Monterey Park, CA – On Saturday, June 16th, CAUSE held the sixth and final Leadership Institute Training Session of 2018 at the SoCalGas Monterey Park Learning Center.
The program started off a session on campaign mechanics led by Bill Wong, Political Director of the California Assembly Democrats. Having noticed the near-complete lack of APA campaign professionals, he took it upon himself to learn the skills to become a political consultant. Bill emphasized to the fellows that politics is all about power and influence, stating, “Politics is the center of everything…Every industry, tech, labor, they come to Sacramento.” Given the level of influence and control individuals in leadership positions have, he denounced the apathy among the APA community, and implored the fellows to view leadership as a “commitment to take risks on behalf of the little people.”
Over lunch, the fellows had the opportunity to sit down with four community leaders in small groups to discuss potential leadership pathways after completing the program.
Lisa Thong, Vice President of the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, spoke on the responsibilities and nuances of serving on a state commission.
James Lau, Director of APALF, spoke on the ways fellows could impact their community through running for local elected office.
Adam Ma, Community Relations Manager at SoCalGas, discussed corporate social responsibility and how his role allows him to partner with community leaders and support their causes.
Andrew Cheung, Board Director of the Asian American Professional Association and Founder of the Board Leadership Program, spoke on the ways fellows could get involved in their communities through being on nonprofit boards.
Lastly, John Kobara, EVP and COO of California Community Foundation, returned to this year’s CLI program to deliver a session on Career Mapping. He encouraged the fellows to acknowledge, but not be limited by barriers facing APA’s, saying, “We can be the minority, or we can be the pioneers.” John then emphasized the value of connecting with individuals a few degrees outside of your immediate network, explaining that the most exciting and interesting relationships lie right beyond our own comfort zones. Finally, John invited the fellows to respond to a self-reflection questionnaire and had them use it as a base of where they want to go with their careers.