Category Archives: Local highlights

AAJA Seattle president Mai Hoang: 2014 was great; now looking forward to 2015

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AAJA Seattle members at the Northwest Journalist of Color reception. From Left: Tiffany Wan, Samantha Pak, Caroline Li, Chris Casquejo, Mai Hoang, Peter Sessum, Thanh Tan, Lori Matsukawa and Venice Buhain. Photo courtesy of Lori Matsukawa. 

Dear AAJA Seattle members,

I am honored to have served as AAJA Seattle president in 2014. For me, it was a year where I really could fully embrace my role. In 2013, I was transitioning in the role and learning the ropes. This year, I feel I had the opportunity to move the chapter forward.

Our chapter, through our events, reached a wide variety of people this year. We got a lot done and I’m proud of all the hard work that our board and members put in.

Some highlights:

  • In March, we held a media access workshop for nonprofit organizations at The Seattle Times. The workshop was funded through a generous grant from the Kellogg Foundation. Venice Buhain, longtime AAJA Seattle member, coordinated the event, which attracted more than 70 people. 
  • In May, AAJA Seattle awarded four college students with college scholarships through our Northwest Journalists of Color program. We held a reception at The Seattle Times with our longtime partner, the  Seattle Association of Black Journalists. Our chapter also awarded a scholarship for Nicole Gaddie, a graduate of Seattle University, to attend the 2015 National Convention, which proved to be a valuable experience. This year’s program was coordinated by Caroline Li, AAJA Seattle’s vice president of programs.
  • Also in May, AAJA Seattle founder Lori Matsukawa was recognized for her service and work in journalism when the Northwest Chapter of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences inducted her into its prestigious Silver Circle. AAJA members from around the world pooled in money for a program ad to congratulate Lori.
  • In June, a team of AAJA Seattle members raised more than $1,000 for Walk For Rice, the annual fundraiser for the Asian Counseling and Referral Service. Funds went toward the organization’s food bank, which provides cultural-specific foods to people in need. The AAJA Seattle team was Janet Tu, Tiffany Wan, Chris Casquejo, Mai Hoang and Samantha Pak
  • In August, Venice Buhain, Thanh Tan,  and Mai Hoang organized the chapter’s first Chefs Showcase. The event attracted more than 120 professionals to the beautiful Columbia Tower Club. There, attendees enjoyed delicious food and watch demonstrations from some of Seattle’s top chefs. The event also raised thousands of dollars for the chapter.
  • Also in August, longtime AAJA Seattle support and Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen received the Leadership in Diversity Award from the national AAJA organization.
  • Also in August, with the encouragement (and generous match) of long-time member Danny O’Neil, AAJA Seattle members raised $1,000 for Power of One. which funded many of AAJA national programs. AAJA Seattle’s efforts also helped AAJA reached a national goal of $15,000.
  • In December, AAJA Seattle teamed up with the Western Washington SPJ Chapter to hold our annual Holiday Scoop event. Caroline Li worked with SPJ board member (and former AAJA Seattle board member) Athima Chansanchai on the event. The event served as a fundraiser for SPJ and AAJA Seattle’s scholarship programs.

The success of many of these events were possible thanks to our generous sponsors. I can not thank these companies and organizations enough for their ongoing support. So here’s another thank you to the following for their support in 2014: Kellogg Foundation, KING 5, Columbia Tower Club, PR BusinessWire, The Seattle Times, Tack Local, The Seattle Globalist, Davis Wright and Tremaine. 

Now it’s time to say thank you to our departing board members and welcome our incoming board members. I think most of us will agree that Sanjay Bhatt is due for a break! Sanjay, a reporter for The Seattle Times, has served on the AAJA board for the last eight years, first as chapter president and most recently as our National Board representative. I could probably fill several blog entries on all the great things Sanjay did while he served on our board. We will miss him, but we are happy about his new pursuits including raising a beautiful baby girl with wife Pooja and heading up the new Investigative Reporters and Editors group in Seattle.

Caroline Li has served on the AAJA Seattle board since 2010, first as Vice President of Events and more recently as Vice President of Programs. Caroline is passionate about journalism and that showed in her efforts organizing various programs for our chapter, such as our Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship program. Li is stepping down from the position to focus on a very busy schedule that includes managing several music artists and her job as community manager for Tack Local, a media technology startup. Li plans to continue to help out when she can, which we’re grateful for!

