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ANNIVERSARY 2017/2018 ISSUE 14

THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

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IN THIS ISSUE ANNIVERSARY 2017/2018

Autumn 2012 Issue: Yul Kwon Pages 3-7

Holiday 2013/2014 Issue: Thuhien Nguyen Pages 30-31

Autumn 2012 Issue: Angie Chang Pages 8-9

Spring 2014 Issue: Kenneth Lin Pages 32-34

Holiday 2014/2015 Issue Pages 45-46

Winter 2013 Issue: Sheila Marcelo Pages 10-13

Spring 2014 Issue: Adora Svitak Pages 35-36

Holiday 2014/2015 Issue: Anjali Shah Pages 47-48

Winter 2013 Issue: Elaine Kwon Pages 14-16

Spring 2014 Issue: Helen Wan Pages 37-38

Spring 2015 Issue: Padmasree Warrior Pages 49-51

Spring 2013 Issue: Ernestine Fu & Brian Wong Pages 17-25

Summer 2014 Issue Pages 39-40

Spring 2015 Issue: Dr. Wendy Suzuki Pages 52-53

Summer 2014 Issue: Andrew Yang Pages 41-42

Summer 2015 Issue: Christina Ha Pages 56-57

Fall 2016 Issue: Chien-Chi Huang Pages 71-72

Holiday 2015/2016 Issue: Glenn Sugiyama Pages 58-62

ALIST Magazine Self-Reflection Page 76

Spring 2016 Issue Pages 63-64

Joyce Tang, Founder and Chief Customer Happiness Officer of AgilisIT Pages 77-78

Spring 2016 Issue: Andrew Ly Pages 65-66 Spring 2016 Issue: Ally Maki Pages 67-68 Fall 2016 Issue Pages 69-70

Gracie Kim, Author of ‘Please Love Umma’ Pages 80-81 Weike Wang, Author of ‘Chemistry’ Pages 85-86

Summer 2015 Issue Pages 54-55

NAAAP Spotlight: Elizabeth Yang, NAAAP National President and Rose Olea, NAAAP Chicago Chapter President Page 89-90 Kalista Tazlin, Producer, Writer and Actress Pages 93-94 Alfa, Singer/Songwriter of ‘Spark & Fury’ Pages 97-98 NAAAP 100 Award Honorees & Inspire Recipient Pages 101-102

A-POSELENOV

Holiday 2013/2014 Issue: Hines Ward Pages 26-29

Summer 2014 Issue: The Fung Brothers Pages 43-44

Copyright (C) 2017 ALIST magazine. All rights reserved. Title is protected through a trademark registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Printed in U.S.A.

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THE STAFF

PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE EDITOR

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR SENIOR COPY EDITOR COPY EDITOR RESEARCH EDITOR LAYOUT MANAGER

ANN CHEN CATHERINE LAW

ALIST DIGITAL JENNIFER YAMADA LAURA LI LISA SITA ANDREW JUNG ALYSON TONG

BUSINESS

EXEC. GEN. COUNSEL ASSOC. GEN COUNSEL ASSOC. GEN. COUNSEL WEBSITE MANAGER

PETER WOO ALEXANDER KO CHRISTINE WONG BI YOO

MARKETING/PR DIGITAL AD MANAGER BRIE MANAKUL

CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHER DIGITAL ARTIST

ERIC BOTHWELL JACKIE HO ELYSIA SU JASMIN HUANG

WRITERS BRYAN CHEUNG NINA HUANG RUBAIYAT KHAN MICHAEL L. MALINER JENNIFER SUZUKAWA-TSENG SAMUEL TSOI SEE XIONG

EDITOR’S NOTE This special 5th Anniversary issue is over 100 pages, where it is jam packed with a few pages of our past issues and new content. We wanted to give you a glimpse of who and what we covered in each past issue and we were also able to follow up with some of them to be included in our special celebration. Issue #14 sounds insignificant but not to ALIST Magazine. It started out with a handful of passionate volunteers who saw a need for an Asian publication. So, let’s start by looking back:

Issue #1: Yul Kwon, Facebook. Issue #2: Shelia Marcelo, Care.com Issue #3: Ernestine Fu, Alsop Louie Partners and Brian Wong, Kiip. Issue #4: Hines Ward, Former Wide Receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Issue #5: Kenneth Lin, Credit Karma. Issue #6: Andrew Yang, Venture America and various entrepreneurs. Issue #7: Betty Lo, Nielsen and Singapore designers. Issue #8: Padmasaree Warrior, Cisco. Issue #9: Amna Nawaz, Emmy award-winning anchor of ABC News’ Digital and Livestream platforms. Issue #10: Glenn Sugiyama, DHR International. Issue #11: Andrew Ly, Sugarbowl Bakery. Issue #12: Hitoshi Tanaka, J!NS Eyewear. Issue #13, Pre-Anniversary Issue: Srinivas Reddy, Prudential. We also talk to Joyce Tang of AgilisIT; Gracie Kim, Love Umma; Kalista Tazlin, Alfa and Weike Wang, Chemistry. The past 5 years has been amazing and we will continue to grow and with your help, we will have more milestones to celebrate. We thank you for joining us on our journey!

Copyright 2017 by ALIST Magazine. Printed in the USA. All rights reserved. Cover and contents may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. ALIST is a registered trademark of NAAAP Inc. offices. Single copies to be distributed in the U.S., its territories and posessions and Canada are $3.99 per copy. Yearly subscription rate in U.S., its territories and possessions, and Canada is $12.99. Please contact ALIST for single copy or subscription prices issued locations outside of the U.S., its territories and possesions, and Canada. For subscription orders or customer service, please access http:// alist.storenvy.com/. Address all subscription correspondence to contact@alist-magazine.com. ALIST is published three times a year. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to ALIST Magazine c/o NAAAP 4850 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Suite 289, Lawrenceville GA 30044. NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBERS: Occasionally, we provide our customer list to companies whose products might interest you. If you do not wish to receive these mailings, please send your request to: contact@alist-magazine.com

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The biggest thank you goes out to the ALIST Magazine staff and I want to personally appreciate each and every one of you for making this the best 5th Anniversary Issue!


AsiAn AmericAn leAdership

the 2012 winners

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The renaissance man on facing fears, career, and leadership WWW.ALIST-MAGAZINE.COM | 3 Autumn 2012 | Alist-mAgAzine.com


WINTER 2013

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SHEILA MARCELO  ANN LEE  ALICE HUANG  VIVIAN WONG  EVERYDAY HEROES

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Youngest In the VC Game ErnESTInE FU and BrIan Wong arE TakIng STarTUpS By STorm

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disruptors ISSUE

DAVID HENRY HWANG

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• APA HERITAGE MONTH • SOPHIA TONG • DONALD FAN


HOLIDAY 2013/2014

Hines Ward

Athlete, Activist, Sportscaster, Son

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A BETTEREMPLOYMENT EMPLOYMENTRECRUITING RECRUITING AABETTER BETTER EMPLOYMENT RECRUITING & STAFFINGSOLUTION SOLUTION &&STAFFING STAFFING SOLUTION

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Open Call for Article Submissions Looking for Volunteers Who are Interested in Being: Editors Copy Editors Writers

Graphic Artists Photographers Sales

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For more information, please email Catherine@alist-magazine.com

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ALIST Magazine Self-Reflection by Catherine Law

still to this day, cannot fathom why I do this for free and for the past 5 years! They ask ‘why do all this hard work for people who may not read the magazine?’ To me the answer is rather simple, I just love what I do and because I want to do it. My frustrations with interviews and the production is ultimately my motivation. There is a clear and defined goal of putting out an issue within the deadline and knowing that this is exactly what I wanted and was not afraid to spend all of my time and energy to releasing the magazine to our readers.

AsiAn AmericAn leAdership

WINTER 2013

SPRING 2013

the 2012 winners

HOLIDAY 2013/2014 ™

care.com's SHEILA MARCELO

Youngest In the VC Game

SPRING 2014

DOMINATING THE SERVICE INDUSTRY WITH A $100 MILLION BETSUMMER Issue 6 $3.99

ErnESTInE FU and BrIan Wong arE TakIng STarTUpS By STorm

2014

yul kwon THE Hines Ward revealed THE FEMALE LEADERS ™

SPRING 2015 Issue 8 $3.99

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Athlete, Activist, Sportscaster, Son

SUMMER 2015 Issue 9 $3.99

The renaissance man on facing fears, career, and leadership

ISSUE

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SHEILA MARCELO  ANN LEE  ALICE HUANG  VIVIAN WONG  EVERYDAY HEROES HOLIDAY 2015/2016 ™

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We launched ALIST Magazine back in 2012 with just a handful of passionate volunteers and now we are still standing strong celebrating our 5th year in publication. Our revolving doors have given many of our team members a great start in their careers and many are successful. The most important part of this magazine is the tremendous support that we have from the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP). They have given us the freedom to creatively evolve into ALIST Magazine. In this particular issue, I began my own journey as the Executive Editor of ALIST Magazine. I was behind the scenes up to now and driving the direction of each issue has been and still is a work of passion and pure dedication. My family and friends, 76 |

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Celebrating our 5th year is a huge milestone for us. This has translated into 14 issues produced 3 times a year with over thousands of hours of volunteered time – so a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into each issue. There are many meanings to the number 5 and here are some of them: 1. There are 5 blessings in China (wealth, happiness, longevity, luck, prosperity) 2. In Chinese astrology, there are 5 elements (metal, wood, water, fire, earth) 3. 5 main grains in China (rice, two kinds of millet, wheat, beans) 4. 5 flavors (sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, salty) 5. It is the number of the human being where it symbolizes the four limbs and the head 6. There are 5 senses (sight, sound, taste, smell, touch) 7. There are 5 vowels 8. A starfish has 5 arms 9. An earthworm has 5 hearts 10. 10) there are 5 players on a basketball team 11. In a quintet there are 5 musicians 12. 5 Olympic Rings for the 5 Continents (Blue Ring: Europe, Yellow Ring: Asian, Black Ring: Africa, Green Ring: Oceania, Red Ring: America)

13. 14. 15. 16.

There are 5 books of the Torah 5 pillars of Islam We celebrate with ‘High Fives’ 5 Great Lakes (Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario, Lake Superior)

We are all busy with our daily lives and keeping up with the newest technology that we forget to take a moment to selfreflect. Many take time in the morning before they begin their days to journal and write their thoughts, dreams, rants, distractions, things that just come up so that they are cleared and free to think for the rest of the day. At ALIST, our articles give you the introspection of the lives of CEOs, leaders, actors/actress, directors, filmmakers, authors, musicians and many others. We provide a glimpse into their lives, hoping that you can make a connection with their story. We consciously think about each issue and it continues to be a journey of routine with hiccups here and there – as in life there are always bumps in the road. With these bumps, we cannot lose our sense of balance and what is important. With all of these amazing issues, we realize what we are doing great and should and will be doing more in 2018 and beyond. Each writer and each individual that we interview has given us a different view point about their own personal journey in life with their own strengths and weaknesses. Reflecting about the past should help the present and the future. I encourage all of you to continue this journey with my staff and I by giving a bit of yourself by reading each issue and spreading the word about ALIST Magazine, so that this can be our future legacy of the new generation of leaders!


Working Hard and Playing Hard with Joyce Tang

an auditorium full of boys, so I’m particularly passionate about attracting more girls into STEM. It saddens me to see our schools cutting budgets for music and the arts. A very good friend of mine is a talented music teacher, and yet her job offers no benefits and her hours are being cut. As a nation, we need to invest more into the younger generations, so we can continue to be the leader on the world stage. I do whatever I can, by donating to school programs and sponsoring the San Diego Mayor’s Cup where high school students compete in a hacking competition. AM: You are the Founder and Chief Customer Happiness Officer of AgilisIT. Why did you name your company AgilisIT, and what do you do as the Chief Customer Happiness Officer? JT: Our name came from the Latin word agilis, which means being agile. I love that it describes who we are so well – as our clients’ technology advisors, we’re constantly navigating the

JOYCE TANG

C

CAREER

Joyce Tang is the founder and Chief Customer Happiness Officer of AgilisIT, which offers technology consulting and services in the biotech and healthcare industries. Tang sat down with ALIST to discuss her experiences in the field as well as her love for dogs.

