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Awards Receptions
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OCA-Greater Houston's 10th Annual "They Serve with Honor" reception was held on Friday, September 25th in the panoramic top floor of the American 1st National Bank building. Each year, OCA-GH honors Asian American employees that show exemplary performance both in the workplace and in the community at large. This year’s honorees were Dr. Zeming Liu from Texas Instruments, Dr. John C. Nguyen from Shell Oil, and Tram Nguyen from Planned Parenthood. 2009’s Community Service award was given to Hollywood legend James Hong, who graciously flew in from Los Angeles to join the festivities. A VIP reception held for the honorees was followed by an awards presentation and famous Charity Casino. A great time was had by all! 

2009 Honorees and Sponsors in PDF


Special thanks to the following corporations and individuals for their generous support in making this event possible.

Sapphire Level

Crown Mark, Inc.

Emerald Level

Shell Oil Company

Pearl Level

American 1st National Bank • CenterPoint Energy • Enterprise Rent-A-Car Texas Instruments • Kim Son

Community Partner

Asian Pacific American Heritage Assn (APAHA) • Chinese Community Center

Community Friends

Rogene Gee Calvert • Deborah Y. Chen • John Chen (WWWA Productions) Wen Lee Huang • Elizabeth & Sam Hwong •Jan Kish (Tiger Team Realty) Danielle Lu • Prof. Mark E. Steiner & the South Texas College of Law

Honored Friends

Asian Pacific American Law Students Assn (APALSA) Houston Omega Phi Gamma • Budget Restaurant Supply

Community Supporters

Eastern Art Furniture • NX Media • Corinna Woo

Silent Auction & Raffle Item Donors
OCA National, MZR Group / Deborah Y. Chen, Joey Chen, Terri Y. Chen, Shane Chen, Sue Chen, Mei Chiang, Double Bliss, Wendy & Michael Chung, Elizabeth & Sam Hwong, Tom Eng, Houston Omega Phi Gamma, Julia Gee, Rogene Gee Calvert, Maggie Kao, Jan Kish, Victoria Ma, Virginia & John Ng, Cecilia Pham, Sandy Huynh, Teresa Porter, Prof. Mark E.Steiner, South Texas College of Law Asian Pacific American Law Students Assn (APALSA), Irwin Tang, Josie & Jim Travlos, AKA Restaurant, Martina Yang


H o n o r ee James Hong

Hollywood Legend, Community Leader



Since coming from Minnesota to Hollywood in 1953, James Hong has fought the Hollywood system of casting and achieved the monumental task of appearing in front of the camera in over 475 roles.This possibly makes him the first actor to have ever achieved that many roles in films and television inthe history of Hollywood. He has forged his waythrough many obstacles in order to accomplish thistask and has never forgotten to help his fellowAsian American actors. He found the East-West Players, the oldest Asian American Theater in LosAngeles which now has thousands of actors andpatrons flowing though its doors. He was the president and charter member of the Association ofAsian Pacific American Artists, an advocacy group which met with the producers, directors and casting directors of America, encouraging them to cast more Asian American actors in their movies and TV programs and advocating for better roles in order to improve the Asian American image on screen.
James has received much recognition for his work including: The Life Time Achievement Award from The Coalition of Asian Pacific in Entertainment (an advocacy organization with a board and advisory members such as Ang Lee, David Henry Hwang, John Woo and others), The Chinese Historical Society of Southern California Award, the Visionary Award from East-West Players, and many awards from the City and County of Los Angeles, including Los Angeles Chinatown, Monterey Park, and others cities in the San Francisco Bay area. He has supported these communities in their efforts to gain a better understanding of people.

In regards to his advocacy for Asian Americans in the performing arts, he has this to say: "We can work for progress by developing our own talent – in front of and behind the camera and by helping the community. It is still a Hollywood system, and we must work within it. Although progress has been slow for the past fifty years, we must keep our integrity and vision while pushing forward. We as Asian American artists have a special goal to meet, that of making our presence felt, contributing to the betterment of the entertainment industry and to the understanding of people.”

James Hong’s career in Hollywood has spanned 56 years. With a wide range of skills, he has portrayed every type of role imaginable. His distinguished body of work for the big screen includes roles in Blade Runner, Wayne’s World 2, Big Trouble in Little China, the recent releases of The Day The Earth Stood Still and Balls of Fury. In one of his latest feature films, L’Idole (The Idol), James expanded on his repertoire by learnhis Chinese heritage. At age five, James and the Hong family was moved to Hong Kong, only to return to Minneapolis at the age of ten. Speaking no English, he was re-introduced to his American culture and education. He became interested in drama while in junior high school; but in college at the University of Southern California, he majored in civil engineering and graduated to please his parents. Over the one and a half years he worked as an engineer, James’ attraction to performing could not be denied and continued screen work. Landing in California as half of the "Hong and Parker” comedy team, he got a break on The Groucho Marx Show, performing impersonations of Groucho, Peter Lorre, Jimmy Stew-art and others. James’ appearance resulted in the second most fan mail for that show. His first feature, Soldier of Fortune with Clark Gable led to Blood Alley with John Wayne and then Love is a Many Splendored Thing with William Holden. 
Finding work in his true calling, he resigned from engineering and embarked on his acting career. He never regretted the change: "Sometimes, certain things are just meant to be.” At 80 years old, he just completed five weeks working in Thailand on a young people adventure film entitled "The Lost Medallion” in which he climbed mountains and swung down the waterfall on a wire: "It was fun.” Currently, he is working at Dreamworks in dubbing the voice for the role of Mr. Ping, the father of Po, the big fat Panda in "Kung Fu Panda II.” He was nominated for the best voice of the year for the first feature by the Annie Awards, Hollywood’s foremost animation award ceremonies.

