2017 Asian Women In Business Past Programs

Monday, December 18, 2017
AWIB 2017 Holiday Party

AWIB’s 2017 Holiday Party was held at Carma Asian Tapas in the West Village, where members and supporters gathered to celebrate the holiday season together. We filled the restaurant to capacity, mingling and networking the night away over a buffet dinner of Asian fusion dishes and an open wine bar. Anjali Desai, daughter of AWIB member Dharti Desai, sang for the audience and wowed them with her performance, and even sang an Indian song upon request!

In addition to enjoying the festive atmosphere, attendees anxiously awaited AWIB’s extensive raffle draw. People were all smiles upon winning prizes, which included two weekend getaways to Honor’s Haven Resort and Spa, a basket of Sisley Paris beauty products and lunch and facials at Neiman Marcus, dinner for two at Vaucluse, classes at Exhale Spa, gift certificates to Brooks Brothers, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Lady M’s, and more. The air was full of joyous cheer and full-bellied laughter, and everyone parted ways upon the evening’s end having made new connections and catching up with longtime friends.

We thank our generous donors for their participation.

Happy Holidays from Asian Women In Business!

Please see event invitation and photos.


Monday, November 13, 2017
Reinventing Yourself: Career & Life Pivots

While making major changes in your career can be a leap of faith too intimidating for some, our impressive panel of speakers dared to pivot in their career trajectories and establish successful businesses in the process. Attendees were inspired by their stories, eager to learn more from them and hear about their experiences.

Michele Fino, AWIB Member, Chief Marketing Officer of DoSomething.org, and moderator for the evening, introduced the evening’s speakers: Alice Cheng, Founder and CEO of Culinary Agents; Chitra Agrawal, Founder of Brooklyn Delhi; and Shunan Teng, Founder & CEO of Tea Drunk. Panelists introduced themselves with short stories of how their journeys to entrepreneurship had unfolded, following long-time careers in vastly differing fields.

Alice shared her experience of having been a 13 year IBM employee who decided to pursue her culinary passion and build a career out of it. She was able to raise over $4 million from venture capitalists, for her company, Culinary Agents, an online networking and job matching site for food, beverage and hospitality professionals.  Chitra talked about having worked in environments in which she was surrounded by people who weren’t passionate about their careers. Always returning home to cook for and with her family, Chitra started documenting her family’s recipes. These recipes were not only shared amongst the “Brooklyn underground homestyle cooking food community,” but also on her blog which soon caught the eye of Random House, and launched her career as an entrepreneur and published author. Shunan had the audience in constant streams of laughter as she told the audience about her childhood dreams to be a pirate, and how the decision to found Tea Drunk stemmed from a conversation in which a longtime friend’s encouragement was the push that Shunan needed to leave the world of finance to start her own tea shop. In founding Tea Drunk, Shunan’s annual trips to the most famous tea regions in China has helped her not only to branch out and make meaningful lifetime connections, but also to fulfill the sense of adventure she has always sought out from a young age.

While the panelists agreed that the process of making a job out of their passions was not without its obstacles, they also agreed that not one of them regrets their decision to reinvent themselves.

We thank the speakers for their participation, and Microsoft for allowing us to use their space.

Please see event invitation, speaker bios, and photos.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Help Holiday Shoppers Find Your Business

Present and potential business owners gathered in the AWIB office to watch a special Holiday Livestream to learn how to better market their businesses heading into the holiday season. We heard from experts at Google, the Small Business Administration (SBA), Facebook, Square, and Constant Contact.

