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Networking Mixer at Furio

Networking Mixer at FurioThe evening at NAAAP mixer went smoothly, highlighted by the terrific location, the networking format and the friendliness shown by those who attended. It was well-run and effective, very much like the other Evening Networking Events I’ve attended so far. I will make small suggestions if I spot areas that could be changed to make these get-togethers even more useful and memorable. The executive board and the leaders of NAAAP are doing an outstanding job; it is why I joined the group, even without any lobbying from members I have met over the summer.

I have been looking for a professional organization to join and I am very honored to be asked by NAAAP – a professional organization composed of active, energized professionals from around the Valley. It is empowering to share ideas, challenges, resources and referrals with fellow Asian Americans, all of whom are looking to build relationships and assist each other with products and services.

At the meetings and monthly activities I’ve gone to, I’ve been encouraged and inspired by the professional speakers and what they said in their presentation as well as they way they delivered it. I love the fact that this board and its members are open to activities outside of the normal business topics. The personal-growth activities and community-service events this year are refreshing to take part in.

I foresee NAAAP having a positive impact on how we Asian American professionals are perceived and received by the community. The regular meetings, out-of-the-box activities, community-related programs, fund-raising events and consistent exposure to the media in town will help raise the stature and relevance of NAAAP. Again, my sincere thanks to Jason and the board for inviting me and allowing me to be a part of this terrific organization.

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Mike Hayashi is a member of NAAAP – Phoenix and an instructor for Take Control Self Defense. For more information, please call (480) 221-0044 or visit www.TakeControlSelfDefense.com

Cultural Potluck & Election 2007

2007 Cultural Potluck and ElectionI moved to the valley about two years ago from Maryland as an account executive. Because of the nature of my industry, I have spent the last few months searching for a dynamic networking group to join.

I have attended many local networking functions but found that there was always something lacking. Not until I met a NAAAP member at a local Chamber event was I introduced to NAAAP. My first experience with this group was at the Cultural Potluck & Elections. The potluck had a great turn out and so many different selections of delicious homemade dishes! Adding to my positive experience at the event, I was very pleasantly surprised by the camaraderie I felt at the meeting. Every member of NAAAP has a voice in the election! Not only was the board formed by members who wanted to participate but they were also an experienced professional group who are committed to using the roles they chose to make a difference.

In my search for an organization that would expand my business network, I have found an organization that encourages business relationships, personal friendships and community involvement. Members were so open to helping me grow both professionally and socially, I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of NAAAP. I love that NAAAP has made a commitment to give back to our community through various events and programs and I am proud to be a part of this wonderful group.

I believe organizations like NAAAP will help members to articulate a better understanding of our own values and ethics. With the commitment of goals and objectives through community involvement, NAAAP can create value…the more people who join and participate, the more value NAAAP can create. I am looking forward to participating in NAAAP activities that will expand our network and share our culture with the community.

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Samantha Terry is a member of NAAAP-Phoenix & an account executive with Total Merchant Services. She helps establish services for businesses to handle the acceptance of all forms of non-cash payments. For more information, visit www.meridianccs.com or call (480)220-2413.

Homeless Shelter Meal Service (2008)

To many participants, including the friends that I brought, it was the first volunteer experience and also the first exposure to this oppressed population. It was definitely the eye opening event to many of them. We all were very attentive and eager to help to serve the meal efficiently. Some of us spent sometime afterwards talking with the residents of this shelter and it taught us to appreciate the fortunes that we have(job, housing, choice, freedom etc) and the importance of sharing and helping out each other when necessary. To me, it was definitely the rewarding experience, although seeing small children living in this type of environment broke my heart.

I had been looking for a place for networking tailored to Asian American population. I met with Jason Wong at APCI coalition meeting. After hearing his presentation, I felt like this would be a good group to join for my professional and personal growth. I feel that as our populations grow, it is crucial for Asian Americans to unite together and make our presence known in the community.

I am open to any type of activities. For example, speaking of community/social service perspective, I would be interested in volunteering for children/family or oppressed women service type of programs, because in my professional life, the population that I serve is somewhat limited(the elderly, that is!). I would like to contribute to your programs as much as my schedule permits.

As I mentioned earlier, I strongly feel that by us uniting and working together, we can make a significant contribution to the community, be it cultural education, networking, community services etc. I hope that this organization grows and attracts people from diverse background so we can educate each other.

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Mika Kondo is a Family Care Consultant & Cultural Outreach Specialist for Alzheimer's Association. For more information, please contact Mika at (602)528-0545 or visit the website www.alzdsw.org

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