HOUSTON, Aug. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Ascend, the largest non-profit Pan-Asian membership organization for business professionals in North America celebrated its 2017 National Convention at the Marriott Marquis Houston on August 19-21, 2017. This year's convention theme was "Power Up" – a theme that was explored extensively throughout the event. The Ascend Convention is the largest gathering of Pan-Asian business professionals in North America with attendees from over 200 organizations and 60+ sponsoring organizations.
Ascend featured some truly inspirational speakers from diverse fields ranging from Christine Ha, celebrity cook and author who talked about her vision loss to Soyeon Yi, South Korea's first astronaut who recounted surviving a life-threatening accident in space. Joe Adams, Managing Partner and CEO of RSM US LLP spoke about the power of being you. Shariq Yosufzai, Vice President of Global Diversity at Chevron Corporation gave a passionate Awards Dinner speech about the dearth of Pan-Asians in leadership positions. Yash Semlani, the 11-year old entrepreneur, community leader and Houston's Inaugural Young Ambassador discussed his impressive achievements and non-profit work. This year, the convention featured a third edition of the hugely popular Ascend Talks, with trailblazing speakers including Duy-Loan Le, an engineer and the first woman and Asian elected as a Texas Instruments Senior Fellow, and a partnership with United Way Houston where convention attendees gave back to the Houston public schools.
Anna Mok, Ascend National Executive Vice President, said: "Our Convention is unique in not only its scale and impact but also in our programming and attendees. This is the only convention for Pan-Asians where CEOs and Corporate Board directors, who are part of Ascend Pinnacle, are cross-learning and networking with each other and those of other career levels. As a lifecycle organization, Ascend features programs for different career levels including Pinnacle, the Pan-Asian Corporate Board Initiative, Corporate Executive Initiative, Executive Insight Series, and sessions for millennials and students."
Jeff Chin, the Ascend National President, said: "The convention was the perfect opportunity to reflect on what we stand for. It's more important than ever that we help build and foster an open and inclusive workplace and society, bring people together and be leaders. The beauty of this world lies in our diversity and our ability to harness our collective strengths. As I look around the Convention, I am so proud to say that Ascend and our members continually demonstrates and reinforces our beliefs and values."
At the Awards Dinner, Ascend continued the tradition of recognizing business leaders and organizations who have made significant contributions to the Pan-Asian community. Ascend recognized Shariq Yosufzai with the Ascend Inspiring Across Generations (IAG): Inspirational Leader Award; Ananda Kanapathy, Senior Director of Gas Field Operations, North at PSE&G and Ascend New Jersey Chapter President and Anindo Dutta, a Group Vice President at Oracle Corporation with the IAG High-Impact Leader Awards; Vivian Pham with the IAG Rising Star Award; Prudential Financial with the Ascend Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award; Bristol-Myers Squibb's Pan Asian Network and Pfizer Inc.'s Global Asian Alliance with the Ascend Affinity/ERG Leadership Awards; and finally Warren Kashiwagi, a retired Partner at Crowe Horwath LLP with the Ascend President's PhD Award. David Ono, News Anchor at ABC7 Los Angeles served as the evening's Master of Ceremonies.
Next year's Ascend National Convention will be held in San Francisco on August 25-28, 2018.
Ascend is the largest, non-profit Pan-Asian membership organization for business professionals in North America. Established in 2005, Ascend, a career lifecycle organization, reaches 60,000+ senior executives, professionals, and MBA/undergraduate students involved in its 50+ chapters in the United States and Canada. Visit http://www.ascendleadership.org/ for more information.