NAAAP 100 & Inspire Awards presented by United Airlines
In 2008, the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) established a program to recognize exemplary leaders in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The NAAAP100 award is granted annually to individuals who have made significant contributions to their profession and the AAPI community. Previous award winners include the late Senator Daniel Inouye, MailChimp CEO Ben Chestnut, Superbowl MVP Hines Ward, and poet Li-Young Lee.
In 2016, NAAAP created a complementary program to recognize the most promising up-and-coming leaders in the Asian community. Like NAAAP100 honorees, NAAAP Inspire honorees are leaders in their communities and make significant contributions in the business, government, or nonprofit sector.
Nominations for both awards are due by Thursday, May 31, 2019, 11:59 PM PDT. Anyone may submit a nomination, and self-nominations are permitted. If you submit using this form.You may also request a paper copy of the nomination form or ask questions of the program director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nominations will be reviewed by a committee comprising NAAAP’s leaders and approved by NAAAP’s National Board. Decisions are based on the nominee’s career achievement and reputation, contribution to the Asian community, and alignment with NAAAP’s vision and mission. Individuals who are nominated for a NAAAP100 award are automatically also considered for a NAAAP Inspire award. Each year, typically two to three nominees will be selected for the NAAAP100 award and one nominee will be selected for the NAAAP Inspire award.
The following recipients will be honored at the closing awards gala at the 2018 Leadership Convention, ERG, and Diversity Career Fair, Presented by NAAAP, in Atlanta
Ben Chestnut is co-founder and CEO of MailChimp, the leading marketing platform for small
businesses. Headquartered in Ben’s hometown of Atlanta since 2001, MailChimp is privately
held and profitable, with over 800 employees and millions of global users. In 2017, MailChimp
was named Company of the Year by Inc. Magazine and recognized as one of the world’s Most
Innovative Companies by Fast Company.
Ben is a dedicated leader whose mantra for employees is “listen hard, change fast.” He has a
bachelor’s degree in industrial design from Georgia Tech and was named an Ernst & Young
Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016.
Ben is a native Georgian.
Chaiwon Kim is the first Asian American woman to serve as CEO / President of the Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS). CPACS is the first and only multi-service community center in the Southeast serving the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities. Her efforts have grown CPACS from a volunteer-run organization formed to help local Korean Americans, into a multi-service organization with a diverse staff of more than 40 full and 80 part-time employees with the ability to speak 15 different languages (Asian and non-Asian). Under her direction, CPACS capacity has grown from 791 clients served per month in 1999 to over 3,600 clients served per month in 2018.
A Registered Nurse (RN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Addiction Counselor by Profession, Mrs. Kim recognized the need for a clinic in 1990 when she began working at CPACS as a volunteer receptionist. Soon after, she spearheaded the development of CPACS free clinic which provides basic health checks and immunizations for the immigrant community. In 1999 she initiated the Asian Breast Care program—a comprehensive program aimed at providing culturally and linguistically appropriate, affordable breast cancer screening to uninsured and underinsured API women. Out of the Asian Breast Care Program Mrs. Kim developed the Korean and Chinese cancer support groups, the first and only in-language support groups of their kind in Georgia.
In 2000, CPACS became a certified HIV testing and counseling center and in 2006 Mrs. Kim secured funding through HUD to develop the first Georgia senior housing complex —only the second for Asian Americans in the nation. She graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 2001 and become a state certified addiction counselor (GACA) in 2003. In 2008 Mrs. Kim opened the RICE (Research Institute and Counseling Education) Center, a CPACS satellite office, to provide mental health counseling. Finally, in 2013 Mrs. Kim opened CPACS Cosmo Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center, staffed by bi-lingual, bi-cultural physicians.
Frank H. Wu is currently a Distinguished Professor, holding the highest rank accorded a faculty member, at University of California Hastings College of Law. He previously served as Chancellor & Dean at the school, receiving unanimous renewal to a second term after having been voted the most “influential” dean in legal education in a poll by National Jurist magazine. UC Hastings is the unique standalone institution affiliated with the University of California system, with its own governance and independent finances.
