MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Become an effective leader and advance your career through the AAPA Mentorship Program!

About the Mentorship Program

Mentorship

Through one-on-one mentorship with an AAPA volunteer mentor, learn the strategies to advance your career and elevate your potential.

Skills

Learn key management, communication, branding, and soft skills for advancement through the management ranks.

Leadership

Practice and apply the skills that you learn in the classroom, and take on leadership roles to show you are an exemplary and effective leader.

AAPA Mentorship Program

The AAPA Mentorship Program develops mentees into more capable leaders. These mentees are better equipped to deliver more added-value, provide diverse perspectives, and bring greater talent to their companies and organizations.

Benefits

The goal of the AAPA formal mentor matching program is to establish an effective and results-oriented mentoring relationship between mentors and mentees.

Mentees benefit from one-on-one mentoring with an experienced, knowledgeable and trusted AAPA Mentor. The mentor and mentee will establish specific and achievable goal(s) and an action plan related to goal setting, career development, career changes, professional development, etc. The official duration of the mentoring relationship is the current calendar year.

In addition, while the mentee is paired with one mentor for the duration of the year, the mentee is also free to speak to any of the AAPA mentors at any events throughout the year.

Three Learning Hubs per year
Have a burning workplace/career question? Not sure what step you should take next? Looking for a support group where you may get feedback/bounce your ideas off of? At AAPA Learning Hubs, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions among Mentors, Mentees, community leaders and guests and enhance your learning among peers. This is your opportunity to practice applying leadership and management concepts from AAPA Workshops, work within small teams and be more accountable to those on your team. Learning Hubs are smaller informal events that can be discussion/topic-focused, based on your needs. Learning Hubs are held three times per year as part of the AAPA Mentorship Program.

Three Workshops per year
Learn key leadership and management skills to excel and advance your career! AAPA Mentors will share their knowledge and experiences on various leadership and management topics in small group settings. Workshops are held three times per year as part of the AAPA Mentorship Program.

Topics

(Pick one Class from each Workshop)

Workshop #1 – April 11, 2020

  • Class #1 – Interviewing Techniques for Success
  • Class #2 – Assertiveness and Negotiations

Workshop #2 – May 30, 2020

  • Class #1 – Brand and Professional Presence
  • Class #2 – Decision Making and Risk Taking

Workshop #3 – September 12, 2020

  • Class #1 – Leadership Styles Matter
  • Class #2 – Corporate Rules of Success
  • Class #3 – Delegation and Empowerment

As a mentee, you have the opportunity to meet and connect with mentors, speakers, donors, corporate leaders, community leaders, alumni and peers. The AAPA network continues to expand each year.

Enjoy an end-of-year graduation gala and banquet. Mentees who have completed their track requirements are eligible to graduate and will receive a completion certificate.

Select specialty:
Filter By
  • Alicia Jacobs

    Ajament Partners

  • Bill Mao

    Bill Mao

    Orange County Transportation Authority

  • Bryant Tam

    Bryant Tam

    Google

  • Charles Koo

    Amazon

  • Clint Chien

    Clint Chien

    Peking Handicraft

  • David K Lee

    David Lee

    Northrop Grumman Corp

  • Edwin Ro

    Edwin Ro

    Southern California Edison

  • Elaine Quach

    Elaine Quach

    Pacific Summit Energy

  • Elaine Quon

    Southern California Edison

  • Francis Cheung

    Francis Cheung

    President

  • George Martinez

    Retired IT Manager

  • Joanne Tran

    Southern California Edison

  • Kenji Coleman

    Retired - Southern California Edison

  • Leana Ahmed

    Bank of America

  • Lilian Phung

    Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP)

  • Linda Kim

    Bank of America

  • Liza Legaspi

    Liza Legaspi

    SoCalGas

  • Michael Chee

    Michael Chee

    AECOM

  • Michael Lee

    Michael Lee

    SoCalGas

  • Noy Loeur

    The Auto Club Enterprises

  • Peter Kim

    Peter Kim

    Southern California Edison

  • Philip Chen

    Philip Chen

    APEX Computer Systems

  • Pokil Wong

    GDI Group

  • Shawn Do

    City National Bank

  • Steven Chan

    Steven Chan

    Arcus Biosciences

  • Thomas Phelps

    Laserfiche

  • Vinh Ngo

    Vinh Ngo

    Bank of America

  • Yiu Man So

    Yiu Man So

    Raytheon

Alicia Jacobs

Ajament Partners

Alicia M. Jacobs, is a trusted advisor, change agent and strategic business partner with leadership expertise in integrating human capital with company strategies and objectives by developing and implementing comprehensive programs to increase productivity, market share and bottom-line profit. Her strong business acumen and teaming skills have been recognized while deploying strategic and policy-making skills for workforce growth and transformation of companies through cost-effective best practices. She has a verifiable track record for implementation of business issues related to human capital management. Certified behavioral and values specialist with expert knowledge and skills in environments demanding effective leadership development training and coaching.

 Alicia uses her forward-looking, visionary skills to seek new ways to solve old problems. Alicia has provided coaching and consulting services for over 15 years to micro-enterprises, emerging growth companies, small to midsized companies, Fortune 500 companies, educational entities, non-profit agencies and government agencies.

As an executive coach and a career coach she is sought after to facilitate, teach, and coach professionals seeking advancements within organizations.  Alicia’s signature program “Career Advantage” has helped individuals obtain promotions within their respective companies such as Edison, Raytheon, IHop, CalArts. The County of Los Angeles, and The County of Orange.  Her “unconscious biases” workshops have engendered collaborative partnerships throughout organizations. She has moderated numerous communication panels on diversity and inclusion, including, facilitating “He Says, She Says” diversity panels for the University of Maryland. In addition, Alicia developed and facilitated the California State required Harassment Prevention Training for organizations  both locally and internationally.

As an adjunct associate professor within the Business Department at the University of Maryland, Alicia teaches business management and leadership on-line courses.  She was also a nominee for two teaching awards, the Stanley J. Drazek Teaching Excellence Award and the UMUC Teaching Recognition Award.
Alicia earned her MBA from the Presidential/Key Executive Program at Pepperdine University and her undergraduate degree from Oberlin College.
Bill Mao

Bill Mao

Orange County Transportation Authority

Bill Mao is CIO of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). He started his career as its Manager of Financial Planning and Budgeting (FP&B). He later became head of the agencies information technology department. There, he restructured the department into a customer oriented, technology-embracing organization whose goal is to bring relevant value added technology to OCTA’s diverse business units. His corporate career includes key management positions in finance and information technology with the Walt Disney Company, Digital Equipment Corporation and Xerox. Mr. Mao received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Masters in Business Administration, from Pepperdine University. He is tri-lingual, being fluent in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and English.

Bryant Tam

Bryant Tam

Google

Bryant Tam is Portfolio Manager at Google. He has over 12 years of combined experience in Operations, Performance & Program Management, and Strategic Planning & Execution. He started his professional career in management consulting before joining Southern California Edison (SCE) in 2009. At SCE, Mr. Tam started as an Analyst and was soon managing multi-million-dollar capital projects. Then, at the age of 29, he became the youngest Asian-American Operations Supervisor in SCE’s Distribution Business Line, leading a front-line operations team servicing six major cities. In 2015, Mr. Tam made the leap to join Clutter, a Sequoia Capital backed startup and led their SoCal Region amidst frantic growth. After a year in the start-up scene and in an effort to continue pursuing his passion for making an impact with technology, he relocated to the Bay Area and joined Google. Mr. Tam is currently a Portfolio Manager for Google’s Data Centers around the world focused on Energy, Location & Strategy. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from UC Irvine and an MBA from the University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Charles Koo

Amazon

Charles is currently a Senior Manager of Program Management (Grocery Fulfillment) at Amazon. He currently leads a cross-functional team across Hardware, Software and Program Management to drive investment into automation solutions for grocery fulfillment across the Fresh and Whole Foods business lines. His previous roles within Amazon have spanned Fulfillment Operations, Supply Chain Planning and Facility Design.

Charles has a Bachelors in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego and a Masters in Industrial Engineering from USC.

Clint Chien

Clint Chien

Peking Handicraft

Clint Chien is Chief Financial Officer of Peking Handicraft, Inc.  Besides traditional CFO functions, he also leads the IT, HR, Legal and warehouse operations for Peking.  Prior to Peking, Clint was a senior finance manager for Southern California Edison major capital projects program.  He was an investment banker at Wedbush Morgan Securities, successfully originating and executing M&A and financing transactions.  Clint started his career as a civil engineer.  He holds a BS, Civil Engineering from UCLA and MBA, Finance & Strategy from Anderson School of UCLA.

David K Lee

David Lee

Northrop Grumman Corp

David K. Lee is the Project Manager for Configuration and Data Management at Northrop Grumman Corporation, providing management support to programs and projects, including Earth Observing System (EOS): Aqua and Aura, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Advanced Technology Programs (ATP), Advanced Mission Programs (AMP), Space Radar (SR), and Airborne Laser (ABL), among others. He is an engineering professional with extensive experience in configuration and data management as well as project management. He also has a solid background in diversity, engagement and inclusion from his involvement with company employee resource groups. Mr. Lee holds various executive board member and officer positions with various non-profit organizations supporting the increase in diversity leadership. He enjoys reading, writing, traveling and volunteering in the community. Mr. Lee has a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering from CSU Northridge and numerous professional certifications

Edwin Ro

Edwin Ro

Southern California Edison

Edwin Ro is currently the Senior Manager of Business Controls in the Customer Service Unit, Customer Programs & Services Division at Southern California Edison (SCE). He is responsible for managing a team of professionals who lead and manage projects that pertain to internal and regulatory audit support, quality assurance, and focused process reviews. His past work experience includes internal audit, information security, and information systems at various organizations including Farmers Insurance, LA County, and KPMG. Mr. Ro is a member of the Information Systems Audit & Control Association and the Institute of Internal Auditors. He studied Business Administration at California State University, Northridge and earned his MBA from University of California, Irvine

Elaine Quach

Elaine Quach

Pacific Summit Energy

Elaine Quach is the Director of GL Accounting at Pacific Summit Energy LLC (PSE) responsible for overseeing the commodity accounting operations and financial reporting including liquefied natural gas (LNG) activities for PSE and its affiliates.   She is also responsible for the technical accounting of PSE’s commodity transactions. Prior to that, she was with Southern California Edison (SCE) for 10 years supporting its power procurement function. Ms. Quach has over 20 years of experience in the areas of finance, accounting, tax, auditing, internal controls, and system implementation. Prior to joining SCE in 2006, Ms. Quach was the Audit Manager at Singer, Lewak, Greenbaum, & Goldstein LLP. She spent 10 years in public accounting working with clients in entertainment, healthcare, manufacturing, and software. Ms. Quach is a licensed CPA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Cal State LA, MBA from Pepperdine University, Strategic Leadership Certificate from UC San Diego Rady School, and Project Management Certificate from UC Irvine.

Elaine Quon

Southern California Edison

Elaine Quon is Principal Manager leading the SOX and Compliance Controls for Southern California Edison’s transformational Customer Service SAP implementation and has over 28 years of experience. Her career began at Arthur Anderson, L.L.P. when SCE was one of her audit clients and since then, she has worked at Sony Pictures Entertainment and held various positions at SCE in the areas of in the areas of strategic planning, technology portfolio planning and implementation and program/project management. She holds an undergraduate degree from University of California, Los Angeles in Economics-Business and is a Certified Public Accountant. She currently volunteers as a UCLA Alumni Mentor program and enjoys helping others set and achieve their own personal and professional goals.

Francis Cheung

Francis Cheung

President

Francis Cheung is immediate Past President of AAPA and was Senior Vice President for Bank of America (retired). He has over 35 years of technology management experience in Financial Services, Entertainment, Oil Services and Engineering/ Construction and held technology management positions at Bank of America, American President Lines, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Halliburton Company and Brown & Root. Mr. Cheung was Senior Vice President for Bank of America, responsible for infrastructure demand management until 2015. Prior to this, he was Director of Technical Services and Technology Planning, and Program Management Office. He continued his innovation of bringing emerging technologies such as digital content management and distribution/infrastructure best practices to improve business position and cost effectiveness. Francis has a deep passion for developing leaders and has been an advocate for the advancement of Asian American professionals serving as Co-Chair of Asian Leadership Network at Bank of America and a long-time board member of AAPA. He His retirement is a new chapter of his life where he dedicates his passion and experience to focus on meaningful causes.

George Martinez

Retired IT Manager

George has extended experience as a senior information technology manager in the healthcare,
utility/energy, and banking industries. He was adept at bringing his broad business and technical skillsets
to managing in a large corporate environment. He had a unique aptitude of conversing the language of
business with executive sponsors, major stakeholders and led his technical staff to achieve and exceed
IT and business objectives. He would be most helpful to mentees who are interesting in navigating and
advancing their careers in the corporate world.

Joanne Tran

Southern California Edison

Joanne is currently the Director of Financial and Corporate Audits at Southern California Edison.  The Audit Services Department assists management and the Audit Committee of the Edison International Board of Directors by providing independent and objective assurance services pertaining to internal controls, safeguarding of assets and governance, and advisory services requested by management to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Company’s operations.  Prior to joining the Audit Services organization, Joanne was the Director of Risk Management primarily responsible for supporting management in identifying, assessing, understanding, monitoring, and assigning ownership of market, credit, liquidity, and enterprise risks for SCE.  Previously, Joanne was the Director of Settlements and Operations Services responsible for managing the settlement of bilateral contracts and CAISO transactions for Power Supply’s $5 billion portfolio of renewable and fossil generation, natural gas, GHG, and financial products.

Joanne has been with SCE since 2005.  Prior to joining SCE, Joanne spent 11 years at Southern California Gas Company holding various positions in the Cost Accounting, Audit Services, Financial and Budgeting, and Gas Acquisition departments. Joanne is a CPA, CMA, and CFM.

Kenji Coleman

Retired - Southern California Edison

Kenji’s greatest passion is non-profit service, mentoring, and providing financial education to the locally underserved in LA and Orange County. Volunteer service includes:

  • SCE Federal Credit Union (non-profit, board),
  • Business for Social Responsibility (global non-profit, board),
  • California Governor’s OES (steering committee), and
  • Center for Financial Empowerment (non-profit, board). 

Kenji graduated Cal Poly Pomona with a Master in Business Administration in the top 4% of his class. He graduated University of Redlands with a Bachelor in Business. Kenji graduate Magna Cum Laude, and received the Wall Street Journal Business Award.

Kenji has experience as an entrepreneur. He started a corporation that manages small residential properties; and purchases, renovates, and sells them. Kenji owned and managed as many as 19 units at once.

Kenji Coleman worked at SCE for 29 years and retired in 2019. He was a Senior Manager in the T&D business unit. Kenji led the Transmission Project Management group.  Responsible for customer requested movement of SCE’s electric facilities. Typically multi-year, multi-million dollar projects with cities, counties, or large customers.  Projects included CA High Speed Rail, Space Shuttle move, and all Caltrans freeway expansions, and Metro/Rail requests.

