2018 Ascend National Convention, the Largest Pan-Asian Business Event of the Year


Ascend, the largest non-profit Pan-Asian membership organization for business professionals in North America recently celebrated its 2018 National Convention at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. This year’s convention theme was “Innovate & Evolve” – a theme that was explored extensively throughout the event. The Ascend Convention is the largest gathering of Pan-Asian business professionals in North America with attendees from over 200 organizations and 60+ sponsoring organizations.

This year’s Ascend Convention featured some truly inspirational speakers including  Grameen CEO Andrea Jung, former Avon CEO and one of the most prominent Asian business leaders and women’s issues supporter in conversation with Emily Changof Bloomberg. Andrea received the Ascend Icon Award at the Awards Dinner. Her talk focused on supporting women and fostering the next generation of leaders. The audience were inspired by the hugely successful, billionaire serial entrepreneurs, Justin and Daniel Kan who shared the origin stories for their respective businesses, life lessons learned from their entrepreneurial parents and grandparents and how they got to where they are today. Brian Wong, CEO of Kiip talked about taking risks and being bold and shared his ‘cheat codes’ with the audience. Jeff Wong, Global Chief Innovation Officer at EY talked about embracing innovation. In line with our theme, this year’s convention featured sessions on blockchain, AI and autonomous vehicles – technologies that will continue to drive change in business and in our personal lives.

Anna W. Mok, Ascend National Executive Vice President, said: “We’re proud to have hosted the Ascend Convention in San Francisco, one of the most disruptive locations in the world! Our theme “Innovate & Evolve” challenged us all to aim higher. I am confident and excited for what we as a community can achieve in the future. Special thanks to Andrea Jung who inspired us with her talk focusing on the importance of empowering women and promoting diversity.”

Jeff Chin, the Ascend National President, said: “I’m so pleased to see the connections made here at the Convention. There’s tremendous power in our Pan-Asian community and Ascend as a lifecycle organization continues to build and foster current and future leaders.”

At the Awards Dinner, Ascend continued the tradition of recognizing business leaders and organizations who have made significant contributions to the Pan-Asian community. Ascend recognized Andrea Jung with the Ascend Icon Award; Anne Chow, National Business, AT&T Business with the Ascend Inspiring Across Generations (IAG) Inspirational Leader Award; Binita Pradhan, Partner, BDO with the IAG High-Impact Leader Award; Yimei Lin and Judy To with the IAG Rising Star Awards; MetLife with the Ascend Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award; and BNY Mellon’s IMPACT and Oracle’s Professional Asian Leadership (OPAL) with the Ascend Affinity/ERG Leadership Awards. Vicky Nguyen, Author & Senior Investigative Reporter at NBC Bay Area served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

Jeff Chin, National President, Ascend; Andrea Jung, President & CEO, Grameen America; Sandeep Gupta, Vice President of Chapter Affairs, Ascend; Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP