Asian Avenue magazine - May 2013

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asian avenue magazine

Connecting Cultures Linking Lives


May 2013 Volume 8 Issue 5

Asian American Heroes of Colorado 5th annual awards ceremony

“Best role I’ve ever had!” Theatre Espirit Asia actors take the stage

restaurant peeks Glaze + Sumo Sushi

Asian American youth recognized for leadership and academics

Nouvelle Dentistry:

Get treated like family by Dr. Phi

喜相逢 大酒樓

The Empress Seafood

Dim Sum Restaurant

Best Roast Duck In Town

Winner of many awards for best dim sum and Chinese Restaurant since 1993

Specializing styles in Dim Sum, Cantonese, & Szechuan N

Tel: 303.922.2822 W. Alameda Ave.


Federal Blvd

Open Hours Sat - Sun Mon - Fri

10:30am - 9pm 11am - 9pm

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Viet’s Restaurant 333 South Federal Blvd Unit #125 Denver, CO 80219 | Tel: 303.922.5774 Open 10AM - 10PM 7 days a week Dine in, pick up and delivery!

The only Vietnamese vegan restaurant in Denver!

Viet’s has more than 220 items on its menu ranging from pho, rice noodle bowls, vegetarian foods, meat and seafood dishes.

V3 Vegetarian Food 333 South Federal Blvd Unit #125 | Denver, CO 80219 | Tel: 303.922.5775 Open Mon - Sat 8AM - 7PM | Sun 10AM - 7PM Closed Wednesdays

Wedding Receptions | Company Parties | Birthday Parties | Fashion Shows V2 Event Center can host your next special event! Call 303.922.5775 for more information!

Dear Asian Avenue readers,

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we are pleased to announce the 2013 Asian American Heroes of Colorado. We applaud each of them for their contributions and achievements not only in the Asian-American community, but in their professions and lines of work. A hero is defined as a person who is admired for courage or noble qualities and this year’s honorees truly exude such a definition. We invite you to join us on Saturday, June 1st at Kings Land Seafood for a dim sum brunch and to honor the recipients at our fifth annual award ceremony.

Congratulations Angela Cho, a Korean community advocate and former CFO at Asian Pacific Development Center; Clarence Low, board chair of Asian Chamber of Commerce; Namita Khanna-Nariani, founder and artistic director of Mudra Dance Studio; and Jie Zheng, founding president of National Association of Asian American Professionals Colorado. This year’s Aspiring Hero Award—for a recipient under the age of 35—is awarded to Joie Ha, a student leader at the University of Denver. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Kimiko Side, founder of Eugene and Kimiko Side Scholarship and Honorary Chair for Life of Denver-Takayama Sister City Committee. Kimiko has received numerous honors for her service uniting Japan and the U.S. Our 2013 heroes are most deserving; we look forward to sharing more about them in this month’s cover story.

InApril, I was thrilled to see many events supporting Asian-American youth! The Next Generation Voices Conference hosted its fourth annual leadership conference for Asian-American high school students, the Asian Education Advisory Council presented its annual awards to Denver Public School students and Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association and Asian Pacific Development Center’s Youth Leadership Academy came together to host a day at the park for their high school members. These young leaders will become the future heroes of our community! Another youth leadership program, Miss Asian American Colorado, is gearing up for its sixth year. 14 Asian-American women that represent seven Asian ethnicities are participating in the 2013 program that takes the women on a journey of self-discovery through leadership trainings, cultural workshops and service projects. The program’s finale show will be held on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at Colorado Heights University Theater. We hope you will come support the talented young women in our community. We would like to congratulate Theatre Espirit Asia, Colorado’s first Asian American theatre company, on its inaugural season beginning at the end of May. Read more about this season’s plays and actors in this issue.

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! What better way to celebrate than to support your local Asian businesses or attend some of the Asian and Asian-American celebrations around town! Annie Guo, President Asian Avenue magazine

asian avenue magazine

staff & support

Publisher & Founder: Christina Yutai Guo President: Annie Guo Production Manager: Peter Bui Designer: C.G. Yao Staff Writer: Patricia Kaowthumrong Photographer: Trang Luong Intern: Akemi Tsutsui and Allison Riley

advisors group

Patty Coutts, Donna LaVigne, Nestor J. Mercado, Sum C. Nguyen, Alok Sarwal, Peter Warren, John Yee, Nai-Li Yee, George N. Yoshida

contributing writers

Maria Cheng, Yi Ren, Andrew Yeh

contributing photographers Corina Marie Howell, Sampson Leung, Drew Wright

on the cover

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, this cover story recognizes the 2013 Asian American Heroes of Colorado: Angela Cho, Clarence Low, Namita Khanna-Nariani, Jie Zheng, Joie Ha and Kimiko Side. The awards ceremony will be held on June 1, 2013 at Kings Land Seafood Restaurant. Photo by Sampson Leung Photography


To subscribe, e-mail marketing@asianavenuemag A one-year subscription is $25 for 12 issues, a two-year subscription is 40 for 24 issues. Please make checks or money orders payable to Asian Avenue magazine. For details about special corporate or group rates, please call during business hours: Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm. Shipping and handling included.


Asian Avenue magazine offers businesses the most cost-effective way to reach consumers in the Denver/Boulder metro areas and beyond. For more information, call during business hours or e-mail us at marketing@asianavenuemagazine. com for our media kit and ad rates.



To submit story ideas, letters to the editor, or listings for the Events Calendar, e-mail to editor@

Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 1932-1449) reserves all copyrights to this issue. No parts of this edition can be reproduced in any manner without written permission. The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of Asian Avenue magazine. Authors may have consulting or other business relationships with the companies they discuss.

Published by Asian Avenue Magazine, Inc. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 Tel: 303.937.6888 Fax: 303.750.8488


May 2013 |President’s Note

Asian Avenue magazine is in association with the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network and

Sushi and Japanese Cuisine 1028 S. Gaylord Street Denver, CO 80209 Tel: 303.744.0330 Fax: 303.715.0336



House Salad, Soup (Miso or Egg Drop), Edamame (Regular) Limit 1 per person. During lunch hours. Dine in only.

Announcement We are now closed on Mondays. All Day Happy Hour every Tuesday! FREE Wireless Internet | Complimentary Valet Parking for Gaylord St. customers (Half block south on Gaylord)

12 12

Restaurant Peeks 20 Glaze baum cakes have sweet layers of delight to


Upcoming Events

A Message from Denver Water 7 Tips for water conservation during summer drought Inside Stories 8 Nouvelle Dentistry welcomes new patients

to experience the best in dental technology and patient care


On Scene Mile-high area events 22 Next Generation Voices leadership conference

unites high school students for fourth year

South Asian community fundraises in support of Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver


CAPYA and APDC YSL students spend a day participating in activities and sports at the park

Asian Bar Association hosts annual banquet and presents Minoru Yasui and Gov. Ralph Carr awards

Asian-American women now have makeup products and beauty advice to turn to with

Christina Choi Cosmetics



2013 Asian American Heroes of Colorado honored at fifth annual awards ceremony

May 2013

The doors open at Vintage Theatre for Theatre Espirit Asia’s inaugural season




Feature 19 Ujyalo The Light brings bottle-bulb light systems


The latest contender in the world of all you can eat sushi, Sumo Sushi, is making its way to the top of the best sushi restaurants’ lists

On the Cover

Contents 6

celebrate the layers of your life

to homes in Nepal - find out how you can help!

May 2013 | Table of Contents

Asian Education Advisory Council honors outstanding students, educators and parents in Denver Public Schools Officials and dignitaries celebrate inauguration of Overseas Korean Traders Association in Denver

25 National News Feature 26 Adults enjoy learning Chinese each week at the

Joyous Chinese Cultural Center

Shen Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are safe, effective and drug-free therapies that can help address a wide variety of common ailments and problems. ACUPUNCTURE TREATS:

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• Allergy & Asthma • Arthritis • Back and Neck Pain • Cancer Care • Carpal Tunnel • Colds & Flu • Depression • Diabetes • Insomnia & Stress


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For more information call 720-873-6243 or visit our website today at: William Schoolcraft, MD • Eric Surrey, MD • Debra Minjarez, MD Robert Gustofson, MD • Jennifer Brown, MD

upcoming events Asian Roundtable of Colorado Asian Heritage Celebration Saturday, May 11, 12pm to 3pm

Wells Fargo Bank | Hershner Room 1700 Lincoln St. | Denver Cost: Free and open to general public For more info, contact Lily Shen at 720-256-8888,; or Peggy Yujiri at 303-931-2034, Experience the rich culture of the Asia-Pacific region! Entertainment and a complimentary lunch of traditional Asian Pacific food will be provided. Entertainment includes Filipino Dance, Chinese Yo-Yo and Catur Eka Santi (music of the Balinese shadow play).

