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Hongtao Li’s Art: Celebrating Balance, Harmony

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By Jennie L. Ilustre   Hongtao Li is one of those people who transcends time and place. His art graces museums and art galleries all over the world. He is the first Chinese artist to have his works showcased in Musee de Louvre in Paris. Political VIPs and Hollywood celebrities, as well as the general public, have a collection of …

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South Asians Stay Connected to Roots Through NetSAP

DC Group networking at a happy hour event.

By Devika Koppikar After I graduated from college more than 20 years ago, I moved to new town, away from family and familiar surroundings. For a while, I felt lost, especially with regards to my Indian-American identity. Then, I found the Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP), a social and professional organization connecting South Asians http://na.netip.org/. My whole life changed. I …

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Muriel Hom, OCA 2014 Trailblazer Awardee

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By Jennie L. Ilustre One word describes Muriel Hom, recipient of the Organization of Chinese Americans’ 2014 Trailblazer Award at its gala night on November 2: Unique. Opera Internationals’ Producer Director Hom is Baldwin Artist, pianist and coach. She has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and on PBS Television. An international artist, she has also performed …

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3 Japanese Win Nobel Prize for Inventing LED Used in Smartphones, Other Energy Devices

Nobel Laureate in Physics Professor Shuji Nakamura
Photo courtesy of UCSB

By Jennie L. Ilustre University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Professor Shuji Nakamura, who shares this year’s prestigious Nobel Prize for Physics with two Japanese researchers, has an inspiring message for Asian Americans. “I encourage higher education and hard work in order to achieve the American Dream and thrive,” Nakamura, 60, said in an interview days after the announcement of …

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Suman Raghunathan, Taking SAALT ‘into the Future’

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  By Jennie L. Ilustre Picture this: Outside, a storm, with wind gusting up to 30 miles per hour. Inside at the SAALT reception, the atmosphere was sunny and warm, as everybody welcomed new Executive Director Suman Raghunathan. Suman, as everyone calls her, described the atmosphere as “fantastic–very warm, supportive and exciting!”  She said many long-time supporters came, as well …

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13 Year Old Lance Lim Stars in Growing Up Fisher

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By Mary Tablante “Growing Up Fisher” is a new comedy that premiered Feb. 23 on NBC and stars seasoned actors J.K. Simmons and Jenna Elfman. The show follows the Fisher family — dad Mel (Simmons), mom Joyce (Elfman), daughter Katie and son Henry. It is told through Henry’s perspective as he deals with his parents’ divorce and his father’s blindness …

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Norm Mineta Recognized as “Trailblazer” by Asian Hall of Fame

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By Jennie L. Ilustre Photos courtesy of AOF Born and raised in San Jose, Ca., Mineta and his family were among the Japanese Americans interned in camps during World War II. Since then, President Bill Clinton has appointed him the first Asian Pacific American (APA) Secretary of Commerce, President George W. Bush has named him Secretary of Commerce, and he …

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CEO Hai Tran Triumphs, Mainly Due to Determination (and a Mother’s Love)

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By Jennie L. Ilustre The next time you ride in an airplane, whether for business or for pleasure, think of this as a matter of inspiration and well-placed pride: That a company, owned by an Asian American who triumphed against life’s adversities, helps improve safety and efficiency within the nation’s air traffic management system with its cutting-edge products and services.            …

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Exclusive Interview with Internationally Acclaimed Pakistani Writer Mohsin Hamid

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By Tamara Treichel This month, Asian Fortune had the unique privilege of interviewing the internationally acclaimed Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid. Hamid is the author of the novels Moth Smoke (2000), The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007), and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (2013). His award-winning novels have become bestsellers, made into movies, translated into over 30 languages and shortlisted …

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Green Hero: Sonita Lontoh

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More Asian Americans than ever before are becoming pioneers in the sustainability movement. Because of this, we are running a series to recognize all the Asian American “Green Heroes” in our community. This month, we are recognizing Sonita Lontoh, an Asian American green tech executive who is passionate about encouraging a green economy between Asian and Western countries. Lontoh received …

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Vietnamese American Writer Wins PEN/Oakland Award

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By Jenny Chen Andrew Lam, editor-in-chief of New America Media, a nonprofit organization that advocates 3,000 ethnic news organizations in the United States, was awarded the PEN/Oakland Award for his fictional collection of short stories Birds of Paradise Lost. The book is based on the Vietnamese refugee experience. Maxine Hong Kingston wrote about Lam: “…bask in his love of language, …

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A Conversation With Award Winning Playwright DAVID HENRY HWANG

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By Amanda Andrei In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been David Henry Hwang season in the D.C. metro area. Pinky Swear just pulled off a successful run of Bondage this November, Theater J is staging the regional premiere of Yellow Face this January and February, and the legendary playwright himself delivered an insightful and thought-provoking lecture at the Reston’s CenterStage …

