As we approach the end of a spectacular year, I would like to share some of my journey with you, tell you about some of the incredible things we’re building as a community, and invite you to join the very exciting plans we have for 2024.
Most don’t know this, but I started working with GAACC almost a decade ago as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, so I had a sense of the personality, path, and legacy of this organization. Shortly after beginning my Interim CEO role in February, I expressed to our Chair Jessica Chen, the Board, and the GAACC team the amazing potential I saw in the Greater Austin Asian Chamber. The Chamber has been doing great things for years, and I saw opportunities to embrace and build on that legacy while dramatically accelerating and “leveling-up” that potential.
The Greater Austin Asian Chamber is a super-connector sitting at the crossroads of many threads of community and economic development. Whether you’re taking the first steps in building a small business, maximizing the awareness and support of local stakeholders and policymakers, or connecting with dynamic international markets in Asia, this Chamber can help you. If you’re looking for a warm and diverse community of leaders and entrepreneurial spirits, you have found it. I invite you to fully connect with us and experience for yourself the excitement, growth, and fun we have here every day.
It was the full potential of that super-connector role that prompted me to accept the permanent CEO role in July, and it’s the full potential of that role that inspires our Board, committee leaders, and staff as we imagine the future. And WOW that future is exciting.
What a 2024 we have in store. We will:
- Stand up the GAACC Foundation as a platform for the direct support of Arts, Culture, and Education among Central Texas’ Asian communities
- Host our first Asia x Austin International Market Summit during SXSW week
- Launch “Asian Eats For Charity” a spectacular new way to celebrate Asia in Austin
- Advance the Central Texas Asian Impact Project and the inaugural Impact Survey
- Rebuild and amplify our advocacy! Lead or support actions to advocate for Local, State, and Federal support of AAPI issues (keep an eye out for our “Day with the Council/Capitol” in May)
- Co-launch a series of Asian Night Markets that will become The Place To Be for anyone wanting to experience a slice of Asian community culture and food – Central Texas-style
- Activate a dynamic platform for our young professionals and next-generation leaders
- Launch our “Conversations” series which includes an amazing podcast and live interactions with inspirational leaders
- Re-imagine our incredibly popular Ovation gala and Fall Classic Golf events
- And of course continue our ongoing Women’s Club events, member mixers, and all the great connecting programs you’ve come to expect and love from the Asian Chamber
I hope you’ll join us on this mission to Serve Local, Think (and act) Global while thoughtfully integrating our community and the entire Central Texas region into our work. Whether you’re a Corporate Partner, a sole proprietor, a CEO, or a young leader/entrepreneur, there’s something exciting and useful here for you.
All our best wishes to you and yours for a prosperous and joyful 2024!
President & CEO
Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce