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


Updated frequently, check back often!

Eric Yuan

Eric Yuan

Founder and CEO, Zoom

Linda Hill

Linda Hill

Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Mick Ebeling

Mick Ebeling

Founder & CEO, Not Impossible Labs

Dominique Crenn

Dominique Crenn

Chef/Co-Owner, Atelier Crenn

Agnel Kagoo

Agnel Kagoo

Principal, Advisory, KPMG

Akshay Bhargava

Akshay Bhargava

Chief Product Officer, Malwarebytes

Alpa Inamdar

Alpa Inamdar

Head of Third Party Governance Advisory group, BNY Mellon

Angela Guy

Angela Guy

Chief Diversion & Inclusion L'Oreal North America, L'Oreal

Anna W. Mok

Anna W. Mok

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

Annalisa Barrett

Annalisa Barrett

Senior Advisor, Board Leadership Center

Arjun Kalra

Arjun Kalra

Principal (Partner), Crowe LLP

Arun Subhas

Arun Subhas

Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Ayan Roy

Ayan Roy

Principal, EY

Barbara Adachi

Barbara Adachi

Former Chief Executive and National Managing Partner, Deloitte Consulting’s Human Capital Consulting Practice

Bhushan Sethi

Bhushan Sethi

Partner, Joint Global Leader, People & Organization

Brian Stafford

Brian Stafford

Chief Executive Officer, Diligent Corporation

Buck Gee

Buck Gee

Executive Advisor, Ascend

Cecille Publico

Cecille Publico

Senior Manager, Grant Thornton LLP

Cindy Tjoe

Cindy Tjoe

Managing Director, KPMG

David Oh

David Oh

Executive Vice President, PIMCO

Deeksha Joshi

Deeksha Joshi

Director and VP, GRS Transformation, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Denis Kim

Denis Kim

Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Duc Trinh

Duc Trinh

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

Elaine Cheong

Elaine Cheong

Senior Vice President, Bank of America

Emily Raines

Emily Raines

Global Wellbeing Lead. Bristol Myers Squibb

Erika Irish Brown

Erika Irish Brown

Chief Diversity Officer, Goldman Sachs

Faye Sahai

Faye Sahai

Partner, Mirai SV Global

Garrett Vang

Garrett Vang

Learning Master, Information and Digital Solutions, Toyota Financial Services

Girish Adake

Girish Adake

VP (Americas Liquidity Risk Management); Co-Chair (ASPIRE ERG NYC/NJ)

Glen Hamakawa

Glen Hamakawa

Glen Hamakawa, Ascend Los Angeles Metro Chapter President

George Ng

George Ng

Partner, PENG Life Science Ventures (PENG LSV)

Dr. Heehyoung Lee

Dr. Heehyoung Lee

Managing Partner, LumeBio, Inc

Jade Huang

Jade Huang

Sales Manager, Oracle

Janet Leong

Janet Leong

Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Janet Wong

Janet Wong

Executive Advisor, Ascend

Jeff Chin

Jeff Chin

Founding and Inaugural President, Ascend

Jing Li

Jing Li

North America Technology Innovation & Strategy Lead, Accenture

Jing Yang

Jing Yang

Global Lead, Pan Asian Network, Bristol Myers Squibb

John Lee

John Lee

Partner, RSM

John West

John West

Executive Director, Asian Century Institute

Joseph Cruz

Joseph Cruz

Principal, EY

Kate Seitz

Kate Seitz

Partner, RSM US LLP

Kumar Kymal

Kumar Kymal

Global Head of Compensation & Benefits, BNY Mellon

Kwan Segal, SPHR, EMBA

Kwan Segal, SPHR, EMBA

Founder & CEO, ICAway

Lena Wu

Lena Wu

Co-Founder, Feed Your Hospital

Lisa Hackard

Lisa Hackard

Audit Partner and National Abilities In Motion Chair, KPMG

Mahesh Sudhakaran

Mahesh Sudhakaran

Chief Digital Officer - IBM Energy, Environment and Utilities

Markus Dietrich

Markus Dietrich

Melanie Moleño

Melanie Moleño

Mellody Hobson

Mellody Hobson

Co-CEO & President, Ariel Investments

Michael Shum

Michael Shum

Chief of Staff, Bureau of Business Information Technology (BIT), New York City Department of Environmental Protection

Michael T. Ku, PharmD, MBA

Michael T. Ku, PharmD, MBA

Vice President, Global Clinical Supply, Pfizer

Ms Mini Krishnan

Ms Mini Krishnan

Partner, EY

Nirmala Muralitharan

Nirmala Muralitharan

Executive Director, DTCC

Paul Challoner

Paul Challoner

VP Network Product Solutions

Phyllis J. Campbell

Phyllis J. Campbell

Chairwoman, Pacific Northwest & Vice Chairman, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Peter Bordow

Peter Bordow

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

Robert Chen

Robert Chen

Partner, Exec-Comm

Roma McCaig

Roma McCaig

VP Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Campbell Soup Company

Rubiena Duarte

Rubiena Duarte

Vice President People, Culture & Diversity, The Walt Disney Company

Sandeep Gupta

Sandeep Gupta

Partner, Deloitte

Sara Bowen

Sara Bowen

Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Boeing Company

Sara Porritt

Sara Porritt

Senior Director, Integrated Media Planning, and US Diversity & Inclusion Lead OMD

