2008 Highlights of Asian Women In Business


December 16, 2008
The 2008 AWIB Holiday Party was a festive affair and, as always, a much appreciated opportunity to relax and talk to old and new friends. True to the AWIB tradition, a buffet table, laden with good food, tempted attendees to go for seconds and thirds. AWIB members, Grabemsnacks and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory provided plantain chips and mini cupcakes and ice cream to round out the food offerings. The holiday party was the last of the AWIB 2008 events and we toasted to what will certainly be a good New Year. Thank you Julie Azuma for always being there for us. View invitation and pictures from the event.


November - December 2008
AWIB's Starting Your Business 101, a four part series, continued its successful run as a highly rated program for entrepreneurs. Each two hour session covered important information on the steps to starting and running a successful business. The series topics included: 'Writing a Business Plan'; 'Legal Structures, Record Keeping and Tax Issues'; 'Marketing Fundamentals'; and 'Financing and Insurance' The classes as well as the variety and obvious expertise of the speakers made the sessions interesting and brought out the entrepreneurial spirit of attendees. AWIB's series, which is offered twice a year, is attended by new as well as existing business owners looking to hone up on specific topics. The classes were held at Microsoft, in mid-town Manhattan, which also provided cheese and fruit platters to keep the attendees attention focused on the issues. This series, subtitled How to Rev Up and Go!, was made possible by the support of State Farm Insurance. View
flyer and pictures from the series.

November 22, 2008
AWIB assembled a panel titled “Community Leaders of Today” for the 3rd annual New York Community Leadership Conference: Growing Leaders. The panelists encouraged attendees to involve themselves across various spectrums, and to become “Leaders of Today” by taking action to improve and raise awareness of the Asian American communities. Each panelist spoke about his/her passion to make positive changes in the community as a driving force for working in the non-profit arena. Moderated by AWIB’s President Bonnie Wong, the panel consisted of Seema Agnani, Executive Director, Chhaya CDC, Margaret Chin, Candidate for City Council, Kendra Lee, Executive Director, Greater Chinatown Community Association, Jimmy Yan, General Counsel, Manhattan Borough President’s Office, and Grace JungSook Yoon, Executive Director, Korean American Family Service Center of NY. The forum, part of a series of conferences around the country, is designed to strengthen the leadership skills of Asian Americans. The all-day event was presented by Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP). It was held at Hunter College.


October 14, 2008
The 2008 Asian Women In Business Leadership Awards Dinner, Thirteenth Anniversary Gala was a memorable evening where AWIB celebrated the success of Asian women as corporate executives and entrepreneurs. Despite the recent downturn in the economy, AWIB was joined by 500 supporters, including corporate sponsors, community leaders and entrepreneurs. The 2008 AWIB Corporate Leadership Award was given to Wan Ling Martello, CFO & Strategy, Wal-Mart International and Ponni Subbiah, Vice President and Head, Global Access Strategy, Pfizer Inc. Winners of the 2008 AWIB Entrepreneurial Leadership Award are Anisa Balwani, President, RCI Technologies; Sara Kim, CEO, SK Management Consulting & St. Mary's Eye & Surgery Center; Joyce Takiguchi, President, ComStar International; and Joan Yang, Founder & President, Rand & Jones Enterprises. AWIB is proud to honor these women who come from a cross section of industries, from Joan Yang's construction company to Joyce Takiguchi's "green" industrial products, they exemplify what hard work and determination can achieve. The extensive silent auction, which ran the gamut from dinner certificates to hand carved buddhas, was a highlight for many attendees, as they anxiously watched their bids, knowing that winning also means supporting AWIB. With two grand prizes of airline tickets for the raffle draw, the evening ended on a high note.

Read more about the event and view photos. Click here to see the 2008 Gala Invitation.


September 15, 2008
AWIB held a private reception at Christie's auction house for invited guests and sponsors. The evening was relaxing and was a great opportunity for guests to network and converse with one another while surrounded by beautiful works of art. A diverse collection of Asian art was on display and guests marveled over the wide array of rare objects such as the medieval Japanese armor, the large carved geneshas, the delicate translucent jade bowls and the magnificent golden buddha. Meandering and sipping wine were the evening's highlights and remarks were kept brief, covering upcoming auctions and the process of bidding. View
pictures from the event.

August 6, 2008
AWIB held a workshop on business writing titled Better Business Communication: Action Writing to Achieve your Business Goals. Attendees received an intensive session on creating well organized business documents to convey one's message with brevity and clarity, as well as to use precise language and compose appropriate results-oriented emails. Trainers Nadine Bustos and Kate Sweeney from Exec|Comm received kudos for conducting an 'interactive', 'supportive' session with excellent worksheets and practice material. Participants also appreciated the 'practical' information the speakers provided. The workshop was attended by small business owners as well as professionals looking to boost their business communication skills. It was held at Bovis Lend Lease in Manhattan. View event
flyer and pictures.


