Our Board Members provide critical thought leadership for the AAPI Leaders Forum.
Chief Executive Officer
Lorna Randlett is the Founder and CEO of the Leader’s Forum, a C-suite Asian American Pacific Islander executive think tank engaged in public policy. Commissioner for the White House Initiative for Asian American Pacific Islanders. Former, strategic communications specialist and external relations manager for the global management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. Served the Advanced Industries, Knowledge, Strategy, Public Sector, Infrastructure, Higher Education & Social Sector practices. Also served the West Coast/Mid-Atlantic regions. Areas of concentration include global media, thought leadership/stake-holder cultivation and pro-bono & client engagements for nonprofit organizations. Experienced leader/advisor in presentation and media/strategic communications for directors and partners. Specialization in client relationships and management in high profile c-suite client events.
CEO of NextFuels – Founder and President of Dashboard Tech
Wade Randlett is the CEO of NextFuels. For the previous decade, Mr. Randlett co-founded and served as a senior executive for a variety of bio-diesel enterprises. Prior to his work in renewable fuels, Mr. Randlett co-founded Technology Network, Silicon Valley's bi-partisan political action committee. He was responsible for the strategy and execution of TechNet's federal and state agenda. Mr. Randlett negotiated with the White House and Congress over issues including securities litigation reform, H1-B Visa expansion, China MFN status, and FASB stock option treatment. Among his outside activities, Mr. Randlett served on the Obama-Biden transition team. He was later appointed twice to four-year terms by President Obama to serve on the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN) to the United States Trade Representative, from which he holds Top Secret security clearance. In addition, Mr. Randlett is a member of the College Promise Campaign National Advisory Board, tasked with working closely with Honorary Chair Dr. Jill Biden to advocate for free community college across the country. Mr. Randlett was the first outside Board of Directors member of E-Loan (Nasdaq: EELN), serving through its IPO, on its audit committee, and until its $425 million all-cash acquisition by Banco Popular.
Tianyi Joe Zhu
Managing Partner of Playground Capital
Tianyi Joe Zhu (朱天怡) is a 2017 AABDC 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business award recipient. He is an international entrepreneur and angel investor. Tianyi is the Managing Partner of Playground Capital, a joint-venture investment holding with China’s largest playground and leisure conglomerate. He is a co-founder/partner in SmartHealth Ventures. Recently SmartHealth announced in partnership with Rosalind Franklin University to build a $50 million, four story, 100,000 square foot biotech innovation park. Tianyi Joe Zhu is also a co-founder of West Suburban Angels and is the chairman of the Zhu Holdings Group Company which launched Cooper China, and recently had its grand opening of a 250,000 sq. ft health clinic in Nanjing, China. Tianyi is a proverbial serial entrepreneur getting his start in entrepreneurship when he was in college, where he founded an eastern medicine supplier and has recorded exits in both his ventures as well as investments. Tianyi was recognized by Hennessy's with their "Never Stop, Never Settle" entrepreneurship award, was a University of Illinois Alumni Association: UIAAAN Featured Alumni, and received the honor in 2015 of Mandarin Leader for Entrepreneurship. In his personal life, Tianyi is a professional boxer, has competed in the 2008 Chinese Olympic Trials, trained with the Chinese National Team, and was an IKF Amateur Thai Boxing World Champion
Managing Attorney Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC
Allison Chan is an immigration attorney at Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC. She is Managing Attorney at the law firm’s Raleigh, NC Immigration Law office. Her practice includes representing clients in all aspects of immigration, asylum, removal and deportation defense, complex family-based visa issues, motion practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, and federal judicial review. She has successfully represented hundreds of clients at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices around the country for visa petition, adjustment of status and naturalization interviews. She is passionate about the rights of undocumented people and committed to helping individuals seeks and maintain lawful status and citizenship in the U.S.
Co-Founder of Votivate
Tejal Shah is the Co-Founder of Votivate, a startup that makes it easy to personalize your politics by creating your own political agenda. Use Votivate to vote, volunteer and donate based on issues that matter most to you. Prior to Votivate, she was the Founder & CEO of KidAdmit, a US based marketplace for children’s schools & programs. She has raised funding from well known institutional venture capitalists as well as being an LP in early stage venture funds, Refactor Capital and Halogen. Tejal also co-founded Peninsula Wealth, an independent wealth management firm. She has 15+ years of professional experience building successful businesses and her passion lies in consumer products and marketplaces. Tejal holds an engineering degree from University of Rochester as well as a 2nd degree black belt in Karate.