Shazman Khan

Shazman Khan

Energy Data Program Manager, Amazon

Stephen L. Brown

Stephen L. Brown

Senior Advisor, Board Leadership Center, KPMG

Simon Cooke

Simon Cooke

Partner, Latham & Watkins

Sheila Hooda

Sheila Hooda

CEO and Independent Board Director, Alpha Advisory Partners

Shannon Schuyler

Shannon Schuyler

Chief Purpose and Inclusion Officer, PwC

Stephanie Louie

Stephanie Louie

Head of US Graduate & Intern Recruitment, HSBC

Steve Taw

Steve Taw

Principal Operating Officer - IT & Investment Operations, Capital Group

Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert

Sr. Commercialization Manager, The Coca-Cola Complany

Susan Angele

Susan Angele

Senior Advisor, KPMG Board Leadership Canter

Susie Choy

Susie Choy

Partner, Crowe

Tanuja Dehne

Tanuja Dehne

President & CEO, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Ulrika Jagare

Ulrika Jagare

Head of AI/ML Strategy Execution

Urvi Bham

Urvi Bham

CEO and Founder, Vikara Risk and Compliance Solutions LLC

Vala Afshar

Vala Afshar

Chief Digital Evangelist, Salesforce

Vera Fair

Vera Fair

Senior Project Manager, The Boeing Company

Winson Heng

Winson Heng

Principal, Deloitte Consulting

Wesley Hom

Wesley Hom

Principle, Business Innovation Services, LLC

Xiao-Dong Chen

Xiao-Dong Chen

Drug Product Development Team Lead, Senior Research Investigator, Bristol Myers Squibb

Yogesh Bahl

Yogesh Bahl

Managing Director - Global Co-Head Life Sciences & Healthcare, AlixPartners

Yvette Zhang

Yvette Zhang

Senior Vice President, AlixPartners

Dr. Yonesy Nunez

Dr. Yonesy Nunez

Group Information Security Leader, Information and Cyber Security, Wells Fargo

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.

CPE FoS: Personal Development | Credit: 1
 

Learning Objectives:

  • Who and where are the Asians?
  • Our cultural beliefs and upbringing
  • How culture affects leadership behavior alignments
  • East meets West, differences in behaviors

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Click here to view the event on Ten Thousand Coffees.

In anticipation of the 2020 Ascend National Convention, join us for another student mentoring session with Glen Hamakawa to learn about important lessons he learned from a 30+ year career in the corporate world. Glen Hamakawa, President of Ascend Los Angeles (LA) Chapter, will share his experiences working as an Audit Partner at Ernst & Young and how he is paying it forward by helping develop future leaders. Space is limited so make sure to reserve your spot today!

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. 

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

 

CPE FoS:  Information Technology - Technical | Credit:  1      
 

Learning Objectives:

  • How are artificial intelligence and data analytics driving new business value?
  • What are the growing challenges of cyber threats and what can you do to be secure?
  • What are the impacts of 5G on cloud computing and more

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. 

CPE FoS:   Information Technology - Technical  | Credit:  1
 

Learning Objectives 

  • How emerging technologies (AI, VR, AR, etc) are impacting the future of work
  • Ways businesses are preparing the workforce for the inevitable changes 
  • Important role technology is playing in creation of equal opportunities 

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.
This session is CPE-Credit eligible, details will be forthcoming soon. 

The recent vortex of both the pandemic and spotlight on racial injustice in America has proven to be exhausting for those immersed in conversations of crisis management. Join us for an important discussion around the role global institutions and geopolitics' can play in the future workplace. Leading the discussion is Bhushan Sethi, Partner and Joint Global Leader, People & Organization, at PwC.  Organizations that have emerged stronger were able to draw upon their purpose and values to help make the right decisions for their employees, their communities, and their broader stakeholders. Join Keynote Speaker, Bhushan Sethi, to learn about how business leaders are preparing for the future, including lessons from PwC. The time to be intentional and forward-thinking is now. 

CPE FoS:  Personal Development - Non-Technical | Credit: 1

Learning Objectives:

  • Draw upon purpose and values to help make right decisions in for yourselves and in your communities
  • Learn the role global institutions and geopolitics' can play in the future workplace
  • Understand how business leaders are preparing for the future

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.

CPE FoS:  Personal Development - Non-Technical | Credit: 1

Learning Objectives:

  • Importance of leadership especially in the current environment
  • Unique challenges diverse leaders face in managing careers
  • How to build and lead agile teams of innovative problem-solvers

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. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Importance of wellness in the workplace, especially in the current environment
  • How employers can support employees’ workplace wellness inclusive of mental health solutions
  • Why wellness and mental health are crucial to having a holistic 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. 

Learning Objectives:

  • COVID-19’s impact on various industries and what it means for both employers and employees
  • How businesses are surviving through the pandemic by taking bold actions to safeguard against long term disruption 
  • Strategies focused on helping businesses and their workforce thrive in post-pandemic environment

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

Only registered attendees will be allowed to join the session on Zoom. Attendees will receive joining links and a password via email by 6:30PM ET.

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

Assessing and Progressing: The Long, Winding Path to Board Diversity

What gets measured gets done, and Ascend Pinnacle, in collaboration with KPMG, is pleased to release the inaugural report on metrics for Asians in Fortune 1000 boardrooms. Join us as the author of the report presents key findings, followed by a panel and interactive discussion on implications and actions to accelerate progress.

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! 

6pm-8pm

Join us for the greatly anticipated semi-final round of the Impact Challenge 2020: Emerging from the Pandemic: Recovery & Reinvention for Asian and Other Small Businesses.

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!