About the Convention


The Ascend National Convention & Career Fair is the largest gathering of Pan-Asian business leaders and professionals in North America. 3,000+ top industry leaders, senior executives and professionals, along with MBAs and undergraduate students representing 250+ corporations and universities. 

With the theme of Impact, the 2020 Ascend National Convention & Career Fair will be presented as a series of leadership and professional development programs during the months of August and September.  This year’s convention will be held in partnership with the Ascend Los Angeles Metro (LA) and Orange County (OC) chapters who will co-host the event.

 

Ascend’s Impact Enabled by Unwavering Support from Our Partners 

(#AscendTogether)

As we celebrate Ascend’s 15-year anniversary, we will reflect on the impact the organization has delivered for its members, partners and community, while also looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.  

 

2020 – An Unprecedented Year

With this year’s unprecedented backdrop for businesses, individuals, and communities of color, the convention will be a forum for bold conversations and engagement ranging from holistic approaches to diversity, inclusion and advancement in the workplace to action-based initiatives to address anti-Asian sentiment fueled by the global pandemic and standing in solidarity against bias.

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Program Highlights

  • Featured speakers and panel discussions on leadership, diversity & inclusion, ally-ship, and other relevant topics
  • By Invitation programs such as Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), Forum, Ascend Executive Network (AEN) Forum, Pinnacle Roundtable  
  • ERG/BRG Leaders Forum 
  • Impact Challenge: Emerging from the Pandemic: Recovery & Reinvention for Asian and Other Small Businesses
  • Career Fair: Opportunity for candidates to connect and engage with employers in a virtual environment
  • Scholarship Awards Presentations: Featuring student scholars with support from family & friends, who exude academic excellence, demonstrate leadership potential and engage in community service
  • Relaxation Activity: Mindfulness Meditation
  • Bhangra Class: Fitness & Fun!

Speakers


Eric Yuan

Eric Yuan

Founder and CEO at Zoom

Linda Hill

Linda Hill

Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

Mick Ebeling

Mick Ebeling

Founder & CEO at Not Impossible Labs

Akshay Bhargava

Akshay Bhargava

Chief Product Officer at Malwarebytes

Alpa Inamdar

Alpa Inamdar

Head of TPG Advisory Group at BNY Mellon

Anna W. Mok

Anna W. Mok

President, Ascend; Co-Founder, Ascend Pinnacle; Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP

Arjun Kalra

Arjun Kalra

Principal (Partner) at Crowe LLP

Cindy Tjoe

Cindy Tjoe

Managing Director at KPMG

Deeksha Joshi

Deeksha Joshi

Director and VP, GRS Transformation at Liberty Mutual Insurance

Dominique Crenn

Dominique Crenn

Chef/Co-Owner at Atelier Crenn

Duc Trinh

Duc Trinh

Vice President, Innovation Research and Development at Wells Fargo & Company

Janet Leong

Janet Leong

Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Michael T. Ku, PharmD, MBA

Michael T. Ku, PharmD, MBA

Vice President, Global Clinical Supply at Pfizer

Peter Bordow

Peter Bordow

Innovation and Ideation Leader, Enterprise Architecture at Wells Fargo & Company

Stephen L. Brown

Stephen L. Brown

Senior Advisor, Board Leadership Center at KPMG

Wesley Hom

Wesley Hom

Principle at Business Innovation Services, LLC

Schedule


Key Convention Themes: [8/24: Technology Impact] [8/25: Leading with Impact] [8/26: Social Impact]

Soft skills are any skill or quality that can be classified as a personality trait or habit such as interpersonal and communication skills. These categories of soft skills are highly desired by employers. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect and learn from Ascend’s Founding National President Jeff Chin on the importance of soft skills and gain insights into which soft skills are critical for the next generation of leaders.

 

This session will shed light on misconceptions, perceptions, stereotypes, and myths about US Asians and Pacific Islanders (API).Ascend has conducted extensive research into the realities of the model minority. We have found that Asians have failed to reach senior leadership positions in corporate America. We have called this the curse of the model minority.Sharing of insights on what behaviors and skills are needed by Asians to achieve their career aspirations, ultimately resulting in a more diverse senior leadership team and greater effectiveness to their respective companies.

More than half of today’s jobs require technology skills – this number will grow to 77% in less than a decade, collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking are skills that continue to be in high demand. Priscilla Lim, a seasoned executive will share with students how they can develop these skills to be future ready and gain a competitive edge! (Mentor: Priscilla Lim)

Ascend President’s Welcome and Reimagined Ascend Talk: Delivering Happiness for Impact : Zoom, a leader in modern enterprise video communications, is guided by its core value of “Delivering Happiness.” Its far reaching impact on businesses, individuals and families especially during this global pandemic has been well documented. Join us on this opening day of our 2020 Ascend National Convention for a reimagined Ascend Talk with Zoom CEO Eric Yuan on his journey to the United States, his rise to the pinnacle of business success, impact of family in his life, and his outlook on the future of work and business recovery. 


Featured Speaker: Eric Yuan | Moderator: Anna W. Mok

Remarks by Host Chapter Leaders: 

  • David Oh, Co-president, Orange County (OC) Chapter, Ascend
  • Steve Taw, Co-president, Orange County (OC) Chapter, Ascend
  • Glen Hamakawa, President, Lost Angeles (LA) Chapter, Ascend

Technology is almost every part of our lives especially during this time.  We will explore key technology trends and impacts to industries, companies and you:

  • 5G networks - better connect and enable customers 
  • Data-Driven - drives new business value by utilizing data, Analytics, and Machine Learning (ML) and exploring Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science.   
  • Cybersecurity - growing challenge of cyber threats and security

Panelists: Akshay Bhargava (Malwarebytes), other panelists TBA

Future of work is now! Emerging technologies continue to reshape the way we work and the way companies operate. Join us for a conversation on how emerging technologies will impact the nature of work, how work is done, who does the work, where the work is done, and how new technologies will be leveraged to create equal opportunities by removing human bias in decision-making. 

Moderator: Arjun Kalra (Crowe)

Panelists: Deeksha Joshi (Liberty Mutual), other panelists TBA

Block chain / distributed ledger technology is redefining financial services. In this current economic reality of crisis management, maintaining liquidity is becoming even more of a priority for our customers and the bank. Attendees will learn about smart contracts and how Wells Fargo seeks to participate in new DLT-based business networks that could accelerate the delivery of working capital, cross border payments, and greatly reduce the risk of discrepancies and the potential for fraud during the trade settlement process.

Moderator: Peter Brodow

Panelists: Duc M. Trinh, Yonesy F. Nunez, Laura Fontana

Join us for a conversation with Professor Linda Hill of Harvard Business School and Michael Ku of Pfizer about why leadership matters now more than ever. We will reflect on the special challenges diverse leaders face in managing their careers so they can be the game changers in their organizations and communities they aspire to be.  Based on 20 years of research on collective genius, Professor Hill will discuss what it takes to build and lead agile teams of innovative problem-solvers. Leadership for innovation is not about getting people to follow you to the future, but about getting them to co-create it with you.

Now more than ever, it is imperative for employers to invest in a culture of health at work where both physical and mental health concerns of employees are taken into consideration, and addressed head-on. Mental health is one of our nation’s most pressing public health issues. In addition to having an adverse personal impact on individuals, things like depression, anxiety, addiction, and stress are affecting companies’ bottom line. In this panel, we will discuss why wellness is important in the workplace, importance of focusing on mental health solutions and why it is important to prioritize employee wellness and mental health as part of an overall workforce D&I strategy. 

The COVID-19 global pandemic has been one of the biggest disruptions of our lifetime with far reaching health, financial and business implications. The organization of the future is taking shape in the actions the companies are taking now. This panel will explore the impact of the pandemic on various industries, what companies are doing to survive in the current environment and how they can thrive in the post-pandemic world. 

Moderator: TBA

Panelists: Alpa Inamdar (BNY Mellon), other panelists TBA 

Please RSVP here before August 25th, 2020 @ 6PM ET.

 

Only registered attendees will be allowed to join the session on Zoom. Join the session on Zoom here. Since this session has limited spots, please make sure to arrive on Zoom within the first 5 minutes of the session. After these first 5 minutes, those on the waitlist might take the place of those who have RSVP'd but did not show up.

 

On this second day of our convention, we invite you to join us for a mental and physical relaxation activity where you will learn how to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm both your mind and body. All you need is a comfortable place to sit, free time and a judgment-free mindset.

Remarks by: Vera Fair, Co-lead, Ascend Orange County (OC) Chapter Planning Team
Instructor: Girish Adake

5pm-6pm

Nothing is impossible forever. This is the guiding principle of Not Impossible Labs, a one-of-a-kind, award winning technology incubator and content studio dedicated to changing the world through technology and story. Join us for this special Ascend Talk featuring Mick Ebeling, the founder and CEO of Not Impossible Labs, who will share stories of how technology makes the impossible possible to solve humanity’s biggest challenges. And, bring your curiosity with you for a live Q&A session with Mick after the Talk! 

