Largest Convention of Asian American Professionals Offers Leadership Insight, Networking and Career Development

NAAAP announced yesterday (in a press release I wrote for them) the 22nd Annual National Association of Asian American Professionals Convention & Diversity Career Fair, which will be held August 21-24 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles.

Riding the theme “Leadership: Rising and Shining Stars,” the convention will include speeches by Congressman Mike Honda, Calif. State Controller John Chiang, philanthropist and former Microsoft executive Scott Oki, Olympic Medalist Toby Dawson, and J.D. Hokoyama of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics.

Attendees will benefit from a two-day diversity career fair; more than 30 workshops focused on leadership, management, entrepreneurship, diversity and community service; more than 65 national and local workshop speakers; dinner galas; and professional networking opportunities.

The convention is the signature event of the National Association of Asian American professionals (NAAAP), a charitable non-profit organization founded in 1982 that cultivates, supports, and promotes Asian American leaders. The largest and fastest growing Asian American professional organization in North America, NAAAP has chapters or a presence in more than 25 metropolitan cities in the United States and Canada.

“The programming and focus of our annual convention exemplifies our mission as an organization,” said John Fok, NAAAP National president and convention co-chair. “NAAAP cultivates and empowers leaders, connects accomplished professionals, engages with the community and inspires leaders to make a meaningful difference in all walks of life.”

The other convention co-chairs include Dr. Jhemon Lee of the Los Alamitos Radiology Group and Pat Summers, Yun Wang and Fonda Wu of Raytheon.


The diversity career fair will take place in the California Showroom of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on August 22 and 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Exhibitors include: Abercromie & Fitch, Baxter Healthcare, Best Buy, Clorox, J&J Recruiting, Kroger, Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, McDonald’s, Metlife, National Security Agency, Procter & Gamble, Raytheon Company, Sandia National Laboratory, T-Mobile USA, UPS and Wells Fargo, Aramark, Dell Computer, Microsoft, Raytheon Company, Safeco Insurance, Sodexo, Wachovia Bank, Coors Brewing Company, McDonald’s, MFHA, State Farm Insurance Company, The Coca Cola Company and UPS.

Admission to the career fair is free with registration. Visit


Some activities listed are optional and require additional registration and/or fees.

Wednesday, August 20
• Chinese American Community Night at Dodger Stadium (6 p.m.)

Thursday, August 21
• NAAAP Golf Classic with Asian American Golf Association and AA Golf Magazine (7:30 a.m.)
• NAAAP Leadership Institute: Training for corporate and non-profit leaders (8 a.m.)
• Opening Reception Sponsored by Safeco (6 p.m.)

Friday, August 22
• Keynote Luncheon (Noon)
• Keynote Dinner and NAAAP National Awards Gala Sponsored by Microsoft (6 p.m.)
• Reception and Movie at Fox Studios Sponsored by Fox Studios (8 p.m.)

Saturday, August 23
• Breakfast presented by United States Department of Agriculture (7 a.m.)
• Luncheon featuring the Multicultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance “Showcase of the Stars” Sponsored by MFHA, McDonald’s Corporation, Sodexo USA, Aramark and Sysco (Noon)
• Keynote Dinner Co-Sponsored by Coors Brewing Company (6 p.m.)
• Who’s Who in Asian American Communities Leaders and Legends Awards Presented by Sachi Koto (8 p.m.)


The WWAAC Leaders and Legends awards show, usually a standalone event, will this year be the grand finale of the 2008 NAAAP Convention. The award show, televised and aired to an estimated 15 million homes across the nation, will this year honor:

• Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Secretary of Labor
• Richard A. Chow-Wah, Vice President of Powertrain Manufacturing, Chrysler, LLC
• Greg Chun, Composer
• Bill Imada, Chairman and CEO, I-W Group, Inc
• The Hon. Daniel K. Inouye, United States Senator from Hawaii
• Mr. Wallace Tsuha, Chairman and CEO, Saturn Electronics & Engineering, Inc.

The WWAAC committee is a group of Asian Americans dedicated to honoring successful Asians who serve as leaders and role models in their respective communities. The purpose of the WWAAC Committee is to recognize the accomplishments of these leaders, publicize their achievements, and promote the Asian American community into mainstream America. Unlike other Who’s Who organizations, membership to the distinguished and elite WWAAC Leaders and Legends program cannot be purchased.


The following is just a sample of the seminar and workshop topics to be covered at the convention. All topics are subject to change or cancellation.

• Are the Arts Relevant to Corporations and the Community?
• Asian American Scientists and Engineers: Creating Achievements of National Importance
• Asian American Women: Leading in the Entertainment Industry
• Asian Americans in Politics
• Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Working in the Entertainment Industry
• Employee Resource Groups/ Business Resource Groups: How ERGs and BRGs are Good for the Bottom Line
• Financing Your Small Business
• Going for the Gold: Asian Americans in Sports
• International Opportunities in China
• Law 101: Legal Knowledge for the Everyday Person
• Leadership for the 21st Century
• Moving to a New Beat: Asian Americans in Music
• Non-Profits: How to Really Get Involved
• Starting and Building a Business: First Steps
• The Art of Networking

Please contact info @ or register for the convention online at . Fees for NAAAP and non-members are $250 and $395 respectively if registered by August 1. Additional prices, student discounts and single day passes are also available; details available on website.

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