2015 Asian Women In Business Past Programs


December 11, 2015
AWIB Holiday Party

AWIB’s 2015 Holiday Party was held at Tenri Gallery in the West Village.  Our members and friends gathered for a festive evening of dining and networking while appreciating contemporary art.  We had Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cuisines and desserts were prepared by Akiyo Takemura, AWIB member and professional pastry chef.  Wine, sake, beer, tea and whiskey were flowing and paired well with our Asian cuisine.  We were pleased to feature Rose Jia, Founder of Whiskey Me Up, who teamed up with Teeling Irish Whiskey to conduct a tasting to help our guests discover their whiskey persona based on their taste preferences. 

This year's raffle drawing was full of amazing prizes, which included; a Tourneau alligator band watch, a Nobu Restaurant dining certificate, a get-away for two, a gift basket of Estee Lauder Cosmetics, and more!  All of our guests enjoyed this wonderful opportunity to celebrate the holidays, catch up with old friends and make new ones while savoring delicious food and a variety of drinks.

We thank the generous donors for supporting our 2015 Holiday Party.

View the photos from the event.



December 1, 2015
Investing in Single & Multi-Family Real Estate – Bringing Out Your Inner Mini-Mogul

We concluded our Mini-Mogul program with “Investing in Single & Multi-Family Real Estate.” Lorna McManus, Co-Founder of GreenPen Investments, Inc, provided a step-by-step guide to fix-and-flip and covered the following topics: how to find a property, how to manage risks, and who to bring on the team. She also discussed how to reach out to potential buyers or tenants and where to find financial resources. Lorna wrapped up her presentation by going over a few of the properties she handled in the New Jersey area.

Kamoy Smalling, Director of Titan Partners, introduced multi-family investments in the Bronx. An emerging market, the Bronx holds great potential for real estate investors, with more affordable properties than other boroughs.  Kamoy presented a brief introduction of the Bronx and shared her experience investing in multi-family real estate and covered:  project cost, strategies used to add value,  appraised value, and some pitfalls in rental properties.

Mary Kohilam-Chandrahasan, Partner, NDNY Architecture + Design, explained how to put a team together in a New York based renovation project.  She highlighted the role of each expert on the team: architect, engineer, surveyor, expediter, special inspector, and the contractor.  New York City construction/renovation regulations and permits were also discussed during her presentation.

Jill Sung, President and CEO of Abacus Federal Savings Bank, explained which factors affected small real estate investment financing: borrower’s background, property cash flow, property value, and property condition. As a banker, Jill was able to provide firsthand information on what a lender looks for when reviewing a loan application.   Abacus has 6 branches, located in NY, NJ and PA.

The audience appreciated the dynamics of the workshop and the expertise the panelists shared.  The workshop series on real estate was a great learning experience and AWIB is planning future events around various investments.

View bios, program announcement, and photos.

November 23, 2015
Financing Your Business

AWIB's final workshop, the last of its four part series, covered various options available for raising funds for a business.

Ming Rivera, Vice President at Chase Business Banking, discussed the different types of loans that are available from banks and the criteria that banks follow to evaluate borrowers. Man-Li Kuo Lin, Supervisory Economic Development Specialist at the U.S. Small Business Administration, covered programs and services offered by SBA. Amy Wu, Head of Finance and Operations at NewsCred, spoke about raising capital through angel investing, venture capital and crowdfunding. 

The four part series was successful. Many of the attendees commented on how useful they found the workshop to be. As always, we thank Microsoft for hosting our workshops.

View photos from the workshop.


November 19, 2015
Champagne Reception @ Kate Spade New York

AWIB hosted a champagne reception at the Kate Spade New York Madison Avenue flagship store. Our guests were treated to champagne and sweets while shopping and networking with the AWIB community. The flagship store is a beautiful 4 level townhouse which carries the full line of Kate Spade products, making it easy for our guests to make multiple purchases.  As a special treat for everyone who attended, all shoppers received 10% off on purchases made that evening and Kate Spade New York donated 10% of the evening’s proceeds to AWIB. 

View the invitation and photos

November 16, 2015
Online and Offline Marketing Strategies

Effective marketing is key to operating a successful business. Even if you have limited funds, there are plenty of marketing tactics you can use that will not blow your budget. AWIB’s “Online and Offline Marketing Strategies” had four great speakers who went over marketing strategies,  social media, branding and generating intriguing content to drive customer engagement. 

Rose Jia used her entrepreneurial experiences as the Founder of Whiskey Me Up, as well as examples of brands like GoPro and Apple, to demonstrate ways to identify one’s brand position. The material she covered provided attendees with some of the know-how that is necessary to steer their marketing strategies in the right direction.  Kanika Chadda-Gupta, Founder of Kronologie Agency, continued the class with online marketing strategies, giving a more specific view of how to use SEO, SEM, and Google AdWords to increase businesses’ visibility in the noisy online world.

Stephanie Voong, Founder of SV Consulting, shared her expertise on social media. She highlighted the benefits of using different platforms—including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram—as well as some advice on improving social media management. In addition, reaching new customers through social media strategy was a key point in Stephanie’s presentation.

Amy Choi, Senior Digital Strategist at Siren PR, provided insight on integrating social media with e-commerce websites to increase revenue. For example, placing shortened URLs for a company’s e-commerce website on social media profiles for customer outreach was among the tips she shared. She also went over the Do’s and Don’ts of content strategy with the class.

Attendees remarked that the speakers each had their own perspective, enabling the class to offer a broad, complementary range of knowledge to online and offline marketing strategies!

This workshop is part two of our four-part series on starting a business.  View speaker bios and photos.




November 11, 2015
Investing in Commercial Real Estate – Bringing Out Your Inner Mini-Mogul


“Investing in Commercial Real Estate” was the second session of our becoming a Mini-Mogul program.  Marilyn Kane kicked off the class by going over the importance of a 1031 Exchange, which allows an investor to sell a property, reinvest the proceeds in a new property, and defer capital gain taxes. She also talked about triple-net leases, which require the tenant to pay, in addition to rent, some or all of the property expenses that would normally be paid by the property owner.

Icy Liu and Debbie Hidajat highlighted real estate investment terminology, such as cap rate, IRR (internal rate of return), and cash on cash return. In addition, they went over formula that calculate property asset values. Icy and Debbie used an actual case study, a North Harlem property they have invested in, to illustrate cash flow and return of equity when investing in multi-family buildings.

Carolyn Kendzia introduced ground-up development, using a multi-use building her firm is developing in Harlem as an example. An affordable housing development, she went over the types of financing her firm received.  She discussed the development/construction timeline, and key factors that influence investment decisions, including land price, location, and market demand. 

Lisa Lim wrapped up the class by introducing affordable housing programs and how the City of New York will be emphasizing this over the next few years.  She touched on financing structure, eligibility, as well as application and closing processes.  Financial resources for building or preserving affordable housing were also provided to the attendees. Although some attendees felt that affordable housing was too “advanced” others enjoyed learning about this aspect of housing and just about everyone found the class to be informative and productive.

View speaker bios and photos.

November 9, 2015
Legal Structures, Taxes & Record Keeping

Of all the choices you make when starting a business, one of the most important is choosing a legal structure. Such a decision will not only impact how much you pay in taxes, but it will also affect the amount of paperwork you are required to do, the extent of your personal liability, and your ability to raise money.

Chandana Rao, Of Counsel at Washington Law PLLC, explained the strengths and weaknesses of different legal structures and the legal requirements in different states, providing the attendees with a good understanding of legal issues that small business owners might encounter.  Chunyee Miot, a certified public accountant, elaborated on the importance of selecting the right business structure, and compared tax considerations of different business types.  She highlighted several special business deductions for startup businesses, such as startup costs, organization costs, and home office deduction.  The audience was very eager to learn, and they continued the conversation even after the workshop had concluded.  Both presenters received excellent reviews for their knowledge and ability to make legal and accounting issues, dry topics to say the least, into an interesting evening.  

This workshop is part two of our four-part series on starting a business.  View photos from the event.




November 2, 2015
Writing A Business Plan

Our “Writing a Business Plan” workshop held at Microsoft was a great success. Roopa Unnikrishnan, founder of Center10 Consulting LLC, led the class with engaging and informative discussions. Roopa not only shared insights on putting together a solid business plan, but she also shared personal experiences from starting her own business. She covered key questions on determining the core values of a company, timing a business launch, finding clients, and managing employees. Roopa offered many useful resources and recommendations that attendees could later apply during their journey to building a business.  She also took the time to answer all the questions and offered great suggestions, making the class very interactive and participatory.

The class was concise and informative.  Attendees gave very positive feedback and appreciated having a chance to share business ideas and network with other business owners.

This workshop is part of one of our four-part series. View photos from the event.

