Board Chair | Charlie Woo, Megatoys
Charlie Woo is the co-founder and CEO of Megatoys, an international toy manufacturer headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in Hong Kong, and manufacturing plants in China and in City of Commerce, California.
As a major property owner in Downtown Los Angeles, Charlie is regarded as the founder of the Toy District, credited with turning the once blighted inner city area into a thriving international trade district, where hundreds of toy businesses are located, creating thousands of jobs.
He currently chairs the Workforce Development Board for the City of Los Angeles, a city commission that oversees the nation’s second largest workforce development system. He was first appointed by Mayor Bradley to this body and has been reappointed subsequently by four different mayors as its Chair. Under his leadership, the City’s workforce development system has become a model for the country, recognized for its innovative approach to outreach to the traditionally underserved communities, as well as its ability to bring business and labor together to create customized training programs to prepare jobseekers for in-demand careers in growth industries.
Charlie is a former Chairman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, as the first Asian American to head the 129-year old prestigious civic organization. During his tenure, he initiated efforts to reinvigorate the Chamber, resulting in the organization becoming the leading advocate for the diverse business community.
He is a co-founder and chair of Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment (CAUSE), a non-profit organization that promotes leadership development and civic engagement. He currently serves on the boards of the Committee of 100, an international organization of prominent Chinese Americans, Southern California Public Radio, a Los Angeles NPR station, the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles, and the UCLA Alumni Scholarship Steering Committee.
Charlie is an immigrant from Hong Kong. He received his BS and MS degrees in Physics from UCLA. He and his wife, Ying, reside in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. His older son, Geoffrey, a Stanford graduate, is a successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley and his younger son, Justin, a UC Berkeley graduate, works at Megatoys.
Vice Chair | Adam Ma, SoCalGas
Adam Ma joined SoCalGas as their Community Relations Manager under External Affairs in 2015. Previously, he was a Senior Political Advisor to Congressman Xavier Becerra, who was the ranking member in the U.S. House of Representatives for over 20 years. Adam also worked professionally for many years with CA Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, CA State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, and Los Angeles City Council Member Wendy Greuel. He also has a broad range of campaign and political experiences in support of California’s top political leaders and organizations, including: Jeff Prang for Los Angeles County Assessor, Kevin de León for State Senate and State Assembly, Judy Chu for Congress, and with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
Adam is also active in the community and has been a long time member with the Chinese American Citizens Alliance – Los Angeles (Chinatown) currently as their Finance Secretary. He is also a Board Officer with the California Democratic Party – Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, on the Board of Directors with Project Angel Food and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and on the Advisory Board with the Korean American Coalition.
Born in Los Angeles and a lifelong Southern California resident, Adam has always been drawn to his hometown and state for its diversity and innovation. Adam earned his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Texas, Dallas in 2014 and his Bachelors in Political Science from the California State University, Northridge in 2004.
Legal Counsel | Kenneth Lee, Jenner & Block
Kenneth K. Lee is a litigation partner at Jenner & Block’s Los Angeles office. In private practice, he has litigated dozens of consumer class action lawsuits in California and elsewhere, achieving dismissals of claims and denials of class certification. He also has successfully defended Fortune 500 companies against securities fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty claims, handled insurance coverage disputes, and litigated other complex commercial cases. In addition, he has conducted internal investigations and handled regulatory and compliance matters.
Kenneth previously served as an Associate Counsel to the President of the United States. He represented the White House in congressional and other governmental investigations and provided advice for the President and senior White House officials on a host of legal and compliance issues. He also coordinated litigation matters with the U.S. Department of Justice and handled legal issues arising out of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the FDA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. His other duties included helping with the selection of appellate and trial judges in the Ninth Circuit. His other government experience includes a stint as special counsel to the staff of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
In 2014, the Daily Journal, the largest legal newspaper in California, named him as one of the Top 20 Lawyers under 40 in the state for his class action defense work on behalf of food companies. And in 2015, Super Lawyers magazine had a front-cover profile of him, crediting him for his “creative strategies” and for “making things happen quietly.”
