2014 Highlights of Asian Women In Business


Tuesday, December 16, 2014
AWIB Holiday Party

AWIB's 2014 holiday party was festive and fun, held at a welcoming and holiday decorated Flatiron loft. A little rain could not stop the festivities and the celebrants happily toasted the holiday season. AWIB members and friends enjoyed a variety of different Asian cuisines, the flowing wine, beer and champagne and the fabulous desserts (chocolate dipped strawberries, homemade cookies and cupcakes). Guests ate and drank to their heart's content and the apartment was filled with brisk conversation - we saw many new found connections and friendships made throughout the evening. Lucky winners of the raffle draw walked away with awesome prizes, which included two round tickets to Asia from Delta Airlines, jewelry from Tiffany, crystal wine glasses, a Tory Burch tote bag and more, Everyone left the party with a hand-painted Ganesh - in keeping with our multi-cultural celebration of the season and our wish for an extra blessing to bring home.

View the invitation and photos.



Monday, November 24, 2014
Financing Your Business

Just about every small business owner thinks about obtaining financing. Options are now broader than ever before, but we need to understand what they are and how our businesses may benefit to make the right decision. AWIB's final workshop, the last of its four part series, covered various options to consider when and if you want to raise funds for your business. Anna Zheng, Business Banking Area Manager at Chase Business Banking, discussed the different types of loans that are available from banks and the criteria they follow to evaluate borrowers. Man-Li Kuo Lin, Supervisory Economic Development Specialist at the U.S. Small Business Administration, covered the long list of programs and services offered by SBA and how certification as an 8a or locating in a Hubzone can help a business grow. Veronica Guzman, founder of WAM Ventures, spoke about the growing opportunities in raising capital through crowdfunding, angel investing, and venture capital. The workshop series was successful and many of the attendees left fired up to start their ventures. As always, we thank Microsoft for hosting our workshops.

View photos from the event.

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Cocktails at Tiffany

It was a lucky night for some AWIB friends and supporters at Tiffany Wall Street where they purchased keys to unlock Tiffany treasures. AWIB and Tiffany & Co. hosted Cocktails at Tiffany and Keys for a Cause, by welcoming attendees to browse the Tiffany collection while enjoying Cipriani's signature drink, the Bellini, and a variety of passed hors d'oeuvres. Tiffany & Co. donated jewelry to help AWIB raise money and 100% of the proceeds for purchasing keys went to AWIB. The environment was glittering and conductive to networking in the fine fashion and as the evening ended, we slowly packed up and went out into the cold with thoughts of hours well spent with AWIB friends. 

View invitation and photos from the event.

Monday, November 17, 2014
Marketing -  On and Offline Strategies

A solid marketing strategy can go a long way in developing a strong business. But with little money and even less time, how do you determine the most cost-effective marketing strategies among the myriad of options out there? AWIB welcomed three speakers to discuss different tools on how to build your brand and promote your business. Fanny Lawren, marketing consultant at nyzUSA, began the session by covering elements of a marketing plan. Mitali Banerjee, a strategist at Blue Fountain Media, discussed ways to develop online strategies (i.e. designing a timeline for customer experiences). The final speaker, Donna Kim, a digital media strategist, concluded the workshop by sharing her experiences working with top social media platforms. Attendees eagerly asked questions and developed ideas on how to market their specific businesses. 

View photos from the event.

Monday, November 10, 2014
Legal Structures, Taxes, and Record Keeping
Operating a successful small business requires an understanding of legal requirements and taxes. Of course, many of us hire lawyers and accountants but if you don't have sufficient funds, what must know? And, even if you do have the money, a basic understanding will give you more control and knowledge to make important legal and accounting decisions. AWIB welcomed Samiya Mir, partner at Katona & Mir LLP (www.katonamir.com), and Chunyee Miot (www.chunyeecpa.com), a certified public accountant and was back again this year. They are frequent workshop facilitators for AWIB, selected because of their experience and ability to effectively teach legal and tax issues. Samiya discussed issues you need to consider to decide on an appropriate legal structure and covered employment practices, liability and other relevant legal issues (Simiya's PowerPoint presentation). Chunyee made a rather dry topic into something more interesting and emphasized the importance of accurate bookkeeping and the types of filings made to IRS and other government agencies. She also discussed basic accounting terminology to empower entrepreneurs when dealing with necessary numbers for their businesses. (Chunyee's PowerPoint presentation). The workshop went beyond the allotted schedule with eager audience members asking questions and learning as much as possible. 
View photos from the event.

