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L to R: Dr. Jhemon Lee, NAAAP Nat'l Chair; Martin Yan;
Mark Yee, Pres. APEX

Photo Gallery of the APEX/NAAAP 2000 event!
Special Photo Gallery of Actress Lucy Liu!
Feature: "Accountability Issues Key to Asian American Progress"
AC Team's Nancy Bui Chats with Actress Lucy Liu

Asian Professionals Voice Opportunities
and Challenges for the Millennium

LOS ANGELES, California - October 5-8, 2000

Chef Martin Yan with

     Asian Americans are making great strides into many industries from entertainment, international business to information technology. A special excitement could be felt from participants at this year's APEX/NAAAP conference, appropriately titled, "Imagine," the largest gathering of Asian American professionals in the nation. More than 1,000 people came together from all across the U.S. for a magical weekend to network, listen, and celebrate.

     One of the highlights and surprise hits of the conference was a personal appearance of Chef Martin Yan, host of the Emmy award winning TV series "Yan Can Cook" who had just returned home to California from Asia. Chef Yan educated and entertained a standing room only crowd with his special brand of humor.

L to R: Mark Yee, Pres. APEX; Helen Hua, Co-Chair; Joseph Park,;
Ken Yamamoto, Co-Chair

     For a solid hour and a half, Chef Yan captivated the audience with his expert cooking techniques, mixing one-liners and stories of his Asian heritage and humble beginnings, to his career in the global spotlight which has sustained for more than twenty years. Today, in his 40's, Yan is the most famous TV chef in the world with shows airing in 75 countries to more than 2 billion people. The media pioneer, still fresh and high energy as ever, quipped that he has been on television before most of the conference attendees were born.

     In addition to the throngs of APEX/NAAAP members surrounding Chef Yan, executive chefs and management from the well-run conference hotel, the Hilton Universal City and Towers, came out to greet him. 

L to R: Donald Jue; Elizabeth Bennette;
Shirley Young

     Dotcom entrepreneurs gave presentations, including 28 year old Joseph Park, co-founder of, the company that aims to deliver products and services to your door in less than one hour.

     Park spoke of his personal decision to leave a successful job with a Wall Street firm and funny stories of his Korean mother who called him daily to urge him to stop building his new company, Needless to say, his mom is now proud of him for believing in himself and following through with his personal dreams. is now in eleven cities in the U.S. and has raised a quarter of a billion dollars in investment capital.

     Co-founder of, Suzanne Joe Kai, was a guest speaker on the Asian Economic Opportunities panel, introducing a new addition to AsianConnections media network,, "fast-tracking businesses into the China market."

Actor Dustin Nguyen

     Larry Wang, founder of Wang & Li Resources, a recruiting firm specializing in helping Greater China job seekers, Professor Yi Feng of Claremont College, and Mark Matsumoto, Chairman of the Southern California Export Council rounded out the panel discussion on China and the Impact of the WTO. 

     Shirley Young, a former senior executive for General Motors now working and living in China and the U.S., led a panel on "Role Models: Past, Present and Future." Panelists included community leaders and business people, Donald Jue, Vice President, IBM; Judge Ronald Jew, Federal District Judge of Central California; Charles Woo, CEO, Megatoys; and Elizabeth Bennette, CIO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of Los Angeles.

Actress Lucy Liu

     The depth and diversity of topics discussed during the day by entrepreneurs, intellectuals and entertainment celebrities contrasted with the evening's glitz and glamour of the first Ammy awards, an Oscar-like awards event co-produced by APEX/NAAAP and aMedia.Inc., publishers of A Magazine and

     The star-studded event honoring the achievements of Asian Pacific America entertainers was co-hosted by actors Dustin Nguyen ("V.I.P.") and Tamlyn Tomita ("Joy Luck Club").

     AC Team members met with many of the honorees at a V.I.P. reception sponsored by Hennessy X.O. One of the evening's biggest show-stoppers was Lucy Liu ("Ally McBeal," "Charlie's Angels"), who accepted an award as Best Actress for her portrayal of Princess Pei-Pei in Jackie Chan's western-comedy "Shanghai Noon."

Jack Ong

     Marie Matiko, dazzled APEX/NAAAP members as a panelist in the afternoon, and changed outfits just in time to become an Ammy awards presenter. Matiko is the co-star in "The Art of War" with Wesley Snipes.

     Veteran Hollywood actor and activist, and contributing columnist, Jack Ong was honored by a special award for his tireless efforts to promote diversity and better roles for Asian actors.

     Other winners include Best Hollywood Picture, "The Sixth Sense," directed by M. Night Shyamalan; Best Independent Feature, "Three Seasons," directed by Tony Bui; Best Foreign Feature, "Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl," directed by Joan Chen; Best Short Film, "Twinkle,Twinkle," directed by Bing Yao; Best Documentary, "Young Asianz Rising! Breaking Down Violence Against Women,"

AC Team on location
Wendy Chan and Allen Ying

directed by ADVPC; Best Male Actor in a Cinematic Production, Chow Yun-Fat in "Anna and the King," Best Male Actor in a Televised Production, Dustin Nguyen in "V.I.P.;" Best Female Actor in a Cinematic Production, Lucy Liu, "Shanghai Noon;" Best Female Actor in a Televised Production, Kelly Hu, "Martial Law;" Best Anime, "Princess Mononoke."

     AC Team members were stationed throughout the conference and the Ammy awards. Stay tuned for more coverage, and streaming audio and video interviews from the events.

AC Team's Wendy Chan

Photo Gallery of the APEX/NAAAP 2000 event!
Special Photo Gallery of Actress Lucy Liu!

Accountability Issues Key to Asian American Progress" - by Nancy Bui
AC Team's Nancy Bui Chats with Actress Lucy Liu

AC Team Contributors to this story: Nancy Bui, Allen Ying,
Wendy Chan, Jack Ong, Suzanne Kai






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