Former Senior Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering Bank of America
Francis Cheung is a technology executive with over 30 years of management experience at several of the largest global companies in the finance, entertainment, energy services and engineering sectors. He has led significant technology implementations and organizational maturity, improving overall capabilities to achieve business goals and service delivery. He is Senior Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering for Bank of America and is responsible for best practices and operations of demand management, capacity and performance management. Prior to joining Bank of America, he was Director of Program Management Office with American President Lines (APL), a global transportation and logistics company where he established project management methodologies and standard project deliverables and tools. Francis was Director of Technology Planning for Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) where he was responsible for technical architecture, standards and integration of innovative business and information technologies such as digital media transfers. His other responsibilities included Data Management, Groupware, Project Office and SPE Intranet. In the 80’s, he was the Manager of Information Technology and Manager of Production Systems for Halliburton Company and its subsidiaries, the world’s leading diversified energy services, engineering, energy equipment, construction and maintenance company. He was responsible for overall IT management, technology and operations. He led the design and implementation of engineering networks, 3D CAD and visual plant design.
Principal, Cotchett, Pitre, and McCarthy
Nanci E. Nishimura is a partner with the law firm of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy in Burlingame, California, with offices in Los Angeles and New York. She serves in a leadership role in complex cases involving business and antitrust litigation in state and federal courts. She received her B.A and M.A. from the University of Southern California, and attended Waseda University in Japan. While completing an M.A. in International Relations, focusing on the Pacific Rim, she studied at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and then spent several years in business development for international clients. While earning a J.D. from The Catholic University in Washington, D.C., she clerked at the U.S. International Trade Commission, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and served as a Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye. Ms. Nishimura currently serves as California Governor Jerry Brown’s appointee to the Commission on Judicial Performance. She previously served on U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s Judicial Appointments Committee for the Northern District of California, and the State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission. She has been named one of the Top 100 Women Lawyers in California. Her commitment to diversity in the law, education and community includes serving as a Trustee and Commissioner of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, a Trustee of the California Science Center Foundation, Rotary Club, and numerous other community-based non-profits.
Co-Founder and Partner of Modjule LLC, 4C Capital LLC, Promise Holdings
A lifelong resident of the Chicago area, Gordon is an independent entrepreneur, investor, operator and performer. He is a Co-founder and Partner of investment firms Modjule LLC, Promise Holdings LLC, and 4C Capital LLC, investing in both control buyouts and early stage start-ups. Companies where he is a co-owner and Board Member include Hickory Farms, AKIRA, Gateway Newsstands, Good Idea Foods and HairClinical.
Prior to his current activities, Gordon spent 15 years in institutional Private Equity as a Principal and Investment professional with Baird Capital, Reliant Equity Investors, and Wind Point Partners. Gordon received his MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Toigo Fellow and the Founder of the Asian American Business Association, and his BS from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where he graduated with Highest Honors and as a recipient of the Bronze Tablet.
Gordon's core mission in life is focused on lifting up underserved communities, with an emphasis on economic wealth creation and the enhancement of self-esteem through the performing arts. He is a past President of the Goodman Theater's Auxiliary Board, Founding Board Member and current Vice Chair of AAAIM (the Association of Asian American Investment Managers), and former Board member of the Chicago Sinfonietta. Finally, he is a published poet, produced playwright, spoken word artist and wedding singer.
Teddy Liaw is the CEO of NexRep, one of the largest at-home call centers (BPOs) in America. Teddy also founded Global Leadership Organization, a nonprofit devoted to providing leadership development to community organizations. He was formerly National President of Chairman of Taiwanese American Citizens League (TACL), founded Taiwanese American Professionals (TAP). He attended UC Berkeley, doubling in Business Administration and Ethnic Studies. At Berkeley, he was the student government President, and he founded several organizations including Asian American Association (AAA) and Project SMILE.
President & CEO Imprenta Communications Group
Ronald W. Wong is President & CEO of Imprenta Communications Group, Inc. an award-winning public affairs, campaign and ethnic marketing firm based in Southern California. Ron is a recognized expert in APA politics and political campaigns. He has more than 30 years of experience advising Fortune 500 companies, government entities, and elected officials on political and communications strategies. As President of Imprenta, Ron oversees a multi-million-dollar business and develops and implements marketing, and communications strategies for the firm's most prominent clients. Ron has received numerous awards including PR Professional of the Year 2018, Boutique Agency of the Year 2016 from Bulldog Reporter, and was recognized as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in America from Inc. Magazine, 2 years in a row. The Los Angeles Business Journal recognized Ron as the Asian Business Advocate of the Year 2013, and he was a semi-finalist for the Ernst & Young, Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016. He also is the founder and creator of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF). Utilizing his more than nearly 30 years of experience and insight working in politics, Ron helped create the APALF because of the recognized need for APAs to serve as elected and appointed leaders in America. Ron has served in leadership roles in numerous APA organizations including serving as the Co-Chair of the Asian Business Association, a board member of the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment (CAUSE), among others.