Mr. Coleman worked at both SCE, and Edison International. His experience includes working in:

  • Project Management (Manager),
  • District Management (Manager of construction crews, yard management, and planning/design),
  • Audits (Manager),
  • Customer Service (Major Account Executive),
  • Strategic Business Planning,
  • Emergency Preparedness and Business Resiliency, and 
  • Human Resources

Leana Ahmed

Bank of America

Leana Ahmed currently works in the Data Analytics & Insights Technology division of Consumer Small Business & Wealth Technology. She is the Risk & Governance execution lead for a suite of applications within that space. She works with application managers and the many compliance programs across the enterprise ensuring that the portfolio aligns with the Bank’s risk and governance objectives for application management. 

Leana has been working in web and data technology for over 22 years. She has been with Bank of America since 2007, joining via a legacy company acquisition. She started her career here by developing and supporting appraisal technology, specifically Appraisal Data Marts and Reports. Her aptitude for organizing data for use and application management led to her current role within the consumer space. 

Leana’s passion for diversity and inclusion was ignited at a very young age by observing her parents work towards these goals while growing up in Houston, Texas. As a teenager, she began working with her parents and community groups towards the acceptance of all. This passion drove her to co-chair Bank of America’s internal employee resource group North Texas chapter of ALN (Asian Leadership Network) in 2012. After moving to Southern California, she revamped the San Diego subchapter in 2014 for the Southern California chapter. 

In her spare time, Leana volunteers with a number of charities in Southern California. She partakes in cultural activities throughout the region via her lifelong study of Indian Classical and Middle Eastern dance. She was on the board of Ogrojatra in San Diego County, a non-profit dedicated to Bengali people and culture. Leana is an avid reader and occasional writer of science fiction. She has a passion for advancements in science and technology, regularly attending lectures in these subject areas.

Lilian Phung

Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP)

Lilian Phung is a Client Human Resources Business Partner at the Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP), a Fortune 500 company that provides human capital management software and services.  In her role, she provides human resources guidance and account support to her clients, who are primarily small businesses with workforce sizes ranging from 20 to 150 employees. 

Prior to making the decision to pursue an MBA with an HR focus to transition into human resources management, Lilian held various positions in different industries. Lilian considers all the turns in her professional career as her collective experience, which she sees as one of her biggest strengths.

Lilian is an avid community builder.  She does this through mentoring students and emerging professionals in the HR industry, being a connector on social media, and volunteering with various non-profits.  Currently, Lilian is the Membership Chair at the Professionals In HR Association (PIHRA) – Pasadena Chapter, an annual Scholarship Reader and Resume Coach for Asian Pacific Islander (API) Scholars, and an advisor for AAPA Toastmasters Club. 

As an AAPA Mentor, Lilian can share her experience and insight on self-leadership, career development, how to work effectively with others, and how to network and connect with others as an introvert.

Linda Kim

Bank of America

Linda Kim is a Vice President, Relationship Manager for Commercial Banking at Bank of America. In this capacity, Linda leads a team of financial specialists to deliver strategic financial guidance, credit, cash management and banking solutions. The mission is to help local companies and foundations thrive by achieving their goals. These include non-profit organizations, manufacturing, wholesalers and distribution for general industries that are active in the Greater Los Angeles area and its surrounding communities.

She was previously a Senior Fraud Operations Manager with Enterprise Fraud Intelligence Team at Bank of America. Her team was responsible for conducting case investigations, targeting fraud at early stages, video retrieval and recoveries. Prior to that, Linda was a Case Review Manager within Global Financial Crimes Compliance where she reviewed a team of investigators responsible for the investigation of fraud referrals from various lines of business to ensure operational integrity and accurate regulatory reporting.

Linda started her career at Bank of America in 2000 and has experience in Consumer Banking, Background Screening Investigations, Hedge Funds Investigations and Fraud Investigations. Linda is a Certified Fraud Examiner and a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Linda is a subject matter expert in processing financial crime referrals and a respected leader able to build highly motivated teams.

Linda is a strong champion for Diversity and Inclusion. She was the recipient of Bank of America Global Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2015, 2017, and in 2019; Bank of America Global Volunteer Service Award in 2016 for her work with Asian American Advancing Justice Los Angeles, Bank of America Southern California Employee Network Above & Beyond Award in 2014, and Bank of America Community Volunteer Honor Roll since 2015. She is currently the Co-Chair for Bank of America Greater Los Angeles Associate Engagement Council and Chair Emeritus for the Asian Leadership Network (ALN) of Southern California Chapter. On her spare time, Linda volunteers with various non-profit organizations as well as deliver financial education
within the community.

Linda serves on the Board of Directors for P.F. Bresee Foundation, Asian American Professional Association and the Los Angeles Chapter of the ACFE. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in economics from Portland State University and an Executive MBA candidate with USC Marshall School of Business in the year 2021.

Liza Legaspi

Liza Legaspi

SoCalGas

Liza Legaspi is a Project Manager at SoCalGas (Southern California Gas Company). Her expertise is in planning and executing direct response marketing programs, applying continuous improvement processes to create competitive advantages and develop strong business relationships, and developing effective brand marketing and advertising programs. Prior to being a Project Manager, Ms. Legaspi was a Communications Lead and Sr. Communications Advisor at Southern California Gas Company. Prior to these roles, she was an Account Director at ES Advertising, Account Supervisor at interTrend Communications, Inc. and Marketing Manager at Advanced Telecom Solutions, Inc.  Ms. Legaspi has a Bachelor’s in Accounting from Polytechnic University of the Philippines and a Master’s of Business Administration from Brandman University.

