We are currently looking to expand our community and welcome new Board Members onto our team! Please contact us for more information on how you can become involved.
ACMA EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
Dennis Michael is the recipient of numerous awards, commendations, and recognition for his community involvement and outreach efforts. For the past decade, he has hosted and produced many cultural events and festivals in San Diego namely the Asian Cultural Festival of San Diego, the San Diego Ramen Festival, the AMP Music Festival and many other large community events.
Additionally, Dennis-Michael is known for his humanitarian efforts around the globe. He volunteered at an orphanage in Chiang Rai, in northern Thailand, helping to build a classroom; volunteered at an educational center in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, teaching English; distributed water filters where there is limited to no access to clean drinking water in slums and villages in Senegal, Kenya, and Tanzania as well as teaching supplies and school equipment in Nepal.
Founder, Executive Director & Board Chair
Dubbed "Korean Food Ambassador" by the media, Cathlyn is a multi award winning TV show host and producer of the first Korean TV cooking show in English on PBS called “Cathlyn’s Korean Kitchen" and Asian Voices, a cultural and educational television program featuring Asian and Pacific Islanders, community, art, culture and events in Southern California.
Cathlyn is the co-owner of CNA Digital Media Marketing Services, specializing in digital media marketing and TV/Film production. In addition to being the founder and board chair of Asian Culture and Media Alliance, Cathlyn serves on the board of Taylion High Desert Academy and is the President of Korean Women’s International Network, San Diego Chapter. In addition to 20 years of international business development and new media marketing background, Cathlyn has over 18 years of experience as a reporter, TV show host and MC in Korea, Brunei and US.
Born in Richmond, Kentucky to a Japanese mother and Cherokee Indian and Irish father, Ellen studied art at eastern Kentucky University, where she also worked as a library technician. In addition to 6 years of experience working as an advertising and graphic designer. Ellen has over 13 years of background as a commissions specialist and currently works for the Producers Group, an insurance brokerage in La Jolla.
In her spare time, Ellen enjoys playing golf and volunteering at non-profit organizations in San Diego, organizing and distributing toys to families and children such as Toys for Tots and is an active member of Ladies on Course.
A community activist with a passion for promoting Korean culture, Hyosoon co-founded a non profit organization called San Diego Pungmul Institute with her husband in 2009 to create awareness of Korean folk music in the United States while fostering and mentoring second generation Korean Americans teaching then about the importance of cultural roots and tradition.
Since then, she has been performing with her group at dozens of cultural events and festivals annually throughout Southern California. Hyosoon currently works as a full time high school’s math teacher at SDUHS and volunteers her time at various non profit organizations in the Korean community.
Events / Cultural Programming
Nanda Mehta is a giant for the South Asian community in San Diego. She is the founder and managing director of Ahaana, a South Asian organization based here. Her exuberant, charismatic personality comes through in all the events she has hosted in San Diego since 2013. Having been active in Indian organizations from the time she was 19, it was natural for Mehta to create Ahaana and launch “Yoni Ki Baat.”
YKB is the South Asian version of The Vagina Monologues and has received rave reviews and strong attendance for the live performances. She encourages men and women to speak about subjects that are huge taboos in South Asian culture.
Events / Cultural Programming
Christine is the co-founder and owner of Makani Kai, a Polynesian dance group established in 1993 along with a group of professional Polynesian dancers. Beginning with regular performances at Sea World and throughout San Diego during the 90’s, today Makani Kai has become a thriving Polynesian entertainment troupe completed with live drumming and a live band “Moku Kani."
Christine also opened a school in the recent years to provide opportunities for the youth in her community to learn cultural dance, and music. With her love and passion for dance, music and culture, Christine is always striving to perpetuate the Polynesian culture with honor and respect - Haumana for life, sharing the foundation of Aloha with many.
Born in Vancouver, Canada and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, Cindy Tsai grew to become a board-certified Internal Medicine physician and medical director. Lying between cultures of East and West as much as mission in the medical fields, she has since found harmony between traditional medical approaches from both. In her goals of healing and growth, her approach is centered on the mind-body connection to heal, which is unique to each and every individual.
She is trained in coaching, mindfulness and other energy healing modalities (e.g. reiki, breathwork, EFT tapping, emotion code, human design, etc). She also has a comprehensive set of skills and resources to offer a holistic and personalized approach to coaching.
Joanne is an Air Force Officer and recently led their service wide efforts for AAPI Heritage Month while also serving as member of their Barrier Analysis Working Group. In this capacity, Joanne is involved in analyzing data, trends and barriers to identify and address issues impacting AANHPI personnel in the Air Force. Born and raised in the Philippines, Joanne is a staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion and promoting AANHPI heritage across various platforms.
She holds a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology and a Masters Degree in Forensic Science and was a former Medicolegal Death Investigator in the Washington, DC area (Northern Virginia). Joanne also volunteers her time serving as a mentor for Big Brother Big Sister. “
Youth Internship & Legal
Elliott H. Jung grew up in Los Angeles where he watched his immigrant parents trying to survive in a completely different culture. He found his life’s calling when he attended law school at Southwestern Law School in downtown Los Angeles, and is currently a partner with Hepburn, Hernandez, & Jung. He has since then worked with the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew, Senior United States District Court Judge for the Central District of California and the Federal Public Defender’s Office.
He was invited to teach as an adjunct professor at California Western Law School teaching the school’s main trial skills program and guided law students into becoming an effective advocate for their clients. Elliott also coached law students to compete in local and national trial competitions against other prestigious law schools.
Irene Lee is excited to be involved with ACMA as she holds her Asian American identity close to heart. She currently works as Associate Project Manager at Novartis Oncology within the biotechnology industry after graduating from UC San Diego in Biochemistry. Irene also works with Spark Business Academy in teaching business and financial literacy to students K-12. Growing up, Irene embraced all kinds of art including training in Chinese folk dance, visual arts, and piano.
Irene continues to explore her love for art and media today.
Social Media Marketing Director
San Diego native Dr. Khoa D Truong, O.D. has been a member of the American Optometric Association, California Optometric Association, and San Diego Optometric Society for over fifteen years. He was a member of the President’s Lions Club and used his expertise to conduct free vision screenings and health fairs for the community of San Diego. He also has his own wellness talk show on Vietnamese Television (VNTV) that helps address different aspects of health and life with co-host Dana Vo.
Truong graduated from UCSD in 1998 majoring in Biology and Psychology with Magna Cum Laude honors and Phi Beta Kappa distinction. In 2002, he received his doctor of optometry degree from the UC Berkeley School of Optometry and earned high honors at most of his externships. After graduating from optometry school, he worked with an ophthalmologist to gain more knowledge on the treatment of ocular diseases and soon after became a mananging doctor for Eyexam of CA/Lenscrafters for seven years.