Opening the livestream was Tong Qin, Deputy District Director at the SBA San Francisco Office, who highlighted the resources provided by the SBA, and the importance of building and maintaining partnerships between governments and small businesses. Stasia Kudrey, Lead Educator of Google’s Get Your Business Online Team followed, advising the audience to ensure that their brands were seen by 1) staying relevant and specific in their search queries 2) investing time and effort to optimize for mobile and 3) making sure that the speed of their web interface was fast, so as to not lose browsers – and potential customers – while the pages loaded. She warned that after 3 seconds, nearly 20% of browsers were lost per second thereafter. Cara Lewin, Blueprint Live Lead, North America, at Facebook echoed Stasia’s points, urging viewers to “design for the thumb,” as consumers are increasingly using their mobile phones to make informed decisions when it comes to online shopping. She encouraged viewers to optimize their campaigns by including short videos that would both show off the brand and capture attention in just 3-15 seconds; the average attention span of a mobile online shopper.

Dave Charest, Director of Content Marketing at Constant Contact focused on how to remain in contact with consumers and continually promote a brand. In addition to collecting email addresses at which to send strategic email campaigns, Dave recommended heightening consumers’ in-person shopping experiences, through which the positive interactions would increase a loyal consumer base. He also suggested that for maximum results, send three emails – one to announce, the second to remind and the third for last chance notification.  Katie Miller, Account Manager in Selling Success at Square, said that businesses should accept all payment methods.  By taking advantage of the technology available (i.e. all payment methods and digitizing invoices), streamlining customer experiences, and offering incentives (such as gift cards) to current and potential customers, there was an increased likelihood of loyalty.

After the livestream concluded, our attendees had a chance to get to know one another, introducing themselves, their companies, and sharing how they benefitted from the livestream. Everyone left the livestream session excited to incorporate their newly-acquired branding and marketing techniques to their own companies!

We thank Google, the Small Business Administration, Facebook, Constant Contact, and Square for the informative livestream.

Please see event invitation, livestream video, and photos.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
AWIB's Diwali Celebration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Despite the inclement weather, we had a full house at our Diwali Celebration at the Met. AWIB members and supporters excitedly gathered in the Uris Center, where they learned about the cultural significance of Diwali through dance and digital storytelling, before heading upstairs for a private guided tour of the South Asian Art Galleries.

The evening began with two classical dance performances celebrating the symbolic victory of good over evil, as embodied by the mythology of Rama and his victorious battle with Ravana. Jayashree (Jay) Jaidev captivated the audience as she performed the Mallari in the Bharatnatyam dance form. The dance depicted Rama’s victory over Ravana and his return to Ayodhya as the rightful king. Her performance was followed by Pocket Box Office’s short video, titled “Digital Diwali,” which explored the numerous evocations of Diwali as celebrated through memories, experience, and personal meaning. Pallavi Degwekar Shaikh then performed the Rama Stuthi, an invocation celebrating Rama’s return from exile, in the Kathak dance form.

Attendees were energetic and in good spirits as they mingled with one another during the networking reception, after which renowned curator, Dr. Kurt Behrendt, led the crowd through the Met’s South Asian art collection and spoke about the meaning of some of the major pieces and highlighted the significance of Diwali in the art.

AWIB thanks Pocket Box Office (PBO) for the video and for arranging the live performances, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art for sponsoring our celebration of the festival of lights!

Please see event invitation, performer bios, curator bio, and photos.

Monday, October 2, 2017
Franchising Do's and Don'ts: Is Franchising an Option for You?

The venue was filled to its capacity as guests gathered at Bonchon to learn from the evening's panel of speakers, who shared their insights and experiences on the franchise business. The space was buzzing with excitement and lively conversation, and everyone enjoyed learning from our speakers just as much as they enjoyed the delicious dinner provided by Bonchon!

