I am thrilled to finally experience the 4th Annual California Asian Business Summit hosted by the California Asian Chamber of Commerce on Friday, September 18, 2015 at the Costa Mesa Hilton. As the past Secretary for the Asian Business Association of Orange County, I have attended quite a few business summits and I have to admit, this has been one of the best summits I have ever attended…
The morning was jumpstarted by the Chairman, Founder and Chief Connectivity Officer of IW Group, Bill Imada, introducing an eye-opening video on the power of the Asian-Americans’ effect on the global economy. The video said, “If you put all the Asian-American’s in one island, it will be the 18th largest power of the world!”
The first panel was the “CEO Roundtable” Moderated by Matt Petteruto, Vice President of Economic Development, Orange County Business Council. He effectively engaged and interviewed Fred Ruiz, Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents for the University of California and Ken McNeely, President of AT&T California. Incidentally, AT&T is the Platinum Sponsor for this year’s summit.
It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces at this year’s summit – my dear friends Joanna Pavis-Pamaran from US Bank, Gloria Rull, New York Life and Past President of Asian Business Association Orange County and Filipino American Chamber of Commerce, Tom Nguyen, President of ABAOC and Founder of WinCorp Solutions, Raziel Arcega of LNR Promotions and President of Asian Business Association Inland Empire, Drisha Melton of CA Public Utilities Commission, Bekele Demissie, Community Liason Officer with the Orange County Transportation Authority, Mohammed Islam, President of South Asian Business Association Network, Arnel Dino, President of National Association of Asian American Professionals, Dennis Huang, CEO and Executive Director of Asian Business Association Los Angeles, Sun Hi Ahn, Director and Legal Counsel for ABAOC, Radi Miranda, President-Elect for the Asian Business Association Inland Empire, Maria Dumatol of Material and Contracts Services and Jerry Dumatol of Dumatek.
A huge kudos to the Board of Directors of the California Asian Chamber of Commerce! It was great to finally meet Pat Fong-Kushida, CalAsian Chamber CEO, Julian Canete, Director of Public Policy and his wife Nora Canete, Project Manager.
I participated in their Business Matchmaking Sessions and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to sit with, and present my Capabilities Statement and Speaker One Sheet to Manuel Chacon, from the AT&T Global Supplier Diversity and Joseph Kokrak, Project Manager for Servitek Solutions. Talk about how social media truly makes the world smaller! Manuel and I discovered that we have a mutual friend, Jerry Chen and are paths have somewhat crossed before, even just in social media. A perfect example of how we magnetize the right people, resources and relationships our way, as we commit to showing up and playing full on!
It was great to meet other wonderful attendees – Tushar Gadhia -Vizen Executive Leadership, Marie I. Fuller – Fuller Landscape and Planning, Karthik Gupta – Swift Strategic Solutions, Inc. and Jake Cheng – Vasari Energy.
Eric Fisher, Principal Manager of Supplier Diversity and Development at Southern California Edison (SCE) introduced our featured Keynote Speaker, Wing Lam, Co-Founder of Wahoo’s Tacos. Appearing on stage in shorts, shirt and flip-flops with long hair tied in a pony tail and long beard flowing freely down his chin, Wing was very relaxed and passionate in sharing the humble beginnings of Wahoo’s Tacos and how it has now become a globally recognized brand. He said, “At the end of the day, it’s all about passion, experiences and relationships. Money is good but there are other many other meaningful things that were gifted to me that money can’t buy.”
After lunch, 2 Round Trip Southwest Airlines tickets were raffled off and the winner was my dear friend Patty Freund! Congratulations Patty!
The highlight of the summit for me was attending the Breakout Session for “Women in Politics and Power”. Three incredibly inspiring and inspirational Asian-American women generously shared their time, wisdom and hearts for a full hour and a half. They were my dear friend, Assemblywoman Young Kim from CAs 65th District, Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang from CA 55th District and Betty Yee, Controller of the State of California.
These 3 very powerful women all shared their humble beginnings, what’s currently happening at the California assembly and the forward movement that is being achieved through communication and cooperation, and their collective vision to mentor more women, especially the younger women to take more interest in government and politics and the difference we can all make there.
Young Kim said, “At the end of the day, it’s all about people. The question is what can we do to connect better with government? Ask yourself how government has been good to you and start from there. Government and politics is confusing to most people especially for young women so we need to continue to remind them that women can help redefine government. That’s what we’re doing. We believe in “Mentoring to Make A Difference”
Towards the end of the session, I was pleasantly surprised and absolutely touched when Young Kim pointed towards me and mentioned my name as she shared my “Magnetic Social Media Branding” process when the audience asked them questions on what they think about how to best leverage social media in building trust and maintaining a favorable reputation.
Betty Yee said, “Bring your personal experiences in social media – issues are issues. Understanding who we are and what we bring to our perspective roles must be communicated. Define your personal success, shaped by your personal experiences. How are we going to show what others can aspire for without knowing what value you bring to your work?”
The networking was superb and it went on way after the event was over! I have met new potential collaborators as well as people and communities that my company can serve. It’s always wonderful re-connecting and catching up with committed leaders who are champions and advocates for diversity and business. I feel a renewed sense of commitment to people and organizations who are making a difference here, yet effecting positive ripples in a global scale!
I look forward to the 5th Annual California Asian Business Summit and until then, I will continue to serve, support and be visible as a loud advocate for people, businesses and organizations who are on a mission to make a difference.
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Here’s To Your Success with Satisfaction and Significance!