2005 Highlights of Asian Women In Business

DECEMBER 14, 2005
Asian Women In Business held yet another spirited and rousing holiday party at the loft of AWIB Board Chair Julie Azuma. The frigid weather did not stop many of our members, supporters and sponsors from taking part in the seasonal cheer. Upon arrival, guests were greeted with a delicious dinner and an open bar, which also set the perfect atmosphere for making new contacts and re-establishing old ones. A raffle drawing featuring excellent prizes, including a golf bag donated by Enterprise Rent-A-Car and an assortment of coffees and sweets contributed by Starbucks, complemented the merriment. Once again, we thank Julie Azuma for graciously opening up her home for our sometimes chaotic, but always joyful, annual holiday celebration. Here's a look at the invite.

DECEMBER 7, 2005
A private viewing and reception was held for Asian Women In Business members at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.The exhibit Vincent Van Gogh The Drawings was featured, the first major American retrospective of a relatively unknown, but significant, part of the artist's works. Guests enjoyed viewing the collection of over 100 of Van Gogh's rarely-seen drawings, sketches, and related paintings, while networking with members from fellow participating organizations, and taking in the refined ambience of the Met. These events are always greeted with much anticipation and excitement by our supporters. The reception and viewing are part of the museum's outreach initiative through the Multicultural Audience Development Committee, of which AWIB President Bonnie Wong is a member.

AWIB's "Starting Your Business" workshop series attracted serious budding entrepreneurs who attended all 4 consecutive Monday evening classes - November 7, 14, 21 & 28. Each week covered the building blocks of starting and running a business: 'Are You Entrepreneurial Material?', 'Legal Structures & Tax Issues', 'Marketing Basics' and 'Finance & Credit'. Attendees also had the opportunity to share their product samples and service ideas, and receive constructive feedback. As the case has been in the past, students gave series instructor Joyce Moy, AWIB member and Executive Director, Economic Development, LaGuardia Community College, high ratings for her down-to-earth advice and informative content.

If you missed this round of classes, stay tuned - the series will repeat in March 2006.

NOVEMBER 17, 2005
AWIB's "Chelsea Art Gallery Tour" was an enlightening multi-gallery visit through the West Chelsea Arts Building in New York City. Women owned galleries were highlighted and several others extended their hours to welcome AWIB attendees. At Bose Pacia (508 West 26th St. 11th Fl.), Shumita Bose, spoke about how founding the gallery helped her connect to her native India and provided insight on the current exhibition. At Chappell Gallery (526 West 26th St. 3rd Fl.), Alice Chappell, spoke of her many years in the glass industry and how taking risks and seizing opportunities can really pay off. A luxurious wine and dessert networking reception followed. Attendees were treated to decadent hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries, sparkling wine, port, sherry and more. Starbucks provided a sampling of their latest holiday treats; espresso brownies and peppermint/ginger cookies. Attendees whole heartedly agreed that this event was a sweet success. Take a look at the event flyer.

OCTOBER 17, 2005
Asian Women In Business celebrated its tenth anniversary at Bridgewaters in downtown Manhattan. More than 500 guests joined AWIB to applaud the exceptional AWIB Entrepreneurial Leadership Award winners: Leena Doshi, Owner and President, Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Services; Sun Kim, Owner and President, Bethel Industries, Inc.; Anne Kong, Owner and Managing Director, Confucius Pharmacy and Mannings Pharmacy. The 2005 AWIB Corporate Leadership Award was given to Bonnie Monahan, Vice President, The Timberland Company; Sarah Zenger, Vice President, McDonald's Corporation. Admerasia received the special 10 Year Recognition Award for its dedicated service to AWIB since our founding in 1995. Special thanks to the generous sponsors that support AWIB.

Take a look at some pictures from the dinner. For more information about the Gala, click here Take a look at the Gala invite.