Monday, November 3, 2014 
Writing A Business Plan
The "Writing A Business Plan" workshop kicked off AWIB's four-part "Starting Your Business 101" workshop series, held at Microsoft, with great success. The class was led by Alice Wang, co-founder and former CEO of Spark Box Toys, an e-commerce company that provides a Netflix-like service for children's toys. Alice's insights from her journey in starting a business gave aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners a realistic picture of what to do and expect when starting a business and sitting down to write a business plan. Attendees also participated in an interactive session where they were able to hear each other's business ideas, ask questions, and offer suggestions. Feedback from the workshop was excellent and indicated Alice's positive style as informative, sharp, and engaging. 
This workshop is part of one of our four-part series. View photos from the event.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014
An Evening with Hollywood Legend Nancy Kwan
AWIB assisted in the outreach to the Asian community for the New-York Historical Society sponsored interview with Hollywood star, Nancy Kwan. Kwan delighted the audience of 350 people with her down-to-earth recount of her extraordinary life. From an aspiring ballet dancer to a famous actress, Kwan spoke of her first screen test for Suzie Wong, her endearing friendship with Bruce Lee, chance encounters with Fred Astaire, and many famous male leads. Becoming the most visible Asian actress after starring in The World of Suzie Wong and soon thereafter, Flower Drum Song, Kwan's groundbreaking roles influenced and inspired future generations of Asian actors. Her career also extended to owning a production company in Hong Kong, producing a successful instructional video, T'ai Chi Chu'an, and playing multiple ethnic roles in over 40 films. She spoke of declining stereotypical parts, and being blacklisted by studios after travelling to the People's Republic of China. The interview was followed by a private tour of the exhibit, Chinese Americans: Exclusion/Inclusion.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Fall Reception at Fendi
AWIB and friends celebrated the beginning of the fall season with a private reception at the Fendi Boutique on Fifth Avenue. Attendees enjoyed the hospitality and appreciated the ever flowing champagne and passed hors d'oeuvres while perusing (and trying on) beautiful Fendi accessories, shoes and apparel. Lively conversation came naturally. Shoppers received 10% off of their purchases that night and Fendi donated 10% of the evening's proceeds to AWIB. AWIB's reception at this flagship store will be the last group event Fendi hosts before they move to an even more glamorous space on the corner of Madison Avenue and 57th Street. 
View invitation and photos from the event.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Chelsea Art Tour
AWIB led a private, Asian-themed gallery crawl through the Chelsea art district, guided by art advisor Pearl Albino. We visited four galleries - all of which were either owned by an Asian American, or featured Asian Art. The first stop was Koenig & Clinton Gallery, which featured Lily Van Der Stokker's solo exhibition challenging the ideas on beauty and femininity tethered with the cheap and vacant. We saw A Colorful World? at the Klein Sun Gallery, Liu Bolin's solo show of new sculptures, photographs, and lightboxes, and Maria Park's solo exhibition, Composition, at the Margaret Thatcher Projects. The tour ended with a reception at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery, whose current exhibition, Anthropos New York, featured 12 contemporary artists from Thailand and Singapore. Attendees were able to interact with one of the works - thousands of miniature porcelain skulls laid out in a rectangular box on the ground and we were invited to walk on them. 
The tour was not only engaging, but highly informative; Pearl and all of the gallery owners and assistants were on hand to answer any of the questions that attendees had, ranging from questions about specific artworks, to the general state of the art world. The gallery tour was also a fun networking opportunity for the AWIB community. If you were not about to attend the event, you can read the article to see all the highlights of the evening.
View the tour guide/gallery bios, and photos from the event.


Thursday, August 21, 2014
Reinventing Yourself at Any Age
Making a major life change can be intimidating, but you are not alone. At an event held   at the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, AWIB featured a group of ordinary women (like you and me) who took the steps to transform their careers. The interactive discussion included Julie Azuma, an apparel industry executive who created a career around the needs of her autistic child; Conlyn Chan, a lawyer who became a handbag designer; Geetha Jayaraman, a corporate financial analyst who turned a family recipe for plantains into a must-have snack; Christine Moran, a lawyer-turned-media professional; and Cyrilla Suwarsa, a graphic designer who now sells premium cashews. The panelists each shared the history of their careers, what made them decide to change paths, and gave advice during Q&A to attendees who were thinking about doing the same. A networking reception followed the event and allowed the newly-inspired attendees to sample Geetha's plantain chips and Cyrilla's cashews as well as admire the handbags designed by Conlyn and marvel at the extent of the products Julie offers to deal with autism. The conversation continued while we enjoyed the delicious Indian food catered by Rajbhog Foods.
View event flyer and speaker bios, and photos.