Mariel Miller, Franchise Advisor at The Franchise Advisor LLC, served as moderator and kicked off the evening by giving a brief overview of franchising before introducing the panelists. Bonchon Franchise Sales Manager, Lin Luo, then spoke about the different franchising opportunities available with Bonchon, emphasizing the support provided to incoming franchisees by franchisors. Echoing Lin's statements, Grace Wen, Owner of 5 Sylvan Learning Center locations in Queens and Brooklyn, highlighted the training, supervision, and support provided to her by the Sylvan Learning franchise. She shared a very honest account of the ups and downs throughout her journey to becoming a successful franchisee, ending by saying, “If you don’t have any problems, you don’t have any business.” Michelle Murray-Bertrand, Corporate Attorney at Richard L. Rosen Law Firm PLLC, advised that those interested in becoming franchise owners know their budget and do their due diligence prior to making the initial investment, as these preparations will go a long way. Caleb Beckford, National Franchise Manager at TD Bank, elaborated on Michelle’s advice from a financial perspective, also providing an in-depth framework of the different approaches that TD Bank takes when it comes to veteran franchise owners versus newcomers. Once everyone was well-informed on the basics of franchising, Joann Lee, Managing Director at The Lam Group and longtime AWIB Member, educated the audience on the differences between franchising and licensing. Her company has a master license agreement with Starbucks and will be opening her second location over the next few months.

All of our speakers emphatically agreed that there was no correlation between the initial investment in a franchise and a franchisee’s potential to earn; rather, it was up to the individual to drive their own success. Attendees asked thoughtful questions and engaged in dialogue with the speakers, and networked the night away.

We thank the speakers for their participation, and Bonchon for sponsoring the event and providing a tasty selection of food!

Please see event invitation, speaker bios, and photos.



Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Success Stories: Amy Ling Lin, Twenty-Something CEO

For our Fall 2017 Success Stories series, we featured Amy Ling Lin, the twenty-something Founder and CEO of sundays studios. Since opening sundays in March of 2017, Amy has been featured in Vogue, the New York Times, Elle, InStyle, and Wall Street Journal, to name a few. AWIB members and supporters gathered in her NoMad studio, listening intently as she shared her story to success.

Amy described sundays' concept as encompassing "more than just nail painting"; emphasizing the experience of coming to the salon to relax and meditate. The the nail care products used at her facilities and sold online were developed by Amy and are all non-toxic, cruelty-free, and vegan, ensuring an environment free of harmful chemicals. The environment she has created protects the customers as well as the workers. As she moves forward, Amy indicated that one of sundays' next steps in wellness and meditation would be to develop signature-scented candles which would be a good addition to her nail polish line of 50 different shades. There is no doubt that Amy will continue to make a splash in the world of health and wellness.

Towards the end of the evening, we had a raffle draw where three attendees received gift certificates for signature sundays manicures, and five others received both gift certificates and a selection of three sundays nail polish.

We thank sundays studio for sponsoring the event and providing delicious and healthy lite bites.  And, most of all, we thank Amy for sharing her story with us!

Please see the event invitation, speaker bio, and photos.

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Christie's Emerging Collectors at Asian Art Week

AWIB members were invited by Christie's to their Emerging Collectors program, which curates art market experiences and educational events for individuals interested in developing an art collection. Attendees enjoyed an elegant cocktail reception before gathering to learn about collecting with Christie's Chinese Art specialists. Following the educational session, we all moved to the auction room to experience a mock auction. A Christie's auctioneer demonstrated how an actual acution is conducted and explained the process of taking bids on the phone and at the event itself.  It was thoroughly enjoyable and for those who never attended an auction, it was even exciting.

Please see the event invitation and photos.



Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Cocktails and Conversation

The AWIB office was filled to capacity for our summer open house, where we saw as many new faces as familiar ones! AWIB members and supporters spent the evening enjoying our specially prepared Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, and Pineapple & Rum cocktails over spirited conversations.

Similar to our Spring Open House in March, three AWIB Members were selected to "tout their own horn," sharing their backgrounds and accomplishments with the audience. Attendees were engaged as the speakers shared their insights, and asked thoughtful questions that sparked conversations beyond our event.

Thank you to all who joined us!

Please see the event invitation and photos.

Monday, July 10, 2017
French Cheese Paired with Suntory Japanese Whisky

A spirited crowd gathered at The French Cheese Board, located in Soho, where they learned about the pairing of French cheese with Suntory whisky. The evening began with a Suntory Toki Highball (made with Toki whisky, carbonated soda water and a twist of grapefruit), which was the perfect start to the evening.  The pairing of the cheese and whisky was expertly lead by Charles Duque from the French Cheese Board and Rosser Lomax from Beam Suntory. The carefully selected pairings were: Toki and Chaource; Hakushu and Camembert; Hibiki and Mimolette; and Yamazaki and Tomme Brulee. It was a wonderful evening and attendees were in good cheer, engaging in conversation throughout the night over cheese and whisky. 

AWIB thanks The French Cheese Board and Suntory Whisky for sponsoring the event!

Please see the event invitation, program, and photos.



Thursday, June 15, 2017
Born to Lead: Leadership in a Time of Change

We had a lively and engaged crowd at S&P Global, where we held our 12th annual Born to Lead forum. Born to Lead highlights the accomplishments of high powered Asian women executives. This year's panelists were Sujata Gosalia, EVP and Chief Strategy Officer, Cox Communications; Esther Lee, EVP and Global Chief Marketing Officer, Metlife; Kelly Shen, Executive Managing Director and COO, S&P Global Ratings; and Teresa Yoo, Vice President, Brand Strategy and Experience Design, IBM. The moderator for the evening was Sayu Bhojwani, Founder and President, The New American Leaders Project. 

Alka Banerjee, Managing Director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, and AWIB President Bonnie Wong welcomed guests to the Forum.  After a brief introduction, each of the panelists shared the pivotal moments that led to their leadership trajectories. On the topics of inclusion, diversity, and leadership from the perspective of an Asian woman, each panelist emphasized the importance of 1) being present - both mentally and physically; 2) making your voice heard; and 3) embracing change as a means to innovate and forge ahead.

As the evening's discussion came to a close, Sayu asked each panelist to share with the audience what they were most worried and hopeful about as it pertains to Asian women in the corporate arena. Esther stated that Asian women need to speak up and ask for what they deserve, and Kelly shared that she did not want to be having the same conversations in 10 years. Both, however, were hopeful for a progressive future, in which people would not be hesitant to have the conversations, and more importantly, include Asian women in the space. Terry echoed these thoughts, encouraging the audience to find their voice, or find a way to have it heard in other ways - but no matter what, to avoid being silent. Sujata, rather than speaking to worries about Asian women in the corporate sphere, said, "We have everything to play as Asian women," and that, increasingly - and finally - the world is ready to receive that.

Attendees, coming from both AWIB and S&P, were excited to interact with speakers and asked lots of questions throughout the session which continued during the reception, where we enjoyed refreshing drinks and savory dumplings.

AWIB thanks the panelists and moderator for participating in Born to Lead, as well as S&P Global for co-sponsoring the event.

Please see program announcement, photos, and speaker bios.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Private Reception at the Sundaram Tagore Chelsea Gallery

AWIB members and supporters attended a private reception at the Sundaram Tagore Chelsea Gallery, where they had an exclusive viewing of the solo exhibition by Beijing-based artist Zheng Lu

In addition to the breathtaking art, attendees enjoyed lively conversation over Prosecco and sweet desserts to complement. Zheng Lu's exhibit fascinated the crowd, as they learned about the inspiration and intricate process behind his installations.

The stainless-steel sculptures begin in clay form and evoke splashes of water in mid-air. Each installation is inscribed with thousands of Chinese characters which lace the surface with text from Appreciation of Still Water by Tang dynasty poet Bai Juyi. Lu's work not celebrates the power of water as an element of all life, but also draws upon the custom of apprentices copying masters' works.

AWIB thanks Sundaram Tagore Gallery for hosting us at this event, and Baked by Melissa for their generous contribution of cupcakes, which were as beautiful as they were delicious!

Please see the event invitation and photos.



Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Asian Women Hacking the Startup Landscape

We had a full house at Samsung Next's New York office, where AWIB members and supporters were excited about our panel discussion, "Asian Women Hacking the Startup Landscape." When they weren't laughing at the panelists' humorous anecdotes, attendees were deeply engaged in the discussion; many filling pages on pages with notes.

Each of the panelists emphasized the importance of relationships and networking for startups. 
Bhavna asked the audience to think about how they make connections, and even more so about where those connections can take them in the future. Suzanne and Katherine took Bhavna's advice one step further, both encouraging attendees to reach out to one's network, and establish a relationship with a mentor to guide them in the process of building the foundations of a successful startup. Sutian urged attendees to become the "know" of their respective groups, mentioning Meetup as a starting point by which to become a "connection group." Ben reminded everyone in the room that as of the start of the panel, they were now part of each other's network.

Panelists then launched into discussion about the ever-classic "Lamb-Cheetah Dilemma." Ben and Sutian stated that while not everyone was going to have the aggressive, tough-minded approach of the "Cheetah" as compared to "Lambs," who lead instead with their "soft-skills," this would not determine someone's likelihood to succeed. Rather, it would determine their business approach and execution of their business model.

In their closing remarks, all of the panelists offered valuable words of advice: value relationships, learn to be comfortable outside of your comfort zone, and make your voice heard.

Panelists: Katherine Ahn, Co-Founder & CEO, StyleKist; Suzanne Xie, Founder & CEO, Hullabalu; Sutian Dong, Partner, Female Founders Fund; Ben Sun, Co-Founder & General Partner, Primary Venture Partner

Moderator:  Bhavna Kumar, Early Stage Investor & Startup Advisor, Samsung NEXT Start SF

AWIB thanks the panelists for their participation and Samsung Next for sponsoring this event!

Please see Founders' & Investors' bios, photos from the event, and the program flyer.

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Shake Up The Status Quo: Transform Your Career

Strategy, innovation, and change expert, Roopa Unnikrishnan, engaged AWIB members and supporters as she spoke about her history, both personal and professional, and the path she took that ultimately led to her becoming who she is today. She revealed that while classically considered an introvert, she learned how to network and connect to people. She believes in having many mentors, and age is not a consideration. She shared that her 80 something year old father talks about his mentor, many decades younger than him. When asked what her day normally looks like, she stated that she is committed to connecting with new people and conducts social outreach every day, which helps her to get ahead and stay ahead in a world increasingly reliant on digital technology and communications. Attendees were in good spirits as Roopa told her stories and advised the crowd.

Roopa's book, The Career Catapult, sold out at the event. Many thanks to Nixon Peabody for hosting this event, and to Roopa for an insightful presentation!

Please see photos from the event and the program flyer




Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Raising the Bar: Creating a Legal Path

Our 7th annual legal forum titled, "Raising the Bar: Creating a Legal Path", was filled with laughter, introspective thought, and wise insights as our three speakers delved into the experiences that led them on their unique paths.

Kimberly Lau specializes in Title IX/College Disciplinary cases, where she deals with disciplinary matters, including, academic dishonesty, theft, harassment, sexual misconduct, and gender discrimination. Kimberly is an expert in a unique area of law where there is little competition and her services are in demand. Looking forward five years, she said that while unsure of exactly what to expect, she wanted to continue making a difference.

Lisa Lim's focus is on everything real estate and specializes in finance, which she learned from working at a variety of government housing agencies. Lisa worked in government for many years and smoothly transitioned to private as a partner. A rainmaker, Lisa has brought in 22 new clients for the firm and credits the older partners for their guidance. 

Manisha Sheth has always been a litigator and presently supervises a staff of close to 300 people at the AG's office. Mild mannered, Manisha is a powerhouse trial attorney. Of her plans for the near future, she said simply, "I don't know," but indicated looking forward to it all the same. Whether she should return to private practice or become a prosecutor, she will excel.

The Panel discussion was followed by a Q&A and attendees had the opportunity to exchange their ideas with the speakers. Our speakers have clearly established legal paths that they have made their own. The panelists offered the following advice: 1) Don't allow negativism to influence you 2) Always exude confidence and 3) Speak up and believe you have something to say.

PanelistsKimberly Lau, Partner and Chair, Title IX/College Disciplinary Department, Warshaw Burstein LLP; Lisa Lim, Partner, Akerman LLP; Manisha Sheth, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice, Office of the NYS Attorney General
Moderator:  Bonnie Wong, President, Asian Women In Business

AWIB thanks the panelists for their participation and Akerman LLP for sponsoring this event!
Please see speakers' bios and photos from the event.

Friday, April 7, 2017
The Met's Multicultural Audience Development Initiative's 11th Annual Evening Celebrating Women

AWIB members were invited to attend the Met's Multicultural Audience Development Initiative's 11th Annual Evening Celebrating Women Friday evening. The event celebrated and honored four women who continue to make strides in the arts, education, and government. Honorees were Chancellor Carmen Fariña, New York City Schools Chancellor at the New York City Department of Education; The Honorable Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, New York City Council Member; Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director of the Laundromat Project; and Andrea Louie, Executive Director of The Asian American Arts Alliance.

Jazzmeia Horn, Winner of the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition, performed live as a tribute for the evening's honorees and in celebration of the 2017 centennial of Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald.

Please see the photos from the event.






Wednesday, March 29, 2017
AWIB Spring Open House

AWIB held a spring open house networking event at our office in the financial district. We welcomed our guests with Prosecco and plenty of lite bites, ranging from the healthy (think carrots) to the high caloric snacks (yes, potato chips). Three members were selected to "tout their own horn," and captivated the crowd with their stories. Our office was filled with good company and lively conversation with plenty of connections made.

Thank you to all who joined us!

You can see the photos from the event here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Speak Up and Speak Out: The Art of Public Speaking

Despite the inclement weather, AWIB members and supporters attended our Speak Up and Speak Out workshop to improve their public speaking abilities.  Held at the IESE Business School in mid-town Manhattan, they enjoyed a brief reception before the workshop began. Robyn Hatcher, Founder and CEO of SpeakEtc, expertly led the group with an interesting discussion on types of speaking styles and involved the group in a variety of interactive practice sessions. Attendees learned to reframe and "make friends" with their nerves, and developed a number of techniques to communicate more effectively with small as well as large groups. As was the case with past events led by Robyn, the written evaluations were excellent and the only critique was that we ran out of time. 

AWIB thanks IESE for hosting us at their facility and most of all, we thank Robyn Hatcher for sharing her skills with us.

Please see the program announcement and photos from the event.



Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Lunar New Year Reception @ The Met

AWIB members and supporters celebrated the year of the Rooster with a private viewing and reception at the Metropolitan of Museum of Art. The featured exhibition was Show and Tell: Stories in Chinese Painting, with 60 pictorial works and 30 decorative objects from the 12th century to the present. Guests enjoyed the reception held in the Temple of Dendur and the magnificent dragon dance thrilled us all.

You can see the photos from the event here.

Thursday, January 26, 2017
A Special Lunar New Year Celebration @Bloomingdale's

Our members and supporters gathered for a Special Lunar New Year celebration at Bloomingdale’s flagship store on Third Avenue and 59th Street. We had a wonderful fashion show, highlighting the latest spring fashion trends, and received useful tips  on accessorizing.  Amore Pacific sponsored the evening with a gift bag of products and each of our guests received a coupon for a free facial.  The passed h’orderves were exceptional and the prosecco hit the spot. Thank you Bloomingdale’s for helping us celebrate the year of the rooster.

Please see the invitation and photos from the event.  


Check out Our Programs in Prior Years

2016 Program Archive
2015 Program Archive
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





Powered by CitySoft Community Enterprise