2013 Buddha’s Birthday and Mother’s Day Celebration

Americans but also welcoming those of many other diverse backgrounds. Local performances will be by Cassandra Chanthavong, Juliet Jung and The Janes. Traveling to Denver will be The Jubilee Project and Gifted On West East (GOWE).

Annual Pilgrimage to Amache Internment Camp Saturday, May 18, 6am to 6pm

6:00am Pick Up: Simpson United Methodist Church 60th and Wolff Street | Arvada 6:30am Pick Up: State Buddhist Temple 20th and Lawrence Street | Denver Cost: $25 per person For more info, contact Join the annual bus pilgrimage to Amache, the Japanese American concentration camp in southeastern Colorado. A lunch is provided and presentations are given by the students of the Amache Preservation Society of Granada High School.

Miss AACO Community BBQ Meet and Greet Sunday, May 19, 12pm to 5pm

Amherst Park | 13085 Pecos St. | Westminster Cost: $5 per plate (includes two entrees and sides) For more info, visit or e-mail

Sunday, May 12, 10am to 2pm

Denver Buddhist Cultural Society 2530 W. Alameda Ave. | Denver Cost: Free and open to general public (cost to purchase food and items) For more info, call 303-935-3889. Buddha Light International Association of Colorado invites you to celebrate both Buddha’s birthday and Mother’s Day with multi-cultural food, drinks, gifts, handmade soap, booths and more!

Come out and meet the 2013 Miss Asian American Colorado candidates at this fabulous BBQ fundraiser. Get to the know the ladies and them serve you hamburgers, hot dogs, Korean bbq and more! New this year will be a Powder Puff football game between Miss AACO alumni and the new candidates; it’s a game you won’t want to miss!

Asian Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours Wednesday, May 29, 6pm to 8pm

Sports Authority Field | Budweiser Champions Club 1701 Bryant St. | Denver Cost: $10 for ACC members | $15 for non-members RSVP is required. For more info or to RSVP, visit or call 303-595-9737. Join us for our annual joint Business After Hours with the Black Chamber of Commerce at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. There will be great food, tours of the facility and many opportunities to network with other business owners and professionals. Dinner is included.


May 2013 | Upcoming Events

Kings Land Chinese Seafood 2200 W. Alameda Ave., #44 | Denver Cost: $20 for adults | $15 for students Purchase tickets at: For more info, e-mail or call 303-937-6888. Now in its 5th year, we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by honoring members in Colorado’s Asian American community, the unsung heroes, the shining stars, the selfless leaders at the 2013 Asian American Heroes of Colorado Awards Ceremony. Come and hear their inspiring stories! 2013 heroes include Angela Cho, Clarence Low, Namita Khanna-Nariani, and Jie Zheng. The Aspiring Hero Award goes to Joie Ha and the Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to Kimiko Side. This program is presented by the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network in collaboration with several AAPI organizations in Colorado.

Mudra Dance Studio’s USTAV VI... A Celebration Lakewood Arts Center 420 S. Allison Pkwy | Lakewood Cost: $20 for adults | $15 for students and seniors For more info, visit or contact Ravi Patel at or 720-840-6238.

Wednesday, May 15, Begins at 6:30pm

Join the DU Asian Student Alliance as they conclude Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with their biggest event of the year! eXpressions strives to showcase the talents of students, community locals, and out-of-state performers, primarily Asian-

Saturday, June 1, 10am to 12pm

Sunday, June 2, 12pm and 4pm

DU ASA’s eXpressions: Future History, Now.

University of Denver | Sturm Hall Davis Auditorium 2000 E. Asbury Ave. | Denver Cost: Free for DU students with an ID $5 for non-DU students For more info, contact

2013 Asian American Heroes of Colorado Award Ceremony and Dim Sum Brunch

Mudra Dance Studio is excited to announce its 16th Annual production and our 6th annual recital show, UTSAV V! After a year of hard work, learning, and practicing, the Mudras are back with a brand new show and all new moves. We hope you will be able to join us in this celebration! Mudra Dance Studio primarily teaches the classical dance form of “Kathak” which is derived from the word “Katha”; meaning story telling.

Severe drought calls for mandatory watering restrictions in Denver We’re in the second year of a severe drought that’s not getting better. If conditions don’t improve, this could be the worst drought on record. Denver Water declared a Stage 2 drought, effective April 1, which means customers may water no more than two days a week per this mandatory schedule: • Single-family residential properties with addresses ending in even numbers: Sunday, Thursday. • Single-family residential properties with addresses ending in odd numbers: Saturday, Wednesday. • All others (multifamily, HOAs, commercial, industrial, government): Tuesday, Friday. In addition, customers must follow these watering rules: • Do not water between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. • Do not waste water by allowing it to pool in gutters, streets and alleys. • Do not waste water by letting it spray on concrete and asphalt. • Repair leaking sprinkler systems within 10 days. • Do not water while it is raining or during high winds.

Tips to save even more water:

1. Change over to high-efficiency rotary nozzles (and get a rebate from Denver Water for doing so). Visit

2. Toilets are 25 percent of your indoor water use. Get a rebate from Denver Water for installing a WaterSense toilet: www.denverwater. org/rebates. 3. Use the cycle and soak irrigation method to ensure your grass absorbs the water you apply to it. Visit for more information. 4. Aerate your lawn. By poking holes in the ground with an aerator, water and fertilizer can more easily move into the root zone. For more information, visit

A message from:

Senior Pictures| Events | Portraits | Fashion | Weddings

Annuals and vegetables can be watered any day using hand-held devices. Spray irrigation is only allowed on assigned watering days. Trees and shrubs may be watered only on assigned watering days. We need everyone’s help to reduce water use and keep as much water as possible in storage as we move through this year and into the next to help avoid a Stage 3 drought, which would ban outdoor lawn watering.

Denver Water’s Cheesman Reservoir this February is lower now than it was going into the 2002 drought – and that turned out to be the worst drought in 300 years.

SAMPSON LEUNG | PHOTOGRAPHY >> Call for rates: 303.261.2113

asian avenue magazine


Nouvelle Dentistry

8000 E. Belleview Ave. Suite E15 Greenwood Village, CO 80111 Tel: 303-770-8870

Annie Guo Asian Avenue magazine

Nouvelle Dentistry

provides the newest technology with the utmost patient care


At Nouvelle Dentistry, Dr. Hanh Phi treats patients as she would treat her family. With a focus on patient satisfaction, every treatment is given with special care and attention to the patient’s comfort. “Nouvelle” is the feminine form of “new” in French. Growing up with a grandfather and mother that spoke French, Phi was influenced by the French culture. The word is not only euphonic, but it represents the dental office. Nouvelle Dentistry provides the newest and greatest technology for its patients. “Dentistry is an exciting and evolving field and I am proud to represent modern dentistry and what it has to offer to patients,” she said. “So many patients have a traumatic and terrifying perception of dentistry. What people don’t realize is there are practices that really have the equipment, personnel and compassion that it takes to make your experience not only tolerable, but actually pleasant.” Recently opened in February, Nouvelle Dentistry has a state-ofthe-art facility that includes digital radiography with both intraoral sensors and also a panoramic machine that captures a full image of the jaw. This is a luxury few offices have, but Dr. Phi is a proud owner of this technology that truly enhances appropriate diagnosis. Using monitors, patients are shown their intraoral photos and radiographs. They can also stream TV shows, news, music, and movies while relaxing in the dental chair that has a heat and massage function. Dr. Phi advises that even at a young age it is important to take care of your oral health. “I find that the younger demographic has the tendency to ignore oral health. It is a busy time in your life where dentistry is not a priority; it is also an age where we feel healthy and invincible.” “However, it is crucial that we maintain our oral health because the damage that can occur in our teeth and our jaw can be irreversible.” For the older Asian demographic, dentistry is perceived to be a luxury, not a necessity. Many come from a culture where it is believed that teeth should fall out by the age of 50. Therefore, it is a hopeless fight to invest money into something that is bound to happen. According to Dr. Phi, the reality is that dental disease is generally May 2013 | Inside Story

preventable, but it requires work to maintain a healthy smile and that work includes seeing a dentist every six months. “Many don’t appreciate their teeth until they are all gone and that is really tragic for me to watch as a dentist... people lose confidence in their smile and speech, and they lose the quality of life in being able to enjoy food.” As a health care provider, the aim is always to cure. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. Dr. Phi feels very attached to her patients when she has to give them bad news, including having to remove a tooth. But the good news is, with advancements in implant dentistry, “we are able to replace teeth incredibly well!” Dr. Phi shares that what is most rewarding about being a dentist is that she loves when a patient understands her devotion to patient health and satisfaction. “From a technical aspect, I love that every day I get to criticize and admire the work I put into repairing teeth.” “It used to be that no one knew how good or bad dental work might be, but now with my hi-tech intraoral camera - I can show patients before and after photos to demonstrate what I was able to do.” Nouvelle Dentistry provides general dental procedures including: exams, digital radiography, cleanings, deep cleanings, white fillings, crowns, veneers, extractions, pediatrics, etc. With impeccable care for their patients, allow them to be your “nouvelle” dental office.