Monday, June 30, 2014
Born to Lead: Beyond the Glass Ceiling
AWIB held its tenth annual Corporate Asian Women's Leadership Forum, Born to Lead: Beyond the Glass Ceiling, at McGraw Hill financial. The event gave attendees double networking -- during the reception prior to the start of the program, and then a dessert reception at the end. The annual forum highlights the accomplishments of Asian women who have become influential leaders in corporate America, and allows them to share their insights on career advancement and work-life balance. This year's esteemed panelists were Anu Aiyengar, M&A Managing Director, J.P. Morgan; Martina L. Cheung, Chief Strategy Officer, McGraw Hill Financial, Susan Soh, Partner, Perella Weinberg Partners LP, and Julie Yoo, SVP, Corporate Development, Scripps Networks Interactive. The moderator was Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author, Sheryl WuDunn. The panelists were articulate, open, and humorous, and evening passed by in a flash with a lively Q&A period which addressed some of the issues women face in Corporate America. AWIB thanks McGraw Hill Financial for providing the wonderful space and great food. 
View speaker bios, program flyer, and photos.



Tuesday, June 3, 2014
AWIB Procurement Opportunities Conference
About 400 attendees took the opportunity to network, exchange ideas; learn practices from leaders, peers, and experts to help grow their small business at AWIB's 11th Annual Procurement Opportunities Conference held at BNY Mellon. The conference offered an extensive exhibition area, one-on-one corporate matchmaking sessions, B2B networking, and industry expert-led panel discussions, designed to help minority and women business owners.
Scott M. Stringer, Comptroller of the City of New York, and Maria Torres-Springer, the first woman Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services provided keynote speeches during the morning plenary session. In addition to federal, state, and city exhibitors that were ready to meet with vendors, AWIB's conference provided an opportunity for pre-qualified minority and women-owned firms to meet privately with purchasing officers from Fortune 1000 corporations. Conference attendees engaged in expert-led panel discussions with Q&A sessions that allowed business owners to further acquire knowledge into obtaining corporate and government contracts.
View program announcement and photos.

Friday, May 16, 2014
Spring Potluck Dinner
AWIB members and their guests gathered together for the 2014 Potluck Dinner to celebrate the Spring season! Not only were dinner guests able to eat the ample amount of delicious Asian-inspired dishes brought to the potluck, AWIB members and their guests mingled with new friends while catching up with old ones, cultivating a stronger AWIB community. See what you missed by viewing the photos! 
View program flyer and photos from the events.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Raising the Bar: Asian Women Corporate Counsel
For the fourth year running, AWIB has highlighted Asian Women legal professionals during the annual Raising the Bar legal forum, with the focus this year on Asian women internal counsel in corporate America. Attendees were able to participate in meaningful dialogue with a distinguished panel who presented their views on various topics relating to corporate counsel, from how to effectively transfer to an in-house position, the pros and cons to moving from private practice to in-house counsel, to what internal corporate counsel look for when hiring outside firms. The discussion was not only informative, but the panelists were thoughtful, engaging, and often humorous. The audience was engaged and peppered the panelists with many questions. A reception followed the panel discussion. Panelists: Jannie Lau, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, InterDigital, Inc.; Yvonne Tran, Vice President, General Counsel, Schrodinger; Vivian Tseng, Vice President and General counsel, Welch Food, Inc.; and Pauline Wen, Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Viacom Media Networks. The moderator was Sylvia Chin, Partner/Of Counsel, White & Case LLP.
We thank White & Case for sponsoring Raising the Bar for the second year. 
View program announcement, speaker bios, and photos.