July 22, 2008
AWIB President Bonnie Wong was
honored by the National Minority Business Council at their 36th Anniversary Celebration. Bonnie was feted for her years of community leadership and entrepreneurship at the event, which was held at the Bank of New York Mellon.


June 17, 2008
AWIB's Fourth Annual Corporate Leadership Conference - Born to Lead: Corporate Asian Women Making a Difference was a big hit with attendees. Top Asian women executives took part in a lively forum discussing issues of leadership and success in the corporate world. The varied backgrounds of the speakers - from biotechnology to retail to recruiting and professional services - also added to the appeal of the event. The evening began with a networking reception which offered attendees a chance to meet with their peers from across industries. A panel discussion followed and guest speakers were Barbara Adachi, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Amy de Rham, Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry International, Maykin Ho, Partner, Goldman Sachs, and Aru Kulkarni, President, Jones Apparel Group. Alina Cho, Correspondent, CNN served as moderator and brilliantly guided the discussion covering a broad cross section of topics to make it an excellent learning experience. An exciting Q&A session with attendees offered a look at the women behind the leaders. This was followed by a dessert reception to allow for more networking and one-on-one conversations with the speakers. The evening also served a great cause - all proceeds from Born to Lead will go towards the Asian Women In Business Scholarship Fund - which promotes leadership among Asian women in college. A special thanks to Goldman Sachs for their partnership - AWIB appreciates their commitment to promoting and developing Asian women leaders; and NYSE Euronext for their generosity.
View the 2008 Born to Lead Conference
invitation and pictures from the event. Learn more about the AWIB Scholarship Fund.


May 15, 2008
AWIB's Annual Conference: Procurement Opportunities for Minority/Women-owned Businesses attracted M/WBEs from across the tri-state area for a day of information, business growth and networking. It offered one-stop shopping for small businesses looking to meet one-on-one with corporate buyers, learn about doing business with corporations and the government as well as ample B2B networking opportunities.

Conference Highlights:

Corporate Matchmaking: Always in high-demand, this session was for pre-qualified business owners, who had the opportunity to present their product or service to buyers from various corporations. These one-on-one private meetings are conducted based on products or services requested by corporations and have resulted in successful contracts for M/WBEs. Going by the positive feedback received from corporations, we expect a number of fruitful corporate/M/WBE partnerships from this year's conference. Participants in the Matchmaking were ADP, AT&T, Bloomingdales, The Bank of New York Mellon, Battery Park City Authority, Con Edison, Credit Suisse, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, HBO, Ogilvy & Mather, Phoenix Constructors, Skanska, Wal-Mart, and Xerox. The diversity of companies on the list, ranging from banking to advertising to construction, offered the maximum opportunity for a large number of small businesses to explore business relationships.

Interactive Discussions: For many business owners - the information sessions were particularly rewarding, since they covered a number of procurement areas. In addition to hearing from procurement officials, they got to ask questions and meet with the speakers after the sessions. The panels included:

Doing Business with New York City & State Government: Co-sponsored by the NYC Dept of Small Business services, the discussion offered a look into the process and opportunities in a number of New York City and State Agencies. Participants included the Department of Small Business Services, Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Education, Empire State Development Corporation and NY State Department of Transportation.

Opportunities with Regional Authorities & Institutes of Higher Education: Regional Authorities and Universities offer excellent procurement potential for small businesses. The discussion included the major players in the New York region, including The Port Authority of NY/NJ, New Jersey Transit, Baruch College, Columbia University and Fordham University.

Selling to Corporate America: Each year AWIB invites Fortune 500 companies to share their procurement processes as well as best ways for small businesses to get their foot in the door. Our participants this year were ADP, AIG, Bloomingdales, The Bank of New York Mellon, Con Edison and Wal-Mart. Attendees got to hear from procurement and supplier diversity officers from these corporations, the do's and don'ts of the process and were appreciative of the frank input provided by the speakers. The conversation continued after the discussion and Q&A, as many stayed back to introduce their companies to the speakers.

Exhibitors: In addition to the above, nearly 35 exhibitors shared procurement related information for attendees. Exhibitors included private corporations, City, State and Federal Agencies, Universities, Regional Authorities including Aetna, American Airlines, Battery Park City Authority, Empire State Development Corporation, Environmental Protection Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Long Island Power Authority/National Grid, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, NASA, Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs, New Jersey Department of Treasury, New York Power Authority, NJ Transit, NY State Department of Transportation, NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services, NYC Department of Education, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, NYC Department of Sanitation, NYC Department of Small Business Services, NYC Department of Transportation, NYC Economic Development Corporation, NYC Fire Department, NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation, NYC Housing Authority, NYS Dormitory Authority, Phoenix Constructors, Port Authority of NY/NJ, Skanska, The Bank of New York Mellon, US Department of Labor, US General Services Administration, US Postal Service, and US Small Business Administration.
Take a look at the event
agenda and a list of participating corporations, government agencies, local authorities and universities. A special thanks to Claire Scanlon and The Bank of New York Mellon for hosting the Conference for the third year in a row. View pictures from the event.