He has written widely for both legal and non-legal publications, including The National Law Journal, The Recorder, The Daily Journal, The Los Angeles Lawyer, The Huffington Post, Liberty, The New Republic and The Weekly Standard.
Secretary | Ben Wong, Public Affairs Consultant
Ben Wong is a public affairs professional with nearly three decades of experience in business, community, political, inter-governmental, and public utility fields. Ben currently works as a Board Consultant to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board Member, representing the 34-city Los Angeles County Eastern Region.
Ben is past Executive Director of the Industry Manufacturers Council, where he revitalized programming and advocacy in support of 3,000 businesses in the East San Gabriel Valley. Before that, Ben was a Local Public Affairs Region Director for Southern California Edison, managing the governmental and community relations with a portfolio of cities in the Los Angeles County region of the utility’s 50,000-square-mile service area. Ben also served as Executive Director for the Los Angeles County Division of the League of California Cities, coordinating the League’s local programs for municipal officials within the County. Prior to working for the League, Ben served for three years on the League’s statewide Board of Directors.
Ben has also served as Assistant to California Board of Equalization Member John Chiang and as general manager of the Great Wall Restaurant in West Covina, where Ben was a three-term member of the City Council, from 1992 to 2005. When an unexpected Council vacancy occurred in early 2015, Ben was appointed to serve a seven-month interim appointment on the West Covina City Council, until a successor was elected in the November election.
Beside his longtime service on the CAUSE Board of Directors, Ben currently serves as Treasurer of the San Gabriel Valley Public Affairs Network. With more than 30 years of community service, Ben has served on the boards of directors for numerous community and nonprofit organizations, including BizFed (Los Angeles County Business Federation), USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association, Foothill Transit, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, Citrus Valley Medical Center Foundation, Mt. San Antonio College Foundation, and West Covina Chamber of Commerce.
Ben earned his bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Southern California, where he and his wife met as students. Ben and Debbie are parents to a daughter and two sons, all USC Trojan alumni.
Treasurer | James Hsu, Squire Patton Boggs
James Hsu leads the corporate finance group of the Los Angeles office of Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP. James represents clients in a broad range of corporate finance and securities matters including mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity offerings, joint ventures, public finance transactions, tax exempt financing, fund formation, and private equity/venture capital transactions.
James has particular experience representing clients in complex multijurisdictional acquisition and divestiture transactions. Fluent in Spanish and Chinese, James has focused on practices in Latin America and the Greater China region. Over the last two decades, he has represented numerous clients in inbound and outbound matters involving jurisdictions such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Spain, Australia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam.
In addition to his cross-border corporate transactional practice, James also has extensive litigation experience representing clients in US federal and state court actions, arbitrations and alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
James was selected by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) as one of the Best Lawyers under 40 in 2005. He has been consistently recognized as a Southern California Rising and Star and Super Lawyer by the Los Angeles magazine from 2004 to 2011. In 2007, James received the California Lawyer’s Angel Award for outstanding pro bono service.
James serves on the boards of Asian Business League (ABL), Center of Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE), Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), and UCLA Department of Political Science.
Board of Directors
Boardmember | Gary Arakawa, Covington Capital Management
Gary Arakawa is a founder of Covington Capital Management and serves as Chief Investment Officer and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. He is responsible for directing strategic policy and managing the investment team. With over 30 years in the financial services industry, he was previously a Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager in the Los Angeles office of U.S. Trust Company. He is a member of the CFA Society of Los Angeles and the CFA Institute.
Gary graduated from California State University, Fullerton with both a BA and MBA in Finance. He graduated from the Pacific Coast Graduate School of Banking and Finance at the University of Washington and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Gary serves on the Athletic Council of Whittier Area Community Church, is a board member of Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE), and is a youth basketball coach.