ALIST Magazine: You graduated from UCLA with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering; what are your thoughts on STEAM/STEM? Joyce Tang: I’m a huge supporter of STEAM/STEM. While both my education and career are related to technology, I love art and design. I was in both AP Calculus and AP Art in high school and I loved how they tap into different areas of my brain. In my college engineering classes, I was often the only girl in

"As our clients' technology advisors, we're constantly navigating the fastchanging landscape of technology and guiding our clients through the curves." fast-changing landscape of technology and guiding our clients through the curves. AM: With security breaches and identity theft, how can a company and an individual protect themselves online? JT: That’s a great question. A lot of the breaches can be prevented if we are just a bit more careful before disclosing information online. Nowadays we put so much of our personal information on social media; there are a lot of goodies that cybercriminals can use against you. “What’s your high school mascot” is a very common security question to reset passwords, and guess what, you may have listed your high school on Facebook. AM: You work with health and science companies; why not expand to other industries? JT: Yes, we’re very knowledgeable with the unique technical and regulatory needs of health and science companies, and our clients WWW.ALIST-MAGAZINE.COM | 77


Growing Up Asian American with Gracie Kim

This March, fiction author Gracie Kim just published her first children’s novel (ages 9-12), “Please Love Umma,” a coming-of-age story of a Korean American girl. Here, Kim talks with ALIST about her inspirations, Korean heritage and activism. This story was also written as an ode to my mother. I wanted to empower her by giving her a voice and some semblance of justice and dignity. I felt like she was always left out and suffered silently through the duration of my childhood and her 20-plus years of marriage to my father. Hopefully it is a story that will resonate in the hearts of young readers.

SHELLY PERRY PHOTOGRAPHY

AM: How much of this book was based on your own real-life experiences? GK: Almost all of it was loosely based on real-life experiences. I did change some major details for the sake of the story. For example, Umma dies in the book, but my mother is still alive and well, whereas my father (Abba) has passed on.

ALIST Magazine: Your book “Please Love Umma” was released in earlier this year. Tell us about it. Gracie Kim: Before I started writing “Please Love Umma,” I knew I wanted to capture a part of the uniqueness of growing up as an Asian American child in Los Angeles and explore real-life struggles that other children could relate to or were curious about. I really wanted to delve into deep, philosophical topics for children. My experiences with prejudice, death, violence, racism and religion at a young age led me to seek out Asian American literary works for children with such themes as well as characters I could fully identify with, but I couldn’t find any.

ANNIVERSARY 2017/2018

AM: “Please Love Umma” is now available in some public libraries; what was the process for this? GK: The libraries that did catalog my book were all done by walk-ins or through filling out a form online. I visited the children’s librarian in-person at countless libraries and donated my book to those who were interested in having it available for their readers. The Malaga Cove Public Library in

AM: You come from a family of writers. Was it important that you were a writer? GK: I was never really given the chance to ponder about becoming a writer because I’ve been writing my entire life, ever since I could hold a pencil. It started with short stories and transitioned to journals and then novels. My father never pushed me to pursue writing as a career, but because I revered him so much, I grew up wanting to be an author just like him. AM: Was writing your first children’s novel easy? Why or why not? GK: It was easy in the sense that I didn’t have to brainstorm on the content. The experiences the character goes through in the story are similar to the ones I had growing up. It was just a matter of putting everything down on paper in a manner suitable and

"My experiences with prejudice, death, violence, racism and religion at a young age led me to seek out Asian American literary works for children with themes as well as characters I could fully identify with, but I couldn't find any." 80 |

enjoyable for children. It actually took longer to finish than some of my completed manuscripts for young adult and adult readers.

California was the first to catalog my book. The first library I did a walk-in was the same library I frequented as a child, and I was crushed because they were not as inviting and friendly as I remembered them to be. To give them some credit, it is understandable since they had never heard of me or my book.


