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OCA Announces 2008 OCA/GM Unsung Heroes Awardees
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OCA Announces 2008 OCA/GM Unsung Heroes Awardees

20 June 2008

Hope Chu | Senior Communications Manager
202 223 5500 |

Washington DC- OCA, a national organization with over 80 chapters and college affiliates across the country dedicated to ensuring social justice for Asian Pacific Americans, is proud to announce its 2007-2008 OCA/General Motors Unsung Heroes.

"We are honored to give the Unsung Heroes Award to ten OCA members whose tireless efforts, inspiring attitude, and generosity of spirit strengthen and build the APA community,” said Ginny Gong, OCA National President, "The Awards, created with generous support from General Motors Corporation, recognize our members for their hard work and dedication to OCA’s mission of advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans. 

The awardees will be recognized at a presentation ceremony during the OCA Gala Awards Banquet. The Awards Banquet will be held on August 2, 2008, during OCA’s National Convention and 35th Anniversary Celebration in Washington, DC. All OCA members, except OCA Chapter Presidents, Executive Council members and National Staff, are eligible for this award.

"GM highly values volunteerism, and is committed to sponsoring organizations and programs that support the Asian American community. We are proud to sponsor the OCA/GM Unsung Heroes Award for the eighth year to bring recognition to deserving individuals working for the betterment of the Asian American community," said Roderick Gillum, Vice President, GM Corporate Responsibility and Diversity

"The Unsung Heroes are the individuals who are diligently working behind the scenes, but who have inspiring stories that deserve to be shared,” said Michael Lin, OCA Executive Director, "OCA wishes to recognize them for the work they have done that has led to OCA and Asian Pacific Americans becoming a visible and integral part of their communities.”The

2007-2008 Unsung Heroes Awardees are as follows:

Ken and Maricel B. Avelino (OCA-Greater Sacramento) are a powerful duo. Together, they produced OCA’s 2007 National Convention in Sacramento. Maricel’s theme for the convention "Light the Torch for the Next Generation” was prevalent throughout the event. The convention celebrated the APA community through an emphasis on unity and culture and was a huge success 

Ann and Howard Chan ( OCA-Long Island) have been members of their OCA chapter for over 30 years, and recently became top fundraisers for the OCA-LI Gala. Ann has been Vice-President of Programming for the past five years, working hard nominating honorees for the annual galas, and programming meetings and events in the APA community.

Jerry S.Y. Cheng (OCA- New York) has served as President, Executive Vice-President and Treasurer of OCA- New York, and is currently a chapter board member. Jerry was very active in building up the Advisory Council and encouraging young professionals to sit on the advisory board. Jerry has also been able to successfully reach across lines, build coalitions with other organizations in the APA community, which has been a huge asset to the chapter 

Phoenix Y. Cheng (OCA-Pittsburgh) has been an OCA member for over twenty years and has served as treasurer for much of that time. Phoenix helped reconstruct the chapter’s income statements, a daunting task that she accomplished diligently. As treasurer, she oversees many of OCA-Pittsburgh’s events and is also responsible for the General Fund, Youth Fund, Senior Fund, Cultural Fund, and United Way Fund. Her attention to detail and willingness to commit is unmatched. 

Wallace S.J. Ching (OCA-Hawaii) has dedicated his life to public service. In 2006, when Wallace was president of OCA-Hawaii, the affordable housing that his father had dedicated much of his life to was being threatened with closure, and Wallace launched a strong campaign to keep it from being destroyed. He has made his life about giving back to the community in meaningful and concrete ways, strengthening both the OCA-Hawaii chapter and our community.

Mike Fong (OCA-Greater Los Angeles) is currently the community relations director for his chapter and has done a tremendous job fundraising for and organizing numerous events. Michael has gone full-force into the community to get people involved with and motivated about events, and was a member of several planning committees, organized raffle tickets, and helped to coordinate the silent auction for the OCA-GLA’s annual Image Awards.

Julie Hwang (OCA- Dallas/Fort Worth) has been an OCA member for six years and is currently a chapter board member and VP Secretary. She started her work with OCA as a facilitator for the youth leadership conference. She is now heavily involved in OCA events such as Feed the Homeless, PBS pledge drive, and the Junior Leadership Seminar. She is the editor and creator of the annual Lunar Program Book.

David Lai Len (OCA-New Jersey) is the chapter’s newsletter editor and has produced outstanding work, earning the chapter First Place in Chapter Excellence Award in Communication. He has also focused on raising awareness about human trafficking and for three consecutive years, he organized the OCA-New Jersey Human Trafficking Seminar. He also founded the Robert E. Wone Memorial Scholarship, which awards a scholarship to the winner of the OCA-New Jersey Asian American Essay Contest.

Wade W. Loo (OCA-San Mateo) has been a long-time member who never fails to help with dinners, mixers, scholarship luncheons, and Achievement Awards Galas. He is also the driving force behind the chapter’s annual Gala and works tirelessly on numerous tasks. He has been an invaluable asset in putting on events and organizing and motivating strong teams to help with OCA-San Mateo functions 

Xiaochun Luo (OCA-Westchester/Hudson Valley) is the executive Vice President of OCA-Westchester/Hudson Valley chapter. She has worked hard to forge a strong relationship with Families with Children from China and volunteers for their events. Xiaochun served as the OCA Dynamic Achiever Award gala chair and meticulously planned the event and was very successful at fundraising, registering over 1,000 people for their Lunar New Year event.

Founded in 1973 as the Organization of Chinese Americans, OCA is a national organization dedicated to the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States.


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