We are proud to have Nanci Nishimura and Tianyi "Joe" Zhu as our Co-Chairs.

Nanci Nishimura

AAPI Leaders Forum Co-Chair Nanci Nishimura is a partner with the law firm of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy

Partner with the law firm of Cotchett, Pitre & 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.

Tianyi "Joe" Zhu

AAPI Leaders Forum Co-Chair Tianyi "Joe" Zhu Managing Partner, Playground Capital

2017 AABDC 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business award recipient. He is an international entrepreneur and angel investor.


Tianyi "Joe" 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