An Interview with Novelist Weike Wang BY MICHAEL MALINER Weike Wang’s debut novel “Chemistry,” published by Knopf, has received accolades from the likes of The Washington Post, The New York Times and Kirkus, as well as the literary community at large. “Chemistry” is about a Chinese chemist who, while working on her PhD in the United States, comes to terms with not wanting to spend her life as research scientist — while struggling to reconcile Chinese and American cultural norms around gender, academics, careers, identity and relationships. Wang and writer Michael Maliner caught up via email to discuss her book as well as her experiences as an Asian woman who immigrated to the U.S. to America. You need sponsorship/work, and so we did it the standard but very long way. MM: Do you remember realizing that you stood out because you looked different than most Americans, or because you spoke a different language? WW: I was fluent in English when I came to the States, so language was never a problem. I do, however, remember learning English in Australia. It was hard. But over time, I just started to understand the language. Looking back at those pictures, I see now that I was the only Asian person in my class. But then, I didn’t realize. No one made fun of me, we were all elementary school kids. In Canada, I was made fun of for my Aussie accent, so I dropped it. Then in the U.S., I became more aware of my race just because that’s what happens when you get older. You get more self conspicuous/people get meaner, etc.

SAAVEDRA PHOTOGRAPHY

"In the U.S., I became more aware of my race just because that's what happens when you get older."

Michael Maliner: Like the nameless protagonist in “Chemistry,” you are the only child of Chinese immigrants. Do you remember coming to America? Weike Wang: Of course, I came here when I was 12. But I had learned English beforehand. I left China when I was 5, lived for 5 years in Australia, then 2 years in Canada, before coming to the States. This is fairly standard. Very few families come direct

MM: Were you among few Asians in primarily white schools? WW: Yes. I went to school in some very rural places. Literally everyone was blonde, and I suspected something was in the water. I am not sure if kids in grade school really recognize this too much. We were all similar in that we were all kids with kid tendency. But kids are mean. In grade school, a lot of them are pushing boundaries. I remember a few kids would ask me if X was true in China. X could have been: • Eat dog. • Eat shit. • Crawl on the ground and eat shit/dog. • Walk backwards. WWW.ALIST-MAGAZINE.COM | 85


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SPOTLIGHT

SPOTLIGHT

Elizabeth Yang, NAAAP National President

In addition to being NAAAP National President, Elizabeth Yang, a certified mediator, runs her own law practice with multiple locations in California. We spoke with Yang about her work and inspirations. California Chinese Lawyers Association (SCCLA), the Asian Youth Center (AYC), the Mt. SAC Foundation, City Club's Board of Governors and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.

RAYMOND IP

AM: What are some things that you can't leave the house without? EY: The two things I can't leave the house without include my phone and my At-AGlance weekly planner. Yes, I'm old school, and even though I share a Google calendar with my work staff, I still like writing my todo items down and checking them off each day as I complete them.

ALIST Magazine: How do you see your role in changing the world? Elizabeth Yang: I see my role as setting an example for the Asian American community, to inspire future leaders to step up and take action. I want to show the world that anything is possible, that there is no ceiling (glass or bamboo), that as long as you believe in yourself and believe that the sky is the limit, then it really is. AM: What is your passion? EY: I love giving back and supporting the community. Volunteer work is a huge passion of mine, and I will never stop supporting nonprofit organizations. I always tell people: "The getting is in the giving." In addition to NAAAP, I serve the Southern

AM: Name three people you admire and why. EY: Condoleezza Rice, Judy Chu and Lady Gaga. Not only is Condoleezza Rice female and 9% Asian, but she is ambitious, determined and perseveres. She stands for what she believes in, advocates for female empowerment and gives back to the community through nonprofit organizations. Judy Chu is similar and has risen from city-level leadership all the way to the U.S. Congress. She is an inspiration for Asian American women everywhere, and I admire her consistency, her strength and her voice. Last but not least, I admire Lady Gaga for showing the community that each of us is unique, we have nothing to be ashamed of because we are all flawed in our own perfect way and we can be whoever we want to be in life. AM: Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you? EY: My mother has been the biggest influence in my life. As a single mom and a traditional tiger mom, she not only instilled discipline in me but she also taught me how to utilize love, patience and communication