Before joining UC Hastings, he was a member of the faculty at Howard University, the nation’s leading historically black college/university (HBCU), for a decade. He served as Dean of Wayne State University Law School in his hometown of Detroit, and he has been a visiting professor at University of Michigan; an adjunct professor at Columbia University; and a Thomas C. Grey Teaching Fellow at Stanford University. He taught at the Peking University School of Transnational Law in its inaugural year and again a decade later. In his leadership roles at UC Hastings and Wayne, as well as on the faculty at Howard, he was the first Asian American to serve in such a capacity.
He is dedicated to civic engagement and volunteer service. In April 2016, he was elected by the members of Committee of 100 as their Chair, and he held that office for two years; then in February 2017, the Board named him as the group’s first-ever President. C100 is a non-profit membership organization based in New York City and professionally staffed. Founded by individuals such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, architect I.M. Pei, businesswoman Shirley Young, physicist Chien-Shiung Wu, financier Henry Tang, and philanthropist Oscar Tang, it invites Chinese Americans who have achieved the highest levels of success to join, working on twin missions of promoting good relations between the US and China and the participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of public life. C100 sends delegations to China, holds a Capitol Hill briefing series in Washington, D.C., and publishes a unique “mirror” survey of American attitudes toward China and Chinese attitudes toward America.
He was appointed by the federal Department of Education to its National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), which advises the administration on higher education accreditation, and by the Defense Department to the Military Leadership Diversity Commission, which submitted to Congress the report From Representation to Inclusion. He currently is a Trustee of Deep Springs College, a highly-selective full-scholarship school enrolling twenty-six on a student-run cattle ranch near Death Valley, where he previously taught for several short periods. He was a Trustee of Gallaudet University, the only university in the world dedicated to deaf and hard of hearing persons, from 2000 to 2010, and Vice-Chair of the Board for the final four years of his tenure. He served on the Board of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund from 2004 to 2010.
Professor Wu is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, which was immediately reprinted in its hardcover edition, and co-author of Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment, which received the single greatest grant from the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund. He blogged regularly for six years at Huffington Post (“HuffPo”), and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and National Law Journal. He is writing a book on the Vincent Chin case; he appeared on an episode of the TV show Fatal Encounters entitled “Killer Swing,” about the case, and his co-authored script of a trial reenactment of the Vincent Chin case has been performed around the nation.
Over the years, Professor Wu has maintained an extensive schedule of media appearances and public speaking. His professional credits include commentary for National Public Radio and Now with Bill Moyers. He has appeared as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show, O’Reilly Factor, and C-SPAN Booknotes with Brian Lamb, and as part of a roundtable hosted by George Takei (the original “Mr. Sulu” on Star Trek) discussing the restored Charlie Chan films broadcast by Fox Movie Channel. In summer 2017, he visited Australia for a lecture tour featuring multiple events in Sydney and Melbourne.
Prior to his academic career, he held a clerkship with the late U.S. District Judge Frank J. Battisti in Cleveland and practiced law with the firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco – while there, he devoted a quarter of his time to pro bono work on behalf of indigent clients. He received a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. with honors from the University of Michigan. He completed the Management Development Program of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Professor Wu was born in the United States in 1967, to immigrants from Taiwan. He is married to Carol L. Izumi. They live in San Francisco. He is an avid runner, completing 36 half marathons in 2016; and photographer, shooting on film with a vintage Contax G2.
Lani Wong is a recognized community leader who has served the local, national, and international communities for over 38 years, currently serving as Chair of National Association of Chinese Americans (NACA) Atlanta. Ms. Wong attended school in Taiwan and later at the University of Hawaii. After marrying, she moved to Atlanta, had two children, and served the community since then. At leisure time, she enjoys gardening.
