OCA Announces 2019 Unsung Heroes


20 May 2019

Contact: Thu Nguyen | Communications Manager
202.223.5500 | tnguyen@ocanational.org

Washington, DC – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is proud to announce the 2019-2020 OCA Unsung Heroes, presented by General Motors. These four individuals were nominated by their OCA chapter in recognition of their significant contributions to the local Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The OCA Unsung Hero awards are annually presented to highlight members of our community who are not often publicly recognized for their tireless efforts.

OCA Unsung Heroes will be honored at the 2019 OCA Gala Awards held on Saturday, June 29th, 2019 at the OCA National Convention in Houston, TX.

The 2019-2020 Unsung Hero Awardees are as follows:

 Tina Hwang, OCA Detroit – Tina Hwang is a graduate of Michigan State University and a proud Spartan, where she was a student athlete on the swim team and coached and swam on the synchronized swim club. She is a senior medical technologist and has been with the Transfusion Service of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital of Ann Arbor of Trinity Health for 40 years. Through her husband’s introduction to Metro Detroit’s Chinese American Community, she decided to get involved. Hwang ran the OCA Detroit annual auction dinner for 10 years to raise funds for the community center.  Working with a committee, she helped procure items and ran the auction from event set up to finalizing the winning bids with our generous donors. She has been a volunteer for the high school scholarship program since 1983; doing everything she could to help the committee. She takes the photographs of each applicant, gives insight to the high schoolers before their interviews, helps make the event programs, and helps with set up and clean up for the awards dinner. Hwang was on the board of OCA-Detroit for one term and became president from 1994-1995. She was charged with the responsibility of continuing the mission at our Detroit Community Center.  Meanwhile, she was also involved with American Citizens for Justice, and supporting other Asian American organizations like MAPABA, AAJA, and the local ethnic organizations. Currently, she mentors for the FIRST Robotics team, Team 548 the Robostangs of Northville High School for the last six years. Hwang works with students responsible for the branding of the team, i.e. spirit wear, team clothing, sponsorship, game buttons, and decals. And of course, she is a proud mother of two whom she has had the privilege to see graduate from university. 

Jaclyn C. Liu, OCA Westchester/Hudson Valley – Jaclyn moved to Westchester, NY about twenty years ago and has been an active volunteer in various organizations since then. During the past four years while Jaclyn served as a member of the Board of Directors at OCA-WHV, she organized four annual Rising Star Concert programs, and held the VP of Membership and Webmaster positions. Jaclyn started an after-school Chinese program in 2016 because she wanted to improve the quality of children’s after-school programs in the community. Jaclyn completed a two-year (2016-2018) term at the school district’s Board of Nominations Committee. In 2014, Jaclyn co-founded, with two other people, the largest non-profit Chinese school in the local area, the Huaxia Chinese School of Greater New York.  Jaclyn has worked nine years at WWE as their IT Quality Assurance Manager.

Johnny Poon, OCA Colorado – Johnny Poon was born in Hong Kong. His family emigrated from Hong Kong to Casper, Wyoming when he was seven years old in 1977. His parents worked hard in their Chinese restaurant to provide for their family, while he and his two younger brothers tried to contribute as much as they could.  Thanks to the efforts and hard work of his parents, Poon graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, followed by Louisiana State University law school in 1998. He is currently an attorney with the firm of Lau & Choi, P.C. in Denver, Colorado, and has been with the firm since 1998. He specializes in immigration law and has been helping clients with a variety of immigration-related issues. Poon is currently the Secretary of the OCA – Colorado chapter and has been a board member of OCA – Colorado since 2011. He previously served as the chapter's President and Vice President. His wife is from Slovenia, and they have two boys, Oliver, age 11 and Evan, age 15.

 Dorcas Yee, OCA Sacramento – Dorcas Yee was born and raised in Sacramento, CA. She makes community involvement an important part of her professional responsibilities. She graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication Studies. She has worked for the state of California for 30 years as an IT manager for the Employment Development Department and retired in 2017. She serves on the board of numerous non-profits in the community, such as OCA Sacramento Asian Pacific American Advocates and Jinan Sacramento Sister Cities Corporation.

Dorcas brings over 30 years of non-profit experience to OCA Sacramento. She has been involved with many diverse organizations promoting leadership, civic participation, cultural awareness, and education. She is an avid activist regarding Asian American issues and civil rights to include mental health awareness, human trafficking, health, and financial awareness. Her community involvement has led to extensive community connections to engage, build coalitions, and outreach to support community causes and implement programs. She has built alliances with multiple organizations to ensure a broader advocacy outreach to help fulfill specific goals. Her professional experience includes 30 years in the public sector, where she led the development and implementation of information technologies and systems programs for the State of California.  

Dorcas joined AXIANTA Financial Partners in 2015, which focuses on saving for retirement, Insurance and Annuity Products, managing debt and financial independence. She opened up her financial services office in 2016 and continues to be a strong advocate of financial education and successful retirement outcomes. In the past and present year, she hosts workshops for the community on how they can be financially empowered and financially independent. She is passionate about educating individuals, families, and especially women to achieve success and comfort in their financial lives.

Her personal activities include spending time with family, involvement with her church, photography, traveling, and living a healthy lifestyle.