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Board of Directors

Lily Chan

Founder & President

Lily Chan is a forward-thinking service leader who has started popular programs both nationally and locally. Lily has a strong background in sales and business development. Lily’s previous experience includes: work at ILGWU as business agent and worker’s advocacy representative, overseeing more than 140 manufacture and contract firms and over 3,000 workers. Her responsibility includes negotiation, conflict and dispute settlements, contract, OHSA and fair labor practice enforcement. Lily’s experience also includes ownership and executive management of a high volume sportswear production company.

As the founder of the Asian Focus Corporation, Lily brings more than 30 years of non-profit and management experience to the AF organization. She has served in numerous community programs; including service as the Vice President and President of the Triangle Area Chinese American Society.

 

Yun-Lieh Chuu

Vice President

Yun Chuu is originally from Taiwan and she moved with her family to the U.S. when she was a junior in high school. She went on to study at the University of Maryland where she received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and received a M.S. in Electric Engineering from Syracuse University. She started her career as an IBM engineer in the Memory Reliability Department. After working nearly 20 years in a large corporation, she switched her career path and became an independent financial consultant. She has been working under LPL Financial’s supervision for the past 11 years with a focus on personal retirement planning and family financial planning which entails investment, insurance, and estate planning.

Yun has been with Lily since the founding of Asian Focus and shares both Lily’s views and vision. The core team works alongside each other, each contributing their special talents, striving towards continuing Asian Focus’ goals and mission. As VP she oversees all operations.

From a young age, Yun has been an active volunteer and leader in her school and community. She served as the president of Chinese Student Association, captain of the volleyball team, as well as host and organizer for various community events prior to settling in Cary, NC in 1995. She loved to volunteer at her children’s schools and served in various positions such as Raleigh Chinese Language School PTA president, BLIA NC president, Fo Guang Shan Temple NC Youth Orchestra co-organizer and NC Taiwanese American Chamber of Commerce Board Member.

 

Scott W. Lee

VP, Marketing

Scott Lee is originally from Dallas, TX. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin and holds an MBA from West Texas A&M University. He worked in the IT industry for over 20 years from small businesses to large corporations including IBM, Lenovo, and Gulfstream Aerospace. Currently, he is a Senior IT Consultant for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Since 2013, Scott has been helping Asian Focus with marketing, technology, and web design and development.

 

Aboli Alurkar

Legal Council

Aboli is a dual licensed attorney in India and the USA. She has held in house counsel/corporate counsel positions with multinational technology companies and currently works as Assistant General Counsel at Lenovo. Aboli works closely with her global business clients on a variety of matters including outsourcing contracts, Managed services, Sales, global compliance matters, M&A projects. Aboli has led/managed global projects spanning multiple jurisdictions with private and public sector entities. She is a graduate of Duke University School of Law.

She enjoys the outdoors, hiking, and gardening. She lives in Cary with her husband and 2 kids.

 

Benjamin Uysmith

Project & Operation Management

Benjamin UySmith (formerly Benjamin Smith) is originally from Edenton, NC. He is a 2002 graduate from NCSSM and a 2006 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate with a B.S. in Applied Sciences – Bio-medical Engineering. A fun fact, while at UNC, he rowed for Carolina’s Men’s Club Rowing team. As boat leader, his boat earned first place in lightweight novice 8 and third place at nationals in two different novice categories.
After college, he worked at Lenovo for seven years. His first two years was in ThinkPad sales and then transitioned to project management within the ThinkPad business for his remaining five years. He currently works for AXA-Advisors as a Financial Consultant providing financial advice for small business owners and individuals. He works across the state, localized within the Greater Triangle community, to provide financial ideas, efficiency, and security to the community. He is also Operations Manager for the Triangle Dragon Boat festival since 2013.. He lives in Durham with his wife, Cassie UySmith (Class of 2003 and formerly Cassie Woods) and their two daughters, Nazomi (age 6) and Roxana (age 4). His family doesn’t stop there they also have quite the “menagerie” of animals three great danes, one king charles cavalier, one half irish setter half brittany spaniel, six australorps, and two fish :).

 

Christin Lai

Program Coordinator

Christin joined Asian Focus as the program coordinator in 2016, primarily organizing the performance program for the Annual Dragon Boat Festival. She enjoys working with local artists and performers, and promoting all types of culture.Over the years, Christin has been involved in a variety of community service organizations in the Triangle area including Raleigh Chinese School, TACAS, Food bank and Habitat for Humanity.
Christin graduated from State University of New York at Binghamton with a M.S. degree
in Systems Science. She later joined IBM at RTP working as a Software Engineer for 18 years. She currently works at Coldwell Banker Advantage team as a sales agent to pursue her passion in real estate. She lives in Durham with her husband , two grown children and a cute doggy. During her spare time, she likes hiking, reading and painting.

 

YuPei Chooi

Program Coordinator

Yu-Pei Chooi is originally from Penang, Malaysia. She is a 1993 graduate from University of Sciences, Malaysia (USM) with B.S. Hons. in Housing, Building and Planning. Prior to relocation to USA, she worked as a quantity surveyor in Singapore on multi millions residential projects for both public and private sectors. Her portfolios include several BCA awards winning development such as The Pinnacle @ Duxton and Trellis Towers in Singapore.

Growing up in multicultural society in Malaysia, she was privileged to formally learn
to read and write three major languages, English, Chinese and Malay besides being able to communicate in several local Asian dialects such as Cantonese and Hokkien.

