Advisory Board

Honorary Advisory Board

Clyde Kusatsu
Actor/Vice President of national SAG/AFTRA

Clyde was the first  Asian American  to be elected as the President of SAG/AFTRA , local Los Angeles Chapter and he was  recently re-elected as the Vice President of national SAG/AFTRA where he will serve for additional 2 years.

Hawaii-born actor Clyde Kusatsu has appeared in roles calling for a variety of indeterminate ethnic origins including Hawaii Five O, Kung Fu, MASH, Magnum PI and Midway and Star Trek Next Generation. Early film appearances included unbilled bits in Airport 75 (1975) and Alex and the Gypsy (1976). With his minor role as the Freighter Captain in Black Sunday (1977), Kusatsu began working his way up the featured-player ladder.
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Steven Choi
68th District Asssembly member

Steven Choi is an American Republican Party politician from Orange County, California, who is the California State Assemblymember representing the 68th Assembly District, having won the post in 2016.

 

Prior to that, he served two terms as mayor of Irvine, California. In 1998, he became the first Asian-American elected to the Irvine Unified School Board and served two consecutive terms there before becoming the first Asian American to have been elected to a four-year term on the Irvine City Council and one of two Korean Americans on the council. For more information, visit www.stevenchoi.org
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Young Kim
Former Assembly Woman

She was elected to the Assembly in 2014 after unseating Democratic Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva. In 2017, Young Kim announced she would be running for Orange County Supervisor.

a nonpartisan office in the 4th district which includes the cities of Fullerton, Placentia, La Habra, Brea and portions of Anaheim and Buena Park.Young O. Kim was the first Korean American Republican Woman ever to serve in the California state legislature, and the first Asian American to represent the cities of the 65th Assembly District in Sacramento.
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Nathan Wang
Pianist and Composer

An Emmy and Singapore Grammy Award recipient, Nathan Wang is a  world-renowned Chinese-American pianist and composer for Hollywood and Asian cinema. He has scored over 500 films and televisions shows working with many renowned film directors, composers and producers such as Steven Spielberg, Jackie Chan, Hans Zimmer, Disney, Dreamworks and many others.

His arrangements have been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Shanghai Philharmonic among many others. 
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Scholarly Advisory Board

Dr. Thuy Vo Dang
Curator for the Southeast Asian Archive at UC Irvine

Thuy Vo Dang holds a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from UC San Diego and has conducted research and taught courses on race and ethnicity, oral history, cultural studies, immigration and refugee studies.

Thuy serves on the Board of Directors for Arts Orange County and the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association, both nonprofit arts organizations. She was featured in the OC Weekly’s Inaugural People Issue as the “Studs Terkel of Little Saigon” and received the “Public Image Award” from Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Thuy is co-author of Vietnamese in Orange County, published in 2015, and is currently working on A People’s Guide to Orange County (forthcoming, UC Press), a book project that foregrounds marginalized stories of the region through a social justice lens. Part of a research team awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant in the community anchors category, she researches the intersection between ethnic studies theory and community archives practice.
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Dr. Thao Ha
Professor of Sociology at MiraCosta College

Thao was born in Vietnam and came as a refugee to the U.S. in 1975 as part of Operation Frequent Wind. She grew up in Houston, Texas, and earned her Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.

She is passionate about social justice, equity, lifting up those in need, and empowering others to reach their full potential. Aside from teaching, she owns an online jewelry business (www.thaoha.com) and donates 100% of net proceeds to the MiraCosta Foundation and other philanthropic organizations. Thao currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Promise, a non-profit organization that brings the community together to ensure Oceanside’s children and young adults reach their fullest potential in college, career, and life. She’s an associate producer of the documentary film, “Seadrift” (2019), which was inspired by her research and book chapter on Vietnamese refugees in Texas’s fishery industry and the KKK. 
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Community Outreach Advisory Board

John Shin
Founder/CEO, AXIANTA Financial Partners, LLC. (AFP)

In addition to being the founder of AXIANTA Financial Partners, John Shin is also the Founder of a non-profit organization called “ALL FOR ONE” which provides child prosperity centers for children around the world. Together with the organization, they have built and created 9 orphanages in 6 countries like Uganda, Philippines, Nicaragua, Vietnam, China, and India and have helped over 1,000 kids live within their orphanages.

