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

Mick Eberling

Mick Eberling

Founder & CEO at Not Impossible Labs

Linda Hill

Linda Hill

Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

Alpa Inamdar

Alpa Inamdar

Head of TPG Advisory Group at BNY Mellon

Arjun Kalra

Arjun Kalra

Principal (Partner) at Crowe LLP

Michael T. Ku, PharmD, MBA

Michael T. Ku, PharmD, MBA

Vice President, Global Clinical Supply at Pfizer

Wesley Hom

Wesley Hom

Principle at Business Innovation Services, LLC

Akshay Bhargava

Akshay Bhargava

Chief Product Officer at Malwarebytes

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.

 

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

Innovation is less about breakthrough moments and more to do with channeling organization-wide intelligence. Over three decades of academic research confirms that innovation is not achieved through solo genius or “light bulb moments.” Instead, innovation is a result of organizations structuring collaborative activity so that diverse sets of individuals can build towards an overall innovation. Join us for a conversation with Linda Hill of Harvard Business School on how global organizations can build a culture that stimulates collective genius. (Featured Speaker: Linda Hill | Moderator: Michael Ku)

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.

 

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)

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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.

 

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. 

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.

FAQ


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Contact Us


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

Any questions? Drop us a note