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2015 Unsung Heroes Award
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2015 OCA National Convention
Unsung Heroes Award
Uniting Asian Pacific Islander America

Hilton Union Square | San Francisco, California
July 2 - 5, 2015

Christine Bush
OCA – San Mateo


Chris has been with San Mateo County OCA for almost ten years, serving as its events chair, membership chair, and unofficial social director. In addition, she has chaired the chapter’s annual gala event for the last five years. In addition, Christine also assists with the chapter’s Speak&Lead Program, and generally covers all bases for the chapter’s events. Chris is also an active member of the community, participating and helping in Redwood City’s Lunar New Year event. She always comes with a warm smile and can-do attitude.  Chris brings her financial accounting skills and eye for detail to all situations and so many times, has caught the missing link or item which everyone else has forgotten or missed! She is quiet spoken and never needs to make herself known, but one always knows she is there with her smiling face and a cheerful hand.



Chi Loek

OCA – New York


While Chi has been a dependable OCANY board member for more than seven years, his unselfish and generous contribution of time in 2014 was exceptional. In 2014 alone, he assumed FOUR substantial roles within OCA-NY, in addition to serving as Co-Executive Vice-President for a fifth year. As in past years, Chi organized OCA-NY’s participation in the Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing, an event that gives OCA-NY high visibility. Throughout 2014, Chi supported OCA-NY functions, often in the background, attending board meetings, the Opening of OCA-NY’s 8th Hate Crimes Art Exhibit, arriving early to OCA-NY’s annual fundraising gala to set up; and cleaning up after our annual membership meeting. With his generous monetary donations to OCA and consistent vote to support OCA National’s programs, like hosting the APA Y-Advocate Training and conducting voter registration efforts. It is Chi’s exceptional service to OCA-NY in 2014, amid his work and personal responsibilities, which makes him an unsung hero.


Michelle Sugihara

OCA – Greater Los Angeles


An alumna of OCA’s summer internship program, Michelle traces her commitment to social justice and the Asian American community to her OCA internship. Since then, Michelle has been a steady behind-the-scenes force for many Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community groups in the Los Angeles-area. Michelle has been a long-time supporter of OCA-Greater Los Angeles (OCA-GLA) and recently joined OCA-GLA’s Board after successfully co-chairing OCA’s National Convention in Los Angeles in 2014. Her time and dedication to last year’s convention was vital to the overall success. Not only did she co-chair, but also helped to organize the numerous panels and workshops that occurred during Convention as well as selflessly volunteer over 40 hours of her time to produce and create each of the honoree videos pro bono. Michelle is a wonderful supporter and friend to many of OCA-GLA’s Board Members and is always willing to lend a helping hand or to provide a word of encouragement or support whenever she can.



Frank Irigon
OCA – Greater Seattle

Frank joined the OCA-Greater Seattle board four years ago. At that time, OCA-Greater Seattle nearly shut-down due to the inactivity and lack of community involvement in prior years. Frank unselfishly shared his expertise and helped revitalize the chapter. For over four decades, Francisco “Frank” Irigon has advocated for people of color, especially Asian Pacific Americans. He has represented OCA at monthly meetings with the Asian Pacific Islanders Coalition, Asian Pacific Directions Coalition, and Minority Executive Director Coalition. Outside of his work for OCA-Greater Seattle, Frank also assisted several local entities by: drafting Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws for the American Polynesian Organization to help them obtain 501(c)(3) status, scheduling/facilitating meetings between elderly residents of Seatac and Terry Davis, of Comcast’s Franchising & Government Affairs, following complaints about poor customer service, and scheduling/facilitating meetings with Asian American MWBEs with the Port of Seattle and City of Seattle. Frank’s efforts and dedication has increased the chapter’s visibility and status in the community, greatly contributing to advancing OCA’s mission.

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