s more of a “hackademic” and specializes in “MacGyvering” Web journalism solutions.

Twitter: @webjournalist

Susan Hirasuna is an award winning broadcast journalist and former AAJA-LA board member who heads the weekend version of Studio 11 LA at KTTV FOX 11. This year, she traveled to Japan as a fellow with Foreign Press Center to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami area. Susan has also carved out a reputation as the resident foodie, and her work has garnered Golden Mikes from the LA Press Club and Emmy nominations for her half hour specials for Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

Twitter: @SusanHirasuna

Eileen Hsu is a junior in high school who has been using social media networks since she was in middle school. She writes a personal blog and co-writes a blog with her younger sister.

Twitter: @koolasiankid

Bill Imada is the founder, chairman and chief collaboration officer of IW Group, an agency that focuses on marketing, advertising and communications to the greater Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Bill and his agency represent more than a dozen Fortune 500 companies. Bill is also an active writer and blogger.

Twitter: @bimada

Kevin Iwashina is a Managing Partner of Preferred Content, a film production, sales and finance advisory company. Iwashina is also the Managing Partner of Preferred Ventures, a digital media venture fund, and of City Room Creative, an entertainment marketing and creative editorial agency. Lastly, he is partnered with Christine Vachon in Killer Digital, a production company focused in creating original content for digital platforms.

Twitter: @kiwashina

Pradeepa Jeeva oversees all production for the YOMYOMF network, which is one the fastest growing original content channels on YouTube. Previously, Pradeepa was the Co-Founder/Director Diaspora Flow, the first Sri Lankan-American non-profit arts organization dedicated to providing a forum for artists of color and facilitating connections between artists and youth. Pradeepa is also a senior consultant at Legacy for Health on their truth© brand, which helps youths understand the dangers of tobacco.

Twitter: @DeepaJeeva

Suzanne Joe Kai is the CEO of StudioLA.TV and AsianConnections.com, and has been a staff TV journalist and host at KRON-TV (San Francisco’s former NBC affiliate). She has worked at other outlets including KCBS Newsradio (SF/CBS), KTVU-TV (Bay Area/Cox), KGO-TV (SF/ABC) and KGUN-TV (AZ/ABC). She is directing a documentary “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres.” Suzanne is a board member of AAJA-LA.org.

Twitter: @suzannekai

Dr. G.W. (Greg) Kimura is the Japanese American National Museum’s President and Chief Executive Officer and immediate past president and CEO of the Alaskan Humanities Forum (Alaska’s state humanities council).

Twitter: @gwkimura

Geoffrey Kutnick is a partner of FOODBEAST.com and leads all efforts related to advertising, branded content and special projects. He currently manages all communications between 10-12 active advertising networks and direct advertising inquiries that come from food and beverage brands including Groupon, Quiznos, Taco Bell, Dannon, Red Robin, Sargento, 7UP and more. Kutnick has led and project-managed all types of interactive projects including CPM-based advertising campaigns, branded photo/video/infographic campaigns and branded content syndication with Huffington Post, Gawker Network, Digg and other partner publications.

Twitter: @GeoffreyKutnick

Thien-Kim Lam is a mother, social media enthusiast and general crafty gal. As a first generation Vietnamese-American born and raised in Louisiana, she’s fielded more than her share of racial questions, especially now that she’s the mother of two half-Vietnamese, half-African-American children. She created her blog, I’m Not the Nanny as a platform to connect with those who are raising multicultural families.

Twitter: @thienkim

Toan Lam is the Chief Inspirator of Go Inspire Go (GIG), a multimedia platform that tells authentic stories of everyday heroes and leverages social media to spark change.

Twitter: @goinspirego

Esther Lee has been CPAF’s Development Manager for 2 1/2 years, and prior to that she worked directly with survivors of domestic and sexual violence at CPAF’s shelters. She is responsible for developing individual and corporate donor relationships and supporting outreach efforts. She is a proud graduate of CSU-Long Beach, where she studied Studio Art.

Twitter: @cpaforg

Lisa Lee is the cofounder of Thick Dumpling Skin, a community forum dedicated to discussing body image issues and eating disorders in the Asian American community. From 2008 – 2011, Lisa served as the pro bono publisher of Hyphen magazine, an award-winning publication and website that covers Asian American arts, culture and politics. During the day, Lisa works at Facebook as its diversity program manager and chairs the company’s Asian American Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group, and during her spare time, she serves as the communications co-chair for The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum San Francisco Bay Area chapter and sits on the board of Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality.