in my everyday life. If I would do something wrong as a child, she would spend hours talking to me late into the night until I understand her thought process and reasoning rather than utilizing anger to yell at me. She taught me what it meant to be hard-working, organized and devoted. AM: What traditions have been passed down in your family? EY: The tightness and closeness of family has definitely been passed down over the generations. My grandmother was a firm believer in this and brought the entire family together every Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, birthdays, etc. Even to this day, we have 20-30 people gather together for the holidays to celebrate together and we make sure our travel plans don't conflict with the holidays. AM: How has diversity changed in the last ten years? EY: Diversity has changed for the better in the last 10 years, but we still have a lot of room for improvement. Asia has replaced Latin America (including Mexico) as the biggest source of new immigrants to the U.S.; women's role in the labor force and leadership positions has grown drastically; and the U.S. Census Bureau projects that non-Hispanic whites will in the near future no longer be the majority of the population. The U.S. is indeed a melting pot and continues to be more culturally diverse with every passing day. AM: What are you reading lately? EY: Some of the books I've been reading lately include: "High-Hanging Fruit" by Mark Rampolla, "Are You Getting It?" by John Hanley, "The Cheat Code" by Brian Wong and "Relentless" by Tim S. Grover.

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SPOTLIGHT

SPOTLIGHT

Rose Olea, NAAAP Chicago Chapter President

Co-founder and COO of the Asian American Community Exchange (AACE) Rose Olea also serves as the President of NAAAP-Chicago, of which she is the longest-running president of the chapter. In recognition of her numerous contributions to the community, Olea received the Filipino American Hall of Fame Award in 2017. has benefited greatly in programs, sponsorships, and membership because of my willingness to give individuals a platform to see their ideas come to life.

ROSE OLEA

AM: What is your passion? RO: My passion is working in the Asian American community. I’ve had the pleasure of working in the Chinese community, South Asian community, the Korean community, and of course the Filipino community not only through NAAAP, but also through my fulltime job. I love addressing challenges and fixing problems to better our communities. I’ve had the pleasure of working on fundraising and development, technology and process improvement projects to name a few.

ALIST Magazine: How do you see your role in changing the world? Rose Olea: As Chapter President, I don’t see this role in helping change the world. Instead, I see this role to inspire future leaders to take risks and change the world. I am passionate about finding opportunities for potential leaders to stretch their limits and try new ideas within the safety of NAAAP. The chapter 90 |

ANNIVERSARY 2017/2018

AM: What are some things that you can't leave the house without? RO: Number one is my smartphone. It is amazing how dependent we all are with our phones. I also can’t leave without bringing a small notebook. Despite all the technology available, sometimes I will jot down my thoughts, ideas, and even lists to keep me on track of all that needs to be accomplished. AM: Name three people you admire and why. RO: The first two are my grandmothers. They were the matriarchs of the family and the main reasons we got together for dinners, holidays, and birthdays. The

other people I admire are single mothers. As a single mother myself, I personally know what it is like to have to balance work and family. I had it easier than others because I had a very good support network (my family) to help me; not all single mothers are that lucky, and yet they persevere and succeed. AM: How has diversity changed in the last 10 years? RO: Ten years ago, if you asked what diversity represents, you almost always thought of ethnic diversity – African, Latino, and Asian. Now, diversity has broadened to include LGBTQ, veterans, Muslims, people with disabilities, parents, etc. I feel the momentum has shifted from trying to appreciate diversity to now being inclusive. We do not diminish the importance of what makes people unique, but instead accept it and figure out how it makes your organization stronger. AM: What are you reading lately? RO: I’m actually writing more than reading of late. It’s one of my hobbies, and when I allow myself a little downtime I will jot down my thoughts and experiences in story form in the notebook I can’t live without!


Acting for Life with Kalista Tazlin

Producer, writer and actress Kalista Tazlin premiered her directorial debut “In the Cards” at the 2016 Third Eye Film Festival. Huffington Post called the three-minute short “rapid-paced fun” and “a fine example of filmmaking for a new era”; here, Tazlin chats with ALIST about her previous acting roles as well as her next project.

LISA HANCOCK

world,” the pressure was on. I wanted to make sure that I was razor-sharp during the shoot. At one point, the people from Comcast wanted a certain smirky smile I made. The director said, pointing at my face smirky-smiling on the screen from a previous take, “They want this smile. Can you do it again?” I was amazed by the specificity.

