Ascend SoCal Inspiring Across Generations (IAG) Conference 

Pioneering Your Career Path

Speaker Bios

 
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Livia Ching

West Coast Executive Director, Ascend

Former EY

Livia is responsible for the strategy and operations of the Pacific Northwest Region for Ascend, a not-for-profit focused on promoting Pan-Asian executives in corporate America. Her passion lies in supporting community vision and mission to move corporate and organizational practices towards a more inclusive working and leadership culture. Livia also includes and considers strategic relationship building a key asset in organizational and crisis management. Prior to Ascend, Livia was a Senior Associate at Ernst & Young, helping to build business in the PNW for the firm and led client-serving teams to major wins with Fortune 500 global companies. At the beginning of her career, Livia was an avid graphic novel junkie and worked as an Editor for both TokyoPop and Viz Media, licensors of manga, anime and comics from Japan for teen readers in America. Titles of her projects can still be found on Comicbook.com. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) - Accounting Career Awareness Program, San Francisco/Bay Area Chapter and is a current Co-President and Executive Council Member of Ellevate Network's San Francisco and Silicon Valley Chapters.

 

Livia is a graduate of California College of the Arts (MFA in Writing) and the University of California, Los Angeles (BA in Sociology and Business Administration).

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Janice Chua

Associate Producer for Crazy Rich Asians and

VP, International Development and Production at Imagine Entertainment & Television

Born and raised in Singapore, Janice Chua graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic's Film, Sound and Video diploma course in 2004 in Singapore, where she learnt the technical skills of the trade, and became a freelance video editor in her early 20s.

 

In 2010, she enrolled in Chapman University Singapore, a private university that partnered with Ngee Ann Polytechnic and obtained a degree in creative producing. During which, Chua secured an internship with Santa Monica-based independent entertainment company Myriad Pictures and had a flavor of working in Hollywood.

 

In 2012, Chua took take a leap of faith and went to Beijing, where she found a job as a sales assistant for a production company, representing Chinese films to be sold to a Western audience. While in China, Janice was involved in the development and sales of international and Chinese projects including John Woo’s The Crossing. Chua joined American production company Ivanhoe Pictures in 2015.

 

She was the associate producer of Warner Brother’s Crazy Rich Asians.  She joined Imagine Entertainment as VP of international development production a year ago to help expand into global content. 

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Joseph Cruz

Principal, International Tax Services

EY

Joe is the Orange County and San Diego International Tax Market Leader and specializes in Operating Model Effectiveness (“OME”).    He also serves as the America’s Pan Asian Professional Network Co-Chair.  Joe advises on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, foreign expansion, supply chain restructuring, and repatriation and deferral of offshore earnings.  He assists in audit review of both publicly listed multinational companies and nonpublic, privately held entities. Joe assisted several growth companies with their foreign expansion including establishing trading operations in Ireland and Singapore.  He has lead successful implementations of supply chain reorganizations and cash repatriation projects.  

 

Joe began his career in 2000 in the New York office of another Big 4 firm specializing in international tax which also included a stint in the national office in Washington DC from 2003-2005.  At the end of 2005, he switched firms and joined EY’s Irvine international tax practice. 

 

Joe received a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and a J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of California.   Joe is also a frequent speaker at both EY and non-EY international tax conferences.

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Glen Hamakawa

President of Ascend LA Metro

Retired EY Partner

Glen has had a long storied career at Ernst & Young (EY) LLP in the Southern California region, promoted to Partner in the Long Beach office and specializing in both Audit and the firm's Japanese Business Services Group. Glen provided Executive Sponsorship and Mentorship to EY's internal Pan Asian Professional Network for many years while at the firm and steps into the Ascend LA Metro Chapter Presidency after a robust year of service as Chairman of the Board for the Japan America Society of Southern California. 

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Wesley Hom

Former IBM Vice President and Global Managing Director

Ascend Vice President and National Board Member

Co-Developer and Executive Advisor, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Asian American Executive Program

Wes was formerly a global executive at the IBM corporation. He has held several senior executive positions throughout Asia, Europe, and the US. He has been responsible for multiple global lines of business, global sales and operations, venture capital group organization, and business development assignments for emerging markets. 

 

Wes was also the first Pan-Asian American to be appointed Executive Assistant in IBM's corporate office serving the Chairman, CEO, President, CFO and Senior Vice President of Human Resources.