Hanh Phi, DDS attended the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine for her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Her parents immigrated to Denver in 1979 as refugees from Vietnam. She was born in Denver and has two younger brothers. She is happily married and the mother of a two-year-old son. Dr. Phi attended the University of Denver receiving her Bachelor of Science with a dual major in molecular biology and biochemistry and minor in medical physics and math.


with christina choi

Q: What is Christina Choi Cosmetics? A: Christina Choi Cosmetics is a fresh new line of cosmetics based in San Francisco. CCC contains the highest quality ingredients and has amazing pigments that provide long lasting color.

ing artistry for all different eye shapes. We just launched with our BB Cream with SPF 30. Our BB Cream is a one-stop shop for perfecting your skin. It’s a must!

When I was working for Bare Escentuals as the National Artist and Designer of Makeup Artistry, I traveled the country performing thousands of makeovers on women over the years. During those 16 years, I helped women of all different backgrounds, but I especially helped Asian American women with their beauty needs. I noticed a pattern.

Q: Tips for Asian American women? A: Work with your natural eye shape and learn how to enhance them. I developed brushes that specifically work with Asian eye shapes. For example, I developed the Deluxe Stamp Brush, Angled Shadow Brush, and Bullet Crease Brush for Asian eye shapes that may have a smaller crease or no crease line at all.

Q: What is your story? A: I’m Korean, born and raised in San Francisco, California. My grandma raised me and she has been such a positive role model in my life and still is today. At 85 years old she continues to have the strongest work ethic and always takes the best care of herself.

A lot of Asian women had the same struggles with makeup. They didn’t really know how to put it on in a way that would enhance their eyes and face. Women felt hopeless and uninspired with their beauty routine or lack thereof. I found so much joy educating Asian American women with my artistry expertise and helping them understand how to see their unique beauty. This inspired me to start my cosmetic line where I can continue to share this message and embrace Asian American beauty in a new way. Q: What products are offered by CCC? A: The line consists of eyeshadows ranging from earthy neutrals to vibrant bold shades that are infused with vitamins C & E that can be used wet or dry. The Luxury Gloss collection contains argan oil, aloe, and vitamins that leave your lips feeling smooth and hydrated. Our custom eye brushes offers amaz-

Q: What is your mission? A: “Celebrate your unique beauty” is our mantra. It’s my mission to help empower women from all different backgrounds and ethnicities through my cosmetic line, my knowledge, and artistry expertise. Whenever I’m developing something for my line, I’m always thinking about how this will help Asian American women with their beauty needs.

Another tip is to naturally define your eyebrows using a medium or light brown shade as opposed to using black when defining your eyebrows. Using black shades in their brows can weigh down the eyes, creating a harsh look. It also can turn a grey or green tint to your brows which is not what you want. I highly recommend using Namu or Chai Eyeshadow from my line which are medium toned shadows that create a soft and naturally defined look to your brows and applying it with the Perfect Liner Brush. You will be surprised how using softer colors in the eyebrows will instantly give you an eye lift! Visit to watch Christina’s makeup tutorials that show you step-by-step instructions on how to work with the products.

Photo Credits: Headshot by Corina Marie Howell Photography | Product Shots by Drew Wright Photography

asian avenue magazine


Dale Li

Zachary Drake

Starring Roles FOR

Maria Cheng Theatre Espirit Asia

Asian-American Actors “Best role I’ve ever had – the opportunity of a lifetime!”


“Even in high school, I was the only person who auditioned who didn’t get cast because I was told I would ‘stick-out’ and this was a huge musical, but I wasn’t allowed to be on stage.” says Vietnamese-American Peter Trinh, one of three actors cast in TEA - Theatre Esprit Asia’s solo play Dust Storm, which tells a story of fictional Seiji, a rebellious eighteen year old Japanese-American, interned at Topaz, Utah during WWII and his relationship with real life renowned visual artist Chiura Obata, the victim of an assault by fellow internees who considered him a ‘collaborator’ with the U.S. government. Says Chinese-American Dale Li, who did have a starring role as the Samurai in Paragon Theatre’s production of Sound of a Voice. “Dust Storm scares me because it has moments where it feels so personal, but that’s also exactly why I love it. It’s about shame and honor, self-worth and community. It’s a universal coming of age story with a redemptive theme, a call-to-arms sentiment that through adversity we build strength.” At 39, Chinese-American Zachary Drake is the oldest of the three cast for Dust Storm. He has played lead roles in M. Butterfly and Pacific Overtures. “I am closer to Obata’s age, 57, than to Seiji’s, 18! This is definitely the best part I’ve had since playing Gandalf in a sixth grade production of The Hobbit!” “Solo plays can be a nightmare for directors. This one is different; it is so well-written; and with these incredible actors, it is very exciting!” says director Warren Sherill, founder and artistic director of the former Paragon Theatre. “The pleasure I find in directing this is that I am doing it for a brand new, very important theatre in Denver. The city is growing in its arts diversity and TEA is part of this wonderful growth.” Dust Storm will be running in repertory with another solo work, a stand-up perMay 2013 | Inside Story

Michelle Hurtubise

Theatre Esprit Asia’s Dust Storm and Spirit & Sworded Treks Runs May 30, 2013 - June 23, 2013 Vintage Theatre 1468 Dayton Street Aurora, CO 80010

Tickets 303-856-7830, $13-$20 Student/senior/group discounts ONLINE purchase and showtimes formance piece Spirit & Sworded Treks, written by Maria Cheng, double cast with Cheng and Michelle Hurtubise and co-directed by Cheng and Tria Xiong, TEA’s co-founder and co-artistic director with Cheng. Employing tai ji, martial weapon forms, on-stage cooking, story-telling, modern dance and even bad singing, it explores a modern Chinese-American woman’s efforts at maintaining a spiritual path. The work has received critical acclaim across four continents. “The Chinese roots and cultural clashes fascinate me, as does the relationship between art and spirituality. And to get private instruction, almost master classes, from Maria in tai ji! Each rehearsal has felt like a beginning; I am always surprised that things have been learned, that the journey continues forward. I’ve done one other solo show but nothing as challenging as this!” says Chinese-American Hurtubise who holds an MFA in Theatre from the University of Hawaii. “Michelle is young enough to be my granddaughter, so I have had to rewrite almost half the script to make it more authentic for her. This process wound-up helping me hone the original script in a way that is funnier and more honest!” explains Cheng. And this from Xiong, “What a blast to work with fine actors and in such an unusual work. This is what TEA is about – provocative stories from original voices. We can’t wait to open!”

Peter Trinh

Golden Shanghai Asian Restaurant

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Heroes 2013

In its fifth year, Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network proudly announces the 2013 Asian American Heroes of Colorado:

Clarence Low

Board Chair of Asian Chamber of Commerce

Namita Khanna-Nariani Founder and Artistic Director of Mudra Dance Studio

Angela Cho

Korean Community Advocate and Former CFO of Asian Pacific Development Center

Jie Zheng

Founding President of National Association of Asian American Professionals Colorado ASPIRING Hero AWARD:

Joie Ha

Student leader at University of Denver Lifetime Achievement AWARD:

Kimiko Side

Ambassador of the JapaneseAmerican Community Denver-Takayama Sister City and Japan Association of Colorado

Story by Patricia

Kaowthumrong Photos by Sampson Leung

Heroes were selected by a committee comprised of members from OCA Colorado, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Asian Avenue magazine, Mile-Hi Japanese American Citizens League, Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association, Asian Pacific Development Center, Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network, National Association of Asian American Professionals, Asian American Journalists Association, and Theatre Espirit Asia.


May 2013 | Cover Story

Fifth annual Asian American Heroes of Colorado Award Ceremony and Brunch Date: Saturday, June 1, 2013 Time: 10 a.m. to noon Location: Kings Land Restaurant, 2200 W. Alameda Ave, Denver Tickets: $20 each | $15 for students To purchase tickets: Checks made payable to CACEN can be sent to: CACEN, P.O. Box 221748, Denver, CO 80222 Or purchase online at: For questions, call 303-937-6888 or email

The award ceremony will include a dim sum brunch, recognition of the 2013 Asian American Heroes of Colorado, aspiring hero award and lifetime achievement award recipients. Heroes will give an acceptance speech and share their unique stories of service. Come and be inspired!

