NAAAP Leadership Convention 2018

Previous Years’ NAAAP 100 and Inspire Awards

Juju Chang, Journalist (2016)

Juju Chang

Ms. Juju Chang is currently Co-Anchor of ABC’s Nightline, was the first Korean-American to serve a prominent role on a national U.S morning news television show, and is a founding member of the Korean American Community Foundation.  

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Thomas Park Clement, Founder and Executive in Biotechnology, Philanthropist (2016)

Thomas Park Clement

Thomas Park Clement is the Founder and CEO of Mectra Labs, an inventor with 42 U.S. medical patents, a humanitarian, the author of The Unforgotten War and Dust of the Streets: The Journey of a Biracial Orphan of the Korean War, and a prominent champion of the Korean American Adoptee community.  

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Li-Young Lee, poet ^& author (2017)

Li-Young Lee

Li-Young Lee is of Chinese descent and was born in Jakarta, Indonesia.  His maternal great grandfather was Yuan Shih Kai, and his father acted as personal secretary to Chairman Mao in the early 1950’s.  His family fled Indonesia during growing anti-Chinese sentiment in the early 1960’s, eventually finding asylum in the USA.  He is the author of several volumes of poetry, the most recent due from WW Norton in February 2018.  It is titled “The Undressing.” He has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and fellowships, and he has been invited to read his work at The White House by three US presidents.  All of his books are available on Amazon.

Li-Young Lee, poet ^& author (2017)

Ronald Chang

Ronald Chang was recognized as a NAAAP 100 honoree in 2015 in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Ronald is President of UPS Enterprise Transformation and was appointed to this position in September 2017. His responsibilities include facilitating and working with business units, non-operating functions, and senior leaders across the enterprise to identify opportunities and apply new technology to solve problems, reduce costs, and create a competitive advantage.

Previously, Ronald served as President of UPS Capital Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of UPS focused on providing supply chain finance and insurance services. Ronald led the acquisition of Parcel Pro and G4Si (Insured Parcel Division), the leading independent logistics providers to the jewelry, wristwatch and collectibles industries. Leveraging his international experience, he oversaw the rapid international expansion of UPS Capital into Europe and Asia.

Ronald also served as Vice President and Global Head of Mergers & Acquisition for UPS while also having responsibility for UPS’s Intellectual Property Group. In this role, Ronald was responsible for developing and implementing UPS’s global acquisition strategy, conducting target company
valuations, negotiations and coordinating with UPS’s Board of Directors and external stakeholders.

Throughout his 25-plus year career with UPS, Ronald completed over 70 deals in 30 plus countries. While living abroad, Ronald ’s role as Vice President of Merger & Acquisitions, Treasury for Europe and Asia included establishing UPS’s first global cross-border multi-currency cash pooling operation as well as the expansion of their logistics capabilities.

In addition, Ronald is the executive sponsor for UPS’s Asian Talent Management program and community philanthropic activities. He also serves as an advisor to the UPS Foundation. Outside of UPS, Ronald serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for The National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP). He is also a NAAAP 100 honoree, recognizing the most influential leaders and contributors in the Asian community. Ronald is also a member of the Business Advisory Council for Organization for Chinese Americans (OCA) National and the recipient of the “Leaders & Legends” award from Who’s Who in Asian American Communities for his outstanding contributions to his company and community.

Mr. Chang earned his undergraduate degree in Finance, and received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University.

Albert Wong, NAAAP 100 winner 2015

Albert Wong

Lieutenant Commander Albert Wong is the President of AKW Global Enterprises, a judge, an advisor, a diplomat, and a community leader.

Born in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, Mr. Wong immigrated to Canada in 1971.  Immediately after receiving his Canadian citizenship in 1976, he became one of the first Asian Canadians to join the Canadian Armed Forces.  For over 35 years, Mr. Wong has served as an officer and has been recognized as one of the top public affairs professionals within the military for strategic communications, issues of national security, and emergency management.  Mr. Wong has also served on a number of UN peacekeeping missions in Africa and worked with President Karzai and his team to help stand up the government in Afghanistan.  In addition to leading AKW Global Enterprises, his management consulting and communications company, Mr. Wong is the Chief Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, a Citizenship Judge for the Greater Toronto Area, a member of the Regimental Senate, and a Reserve Public Affairs officer.

Mr. Wong has dedicated a significant portion of his personal time to mentoring and helping others in Canada and abroad.  He has acted as a mentor and served as a highly sought-after speaker for the Asian Canadian community, especially for those interested in military service.  While in Afghanistan, he raised funds for orphanages and schools for mentally handicapped children and began initiatives to aid in the healing of post-traumatic active and veteran military.  He served as the Chair of the Mississauga Board of Chinese Professionals and Businesses which raises funds for community initiatives.

For his various efforts, Mr. Wong has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Canadian Forces’ Decoration, the Canadian Peacekeeping Service medal, the Vice-Regal Commendation, the United Nations Eritrea medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal,  the Chinese Canadian Legend award, and in June 2015, the Transformation for Public Service award.

In August 2015, NAAAP awarded Mr. Albert Wong a NAAAP 100 award.