Wes also chaired IBM's Asian Diversity initiatives, where he was recognized as the "conscience & guardian" to the Asian community throughout IBM. Wes served on the boards of many professional and community organizations such as the Business Advisory Council of Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) and International venture capital firms. He was recognized as one of the "Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business" by the Asian American Business Development Center and received Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) Dynamic Achievers Award.

Today, Wes is an Ascend National Board member and officer. He advises on business development, diversity, and leadership and talent development for Ascend's global sponsors and their senior management teams.

Wes is also executive advisor and co-developer of Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, Asian American Executive Program. Wes is a graduate of NYU's Stern School of Business with BS/CS and MBA degrees. He was a member of IBM's Certified Client Director Profession through the Advance Management Program at Harvard Business School.

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Sukhee Kang

Former Mayor

Irvine, CA

Like many young immigrant couples, Sukhee Kang and his wife, Joanne, started a family after settling into their new life in America (specifically, Orange County).  Through their hard work and smart investments, they also demonstrated their success as entrepreneurs, and in the world of business.

Sukhee then turned his attention to community and public service. Sukhee became a Board Member of the Korean American Scholarship Foundation. He also founded the U.S. Korean American Democratic Council. Sukhee also has served as Chairman of the Korean American Coalition of Orange County, and as a member of the Korean American Community Foundation. In 2000, Sukhee was honored to be appointed by Gov. Gray Davis to the California Workforce Investment Board.

 

By 2004, Sukhee was ready to try his hand at running for public office and was elected to the Irvine City Council. After being re-elected to the Council in 2006, in 2008 he became the first-ever Korean American mayor of a major U.S. city larger than 100,000 in population. In 2010, Sukhee was overwhelmingly re-elected with 64.1 percent of the votes. One of his proudest achievements was leading the effort to preserve $121 million for transportation improvements for Irvine (Proposition 116) and bring matching fund for the Orange County Transit Authority.

Since then, Sukhee has served as Special Advisor to the Chancellor of UC Irvine, Adjunct Professor and Chancellor Fellow at Chapman University, and currently serves as Executive Advisor at Teletron Global Inc.

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Shaun Lee

Relationship Manager, International Subsidiary Banking

HSBC Bank

Born in Singapore, Shaun LEE graduated from the Singapore Management University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a second major in Corporate Communications Upon graduation, Shaun moved to Hong Kong to commence his career with HSBC through the Graduate Program managing a portfolio of Asia Pacific clients regionally in the Insurance and Asset Management sectors within Financial Institutions Group. Shaun then moved to Los Angeles in 2017 to leverage his language and cultural skillsets acquired during his stance in Asia to assist with growing the China/Asia Pacific clientele for the West Coast region for HSBC. His passion for diversity & inclusion earned him the Co-Chairperson position of the Asian Pacific Islander Committee (or “APIC”) and was most recently awarded the Cultural Hero award in HSBC for his efforts. During his free time, he enjoys hitting the gym for some High Intensity workout and is an avid yoga and Meditation practitioner.

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Priscilla Lim

Senior Vice President [Greater China Coverage] International Subsidiary Banking, HSBC

IAG Co-Chair, Ascend LA Metro 

Priscilla is a corporate banker with 16 years of experience in banking and law. Priscilla manages the US-China Corridor for HSBC’s International Subsidiary Banking team in the West Coast. She joined HSBC in 2005 and have worked with HSBC in Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, London, New York and currently based in Los Angeles. Prior to HSBC, she worked as a lawyer in New Zealand for 2 years. Priscilla is actively involved with the Asian-Pacific and Islander community within the Bank and currently acts as the Executive Advisor to the SoCal chapter. She has also recently been appointed as a Board Member for the Ascend LA Metro Chapter.

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Kevin Ma

Tax Senior Manager, EY

Executive Vice President, Ascend LA Metro Chapter

Kevin Ma joined the firm in 2006 and is a senior manager with EY’s international tax and transaction tax (“ITTS”) services team in Irvine, California.  He serves as the Executive Vice President of the Ascend LA Metro Chapter and leads EY’s Pan Asian Pacific Network in Orange County.

 

Kevin works with some of the firm’s largest and most innovative clients in Southern California, covering all areas of international taxation including operating model effectiveness, global expansion and restructuring, tax controversy, and international compliance and provision reporting.  Kevin works with EY’s network across more than 150 countries to address emerging and known client issues. 