Tiffany Wan served as our Vice President of Events for the last two years. Tiffany is a former Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship winner and she has given back in a large way through her work with AAJA Seattle. She worked tirelessly to pull off several big events including our Lunar New Year banquet and auction, chapter picnic and the Northwest Journalists of Color reception.

While we’re sad to say goodbye to some great people, I’m excited to work with some new folks who will serve on our board this year.

Our new National Board representative actually is no stranger to AAJA Seattle. Venice Buhain, editor for The Seattle Globalist and a reporter with TVW, served on the AAJA Seattle board from 2008-2011 as secretary. Though she was not on the board for a few years, she has continue to be active with the chapter. In 2014, she was the lead coordinator of our monthly Dim Sum Saturday event. She also did the heavy lifting on our media access workshop and chef’s showcase event.

Natasha Chen brings some fresh new blood to the board as our new Vice President of Events. Natasha came to Seattle in 2013 to work as a reporter for KIRO-TV. When she’s not working, she’s a party organizing extraordinaire and awesome cupcake baker, which essentially makes her perfect for this job! And she’s already hit the ground running planning our upcoming Lunar New Year banquet.

Sarah Wallace will serve as chapter treasurer for a new two-year term after being appointed to the position in 2014. Sarah currently works as a freelance reporter and editor in the Bellingham area. Sarah has been an active member of AAJA for many years and have helped out in various capacities before joining in the board.

Samantha Pak  will continue as chapter secretary in 2015, serving the second-year of her term. She joined the board in 2012. Sammi is great at making sure members are updated on everything from upcoming events to job opportunities and always lends a helping hand when needed.

Now it’s time to look forward. 2015 is not only a new year, but also the 30th anniversary of AAJA Seattle!

I will continue to serve as president through this year and would love your feedback on how AAJA Seattle can best serve you. In addition, if you are interested in helping out with the chapter in any way, we want to hear from you.

And here’s one opportunity: AAJA Seattle is  seeking a new Vice President of Programs. This is a key position for our chapter. Duties including coordinating our marquee scholarship program, the Northwest Journalists of Color. The person in this position has the opportunity to develop programs that reach our diverse chapter base.

Now here’s what’s coming up for the first part of this year

  • If you haven’t already, please renew your AAJA membership! We’ll be making calls to remind you, but if you want to go ahead and renew, head over to the AAJA members page.
  • AAJA and SPJ will be welcoming the new Seattle-based group of the Investigative Reporters and Editors in a fun mixer on Jan. 21.
  • On Jan. 31, we’ll be holding our first Dim Sum Saturday of the year. This is a casual and fun event. If you are new to the chapter or AAJA, this is a great way to get acquainted with fellow members. More details are here.
  • AAJA Seattle will hold its annual Lunar New Year banquet and silent auction on Feb. 21 at China Harbor Restaurant in Seattle. More details are coming. We hope you can join us. If you are interested in helping out with either the banquet or the auction, please contact Natasha (for the banquet) or me (for the silent auction).
  • The AAJA Seattle board will hold a retreat the next day, Feb. 22. If you have anything you would like us to consider during the retreat, please let us know.

I’m looking forward to a great year and I hope to see many of you at AAJA Seattle events throughout the year. Again, please feel to contact me at 509-834-0272 or at maisurvey@gmail.com to give your thoughts or feedback!

Onward,

 

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Mai Hoang, AAJA Seattle president

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tickets on sale for Chefs’ Showcase at Columbia Tower Club on Aug. 4!

photo (1)Tickets are officially ON SALE for our upcoming Chefs’ Showcase benefit from 6-8 p.m. on Aug. 4 at the Columbia Tower Club. All proceeds will benefit AAJA scholarships and training programs for professional journalists.

Come on up to the 75th floor and enjoy gorgeous views of Seattle as you nosh on appetizers and drinks courtesy of area restaurants. Meet other journalists, professionals and foodies as some of the most exciting chefs working in Seattle’s restaurant scene demonstrate dishes that will inspire your next cocktail or dinner party.

Admission includes:

  • Access to the great views from the 75th-floor the Columbia Tower.
  • Appetizers from our featured celebrity chefs and others, including Bloom, Taste of India, Pho Cyclo and more.
  • Drinks from Vortex Cellars, Tranche Cellars, Eleven Winery and Georgetown Brewery.
  • A program booklet with the evening’s featured recipes.

Tickets:
$60 at the door
$50 General Admission
$40 Columbia Tower Club members

AAJA and SPJ members: Pay $25 when you buy your ticket by July 31. This is 50 percent off the pre-event ticket price. Discounted pricing for AAJA and SPJ members ends July 31.