Dr. Omar Ishrak, Medical Technology Executive (2016)

Dr. Omar Ishrak

Dr. Ishrak is currently the Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, the world’s leading medical technology company, where he also chairs the Diversity Council.  He serves as co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Health and Healthcare Community, and also sits on the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society, and the Minnesota Public Radio Board of Trustees.

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Dr. Victor Dzau, President of the Institute of Medicine (2016)

Dr. Victor J. Dzau

Dr. Victor J. Dzau is the President of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) and Vice Chair of the National Research Council. He is the Chancellor Emeritus and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University, the past President and CEO of the Duke University Health System, and previous Chairman of the Department of Medicine at both Stanford University and Harvard University.

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Bernarda Wong, President of the Chinese American Service League (2017)

Bernarda Wong

Bernarda Wong, better known as “Bernie,” is a philanthropist and career social worker. She was the first President of the Chinese American Service League (CASL), which she founded with several friends. Under Wong’s leadership, CASL grew from a one-person shop in 1979 with an annual budget of $30,000 to a 500-person, $13 million operation serving some 17,000 members of Chicago’s Chinese community with job training, senior care, daycare, family counseling, and education services. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Wong’s humble, early life and difficult experiences set the stage for her mission-driven approach to serving others with dignity and respect. At eighteen, Wong left Hong Kong for Sioux City, Iowa, where she earned a B.A. in Sociology from Briar Cliff College and later a Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.

In addition to her work at CASL, Wong is active in other community roles. She chaired the Chicago Mayor’s Advisory Council on Asian Affairs and was the first Asian appointed to the boards of the United Way of Chicago and the Chicago Public Library. She also served on the Governor’s Asian Advisory Council, the Leadership of Greater Chicago Board, and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. Currently, Bernie serves on the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging Board, the Council for the Illinois Department on Aging, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Board, and the Obama Foundation Inclusion Council. Wong is also a founder of Chinese Immigrant Service Agencies Network International.

Through her work for the community, Ms. Wong has received several accolades for her achievements. Her awards include the Distinguished Alumni Award from both of her alma maters, the Jane Addams Making History Award for Distinction in Social Service, the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Outstanding Community Leader Award for the Chicago Chapter, the YWCA Outstanding Leaders – Racial Justice Award, the Distinguished Community Leader award from Mayor Richard Daley, and “Champion of Change” award from President Obama.  In September 2016, the city dedicated a street outside of CASL as Honorary Bernarda “Bernie” Wong Way, and she retired with CASL cofounder Esther Wong at the end of 2016.

Nanxi Liu, entrepreneur (2017 Inspire Award winner)

Nanxi Liu

Nanxi Liu, a 27-year-old self-made entrepreneur, received NAAAP’s Inspire Award in 2017. Liu is the CEO and co-founder of Enplug, a leading digital signage software company with headquarters in Los Angeles and offices in London, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo.  Small businesses to Fortune 500 companies use Enplug’s software to manage and distribute interactive content on digital displays in offices, hotels, malls, and stadiums.  Since its founding in 2012, Enplug quickly became the world’s most popular software for intelligent displays and raised over $3.7 million.  The company has received several accolades, including Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 30 Startups to Watch in 2013 and the founders receiving Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 list for 2015. While in college, Liu founded Nanoly Bioscience, a still-thriving, award-winning biotech that develops polymers to eliminate refrigeration for vaccines. Liu also serves on the Board of Advisors for Covington Capital Management, which oversees $2 billion.  Her work has earned her Fortune’s Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs in 2015 and Forbes 30 under 30 in 2016.

Outside of business. Liu serves as the chairman of the Tiger Scholarship Foundation and advises Rise To Run, which encourages progressive young women to run for public office.  She has also served on advisory boards for United Nations Women, UNICEF Chinese Children’s Initiative, and the Lady Gaga Foundation. Liu won an Emmy as a producer of the Amazon TV show “The Bay” and is also a composer, pilot, certified marksman, and recently played at the 2017 World Series of Poker.  Liu lived the first five years of her life in rural China and grew up in Colorado. Her family struggled, living in subsidized housing, with Liu depending on free lunch at school.  When she convinced her parents to spend their savings on a $100 piano at a garage sale, she made the most of it by becoming a concert pianist, featured live on NBC, and winning prizes. Her success in music and pageants, including as Miss Oakland, paid for degrees at the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied business, political economy, and engineering.

Dr. Santa Ono, University President and Vice Chancellor (2016)

Dr. Santa Ono

Dr. Santa J. Ono is the 15th President and Vice Chancellor of the University of British Columbia and former President of the University of Cincinnati. He is recognized as one of the most admired leaders in higher education and a visible, outspoken advocate for social progress. Dr. Ono has also held faculty and administrative roles in medicine and biology at Johns Hopkins, Harvard, University College London, and Emory universities.