(Featured Speaker: Mick Ebeling)

6pm-8pm

This program will be followed immediately by The Impact Challenge 2020: Emerging from the Pandemic: Recovery & Reinvention for Asian and Other Small Businesses  Semi-Finals

Impact Challenge teams will showcase their work, presenting transformative business models that will help small businesses bounce back from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A panel of judges will evaluate entries and select four to five teams to move on to the Impact Challenge Finals where teams will compete for a grand prize of $8,000! 

Please RSVP here before August 26th, 2020 @ 8PM ET.

 

Only registered attendees will be allowed to join the session on Zoom. Join the session on Zoom here. Since this session has limited spots, please make sure to arrive on Zoom within the first 5 minutes of the session. After these first 5 minutes, those on the waitlist might take the place of those who have RSVP'd but did not show up.

 

Back by popular demand, we are excited to bring bhangra dance lessons to our convention guests – this time in a virtual environment. Originating in India, bhangra is a high energy dance performed to lyrics that commonly reference themes of love, patriotism, strength, and celebration. The class will be taught by Bhangra Empire, a renowned dance team with the goal to bring bhangra to the mainstream. In addition to walking away with a new skill, you will also get in a phenomenal fitness workout.

Participants will learn custom choreography and receive a video of the class instruction. 

Ascend Impact Global Employee Resource Group (ERG) Leaders Forum: Turning to ERGs to Navigate COVID-19 & Beyond 

With the unprecedented backdrop of a global pandemic and rise of racial tension in the nation, employee resource groups (ERGs) continue to show resilience and deliver impact by being at the forefront of encouraging employee engagement, enabling mental health support and supporting businesses in their plans to return to work. Join us to hear from a panel of ERG leaders from a cross section of industries on how ERGs are helping companies navigate COVID-19 and beyond. 

 
Forum Format: 

  • Welcome & Panel Discussion 
  • Audience Q&A with Panelists
  • Participant Contributions on: 
    • Encouraging employee engagement 
    • Enabling mental health support
    • Supporting return to work plan 
  • Audience Q&A with Contributors
  • Closing Remarks 

See details of our April, 2020 Global Forum here: 
 

Global Forum: Ascend Impact Series: Employee Engagement during COVID-19 – The ERG Perspective

 

See recording here

An effective leader must have the right mindset, possess leadership behaviors that others will follow and admire, and master a set of critical skills. Underlying one's ability to learn these three dimensions is the effect of our inherent culture. Can one's own Asian culture derail us from success?
 

This session will help you better understand why having the right mindset, exhibiting the right leadership behaviors, mastering the right critical skills, and applying your culture and beliefs appropriately will propel your success in today's challenging and changing world.

RSVP is required as space is limited. Session topic and RSVP form will be shared shortly.

RSVP is required as space is limited. Session topic and RSVP form will be shared shortly.

RSVP is required as space is limited. Session topic and RSVP form will be shared shortly.

RSVP is required as space is limited. Session topic and RSVP form will be shared shortly.

RSVP is required as space is limited. Session topic and RSVP form will be shared shortly.

RSVP is required as space is limited. Session topic and RSVP form will be shared shortly.

RSVP is required as space is limited. Session topic and RSVP form will be shared shortly.

RSVP is required as space is limited. Session topic and RSVP form will be shared shortly.

All times above are in ET.

Registration


$900

Professional: Partner Registrations ONLY


National Convention + Career Fair + Impact Challenge

These tickets are ONLY for individuals at partner organizations who have received sponsor/discount codes as part of their sponsorship package. Please DO NOT purchase this ticket unless you have a sponsor/discount code from your organization.

$750

Professional: Member


National Convention + Career Fair + Impact Challenge

$900

Professional: Non-Member


National Convention + Career Fair + Impact Challenge

Free

Student: Member


National Convention + Career Fair + Impact Challenge

$25

Student: Non-Member


National Convention + Career Fair + Impact Challenge

Free

Career Fair: Professional Member


Career Fair for Professionals ONLY

$50

Career Fair: Professional Non-Member


Career Fair for Professionals ONLY

Free

Impact Challenge


This complimentary pass gives you access to Mick Eberling's talk on 8/26, as well as the Impact Challenge Semi-Final and Final Rounds. If you would like to register to participate in the Impact Challenge as a participant, please register at https://www.ascendevents.org/convention-impact-challenge

$900

Ascend Lifetime Member Complimentary Pass


This ticket is complimentary for Ascend Lifetime members who have the discount code ONLY.

Partners


Platinum
Jade
Gold
Pearl
Silver
Bronze
Government
Career Fair

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Contact Us


Ascend National Convention Management Office
+1 (512) 621-0872
NCPlanner@ascendleadership.org

Any questions? Drop us a note