Purchase your tickets today on Brown Paper Tickets.

The celebrity chef line-up:

Lisa K. Nakamura, chef/owner of Allium and alumna of The French Laundry who is planning her next concept, Gnocchi Bar.

Rachel Yang, the James Beard-nominated chef and co-owner of Joule and Revel restaurants in Seattle.

Prometheus Brown (aka Geo of Blue Scholars) and Chera Amlag, the husband-and-wife force behind Food and Sh*t, a monthly pop-up at Inay’s.

Tyler Hefford-Anderson, a fine dining master who honed his skills at the Rainier Club and Meridian Valley Country Club before becoming the executive chef at Columbia Tower Club.

Steven Ariel, the executive chef for  TRACE at W Seattle and alum of Canlis, Cafe Juanita and LUC.

KING 5 Anchor Mimi Jung hosts the demonstrations.

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Spend your summer with AAJA Seattle!

Contrary to what our current weather may suggest, summer is just around the corner. And with that comes a few AAJA events and we hope you’ll join us!
Walk for Rice
 
Our first event is Walk for Rice on June 28 from 8 a.m. to noon.
We’ve formed an AAJA Seattle team to participate in this annual fundraiser, which features a 2.5-mile walk or run at Seward Park in Seattle, to help raise money for the Asian Counseling and Referral Service’s (ACRS) Food Bank. The food bank serves more than 5,000 low-income people, who make more than 120,000 visits, each year and is also the only food bank in the area regularly providing cultural staples of the Asian Pacific American diet, like rice, tofu and soy milk.
To find our team, click here. From there, you can join our team by clicking the blue “Join Our Team” button on the right side of the page. Our goal is to have at least 10 members. WE STILL NEED TEAM MEMBERS! Family and friends are also invited to join.
If you cannot make it to the event, you can still contribute by donating on our AAJA Seattle team page and clicking on individual team members’ pages to donate through their pages.
Chapter secretary Samatha Pak is the AAJA Seattle team captain for the fundraiser, so if you have any questions, please let her know (sammipak@gmail.com)! A Facebook event page has also been created for our team, which could be used to keep track of those planning to attend, coordinate carpools to the event, fundraising ideas, etc.
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AAJA congratulations ad to Lori Matsukawa on her induction into the Silver Circle

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Congratulations to KING5 anchor Lori Matsukawa, who was just inducted into the Silver Circle by the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Lori co-founded the Seattle chapter of AAJA, has mentored countless aspiring Asian American broadcast journalists and been a guardian angel of our chapter. AAJA congratulated Lori with a full-page program ad at the regional Emmy dinner on June 7.

The AAJA Seattle chapter and AAJA members around the country bought this ad together.

Congratulations Lori! You totally deserved it. (And it’s about time.)

From:
AAJA Seattle
Debby Abe
Frank Abe
Judy Averill
Sanjay Bhatt
Frank Blethen
Ryan Blethen
David Boardman
Paula Bock
Niala Boodhoo
Venice Buhain
Brent Champaco
Sharon Chan
Shawn Chitnis
Mimi Gan
Susan Han
Chris Jose
Mimi Jung
Ken Kashiwahara
Doug Kim
Curtiss Kim
Lloyd LaCuesta
Owen Lei
Robert Mak
Assunta Ng
David Ono
Hari Sreenivasan
Janet Tu
Su Ring Vitue

AAJA Seattle also thanks TJ Mullinax, an online news producer for Good Fruit Grower in Yakima, for volunteering his time to design the ad.

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Susy Sun to perform at Lunar New Year next week

Susy Sun will be performing at this year's Lunar New Year Banquet and Silent Auction.

Susy Sun will be performing at the Lunar New Year Banquet and Silent Auction next week.

Susy Sun will be performing at our Lunar New Year Banquet and Silent Auction next week.

Sun is a Northwest singer/songwriter and classical pianist. Her latest album, Wanderlust EP, is backed by an impressive group of fellow local talent: producer Shawn Simmons (known for his work with The Head and the Heart and The Maldives) and members of The Passenger String Quartet, led by violinist, Andrew Joslyn (known for his work with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, David Bazan, Kris Orlowski and Allen Stone).

Sun writes and composes all original music herself. After its release in October, Wanderlust EP caught the attention of national music media that have highlighted her as a shining up-and-coming artist to watch with her refreshing sound and music talent.

To learn more about Sun, you can follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook.

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