Find Your Theme Song: 2nd Annual Minority Women's Business Conference

San Jose, CA - On September 6, 2019 the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce (CalAsian) in partnership with the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE) hosted our 2nd Annual Minority Women’s Business Conference at The GlassHouse in the heart of Downtown San Jose.

We would like to thank the following sponsors for contributing to this successful event:

Gold Sponsors AT&T and World Financial Group; Silver Sponsors California Department of General Services, California Line Dance Association of America, Frontier Communications, Southwest, Pandia Health, Paypal, Postmates, and Verizon; and Bronze Sponsors – AARP, Mandarin Business Association, Siemens Mobility, Inc., and SVC Media, Inc.

The event brought together over 250 professional women for interactive panel discussions from a variety of successful businesswomen of color. Attendees were welcomed to the event with breakfast from The GlassHouse, time to network with each other, and a chance to explore the wide variety of exhibitors.

Welcome Remarks were made by CalAsian Chamber’s President & CEO, Pat Fong Kushida and National ACE’s President & CEO, Chiling Tong. They were then followed by dynamic Welcome Remarks from San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer at Comcast NBCUniversal, then set the empowering tone of the event with her powerful and engaging keynote speech,

“Know who you are and tap [into] your uniqueness.” Her story chronicling her rise to success following her immigrant mother’s untimely passing resonated deeply with the audience.

The first panel to kick off the conference was “Minority Women in the 21st Century Economy,” which was moderated by Marisa Moret, Chief of Staff, Global Policy and Communications at Airbnb and the following panelists: Kat Binder, General Manager of Silicon Valley for Lyft; Emily Su, Senior Director of Sales at Super Micro Computer, Inc; Lavanya Jawaharlal, President and Co-Founder of STEM Center USA; and Annie Wu, Director of Culture and Engagement at Postmates. These entrepreneurial women discussed the benefits of diversifying our tech industry to facilitate productivity and enhance creativity.

Next, our “Minority Women in Business” engaged in a warm, yet inspiring conversation on the minority business woman’s experience and how their personal journeys as diverse women lead them to the success that they see today. Dr. Karen Eng, President and CEO of CSMI moderated the conversation alongside panelists Terrez Thompson, Vice President, Global Supplier Diversity at Coca-Cola; Susana Craig, Chief of Staff of Pandia Health; and Joanne Tabellija-Murphy, National Director, Corporate Affairs, Walmart. The women also spoke of mentorship and securing the success of the fellow women around them: “What’s my personal mission and how am I going to empower the people around me?” – Joanne Tabellija- Murphy.

Following a lunch filled with excited networking and exhibition, the attendees were treated to an energizing Special Remarks from Malia Cohen, the Chair of the California Board of Equalization where she rallied for unity amongst women of color in the workplace and even taught everyone to find their own “theme song” to own the room – “then they’ll see you” – Malia Cohen.

Our “Successful Women in Political Leadership” panel closed the conference on a strong note by exploring how minority women are closing the gap in economic opportunity and political participation while creating a lasting impact on public policy and organizational practices. Vicki Tung, Director of Government and Public Affairs, Texas Instruments offered food for thought:

“When all these different organizations get together and fight for something - they can make change.”

Her fellow panelists included Michele Jawando, Head of Progessive Engagement and Strategic Partnership, Google and Chiling Tong, Present & CEO, National ACE, and the panel was moderated by Traci Lee, Senior Public Policy Manager, Lyft.

After a day filled with connections, empowerment, and new ideas, the event came to a close with a Southwest drawing for two roundtrip tickets to anywhere in the continental US. We look forward to growing from this year’s conference into the 3rd Annual Minority Women in Business Conference next year!

See photos here

View the event on our website here

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