 

Having spent 2 years with EY’s National Tax Practice focused on the taxation of the digital economy, Kevin has helped clients understand and manage the continuing trend of convergence of the digital sector with traditional sector businesses.  He has spoken at a number of venues including the Tax Executive Institute, The Knowledge Congress, and Bloomberg BNA CITE and has co-authored numerous international tax technical articles and thought leadership pieces. 

 

Kevin is a certified public accountant (CPA) and graduated from the University of Southern California with a BS in Accountancy and a Master of Science in Taxation from the University of Southern California.

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Grace Moss

Director, Talent Development & Inclusion

NBCUniversal

Grace Moss is the Director of Talent Development & Inclusion for NBC Entertainment. In this role, she oversees multiple programs that focus on discovering, cultivating and showcasing talented writers and directors of diverse backgrounds, with the objective of getting them staffed on NBC's scripted programs. Grace also manages nationwide outreach efforts and develops relationships with community partners, such as the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and East West Players.  Before coming to NBC, Grace a Development Executive at the Style Network, where she oversaw new series in production, from initial pitch to delivery. Prior to her stint at the Style Network, Grace worked as a Producer and Director on a plethora of unscripted shows on a variety of networks, including MTV, VH1, TLC and NBC.

 

Grace has been actively involved with numerous organizations, including Asian Pacific Americans@NBCUniversal, where she serves as a Hub Leader, and Filipino Hollywood Mafia, where she acts as the Co-Chair. She was a selected participant for Comcast’s Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP), Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Rising Leaders Program, the National Association of Multiethnicities in Communications (NAMIC) Leadership Seminar and, most recently, the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute Corporate Athlete Training Program. She also received Comcast's Ingenuity Award in 2008 for her contributions to the Style Network.  

 

Grace graduated from UCLA with a BA in English and Minor in Asian American Studies.

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David Oh

President, Ascend Orange County

Executive Vice president, PIMCO

David Oh is an executive vice president and account manager in the Newport Beach office, specializing in equities strategies with institutional relationships in the Americas. He previously co-led U.S. institutional business development with a focus on managing relationships with corporations and healthcare organizations, and was also an account manager focused on institutional client servicing for U.S. healthcare clients. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2011, he founded and built a healthcare services company, and was a senior account manager with IBM. Mr. Oh was also previously an associate and analyst with JP Morgan’s investment banking division. He serves on the board of directors of KidWorks, whose mission is to restore at-risk neighborhoods. He has 14 years of investment and financial services experience and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degrees in mathematical methods in the social sciences and economics from Northwestern University.

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Ashish Pandya

Software Engineer

ADP

Ashish Pandya is Software Engineer at ADP, works closely with our self-service website called Smart Compliance solution’s employment tax team which enables Client’s to perform Tax amendments, Late tax filings, Upload/View tax documents. He supports various products of Smart Compliance solution, responsible for gathering requirement from product owner’s, design solution and implement using industry standard’s coding practices and robust programming languages.  He has been with ADP since October 2016 to present and contributing to the company with his knowledge and skills. He also won the 2016 People choice award at an ADP event.

 

He is also part of ADP’s Elevate (BRG/ERG) Leadership team.  The BRG focuses on supporting the career growth and development of Asian / Pacific Islander associates by providing networking opportunities, cultural awareness training, leadership development and community outreach initiatives.

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Samin Rai

Senior Associate, PIMCO

IAG Co-Chair, Ascend Orange County

Samin is an account associate in the Newport Beach office, focusing on institutional client servicing for nonprofits and private family capital. He joined PIMCO in 2017 as an analyst after completing an internship at PIMCO the previous summer. He holds undergraduate degrees in finance and accounting from Georgetown University. He has passed all three levels of the CFA Program.

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Philip Tam

Workday Recruiting Lead, DXC Technology

Ascend LA Metro Board Member

Philip started his career leading a startup focused on passive, automated recruiting processes, aiming to assist small and medium sized businesses augment their HR efforts. After the launch of Workday Recruiting, he joined PwC Advisory Services where he worked on leading ground breaking clients through the ecosystem in milestone projects. He advanced to a Senior Solutions Architect role, and helped PwC launch Workday across the US firm while simultaneously developing their practice model. Now at DXC Technology Services, Philip leads business development efforts and serves as a Workday Lead Architect. He oversees talent development efforts for the practice and is heavily engaged in talent acquisition.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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