OCTOBER 15, 2005
Thousands of food lovers packed the streets for another "Taste of Chinatown", and feasted on $1 and $2 a plate tastings. Mouth-watering options such as shrimp dumplings and Peking Duck were just a few of the culinary tempations that awaited hungry tasters. The 51 participating bakeries, restaurants and tea houses got into a competitive spirit and vied to be "Best of Taste of Chinatown," in which people voted for the top 3 establishments. A fortune cookie writing contest, sponsored by Wonton Foods, also took place amidst the eating madness. AWIB organized "Taste" as part of Explore Chinatown's initiative to increase business in Chinatown, an effort funded by LMDC and the September 11th Fund.

Click here for the brochure with a list of participating restaurants.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2005
AWIB's "Do It Yourself Public Relations: PR Essentials for Entrepreneurs" was a huge success. PR experts Hanna Lee and Patrice Tanaka wowed attendees with their creative solutions to real life challenges. Hanna Lee, a food & hospitality media relations specialist, presented her "Top Ten 'Be' Skills for a Successful PR Practitioner" followed by the Do's and Don'ts of PR on your own. Patrice Tanaka, founder of award winning PT & Company, spoke about how she built her company and offered tricks of the trade, like how to get your direct mail read instead of tossed. A rousing Q&A session followed their presentations. The workshop was held at Waitex, in Manhattan.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2005
Asian Women In Business featured Saori Kawano, founder of Korin Japanese Trading, in its latest 'Success Stories' series titled "Having it All: Wholesale & Retail Success." Each installment in this series has featured Asian Women entrepreneurs at their places of business for an upfront and personal view of running a business. Saori Kawano spoke about believing in your dreams and being passionate about what you choose to pursue. This, combined with persistence and long hours are how she built her business from a one woman door-to-door sales force (before and after her shifts as a waitress) into the highly regarded multi-million dollar wholesale and retail company selling Japanese knives, porcelains and more. Her initial investment of $2,000, saved from tips, was all she used to start her business. Her profits were put back into Korin Japanese Trading, proving that you do not need a large capital investment to start your own business and be successful. This event also featured a sake tasting with four excellent selections, donated by the Japan Prestige Sake Association, which was paired with Vietnamese food. Attendees were offered 15% off on purchases made that night. The event was held at the Korin Japanese Trading showroom, 57 Warren Street, New York City.

AUGUST 8, 2005
AWIB's "Wine & Spice: Wine Tasting and Pairing with Indian Cuisine" was a huge success. Award-winning sommelier Joshua Wesson led nearly 100 eager tasters through the complexities of matching a multi-course Indian meal with the right wine. A sparkling wine was served at the reception while nibbling on samosa and bhajia. During the sit down dinner, tasters were treated to five more wines of varying origins and descriptions. Phrases like fresh cut grass, melted cherry jello, fontina cheese and bruised lemon tart were tossed around as each wine was sampled and slurped. Participants wholeheartedly agreed that the event was a winner, though a bit too hot since the air conditioning couldn't keep up with our feisty crowd. The dinner was held at Diwan, 148 East 48th Street, New York City.

JUNE 13, 2005
AWIB kicked off its "Corporate Women's Initiative" to a packed house of nearly 200 women. The evening featured a lively panel discussion with top level women from major corporations titled, "Carving a Corporate Niche: Glass Ceiling Realities for Asian Women". The panelists (bios of panel members) touched on major issues impeding the progress of Asian women in the corporate world and offered solutions for survival and success drawn from their own personal experiences in the corporate world. The panel included Anne Nohara Abaya, Senior VP, Human Resources, GE Consumer Finance; Lucy Chan, Senior Project Executive, IBM Global Services; Anuradha Jayanti, Managing Director, Citigroup; Sheila Kumar, Vice President, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc; Nancy Yieh, Vice President, Gas Operations Con Edison, and was moderated by Jane Hyun, author. The event included a signing of Jane recently released book 'Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians.' The event's tremendous popularity is indicative of the need for Asian women to hear from Asian women who have made it as well as to interact with peers outside of their immediate work environment. AWIB's Corporate Women's Initiative is a step in that direction - our aim is to provide resources and services - through education, networking and mentorship to bridge relationships between corporate professionals and business owners - and to empower members to achieve career success. A special thanks to Cornell University's Institute for Women and Work for co-sponsoring the event.

