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September 2016 Newsletter
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September 2016 Edition

Dear Ascend Members and Supporters,

I want to thank you for attending the 7th Annual AscendNAAMBA Conference and Career Exposition, held in New York City on September 9-10. We hope you had a great experience – engaged with senior executives and professionals, took in the career development advice from our mentors and our amazing lineup of speakers including Arturo Nunez from Apple, Chris Park from MLB and Celeste Warren from Merck, connected with recruiters, and networked with other attendees – together you will build powerful networks. Of course I also want to thank our sponsors, we would not be where we are today without your support and partnership at the AscendNAAMBA Conference and through the years.

Fall is upon us and we have many exciting events, programs and initiatives in store for you. We also look forward to seeing you next year for our 2017 Ascend National Convention in Houston, Texas on August 19 – 21, 2017! The planning is underway and we will share more details soon.

Below are some other key updates for September.

Warmest Regards,

Jeff Chin
President, Ascend

Thank you for attending the 7th Annual AscendNAAMBA Conference and Career Expo!


Your participation helped make this year’s conference a great success and we are thankful to those who joined us!

Video | A post-conference highlights video will be available shortly. Check our website often!

Photos | To view conference photos by day, please click the following links: Friday | Saturday | Benefit and Awards Dinner

Post-Conference Survey | In order to make future events even more successful, we request that you complete our post-conference survey. Those who attended the conference will be receiving a survey via separate email shortly. We thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions!  

CPE Credit | Those of you who attended CPE credit eligible sessions will receive information regarding CPE certificates in a separate email.


Ascend hosted it's first-ever Multicultural Forum on September 9 in New York City

On September 9, 2016, corporate diversity leaders and presidents of the top six national non-profit associations met in New York to discuss and identify major challenges corporations are currently facing. The goal of the Forum was to identify ways for the non-profits to collaborate and institute new opportunities between the non-profits and corporate partners. Participating in the discussion were the following non-profit associations: Catalyst, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA), National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA), and Prospanica. Thank you to Time Warner Inc. for sponsoring the Private Networking Reception that followed the session. If your company's Chief Diversity Officer or senior D&I leader would like to participate in the next Forum, please click here and email their contact information.

"Tools for Success Scholarships" from The Home Depot

We are proud to have partners like The Home Depot. At the Benefit and Awards Dinner on Saturday, September 10, The Home Depot awarded 4 students with the "Tools for Success Scholarship". Winners included: Michelle Yeung, Montgomery College; Quynh Dang, St. Francis College; Andrew Montelongo, Baruch College; and Jennifer Li, Fordham University. For more information, check out





Ascend Partners with Equilar Diversity Network (EDN) to Help Build the Best Boardrooms

Ascend is partnering with Equilar Diversity Network (EDN), the “registry of registries,” connecting candidates from various diversity organizations with boards, accessible through Equilar BoardEdge, a data platform including more than 150,000 public company executive and board member profiles. Shareholders, employees and clients are calling for more diversity in corporate boardrooms, and in response, more companies are expressing commitment to diversity on their boards, yet data shows that they have yet to execute on that commitment at a broader level. S.K. Gupta, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Ascend Pinnacle, Ascend's initiative to increase the number of Pan-Asian corporate directors on public and large private company boards, is quoted in the EDN launch announcement: “Many boards are committed to increasing diversity, but they cite difficulty in finding qualified candidates,” said Gupta. “Equilar Diversity Network removes that barrier and provides a single place for boards to assess and evaluate top candidates with a variety of demographic and experiential backgrounds.”

Anna Mok, Ascend’s Executive Vice President and Co-Founder of Ascend Pinnacle is quoted in a recent article about Equilar Diversity Network that appears in Agenda (a Financial Times publication) and she discusses the benefit of directors choosing to affiliate themselves with a particular group. Looking at a picture or trying to assess a name doesn’t provide trustworthy information about a person’s gender or ethnic background: “You can’t make an assumption because Amanda is female that she wants to be part of a female network, or that Anna is Asian so she will want to be part of a list of potential Asian corporate directors,” says Mok. “That’s where some of these networks become important. These are self-selected.”

Read the insightful article here.

Read the Equilar Diversity Network announcement here.


Calling all Ascend Member and Supporters: Take Advantage of the GM Supplier discount!

As a valued key partner with General Motors, they would like to extend their supplier discount to the Ascend family. Save hundreds, even thousands, on an eligible, new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicle! Learn more at

Please contact Julie Xiong for more information at

Uber HQ - Impassioned Dialogue about the Myths of Asian Leadership in Silicon Valley

On a recent evening in San Francisco, Ascend instructors Larry Chang and Wes Hom led a Myths of Asian Leadership session to a room mainly full of millennial employees at one of Silicon Valley's tech giants, Uber HQ. The instructors presented the diversity indices reported in Ascend Foundation white papers, discussed the misconceptions about Pan-Asian leadership and why so few Pan-Asians in global corporations reach the senior level, especially in Silicon Valley. The attendees discussed the findings, the eastern and western cultural and professional working style differences and learned what they can do to overcome the myths and limitations. The session ended with table discussions on Uber attendees’ experiences with stepping out of their comfort zone and speaking up at the workplace in a major startup. Minds were opened that evening.

Ascend Inspirational Leader: Janelle Aaker, Director, Talent Acquisition, lululemon athletica; Advisory Board Member, AscendNAAMBA Women's Leadership Council; Board Member, AscendNAAMBA

"I’ve been around enough blocks to know that great people are everywhere. And when I take the time to connect, engage, listen and learn from the diverse people around me, I become a better person. What I appreciate from my time spent with AscendNAAMBA is the opportunity to engage with so many diverse, incredible people. I have taken learnings from the conferences and networking events to my work and personal life. And the relationships I’ve built will last far beyond the events. I am thankful that I said “yes” to this organization many years ago, and I will continue to choose AscendNAAMBA for years to come."

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We would also like to remind everyone to take advantage of any matching grants programs
that your company offers. For more information email us at
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