Boardmember | Ralph Barnes, Beverly Center
Boardmember | Edward Chen, Veulion Group
With over 20 years of international business and investment experience, Edward brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his enterprises. He is the founder and CEO of Veulion Group, a multinational holding company that provides capital management, investment management, global marketing, and oversight of its subsidiaries and corresponding affiliates. Edward acts as a real estate investor and developer for Veulion Group’s subsidiary Veulion Real Estate Acquisitions and Development. Real Estate projects include commercial and residential properties in urban and suburban areas of Asia and the United States. Edward is responsible for identifying, acquiring, and developing these properties. He also works with International World Trading, another Veulion Group subsidiary, in Hong Kong, China and throughout the Pacific Rim. Edward spearheaded Veulion Group’s New Ventures division, including its businesses, operations, and investments in Private Equity, Venture Capital, Manufacturing, Technology, Textiles, and many more.
Edward is currently the CEO, founder, and principal of the successful and high growth network of Golden Pacific Regional Centers, with multiple USCIS approved designated regional centers across the U.S. under the government’s EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program which allows for and facilitates foreign investment into the U.S. in exchange for permanent residency status for the investor.
Prior to these ventures, Edward worked in conjunction with Pacific Vanguard as the Managing Director. In this capacity, he consulted on and managed investment projects for new and established multinational conglomerates in the United States and Asia. He worked on IPO and investment banking oversight, as well as structured finance. Edward worked for more than six years as the founder of Bio-Link Nutritionals, pioneering a health food company operating in Asia and Southeast Asia. Edward also served as Managing Director for New Caravelle Hotel in Hong Kong, one of many properties owned under his family’s business portfolio.
Throughout the years, Edward has been involved with many trade associations and organizations. He is currently on the Board of Advisors at USC (University of Southern California) for the Greif Center for Entrepreneur Studies – Marshall School of Business. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for Cathedral High School in Los Angeles and previously served on the Board of Trustees at Mayfield Junior School in Pasadena, California. Edward is perpetually involved in Community and Philanthropic organizations and causes. Edward earned his undergraduate Bachelor’s degree and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Southern California, where he held a triple emphasis in entrepreneurship, marketing, and finance. He is also an Alumni of Harvard Business School.
Boardmember | Larry Chung, Strategies 360
Boardmember | Wendy Greuel, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
Wendy Greuel, a veteran housing and homelessness policy expert, was appointed to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s Board of Commissioners (LAHSA) by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The LAHSA Commission has the authority to make budgetary, funding, planning and program policies for federal funding allocated to homelessness programming in the LA region.
Wendy Greuel served as a member of the Los Angeles City Council from 2002-2009, where she served representing the valley. She was only the second woman elected to citywide office in Los Angeles, after her predecessor Laura Chick. Greuel later served as Los Angeles City Controller, from 2009 through 2013. She previously served as a member of the Clinton Administration, as the Deputy Director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Greuel also served in the office of Mayor Tom Bradley for ten years. She acted as a liaison to elected officials, city departments and the community and was a key advisor on a range of public policy issues — including education, housing, and homelessness.
Greuel currently serves as a consultant for the Discovery Cube Los Angeles (DCLA), a children’s science museum that focuses on STEM proficiency, early learning, healthy living, and environmental sustainability. Greuel also currently serves as an Executive in Residence at California State University, Northridge Nazarian School of Business and Economics.
Boardmember | Wen Hong, PAC-RIM Advisory, LLC
Over the past 30 years, Wen Hong has been involved in the banking, financial, investment, public service and food service industries and is recognized as an influential advisor and expert for companies doing business between China and the United States. He served as Senior Advisor for the Global Advisory Committee of Redwood Securities.
Wen previously served as California State Deputy Treasurer. During the earlier part of his state government service, he was in charge of the Health and Education Financing Authorities responsible for the approval of billions of state tax exempt bonds for non-profit healthcare institutions such as Kaiser Permanente and Catholic Healthcare System and educational institutions such as the University of Southern California. Later, he was appointed head of the Investment Division of the Treasurer’s office responsible for investing billions of State revenue in short term fixed income securities. Wen also represented the Treasurer on the governing board of both the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers Retirement system (CalSTRS) responsible for the oversight of both investment funds with a combined asset total of over $175 billion.
Wen also served as Senior Executive of Panda Restaurant Group; which operates over 1500 Panda Express stores in the US and Mexico. He is a Senior Advisor for the Beijing based China Global Advisory, Ltd.
