APIAs at the DNC, RNC and AAAIM

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Chiang captures national spotlight: State Controller John Chiang’s heroic efforts to protect the wages of state employees during the budget battle have drawn national attention. Already considered a rising star in California’s Democratic Party, Chiang’s visibility on the national scene will rise when he joins an elite group of elected officials who will address the Democratic National Convention. Chiang will take center stage on national television on Tuesday, Aug. 26 between 6 and 8 p.m.

Working furiously behind the scenes for API visibility during the convention was Congressman Mike Honda, vice-chair of the DNC and chair of the Congressional API Caucus. When I asked Honda if he will speak at the convention, he told me it was more important to feature a potential California gubernatorial candidate like John Chiang than worry about his own visibility. This typically unselfish gesture explains why Honda is one of the most loved API elected officials.

“Living the Dream” theme for API Democratic and Republic Convention events:
APIAVote, a non-profit that focuses on empowering the voice of API voters, is spearheading two major API events at the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention. Both events, themed “Living the Dream,” will honor and celebrate the legacy of AAPI political leadership.

The APIA Vote Gala reception at the DNC convention will take place on Monday Aug. 25 from 8 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. at the Marriott City Center in Denver. The same event for the RNC convention will take place on Monday Sept. 1 at the Brits Pub in Minneapolis, Minn., from 5 to 8 p.m.

How times have changed. I remember scrambling to organize the first API event at the  ’87 DNC convention in Atlanta with the help of a few delegates such as Ginger Lew (Washington, D.C.), Jim Shimoura (Detroit MI), Ross Harano (Chicago Ill.), and Irene Natividad (Washington, D.C.). We felt left out because every delegate group hosted a special convention event except for the API delegates. We were able to find one sponsor, Atlantic Richfield, to help fund the event at a Chinese restaurant close by the convention center. We begged to have the presidential candidate or a suitable surrogate attend as the event’s guest of honor. Kitty Dukakis attended representing her husband Michael, and the event proved to be a huge draw because of her presence and the fact that the delegates were tired of the standard convention party food and craving Chinese food.

Today, the API event is considered an integral part of the DNC convention’s social program. However, during the convention frenzy, presidential candidates have to prioritize their appearances. Somehow the API events never make the “A-list,” so surrogates attend in lieu of the candidates. The time has come for presidential candidates to pay the ultimate respect to this growing community with personal appearances at these events. This community deserves no less.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson keynotes AAAIM first national conference on global investing:
The role of emerging managers and investment markets will take center stage as Asian Pacific American investment professionals and plan sponsors meet during the first Association of Asian American Investment Managers conference on Sept. 29 and 30 at the Los Angeles Sofitel Hotel.

According to Brenda Chia, the group’s president, discussion themes will range from emerging manager opportunities across all major asset classes to the Asian perspective on global investment opportunities. More than 20 pension funds, mutual  funds and investment managers will participate in the conference. Interested participants can register at aaaim.org.

In addition to Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who is considered a powerhouse of direct investing in real estate and private equity, and State Controller Chiang, a member of the CalPERS and CalSTRS pension boards, there will be featured speakers representing investment interests from Singapore, Viet Nam, Hong Kong, China, Japan and India.

The organization provides a national platform for API investment managers and institutional investors seeking new markets and opportunities for investing their funds. AAAIM promotes advancement of API investment professionals through industry education and networking.

AAAIM’s Honorary Board is chaired by the Hon. Norman Y. Mineta and includes Dr. Ta-lin Hsu (HQ AP), Mr. Bill Hwang (Tiger Asia Management), Guy Kawasaki (Garage Technology Ventures), Sumant Mandal (Clearstone Venture Partners), Steve Westly (the Westly Group) and Ambassador Linda Tsao Yang.

AAAIM’s board is co-chaired by Ginger Lew (Three Oaks Investments) and myself (Tom & Associates) and includes Clayton Jue (Leading Edge Investment Advisors), Gordon C.C. Liao (Reliant Equity Investors) and Bennett S. Kim (Big Rock Partners LLC).

Capitol Academy contact information correction …

For applicants inquiring about the API Legislative Caucus Institute Capitol Academy 2009 program, the correct address is:

P.O. Box 189488
Sacramento CA 95818
and the e-mail address is

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