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Green Hero: Danny Seo

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More Asian Americans than ever before are becoming pioneers in the sustainability movement. Because of this, we are running a series to recognize all the Asian American “Green Heroes” in our community. First to be recognized is Danny Seo – a Korean American and a former Washington, DC resident who promotes the green lifestyle through books and TV shows. Seo …

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Blowing out pollution: Activist aims to spawn clean air for Northern Virginia

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By Devika Koppikar Alexandria resident Sue Okubo suffers from lung disease. Her lungs are not at full capacity, she said. Nevertheless, she uses her full personal capacity as an environmental activist—aiming to spawn clean air for Northern Virginia. Studies have shown that polluted air accelerates the onset of lung disease and many other health challenges, Okubo noted, which is a …

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Jasmine Zhou Debuts Line Hudiefly at DC Fashion Week

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By Jane Chun Photo Credit: Jasmine Zhou DC Fashion Week (DCFW) featured many local designers at the Emerging Designer Showcase at the Washington Post Conference Center on Sep.28. Among the designers include the first Chinese-American designer Jasmine (Lingfei) Zhou, founder and CEO of Hudiefly. Hudiefly is a graphic and ready to wear brand founded in 2012. According to the Hudiefly …

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PROFILE: Raymond Chen To Be Honored at OCA-DC Gala

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          The Honorable Raymond T. Chen is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Judge Chen was appointed by President Obama in 2013, unanimously confirmed by the Senate on August 1, 2013, and assumed the duties of his office on August 5, 2013. Judge Chen previously served as Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual …

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Q and A with co-founder of The Brain Trust, Rohan Grover

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As a co-founder of The Brain Trust, Rohan Grover is the company’s “Model Minority Modeler,” harnessing technology to help AAPI organizations build savvy, data-driven campaigns for the digital age. Our writer, Derek Mong, is a social justice activist and has worked for non-profit organizations, political campaigns, the federal government, and national civil rights organizations to address issues of social justice, …

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Kevin Kwan’s Crash Course in “Rich, Entitled, Delusional Chinese Families 101”

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By Tamara Treichel When American-born Chinese (ABC) Rachel Chu is invited by her boyfriend Nick Young to visit his family in Singapore for the summer, Rachel is delighted, believing that rest and relaxation await her under the palm trees. However, little does Rachel know that Nick belongs to one of Asia’s richest families, “whose lives revolve around making money, spending …

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On “Pigtails in Politics”: Scott D. Seligman discusses his biography The First Chinese American: The Remarkable Life of Wong Chin Foo

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By Tamara Treichel   Think Frank Abagnale’s life in Catch Me If You Can is exciting, full of shape-shifting, danger, suspense and a sprinkling of romance? Then compare Wong Chin Foo’s life. Wong Chin Foo (1847-1898) was a real man with the flair of a Chinese American trickster hero, and he is brought back to life in Scott D. Seligman’s …

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Woman On the Go: Q&A with Sarah Shabbir, U.S. Foreign Service Officer

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By Suchi Rudra   Since Sarah Shabbir became a U.S. Foreign Service Officer at the age of 23 back in 2005, she’s already been posted overseas twice, first based in Abu Dhabi for two years as Vice Consul at the American Embassy, and then 2 years in Hong Kong, where she was Consul at the U.S. Consulate General. Asian Fortune …

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Corinna Shen: Education Key to Success

Corinna Shen with celebrities who have dined at her restaurant included actor Robin Williams, US Rep. Judy Chu, and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.

By Jennie L. Ilustre Corinna Shen, owner of Seven Seas Restaurant located in Rockville, Maryland, believes that “education is the key for any kind of success.” Her great grandfather was one of the founders of Hunan University and was a secretary for the Education department in China. “In China, teaching is the most respected profession. And because of my family …

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Indian American Couple Mixes East With West in Vineyard

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By Devika Koppikar After Sudha Patil and Pandit Patil retired from their jobs, (endodontist and mechanical engineer respectively) they started a new career – as vineyard owners. Originally from Maharashtra in India, the Patils opened the Narmada Winery in 2009 and named it after Pandit’s mother. “Pandit’s mother had to sacrifice so much and sold her jewelry for Pandit to …

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Howard Koh, Top APA at US Health Agency

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Dr. Howard Koh’s title, and the responsibilities that go with it, are formidable. He is the Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health oversees 12 core public health offices,” he said in an email. “Our broad portfolio includes disease prevention and health promotion, health disparities, women’s …

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Stanley Fujii: Honoring AAGEN’s 20 Years of Service

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By Jennie L. Ilustre This month, the Asian American Government Executives Network (AAGEN) is holding major events to celebrate its 20th year of promoting a diverse, quality workforce and career advancement for its members. Small wonder that as the new AAGEN executive director, Stanley Fujii’s email Inbox of late was constantly full, and that was true with the state of …

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