Yu-Pei’s passion for real estate continues even after relocation. She started her real estate practice in 2014 and continues helping others navigate the unpredictable tides of a real estate transaction. Her international work experience and multilingual skill has further earned her a certification from NAR as an international property specialist. She served the board of the Triangle International Council (TIC) of REALTORS in 2015-16, during which TIC was recognized by NAR with “GOLD” Global Business Council Achievement Award.

Beside real estates, she is an active volunteer in local communities and schools. She was past executive committee of DDMS PTA (2012-14) and DDES PTA (2014-15), she led the PTA membership chair and helped the PTA being recognized by NCPTA for Membership Record Awards. She is currently project manager for the Triangle Area Dragon Boat Festival and Kiwanis Advisor for Keyclub. Currently resides in Cary, NC with her family, she strives to continue providing services and pay it forward.

 

Marko Fong

Publication

Marko Fong is a writer, teacher, and attorney who moved to Durham in 2014 with his wife June and their two dogs and a cat.  For the last three years, he has been helping students to improve their writing and working with adult English language learners on sharpening their interview skills. Prior to that, he represented Northern California Public School Districts in Special Education matters and election matters, worked as a national advocate for urban high school reform, worked as a researcher/writer for the George Lucas Educational Foundation, and taught middle school and high school.

His family came to California from China’s Guangdong province around 1900.

Education: 

M.A.  Stanford University School of Educational

J.D.  University of California Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law

B.A.  Stanford University

attended Rice University

 

Eileen Culliney (刘咏梅), CPA and Financial Auditor

Treasurer, Asian Focus

Career:

Financial auditor since 2007 with concentration in non-profit organizations and insurance industry; tax preparer since 2007 specialized in individual, corporate and partnership tax returns

Education:

Master Degree in Accounting, UNC Greensboro, NC

Hobby:

Reading, watching online soap operas, travel, spend time with family, friends and 2 cats

 

Core Team

Gregoria Smith, PhD,

Secretary General

A professor at the University  of Guam (UOG) College of Arts & Sciences, Gregoria taught health & dance, did research on Coping with Illness, and directed Dance Theatre Guam, performing in  the South Pacific Festival of Arts held  in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Australia & New Zealand. Appointed Chair of the Commission on Status of Women, she gave papers on women’s health in Asia.

After UOG,  she managed QI at the Guam Department of Mental Health & Substance

Abuse. Following her  passion for peacemaking, she founded the International Women’s Club of Guam. In 1998, she moved to Houston where she  tracked and trended quality performance for  Blue Cross Blue Shield, working with Price Waterhouse Cooper Consultants in getting accreditation after merger & acquisition.

Education:

Gregoria attended the University of the Philippines, came to the USA as an H2 Contract worker to teach on Guam in 1967. She  holds an MA in Behavioral Sciences, MA in Community Psychology (New York University) and a PhD in Human & Organizational Systems (Fielding). Her goal is to help improve the adaptive capacity of groups or individuals to cope  with internal & external  challenges. She also served as a Stephen Minister for 18 years in Houston. Gregoria is a member of  the  Midtown Rotary Club, the AAUW,  and a parishioner at the St Michael’s Episcopal Church of Raleigh.

 

Angela Hicks

Outreach Liaison & Grant Writer

Angela Hicks, Ed.D. is a grant writer and trainer. She is CEO of Grant Professional, a $500K national Grant Technical Assistance company providing business development services to Nonprofit and Emerging Community Healthcare Centers. She has written successful grants with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), Housing Urban Development (HUD), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and National Science Foundation (NSF) securing over $20 million in grant funding. She has
served as an assistant professor of higher education, most recently at North Carolina A&T State University, and adjunct professor at North Carolina State University. A wealth of knowledge, she is a pre- awards grant specialist and advisor, well versed in identifying funding sources, providing eligibility guidelines and technical assistance for grant proposals.

Education:

Angela Hicks received her Doctoral Degree in Adult Continuing Education from North Carolina State University, specializing in adult education strategies, program evaluation and community-based innovations. Her Master’s degree is in HRD and Organizational Change from Bowie State University in Bowie Maryland. In 2006-2007, she worked in Beijing China, teaching English and advising NGOs on English curriculum. Annually she and her adult son, who is fluent in Mandarin, introduce youth to global awareness by hosting one trip to China. She enjoys dragon boat racing, a healthy eating lifestyle and lives in North Carolina with her family.

 

IT support/ Webmaster – Susie Chen

Social Media Mgmnt – Connie Chege-Bryant

Fund Raising – Sherry Rodriquez

Race Team coordination – Maggie Quan

Special Program – Moyin Zhao

Data Research – Kevin Orro

Newsletter – Davida Walker

Asian outreach Liaison – Wayne Hui

Culture – Filipino Liaison – Maria Romp

Culture- Indian Liaison – Gowri Goli

Culture-Latino Liaison – Mirella Ledesma

APISU President – Shania Khoo

APISU co-president – Lu, Cao

Tech Support – Frank Chan

Tech Support – Jose Orro

Outreach Liasion: Mike Liu

Social Media Management : Wa Meng

Race Team Coordinator: Tony Lai

 

Ad-hoc Support

Editing – Ryan Chan

Event Operation – Michelle Orro

Graphic Design – Darren Wheeling

Graphic Design – Jack Paus

DB Race Team – Tony Lai

Outreach – Peter Alldredge

Volunteer Appr – Jessica Best

Fundraising Support – Philip Tan

Fundraising / Prog – Winnie Tong

Graphic Design – ALPHA MARKETING

WeChat-outreach – Tony Zhang

 

Advisory Panel

Jay Silver

Jerry Fralick

Jenny Chen