Boardmember | Victor King, California State University Los Angeles
Victor King has been the University Counsel at Cal State Los Angeles since 2002. He is a member of the Human Resources Team, and is the Office of General Counsel’s resource attorney for Disability/ADA, Benefits, and Online Education. He also is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources and a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Government.
Before becoming an education attorney, he was a Partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith in Los Angeles, specializing in business and professional liability litigation. From 1997 to 2009, Victor was a thrice-elected member of the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees. More recently, he has served as an appointee to the California Law Revision Commission (where he was the 2013 to 2014 Vice Chairman) and the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (from 2010 to 2013).
Boardmember | Dan Schnur, University of Southern California
Dan Schnur is a Professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications and the University of California –Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies. He is the Director for the “California Influencers” project, a statewide program in which 60 of the state’s foremost experts in politics, policy and government discuss the 2018 campaign on a regular basis through the November election.
He has been teaching courses in politics, communications and leadership at UC-Berkeley since 1996 and at USC since 2004. Dan has also taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics at Harvard University and George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. He is the founder of the USC/LA Times statewide political poll.
Previously, Dan worked on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns as one of California’s leading political strategists. He served as the national Director of Communications for the 2000 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator John McCain and was the chief media spokesman for California Governor Pete Wilson. In 2010, Dan was appointed Chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), where he implemented groundbreaking campaign finance disclosure requirements. Dan also was a founder and cochairman of the Voices of Reform project, the bi-partisan statewide effort whose work laid the foundation for California’s landmark redistricting reform.
After completing his FPPC term, Dan registered as a No Party Preference voter and launched Fixing California, an organization dedicated to campaign finance and political reform. In 2014, Dan ran for statewide office as a non-partisan candidate for California Secretary of State.Dan has been an advisor to the William & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Broad Education Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the James Irvine Foundation, the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stuart Foundation on a variety of K-12 education and college and workforce preparedness efforts.
Dan’s commentaries have appeared in several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. In addition, he has been an analyst and political commentator for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and National Public Radio.Dan is a graduate of the American University in Washington, D.C.
Boardmember | Nita Song, IW Group, Inc.
Nita Song is the President and Chief Momentum Officer of IW Group, an award-winning, top ranked ad and marketing agency specializing in the growing Asian American consumer segment in the U.S. Agency capabilities include advertising, public relations, public affairs, digital marketing, social media, research, and experiential marketing. With offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and NY, the agency works with many of the country’s top marketers including McDonalds, Walmart, Verizon Wireless, Wells Fargo, Lexus, MetLife, Godiva, City of Hope and Southern California Edison.
Nita has over 25 years of experience in marketing and communications. Nita joined IW Group in 1991 to lead Asian marketing strategy for several of the agency’s key clients. In 1996, she made a move to the client-side to join AT&T, as the Director of Marketing and Community Affairs in the Pacific Region, with responsibilities for corporate affairs, community relations, marketing and promotions. In 2000, she left AT&T to join Netsperanto, a start-up internet company, where she led the development and marketing of eight online community portals, as Vice President of Marketing. She then returned to IW Group in 2000 as President, to lead new business development and expand the agency’s advertising capabilities. Under her leadership, IW Group has grown significantly and currently has over $40 million in annual billings and ranks as one of the top award-winning Asian marketing agencies in the U.S.
A strong advocate for the Asian marketing industry and community, Nita currently serves as Chair of the Board of Advancing Justice – LA, and she is the past President of the Board of Directors of the Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF), an industry organization comprised of advertising agency principals, media, advertisers and strategic partners. Additionally, Nita serves as Co-Chair of the Asian Pacific American Advisory Council for Nielsen. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Los Angeles Chapter, and the Center for Asians United for Self-Empowerment (CAUSE).
Nita is a graduate of the University of Southern California, and resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two kids.
