National Advisory Board Members

Bing Cardenas Branigin

Washington, DC

A community leader who works behind the scenes, Bing contributed to the massive effort to get the U.S. Congress to pass The Filipino Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015. She is the Filipino community representative to the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, board member of Asia America Initiative and a founding member of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA).

Win Chang

San Francisco, CA

Win Chang is the Director of Cloud Customer Experience at Oracle Corporation. In 2014, she was honored with the YWCA Tribute to Women Award and in 2015 she was honored with the PBWC Industry Leader award. Win is also a recipient of the 2016 Powerful Women of the Bay Area Award. She is the co-founder of the Oracle Professional Asian Leadership organization.  Win serves as a board member for Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, a non-profit organization.

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas S. Chin

Honolulu, HI

Doug Chin is the Hawaii attorney general and chief law enforcement officer for the State of Hawaii.  He currently chairs the Conference of Western Attorneys General, which includes 15 western U.S. states and 3 Pacific territories.  He also serves on the executive board of the National Association of Attorneys General and is their representative to the American Bar Association House of Delegates.  Prior to becoming attorney general, Chin was the managing director of the City and County of Honolulu from 2010 to 2013, and a Honolulu prosecutor for 13 years, during which he tried nearly 50 jury trials.

Rich Cho

Charlotte, NC

General Manager of the Charlotte Hornets, Rich Cho is a member of the Class of 2011 honorees for the Asian Hall of Fame.  While he was Assistant General Manager of the SuperSonics, the SuperSonics made the playoffs twice, including advancing to the second round of playoffs in the 2004-2005 season. In 2008, the SuperSonics came under new ownership and became the Oklahoma City Thunder. Cho relocated with the team, and helped design and implement an advanced player evaluation system, analyzing player statistics, scouting information, and contract details. Cho was hired as the ninth general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers in 2010. One year later, Cho signed on as the General Manager of the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) and has the distinction of being the first Asian American general manager in NBA

Kuntesh Chokshi

Plano, TX

Kuntesh Chokshi is the GM Director of US New Business for PepsiCo as well as holding advisory board and mentorship roles with chambers of commerce and start ups.

King County Executive Dow Constantine

Seattle, WA

Serving his second-term as King County Executive, Dow Constantine leads one of the largest regional governments in the United States. For his work improving efficiency and accountability, Governing Magazine named Dow a nationwide Public Official of the Year in 2016.  Elected to the Washington State House of Representatives from the 34th District in 1996 and again in 1998, Dow was then elected to the State Senate in 2000. He served as co-chair of the House Judiciary Committee and vice-chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee. Dow won election to the King County Council four times—in November of 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2007. Dow chaired the committees on government operations, growth management, regional transit and the county budget, and served as County Council Chair in 2009.

Lynette Finau

Seattle, WA

Commissioner Finau was born in the Island Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific. She is currently in her second term as a Commissioner for the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs.

Jon Geiger

Seattle, WA

Jon Geiger is the former Director of Business Operations at Boeing as well as the President of the Seattle Chinese Garden.

Manny Gonzalez

New York, NY

Manny Gonzalez is the Senior Director of Multicultural Marketing at Moet Hennessy, managing multicultural community relations initiatives and working with brands across Moet Hennessy USA’s luxury wine and spirits portfolio in the development of effective multicultural marketing programs in the African-American, Hispanic and Asian consumer segments.

Mai Hoang

Yakima, WA

Mai Hoang is the Business Reporter for the Yakima Herald-Republic and the former President of the AAJA Seattle chapter.

Jay Im

Orange County, CA

Jay is a Partner at K&L Gates and a decorated transactional and TMT lawyer whose has negotiated landmark M&A transactions spanning several continents. He is also well-versed in the areas of film production and distribution, broadcast format licensing, live event and concert planning, artist management, theatrical investment and e-sports tournament development. Previously, Jay was named the Korea In-House Lawyer of the Year for consecutive years (2013 and 2014) by Asian Legal Business. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Michigan Law School.

Syphaphone (Cindy) Jones

Saint Paul, MN

Cindy Jones is the Chair for the Asian Circle Employee Resource Group at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota as well as a Board Member for the National Association of Asian American Professionals.