JUNE 7, 2005
Lincoln Center Festival 2005 Preview
Asian Women In Business members and invited guests enjoyed a reception at Lincoln Center. This was the first time AWIB used the facilities at Lincoln Center and is in keeping with our belief that our members deserve to enjoy only the best venue for events. We thank the Lincoln Center Audience Development Initiative Office for making this possible. Members had a chance to make some new connections, take in a performance and enjoy the glassed-in, terraced penthouse at the Stanley H Kaplan building with its lovely views of the Hudson River and the Lincoln Center complex. Joining AWIB were members of the Asian American Arts Alliance.


MAY 12, 2005
AWIB's workshop "Pitch Perfect Presentations: Your Roadmap to Maximum Impact Public Speaking" was held to a full house. As usual, AWIB's workshop targeted at improving public presentation skills received an enthusiastic response. And workshop leader, Tessie Tiaba continued to receive kudos from participants for her mastery over the subject, and ability to convey the best speaking techniques in an interactive and inspiring manner. Attendees left with a framework for presenting succinctly, clearly and confidently. Tessie also offered pointers on how to retain audience attention, what works and what doesn't. The workshop offered several practice sessions and reviews included, 'motivational', 'inspiring and empowering', 'engaging and informative'. The workshop was held at AWIB's midtown Manhattan office.

MAY 5, 2005
AWIB held a spirited "Coffee & Conversation" - coffee tasting and networking session at an Upper West Side Starbucks, bringing together business owners and coffee lovers alike. Guests were treated to a special tasting of various coffees (and other caffeinated delights) by Starbucks "Coffee Masters," who enlightened the audience on how to brew a quality cup of java, and the origins of their favorite blends. All this made for a lively atmosphere for guests to establish new business relationships, and to renew old ones.

APRIL 23, 2005
AWIB organized another highly successful Taste of Chinatown. Over 50 restaurants, bakeries, tea houses, and specialty shops offered $1.00 tasting plates to thousands of visitors who thronged the neighborhood to indulge in some old favorites and experience something new. Despite the threat of rain, the event drew a great deal of interest and participation. Taste of Chinatown was organized as part of "Explore Chinatown" - an effort to boost tourism and business in Chinatown, funded by LMDC and the September 11th Fund. Click here for more, including a list of participating restaurants.

APRIL 21, 2005
AWIB's annual conference on certification and procurement opportunities for M/WBEs, as usual received an impressive response. Titled 'Doing Business With Corporate America: AWIB Annual Conference on Certification and Procurement Opportunities for M/WBEs', the conference offered attendees detailed information on M/WBE certification and corporate and government procurement opportunities. The session on certification had speakers from Empire State Development Corporation, NJ Transit, NYC Department of Small Business Services, NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council, Port Authority of NY/NJ and US Small Business Administration. It covered the process and benefits of certification and how certification can be leveraged to access corporate and government contracts. The procurement session featured speakers from Bank of America, Credit Suisse First Boston, Enterprise Rent a Car, LOreal, Lowes, New York City Department of Education and Time Warner. This highly interactive and productive session included a detailed look into how each company's buying process works, what they are looking to buy, the do's and don'ts when approaching a company with a product or service and alternate ways of getting a foot in the door. The exhibitors were also in high demand and included Con Edison, Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Administration, Department of Labor, General Services Administration, Internal Revenue Service, International Trade Administration, Jacob K Javits Convention Center, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Time Warner. Attendees included M/WBEs from the tri-state area and for many, it was a unique opportunity to learn, ask questions, and meet with buyers all in one place.