Boardmember | Tammy Tran, Southern California Edison
Tammy Tran is a Government Affairs representative for Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. As a public affairs professional, she is responsible for managing broad-based relationships with local government, business, and community stakeholders. Tammy has also served as a Senior Community Liaison at SCE. She had responsibility for developing, maintaining, and enhancing strategic engagement and partnerships with community stakeholders across SCE’s 50,000 square mile service territory. In this role, she also served as a strategist to inform SCE’s senior management about important matters that impact diverse communities including the Asian Pacific Islander (API) communities. Tammy currently serves as the President for SCE’s Asian Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group, called Asian Society for Cultural Exchange, Networking, & Development (ASCEND). ASCEND was established in 2016 to promote workforce diversity, employee engagement, and leadership development for API employees.
Tammy has over 15 years of experience working in government, election campaigns, media, and grassroots nonprofit organizations. Prior to coming to SCE, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director for a California State Senator in central Orange County. She has also served as a campaign manager, executive director for a nonprofit, which she helped start, policy advisor to a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, and field representative for a California State Assembly Member. Tammy has also worked as a co-host for a weekly bilingual television program aimed at bringing government closer to the people.
Tammy is a strong supporter of youth leadership development and civic participation. She regularly volunteers to help local high schools and nonprofits with career coaching, mentoring, and internship placements. She is an active board member of Orange County Youth, Vietnamese Alliance to Combat Human Trafficking, and the Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment.
A proud product of Orange County public schools, Tammy earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Health Communications and Masters in Public Administration. Both degrees are from the University of Southern California. Tammy and her husband live in Little Saigon and are the doting parents of two active toddlers, Annalise-Quynh & Viet-Zander.
Boardmember | Ron Wong, Imprenta Communications Group
Ronald W. Wong is a recognized expert on political strategy and public affairs, particularly dealing with the Asian Pacific American (APA) community. He has more than two decades of professional experience executing and managing political campaigns and development and implementing communications and direct mail strategies for political candidates, labor unions, elected officials, initiatives and Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, he has held executive positions in government, with prominent elected officials, and in the private sector.
From 1998 – 2002, Ronald served as the Chief Deputy Appointments Secretary to California Governor Gray Davis. In this position, he served on the Governors senior staff and advised Governor Davis on filling the more than 3,000 appointments to various commissions, boards and exempt positions in the Davis Administration. During the 1998 gubernatorial campaign, Ronald served as Deputy Political Director, where he was in charge of campaign strategy and community outreach to various constituencies including APAs.
After leaving the Davis Administration, he set up his own private consulting company, Imprenta Communications Group, an integrated marketing, political and public affairs strategic communications firm. One of Ronald’s most recent projects includes managing political and campaign strategy targeting various key constituencies in San Francisco for Pacific Gas & Electric. Through Ronald’s successful efforts, PG&E was able to garner 70 percent of the APA vote in San Francisco. He also serves as President and CEO of Ronin International Advisors, a business development and strategy firm.
In 1997, President Clinton tapped Ronald to serve as the Director of External Communications for the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Services (CRS). While at the Department of Justice, he handed a number of crisis communications matters involving race relations, hate crimes and civil rights. He worked closely in coalition with national organizations, community groups and advocates for working families.
From 1994 to 1997, Ronald served as Founding Partner of Lang, Murakawa & Wong (LMW), the nation’s only APA political consulting and public affairs firm. At LMW, he developed and implemented successful campaigns of numerous candidates including Assemblyman George Nakano, Glendale Community College Boardmember Victor King, and Los Angeles School Boardmember George Kiriyama, among others. He also managed outreach and communications to APAs in California for GTE, and developed the first APA national advertising campaign for the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Additionally, Ronald has been active in a number of civic organizations and is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, the Western Partner of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has received numerous awards, including an Image Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), and has been recognized by the California State Senate, California State Assembly, and the Los Angeles City Council, among others.
Ronald received a bachelor’s of arts in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a recipient of the Sloan Foundation Fellowship at the University of Washington, Graduate School of Public Affairs, the Marshall Memorial Fellowship, and the California Executive Fellowship.
Ronald’s father is a Chinese-American who was born in Los Angeles, and his mother is a Filipino-American who was born in Hawaii.
Boardmember | Rob Yap, Gen Mobile
Boardmember | Kenny Yee, Imuarock Ventures