His television credits span from heavy drama to situation comedy. Among them: The West Wing, Law and Order, Chicago Hope, Seinfeld, Friends, The Drew Carey Show, and reaching back to the golden age of television in such classic shows as I Dream of Jeannie, Here’s Lucy, Dragnet, Mission Impossible and Have Gun, Will Travel.

Born in Minneapolis, James’ father felt that young James was losing touch with
       
Having also produced and directed motion pictures of his own, James continues to set his sights high. "An artist’s juices never stop flowing; this compels him to find better ways of self expression.”

Dr. Zeming Liu 
Texas Instruments

Dr. Zeming Liu has worked at Texas Instruments for over ten years.He is currently responsible for a key customer account in QualityAnalysis at AEC quality team in Houston. Before he joined the AECquality team in 2008, he worked in the TI DLP organization on process technology development from 1999 to 2008. He was elected as a member of the technical staff (MGTS) for his great contribution to the company and leadership of other engineers through technically challenging tasks. Dr. Liu has been actively involved diversity activities at Texas Instruments for many years. 
He served as the Chairperson of TI Chinese Initiative in 2003, as well as a member of TI DLP Diversity Steering Team over 4 years. He organized a monthly mentoring round table that helped members for their career development. Jointly developed with DFW Asian American Citizens Council, he pioneered a six-month leadership training program that recruits/trains leaders not only for TI Diversity Network but also for local Asian communities. Since coming to Houston, he is a member of TI Houston Chinese Initiative Steering Team that helps to organize various activities. In addition to his contribution to TI, Zeming has been a leader in various community organizations. A graduate of the Dallas Blueprint for Leadership program in 2002, he served on the DFW United Way Agency Funding Panel that evaluated agencies’ performance and rewarded grants. He served as executive board director and executive VP of DFW Asian American Citizens Council and as the President of DFW Assn. of Chinese Professionals in 2007-2008. He also served on the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commence Board of Directors. Dr. Liu is married with one daughter.


Dr. John C. Nguyen 
Shell Oil

Dr. John Nguyen has over seventeen years of experience in the Energy Sector. As a successful entrepreneur, public speaker, authorand a professional coach, Dr. Nguyen brings his diverse experienceand insight in leadership development together with his academic research and professional certified coaching to inform audiences through keynotes, workshops, and consulting. 

At Shell Oil, Dr. Nguyen mentors more than fifteen Asian Pacific employees, serves as an advisor for multiple employee network groups, and is a designer and coordinator of a global mid-level management peer coaching network that has engaged over 800 professionals on 5 continents. In his latest accomplishment, John was selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Discover Your Inner Strength, a highly successful book series from Tennessee-based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), Brian Tracy (Million Dollar Habits), and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager). Dr. Nguyen has also vested much of his time to see the Asian Pacific community grow. Among a long list of activities, he has spearheaded two projects that positively impacted a poverty-stricken community in Vietnam and with his wife, raised funds to build a school and renovate a major clinic in Vietnam that serves 300 elementary students a year since 2002. John’s credo is "If you can SEE it, you can HAVE it.” His inner strength and joy in life comes from his blessed relationship with his wife Kirsten, son Hunter and daughter Kirby.


Tram Nguyen 
Planned Parenthood of Houston

Tram Nguyen has worked at Planned Parenthood for over three years in various roles starting as a health center assistant, and currently serves as the assistant health center manager. Graduating summa cum laude with a B.S. in Biology from the University of Houston, Ms. Nguyen is a liaison with all major administrative departments, thereforeimproving internal managements systems as well as serving as an educator and mentor to all SS staff. Ms. Nguyen utilizes her skills and knowledge to train the entire staff on using the medical and technical software programs and provides and coordinates professional development for the nurses as well as CPR training for the affiliate medical assistants. Recognized for her dynamic interpersonal skills, aptitude and intelligence, she has demonstrated leadership in managing staff and fostering the relationships needed to create an efficient and caring work environment for over 40 employees to provide better health care services for clients. Beyond her busy schedule in the workplace, Tram also finds time to be a youth group leader and mentor at a Vietnamese church, volunteers during local church health fairs, and assists with ESL courses in the Vietnamese community. In addition, she is an afterschool volunteer at Wharton Elementary and serves as a member of the JAADE Advisory Committee involved with the Susan G. Komen Research Grant on "Improving Quality of Life Among Low Literate Asian American Breast Cancer Survivors”


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