Deanna Kwong

Deanna Kwong

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Deanna Kwong is IP Litigation Counsel at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach.  Deanna is presently the Co-Chair of the HPE Legal Department’s Pro Bono Committee and is one of the leads of the Legal Department’s Diversity Committee.  Deanna is also active in the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley, where she currently co-chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Jeanette Lee

Tampa, FL

Jeanette Lee is a 2015 Asian Hall of Fame honoree and has long been one of the world’s topranking billiards players. Known as “The Black Widow” for her ability to overwhelm and devour her opponents, Lee overcame 10 surgeries for scoliosis on the road to (and during) her success.  She began winning national titles in the mid-1990s (including the WPBA National title in 1994) and became a mainstay in the international billiards scene by the early 2000s.  Lee was previously ranked #1 in the world in her sport. Her achievements have garnered inductions to the BCA Hall of Fame and WPBA Hall of Fame and numerous recognitions – including Player of the Year – by Billiards Digest and Pool & Billiards Magazine.

Jerry Lee

Seattle, WA

Jerry Quinn Lee is the Executive Director of the MG2 Foundation and a long-time supporter, advocate, and advisor for the Asian Hall of Fame, having been on the first Asian Hall of Fame committee for the 2004 event.

Martin Liang

Seattle, WA

Martin Liang is a Senior VP and District Administrator for Cathay Bank.

Elaine Liu

New York, NY

Elaine Liu serves as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Asian Markets,
AIG Financial Network. With more than 15 years of experience in marketing and media relations, both in China and the United States, she serves as Asian Markets liaison to
both the field force and corporate marketing team. Ms. Liu also oversees the development
of in-language materials, cultural media production and multicultural marketing research.  She currently serves on the board of directors for the Chinese American Insurance Association.

Sonita Lontoh

San Francisco, CA

Sonita Lontoh is a 2017 honoree of the Asian Hall of Fame and Vice President of Strategic Markets at Siemens, Digital Grid.  She is a technology executive with expertise in the Internet of Things (IoT), ‘Smart’ Connected Energy/Devices, and Green Technology.  Previously, Lontoh was an executive at Trilliant and PG&E Corporation. Lontoh was invited by the White House to speak at President Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley. Lontoh is a selection committee member and mentor for TechWomen, a U.S. Department of State’s women-in-technology initiative. She is a co-founder and chair of the board of the Indonesian Diaspora Foundation and a co-founder and Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Asia Technology Alliance.

Tom Norwalk

Seattle, WA

Tom Norwalk is the President and CEO of Visit Seattle.

Kyle Okamoto

New York, NY

Kyle Okamoto is the Chief Network Officer at Verizon Digital Media Services, overseeing the Network, Technology and Operations.  Kyle has worked for Verizon for too many years in several capacities and has done several start-ups in the social enterprise space.

Kyle is on several Advisory Boards for technology companies and serves on the Executive Advisory Board for Asian Pacific Employees for eXcellence (APEX), an organization he led for over 6 years. He is also an angel investor for several philanthropic start-ups.

Kyle has a BE from Stevens Institute of Technology and an MBA from New York University and spends his time in Los Angeles and New York.

Ram Ramachandran

Austin, TX

Ram is the Program Director of Accessibility Technology and Innovation team within IBM Research. He has extensive experience in applied research and software development. He is a master inventor at IBM holding a number of patents and is leading a team of researchers focusing on artificial intelligence and accessibility related technologies. He also leads Austin Asia business resource group focusing on career development of IBM employees of Asian heritage. Ram has an MBA from IUPUI and Bachelors in Electronics Engineering from Calicut University.

James G.W. Reed, Sr.

Seattle, WA

James Reed, Sr. is currently the Managing Member and Founder of the SWAN Venture Fund and the Managing Partner of Reed Global Consultants.  He was an executive officer with Mizuho Securities Co.

Luba Tolkachyov

New York, NY

Professionally, co-founder of Gravity, a leading cultural advertising agency ranked as one of the fastest growing agencies by AdAge.

Recent Highlights:

Listed on Forbes: Top 10 Digital Keynote Speakers
BOLO Keynote: How to Build a Mediocre Business
Techweek Panel: 21st Century Museum
Female Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist – Stevie® Awards

Ryan Yamamoto

Ryan Yamamoto

Seattle, WA

Ryan Yamamoto is a two time Emmy award reporter who joined the KOMO News team in June of 2016.

Yamamoto previously worked in Sacramento where he spent nearly 16 years as a Weekend News Anchor, Reporter and Sports Anchor. During his time in California’s Capital he covered a diverse range of topics from the Ted Kaczynski “Unabomber” trial, California wildfires, the election of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, three World Series, the Super Bowl in New Orleans and NBA Championships.

Jie Yu

Houston, TX

Jie Yu is the Senior Process Control Engineer at Shell as well as the President-Elect of the Shell Asian Pacific Employee Network Group.