2019 ANNUAL GALA HONOREES & SPEAKERS
Our theme this year is “The Future We Define.” As the Asian Pacific American community continues to grow, there is one thing that is clear: we cannot be silenced or ignored. Since our inception, hundreds of emerging leaders have become empowered to vote, participate, and lead. This year’s honorees and speakers embody our theme to define the future we want to see.
Community Partnership Award
Community Affairs & Grassroots Regional Leader, Southwest Airlines
Kim Delevett is a Southwest Airlines Community Affairs & Grassroots Regional Leader. She partners with nonprofit, business, and civic organizations in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest to support educational and economic development programs in these diverse communities. On a national level, Kim is also Southwest’s first corporate community affairs manager to be primarily responsible for supporting the Asian Pacific American community.
Kim launched her career at Southwest in 1996 and has moved through a variety of roles, including eight years as the company’s San Jose/Silicon Valley Marketing Manager. Through her community work, she contributed to Southwest’s efforts to repeal the federal Wright Amendment, for which she received one of the company’s highest awards from Southwest’s president. Kim also played an important role in ensuring the company’s continued presence at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, where Southwest is the dominant air carrier. She joined the Community Affairs & Grassroots team in 2007 and works closely with Southwest senior leadership to influence key initiatives.
Kim has served on multiple boards of directors and business/advisory councils, including Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies; OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates; Asian Americans for Community Involvement; Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute; Oakland Chamber of Commerce; San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce; Women in Government; and Junior Achievement of Santa Clara County, to name a few.
She is especially passionate about making a difference in the lives of our future leaders – from mentoring students to supporting programs that help youth become civically engaged. Kim has also been active with efforts to preserve culture and heritage throughout the country, and her work has received multiple community awards.
Kim was born in Saigon, Vietnam and fled the country with her older brother in April 1975. They were raised by an adoptive family in Pensacola, Florida. To commemorate the Fall of Saigon, her life story was chronicled in a joint project with Story Corps and PBS called “First Days,” now part of the Library of Congress. She received a community historian award for an oral history documentary she created on her refugee experience, and was one of a handful of immigrants featured in a nationwide curriculum developed for schoolchildren. She has been profiled frequently in mainstream and ethnic media.
Kim earned a B.A. with honors in communications and a minor in political science from Loyola University of New Orleans. She and her husband Peter have lived in San Jose since 1998 and enjoy traveling the world with their 10-year-old, James Phan.
Norman Y. Mineta Legacy Award
Dr. Leana Wen
President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Dr. Leana Wen is the President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She leads an organization that has worked for more than 100 years to provide healthcare to women, young people, and marginalized communities. Before joining Planned Parenthood, Dr. Wen served as the Baltimore City Health Commissioner, where she oversaw more than 1,000 employees with an annual budget of $130 million; two clinics that provide more than 18,000 patients with reproductive health services; and mental health programs in 180 Baltimore schools. Under her direction, the Baltimore City Health Department led the country in health innovation and was recognized by the National Association of County and City Health Officials as the Local Health Department of the Year.
A board-certified emergency physician, Dr. Wen was a Rhodes Scholar, Clinical Fellow at Harvard, consultant with the World Health Organization, and professor at George Washington University. She has published over 100 articles, including in The Lancet, JAMA, and Health Affairs. The author of the book When Doctors Don’t Listen, she is regularly featured on NPR, CNN,New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today. In 2016, Dr. Wen was honored with the American Public Health Association’s highest award for local public health work, the Milton and Ruth Roemer Award. In 2018, Time Magazine named her one of the 50 most influential people in healthcare.
Representing Dr. Leana Wen
President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
Crystal Strait is the President/CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California—representing 7 regional affiliates and 110 health centers in California. She is a UC Santa Barbara alum, having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Service. As the futures of healthcare in California and across the country face a critical threat, Crystal’s extensive knowledge in health care policy, dedication to innovation, and political expertise position her to spearhead PPAC as a defender and expander of healthcare access to nearly 800,000 patients of all genders through life-saving cancer screenings, pregnancy tests, birth control, and STI screenings/treatments.
Crystal began her political career as a grassroots activist—first as part of the College Dems, then as President of the Young Democrats in California, and eventually President of the Young Democrats of America—cultivating a long track record of successful campaigns to elect progressive leaders. As her career accelerated, Crystal served as political director for the California Democratic Party, running the coordinated campaign in 2006 and 2008, as well as for Senator Barbara Boxer in her final re-election campaign.