Michael Chee

Michael Chee

AECOM

Michael Chee is a communications expert with more than 25 years of experience dealing with media and reputation issues on behalf of corporations and clients in the private and public sectors as well as the health care industry.  He has unique insight into designing and assisting clients to navigate complicated 21st century communication arenas. Mr. Chee currently supports both AECOM corporate communication and branding efforts in the greater LA metro region, and provides strategic communications counsel and program support to its largest client, the Los Angeles Community College District and its seven campuses across the LA region. AECOM is one of the world’s premier, fully integrated infrastructure and support services firms. They design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets in more than 150 countries around the world—across a broad range of markets including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government services.  Mr. Chee is also a board member of the Asian Pacific Community Fund.

Michael Lee

Michael Lee

SoCalGas

Michael Lee is the Clean Transportation Research, Development, and Demonstration Project Manager, at SoCalGas. The main focus of his area is to develop and demonstrate new technologies for clean transportation including Near Zero Emissions Engines, CNG hybrid vehicles, low pressure and conformable CNG storage tanks and natural gas infrastructure. He holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona and has worked in various industries including entertainment, finance, telecommunications, and energy efficiency.

Noy Loeur

The Auto Club Enterprises

Noy Loeur is working as a Strategic HR Business Partner at The Auto Club Enterprises where as a member of the Information Systems Senior Leadership Team, Noy leads and successfully executes human capital related programs to build organization capability and drive employee performance. Noy started his professional career in a year-long rotation program with the Anaheim Angels Major League Baseball (MLB) team and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks National Hockey League (NHL) team and would later join the LA Kings National Hockey (NHL) team in Public Affairs as a Community Development Liaison. He would later transfer his knowledge, skills, and experiences to The Boeing Company, where he spent over 16 years with Boeing’s $32B Defense, Space and Security (BDS) business unit in Global Corporate Citizenship, Learning & Leadership Capability and Human Resources functions in various progressive positions.

Noy holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Organizational Management and is currently a doctoral student at Pepperdine University working on his dissertation.  In his personal time, Noy enjoys spending time with his family and friends, surfing and playing basketball. Once in a while, he and his wife also enjoy visiting vineyards to free fermented grapes trapped in bottles.

Peter Kim

Peter Kim

Southern California Edison

Peter Kim is the Regulatory & Compliance Senior Advisor for the Customer Service Re-Platform Program at Southern California Edison (SCE).  He has been involved with SCE’s $1.6B SmartConnect (Advanced Metering Initiative) and managed a diverse array of Finance and Project Controls projects for the Planning & Performance Reporting and T&D MPO organizations.  In the past 20+ years, he has journeyed through the Global Supply Chain, Procurement, Finance and Project Management functions that span Food, Education, Non-Profit, Aerospace, Retail and Utilities industries. Mr. Kim is a proud AAPA and Board Leadership Program (BLP) Alumni, volunteer, and served as the AAPA Alumni Relations Coordinator.  He also started the Korean-Americans United for Service (KAUSE) Employee Resource Group (ERG) at SCE.  Mr. Kim double-majored in International Economics and East Asian Studies at UCLA, earned his MBA in Marketing from USC and recently completed his MS in Leadership & Management (MSLM) at the University of La Verne.

Philip Chen

Philip Chen

APEX Computer Systems

Dr. Philip Chen is the Co-Founder of AAPA and CEO and Founder of APEX Computer Systems, Inc. After working as a research scientist with McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories and Dynamic Technology, and publishing numerous scientific research papers and reports in fluid dynamics, instrumentations, numerical computations and data processing, Dr. Chen decided to branch out and maximize his talents in the technology sector. He founded Apex Computer Systems, Inc. in 1983, a nationwide service organization that provides desktop support services, network infrastructure, and business software solutions to companies. A minority Chinese-owned business who understands the challenges of today’s environment, Apex assists the Chinese-owned small business community in Southern California through support and involvement in various community business organizations and regularly hosting free informational seminars. Dr. Chen graduated from USC in 1974 with a doctorate in aerospace engineering and a minor in computer science.

Pokil Wong

GDI Group

Pokil Wong joined IBM in 1984 in Houston, Texas as a student intern. He had a 26-year sales/marketing career with IBM working with Fortune 500 clients in large enterprise projects. He is currently a B2B market management consultant for information technology. As an AAPA mentor, he specializes in personal branding, career planning, and corporate culture. Education: B. S. in Biology, M.S. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Doctor of Education.

Shawn Do

City National Bank

Shawn is a solutions-driven strategist with proven experience in organizing people, data and technology to produce results.  He currently manages the Product Pricing & Insights team at City National Bank that is responsible for key macro-level financial and client-impacting decisions through portfolio and competitive analytics.  Shawn also actively participates in the Asian American Network colleague resource group as one of the communication and content leaders.

 Before joining City National, Shawn had managed business deposit products for the MUFG Union Bank retail footprint, where he was similarly involved in the employee resource space in various leadership roles within the ASPIRE Asian American group including national co-chair.  A number years were likewise spent prior at Bank of America in planning and design roles at the beginning of Shawn’s journey into banking after business school where initial introduction to Asian American professional organizations including AAPA occurred through involvement with the Asian Leadership Network.  Previous to the financial industry, he had worked in several operations, accounting, and technology roles in the public sector.