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Startup Strategies: Asian women on the Forefront
Entrepreneurial energy filled the air as both familiar and new faces joined AWIB at Google for our panel discussion, Startup Strategies: Asian Women on the Forefront. The panel of entrepreneurs: Sonpreet Bhatia, Co-Founder & Chief Product and Technology Officers, MyCityWay; Lily Liu, Co-Founder, PublicStuff; and Wendy Nguyen, Co-Founder and CEO of HealthyOut offered our audience a wide range of advice as our moderator Angela Lee, founder of 37 Angels, led the conversation. The discussion pulsated with infectious passion as our panelists gave honest and comprehensive answers to varying topics, including what influenced their decision to start a business, what they look for in investors, co-founders, and staff, how they market themselves and what success ultimately means to them.
In an informal reception that followed, guests enjoyed the company of other like-minded entrepreneurs. Many expressed that it was particularly inspiring hearing from Asian Women start-ups who were not so different than they were. The attendees left with sound advice and newly formed connections, but most importantly a reminder for what is possible when passion, hard work, and good management coincide. 
View program announcement, speaker bios, photos, and video.

March 5, 2014
Women's History Month Celebration @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Only AWIB members were invited to this exclusive reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was the largest Women's History Month celebration the Met has ever hosted, and we were thrilled to be a part of it. Awards were given out during the reception for outstanding achievement in furthering women's empowerment. Recipients were: Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President; Susan Taylor, Founder and CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement and Bonnie Wong, President, Asian Women in Business. 
Guests enjoyed a private viewing of two current exhibits: The nelson A. Rockefeller Vision: In Pursuit of the Best in the Arts of Africa, and the Americas. And, Jewels by JAR, which features more than four-hundred works by one of the most acclaimed jewelry designers of the twentieth century, Joel A. Rosenthal.
View photos and invitation.

February, 27, 2014
National Minority Business Council 34th Annual Awards Luncheon
NMBC held its annual awards luncheon at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York City honoring entrepreneurs, corporate sponsors, and community organizations that support minority-owned businesses. Awardees were recognized for outstanding accomplishments in supplier, diversity, female entrepreneurship, education, service by or to Veterans and sustainability. Asian Women In Business was honored with the Charles T. Haffey Community Service Award for nearly two decades of work promoting and supporting Asian women entrepreneurs and professionals.
View the invitation for a list of all the award recipients.

February 20, 2014
Speak Up and Speak Out: Mastering the Art of Public Speaking
Attendees at our Speak Up and Speak Out: Mastering the Art of Public Speaking event was thrilled by the interactive workshop led by Robyn Hatcher. As the founder and CEO of SpeakEtc., a communication and presentation skills training company, not to mention a self-proclaimed former wallflower, she had plenty of advice to share. Robyn covered a variety of topics ranging from gestures and tone of voice to non-verbal communication explaining how each contributes to effective communication. Through a series of hotseat exercises and challenges, the audience was able to practice and receive immediate constructive feedback - the 3 hour intensive session flew by in no time! Robyn's engaging and entertaining attitude melted away the tension and anxiety that comes from public speaking. By the end, the attendees were equipped with confidence and empowered with tips and tricks for their next speaking engagement.
Robyn's dynamic workshop proved to be effective and engaging. All audience members, regardless of industry, gave her excellent reviews across the board and felt that she delivered immediate value. One attendee even gave her a rating that was off the charts! 
View the program announcement, speaker bio, and photos from the workshop.



February 10, 2014
Lunar New Year Celebration @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art
AWIB members and supporters welcome the Year of the Horse with a private viewing and reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The featured exhibitions were Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China and Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom. The event bustled with energy as guests enjoyed a mélange of both Western and Eastern influenced hors d'oeuvres and a thrilling lion dance performance. Invitations to private events at the museum are an eagerly anticipated perk enjoyed by AWIB's members, and is made possible by President Bonnie Wong's membership of the Multicultural Audience Development initiative Advisory Committee. 
View photos and invitation.

January 22, 2014
Facing Fears: Harnessing the Power Within
Our Facing Fears: Harnessing the Power Within workshop empowered attendees by having them publicly declare their fears and put forth action items to face them. Patty Chang Anker, a featured speaker on TEDx and author of Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While becoming Brave, led this interactive workshop of a group women anxious to tackle the issues which hold them back. Patty guided attendees' through practical exercise to uncover the root of their fears as the first step towards overcoming them. Some fears take longer and may even require professional training and guidance. She gave examples of what others have done as well as their experience in overcoming fears and helped attendees make a plan of attack to deal with their fears. Participants were even encouraged to tweet her about their fears and what they will do about it as a way to hold them accountable. Patty was relaxed, funny and caring in her presentation and reassured everyone that it's never too late to make a change in your life. She left attendees with a sound advice, "Someone needs to believe in you, but if not - you need to believe in yourself."
View program announcement and speaker's bio, and photos.



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