Crystal spent over a decade working in the California state legislature—most notably as Dr. Richard Pan’s Chief of Staff in the Assembly and the Senate. She advised Dr. Pan in the Assembly as the Health Committee Chair that oversaw the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, expanding medical care to three million new patients. Following the 2014 measles outbreak in Disneyland, Crystal was the chief strategist in the Senate for creating new vaccine mandate laws that required full vaccination for all California schoolchildren.
Most recently, Crystal served as a senior advisor to Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Chief of Staff and was instrumental to creating a $10 million fund for Innovation and the creative economy, the first of its kind, to spur economic development and attract new companies and high wage jobs to Sacramento.
Crystal lives in Sacramento, California with her husband Andrew and their son Tadashi. Her personal interests include baking, Sacramento culture, and Hello Kitty. She will never stop fighting the good fight!
The Honorable Wendy Greuel
CAUSE Board Member
Commissioner, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
A working mom and lifelong Angeleno, Wendy attended LA public schools and graduated from UCLA. Wendy started her career in public service working for her mentor, former Mayor Tom Bradley, where for ten years she worked on a wide range of public policy issues including child care, senior care homelessness, housing, public health, and education. While in Mayor Bradley’s office, Wendy was a leader in the creation of LA’s BEST, a nationally recognized after school program that provides a safe and supervised environment for children after school, and helped found the city's first childcare center.
Wendy’s commitment to affordable housing led her to Washington D.C., where she served in President Clinton’s administration as the Deputy Director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness and later as the Southern California Regional Director at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In 1997, Wendy transitioned into the private sector, working for five years in the film industry as an executive at DreamWorks SKG. She provided strategic guidance in their civic and philanthropic efforts in the Los Angeles Region.
In 2002, Wendy was elected to the Los Angeles City Council and quickly developed an impressive record of accomplishment by creating jobs, preserving open space and reducing traffic congestion.
In 2009, Wendy was elected City Controller, becoming only the second woman in LA’s history elected to citywide office. As Controller, she brought a laser focus to examining government finances ensuring our taxpayer dollars were spent efficiently and she brought greater transparency to government.
In 2013, Wendy was engaged by the Orange County Discovery Science Center to help open their new facility, Discovery Cube LA, in the San Fernando Valley. She is providing strategic advice on Board development, fundraising and civic engagement for Discovery Cube L.A.
In addition, in 2016, Wendy was appointed as an Executive in Residence and Strategic Advisor at the California State University Northridge Nazarian College of Business and Economics. She currently serves on the LAHSA Commission working on homeless issues, as Co-Chair of the LAUSD Task Force, as a member of the Women And Girls Initiative Governing Council, and on the boards of Emily’s List, Emerge CA, East Valley YMCA, Oakwood School, Discovery Cube L.A., Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project, CAUSE, ABODE, Pico Union Project, Homeland Security Advisory Council, UCLA Luskin Advisory Board and on the L.A. Kings Business Advisory Board. Wendy and her husband Dean are the proud parents of Thomas, who is a high school freshman.
CAUSE Board Member
General Manager, Beverly Center
Ralph Barnes is the General Manager of Beverly Center, Southern California's premier fashion destination. Since taking the helm in 2013, Barnes is responsible for overseeing all functions related to center operations as well as retailer and community relations, marketing, and sponsorship.
Barnes had served in several roles at Beverly Center including director of facilities and director of operations, positions he held since joining the center in 2008. He has played a key role in high-profile, luxury leasing initiatives as well as overseen all aspects of the center's physical operations such as tenant and capital construction projects, production of major events, and vendor negotiations and budgets.
Barnes is very active in the Los Angeles community and currently supports various initiatives for Metro expansion, Homelessness, Education, Arts, Law Enforcement, and Small Business.
Most recently, Barnes played a significant role in obtaining corporate, board of directors and City of LA approval for a $500 million dollar remodel of the iconic Beverly Center. The evolution of the center includes a comprehensive rebrand, technology investments, digital marketing enhancements and increased community relations with a focus on civic and social strategies and responsibilities.
Barnes' experience prior to joining Beverly Center included several years with Enterprise Rent-A-Car where he oversaw the company's real estate portfolio for Southern California including development, negotiations, construction, facilities, operations and customer service.
Barnes holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, CAUSE, West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and West Hollywood Travel & Tourism. As a former musician and competitive tennis player, he spends most of his free time raising his 6 year-old twin boys.