John’s latest accomplishment includes his role as an Executive Producer of the movie, THINK: The Legacy of Think and Grow Rich. John holds a B.A. in Business Administration from University of Southern California, an M.B.A., and earned a Juris Doctorate Degree in Law.
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Jack Toan
President and Community Affairs Manager Wells Fargo Community Relations

As part of Wells Fargo’s Government and Community Relations team, Jack Toan is responsible for managing the Wells Fargo Foundation’s charitable giving and volunteerism programs in Orange, San Diego, Imperial, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Jack is committed to the community and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Union of Pan Asian Communities, Team Kids, Inc., Illumination Foundation, UC Irvine Vietnamese American Community Ambassadors and the community partners advisory board for the OC Human Relations Council. He is a member of the Orange County Funders Roundtable, San Diego Grantmakers, and also is the founder and program consultant for a children’s self-defense and safety awareness program in partnership with the Saint Anselm’s Cross Cultural Community Center.
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Emily Letran
Cosmetic Dentist Monrovia, DDS

Emily Letran is a general dentist who owns two multi-specialty group practices in Southern California. She is known as a High Performance Coach, Author, Dentist, Philanthropist, Mentor and International Speaker.

Emily received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from UC Riverside (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). She is a graduate of UCLA School of Dentistry (Dean’s Apollonian Scholarship) and received her Master of Science in Oral Biology from UCLA at the same time. She continuously takes courses in clinical dentistry, practice management and marketing, attending multiple business forums every year, striving to improve her skills to better serve patients. For more information visit www.dremilyletran.com
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Lloyd McKinney
Global Supply Chain Program Manager for Northrop Grumman Corporation

Mr. McKinney is a veteran in Domestic and International Global Supply Chain management/operations in the Aerospace and Defense Industry. He is a multidimensional leader with a proven track record in leading high performance teams.  His skills include special projects management, proposal planning and preparation, administrative and financial management and project planning and control.

Mr. McKinney is a Global Supply Chain Program Manager for Northrop Grumman Corporation Mission Systems Airborne Communications Division Center of Excellence. Career highlights include Global Supply Chain Leadership for the X-47B Program where he developed acquisition strategies and proactively managed surveillance over subcontractor affordability, risk/opportunity management, quality, cost, and schedule performance. His X-47B achievements include the teams 2013 Collier Trophy Award and a 2014 Aerospace Systems Presidents Award for Program Excellence. Mr. McKinney currently serves on the following boards where he advises on strategic planning, fundraising, marketing, operations and program development: University of Southern California (USC) Board of Governors; USC Black Alumni Association Advisory Council; Wilson Global Consulting, Washington, D.C.; and the New Designs Charter Management Organization Board President.
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Media Advisory Board

Alicia Summers
Anchor/Reporter

Currently, Alicia is working as a reporter/anchor at a KFMB-TV in San Diego. She brings riveting breaking news from all over the states. A native of California’s Bay Area, Alicia was determined to pursue a career in journalism following the events of 9/11. 

Alicia worked as a host at KOCT-TV, in 2006. She gained a lot of experience by working there and then worked at KYMA-TV, Yuma, as an Anchor/Reporter and Producer for 2 years. Alicia also served as a weekend anchor at KGPE, Fresno, CA for 3 years. She later produced her own news report at KGPE. Beginning her broadcasting career at KYMA-TV in Yuma, Arizona, Alicia learned nearly every aspect of broadcast news. She handled producing and reporting duties as well as anchoring the morning newscast and weather. Heading back to California, Alicia fine-tuned her craft as a reporter and anchor/producer of KGPE-TV’s weekend newscast in Fresno, California.
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Iris Yamashita
Screenwriter / Lecturer

Iris Yamashita was nominated for an Academy Award for her screenplay, “Letters from Iwo Jima.” Directed by Clint Eastwood, “Letters” received a Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for four Academy Awards.