ALIST Magazine: You started acting when you were young — if you were not acting, what would you be doing now? Kalista Tazlin: I think I would be finding my way into acting if I weren’t acting now. Part of the challenge of carving a career in acting is to stay in acting, to never give up even when the chips are down. Anything I do would be to support this career. Even if it means choosing an equally “impossible” career to do so — like trying to write the Great American Novel. AM: How did you become one of the faces of Comcast Xfinity Asia? What do you do for this role? KT: I applied for the role and I was over the moon when I got it. Then I researched the company further, and when I read that Comcast is the “largest broadcasting and cable television monopoly in the

AM: You act, produce and write — a triple threat. Which one has been the hardest? KT: Producing. Oh my, producing. I had to cultivate skills I originally do not entirely possess. I did not go to a film school nor have I worked properly on the production side. Everything I did, I taught myself through books and mistakes made. In this line of work you almost have to welcome mistakes and be so adept in bouncing back to go forward. The key thing is to keep going and keep a positive and fun atmosphere – that’s the most important. Acting and writing comes much more naturally for me.

had to speak English with an accent and making sure that I do not naturally add the correct preposition when doing those long monologues in broken English. At a glance, this character cannot be further from who I am. I remembered the audition process was arduous. It was very challenging, deliciously challenging. There is no glory equal to auditioning and being cast. An actor’s glory is much different from a filmmaker’s or a theater producer’s glory. Writing is my first love, acting is my true love and producing is a necessity. AM: How was your directorial debut in the film “In The Cards”? Did it meet your expectation? KT: A thrill ride always meets my expectation. This is the most experimental little film I probably will ever do. The entire process was a succession of last minute decisions for me: making a genre parody out of an originally serious script, changing the music last minute. The song is aptly called ‘”Point of No Return” —

"In this line of work you almost have to welcome mistakes and be so adept in bouncing back to go forward." I was the happiest when I got a lead role in a play called “Hearts Afire” by Darcy Sternberg for the New York International Fringe Festival, but it was also the most challenging. I was playing a girl called Ming who cannot speak in English. I

with every major change in decisions, I just had to trust it and have fun. We all had a great laugh, and in the end that’s all that matters. AM: Why did you make “In The Cards”? WWW.ALIST-MAGAZINE.COM | 93


Turning Inspiration into Music with Alfa

Filipino-American singer-songwriter just released her third full-length album “Spark & Fury” (Pacific Records) this summer. The folk/pop music artist chats with ALIST about her new music and what instrument she’s thinking of adding to her extensive repertoire.

ALFA

I have so many instruments I’d like to learn, and my interests are always changing. Currently, I’m curious about the mandolin.

ALIST Magazine: Your new album “Spark & Fury” was released in June; was this a very personal journey? Alfa: I’d say so. Every album I’ve made has been a snapshot of where I was in life, so this album is similar — it takes from experiences I had during my time in a new city: LA. I feel especially close to “Spark & Fury” because for the first time I felt like I’d grown enough as a songwriter and a musician to be able to express myself as genuinely as I could. This album took two years to complete between writing, recording and production, and I grew a lot in that time, so it accompanied a lot of learning experiences for me. AM: You play many instruments: guitar, ukulele, violin, piano and the occasional kazoo. Do you play all of

these on this album? What instrument would you like to learn to play and why? A: I did! That was a lot of fun, although the song where I played kazoo didn’t make the album — I plan to release it as a single one day. I’m proud that

AM: Why the title, “Spark & Fury”? A: After six years of living in LA, focusing time and energy on this creative endeavor of being a singersongwriter, I started to recognize some patterns in my creative process. There was always the Spark — the moment of inspiration that grabbed me — and then the Fury — the difficult, panic-stricken process of trying to turn that inspiration into something that could be presented to the world. AM: Did you design the cover? A: My husband, Rob Bieselin, designed the cover. We took a trip to the LACMA Museum and I was in love with the Art Nouveau exhibit, so I told him we should take cues from that

"Every album I've made has been a snapshot of where I was in life." I was able to lay down the foundation instruments for every single song on the record. In my last album, we’d gotten a bunch of amazing Nashville musicians to play and I added on parts afterward, but this time around it was really importantly for me to be the main musical voice in each song — it just made the album that much more personal.

movement for the album art. I really love the way it turned out and it was meaningful to have him be part of it. AM: How is this album different than your last album, “World Go Blue”? A: I think I’ve grown up a lot since that album, and you can hear it in some of the musical choices I make, both lyrically and musically. One thing I WWW.ALIST-MAGAZINE.COM | 97


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NAAAP 100 Award Honorees and NAAAP Inspire Recipient

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100 BERNIE WONG

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.

