"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."
Name: Tim Hwang
Occupation / School: CEO, FiscalNote / Princeton, Harvard Business School
Describe yourself in 100 words: I’ve always been drawn to the idea of leverage: how to make the most impact in our limited time. It’s what initially drew me to politics: where at 16 I worked for President Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign and at 17 where I was elected to serve on the Board of Education in Maryland, serving 22,000 teachers. Later, when it became clear technology was going to define our generation, I grabbed several friends and founded FiscalNote, a company on a mission to digitize laws for the entire world using AI. Over the years, the experience of building a company and serving hundreds of our employees and thousands of customers across the US, Europe, and Asia has been the greatest honor of my life. Outside of work, I think it’s incredibly important for Asian Americans to fight for political and media representation and something that I spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about and working on in my free time.
What makes your heart beats: Leading great teams to accomplish amazing things; building products our customers love; making an impact
Something uniquely interesting about yourself: Our very first investor in the company was billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank judge Mark Cuban, whom I cold-emailed after finding his email on Google. Amazingly, he responded in 45 minutes.
Name: Lisa Park
Occupation / School: Artist/ New York University
Describe yourself in 100 words: I grew up in Seoul and came to LA and NY to study abroad, then I built my career as an artist for about 5 years. My art practice is focused on creating interactive installations and performances with using technologies like gestures tracking, heart-rates and brainwaves monitoring, touch sensing, and sound responsive sensors. I’ve always been interested in understanding human emotions and inner states, so I use these sensors as a vehicle to visualize and sonify the psychological and emotional connectedness between the audience.
What makes your heart beat: The experience of being in a city that I’ve always wanted to be.
Something uniquely interesting about yourself: People have seen me wearing black all the time, and it’s very typical ‘unspoken’ stereotype about artist dress code. I do have colorful outfits in my wardrobe and I wear them sometimes.
Name: Sung Moon
Occupation / School: CIO at AIREA/ School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Describe yourself in 100 words: My childhood was quite all over the place; from Australia to the U.S. to China, my life has always been spontaneous and has structured the way I operate on a daily basis today. Being able to fluently communicate in Mandarin, I’m always on the plug with China, overseeing cross-border transactions. Having a background in both architecture and real estate, I’m able to manage real estate investments while running to construction sites where we nurture young entrepreneurs design their startups whether it be a restaurant or a tea truck. Outside of AIREA, I’m a Managing Director of a student services organization, where we provide services for international students from airport pickup to hosting events and eventually helping them land internships and jobs after graduation.
What makes your heart beat: Seeing things getting built, seeing things getting done. I am a do-er and I like the feeling of no one being able to stop me. This is one of the reasons why I moved to New York City.
Something uniquely interesting about yourself: Although my whole family is Korean, I cannot tolerate spicy food.
Name: Fanyu Lin
Occupation / School: CEO of Fluxus LLC, Columbia University
Describe yourself in 100 words: Being passionate about social entrepreneurship and impact investing, I am leading a startup with over 50 years of history, committed to enhancing living qualities in communities across the economic spectrum by providing a sustainable way of building homes.
Educated as an architect in the interdisciplinary context at my undergraduate school in China Central Academy of Fine Arts, I increasingly see the beauty of architecture as an expression, a compromise, a similarity with and dissimilarity from other forms of arts. My graduate study at Columbia University followed by the exploration between architectural practice and business further disturbs my understanding in architecture by deepening it.
What makes your heart beat: Love
Something uniquely interesting about yourself: I feel I am spiritually gifted, perhaps born to be a healer.
