In my work sharing news with you, I am fortunate to come across leaders in the communities and often feel they are unsung heroes who contribute quietly as role models in our Asian American society. I would like to tell you about some of them this week.
Finding Pleasure Helping Others
Hawaii born and bred Douglas Ho has been quietly helping non profit causes in Hawaii for the past few years through his presidency of the Beatrice M. H. Young Foundation and his own personal generosity. After attending Notre Dame Ho served in the Vietnam War, where he was awarded medals for valor as a captain of an artillery unit on infamous Hamburger Hill. Eventually Ho’s career moved him to New York as a portfolio manager and analyst in precious medals. Today, back in Hawaii, he is semi-retired from his past workings with banks and trust companies in estate planning, and finding his greatest pleasure giving back to the community.
Through the Young Foundation he manages with a dedicated Board of Directors, he is proud of his role in helping those who helped him along the way, such as the schools he attended, and the people who mentored him throughout his own life’s challenges. For the past four years Douglas has been the major sponsor of the Miss Chinatown Scholarship Pageant, which has chosen a Miss Chinatown for the past 38 years. He is proud of Miss Crystal Lee, whom he sponsored for her successful run to become Miss Hawaii 2013.
Citing where he has directed the Young Foundation trust funds, he says it has given to medical research, and programs supporting causes for single mothers, children’s diseases, and senior programs. As keynote speaker recently at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce event in celebration of the publication of the group’s 100 year history, he was recognized as one of the major donors to support the centennial events happening. Wanting to spread the Foundation’s contributions beyond the islands, he has pledged Beatrice M.H. Young Foundation’s support to the Chi Am Circle 50th anniversary celebration in 2015, proceeds of which will go towards the community’s needs to help women and children victims of domestic violence and young victims in the trafficking of women. Hats off to Douglas Ho for being a philanthropic leader recognizing and giving to causes of human needs.
Silicon Valley Success Story
David Chun came to the United States as a toddler in 1968 with his parents from Korea when his father had the opportunity to study towards an MBA from an East Coast University. Chun says they lived in a modest New Jersey community where laughingly, he recalls his friends said the richest family in the neighborhood was one whose father was a truck driver. In true Asian tradition of emphasis on education, David earned his Bachelor of Science with Honors in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. After short stints at Bain as a management consultant and also a telecom billing software company, he went on to earn an MBA from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. While serving as a VP in Investment Banking on Wall Street with Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (DLJ), he came to California in 1997 with always the dream of wanting to be his own boss. In 2000 he fulfilled that desire by raising the seed money to found Equilar.
Since then, Chun has led Equilar to become one of the most respected names in the executive compensation industry and has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential Players in Corporate Governance” by the National Association of Corporate Directors. A leading authority on executive compensation matters, he is a sought after speaker at events hosted by groups such as The HR Policy Association, NYSE Euronext and Stanford’s Directors’ College and many others.Young and ambitious career-wise, David strikes a good balance enjoying spending time playing golf and tennis with his 15 year old daughter Isabelle and 12 year old Matthew. In addition, he and wife Lillian are active founding members of the Council of Korean Americans (CKA) , and a director of the Asian Pacific Community Foundation.
Although the growth of his business is his top priority now, he is looking forward to a time when he can spend tome mentoring young people and hopefully giving back in some way with advice and financial assistance to business hopefuls in future generations of Asian Americans. Let’s give another round of applause to a hard working Korean American entrepreneur David Chun.
Pioneering the Valley Exhibit Comes to Saratoga
Under warm skies, the Saratoga History Museum introduced its new exhibit on The Chinese American Legacy. In addition to two show cases of items of historical relevance to the Chinese pioneers living in America, was the 8 paneled exhibit, “Pioneering the Valley”. This exhibit was developed by the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project to be a traveling display to highlight community achievements of Chinese Americans to the history of Santa Clara Valley. At the July 13 opening, the Tamkang Drum Team of the Tamkang Unversity Alumni Association drummed up enthusiasm for this exhibit which can be seen at theSaratoga History Museum up on weekends to October 26. Mayor Emily Lo welcomed visitors to her fair city, and introduced fellow councilmen and Saratoga Commission members in the audience, in addition to San Jose Councilman Kansen Chu and wife Daisy. MC Cynthia Chang introduced fellow Chinese Historical and Cultural Project Founders and members of the team developers of this new exhibit, Lillian GongGuy and Gerrye Wong, CHCP President Brenda Wong and Advisory Board Member Connie Young Yu, whose family were once owners of Saratoga’s prized Hakone Gardens.
Much admired that day was the beautiful paintings of Duan Zhaonan who is a famous painter of Chinese Opera characters, an educator, a producer, the consultant of the Chinese Opera Literature Society, the Dean for the Art College at California South Bay University and a painter for the American Gallery of Carmel. Exhibitions of Mr. Duan Zhaonan’s Chinese Opera characters have been on display across the world.
Bring your families and summer visitors to learn more about the Chinese American experience in Saratoga and Santa Clara Valley. www.saratogahistory.com
Musicians from Different Cultures Come Together
When Nobuko Saito Cleary says she will bring a concert from Japan, she does just that. Through her leadership, the Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) in Mountain View presented the “U.S.-Japan Friendship Special Music Concert in its Tateuchi Hall recently. Nobuko’s friend, the former First Lady of Japan, Madame Kayoko Hosokawa, brought extraordinary talented musicians with autism from Japan to join fellow autistic American musicians in this special presentation. In two performances, these musicians, although from different cultures, came together showcasing their talents and passion for music despite physical handicaps. These special presentations were made possible through the leadership and sponsorship of Nobuko Saito and Gary Cleary, the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco the Honorable Masato Watanabe, Union Bank, and The Japan Society of Northern California. Founded in 1968, CSMA is Northern California’s largest non-profit provider of arts education program with a $4.9 budget and 160 member staff.
Remembering Childhood TV Puppets
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s production of the World Premiere of The Great Pretender reminds audiences of the days of their childhood when everyone watched daily children’s shows with puppets dispensing wisdom among its humor. We all remember the lovable puppets on our TV screens, but this play brings us into the lives of those real persons behind the puppets, as they perform in the shows they appeared in. Enjoyable and nostalgic for those of us who have fond memories growing up watching Kukla, Fran and Ollie, Sesame Street and Lambchop and Shari Lewis. Playing July 9-August 3 at Luci Stern Theatre in Palo Alto. www.theatreworks.org.
Pictures tell more than 1000 words so here are pictures of favorite people in the news.