Ascend New England’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Gala on May 18

Celebrating the Achievements and Heritage of New England Asian Pacific Americans


Opening Keynote Speaker

Daniel Arrigg Koh is Chief of Staff to the City of Boston. In this capacity, he advises Mayor Martin J. Walsh on key issues and executes his vision for the city and its 18,000 employees. Some of his prior experiences include serving as General Manager of HuffPost Live, The Huffington Post Media Group’s streaming network, Chief of Staff to Chair, President, and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington, and advisor to former Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston. Dan holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was president of his class. He has been named to the “30 under 30” list by Forbes Magazine, “40 under 40” list by the Boston Business Journal, and Boston Magazine as a “next generation power player.



Susan Chinsen is a community connector who focuses on the Asian Pacific Islander American community – using arts and culture for community building. She is the establishing director of the Boston Asian American Film Festival (now in it’s 9th season) and serves as the Managing Director of the Chinese Historical Society of New England. She’s been recognized by YW Boston’s 150 Women of Influence, Get Konnected!’s GK100: Arts & Entertainment and profiled in Tufts Magazine and Angry Asian Man’s Angry Reader of the Week. She is also on the board of directors at South Cove Community Health Center, an ArtsEmerson Community Curator and a Boston Neighborhood Fellow at The Boston Foundation.

Ted Kim is a Managing Director in the Corporate Finance Department at State Street, specializing in Data, Advanced Analytics, and Finance. Ted is an experienced Finance / Operations / M&A leader, voted 40 under 40 finance executive by Treasury and Risk. Prior to joining State Street, Ted was a Vice President, Assistant Treasurer at Aetna, a Fortune 50 global insurer. He is also a former Arthur Andersen accountant and Arthur D. Little management consultant. He has a MBA in finance and strategy from MIT Sloan School. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst.

Arvind Kumar is a Principal Partner with PwC’s Integrated Health Solutions Risk Assurance practice. He has over 25 years of experience in healthcare focused on regulatory compliance, data analytics, data governance, Electronic Health Records (EHR) and technology transitions, and strategic transformation programs. He leads a team which works with clients to implement analytics and advanced technological solutions related to internal audit, compliance, revenue cycle, EHR controls and implementation testing, fraud and regulatory assessment and reporting. Prior to joining PwC, Arvind was SVP of Technology and Alliances at the Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions. He holds a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras and an M.S. in Engineering Management from Northeastern University.

Irene Li co-owns and operates the Boston-based food truck, restaurant and shipping container enterprise collectively known as the Mei Mei Group. Founded with her two older siblings, their award-winning food businesses merge modern techniques and genre-bending creativity with sustainable practices and tech-savvy communications. Irene believes food can and should be delicious, fun, and just. Her background of living on an organic farm, working the restaurant line, and organizing for social justice inform her leadership of the food and sourcing elements of the company. She recently graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Food Systems and Cultural Studies, received her third consecutive James Beard Rising Star nomination and an Eater National Young Gun award.


Closing Keynote Speaker

Nina Liang is the first Chinese-American City Councilor in Quincy. Born in Quincy and raised by immigrant parents, she has experienced firsthand the challenges that minority children and families face. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to be a part of community organizations dedicated to addressing the needs of those who are new to both the language and customs of American culture. Having worked as the office manager with her family’s restaurant group, Nina also has the experience and perspective of a small business owner, creating jobs and opportunity in the communities in which they operate. She currently serves on the board of D.O.V.E, Maria Droste Counseling Services, the Thomas Crane Public Library, and Quincy Catholic Academy.

Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and desserts from Bon Me, Mei Mei, and Flour and traditional cultural performances (Bhangra dance and Japanese Drums).

Date:Thursday, May 18, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: State Street Financial Center 7th Floor Auditorium, 1 Lincoln Street, Boston
Cost: Free for Members | $20 for Non-members | Free for professionals from sponsor companies | Bring cash to purchase raffle tickets
Registration: RSVP here
Attire: Business casual

*State Street is not responsible for any unforeseeable liabilities during the event.



As an Ascend member, you have access to outstanding leadership and professional development programs, unique Pan-Asian executive networks, and opportunities to develop your leadership skills and influence in the community. Membership also provides you with exclusive access to our members-only benefits and discounts and access to Ascend events both at the national and local chapter level.

Ascend is the largest, non-profit Pan-Asian organization for business professionals in North America. Established in 2005, Ascend has grown to serve professionals and corporations across various professions and across multiple industries. Ascend reaches 60,000 people with 34 student chapters and 17 professional chapters located in both the United States and Canada around major business hubs and educational institutions. We offer robust professional development and career enhancement programs designed to cultivate Pan-Asian talent.

We offer three levels of membership to professionals:

  • Professional One Year – $125
  • Professional Three Years – $300 (save $75)
  • Professional Lifetime – $1200 (by invitation only)

Membership is open to individuals of all ethnicities and business backgrounds. Membership fees are non-refundable.

Learn more about Ascend here.

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