Shawn earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame and his Bachelor of Science from UCLA.  In his other career, he was active in the Vietnamese American community in Southern California, was a long-time basketball coach and sports committee chair for the Westside Family LA YMCA and is presently the Board of Directors President for the Child Development Consortium of Los Angeles (CDCLA).  Additionally, he enjoys practicing Muay Thai and traveling in his spare time with the most memorable international trips to Machu Picchu in Peru and Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal.

 

Steven Chan

Steven Chan

Arcus Biosciences

Steven Chan is a financial executive with over 20 years of financial leadership and international industry experience at technology, financial services, retail, and life sciences companies. He’s currently working as Vice President Finance, Corporate Controller at Arcus Biosciences, a biotech company, in the Bay Area and is in-charge of its financial and accounting operations.  Prior to joining Arcus Biosciences, he was Vice President Finance, Corporate Controller at MyoKardia where he joined a team that took the company public in 2015.  He has also held senior management positions at Solta Medical, a global medical device company, and Moody’s Analytics, a software and services company.  He started his career at KPMG and has experience managing all aspects of the accounting and finance functions at companies in varying stages of growth, including two IPOs.  Mr. Chan is a certified public accountant in California (inactive status) and holds a B.S. in business administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Thomas Phelps

Laserfiche

Thomas Phelps IV is the CIO and VP of Corporate Strategy for Laserfiche, a global
provider of intelligent process automation and enterprise content management
software. He leads IT, product support, industry marketing, analyst relations and
strategic alliances. Previously, Thomas was PwC’s national entertainment and
media champion for cybersecurity. He led the innovation of content security
practices used worldwide by the motion picture industry.

Thomas was the Advisory Services leader for a $30B aerospace and defense
company and a $15B tech company. He led engagements for Fortune 500
companies on IT transformation, security, privacy, internal audit and business
continuity management. Prior to PwC, Thomas was part of three new business
initiatives at Motorola, including the start-up Internet Software Products Division.
He has co-authored/contributed to five books, including publications by PwC, ISACA
and CRC Press. In 2019, Thomas became an Adjunct Professor for the Master in
Accounting with Emphasis on Data and Analytics (MAcc D+A) program at the
University of Southern California.

Thomas is the Chairperson of Long Beach Accelerator. He serves on several boards,
including Innovate@UCLA, STEM Advantage, Southern California, Society for
Information Management, and Advancing Women in Technology. He is a past-
president of ISACA Los Angeles and on the Speakers Bureau for ISACA
International.

Thomas has co-chaired sessions at the Wall Street Journal CIO Network Annual
Meetings, and been cited in many publications, including Forbes, The Economist,
CIO.com, IDG Connect, Tech Target, Inc. Magazine and others. He has co-
authored/contributed to five books, including publications by PwC, ISACA and CRC
Press. In 2019, Thomas became an Adjunct Professor for the Master in Accounting
with Emphasis on Data and Analytics (MAcc D+A) program at the University of
Southern California.

Vinh Ngo

Vinh Ngo

Bank of America

Vinh Ngo is Senior Vice President, Senior Risk Executive for the Commercial Real Estate Bank division at Bank of America. He joined the Bank in 1996 after graduating from the University of Southern California with dual degrees in Accounting and Real Estate Finance. In his current role, he is responsible for the bank’s commercial real estate portfolio for the Greater Los Angeles and Southern California area markets. He joined the Bank as a Real Estate credit analyst, went on to work as an Underwriter, and later a Relationship Manager.

Mr. Ngo is a co-chair of the Greater Los Angeles Asian Leadership Team, an across the lines of business group that focuses on Asian business integration at the Bank. He is a Chair Emeritus and Advisor for the Asian Leadership Network, an Employee Network that focuses on career development and community outreach. He is a board member of the Chinatown Service Center which provides health and social services for the low-income community in greater Los Angeles; Board President for the Garvey Education Foundation and is currently serving a 4-year elected term as a Governing Board Member of the Garvey School District. Mr. Ngo received the prestigious Bank of America Global Diversity and Inclusion Award for his positive impact in the workplace and in the community in 2016. He has also received continuously since 2008, The President’s Volunteer Service Award. In his spare time, he enjoys being an involved father to his two teenagers, attending their many activities as well as bringing them to various volunteer events to teach them the value of giving

Yiu Man So

Yiu Man So

Raytheon

Yiu Man So is a Chief Engineer at Epirus Systems, before that he was a Senior Principle Engineer/Project Chief Engineer at Raytheon. He has co-authored several journal articles and conference papers on Photonic oscillators and holds two U.S. patents. Mr. So has demonstrated a passion in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic) for the younger generation. He developed a STEM workshop, titled “Bring your child to the workshop and you may go home with a scientist”. Over the past ten years, Mr. So served as Chair of the CESASC Scholarship Committee (2007-2009), Chair of NAAAP Scholarship Committee (2008), President of CESASC (2009-2010), and Chair of CESASC Student Essay Competition Project since 2013. He mentors students during the FIRST Robotic competition, Judge for the California State Science Fair, and Grand Judge for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). He received Six-Sigma award from Raytheon Company and has delivered motivational speeches at high schools, universities, and Asian American events.