Bernie Wong

The National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) is pleased to announce Bernarda “Bernie” Wong, a philanthropist and career social worker, as the recipient of its NAAAP 100 Award, Presented by General Motors. NAAAP’s highest honor is given annually to the most influential leaders who have made significant contributions to their profession and to the Asian community. Ms. Wong, better known as “Bernie,” 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

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.

100

LI-YOUNG LEE

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.

Li-Young Lee

The National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) is pleased to announce Li-Young Lee, one of the most renowned American poets at the turn of the 21st century, as 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 the Asian community. Li-Young Lee is one of the most celebrated Asian American writers. He is the author of four critically-acclaimed works of poetry, which include Rose (1986; Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award), The City in Which I Love You (1991; Lamont Poetry Selection), Book of My Nights (2001; William Carlos Williams Award), Behind My Eyes (2008), and a chapbook The Word From His Song (2016). Lee also received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for his memoir The Winged Seed: A Remembrance (1995). A collection of twelve interviews with Lee at various stages of his artistic development, Breaking the Alabaster Jar: Conversations with Li-Young Lee (2006) is the first edited, published collection of interviews with an Asian American poet. His collection of poems, The Undressing, is forthcoming in 2018. Lee’s honors include the Whiting Award, Lannan Literary Award, the PEN Oakland/ Josephine Miles Award, the I.B. Lavan Award, and three Pushcart Prizes. He has received fellowships from the Academy of American WWW.ALIST-MAGAZINE.COM | 101


Poets, The Lannan Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He also has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment of the Arts. His honorary doctorate of letters is from SUNY at Brockport.

Professionals (NAAAP) is pleased to announce Nanxi Liu, a 27-year-old self-made entrepreneur, as the recipient of its NAAAP Inspire Award, Presented by General Motors. NAAAP’s Inspire Award is presented annually to a promising leader, usually early in his or her career, who has already made a tremendous, arguably revolutionary impact in his or her field or on society.

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.

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 open software for managing content on digital displays and has investors such as the Co-Founder of Oaktree Capital and the former CEO of Yahoo. 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.

Yu served for more than 30 years as the Advisory Board Chairperson for the Chinese American Service League. She is also a cofounder of the Chicago Chapter of the AsianAmerican 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.

LINDA YU

Born on August 19, 1957 in Jakarta, Indonesia, Lee’s maternal great grandfather was China’s first Republican President and his father was physician to Communist leader Mao TseTung. After the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, Lee’s parents escaped to Indonesia, then wandered through Asia as political refugees, finally settling in the U.S. in 1964. Mr. Lee grew up in Pennsylvania, where he met his wife Donna when they were in the fifth grade, and they currently reside in Pittsburgh. They have two sons, Rainer and Richard.

American broadcast network journalist when she started working as a reporter and weekend co-anchor at NBC's WMAQ-TV. Ms Yu joined WLS-TV ABC7 Chicago in 1984 as a reporter and news anchor for the station's newly created 4 p.m. news hour, then added an 11 a.m. news hour. Both programs maintained top status throughout her career until her retirement in December 2016.

The National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) is pleased to announce Linda Yu, a trailblazing and award-winning broadcaster with more than 40 years in journalism, as 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 1974 when she served as a writer for ABC station, KABC-TV, and then as a writer and producer for KTLA-TV, both in Los Angeles. In 1975, she worked as a reporter for ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland, Ore. and later as a reporter and back-up anchor at ABC's KGOTV in San Francisco. In 1979, Ms Yu moved to Chicago and became the city's first Asian 102 |

ANNIVERSARY 2017/2018

NANXI LU

Linda Yu

Nanxi Lu

The National Association of Asian American

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.


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ALIST Magazine 5th Anniversary Preview 2017/2018  

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ALIST Magazine 5th Anniversary Preview 2017/2018  

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