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Free Community Keynote Lunch Recognizing Outstanding APA Employee & Community Leaders
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Free Community Keynote Lunch Recognizing Outstanding APA Employee & Community Leaders & the Texas Launch of A Portrait of Chinese Americans

When: 10/11/2008
12:00 PM
Where: 11110 Bellaire Blvd #200
Houston, International Trade Center  77072
Contact: Debbie Chen
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Free Community Keynote Lunch Recognizing Outstanding APA Employee & Community Leaders
 & the Texas Launch of A Portrait of Chinese Americans

The Greater Houston Chapter of OCA (OCA-GH) is proud to present its event honoring outstanding local APA employees & community leaders that have contributed significantly to the APA, Houston, and global communities. The 2008 honorees are Ms. Sushma Bhan (Shell Oil) and Officer Thanh Nguyen. (City of Houston Fire Department)  Two exemplary role models in both the workplace and the community. The community box lunch will also feature the presentation of the OCA-GH Outstanding Community Achievement Award to the national APIA community leader Daphne Kwok with a keynote by Ms. Kwok. The honorees distinguish themselves not only professionally, but also civically, giving of their talent, passion, and time.

The annual "They Serve with Honor" Outstanding APA Employees & Achievement Awards recognition is a signature OCA-GH program that encourages local companies to recognize the APIA's in their workplace who actively participate in civic and community affairs; help eliminate prejudices and stereotypes about APIA's; and foster positive images to enhance the appreciation of APIA's in the workplace who may otherwise be overlooked as the proverbial unsung hero.

Part of OCA's greater mission is to promote civic & leadership education, foster cultural heritage, and advocate for social justice issues and ideals in the community and in government. Copies of the 2008-2009 APIA Pro Bono Legal Resource Guide (translated into Chinese and Vietnamese) and the 2008-2009 Community Resource Guide, projects of the OCA-GH Advocacy Center, will be distributed to attendees.

Also featured as a part of the lunch is the TX launch of "A Portrait of Chinese Americans". A Portrait of Chinese Americans is the most comprehensive report of its kind and the first in a series of reports on the diversity of the Asian Pacific Islander American Community. This is a joint publication project in partnership with the University of Maryland Asian American Studies Program and OCA National. Copies of the preview reports will be distributed to participants.

Please RSVP to to help us prepare food count.
RSVP not required, but appreciated for accurate food count


Join us in Honoring these Outstanding Role Models for the Community:
Thanh X. Nguyen
Engineer Operator, Houston Fire Department
Thanh X. Nguyen, has served in the Houston Fire Department (HFD) for 14 years. A dedicated and committed individual, Thanh passionately educates the community on fire safety through numerous outreach programs in the HFD's Public Affairs Office. He provides fire safety presentations to schools, churches, civic assns. & non-profit agencies year-round. Thanh's pro-active efforts with his team to educate the public about fire safety and fire prevention in the community has helped to dramatically reduce the fire fatality rate in Houston. Thanh was instrumental in working with community organizations such as OCA and others in getting literature translated into the Asian languages. He has partnered with the City of Houston Neighborhood Protection Department to insure that apartments & condominiums are up to code and informs the residents and managers to reinforce structurally unsound stairwells for the safety of citizens and for firefighters on duty. As a HFD Community Liaison, he has been involved in the Get Alarmed Houston Program, a life-saving program where firefighters canvass higher-risk neighborhoods, provide free smoke alarms and batteries, install them in low-income residents, educate everyone about fire safety and distribute HFD's safety literature. He also works in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training that educates citizens about the hazards they face in their community and trains them in lifesaving skills. It promotes a partnering between emergency management, response agencies and the people in the community that they serve. 

Sushma K. Bhan
Geosciences Team & Discipline Leader, Shell International E&P Inc
Sushma Bhan's career at Shell has spanned 20+ years and she is a senior woman leader at Shell, and leads a team of geoscientists supporting the exploration efforts on various international and Americas projects. Sushma was one of the founding members of Shell's Asian Pacific Employee Network (SAPENG) serving as it's first Vice-President in 1998, the President of APNA (AP Network for Shell & Texaco Alliance) in 2000 and served as the President of Shell's Women's Network (WAVE - Women Adding Value Everywhere) in 2003. In addition, Sushma played a key leadership role in the initiation of the Women of Color (WoC) group within Shell, supporting needs of African American, Hispanic and Asian women and has led efforts & strategies to support, retain and attract women. Sushma was President of the Indo-American Charity Foundation (IACF) of Houston in 2007, raising over $250,000 for distribution to local non-profit organizations supporting women's cause, education and the underprivileged. Currently, Sushma serves on the Board as Past-President of IACF, and is the Advisor to SAPENG's Mentoring Subcommittee, actively supporting mentoring of Shell's Asian staff where she currently personally has 2 mentees. This August, the India Culture Center launched the Youth Leadership Development Program (YLDP) for teens 16-18 yrs. Sushma is the YLDP Curriculum Director responsible for developing an enriching yearlong program focusing on four areas: Government/Politics, Business /Entrepreneurship, Social/Cultural and Charity/Philanthropy. 

Honoree Daphne Kwok
Visionary and Community Advocate
Daphne Kwok currently serves as the Interim Executive Director of the Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California. She was the Executive Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) in San Francisco from 2005-2007. AIISF's mission is to preserve and restore the Angel Island Immigration Station and to promote the role that it played in shaping America's past, present and future. She was the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) in Washington, DC for four years focused on increasing political participation of the Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) community and working with the APIA elected officials from school board members to Members of Congress. And for 11 years, she served as the Executive Director of OCA National. During her term at OCA, she coordinated programs and services for 45 chapters and 37 college affiliates and monitored issues pertaining to the APA community, such as hate crimes, campaign finance reform, immigration reform, Census 2000, English-only, and affirmative action. During the Wen Ho Lee investigation, Ms. Kwok testified before the Congressional Asian Pacific Caucus on the impact of federal counter-intelligence and security investigations on Asian Pacific Americans at the Department of Energy and was appointed to the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Council.

Empowerment of all APAs has long been one of Ms. Kwok's core values. From November 1997 until April 2001, Ms. Kwok was the first elected Chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, a network of national APA organizations. Since 1996, as a founding board member of APIAVote, she coordinated a national voter registration campaign involving 19 Asian Pacific American organizations in 1996. In May of 2008, she was part of APIAVote's historic Presidential Town Hall. Ms. Kwok currently serves on the board of trustees at Wesleyan University, APIA Vote, National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, 1990 Institute, San Francisco Architectural Heritage and an Advisory Board Member to the National Conference on Citizenship. Ms. Kwok has served on the Verizon Consumer Advisory Board and SBC/AT&T California Asian Pacific Community Forum. She served as President of the OCA-Northern Virginia Chapter, Co-Chair of the Asian Pacific American Caucus of the American Political Science Association, founding board member of the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and a board member of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center and the Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development. Her views have been featured on national radio and TV programs as well as in major newspapers and magazines. She has been honored by Partners for Livable Communities 2005 Bridge Builders Award, International Leadership Foundation 2005 Award, International Channel 2004 We the People Award, 2004 Vision in America Award, and the Presidential Classroom's 25th Anniversary Outstanding Alumni Award.  

OCA Greater Houston honors Daphne Kwok for her outstanding foresight and dedication to the community. Her extraordinary achievements and contributions to nurturing the infrastructure for a national presence of Asian Pacific Americans in Washington, DC and her continuing efforts on behalf of the APAs make her an invaluable asset to the Asian Pacific American community.

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