CLARENCE LOW Low (right) with 2013 Colorado Youth Corp Association Awardees


larence Low’s professional accomplishments are proof that passion and dedication are key ingredients to a successful business career. Low is the board chair for Colorado’s Asian Chamber of Commerce and the cofounder and president of Byte Technology, a company that creates websites and solutions for companies seeking to improve their Web presence. He has been an active member in Colorado’s Asian-American community since he moved to Colorado ten years ago from the San Francisco Bay Area. “Having immigrant parents from China, Clarence understands the challenges facing Asians in the business community, and works diligently to advance our cause, but at the same time supporting all small businesses in any way he can without regard to their ethnicities,” says Jamie Borremeo, executive director of the National Council of Asian American Business Association (NCAABA), who nominated Low for the Asian American Hero award. “Clarence is articulate and passionate about his work and his heritage, and values the work that he performs in the local community,” Borremeo says. Always to connect with the Asian-American business community, Low has served on the advisory board for the Denver Small Business Development Center and the board of directors for Youth Biz, a Denver inner city leadership skills development organization and as the technology community chair for NCAABA. Low also works with Goodwill Industries to assist local high school students prepare for the labor force and provides guest lectures. Low says he learned to “pay it forward in the business community” from a mentor and consultant who helped him build his business. He advises younger generations to be passionate about personal and professional endeavors, and always try “to do the right thing.” “I know there are times when we are faced with different types of challenges,” Low says, “But in the end, if we can do the right thing and be true to ourselves and to the people we serve, then our path will be clear.” Although he has a multitude of professional accomplishments, Low says his greatest success is his family. His two sons, ages 12 and 16, perform with Denver Taiko, so Low also spends a lot of time at the Denver Buddhist Temple at their practices and performances. He volunteers at events such as the Cherry Blossom Festival and Turkey Bingo Day. He is also an active parent and supporter of the Boy Scouts of America as assistant scoutmaster for the local Boy Scout troop in Evergreen. As if Low’s schedule wasn’t already full, he recently launched Archipelago Web, a company that produces online marketing solutions for corporate clients, nonprofits, academic institutions and small businesses. “Clarence has shown great leadership and has demonstrated that he and his businesses represent the new face of Asian Americans in the community,” Borromeo says. “He has taught me that through desire and hard work ethic, even the busiest and most active business owners can still always make time to serve their community.”

Clarence has taught me that through desire and hard work ethic, even the busiest most active business owners can still make time to serve their community.

Low (middle) with Congressmen Mike Honda (left) and Joseph Cao (right)

Low achieves Boy Scout Court of Honor

Low (right) with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta (left)

Low on the flightdeck of the Dreamliner 787 plane for Denver to Tokyo flights

asian avenue magazine


Namita kHANNA-NARIANI Nariani performs at Indian/Nepalese Heritage Camp for Adoptive Families


Nariani (left) with her husband and two daughters

Mudra Dance Studio teaches at Global Leadership Academy’s Day Without Hate

Nariani (middle) with campers at Indian/Nepalese Heritage Camp


May 2013 | Cover Story

riven by Namita Khanna Nariani’s passion for Indian dance, Mudra Dance Studio has made culturally impactful and life-changing effects on the Colorado community. Founded in 1993 by Nariani with one teacher and three students, Aurora-based Mudra Dance Studio has given thousands of people in Colorado the opportunity to experience the art of Indian dance. The dancers, or “Mudras,” have performed at the Denver Zoo, Arvada Center, many public and private schools and at cultural events like Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, according to Pam Sweetser, the founder of Adoptive Heritage Camps for Families, formerly Colorado Heritage Camps, who nominated Nariani. Sweetser met Nariani through the Indian/Nepalese Heritage Camp, one of a series of summer camps that allow adopted children and their families to experience the culture of their birth countries. She calls Nariani a “driving force” behind the Indian/Nepalese Heritage Camp. “For adopted Indian children, Namita and the Mudras have been a year-round way to stay connected to their culture and to their camp friends,” Sweetser says. “She has single-handedly built pride and self-esteem to so many kids, adopted and non-adopted alike, from every cultural background.” Nariani moved to Colorado from Bombay, India 23 years ago. An architect by profession, Nariani opened her own firm in 2007, and teaches and dances in the community with Mudra Dance Studio in addition to her full-time career. It may fill her schedule, but Nariani says it’s worth it to give back to a community that has given her so much. “There are just so many people out there that give so much of themselves to the world and are so selfless,” Nariani says. “To be selected like this and have somebody like Pam Sweetser nominate me is just such an amazing and humbling experience.” Nariani says her greatest accomplishment is her two daughters. Her younger daughter, Ninaad, is a student teacher at the Mudra Dance Studio, and her elder daughter, Eishita, is finishing her sophomore year at George Washington University in Washington D.C. Eishita was named captain of her Indian Dance Team, which performs and competes all over the U.S. Nariani’s advice to the younger generation is, “Always know if you are true to yourself and to what you want to accomplish. It doesn’t matter what color, what ethnicity you’re from. If you are true to yourself and true to the others you face in life, you can always accomplish anything.”

Namita has single-handedly built pride and self-esteem to so many kids, adopted and non-adopted alike, from every cultural background.

Angela Cho Cho at her art exhibition

Cho (left) with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock at “Ascent to Asia” reception


lthough she has a long list of achievements, Angela Cho says one of her most valuable achievements is getting to know her community and becoming aware of her surroundings. “I’m not a big person by any means,” Cho says. “My real personal achievement is getting to know the community—to realize and recognize that I’m not the only person in the world, that I live with people from other countries and different generations. I think that’s a very valuable achievement for me.” Cho served as the chief financial officer/personnel manager for the Asian Pacific Development Center for four years. Although she had to take a leave of absence due to issues with her health, Cho still remains very active in the community. She is the board treasurer for the Aurora Symphony Orchestra, a board member for the Post-Polio Health International organization and the Aurora Asian/ Pacific Community Partnership, and site coordinator for the 9Health Fair. “Angela has worked tirelessly in the Asian communities for more than 15 years,” says Suegie Park, Clinic Manager at the Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice, who nominated Cho for the Asian American Hero award. “Despite her own health challenges, she always places the needs of others over herself. She never seeks public acknowledgment or rewards, but quietly tends to the needs of others.” Cho is a member of advisory boards such as the Asian Breast Health Community Advisory Board, Integrated Health Care Community Advisory Board and Asian Women’s Health Community Advisory Board, among others. She also is always willing to help translate Korean and educate individuals about the Korean culture. “Throughout my life, I’ve been given a lot, sometimes so much that I have to share it with others,” Cho says. Some of her personal achievements include writing 60 poems, translating several books that were published and learning how to paint with oil and pastel. Cho loves children and has a lot of respect for younger generations, which she calls “smart and savvy.” Cho has lived in Colorado for 17 years and has lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years. She worked as a high school math teacher in Virginia and Rhode Island before moving to the Rockies. Truly humbled for the recognition, Cho says she can name a lot of people who are making sacrifices for their communities, and she would like to accept the Asian American Heroes award on behalf of all of those volunteers.

Angela always places the needs of others over herself. She never seeks public acknowledgement or rewards, but quietly tends to the needs of others.

Cho (right) with Ivy Hontz (left) meet the First Lady of Mongolia Khajidsuren Bolormaa at a Project C.U.R.E. event

Cho (right) with Sherry Chao at the Aurora Symphony Orchestra ticket office

Cho waters her plants at her community garden

asian avenue magazine


Jie “Jay” Zheng Zheng (back right) speaks at the first PASES Professional Asian Society of Engineers and Scientist Regional Conference

Zheng and Lt. Governor Joe Garcia at Zheng’s restaurant Volcano Asian Cuisine

Zheng volunteers as a judge for the Miss Asian American CO Leadership Program

Zheng (left) shakes hands withTim Higashide, current NAAAP CO President


May 2013 | Cover Story

Zheng (left) and the NAAAP Colorado Chapter at the NAAAP National Convention in Los Angeles


hen Jie “Jay” Zheng relocated to Colorado more than a decade ago to work at Broomfield-based StorageTek, he realized that local professionals, especially Asian Americans, could benefit from an organization that offered leadership development resources and networking opportunities. In 2006, Zheng founded the Colorado chapter of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), a group that provides leadership development, networking and community service opportunities to Asian-American professionals and students in the metro Denver area. “When I first established NAAAP Colorado, I had a vision, but what has happened since has far exceeded my expectations,” said Zheng, who served as the organization’s founding president and board member. “I’m so proud of all the past and current members of NAAAP Colorado that have made the organization great.” Zheng came to the United States from China to attend the University of Rochester, where he received a master’s in polymer chemistry and business administration. After obtaining his degrees, he worked at Xerox as a senior project engineer and business development manager before moving to Colorado. “He has dedicated countless hours to serve the community and Asian-American professionals,” said Tim Higashide, Zheng’s mentee and colleague at NAAAP, who nominated Zheng for the Asian American Hero award. “While prioritizing family matters, he spent his personal time and resources to give more opportunities to Asian-American professionals, said Higashide, current NAAAP Colorado president. “He connects people and organizations to bring the community together with a vision for the future and attention to the present.” Zheng’s accomplishments at NAAAP include the successful hosting of the three-day NAAAP National Convention in Denver in 2009 and the increased exposure of AsianAmerican professionals to corporations such as MillerCoors, Prudential and Macy’s, according to Higashide. While Zheng is the busy owner of Volcano Asian Cuisine, he makes time to volunteer with the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, support the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference and help educate local elementary schools about Chinese and Japanese cultures. Through his restaurant, he has supported numerous community events and fundraisers. Zheng says the experiences of “culture shocks” he encountered as a graduate student were obstacles, but they were also valuable lessons that helped him become a more competent leader. He developed an ability to leverage his cultural background, understand cultural differences and share his experiences with different generations. Zheng’s most important values are respect, and business and cultural competency. He advises younger generations to seek these values as well. “Younger generations typically have the advantage to absorb multicultural values and apply them to their lives and careers in the future,” Zheng says. “As we continue to be a global economy, those cross-cultural competencies are extremely important.”

Jie has dedicated countless hours to serve the community and Asian-American professionals. He connects people and organizations to bring the community together.

Aspiring Hero Award:

Joie Ha

Ha (middle right) and the University of Denver Kappa Phi Lambda Charter Colony and Program Educators established on April 20, 2013.


hether she’s putting together a fundraiser for a local cause or connecting with the hip-hop community, 20-year-old Joie Ha is not afraid to step outside her comfort zone. “I really believe in altruism and family, as well as personal growth and consistently putting yourself out of your comfort zones,” Ha says. “I feel that being uncomfortable is a way to explore new aspects of yourself that you never have before.” Ha is the recipient of the Aspiring Hero Award—awarded to individuals under the age of 35. She is majoring in anthropology and international studies at the University of Denver. A proud Aurora native, she is a graduate of Smoky Hill High School. “Joie was born to be a leader. She is quite an inspiration to many people—young and old,” says Eve Chan, Ha’s colleague who nominated Ha for the Asian American Hero award. “Joie’s humility, kind and caring heart, positive outlook on life and ability to direct groups of people should be recognized as a young Asian American hero of Colorado.” At Smoky Hill, Ha founded the The Original Expression (T.O.E.) Jam, a state-wide hiphop dance competition. She says her greatest achievement so far is starting the program without any previous hip-hop knowledge and selling out the school auditorium for the second annual competition. Her connection to the hip-hop community has allowed her to become co-chair of Cultural Unity at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, bringing in dancers like Korean Bboy Taiyo and Dance2Live, according to Chan. After the Aurora movie theatre shooting in 2012, Ha collaborated with Next Generation Voices, Gamma Gallery, LG Eventos, Asian Student Alliance and Enovishun Graffiks to establish Art4 Aurora, a benefit arts show to raise funds for the victims and their families. The event raised more than $4,500 for the cause. “The community has given me so much,” Ha says. “I am who I am because of the community, my family and the way I grew up. I think it’s important for anyone to give back to the community to create a better place for all of us to live together.” Additionally, Ha served as the director of Project Renew, a benefit that raised funds for the Lao Buddhist Temple that burned down in 2011. She is also an adviser of Next Generation Voices, a student-run organization that unites young people to be socially aware, culturally competent and future leaders. Ha’s other roles include public relations chair for the Asian Student Alliance at DU, public relations chair for Miss Asian American Colorado 2012, president of DU’s Pioneer Breakers and member of DU’s Diversity Committee. Ha’s advice to others is, “You do what you want to do. Don’t let anyone tell you who you are and don’t be afraid to give back. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take on a huge project.”

Joie was born to be a leader. She is quite an inspiration to many people. Her humility, kind and caring heart, positive outlook on life and ability to direct groups of people should be recognized.

Promoting Art 4 Aurora with Christine Chang at 7News. From left: Sally Peang, Joie Ha, Christine Chang, Gamma Acosta

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival 2012 Operations Committee

University of Denver Diversity Committee

2012 University of Denver Asian Student Alliance Committee

Ha performs a spoken word piece at the 2011 Miss Asian American Colorado

asian avenue magazine


Lifetime Achievement Award:

Kimiko side

Side toasts during the Emperor of Japan’s birthday reception with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock behind her

Kimiko Side (left) and her husband Gene Side (right)

Side with members of the Mile High Japanese American Citizens League

Side (middle) receives award from Asian Education Advisory Council on behalf of Japan-America Society of Southern Colorado


May 2013 | Cover Story


hen asked what advice she had for younger generations, Lifetime Achievement Award winner 90-year-old Kimiko Side quoted John F. Kennedy. “President Kennedy said, ‘Don’t ask what your country could do for you; ask what you can do for your country,’” Side says. “I think those were wonderful words he said and I’ll never forget them.” Side’s admiration of Kennedy’s words is truly exemplified by her more than 35 years of dedication to the Japanese American community in Colorado. Side is a board member of the Mile High Japanese American Citizens League and the Japanese American Association of Colorado. She served as the chairperson of the Denver-Takayama Sister City committee from 1994-2010 and currently holds the title of “Honorary Chair for Life.” Side raised money to facilitate a high school student exchange program and established the Eugene and Kimiko Side scholarship to help low-income students pursue their dreams In 2012, Side was named a recipient of The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and of a college education. “You cannot take it with you, so why not give everything Silver Rays, an imperial decoration and high civilian honor of Japan. to the younger people,” Side says. “That’s what I feel.” While Side says her greatest achievement is the establishment of the Eugene and Kimiko Side scholarship. A history of Japanese Americans in Colorado written by Bill Hosokawa titled “Colorado’s Japanese American” is also a project that is very dear to her. Respectfully referred to as the “Ambassador of the Japanese-American community in Colorado,” Side came to Colorado in 1959, raised a family, created an import-export business and used her success to create opportunities for future generations, according to Harry Budisidharta, partner of The Denver Firm, who nominated Side for the Asian American Hero award. Former Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper proclaimed July 22, 2010 “Kimiko Side Day” in appreciation of all her philanthropic work. Side even escorted Mayor Hickenlooper to Takayama during his term at her own expense to strengthen the sister city relationship. Her hard work has earned her the trust and respect of the Governor of Colorado, Mayor of Denver and other government officials. Side continues to support students through the Denver Buddhist Temple and Simpson United Methodist Church by donating scholarship money. “Kimiko Side exemplifies the strength and resiliency of all Asian Americans who have come to Colorado and become integral and vital members of their communities, largely by preserving and sharing their cultural heritage,” Budisidharta says. “She has taught me the importance of volunteerism, and the difference that one person can make in other people’s lives. Every day she shows me, and every other person she meets, how volunteerism is a lifelong commitment and privilege.”

Kimiko Side exemplifies the strength and resiliency of all Asian Americans who have come to Colorado and become integral and vital members of their communities, largely by preserving and sharing their cultural heritage.

What is Ujyalo?

Ujyalo is a Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) “Commitment to Action” organized by Amuda Mishra, a graduate student at the University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus. The project will be conducted in Birgunj, Nepal where the community is in dire need of electricity. “Ujyalo”, meaning “the light” in Nepali, will provide light to families that have been living without electricity or light. With the help of one natural solar-water-light “bottle bulb”, approximately 55 watts of light can be created. Ujyalo’s mission is to install at least 200 “bottle-bulb” systems in rural villages in Birgunj, Nepal by the end of summer 2013. Ujyalo will create: ◦ 55 watts of light ◦ An energy-efficient system ◦ An environmental friendly system The Clinton Global Initiative University was founded by President Bill Clinton to address some of the world’s pressing challenges. Ujyalo co-partners with Sano Paila, a nonprofit organization in Nepal. Ujyalo also works collaboratively with A Liter of Light as a “Light Ambassador” for its Nepal chapter.

How does it work?

This natural bulb is created by adding approximately 5-7ml of chlorine to 1L of water in a soda bottle.

HT) G LI E (TH tts

Wa 5 5 o t UJYALO r 1 Lite From

How can you help?