MARCH 23, 2005
We received tremendous response to our workshop 'Is Franchising for You? Everything you should know about owning and running a Franchise'. The popularity of the topic combined with the excellent mix of speakers made for a very productive evening. Participants got an overview of franchising from Ken Stein, Franchise Specialist for FranNet. This was followed by two Asian women franchisees sharing their experiences and formula for success. Christine Chen, owner of a Maui Tacos franchise and Jayanthi Raghunath, owner of two Kumon Math and Reading franchises used their personal stories to highlight the pros and cons of the business. There were many questions from the audience who took full advantage of the different perspectives offered. Attendees left the workshop with a good understanding of what it takes to be a franchisee, including the costs, risks, legalities and choosing one that fit their needs the best.

FEBRUARY 23, 2005
AWIB held a New Member Breakfast to introduce new members to the organization as well as each other. The Breakfasts are specifically designed to accord members an opportunity to introduce their businesses and to facilitate B2B connections. The event was very enthusiastically received and we could see many potential alliances in the making. In fact, many stayed back after the event to continue networking. Members also learned more about AWIB and how to make the most out of their membership. The breakfast was held at Greenpoint Bank in Manhattan.

FEBRUARY 3, 2005
Asian Women In Business featured Xiaoning Wang, founder of ChinaSprout in the latest of its 'Success Stories' Series. Titled "Establishing a Niche Market Online", the event was also a Lunar New Year party. Since we began the series last year, we have featured Asian women entrepreneurs at their place of business and a chance to look into how they run their businesses, their secrets for success and their tips for other entrepreneurs. In Xiaoning's case, her online business was built around the time most web companies going out of business. She not only survived the dotcom bust, but has thrived. ChinaSprout is an online retail store specializing in Chinese educational and cultural products - the company recently moved to a new location in New York City thanks to the continued growth of the business. She offered attendees a look into how she capitalized on her awareness of Chinese culture to establish her business and tapped into a niche market with a unique product line. Attendees certainly concurred - there was a lot of excitement over her products and certainly a lot of buying. Xiaoning also offered the happy shoppers an extra 15% discount. Since the event also celebrated Lunar New Year, we offered several food items traditionally served during this time. The event was held at ChinaSprout in midtown Manhattan.

FEBRUARY 1, 2005
AWIB spearheaded an Asian American Tsunami Fundraising Banquet to raise funds for the victims of the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. AWIB also brought together other area organizations for the event, including American Fujian Association of Commerce and Industry, Asian American Federation of NY, Asian Americans for Equality, Chinese-American Planning Council, Golden Bridge, Korean American Counseling Center, Organization of Chinese Americans - NY and United CDC. All money raised during the evening goes to UNICEF's Tsunami Water and Sanitation Fund. Close to 500 people attended. Speakers included Arthur Chi'en, Reporter, WCBS/Channel 2 news, who had covered the event for CBS from Sri Lanka and Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa, who was in Sri Lanka for a vacation, but ended up providing treatment to survivors. There were also performances by Kevin So and Cooper Madison. A raffle draw was also held as part of the fundraiser and the Grand Prize was donated by Cathay Pacific - two round trip tickets to Hong Kong. The event was held at Golden Bridge Restaurant, which donated all the food for the evening.

JANUARY 25, 2005
AWIB held a workshop "Pitch Perfect Presentations: A Road map to Maximum Impact Public Speaking". The session offered attendees a chance to learn the key ingredients of an impactful presentation. The workshop leader was industry expert Tessie Tiaba, whose previous classes for AWIB have received glowing evaluations. Tessie offered a step-by-step breakdown of the components to good public speaking and techniques that attendees could use to create their own style, project a confident and natural style, eliminate fillers and overcome speech fright. This was followed by an intensive practice session where she offered positive feedback and alternate presentation strategies that could be used by attendees for their upcoming presentations. The workshop was held at AWIB's midtown office

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