San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria announced Tuesday the formation of his administration's Asian-Pacific Islander Advisory Group and the selection of 15 San Diegans who will initially comprise the group.
"San Diego is home to a rich and diverse Asian and Pacific Islander community,'" Gloria said. "Having a 'San Diego for all of us' means hearing all voices, so I'm particularly proud to announce this API advisory group so we can better address the issues and concerns of our API residents."
The group will focus on guiding Gloria's administration in tackling the unique challenges facing API communities. The advisory group will meet quarterly and is scheduled to hold its first meeting on May 17.
The Asian-Pacific Islander Advisory Group includes the following individuals:
- Dr. Allen Chan is a practicing chiropractor and the owner of Jasmine Seafood Restaurant. He is the co-founder of the Asian Pacific American Coalition and was a key member of the redistricting process that created the new boundaries for City Council District 6, which includes communities such as Mira Mesa, Kearny Mesa and Clairemont.
- Ron Cho is the current president of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association, San Diego Chapter and serves on San Diego's Parks & Recreation Board and Regional Oversight Committee.
- JoAnn Fields is a second-generation Filipino immigrant and advocate for communities of color in the South Bay area. She founded the Lumpia Club Luncheon, a Filipino-American professionals' network that meets monthly to discuss concerns within the community. She is also the public relations director for the Asian Pacific Islander Initiative.
- Panna Hazarika is the president of the San Diego chapter of the Federation of Indian Associations. Hazarika is an electrical engineer who earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
- Judy Ki is a retired public school teacher who taught for three decades with the San Diego Unified School District. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in educational technology. In 2012, she founded the AAPI Democratic Club in San Diego.
- Lee Ann Kim served as the executive director of Pacific Arts Movement for 16 years. That group is a nonprofit media arts organization best known for its annual San Diego Asian Film Festival. Kim also worked for nearly 12 years as a news anchor and reporter for KGTV-10, the ABC affiliate in San Diego.
- Elvin Lai is a fourth-generation owner-operator of the 71 room Ocean Park Inn Hotel in Pacific Beach. Lai is an active member of the lodging associations serving as chair of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation and chairman of the San Diego County Lodging Association.
- Mitz Lee has served on the San Diego Human Relations Commission, co- founded several nonprofit organizations and has served on their board of directors. In addition, she is now spearheading two neighborhood-focused projects as executive director of Mira Mesa Senior Center and chairperson of D6 Night Market.
- Kirin Amiling Macapugay is a professor at San Diego City College, founder of Asian Pacific Islander Community Actions and serves on the California Commission on Asian American Pacific Islander Affairs. Macapugay has worked in education, health and human services and various not-for-profit organizations in San Diego since 1998.
- Connie Matsui is a third-generation Japanese American and a native Californian. During and after her years as a senior executive at Wells Fargo, IDEC Pharmaceuticals and BiogenIDEC, she served on several nonprofit boards, such as the Mira Costa College Foundation, San Diego Grantmakers -- now Catalyst -- and The San Diego Foundation.
- Su Nguyen serves on the Little Saigon San Diego Foundation's board of directors. He is an advocate for the Vietnamese and refugee communities in San Diego and has worked to bring opportunities to the City Heights neighborhood.
- Tony Olaes is the co-founder of TheFilipinoSchool.com in San Diego, which is intended to "educate, awaken and empower the next generation of Filipino Americans to uplift their community and motherland." He is president of Olaes Enterprises Inc., a corporation that supplies imprinted apparel to national retailers throughout the United States.
- Jason Paguio is president and CEO of the Asian Business Association San Diego and the Statewide Strategic Partnerships for the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce. Paguio led ABASD's Small Business Development Center through the pandemic by helping thousands of minority-owned small businesses receive no-cost technical assistance and millions of dollars in COVID-19 disaster relief capital.
- Dr. William Tseng joined the Southern California Medical Group at Kaiser Permanente San Diego in 2000 and serves as a practicing board-certified internal medicine physician, president of professional staff, assistant area medical director and is a physician ambassador to the corporate community.
- Natasha Wong is an international law attorney who began her career in San Diego as the executive director of the Chinese Service Center. She is also the treasurer and serves on the board of directors of San Diego Balboa Park's House of China.