Amuda Mishra is a Nepali student at the University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus. She will be graduating with a Master of Public Health degree in May 2013. After being inspired by “A Liter of Light” organization, which works to light up homes where electricity cannot be reached, she decided to take this concept to Nepal as part of her CGIU project.

Please help give light to families in need by donating to this Denver-based project. Light in a place like Birgunj does not just mean what it is at face value: it means the future of a child who will be able to study under FROM 1 LITER TO 55 WATTS it, the living of a family who will be able to run a business using it, the talent of an artist who can work by it - the increased standard of living for many thanks to light! With your donation, Ujyalo not only lights up homes but also brightens futures for families living in challenging conditions.

A Clinton Global Initiative University Project HELPING BIRGUNJ, NEPAL

The project needs to raise $5000 by the end of May to bring Ujyalo to Nepal this summer! Please help to reach their goal by donating at asian avenue magazine


Peter Bui Asian Avenue magazine

1160 Madison Street Denver, CO 80206 Tel: 720.387.7890

HOURS Mon: Closed Tues - Sat: 9am to 6pm Sun: 12pm to 5 pm

Duo Chocolat Baum


Many things at first glance look deceptively simple, but in instances like Glaze’s Baum Cake that is far from the truth. Owner Heather Alcott and her shoppe Glaze have brought the intricate Baum Cake to Denver from across the world and their journey, too, was far from simple. Baumkuchen is German for “tree cake” or “log cake” because of its concentric cake rings; nearly 100 years ago it made its way from Germany to Japan. Since its inception in Japan, this popular treat has been traditionally bought to celebrate milestones such as birthdays or anniversaries. The rings of the Baum Cake represent time like the annual rings on a tree. While living in Asia, Heather was intrigued by the Baum Cake and began conjuring up ways to bring the multi-layered cake to the States. There were many challenges in order to reach Alcott’s goal but getting the “Red Dragon” oven shipped over from Japan was the biggest, literally. The Red Dragon is a 2,200-pound rotisserie, spit oven that is six feet tall and five feet wide. Arriving by boat and traveling across the country to Denver, the oven, which is similar to the size of a car, is the only one of its kind in the U.S. This oven can bake up to 90 cakes at a time on its six rotating spigots. Each Baum Cake is unique in its flavor and appearance. The Original Baum Cake is a vanilla cake with a rum or limoncello glaze, the Matcha Green Tea Baum Cake is made with the high-est quality Matcha imported from Japan and when paired with the limoncello glaze, it is sublime. These also come in Duo Baum Cakes, which combine two flavors like Original and Matcha or Original and Chocolate. The Baum Cakes also come in two different sizes with the full size combining 21 layers of goodness and the mini having 13-15 layers. No matter the size, each cake is made with the highest quality ingredients from premium almond flour to the freshest local Colorado produce. All of these ingredients collectively create a delicious cake. Each bite is just sweet enough on the palate to make you crave more. The flavors are light and subtle enough that one could get carried away bite after bite, but the layers and method of baking create a dense cake which makes each piece satisfying. The features of the Mount Baum Cakes are reminiscent of the Pyrénées mountains; the exterior is crispy and its inner layers provide a chewy texture. A delicious cup of Matcha Latte with almond or soy milk is a perfect accompaniment to any of the excellent cakes or pastry like Glaze’s Matcha Macarons or Baum Bites. While The Baum Cake Shoppe opened only three months ago, it has quickly become the talk of the town for its spectacular variety of goodies.

Matcha Green Tea Baum $23 Premium Matcha green tea imported from Japan creates a subtle blend of the highest grade RED DRAGON OVEN 20 20

May 2013 | Restaurant Peek

Mount Baum Cake Ring $12 Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the

inside, this cake is dusted with fine, powdered sugar drizzled with Cointreau Cake Roll $9 Cake Rolls are delicately filled with buttercream, rolled, and glazed with Callebaut Belgian chocolate or Limoncello glaze Macaron $2 Delicious, gluten-free Macarons are made from scratch filled with ganache or buttercream


Original Baum Cake $18 Premium vanilla, accented with a lemony, almond flour base creates a soft, buttery cake, enhanced with a rum or limoncello glaze

SumoSushi Annie Guo Asian Avenue magazine

Sushi, good. All you can eat sushi, better. All you can eat sushi at an affordable price, best. That is why Sumo Sushi is building its reputation as one of the best all you can eat sushi restaurants in the mile-high area. The newly opened restaurant offers all you can eat sushi dinner at $19.95. And lunch is only $13.95! With its fresh fish and quality ingredients, the sashimi and sushi are sure to be on the top of your list, the next time you are craving raw fish. At Sumo Sushi, the original recipes reach far more than just the sushi bar. The chefs have experience with authentic Japanese cuisine and can prepare classic dishes such as udon noodles and chicken katsu. The chef can even cook up delicious Korean-style short ribs.

The California Sunset Roll containing tuna is served with a beautiful presentation and green drizzled sauce. All of the colorful and tasty sauces are made from scratch with homemade recipes. The whole fish sashimi is one of their most special dishes, offering two pounds of flounder sashimi and fish soup. With 30 years of culinary experience in San Francisco, New York and Denver, the chef gives his own personal touch and flavor to each of the dishes. He shares, “As more Americans are interested in exploring sushi, many find that it is pretty good.” “At Sumo Sushi, we want to give the opportunity for Americans to try new foods— not just sushi and raw fish but also special cooked dishes too.” The owner believes that for health reasons

2353 S Havana St Aurora, CO 80014 Tel: 303-695-7787

HOURS Mon - Fri: 11am to 2:30pm 4:30pm to 9:30pm Sat: 11am to 10pm Sun: 3pm to 9:30pm

sushi has also become very popular. He said, “A lot of doctors recommend eating sushi, especially to lower blood pressure.” Fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are popular sushi options. They are rich in omega-3, which improves heart health and plays an important role in reducing inflammation throughout the body. At Sumo Sushi, the diverse staff is fluent in English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. They enjoy socializing with people and getting to know their customers. Most importantly, the staff takes pride in providing the best service and making sure each guest has a great experience. The next time you stop in for lunch or dinner, mention Asian Avenue to get a free beer, sake or house wine to go with your mouth-watering meal.

menu. ALL YOU CAN EAT SUSHI Lunch $13.95 | Dinner $19.95 Special! Dynamite $7.95 Baked seafood with tobeko Seafood Sanomono $10.95 Octopus, shrimp, crab stick, cucumber sanomono sauce Fish Katsu $12.95 Breaded fish and katsu sauce Tempura Udon $9.50 Noodles with crab meat, fish cake, vegetable and shrimp tempura Deluxe Sushi $39.95 22 pieces of sushi House Special $43.50 12 pieces of sashimi, 10 pieces of sushi and Super Crunch Shrimp Roll asian avenue magazine


Next Generation Voices Conference teaches leadership skills to students The fourth annual Colorado Asian American Leadership Conference was held on April 6 at the APS Professional Conference and Learning Center in Aurora. The conference brought together Colorado high school students from diverse backgrounds, with a focus on Asian Americans, to address issues faced by teens today. Students participated in workshops and had the opportunity to expand their leadership skills and knowledge, as well as network with students from other schools. The theme of the conference, “Breaking Barriers Building Bridges” discussed barriers that high school students face: bullying, stereotypes, identity issues, and exclusion. Keynote speaker Fran Campbell opened the conference. Campbell works at Jefferson Center for Mental Health and is active in the Asian-American community. After a set of workshops and lunch, which was sponsored by Kokoro, Andrew Yeh led a networking activity for the 50-some students. The day of workshops concluded with a talent showcase of students performing on the saxophone, violin and piano, as well as singing. Feyone La, conference chair, was thanked for her years of service to Next Generation Voices. La is a senior at Rangeview High School. “Breaking Barriers Building Bridges” was hosted by Next Generation Voices (NGV), a student-run organization established in 2008. NGV strives to build leadership among Asian-American students and promotes cultural diversity and inclusion. For more information about NGV, visit:

South Asian Stars host “Bridge to Charity” luncheon at A Taste of India Annie Guo Asian Avenue magazine

South Asian Stars, an organization that supports the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, presented the “Bridge to Charity” luncheon on April 13 at A Taste of India in Denver. The fundraising event was emceed by Hema Mullur, Denver’s FOX 31 news anchor. Welcoming guests to the luncheon was Raj Verma, who leads South Asian Stars. He introduced both of the luncheon speakers, Andy Seth and Amuda Mishra.