Ms. Wong is a true pioneer in her vision and foresight in promoting U.S.-China relations, excellence in education, participation of Asian Americans in the political process, and the importance of charitable organizations to serve the greater needs of the community. She has been recognized for 11 years as one of the most 25 Influential Asian Americans in Georgia by Georgia Asian Times. She actively participates in various community organizations by serving on the Board or being a member. Those include Public Broadcasting of Atlanta, St. Joseph’s Health System, DeKalb County Economic Development Authority, Women’s Solidarity Society, International Women’s Forum of Georgia, Georgia Perimeter College, Leadership Atlanta Foundation, Delta Airlines Global Diversity Alliance to name a few. Appointed by Georgia governors and Atlanta mayors for many roles, The Georgia House of Representatives passed Resolution #1804, “recognizing the special contributions and the efforts of Ms. Wong to promote peace and the development of commercial, cultural and educational ties between the United States and China.” A member of the National Committee on US-China Relations and World Affairs Council Chairman Circle, she is also recognized as an Honorary Citizen by the People’s Republic of China; appointed as Advisor to the 6th, 7th and 8th National Congress of the All-China Federation of Returning Chinese; and as Advisor for the International Cultural Exchange Association for Consecutive 5 term; selected as one of five U.S. citizens to attend Fifth Session of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference as a non-voting delegate. As a female leader, she received the Legacy of Leadership Award from Spelman College, and Lifetime Achievement Award from Advancing Justice Atlanta.
The following individual was honored at the closing awards gala at the 2018 Leadership Convention, ERG, and Diversity Career Fair, Presented by NAAAP, in Atlanta:
Aisha Yaqoob is a professional advocate for immigrant rights at the state Capitol, working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to push for civil rights for immigrants and people of color. As policy director for a nonprofit legal and advocacy center, Aisha monitors local, state, and federal policies that affect immigrants and works to fight for their rights.
Aisha is passionate about voting rights, access to healthcare and education, and immigration. She believes in upholding the civil rights and civil liberties for all people, especially those whom have been historically underrepresented.
Aisha moved to Gwinnett County at the age of 6 from south Florida. Since then she has lived in the Collin Hills area, Suwanee and now Duluth. Aisha is the middle of five children and has always been surrounded by a large extended family.
Growing up in Georgia, Aisha took advantage of every opportunity given to her. She graduated with honors from North Gwinnett High School and earned the HOPE Scholarship to attend the University of Georgia where she earned her Bachelors of Arts in Journalism in 2013, and a Masters of Public Administration & Policy in 2016.
In college, Aisha took a special interest in working with students with disabilities and worked at the University’s Disability Resource Center. After her undergraduate career, she continued her passion for individuals with disabilities working at Gwinnett Technical College in the Disability Services department. Shortly thereafter, she joined her graduate program to study Public Administration & Policy to learn more about how to make an impact in government.
While in graduate school Aisha founded the Georgia Muslim Voter Project, an organization whose mission is to increase voter turnout in the American Muslim community. In 2016 she and her team helped to increase voter turnout across Georgia in a community that has historically rarely participated in the electoral process.
Aisha is actively involved in her community. She was a co-organizer of Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women (January 2017), which saw an estimated 60,000 people peacefully march in downtown Atlanta. She also earned a scholarship to participate in the National Labor Leadership Initiative, Southern Program.
Aisha has participated in the Gwinnett Citizens Academy (Fall 2016 Cohort) and served on the Advisory Committee for the Downtown Suwanee Redevelopment Commission (2014-2015).
She earned a 40 Under 40 Georgia Muslim Award from the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta (October 2016) and the Rising Star Community Champion Award from Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta (October 2016). In 2015, Aisha earned a commendation from the Georgia General Assembly for work in the Georgia Muslim Community.
The following recipients will be honored at the closing awards gala at the 2017 Leadership Convention, ERG, and Diversity Career Fair, Presented by NAAAP, at the Chicago Swissotel:
The following individual was honored at the closing awards gala at the 2017 Leadership Convention, ERG, and Diversity Career Fair, Presented by NAAAP, at the Chicago Swissotel:
The following recipients were honored at the 2016 NAAAP National Convention and Diversity Career Fair in Las Vegas (Ms. Chang was honored at a ceremony earlier that year):
Juju Chang is an acclaimed and prize-winning journalist for ABC News. She was the first Korean American to serve a prominent role on a national U.S. morning news television show when she joined Good Morning America in 2009 and is a founding member of the Korean American Community Foundation. She received her NAAAP 100 award at a ceremony in February 2016 hosted by The National Society of Leadership and Success.