May 12, 2008
AWIB members and supporters enjoyed a private reception and spectacular performance by Asian Americans on Broadway as part of our Asian Heritage Month celebration which was held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The evening received glowing praise from all attendees. The evening opened with welcome remarks by Bonnie Wong of Asian Women In Business and Donna Williams of the Metropolitan Museum. The audience was wowed by outstanding performances by Ann Harada (Avenue Q, Les Miserables, M. Butterfly), Christine Toy Johnson (The Music Man, Grease, Bombay Dreams), Jose Llana (Flower Drum Song, Rent), conductor Gary Adler and percussionist Michael Croiter. There was also a viewing of the Astor Court and Arts of Japan Galleries. View p
ictures from the event.


April 22, 2008
AWIB's Spring Networking Reception & Dessert Tasting attracted over 150 members and guests to an evening of networking, information sharing, and tasting of a mouthwatering selection of delicacies from top Asian women dessert makers. Held at Ogilvy & Mather's worldwide headquarters in Manhattan, the beautiful location served as the perfect backdrop. Members got to bring literature on their businesses for the networking table and also learned about making the most of membership with Asian Women In Business. The conversations took place over a reception with sparkling wine. The Dessert Tasting, was, of course a big attraction and the three Asian women featured were:
Surbhi Sahni, celebrated pastry chef from Devi, one of the City's most followed Indian restaurants, who brought her signature mango panna cotta and rose kheer;
Kee Ling Tong, renowned chocolatier and owner of the charming boutique Kee's Chocolates in SOHO. Her exquisite handcrafted chocolate creations offer a surprise with each bite and guests thoroughly enjoyed the Jasmine and Thai Chilli flavors Kee chose for the evening;
Daniellan Louie, young and self-taught, her year-old Ivy Bakery is the darling of her Brooklyn neighborhood with its full range of comfort confections from brownies to cheesecakes to seasonal specialties. Her assortment of items along with Surbhi's and Kee's creations offered a sweet conclusion to the evening.


March - April 2008
AWIB's comprehensive
series - Starting Your Business 101 benefitted new and existing business owners. The four-part sessions offered important information on the vital steps to starting and running a successful business. The series began with 'Writing a Business Plan', conducted by the always popular Joyce Moy, SBDC LaGuardia Community College. Week 2 provided attendees insights into 'Legal Structures, Record Keeping and Tax Issues'. Julia Cheng, Esq., Partner, CyberlawStudio, covered legal structures and options for businesses, while Chunyee Miot, CPA, delved into record keeping and tax related issues. Week 3 taught attendees basic marketing in 'Marketing Fundamentals' and was conducted by Miranda Tan, CEO, MyPRGenie. The series concluded with 'Financing and Insurance' covering bank loans, SBA-guaranteed financing, alternate sources of financing and finally essential business insurance. This session was conducted by Natalie Bries, VP, Sovereign Bank, Man-Li Kuo Lin, Business Development Specialist, SBA, Yurinha Schmidt, Accion, and David Louie of David J.Louie. The classes as well as variety and expertise of speakers received excellent ratings. AWIB's series, which is offered twice a year, always attracts a full house and is taken advantage of by new as well as existing business owners looking to hone up on specific topics. The classes were held at Microsoft in Manhattan.


March 26, 2008
AWIB's members and supporters were invited to a Women's History Month reception at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was a night of good music, food and display of 65 costumes and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present, as part of the Museum's new exhibition blog.mode: addressing fashion. Some of the collections on view during the evening were made by Galliano, Yves Saint Laurent, Yohji Yamamoto and more. Invitations to private events at the Museum are an eagerly anticipated perk enjoyed by AWIB's members, and is a result of President Bonnie Wong's membership of the Multicultural Audience Development Advisory Committee.


March 20, 2008
AWIB held a
workshop for business owners Open Doors to New Business Opportunities: Get Certified as an M/WBE New York City. About 70 attendees received information on New York City certification requirements and how to use it as a tool to gain valuable access to City contracting opportunities from AWIB President Bonnie Wong and NYC Department of Small Business Services' Carolyn Githinji. The session was held in conjunction with the office of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who also addressed the audience. Attendees from the workshop or other M/WBEs in business for at least one year can call AWIB at 212.868.1368 to schedule an appointment for assistance with getting certified. The workshop was co-sponsored by Cornell University's Institute for Women and Work and held at their midtown location. AWIB's M/WBE certification classes have benefitted hundreds of small business owners over the past year and a half. AWIB will be conducting more sessions in the coming months and classes are free to attend. Take a look at upcoming events for details.