She has optioned or written on assignment for various production companies, and is currently developing an action film to be directed by Takashi Miike (“13 Assassins,” “Audition”). Iris has also been commissioned to work on an original resort show for Disney Imagineering. In the past, Iris has acted as a panel judge for contests and festivals sponsored by various organizations including the Writers Guild of America, Film Independent, the Korean Film Council and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
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Angela Chee
Media strategist / On-Camera Coach / TV host / Speaker.

A former TV news anchor/reporter, Angela Chee is now on a mission to help others find their voice, master their message and share their vision with the world.

Angela has worked in top TV markets from KCBS/KCAL-TV and KNBC-TV in Los Angeles to Fox 6 and KNSD in San Diego. She has hosted shows for networks like E! Entertainment, HGTV (Home and Garden Television), Channel One News and helped launch Entertainment Tonight China. Angela is also founder of The Zen Mom, an inspirational and informative website for moms.
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Eric Michelson
TV / Film Producer

With over 20 years of tv/film and video production experience including producing, directing, writing and editing, Eric Michelson‘s experience includes corporate training programs, commercial spots, music videos, live fashion and music events to short films and documentaries.

Eric currently co-owns Carma Media Productions and has co-produced 4 seasons of Cathlyn’s Korean Kitchen including Top Chef Korean Food Challenge and Hansik Stories for tvK24, ArirangTV and PBS. Since 2014, Eric had co-produced, directed and edited 2 seasons of Asian Voices show. Since 2016, he has been instrumental in mentoring and providing hands-on media workshop to API youths through Take One Youth Internship program.
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Angela Sheng
Executive Director California Creative & Performing Arts Center & IECESC Education Center

In addition to being a business entrepreneur, Angela Sheng is a Producer, Director, Composer, Writer and TV show host.  She currently owns ZSMT Group which include International Education, K-12 school, and Arts Programs for kids and Adults.

In 2015, she founded Global Cultural and Creative Industries Foundation for helping more young artists and musician for pursuing their dreams. Angela was the composer and producer for the original musical show , she also performed in the show in June, 2017. Angela is also the producer and host for the TV show and the documentary .
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Marissa Pei
Psychologist, Radio Talk Show Host, Author, Public Speaker

Author of ’88 ways to happiness’, Marissa Pei is best known as ‘The Asian Oprah’. In addition to being a RadioTalk Show host, Pei is also a TV commentator featured on a variety of human dynamics topics, including “Why People Do Weird Things at Work,” “Totally Out of Control People,” and her latest, “Conspiracy Theory.”

Pei’s private Life Balance Coaching practice in Seal Beach and Sedona, AZ, is supported by sets of daily inspirational cards, “52 Card Pick (Me) Ups: Stacking the Deck for Life Balance with Dr. Marissa” just launched last year. In her not-so-spare time, she teaches Balance Tai Qi Qong (DVD in production), a moving meditation that promotes inner peace one breath at a time, runs a “21 Day Fast from Complaining” event on Facebook with more than 800 followers and has three original songs now available at Amazon.com and iTunes.
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Susanne Bennett
Author, CEO & Founder of PURIGENEX

Dr. Susanne Bennett is an internationally recognized natural and integrative medicine expert with over 27 years of clinical experience in the fields of allergies, clinical nutrition, methylgenetics and anti-aging medicine.