Thomas Park Clement is the Founder and CEO of Mectra Labs, an inventor with 42 U.S. medical patents, a humanitarian, the author of The Unforgotten War and Dust of the Streets: The Journey of a Biracial Orphan of the Korean War, and a prominent leader of the Korean American Adoptee community.
Dr. Victor J. Dzau is the President of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) and Vice Chair of the National Research Council. He is the Chancellor Emeritus and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University, the past President and CEO of the Duke University Health System, and previous Chairman of the Department of Medicine at both Stanford University and Harvard University.
Dr. Omar Ishrak is the Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, which is the world’s leading medical technology company with more than $28 billion in annual revenue and operations reaching approximately 160 countries. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society.
Dr. Santa J. Ono is the 15th President and Vice Chancellor of the University of British Columbia and former President of the University of Cincinnati. He is recognized as one of the most admired leaders in higher education and a visible, outspoken advocate for social progress. Dr. Ono has also held faculty and administrative roles in medicine and biology at Johns Hopkins, Harvard, University College London, and Emory universities.
The following individual was honored as the inaugural recipient of the NAAAP Inspire award at the 2016 NAAAP National Convention and Diversity Career Fair in Las Vegas:
The following recipients were honored at the 2015 NAAAP National Convention and Diversity Career Fair in Dallas:
Mr. Chang has worked for over two decades at UPS, with an early role in 1991 as a supervisor in Finance and Accounting. In 1996, he moved to Singapore to become Controller of the Asia Pacific Region, where he was responsible for a $700 million book of business, comprised of twelve subsidiaries and countries spanning across Asia. In 1999, UPS relocated Mr. Chang to London to become Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions, Treasury for Europe and Asia, where he worked on cross-border acquisitions, joint ventures, currency hedging, and debt placements. When Mr. Chang was asked to become Vice President of Finance for UPS’ Pacific Region in 2005, he assumed responsibility for one of the corporation’s largest business units. His promotion to Global Head of M&A and Intellectual Property in 2007 marked an expansion of his strategic role, for which he led an M&A team to fulfill his acquisition vision while working with investment banks and the UPS Board of Directors. Mr. Chang’s service as Vice President of Strategy at UPS Capital in 2013 was quickly followed within a year to his promotion as the President of UPS Capital, which offers financing and insurance services to protect companies from risk and manage cash in their supply chains.
As an individual of Korean descent, Mr. Chang has also volunteered his time to uplift the Asian community and promote inclusion in general. He has mentored and served as a role model to his fellow coworkers at UPS, helping to shape the company’s Asian talent development initiative and diversity leadership program. In 2010, Who’s Who in Asian American Communities recognized Mr. Chang with a Leaders & Legends Award for his influential contributions. Mr. Chang has also volunteered his time and supported several community organizations, including the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), and the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP). Mr. Chang earned his Masters Degree from Pepperdine University and lives with his wife and two children in Atlanta.
Born in Saigon, Mrs. Lee fled Vietnam on a boat when she was less than three months old and spent over a year in a Hong Kong refugee camp before being reunited with family in Dallas. After graduating near the top of her class from an International Baccalaureate program with intensive training in theater and music, she declined a scholarship to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts to be closer to family, matriculating at the esteemed Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (SMU). As an undergraduate, she was a leader in several Asian organizations, and her short films Lunar Cycles and First Slow Burn were screened in various film festivals across the country. Mrs. Lee also reigned as Miss Asian American Texas from 1999-2001. Soon afterwards, she earned her M.F.A. at UCLA while producing films and continuing her work as a professional actor and spokesmodel. In 2005, Mrs. Lee co-founded the nonprofit Against The Grain Productions, which is dedicated to Asian Americans in the arts and has raised funds for orphanages in Vietnam and given scholarships to emerging Asian leaders. Her documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam has won numerous national and international film festival awards and has brought attention to the aftermath of what has been called “one of the most humanitarian efforts in history.”