Seth is the managing director of Lotus Advisory Group and the founder of Minds Matter, an organization that helps low-income minorities enroll and pay for college. He spoke about the importance of giving back to others and that there are ways to do so besides giving money. He challenged the audience to think of skills, knowledge, and connections they could provide to others. Mishra is a Master of Public Health student at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She is organizing a project

titled “Ujyalo The Light” this summer to bring light to homes in Nepal. She shared her story of community activism that began when she was in college and her passion to support people in Nepal, where she grew up. Lastly, Mudra Dance Studio performed two spectacular dances and a silent auction was held to raise additional funds for Boys & Girls Club. For more information about the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, visit www.

Photo by Sampson Leung From left: Raj Verma, Ravi Patel, Milan Miller, Shefali Shah, Amuda Mishra, Andy Seth, Neeti Pawar, Avery Perryman and Hema Mullur.


May 2013 | On Scene

Asian American high school youth bond at the park

To promote community outreach, youth involvement and overall to enjoy a nice spring day, Asian Pacific Development Center Youth Leadership Academy (YLA; formerly YSYP) teamed up with Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association Leadership Program (CAPYA) and hosted a joint BBQ for their high school students on April 12th. This event was created to develop lasting

bonds between both programs in hopes of future Asian American youth collaborations through the year as well as with other organizations in Colorado. Located at Crescent Park, eight different college students representing both CAPYA and YLA ran and led icebreakers and team building events. The day ended with various sporting events to promote team spirit, unity, pride, and diversity among the two programs. For more information about the organizations, visit or

Dan Sweetser (middle) receives the Minoru Yasui Community Service Award.

Nicoal Chae Wolfe (right) receives the Governor Ralph Carr Award, awarded by Harry Budisidharta (middle), 2012 recipient and Chuong Le (left), incoming APABA president-elect.

Andrew Yeh Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association

APABA Banquet recognizes outstanding work in legal community

“Shift through busy lives. Bliss comes in still moments when Inspiration blooms.” This haiku was the acceptance speech shared by Nicoal Chae Wolfe at the 2013 Asian Pacific American Bar Assocation (APABA) Annual Banquet on April 12. Wolfe received the Governor Ralph Carr Award which is given to a young APABA attorney who exhibits a commitment to public service. Attorney Dan

Sweeter was honored with the Minoru Yasui Community Service Award, and two students Jayln Rillo Cook and Surbhi Garg received the Minoru Yasui Student Scholarship Awards. The celebratory evening welcomed guests from Colorado’s legal community to enjoy a Chinese banquet dinner at Palace estaurant and entertainment by Gamalan Tunas Mekar. For more information about APABA-CO, visit asian avenue magazine


Dignitaries celebrate the inauguration of the World Overseas Korean Traders Association Denver chapter, including Woo-Jae Kim, World OKTA Chairman (third from right).

Korea’s worldwide trade opportunities expand to Denver

Daniel Oh, President of World-OKTA Denver Chapter welcomes guests to the inauguration.

Distinguished guests traveled from across the world to attend the World Overseas Korean Traders Association (OKTA) Denver chapter inauguration on April 5. OKTA was established as an international Korean trading organization in 1981, in order to promote South Korea’s trading industry and enhance its prestige.

At Seoul Restaurant in Aurora, local officials including Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and U.S. House of Representative Mike Coffman spoke at the event. Woo Jae Lee, President of OKTA shared that Denver is not only the 120th OKTA chapter worldwide but the 16th chapter in the U.S. This signifies important trade opportunities for Denver, according to Mayor

Hancock. “Import and export opportunities allow cultural exchanges and economic growth that benefits all involved,” said Hancock. Daniel Oh, who will lead the Denver chapter, said, “This is truly a historic moment for global trade opportunities in Colorado between South Korea and the United States.” For more information, visit

From left, the Oh-Willeke’s: Sharon, Andrew and Clark who received the Special Talent Award.

Andrea Mérida, DPS School Board Secretary (left) awards Landon Du (right) with the Academic Award.

Keynote speaker Roger Liu (left) and AEAC Chair Priscilla Shaw (right) award Thien Nguyen (middle) with the Leadership Award.

The Doubletree Hotel in Denver filled with happy voices and parent photographers celebrating the 28th annual Asian Education Advisory Council (AEAC) Awards on April 26. More than 50 Denver Public Schools (DPS) students were honored at the ceremony including Clark Oh-Willeke who received the Special Talent award. Oh-Willeke, 11, is a student at Hamilton Middle School who plays the violin and soccer. He also enjoys comput-

er animation and hopes to one day become a scientist. He said, “I like school, and I am really excited to receive this award.” Elementary, middle and high school students were invited to the stage to introduce themselves. Administrators, paraprofessionals, teachers and parents were also recognized. This year’s AEAC Chair, Priscilla Shaw, spoke about the diversity of DPS’ Asian students. Roger Liu presented an inspiring key-

note speech sharing the story of his father’s journey to America. The event was emceed by Miss Asian American Colorado Stephanie Vi Nghiem and AEAC Board Member Steve Kohuth. AEAC was established by the DPS Board of Education seeking to improve educational quality and opportunities for all students. For more information about AEAC, visit www.

AEAC Awards Ceremony honors students and educators


May 2013 | On Scene

Elementary school AEAC award recipients stand on stage after introducing themselves.

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2013 Census Bureau Releases Profile America Facts for Features 18.2 million: The estimated number of U.S. residents in 2011 who were Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more additional races. 5.8 million: The Asian alone or in combination population in California in 2011. The state had the largest Asian population, followed by New York (1.7 million). 46%: Percentage growth of the Asian alone or in combination population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, which was more than any other major race group. 4 million: Number of Chinese, except Taiwanese, descent in the U.S. in 2011. The Chinese (except Taiwanese) population was the largest Asian group, followed by Filipinos (3.4 million), Asian Indians (3.2 million), Vietnamese (1.9 million), Koreans (1.7 million) and Japanese (1.3 million) $67,885: Median household income for the Asian alone population in 2011. 12.8%: The poverty rate for the Asian alone population in 2011. 15.4%: Percentage of single-race Asians without health insurance coverage in 2011. 50%: The percentage of the Asian alone population 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher

The 2013 TIME 100

level of education. This compared with 28.5 percent for all Americans 25 and older. 20.7%: The percentage of the Asian alone population 25 and older who had a graduate (e.g., master’s) or professional degree. This compared with 10.6 percent for all Americans 25 and older. 589,000: The additional number of the Asian alone population who voted in the 2008 presidential election than in the 2004 election. All in all, 48 percent of Asians turned out to vote in 2008 -- up 4 percentage points from 2004. A total of 3.4 million Asians voted. 1.5 million: Number of businesses owned by Asians in 2007, an increase of 40.4 percent from 2002. $506.0 billion: Total receipts of businesses owned by Asians in 2007, up 54.9 percent from 2002. 264,695: The number of the Asian alone population military veterans in 2011. About one in three veterans was 65 and older. 80%: Percentage of Asians in 2009 living in a household with Internet use -- the highest rate among race and ethnic groups. 33.5: Median age of the Asian alone or in combination population in 2011. The corresponding figure was 37.3 years for the population as a whole.

TIME presents its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, from artists and leaders to pioneers, titans and icons. There are 20 Asians or Asian Americans in the list.

Oh-Hyun Kwon Samsung CEO, 60

Palaniappan Chidambaram Indian finance minister, 67

Tadashi Yanai Ren Zhengfei Telecom chief, 68 CEO of Uniqlo, 64

Kim Jong Un Xi Jinping Park Geun-hye President of South President of China, Supreme leader of North Korea, 30 59 Korea, 61

Andrew Ng Coursera co-founder, 37

Wang Shu Architect, 49

Perry Chen Roya Mahboob Vrinda Grover Kickstarter CEO, 36 Entrepreneur, 25 Lawyer, 49

Noynoy Aquino President of the Philippines, 53

Aamir Khan Film star and activist, 48

Andrew Sheng Economist, 66

Li Na Kai-Fu Lee Aung San Suu Kyi Tennis champion, Malala Yousafzai Peng Liyuan Tech incubator, 51 Activist, 15 China’s First Lady, 50 Dissident, 67 31

Chinese victim of marathon bombing remembered at Boston University


u Lingzi was passionate about the piano, a daughter who always made her father laugh and a standout statistics student. She was killed by the Boston Marathon blasts two days after acing qualifying exams. “You need us to be strong and brave,” Jing Li said of her roommate, killed as she watched the marathon a week ago. “We will keep running to finish the race for you and we will try to realize your unfinished dream.” “She’s gone but our memories of her are very much alive,” her father said. “An ancient Chinese saying says every child is actually a little Buddha that helps their parents mature and grow up.” Hundreds of people packed a hall at Boston University to say goodbye to Lu, a 23-year-old graduate student. She was one of three people killed on April 15 in the bombings. Gov. Deval Patrick was among the people who showed up to listen to an hour of music and stories about Lu. asian avenue magazine



Never too late to learn a new language: Adults learning Chinese in Denver Yi Ren

Joyous Chinese Cultural Center

When you look at this photo below, would you guess that these Americans are reciting a famous Chinese poem from the Tang Dynasty (608-907) during a 2013 Chinese New Year celebration?