Twitter: @rrrlisarrr

Connie Lim’s imaginative childhood led her to compose music starting at the age of eight and establish a love for music that outlasted her premed degree at UC Berkeley. Awarded best soloist in the International Competition of Collegiate Acappella, and “Cal Idol” gave her the encouragement to start a band in San Francisco. She is now signed with Jay Frank’s Nashville-based record label, DigSin, and released her debut single in March, 2012.

Violet Mae Lim is a data-driven interactive marketer with extensive experience in driving audience acquisition, branding, developing online strategy, digital storytelling and working across multiple verticals to create scalable solutions.

Twitter: @violetmae

Harry Lin is an advisor to several technology startups. Previously, he has been EIR at tech incubator, Idealab, GM of Evite, VP of ABC.com and CEO of two VC-backed Internet startups. He began his career as a news reporter at KQED-FM in San Francisco.

Twitter: @SuluPrime

Cynthia Liu is CEO/Founder of K12NN, a social venture with a mission: to strengthen and improve public schools through grassroots citizen education news coverage and online advocacy tools.

Twitter: @K12NN

Richard Lui is an American journalist and news anchor for MSNBC and NBC News. He anchors the Western edition of Early Today on NBC News. His reporting focus is on politics. Previous to that, Lui spent five years at CNN Worldwide, anchoring the 10am edition of HLN’s Morning Express.

Twitter: @RichardLui

Grace Hwang Lynch explores the evolving relationship between Asian America and mainstream America as a journalist and blogger. A former television news reporter, she founded HapaMama.com, focusing on Asian mixed-race families. She also serves as News & Politics editor for BlogHer. Her work has also been published by Salon, PBS and Mom.me.

Twitter: @HapaMamaGrace

Kent Marume is a student at California State University, Fullerton pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Asian American Studies. He served as the president of the Asian Pacific Islander Student Association for the 2012-2013 school years. This past Spring semester, Kent joined the NAPAWF sponsored Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Health Field Studies class where he and his classmates conducted and analyzed research on their campus, later traveling to Washington D.C in March to present their research and make congressional visits.

Sean Miura is a community organizer/artist who works with Tuesday Night Project as a co-curator for its Little Tokyo free public art series, Tuesday Night Cafe. During the day he is an assistant media planner. He is the current Mr. Hyphen, and his most used Instagram tag is #losangeles.

Twitter: @seanmiura

Noreen Morioka, with partner Sean Adams, founded AdamsMorioka in Los Angeles in 1993, a company that has been recognized globally for their work in print, environments, new media and communications strategies. Morioka has been credited as one of the forces behind a renewed movement in the design world towards a simpler, more direct approach. Some of their clients include Gap, Sundance Institute, Natural History Museum, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Metropolitan Opera.

Twitter: @noreenmorioka

Ken Muché is responsible for all public relations and philanthropy for Verizon Wireless in Southern California. With twenty years experience in public relations, he managed media relations at a healthcare system in Los Angeles before joining the Verizon Wireless public relations team in 2000.

Twitter: @vzwken

Angie Myung co-founded Poketo with her husband Ted Vadakan. Born out of a belief in “art for your everyday,” Poketo is an online destination and brick and mortar shop for design-driven wares that take art off the gallery walls and into people’s lives.

Twitter: @poketo

Ted Nguyen is an internationally recognized social media, PR and marketing communications professional. He led a seven-member team of social media experts and bloggers for Florens 2012, a worldwide gathering for arts and cultural heritage week in Florence, Italy, and has also been chosen to present on social media and mobile apps for museums. Ted’s work in social media and digital communications is featured in two books: The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing and The Big Book of Social Media. He has won numerous national awards for his social media and digital communications work from the Internet Marketing Association and the Public Relations Society of America.

Twitter: @TedNguyen

David Ono can be seen every day anchoring the number one rated newscasts in Southern California at 4 and 6pm on ABC7 Eyewitness News. David Ono has anchored the news on ABC7 for 17 years. He has won three Edward R. Murrow awards and 13 Emmy awards with 35 nominations.

Twitter: @ABC7DavidOno

Jennifer Pae was the first Asian American woman to serve as the student body president at UC San Diego, followed by stints as president of the United States Student Association and Project Director for PowerPAC. As a trainer for the Midwest Academy, Camp Wellstone and APIA Vote, Jennifer has trained hundreds of activists across the country to run effective and strategic campaigns. Jenn is 18MR’s Chief of Staff and makes runs for Oakland’s City Council in her free time.