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Brian Wong, marketing pioneer, author, speaker (2016 Inspire Award winner)

Brian Wong

Brian Wong was NAAAP’s inaugural Inspire honoree in 2016. Brian is the Co-founder and CEO of Kiip, a leading mobile advertising network.  Founded in 2010, Kiip (pronounced “keep”) redefines how brands connect with consumers through a rewards platform that targets “achievement moments” in mobile games and applications. This innovative approach to mobile marketing creates meaningful engagements between users, developers, and advertisers.  Kiip powers rewards in over 4,000 apps on iOS and Android and works with more than 700 of the world’s top brands, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, BMW, Capital One, and many others. 

Growing up in Vancouver,  Brian graduated from the University of British Columbia at age 18 with a degree in business and marketing and landed a job at internet start-up Digg in Silicon Valley, where he led key publisher and tech partnerships and accelerated the company’s mobile presence by launching the Digg Android mobile app.  

At age 19, he founded Kiip and became at the time the youngest person to ever receive venture capital funding, according to TechCrunch and The Wall Street Journal. Brian has been recognized with many awards for his accomplishments and leadership, including Forbes “30 under 30” for three years, one of “Top 20 Under 20” awards for all of Canada, Business Insider’s “Top 25 Under 25 in Silicon Valley,” Mashable’s “Top 5 Entrepreneurs to Watch,” AdAge’s “Creativity Top 50,” and other accolades.  In September 2016 Brian launched his first book, The Cheat Code, which contains tips on how to get noticed and get ahead.

Linda Yu, broadcast journalist (2017)

Linda Yu

Linda Yu is one of Chicago’s most respected and well-known broadcasters, after a 37 year career in the Windy City.

Linda Yu, a trailblazing and award-winning broadcaster with a 46-year career in journalism, is the recipient of its NAAAP 100 Award, Presented by General Motors. NAAAP’s highest honor is presented annually to the most influential leaders who have made significant contributions to their profession and to the Asian community.

Ms. Yu began her journalism career in 1970, when she served as a writer and producer for ABC-owned KTLA-TV and then as a writer for ABC-owned KABC-TV, both in Los Angeles.  In 1975 she went on to work as a reporter for ABC-affiliated KATU-TV in Portland and later as a reporter and back-up anchor at ABC-owned KGO-TV in San Francisco.  In 1979 Ms. Yu moved to Chicago and became the city’s first Asian American broadcast journalist when she started working as a reporter and weekend co-anchor at NBC’s WMAQ-TV. Ms. Yu joined ABC 7 WLS-TV Chicago in 1984 as a reporter and news anchor for the station’s 11 A.M. and 4 P.M. news hours.  Both programs maintained top status throughout her career until her retirement in November 2016.

Ms. Yu has an impressive lineup of achievements during her lifetime.  She was inducted into the prestigious “Silver Circle” of legendary Chicago broadcasters, was a winner of six local Emmy awards, wrote a book, “Lessons I Learned in America,” to help career women succeed, was named as one of Today Chicago Women Magazine’s “100 Women to Watch,” and was honored with a National Gold Medal from the National Conference of Community and Justice.

Yu served for more than 30 years as the Advisory Board Chairperson for the Chinese American Service League. She is also a co-founder of the Chicago Chapter of the Asian-American Journalists Association and an active supporter of local charities, including Common Threads, the Juvenile Protective Association, and the March of Dimes. Yu graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism.

Yu graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.
Tammy Nguyen Lee, filmmaker

Tammy Nguyen Lee

Tammy Nguyen Lee is President and Co-Founder of Against The Grain Productions and is an award-winning producer and filmmaker, professional actor, and philanthropist.

Born in Saigon, Mrs. Lee fled Vietnam on a boat when she was less than three months old and spent over a year in a Hong Kong refugee camp before being reunited with family in Dallas.  After graduating near the top of her class from an International Baccalaureate program with intensive training in theater and music, she declined a scholarship to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts to be closer to family, matriculating at the esteemed Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (SMU).  As an undergraduate, she was a leader in several Asian organizations, and her short films Lunar Cycles and First Slow Burn were screened in various film festivals across the country.  Mrs. Lee also reigned as Miss Asian American Texas from 1999-2001.  Soon afterwards, she earned her M.F.A. at UCLA while producing films and continuing her work as a professional actor and spokesmodel.   In 2005, Mrs. Lee co-founded the nonprofit Against The Grain Productions, which is dedicated to Asian Americans in the arts and has raised funds for orphanages in Vietnam and given scholarships to emerging Asian leaders.  Her documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam has won numerous national and international film festival awards and has brought attention to the aftermath of what has been called “one of the most humanitarian efforts in history.”

For over a decade, Mrs. Lee has made a tremendous impact in her local community through ongoing charitable and civic efforts.  Mrs. Lee serves as an educator in promoting awareness around poverty, Asian culture, and female leadership, with key roles at the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center and the SMU Meadows Alumni Advisory Council.  In 2010, Mrs. Lee was honored with a Distinguished Alumni award, and in 2012, she received the NAAAP DFW Leaders of Excellence Award.  Her work on the Board of Directors for Women in Film Dallas and her close work over the past four years with NAAAP DFW have made her one of the most well-known and respected leaders in the Dallas Asian community.  Mrs. Lee lives in Dallas with her husband, their two daughters, and their miniature schnauzers, Oscar and Emmy.