CAUSE Hosts the 2017 Women In Power Annual Leadership Conference


Contact: Lindsey Horowitz

Director of Programs

Phone: 626-356-9838


CAUSE Hosts the 2017 Women in Power Annual Leadership Conference

Pasadena, CA – July 21, 2017 – Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) will host the 2017 Women in Power Annual Leadership Conference on Friday, July 21, 2017 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel (506 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90071), from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, with a network reception to follow from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

The Women in Power (WIP) program aims to create opportunities for candid discussion regarding issues that women leaders face and to explore strategies for overcoming them. The WIP annual conference and networking programs help foster a community built on leadership, inspiration, and mentorship, empowering women to achieve their full leadership potential.

The program also serves as a recruitment tool to be able to ensure we are engaging with women of all different industries and ensuring that they are encouraged to apply and go through our other pipeline building and leadership development programming efforts such as the Leadership Academy and the Political Institute.

We are delighted to recognize the following honorees with the 2017 Women in Power Changemaker Award:

The Honorable Maria Contreras-Sweet
24th Administrator of the US Small Business Administration

Maria Contreras-Sweet is the 24th Administrator of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and was a member of President Obama’s cabinet. As a business leader, California state cabinet official, and entrepreneur, Contreras-Sweet’s achievements in bringing efficiencies and modernization to large scale organizations have earned her international acclaim. Her drive to bring SBA into the digital age, and expand into broader domestic and global markets, has yielded record results in lending and contracting for small businesses. Contreras-Sweet is a founding director of The California Endowment, a $3 billion foundation dedicated to improving the health status of Californians. She served on the boards of Blue Cross of California and numerous other nonprofit organizations.

Ming Chen Hsu
Director at the JT Tai & Company Foundation and Former FMC Commissioner

Ming Chen Hsu has extensive experience in international trade and commerce in both the public and private sectors. She was appointed as a Commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission by former President George HW Bush and was confirmed by the United States Senate in 1990. She served on the commission for ten years. Hsu was actively involved in negotiations with the Chinese Ministry of Communications, which led to the US-China Maritime Bilateral Agreement signed by President George W. Bush and Premier Wen Jiabao in Washington in 2004. She’s the recipient of awards including the US Maritime Medal of Freedom, the Woman of Year Award from the Asian-American Professional Women’s Association, and George Washington University’s Alumni Achievement Award.

The schedule of events is as follows:

8:00 – 9:00 AM

Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 9:15 AM

Opening Remarks

Kim Yamasaki
Executive Director, CAUSE

Nita Song
President & COO, IW Group

Sponsor Remarks

Trisha Muse
Director of Community Relations, Southern California Gas Company

9:15 – 10:30 AM

Panel 1: Women Leading & Influencing

What does it take to succeed in today’s workforce, especially in industries where there aren’t traditionally many women leaders? What unique perspectives and leadership styles do women in power bring to the table? Panelists will discuss what factors led to their rise to the top and the importance of gender diversity across all industries.

Shelly Kapoor Collins
General Partner, Shatter Fund

The Honorable Sachi A. Hamai
Los Angeles County CEO

Moderated by Nita Song
President & COO, IW Group

10:40 – 11:50 AM
Leadership Development Breakout Session: Language of Leadership

Language is a powerful tool. Language is the most common way we create and replicate culture in organizations. We use language to endorse for the talent of others or to sponsor them. Yet, when we use language in an automatic way, bias can creep into our choice of words, inadvertently softening our advocacy. Learn the language of leadership so that you can be the best advocate for yourself, your peers and your teammates.

Lori Nishiura Mackenzie
Executive Director, Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University

11:50 AM – 12:20 PM

Fireside Chat: Technology & Next Generation Leadership

New media is changing how we view the world around us and ourselves. The next generation of female leaders is utilizing online platforms, social media, and other avenues to influence our communities. We’ll hear insight from leaders in this space at different stages in their careers to learn more about how media is providing new opportunities for representation and empowerment.

Angeline Vuong
Director of Strategy & Marketing, Open Listings

Julie Zhan
Actress, Dancer, & Producer – YouTube Creative

Moderated by Mariko S. Carpenter
Vice President for Strategic Community Alliances, Nielsen

12:30 – 1:30 PM


Sponsor Remarks

Emily Wang
Senior Vice President & Director of Marketing and Community Development, East West Bank

2017 Women in Power Changemaker Award

The Honorable Maria Contreras-Sweet
24th Administrator of the US Small Business Administration

Ming Chen Hsu
Director at the JT Tai & Company Foundation and Former FMC Commissioner

1:30 – 2:45 PM

Panel 2: Power with a Purpose

What good is power if there is no purpose behind it? How can a sense of meaning and desire to serve your community drive your personal success? Panelists will share their path to leadership, what led them to serve their communities, and how their community leadership enhanced their professional careers.

Faye Washington
President & CEO, YWCA Greater Los Angeles

The Honorable Betty T. Yee
California State Controller

Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed
18 Million Rising & #GoodMuslimBadMuslim

Moderated by Kimberly Freeman
Assistant Dean for Diversity Initiatives & Community Relations, UCLA Anderson School of Management

2:45 – 3:00 PM

Closing Remarks

3:00 – 4:00 PM

VIP Reception

3:00 – 5:00 PM

General Networking Reception

Tickets are $85. Please RSVP by Tuesday, July 18 at

Hotel valet parking is available for event attendees at a rate of $22.00 per car. Other parking options are available in the surrounding area at varying rates

Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan, community-based organization with a mission to advance the  political empowerment of the Asian Pacific American community through nonpartisan voter registration and education, community outreach, and leadership development.

For any further inquiries, please contact CAUSE via phone at (626) 356-9838 or email at General information can be obtained from our website at Our office is located at 260 S. Los Robles Ave., #115 Pasadena, CA 91101