For over a decade, Mrs. Lee has made a tremendous impact in her local community through ongoing charitable and civic efforts. Mrs. Lee serves as an educator in promoting awareness around poverty, Asian culture, and female leadership, with key roles at the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center and the SMU Meadows Alumni Advisory Council. In 2010, Mrs. Lee was honored with a Distinguished Alumni award, and in 2012, she received the NAAAP DFW Leaders of Excellence Award. Her work on the Board of Directors for Women in Film Dallas and her close work over the past four years with NAAAP DFW have made her one of the most well-known and respected leaders in the Dallas Asian community. Mrs. Lee lives in Dallas with her husband, their two daughters, and their miniature schnauzers, Oscar and Emmy.
Born in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, Mr. Wong immigrated to Canada in 1971. Immediately after receiving his Canadian citizenship in 1976, he became one of the first Asian Canadians to join the Canadian Armed Forces. For over 35 years, Mr. Wong has served as an officer and has been recognized as one of the top public affairs professionals within the military for strategic communications, issues of national security, and emergency management. Mr. Wong has also served on a number of UN peacekeeping missions in Africa and worked with President Karzai and his team to help stand up the government in Afghanistan. In addition to leading AKW Global Enterprises, his management consulting and communications company, Mr. Wong is the Chief Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, a Citizenship Judge for the Greater Toronto Area, a member of the Regimental Senate, and a Reserve Public Affairs officer.
Mr. Wong has dedicated a significant portion of his personal time to mentoring and helping others in Canada and abroad. He has acted as a mentor and served as a highly sought-after speaker for the Asian Canadian community, especially for those interested in military service. While in Afghanistan, he raised funds for orphanages and schools for mentally handicapped children and began initiatives to aid in the healing of post-traumatic active and veteran military. He served as the Chair of the Mississauga Board of Chinese Professionals and Businesses which raises funds for community initiatives. For his various efforts, Mr. Wong has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Canadian Forces’ Decoration, the Canadian Peacekeeping Service medal, the Vice-Regal Commendation, the United Nations Eritrea medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, the Chinese Canadian Legend award, and most recently in June 2015, the Transformation for Public Service award.
The following recipients were honored at the 2014 NAAAP National Convention and Diversity Career Fair in Anaheim:
Previously, Ambassador Locke served as the Secretary of Commerce, where he helped implement President Obama’s ambitious agenda to turn around the economy and put people back to work. As the administration’s point person for achieving the President’s National Export Initiative, he presided over a 17 percent increase in exports from 2009 to 2010, while exports to China saw a 32 percent increase. Ambassador Locke also oversaw a significant first step in the
President’s export control reform effort that strengthened national security, while making U.S. companies more competitive by easing their licensing burden for exports to partners and allies.
Before his appointment to the President’s Cabinet, Ambassador Locke served two terms as Governor of Washington, the nation’s most trade-dependent state. He expanded the sale of Washington products and services by leading ten productive trade missions to Asia, Mexico, and Europe. During the eight years of the Locke administration, Washington State gained 280,000 jobs, despite two national recessions.
As both Governor and Commerce Secretary, Locke’s innovations in government efficiency, customer focus, and priority-based budgeting, as well as successful and under-budget management of high risk initiatives, have won him acclaim by nationally recognized authors and organizations, including Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Along with his longstanding commitment to public service, Ambassador Locke has extensive experience working with China. As Secretary of Commerce, he co-chaired two sessions of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade that resulted in important changes to Chinese trade policy, helping to level the playing field for U.S. businesses exporting to and operating in China. As Governor of Washington, he successfully strengthened economic ties between China and Washington State, more than doubling the state’s exports to China to over $5 billion per year. As a partner in the Seattle office of the international law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, he co-chaired the firm’s China practice.
Ambassador Locke is the first Chinese-American to serve as Ambassador to China, as Secretary of Commerce, and as Governor. His grandfather emigrated from China to Washington State, initially finding employment as a servant, working in exchange for English lessons. His father, also born in China, was a small business owner, operating a grocery store where Ambassador Locke worked while receiving his education from Seattle’s public school system.
Ambassador Locke earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University and a law degree from Boston University. He is married to Mona Lee Locke, and they have three children together: Emily, Dylan, and Madeline.
Dr. Boggs’ published writings include Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century (with James Boggs in 1974, reissued with a new introduction by her in 2008), Conversations in Maine: Exploring Our Nation’s Future (with James Boggs, Freddy Paine, and Lyman Paine in 1978), Living for Change: An Autobiography (1998), and The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century (with Scott Kurashige in 2011). Her writings and interviews have also been widely disseminated through newspapers, magazines, websites, and academic journals.
In her nineties, Dr. Boggs remains exceptionally active as a community activist and columnist for the Michigan Citizen. In 1995, her friends started the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership to continue James and Grace Lee Boggs’ legacy of revolutionary ideas and visionary organizing. In Fall 2013, the James and Grace Lee Boggs School was launched near Dr. Boggs’ home on the Eastside of Detroit by place-based educators dedicated to the Boggs’ vision. In 2014, the documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, directed by filmmaker Grace Lee, won several major film festival audience awards and premiered on PBS.
Dr. Boggs’ many honors include honorary doctorates from the University of Michigan, Wooster College, Kalamzoo College, and Wayne State University. She also has been given lifetime achievement awards from the Detroit City Council, Organization of Chinese Americans, Anti-Defamation League (Michigan), Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, Museum of Chinese in the Americas, and Association for Asian American Studies. Dr. Boggs has also been named as Detroit News Michiganian of the Year and has a place in both the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame and National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Lee was the Sector Vice President of Contracts, Pricing and Program Business Operations for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems, where he led 1400+ business management professionals responsible for executing contracts, pricing and estimating, cost and schedule management, ITAR/Export, and risk management disciplines. He joined the company in 1986 and rose through a number of increasingly-responsible management positions, leading aircraft and electronic divisions in New York, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and California. Prior to his time at Northrop Grumman, Mr. Lee worked for several years in contract management at Hughes Aircraft Company and G&H Technology, Inc.
In addition to earning a B.S. in Finance from California State University, Fresno, Mr. Lee has completed several executive and program management programs at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. At Northrop Grumman, he is an executive sponsor for the Asian Pacific Professional Network employee resource group and is also an active advisor to the South Bay chapter of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA). Mr. Lee also serves as an executive advisor to programs established with Cal State Fullerton and the University of San Diego’s Rady School of Management. Since 2011, Mr. Lee has served on the Senior Advisory Council of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP).
Mr. Tsubouchi holds the distinction of being the first Japanese Canadian to have been elected to any position in Canada. In 1988, he was elected as a Councilor for the Town of Markham, serving for six years. In 1995, he became the first Japanese Canadian to be elected to a provincial legislature and also to serve as a Cabinet Minister. Mr. Tsubouchi served as a Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Markham for two terms and has held several cabinet posts in the Ontario Legislature, including Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Solicitor General, Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet, and Minister of Culture. As a campaign chair, Mr. Tsubouchi has raised millions of dollars for nonprofit organizations and institutions, including Seneca College, Georgia Brown College, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, and the Rising Sun Campaign to assist victims of the tsunami and earthquake in Japan.
Mr. Tsubouchi has received several other awards and honors, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Bruce Bryden Award from York University, the Award of Merit from the Japanese Canadian Community, and the Canadian Horse Racing Industry Award of Recognition. Mr Tsubouchi is a frequent lecturer and key note speaker, speaking on matters including business development and the imprisonment of Japanese Canadians during WWII.
Born in Toronto, Mr. Tsubouchi’s parents were interned during World War II, when Canadians of Japanese descent were imprisoned and their property, possessions, and businesses were confiscated. His memoir “Gambatte,” which is a Japanese word meaning “do your best and never give up,” recalls his family and outlines his unusual career path, which has included acting, writing, law, politics, and community service. Mr. Tsubouchi holds a B.A. from York University, a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School, and an LL.D. from Assumption University.
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