Name: Ban V. Tran
Occupation / School: International Business Entrepreneur/Cal Poly Pomona
Describe yourself in 100 words: Growing up in LA in a very sheltered environment, I was groomed to fit in with everyone and be a good civilian. I tried living the first half of my life the way society expected, but my aspiration and rebellious nature would eventually nudged me down a different path. In 2002, towards the end of my sophomore year as an Electrical Computer Engineer student at Cal Poly Pomona, I decided to drop everything and moved out to the East Coast to chase after my own dreams. Although the decision was tough (and I had to endure major struggles and scrutiny from my family), looking back I would not changed a thing. Today, I'm a member of the Board of Advisors for USC (University of Southern California) Global Supply Chains Department as well as couple other organizations. I collaborate with members of the United Nations and other major conglomerates in international trades, infrastructures development and impact projects in emerging nations.
What makes your heart beat: Embracing a lifestyle where making people's lives better and creating sustainable social impacts are as routine and simple as going out for coffee.
Something uniquely interesting about yourself: I experienced being homeless for 3 days while struggling to survive on my own.
Name: Jennifer Lee
Occupation / School: Principal Court Attorney, New York State Supreme Court, Kings County, Criminal Term. University of Minnesota Law School.
Describe yourself in 100 words: I was born and raised in Korea by a Korean father and an American mother. I went to Korean schools all through college and came to the U.S. when I started law school. Therefore, I am fluent in both Korean and English and comfortable in both cultures. After graduating from law school, I worked at a law firm for a short period of time and then started working for Hon. Danny Chun as his court attorney. I write the first drafts of his decisions, do legal research and review various legal documents including grand jury minutes.
What makes your heart beat: While my job is behind the scene in that I’m assisting the judge, I still feel I’m in the heart of the criminal justice system. The fact that my work affects people’s lives in profound ways is a great responsibility and that makes me passionate about my job. On a personal level, traveling to new places excites me.
Something uniquely interesting about yourself: A lot of people cannot even tell that I’m half Korean, but Korean is my first language.
Name: Sonny HongOccupation /School: Chief Investment Officer, Soho Global Fund / Columbia College (B.A.), Harvard Business School (MBA)Description of yourself (100 words or less): I have many interests outside of just pure work such as DJing & mixing music, artistic photography, taking cooking classes, traveling, hitting all the New England beach towns every summer, and just learning new hobbies. I think always learning new things be it in professional or personal life always makes you better at both. Another interest of mine is to give back to the causes one believes such as trying to support Asian-American political candidates and help Asians have a political voice; Women and children without any power or political will who are taken advantage of in third world countries; or even as basic as Asian-American community organizations.What motivates you at work? Reaching my full potential, creating and building a burgeoning organization from a mere idea or conceptWhat would be your advice to an aspiring finance/business professional? Work hard because success truly comes to the people who put in the extra effort over othersTo me, GORI is ... a very good social and professional network for like-minded individuals to learn, mentor and befriend from.
Name: Irene Hwang
Occupation / School: Designer of MAC Cosmetics & Planning Manager of KANA / Parsons School of Design
Describe yourself in 100 words: I'm a creator. I create various platforms virtually and physically for social engagements. Working as a designer, I build strategies and create visuals specifically for social media. I’m an outgoing person who loves to meet new people and learn new things. This is a reason why I decided to join KANA (Korean Association of New York Artists). From planning to executing social events, it has never been easy, but the whole process always gives me great satisfaction at the end.
What makes your heart beat: Playing tennis, being an early adapter, learning new things and watching Disney movies.
Something uniquely interesting about yourself: I went to school in 4 different countries. I used to be a tennis and softball player.
Name: Douglas Park
Occupation / School: Partner at Tokki Soju
Describe yourself in 100 words: I spent my elementary school/middle school years living in Frankfurt, Paris and Barcelona and English is my third language despite the fact it's my primary language now. My first job out of college was in Singapore doing management consulting, and came to NY to work as a product manager for a consumer electronics company. I quit my corporate life in 2011 to motorcycle 8,600 miles around the U.S. and ultimately worked as a photographer for five years. In 2016, I joined Tokki Soju to work with Bran Hill.
What makes your heart beat: An honest conversation on philosophical views of life and purpose... over a drink or three.
Something uniquely interesting about yourself: Aren't we all somewhat generic?