AAPA Idea Talks

  • RISING TO THE CHALLENGE | 04/04/2020 – Saturday | Webinar
  • VIRTUAL JOB INTERVIEWS | 04/11/2020 – Saturday | Webinar
  • CRAFTING MODERN DAY RESUME | 04/18/2020 – Saturday | Webinar
  • COVID-19 RELIEF AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR SMALL BUSINESS | 04/25/2020 – Saturday | Webinar
  • READINESS FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES TO RETURN TO WORK | 05/02/2020 – Saturday | Webinar
  • COVID-19 ACCESS AND ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESS| 05/09/2020 – Saturday | Webinar

Mentorship Program Events:

  • INTRODUCTORY SESSION | 01/23/2020 | 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM | Downtown Los Angeles
  • MENTOR/MENTEE ORIENTATION | Saturday, 04/04/2020 | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Webinar
  • WORKSHOP#1 | 04/25/2020 | Saturday, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Webinar
  • LEARNING HUB#2 | TBD | Thursday, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM | Downtown Los Angeles
  • WORKSHOP#2 | Saturday, 05/30/2020 | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Webinar
  • LEARNING HUB#3 | 08/27/2020 | 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM | Rosemead
  • WORKSHOP#3 | 09/12/2020 | 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Pasadena

Hear stories

AAPA Mentors:

  • Michael Chee

    AECOM

Michael Chee

AECOM

What makes you committed to AAPA?

Michael: I believe in life-long learning and constantly expanding one’s knowledge base.  It’s very rewarding for me to share insight, experience and knowledge knowing that someone else can use it and benefit from it.

What are the top 3 things you learned in AAPA and h​ow do you apply what you learned?

Michael:

  1. That we all share many common experiences and that many of our frustrations in the workplace are similar.
  2. That by understanding the human dynamic more objectively, we all gain better insight into our own issues and challenges and how to resolve them.

What are the challenges you have as a minority employee / entrepreneur in these economic times and how do / did you overcome them?

Michael:  Being taken seriously for our leadership skills and experience is a daily battle.  Exerting the appropriate amount of assertiveness with knowledge and expertise requires daily effort and must constantly be supported with insight that is current and facts and information that is substantial.   You have to be on top of your own knowledge base constantly.

Why would you recommend AAPA to your friends, and colleagues?

Michael:  I recommend AAPA because if you’ve never thought about your career path or what you need or what it takes to get ahead, then this is one of the best, most affordable programs that can teach you how to make that happen.

What do you believe are the qualities of a good leader?

Michael:  Know you have the capacity to be a leader.

Take the initiative and secure the skills and understanding necessary to assert yourself in becoming a leader.

Never forget your team – there’s saying “it takes more than one soldier to make an army.”

  • No Heroes Found.

AAPA Alumni:

  • Cooper Chien

    Cooper Chien

    Huawei Tech

Cooper Chien

Cooper Chien

Huawei Tech

Cooper Chien is an AAPA Alumnus who participated in Tracks 1 through 3 of the Mentorship Program between 2010 and 2012. Today, he is Director of IT at Huawei Technologies in Silicon Valley. Previously, he was an IT Manager at Amazon, managing the IT infrastructure of three e-Commerce fulfillment centers and launching a 1 million square foot robotic fulfillment center . After graduating from AAPA, Cooper mentored and developed 5 technical support specialists to become engineers “by employing AAPA methodology.”

“AAPA transformed me from a modest engineer to an effective leader. Through AAPA, I learned how to market myself and broaden my career horizon. It also showed me several professional ways to promote myself without annoying others. After my second year in AAPA, I successfully obtained a promotion to become a manager of 5 engineers. My mentors shared the lessons they learned to help accelerate my growth. Most importantly, my mentors were able to objectively tell me that I had outgrown my job. When I became too good at my job, it was paradoxically a sign of stagnation in my career growth.”

“AAPA was an important guiding light towards my career growth. Our careers usually have a few critical crossroads, which might be a promotion, job change, or opening a new business. By actively participating in AAPA’s programs, you will find yourself much better prepared when you arrive at that crossroad.”

  • No Heroes Found.

Corporate Partners

Past Speakers

Kit San Lai

AAPA not only provided the knowledge to be successful in Corporate America, but also provided a wide platform of mentors for us to ask questions in a safe zone. The AAPA staff and mentors have put in their heart, time and effort in making the learning experience as comprehensive as possible.

Mentorship Program FAQs

  • WHO: Open to professionals at junior, mid, and advanced career levels who seek career mobility and inclusion in management and leadership pipelines. 
    • Everyone is encouraged to apply.
    • AAPA will not discriminate due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin and veteran or disability status.
  • WHAT: A 12-month program that provides diverse professionals with one-on-one mentoring and leadership training, and networking opportunities for career advancement.     
  • WHEN: Program runs from January to December each year
  • WHERE: Events will be held at Rosemead and Pasadena, CA

  • The application period is open November to January each year.
  • Due to transition to Webinars fees have been reduced to: $95
  • Early Bird fee: $250 (applications received before February 14, 2020)
  • Regular fee: $500 (applications received after February 14, 2020)

Applications are now being accepted.

  • January (Thursday night): Introductory Session, Downtown Los Angeles
  • March (Saturday morning): Learning Hub #1, Pasadena
  • April (Saturday morning): Workshop #1, Pasadena
  • May (Monday night): Learning Hub #2, Rosemead
  • June (Saturday morning): Workshop #2, Pasadena
  • August (Monday night): Learning Hub #3, Rosemead
  • September (Saturday morning): Workshop #3, Pasadena

View 2020 program events here: https://staging.aapamentoring.flywheelsites.com/events

1. IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS: Understand what you want to get out of the program. Developing clear goals and objectives at the beginning will set you up for greater success. We also encourage each of you to share your professional development goals and initiatives with your manager. Take the opportunity to share how your professional development and growth will benefit the company. Your manager may even consider sponsoring your AAPA training.

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH: Conduct your research on the program, attend a few events, talk to mentors, mentees, and alumni, and review the mentor bios.

3: APPLY: Be as detailed and specific as possible in your application. Mentors want to know that you are committed to developing yourself, committed to the mentoring relationship, and if accepted, that you will be committed to making the most out of the program.

4. PARTICIPATE IN A Q&A SESSION:  Speak to an AAPA Mentor and have the opportunity to share your purpose, potential, and provide examples.  You will be asked questions related to the following: 1) your capacity to learn from your own mistakes and apply lessons to the future, 2) your capacity to think strategically from an organizational perspective, especially when dealing with complex situations, and 3) your commitment and motivation to actively manage and plan your career, stretch yourself, and seek out opportunities.

[By the end of January, we will notify all candidates of admission decisions for the program. Payment will be due within two to three weeks after.]

  • Mentees review mentors’ bios on the AAPA website and/or meet the mentors at the January Introductory Session.
  • During a one-week period in February, you will be prompted to select your top three Mentor preferences through the AAPA membership portal.
  • Mentees submit their request for their top three mentor preferences. The mentees’ first mentor preference will be given a matching priority. If the mentee does not indicate any preferences, a mentor will be assigned.
  • The mentors will also review the mentees’ applications and resumes, and select their top three mentee preferences.
  • Mentees will be matched with a mentor based on goals, interests, industry preference, mentors’ background, experience, and availability.

  • Mentees initiate the one-on-one partnership by contacting their mentor to schedule their first meeting (as well as ongoing meetings).
  • Mentor and mentee pairs should meet at least once every month or every two months to share goal progress and other coaching activities.
  • The mentor and mentee pair will discuss and negotiate a schedule for meetings that are convenient to both parties, as well as jointly set goals for the year.
  • At the end of the program year, the mentor and mentee pair should complete an assessment of the goals, action plan, accomplishments, relationship, and the mentor matching program.

A successful relationship requires proactive efforts on the part of the mentee and mentor. Finding a mentor is only the beginning. This guide will be a starting block to develop an effective mentee and mentor relationship.

The goal of the AAPA formal mentor matching program is to establish an effective and results-oriented one-on-one mentoring relationship between mentors and mentees. This program is voluntary. The matched mentee and mentor will establish specific and achievable goal(s) and an action plan on goal setting, career development, etc. The mentee and mentor should meet regularly to work on achieving these goals.

At the end of the program year, the mentee and mentor pair should evaluate the accomplishments and the mentoring relationship. The official duration of the mentoring relationship is the current calendar year. It is up to the mentor and the mentee to extend the duration beyond the official time period. While the mentee is paired with one mentor for the duration of the year, the mentee is also free to speak to any of the AAPA mentors at any events throughout the year.

As a mentee:

  • You are the achiever willing to take the initiative for your own development and make the most of available learning opportunities.
  • You are the “gauge” to measure how interactive and successful your mentoring experience will be.
  • You decide upon the amount of help and guidance you need.
  • You identify the skills and competencies you wish to gain and assume the initiative to ask for the help or guidance to achieve your goals.
  • You are responsible for devoting your time to the mentoring relationship with on-going interaction with your mentor.
  • Mentoring is a journey mentors and mentees embark on together and both have a responsibility to create a committed, mutually beneficial relationship.
  • You and your mentor will help each other arrive at a common destination to achieve professional excellence.
  • A mentor and mentee form an interactive relationship that starts with building basic elements of understanding and trust. As the relationship continues, it involves establishing purposes and goals.

To graduate from the AAPA Mentorship Program (and receive your completion certificate), you will need to fulfill the following program requirements:

  • One-On-One Mentoring: Regularly participate in One-on-One Mentoring, meet and connect with your mentor at a minimum of once every quarter. We highly encourage all mentees to meet and connect with their mentors once every month or every two months to provide updates and feedback, and develop the mentoring relationship.
  • Event Attendance: Attend two out of three Learning Hubs AND two out of three Workshops. However, we highly encourage mentees to participate in all the Learning Hubs AND Workshops, as well as additional mentoring and networking activities, as they provide valuable career advancement strategies and skills.
  • Volunteer: Apply your leadership skills as an AAPA Volunteer. Help lead a minimum of two (2) AAPA events, which may include the Introductory Session, Learning Hubs #1-3, Workshops #1-3 or the Leadership Symposium.

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