February 29, 2008
AWIB held a
workshop for business owners Grow Your Business by Getting Certified as a Minority or Women-owned Business Enterprise. A full house of participants got information on the M/WBE certification with New York City -- the process, requirements and how to leverage certification as a marketing tool when seeking contracts with the City and other government agencies. The session was held in Flushing, Queens in conjunction with the office of Hon. Ellen Young, New York State Assemblywoman. Hundreds of small business owners have taken advantage of AWIB's M/WBE certification assistance over the past year and a half. AWIB will be conducting more sessions in the coming months and classes are free to attend. Take a look at upcoming events for details.


February 27, 2008
workshop on public speaking - Speak Up and Speak Out: Mastering the Art of Public Speaking and Presentations, was, as usual a big hit with participants. Workshop leader Tessie Tiaba has conducted this workshop for several years for AWIB and attendee evaluations have been consistently positive, including 'trainer and workshop were excellent', 'not just another lecture', 'great examples', 'immediate usable skills'. Participants got vital tips on speaking concisely and confidently while creating maximum impact. They also got pointers on identifying and maximizing one's speaking strengths, developing a natural style and overcoming nervousness. 



February 19, 2008
AWIB's Private Sample Sale & A Behind the Scenes Look at the Apparel Business offered enthusiastic attendees an evening of shopping, networking and learning. AWIB featured member Winnie Lung, President of Icicle Inc, whose women's wear lines are featured in fine stores across the country. Winnie shared her perspective both as exporter from Asia and importer/distributor in the US. Her valuable industry insights were based on over 20 years in the apparel business, including nine years as a business owner, and attendees took the opportunity to ask her a range of questions on the topic. The 
event included a wine and cheese reception and was held in her midtown showroom, offering gorgeous vistas of New York City - especially for the early birds who came in time to a beautiful sunset. In addition to the networking and talk, the shopping kept the attendees busy as they snatched up a variety of samples at great deals. 


February 11, 2008
The world of food has seen phenomenal growth in the last few years - from cooking shows to celebrity chefs and innovative restaurants. Asian women are making an impact in this culinary explosion - as chefs, authors and critics, behind the scenes and in the limelight. AWIB highlighted four of these women during a panel discussion held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art titled Beyond Cooking: A conversation with Asian Women In the Culinary Arts. Speakers were Lee Anne WongExecutive Chef of Event OperationsFrench Culinary InstituteTop Chef Contestant & Culinary ProducerSo Hui KimChef & OwnerThe Good ForkEileen Yin-Fei LoTeaching Chef, Author and ConsultantSurbhi SahniPastry ChefDevi Restaurant. The moderator was Vibhuti PatelJournalist & Assistant EditorNewsweek International. Attendees enjoyed the panelists' candid sharing of experiences from a career in a grueling and fickle industry. The conversation continued during the networking reception which followed, in the beautiful Patron's Lounge. The evening began with a presentation by the Museum, 'Culinary Delights in the Visual Arts,' which was held in the Trustee's Boardroom. Take a look at the flyer,
pictures and speaker bios


January 29, 2008
AWIB held a 
party for member Christina Seid, owner of the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, marking her literary debut as author of Saturdays in Chinatown, a tribute to ice cream and Chinatown. The event, aptly called A Celebration of Ice Cream: Book Party and Tasting included a tasting of her popular Almond Cookie, Mango, Green Tea & Black Sesame flavors along with a wine and cheese reception. Christina discussed her book with the audience and obliged a steady stream of visitors with autographed copies. The event was held at AWIB's headquarters in midtown. 


January 22, 2008
AWIB's workshop, Succeed in Sales: How to Sell and Close Like a Pro drew solid reviews. Workshop leaders Nancy Soon, Vice President, Franchise Operations, Drama Kids International and Rochelle Togo-Figa, sales business coach and motivational speaker received high praise for their knowledge and quality of information provided. 'Excellent workshop', 'informative', 'articulate', 'I felt connected' are some of the attendee comments. Nancy covered the pre-sales aspects, including building a relationship, prospecting and the sales call process. Rochelle discussed the process of opening a meeting, asking and answering questions, overcoming objections and closing a sale. The 
workshop concluded with a Q&A session. It was held at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in Manhattan. 


JANUARY 16, 2008
AWIB held a 
workshop for Korean business owners on getting certified with New York City as a Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE). The free workshop walked attendees through the City's certification requirements and how to subsequently gain greater access to contracting opportunities with government agencies. New York City and its agencies purchase $15.7 billion worth of goods and services every year, making this an excellent market for M/WBEs to explore. 

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