20 26

These are students in the adult Chinese class at Joyous Chinese Cultural Center (JCCC) in Denver. They all have full-time jobs and families, but they make time to go to JCCC for a one-hour Chinese class every Saturday morning while their children attend Chinese language and dance classes. Most of them are first-time Chinese language students, having started Chinese class last September. Although they haven’t learned Chinese for very long, they know how to greet each other, introduce themselves and family members, say their nationalities, give an apology, and express thanks in Chinese. Lawyer Susan Jeffries said, “I now know how to say ‘This is my name card. I work at a joint venture company.’ in Chinese: ‘Zhè shì wǒ de míng piàn. Wǒ zài hé zī gōng sī gōng zuo’. 这是我的名片。我在合资公司工作。” Many of the parents have adopted Chinese children. “Our children are so happy to see I can speak Chinese with them. Sometimes they are even surprised I know more Chinese than they do,” said Judge Elizabeth Weishaulp. “Learning Chinese has given us more enjoyable time together.” The parents want their children to keep their Chinese roots and some day will take them to visit their birthplace in China. Their biggest goal is to be able to speak fluent Chinese during their China visit. Not only can the parents say simple Chinese words, but they can also have Chinese conversations with each other. When they get familiar with new vocabulary, they practice in pairs in front of the class. using their imagination, they recite the dialogue and pretend to be in real situations. For example, when they learned how to introduce their friends to their parents, one student played the role of the father and another played the friend. Using the dialogue content, they introduced themselves as if they just met each other. This role-playing format not only brings a lot of fun to the class, but also helps students memorize the words and sentences better and faster. Outside the classroom, students listen to the Chinese language CD that comes with their textbook while they drive. They speak Chinese with their children at home, as well as with Chinese people they meet in restaurants or supermarkets. One day Barrie James and her family had dinner in a Chinese restaurant, she asked a waitress in Chinese: “Nǐ jiào shén me míng zi? 你叫什么名字?” (What is your name?) The waitress was surprised that James was able to say this Chinese sentence with the correct tones. May 2013 | Feature

Teresa Lybarger can’t forget a year ago, when her former Chinese class went to John Holly’s Asian Bistro for lunch with their families. In Chinese, the class ordered dishes and asked questions about the food. They had a lot fun. Teresa’s husband, Rock, and the students in her current class would like to try this activity again this year. Beth Buonanno said, “Every night during reading time, I listen with my daughter to the Chinese CD, learn a few words and sing Chinese songs. We enjoy practicing our Chinese together so much!” Sandra Dixon is a university professor. She found that a few sentences she had learned are useful in some of her activities and when she meets Chinese people at the university. She tries to memorize sentences such as ““Rèn shí nǐ hěn gāo xìng. 认识你很高兴。”(It’s nice to meet you.) and “Nǐ hē chá hái shì kā fēi? 你喝茶还是咖啡?”(Would you like some tea or coffee?) Another class is offered at the Bemis Public Library in Littleton. There, the students include retired people, housewives, full-time and part-time workers, and even a college student. They come to class for various reasons. Most of them have never been to China, but some are planning to visit China in the near future. The students that are retired share that learning Chinese at their age allows their brains to stay more active. That is true! Sue joined the class two weeks later than others, but she quickly caught up with her classmates and is able to speak words and sentences with the right tones. What is her secret in learning Chinese? She said, “I am 73 years old now and I had worked in a law office before retiring two years ago.” “I am curious about the Chinese language. I listen to the CD from our Chinese book almost every day to get used to the tones and pronunciations. It really helps me in my learning process.” In addition to a few silver-haired people, there is a freshman at Regis University. She said, “Since I was a little girl, I have wanted to see China. I am studying to become a nurse and would like to work in China after I graduate from college. Because my school doesn’t offer Chinese courses, I come here to study.” Similar to this young woman, Jim Taylor is going to travel to China this November. He would like to learn some basic Chinese conversations before he goes. A musician, Jeanne Chin was born in Hong Kong and came to the U.S. at the age of nine. She didn’t learn how to speak Mandarin, so she wants to take Chinese lessons and enjoys practicing with her mother at home. Although the class at Bemis Public Library only started in mid-January of this year, don’t be surprised that the students can already greet in Chinese. They also know why America is called “Měi guó 美国” and China is called “Zhōng guó 中国”. Is it hard for adults to learn Chinese? Not for Barrie James, who works full-time and has two young children. She said, “Many people think to learn Chinese is so hard, but for some reason, I’ve found learning Chinese is easy for me.” She and her classmates have made incredible progress and they all enjoy learning Chinese. Today, China’s door is open to the whole world. Learning the Chinese language and culture provides an extra path for exploring interests, opportunities and enjoyment. Some day, like these students, many of you may be able to say proudly: “Wǒ mén shì měi góu rén. Wǒ mén zài xué zhōng wén. 我们是美国人。我们在学中文。”which means “We are American. We are learning Chinese.” Yi Ren is a teacher at Joyous Chinese Cultural Center and also the author of Chinese for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Chinese. For more information, visit

Photo above from left: Susan Jeffries,Teresa Lybarger, Beth Buonanno, Sandra Dixon, Elizabeth Weishaupl, Rock Hoff, Barrie James, Nina, Monica Ryan and Nancy White

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ASIAN CUISINE Volcano Asian Cuisine 10440 E. Arapahoe Rd. Centennial, CO 80112 Tel: 303-662-8111 |


SUPERMARKET M Mart 2000 S. Havana St. Aurora, CO 80014 Tel: 303-695-4803

Jaya Asian Grill 1699 S. Colorado Blvd. #B Denver, CO 80222 Tel: 303-757-7887 |

Star Kitchen Seafood Restaurant 2917 W. Mississippi Ave.Denver, CO 80219 Tel: 303-936-0089 |

Pacific Ocean Market Place 6600 W. 120th Ave. Broomfield, CO 80020 Tel: 303-410-8168

John Holly’s Asian Bistro 2422 S. Downing St. Denver, CO 80210 Tel: 303-722-8686


Pacific Ocean International Supermarket 2200 W. Alameda Ave. #2B Denver, CO 80223 Tel: 303-936-4845

BAKERY Celestial Bakery, Deli & BBQ 333 S. Federal Blvd. #128 Denver, CO 80219 Tel: 303-936-2339 Vinh Xuong Bakery 2370 W. Alameda Ave. #15 Denver, CO 80223 Tel: 303-922-0999

Japon Sushi and Japanese Cuisine 1028 S. Gaylord St. Denver, CO 80209 Tel: 303-744-0330 |

KOREAN RESTAURANT Seoul Korean BBQ Restaurant 2080 S. Havana St. Aurora, CO 80014 Tel: 303-632-7576 |


Shin Sa Dong Korean BBQ 10293 E. Iliff Ave. Denver, CO 80231 Tel: 720-748-1414 |

Lollicup 1589 S Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80222 Tel: 303-504-6022 |

Seoul BBQ & Sushi 2 311 West 104th Ave. Northglenn, CO 80234 Tel: 303-280-3888



China Taipei Chinese Restaurant 8100 S. Quebec St. #B-14 Centennial, CO 80112 Tel: 303-773-0155

Vogue Day Spa 2760 S. Havana St. #OP Aurora, CO 80014 Tel: 303-752-6606 |

Empress Seafood Dim Sum Restaurant 2825 W. Alameda Ave. Denver, CO 80219

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Red Coral Restaurant 1591 S. Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80222 Tel: 303-758-7610

Min’s Massage 2200 W Alameda Ave. Denver, CO 80223 Tel: 303-936-6265

VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT Pho Ta 2200 W. Alameda Ave. #38 Denver, CO 80223 Tel: 303-922-7888 | Saigon Landing Vietnamese Cuisine 6585 Greenwood Plaza Blvd. Greenwood Village, CO 80111 Tel: 303-779-0028 |

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2013 Buddha's Birthday and Mother's Day Celebration

Buddha Light International Association of Colorado invites you to come and celebrate! Date: Sunday, May 12, 2013 Time: 10:00am - 2:00pm Location: Denver Buddhist Cultural Society 2530 W. Alameda Ave. | Denver CO 80219 Multi-cultural food, drinks, gifts, handmade soap, booths and more! If you would like to get a booth or for more information, please call 303.935.3889. 20 28

May 2013 | Business Directory


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