She is the author of #1 International Best Seller, Mighty Mito- Power Up Your Mitochondria for Boundless Energy, Laser Sharp Mental Focus and a Powerful Vibrant Body, and The 7-Day Allergy Makeover.Susanne is the talk show host of “Wellness For Life” on RadioMD and iHeart Radio, and is devoted to sharing the best health strategies and providing easy to implement tips to improve your life and start feeling better today, the all-natural way. She is also the CEO and Founder of PURIGENEX, a skin care company dedicated to creating non-invasive products and cutting edge formulations to help prevent premature skin aging, rejuvenate and restore optimal skin health. Her philosophy is that “healthy skin leads to better health.”
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Hula Ramos
DJ Personality & Podcast Host

Hula Ramos is a former On-Air Radio Personality and Producer in his hometown of San Diego. He has worked over 19 years on various radio stations in San Diego including Channel 933, Star 94.1, Energy 103.7, KSON KyXy 96.5, and Sunny 98.1.

Currently, Hula has his very own podcast, LIFE WITH HULA, which you can is available on Spotify, iTunes, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts and can even be heard on your Google Play or Alexa devices!
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Christine Yoo
Director/Producer

Christine Yoo​ is a non-fiction TV producer, independent filmmaker and volunteer at San Quentin State Prison. As a TV producer, she has worked on series for National Geographic, History, Oxygen, KCET/PBS, LinkTV and The Africa Channel. 

As an independent filmmaker, she is committed to telling stories of the under-represented. She is currently in post-production on her first feature documentary, “2​6.2 to Life: The San Quentin Prison Marathon,” which she shot independently inside the prison for over three years.  She is a Logan Non-Fiction Fellow and has received grants from the Rogovy Foundation and recently a Sundance x Marshall Project grant for a new short that continues her work to tell the human impact of mass incarceration inside San Quentin. Christine got her start in narrative filmmaking. She co-wrote the anime series ​”Afro Samurai​” starring Samuel L. Jackson for Spike/Fuji TV and her original feature screenplay ​”For Steppers Only,”​ also featuring a diverse cast, was optioned by Lionsgate. Her thesis film “Yellow Belle” was a coming of age story about growing up as a Korean-American in America’s South, which aired on POV and screened in the Busan International Film Festival as well as Asian American film festivals. Her feature film debut “W​edding Palace”​ (2014), which she directed, produced and co-wrote, broke ground featuring an all Korean-American and Korean cast, won several festival awards, and was sponsored by Korean Air, Hyundai, Jinro/Hite and The Face Shop. When distributors told her that a rom-com featuring an all-Asian cast was not marketable, Christine self-distributed the film to US theaters in 6 major markets where it had a 14-week theatrical run. The film can now be seen streaming on Amazon and Warner VOD.
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Take One Internship Advisory Board

Sina Hajhassan
Career Coach

As Entertainment/Media Chair, then President of the Undergraduate Communication Society, Sina got to live his passion of leading a team and helping his peers get clarity in careers within the communications industry through our organization’s offerings. He also coached students and friends on professionalism, using LinkedIn, resume writing and job interviewing. 

Sina served as a Senior LinkedIn Champion and Director of Triton LinkedIn Group, a program that was only offered at eight college campuses in the nation. Working with his team, the Career Center at UC San Diego and actual LinkedIn employees, Sina got to further develop his knowledge and skills in career coaching.
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Son Nguyen
Senior Recruiter @ LinkedIn

Son is currently the Senior Lead Campus Business Recruiter at LinkedIn. He is responsible for hiring and coaching entry-level talent for 300+ business and technical roles in the SF Bay Area, Chicago, New York, and Dublin. Prior to joining the talent acquisition team at LinkedIn, he worked in recruiting for Target Headquarters as well as college admissions at Notre Dame, Columbia, and Michigan. 

He was born and raised in Bellingham, WA to Vietnamese refugees. Son is the first in his family to attend college and holds a BBA of management consulting from the University of Notre Dame along with an MS of strategic communications from Columbia University. He is passionate about his Fighting Irish, Seattle sports, and coffee.
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