Twitter: @jennpae

Elisa Camahort Page co-founded BlogHer, Inc. in 2005 with Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone, and serves as the company’s COO. BlogHer is the premier cross-platform media network created by, for and with women social media leaders. Elisa is a founding Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research and serves on the Board of Directors of the 42nd Street Moon Theatre in San Francisco, the programming advisory committee for SXSW Interactive and SXSW V2V, the Advisory Board for Food on the Table, the Board of Advisors of the Anita Borg Institute, and is a Member of the Digital Hollywood Women’s Entertainment and Technology Board.

Twitter: @ElisaC

Quan Phung is a television executive and producer who has worked at NBC, Fox and currently is President of Bluegrass Television, which most recently produced the comedy Whitney on NBC. He serves on the boards of Visual Communications, California Community Foundation, and the Stanford Alumni Association.

Twitter: @quanphung

Denise L. Poon understands the power and influence of the media. As an accomplished Multimedia Consultant, Broadcast Producer, Online Content Provider & Writer, her career spans over 15 years of broad-based multimedia production. Active in the community and the Asian American Journalists Association, she is best known for many years of event leadership, sponsorship and fundraising development for Trivia Bowl, the chapter’s signature “fun-raising” event and the innovative, V3 Digital Media Conference (V3con).

Twitter: @Cr8tiveStream

Koji Sakai is the Manager of Programs at the Japanese American National Museum. He oversees the exhibitions and public programs. Before his position, he has served as the Manager of Public Programs and in the Education Unit. He has been at the museum for 10 years.

Twitter: @ksakai1

Tetsuro Shigematsu, called the “voice of our Azn generation” by the editor of Ricepaper magazine, was the 1st person-of-color to host a daily national radio program in Canada. He writes about race for The Huffington Post, and can be seen Spike TV’s The Deadliest Warrior, where he talks smack and kills Vikings.

Twitter: @tweetsuro

Alice Shin has been in charge of the brand development and online culture for Kogi BBQ since its inception and has gone on to assist in developing and curating brand culture for Chego! and a handful of fresh, L.A.-based restaurants. After almost half a decade of experience, she’s learned that a devotion to branding with a unique perspective and an authentic connection to fans can be more powerful than an arsenal of the latest social media tools.

Twitter: @kogibbq

Jason Sperber is a writer and stay-at-home-dad of two amazing multi-ethnic Asian American daughters living in Central California. He blogs about the intersection of race, culture, and parenting at his solo dadblog and at Rice Daddies, the group blog by Asian American dads, which he co-founded.

Twitter: @dad_strangeland

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese writer, editor, speaker, educator and activist who speaks about Asian Pacific American race, culture and social issues primarily for ethnic new media. She is a contributor for NewAmericaMedia.org‘s Ethnoblog, ChicagoistheWorld.org and JACL’s PacificCitizen.org, just to name a few. She also team-teaches Asian Pacific American History and Law at the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Dearborn with the lawyers of American Citizens for Justice, the civil rights nonprofit founded after the baseball beating of Vincent Chin.

Twitter: @fkwang

Jocelyn  ”Joz” Wang is an avid writer who embraced blogging at its onset. Known online– and offline– for her personal blog, jozjozjoz.com, she is Editor-in-chief & CEO of the popular Asian American collaborative blog 8Asians. She is also a long-time contributor blogging.la, flagship site of the Metblogs network, a massive local journalism and media project that began in 2003. In late 2011, she acquired the entire Metroblogging.com network from its founders and now runs the entire international network—consisting of over 50 sites worldwide— as its Publisher & CEO.

Twitter: @jozjozjoz

Shawn Nicole Wong is an independent film and media producer based in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. She has previously written for Venice Magazine and POP! Montreal Music Festival and has interned for ABC News 20/20 and Primetime.

Kalika Yap is CEO of Citrus Studios, Luxe Link and The Waxing Co. Board member of Entrepreneurs Organization LA, Visual Communications and 5 Gyres. She is married to Rodney Yap and they have two children: Malia & Kailani.

Twitter: @Kalika

Lawrence Yee is an award-winning journalist who has worked at the top two entertainment websites: omg! on Yahoo and TMZ. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Twitter: @lawryee

Phil Yu is the founder and editor of Angry Asian Man, a popular Asian American news/culture blog. Established in 2001, the Washington Post calls Angry Asian Man “a daily must-read for the media-savvy, socially conscious, pop-cultured Asian American.”

Twitter: @angryasianman