October 13, 2015
Beauty On My Mind

AWIB’s “Beauty On My Mind” event on October 13th was a fabulous evening of shopping, networking, and learning about Korean beauty secrets. Sephora generously donated 10% of its October 13th sales at the 150 Broadway store to AWIB which encouraged our supporters to shop and shop.  Charlotte Cho – founder of Soko Glam, a Korean beauty and lifestyle website – joined us to share tips from her new book “The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin” and showed the crowd how to maximize their beauty during a live demonstration. Guests lined up to get a chance to sit with Ms. Cho to ask her advice on ways to enhance their beauty.  Sephora provided complimentary makeovers and many women went home looking radiant and beautiful.  A highlight of the evening was the raffle prize drawing, and 3 lucky women won $100 Sephora gift cards.  We thank Sephora for supporting AWIB!

View the event flyer and photos.




October 7, 2015
Investing In Real Estate - Bringing Out Your Inner Mini-Mogul
Overview of Investments

The AWIB workshop, “Investing In Real Estate – Bringing Out You Inner Mini-Mogul”, had its first session (series of 3) on October 7th to a full house.  Our Mini – Mogul program has been designed to educate people on investment opportunities and as such we went over types of commercial investments; valuations; concepts in commercial real estate (i.e. NOI, CAP Rate, LTV & DSCR) and the use of leverage.  Discussed was assessing your risk profile and choosing to be an active or passive investor.  Our panel of five shared their personal experiences and there was active audience participation which brought out many issues that we plan to cover in the second session of this very important series.  From all the interest, there were clearly many min-moguls in the making! 

View program announcement, bios and photos.

October 5, 2015
Chinese and Korean Spirits Paired with Dumplings

AWIB’s rooftop tasting @ the Monarch Rooftop Lounge landed on a perfect October evening.  Our guests networked with other professionals while learning about Chinese and Korean Spirits. Christina Cheung from Diamond Hong, an Asian fine wine and spirits importer, introduced us to five different kinds of Chinese Spirits including Sichuan Wu Liang Ye, Zhejiang Pagoda, Keichow Moutai, Jiansu Yang He and TTL Mi Chiuand.  We also tasted the most popular Korean wines, Makgeolli and Bokbunja Ju. Ms. Vanessa Weng, the owner of Vanessa’s Dumpling House, provided us with three kinds of dumplings - vegetable, pork and spicy beef - which she specially curated for the evening.  The stunning outdoor rooftop, the perfect weather and the lovely views of the City, made the evening a good start for the week. A door prize draw of the featured Chinese spirits gave 5 lucky winners something special to remember the evening by.

View event flyer, program and photos.



June 30, 2015
AWIB Procurement Opportunities Conference

The 2015 AWIB Procurement Opportunities Conference welcomed new and returning business owners at BNY Mellon, our long term sponsor and supporter for this annual event.  Once again, we were able to cultivate a vast range of opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses. The conference featured an extensive exhibition area, private appointments with corporate buyers, and industry expert-led panel discussions designed to help grow and advance small businesses.

The morning key note speaker was Scott M. Stringer, Comptroller of the City of New York, who spoke about his efforts to increase diversity among Investment Managers, his Boardroom Accountability Project to give shareholders a stronger voice on corporate governance and his MWBE letter rating system for city agencies.

Scott was followed by Maya Wiley, Counsel to the Mayor and W/MBE Director, who outlined some of the Mayor’s initiatives to increase the number of MWBE’s doing business with the City. Four workshops filled in the program and included Doing Business with Corporate America, Marketing to the Government, Take the 'Work’ Out of Networking and Speed Networking.  Simultaneous to the workshops were the one-on-one appointments between pre-qualified small businesses and Corporate representatives looking for specific products and services. The exhibition area was open throughout the event and M/WBE’s were able to meet with and talk to almost 40 vendors exhibiting that day. 

One attendee summed it up well when he stated “The speakers were top notch, the information that was provided was relevant and very informative (learned a lot!) and your team did a great job coordinating the day’s activities.  I was especially impressed with the one on one sessions with the prospective clients”.  A corporate matchmaker was thrilled with the vendors she met and commented that “the diligence of supplier selection for the matchmakers were on point….” The exhibitors were all pleased with the event and one government attendee reflected the sentiment of many when she complimented AWIB for bringing such diverse M/WBEs to the contracting process. Learn more about the conference here.

View program announcement and photos.


June 15, 2015
Indian Cuisine Paired with Tequila

A multi-course Indian dinner and 1800 tequila pairing was a delicious success. Araceli Ramos, a tequila master from Jose Cuervo, flew in from Mexico to take part in our dinner, and taught us how to properly taste tequila, as well as how to pair it with food. Executive Chef Hemant Mathur of Chote Nawab, a Michelin-starred restauranteur, crafted a menu especially for our guests that evening. The event started with the welcome cocktail made with 1800 Coconut and Pineapple juice. We then moved on to three different kinds of tequila, 1800 Silver, 1800 Reposado and 1800 Anejo. A tequila was paired with each course: four appetizers, five entrees and two desserts. For each pairing, Ms. Ramos explained how the tequila was made and showed us how to enjoy it- “Drink little by little as if you are kissing the tequila little by little.” Our guests had a wonderful time making new friends and connections while trying all of Chef Mathur’s dishes paired with the various tequilas. At the end of the evening, two lucky winners of the door prize draw walked away with a bottle of Reserva de la Familia, an ultra-premium tequila made of hand selected ten year old blue agave plants.

View event flyer, program and photos.



Monday, June 1, 2015
China Through the Looking Glass @ the Metropolitan Museum of Art

AWIB members were invited to this beautiful exhibition that explored the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. Organized by The Costume Institute in collaboration with the Department of Asian Art, AWIB members and their guests enjoyed a private viewing and reception in the Temple of Dendur.  

View invitation.

March 26, 2015
Raising the Bar : Asian Women Partners in Major Firms

For the fifth year, AWIB highlighted Asian women legal professionals during our annual Raising the Bar legal forum. This year, we engaged in a meaningful dialogue and learned from the experiences of a notable panel of Asian women partners in major law firms in the United States. What were their paths to success and advancement? Did they follow the "unwritten rules," "stick to the schedule," and "be perfect?"

Our panel discussion was led by Alice Young, the first Asian woman partner in a major law firm in New York.  She has a four (4) decade understanding of the partnership track and is a respected member of the legal and business community.  Our four panelists are partners in well-known law firms and each shared a unique story to their decision to pursue a career in law and their paths to achieving leadership roles in their respective firms.

Alice Young, Retired Partner, Chair of the Asia Pacific Practice, Kaye Scholer LLP

Jasmine Ball, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Linda Ji, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP
Teena-Ann V. Sankoorikal, Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Susan L. Shin, Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP

View program announcement, bios and photo  



March 19, 2015
Spring Potluck Dinner

Even though it was cold outside, spring was in the air during the 2015 Potluck Dinner held at a loft in the Flatiron district. AWIB members and their guests gathered together and enjoyed good food and drink while mingling and conversing in a friendly atmosphere. We had a variety of Asian cuisines - Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Filipino and more. Attendees networked with new friends and caught up with old ones in between delicious bites of food. It was great to see the AWIB community strengthened. See what you missed by viewing the pictures.

View flyer and photo

February 17, 2015
Lunar New Year Celebration @ the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Our second celebration in February, AWIB members and supporters were invited to this exclusive Lunar New Year reception and viewing to welcome in the Year of the Ram. Attendees enjoyed a reception in the Temple of Dendur and a private viewing of The Art of the Chinese Album. The exhibition explored ways that artists have used this format from the twelfth century to the present. Of course, we had lions welcoming us and bringing good fortune. The keynote speaker for the evening was the Honorable Grace Meng, member of the U.S. Congress.

View invitation and photo


February 3, 2015
Champagne Reception @ Burberry

Another celebration of the Lunar New Year, our guests enjoyed an evening of private and personalized shopping, and tasted a selection of Asian passed hors d'oeuvres.   The raffle draw price was a beautiful Burberry trench coat and the winner was our own Donna Williams.  It was a great event and you had to be there to be a part of the conversation at the Burberry flagship store on east 57th street, New York City.

View Invitation



February 2, 2015
Speak Up & Speak Out : Mastering the Art of Public Speaking

An interactive public speaking workshop was led by AWIB member, 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. The 3 hour intensive session flew by in no time! 

Robyn's dynamic workshop proved to be effective and engaging. The written evaluations given at the end of the session were off the chart and everyone felt that their time was well spent.  

View flyer and photo



Check out Our Programs in Prior Years

2014 Program Archive
2013 Program Archive

2012 Program Archive
2011 Program Archive
2010 Program Archive
2009 Program Archive
2008 Program Archive
2007 Program Archive
2006 Program Archive
2005 Program Archive
2004 Program Archive
2003 Program Archive
2002 Program Archive
2001 Program Archive
2000 Program Archive
1999 Program Archive
1998 Program Archive
1997 Program Archive






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