Committee of 100 Chairman Dominic Ng welcomed over 200 young and mid-career professionals to the Third Leadership and Mentoring Program Kickoff Panel Discussion and Mentee Graduation on July 28 in Los Angeles. Ng encouraged the participants to become “fully participating citizens in American society,” taking part in community activities as well as excelling in their careers.
Stewart Kwoh, C-100 Vice Chair of the Southern California region and Domestic Programs, moderated a panel of California C-100 members who spoke candidly about professional and personal challenges on their career paths. The panelists were Panda Restaurant Group Founder and Chairman Andrew Cherng, C & L Restaurant Group Chairman Herman Li, Charlotte Russe President and CEO Jenny Ming, and Jones Day Partner Brian A. Sun. They stressed the importance of being multi-dimensional and balancing the advancement of their careers with giving back to the community. “Having a positive impact on your community is gratifying,” said Sun, “and essential to enjoying the fruits of your career.”
Film producer Teddy Zee and Megatoys CEO Charlie Woo serve on the planning committee for the Southern California program along with Kwoh and volunteer Belle Hsu. The 2012 mentors were Li, Sun, John Chiang, Julie Fong, Ming Hsu, Shu Li, Paul Lin, Charlie Sie, William Wang, and Janet Yang. Throughout the year, mentors lead discussions with small groups of mentees and introduce them to the Committee’s programs and events, including the Annual Conference. As a distinctive feature of this program, each mentor meets individually with a few mentees, creating lasting connections. As Woo told the 2012 graduating class, “Once a mentor, always a mentor. It is really wonderful to play a supportive position as your career develops.”
(Pictured: Mentor Charlie Sie) Mentees gave testimonials about their mentorship experiences. Law school graduate Annette Wong said that the C-100 Mentorship Program helped broaden her field of vision: “[I looked] inward at my identity as a Chinese American, outward at the community of my peers and other Asian Americans, and upward at the C-100 members and their inspiring leadership.” Joseph Sun thanked mentor Charlie Sie for sharing his passion for research and for volunteer projects such as helping the Palos Verdes School District develop a Chinese language program. “I now have a greater appreciation for the importance of taking a seat at the table and having our voices heard on issues affecting the Asian American community.”