About Us

The Asian Corporate & Entrepreneur Leaders (ACEL), is a non-profit organization providing Asian American professionals opportunities to work together to enhance Asian American leadership in our careers, communities and the local government that we live and serve in.

Serving the Community

As the largest and fastest growing Asian American professional organization in Arizona, ACEL continues to provide its members with the tools and resources to further career advancements and to empower Asian Americans to become great leaders as well as reliable employees.

In order to achieve our goals ACEL offers a diverse range of professional development programs on the local level. These may include series of panels, workshops and seminars. ACEL engages its membership in community activities, an ongoing mentorship program, cultural awareness and professional networking events. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization we also seek to promote the active participation of Asian Americans in society through community service.

Our Mission Statement

ACEL’s mission is to be the proving ground for Asian American Professionals, forging leaders of tomorrow through professional development, cultural awareness, community service and mentorship.

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Leadership

Develop, inspire, and connect leaders

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Accountability

Honor commitments to deliver value

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Education

Excel at life-long learning

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Diversity

Embrace a culture of inclusion and innovation

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Cultivate

And empower leaders for professional excellence

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Engage

And participate with the community at large

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Empower

Youth & Collegiate emerging leaders

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Connect

Accomplished professionals for mutual success

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Inspire

Leaders to make a meaningful difference in government, education, business, and society

Accomplishments and Chapter Milestones

Since 2006, ACEL has been helping the community and people have taken notice. Here is a list of the accomplishments and chapter milestones.

Our Board of Directors

Chair - Jason Wong

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Jason came to the U.S. at an early age. He attended University of Arizona and received a B.S. in Political Science with a concentration in Public Administration. As a founder of the organization, Jason leads ACEL towards becoming the premier professional organization for Asian Americans in the Valley. His goals include encouraging more active participation from members, current and potential, and promoting more collaborative projects and activities with other Asian American community organizations. He aims to create stronger brand recognition for ACEL in the greater Phoenix area through opportunities for increased professional development, cultural awareness, mentorship  and community participation.

Jason has been a long-time active community member. During his time at the University of Arizona, he was the founding director of the Asian Pacific American Student Affairs of the University of Arizona. He was the recipient of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguish Leadership Award in 1992. Jason also took an active part in Governor Janet Napolitano’s Asian American Advisory Council (2007-2009) and the City of Phoenix Pacific Rim Advisory Council (2006-2007). He served as a national board member (2008-2009) & president of the East Valley Alumni Chapter (2007-2010) of the University of Arizona Alumni Association. In addition to his alumni involvement, Jason currently serves on the board of directors of the FBI Citizen Academy Alumni Association, a graduate of Valley Leadership Institute Class 33, Scottsdale Leadership Core Program Class 28 and is a member of Maricopa Community Colleges Chancellor’s Community Advisory Council.

Vice Chair - Teresa Wales

Teresa Hayashi Wales is the Managing Partner at The Doyle Law Firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Over the course of Teresa’s 20+ year career, she has successfully defended numerous individuals, general contractors, subcontractors, businesses, and municipalities in tort and contract litigation, primarily in the areas of general liability, construction defect, complex litigation, personal injury, and product liability. Teresa received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine in 1989, and her Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University College of Law in 1992. She is licensed to practice law in the states of California and Arizona. Teresa is a proud member of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association, the Arizona Women’s Lawyer Association, the Maricopa County Bar Association, the Construction law section of the Arizona Bar Association, and the Asian Corporate & Entrepreneur Leaders. When not working, Teresa enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, running marathons and half marathons, and practicing yoga.

Director & Board Secretary - Faye Ferguson

Faye Ferguson was born and raised in Dumaguete City, Philippines and migrated to the United States in 2007. She graduated at Negros Oriental State University with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. At an early age, Faye has demonstrated her leadership skills through class officer positions including president/chair positions of various organizations from elementary, high school and college.

Faye has 14 years of experience as a manager and currently a branch manager for Wells Fargo Bank, NA in Mesa Arizona. She also serves as a board member in Middle East Team Member Network for the bank and champions a few roles to lead her district. She is also active in the community and a member of the chamber of commerce in Gilbert and Mesa.

Faye’s passion to make a difference in the community leads to her interest in ACEL. Believing in the organization’s mission and uplifting the Asian American in the corporate world, she co-chairs the dynamics of leadership conference 2018. Faye is looking forward to share her leadership skills not only as a Mentor within the Mentorship Program but as a board member to accelerate the growth of ACEL.

Director - Kim Ho

Kim Ho is a native of Arizona and attended the U of A, graduating with a degree in Business Marketing. She has over 9 years of business to business consultative experience and over 7 years in medical sales. Previous positions include National Sales Trainer and Western Regional Sales Manager for TP Orthodontics and she is currently the Southwest Region Medical Sales Executive for TeleVox Software.

Kim became interested in ACEL and joined in December 2013. Since her enrollment, she has taken an active leadership role in building retention and a better membership experience as well as participating in the events committee and Mentorship Program. She is now currently on the board and appreciates the amazing people she has had the opportunity to meet and build relationships with and looks forward to continuing the growth and positive impact of ACEL in the community.

Kim was recently honored as a 2015, 40 Under 40 Business and Community Leader by Phoenix Business Journal and is currently in Class 37 of Valley Leadership. Kim is also actively involved in her local Toastmasters group, volunteers for the City of Scottsdale Public Library and is a Black Belt in Kung Fu.

Director - Wynn Payackapan

Wynn has spent most of his life in the New York area where he was born and raised. He moved to Arizona with his family to join a Financial Advisory team at Morgan Stanley in 2015.

Wynn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 2001 with an undergraduate degree Business and later earned his MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 2010. He has worked at the corporate offices of Citigroup, Legg Mason and Morgan Stanley in New York City before transitioning to his new role in Scottsdale. He is married with two young daughters and in his free time enjoys golf, cycling, fishing, cooking and traveling.

Wynn became involved with ACEL soon after his move to Arizona and has showed an eagerness and desire to take on an active role in the success of the organization. He has been a mentee within the Mentorship Program and is currently a relationship liaison for the current class. He hopes to be a mentor in the program in the future.

Director - Tony King

Tony King represents clients in a variety of complex business disputes and commercial litigation. He regularly handles litigation in federal and state court involving business contract disputes, real estate disputes, partnership and shareholder disputes, employer-employee disputes, and a plethora of business torts and other claims. King has experience with each stage of litigation, from beginning to end, including the discovery process, managing complex e-discovery cases, summary judgment, mediation, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, equitable relief such as temporary restraining orders, post-trial motions, and collection efforts after judgment.

Director - Rodney Hu

Rodney Hu is a 2nd generation Arizona native that graduated from Marcos de Niza High School, in Tempe, before going on to earn his Bachelor’s from Arizona State University in Finance. Rodney spent 8 years on Wall Street as an investment analyst in sales & trading for various firms including Bear Wagner Specialists, Bear, Stearns & Co., Goldman Sachs, and Cantor Fitzgerald. Currently, he is the Owner / Operator of the infamous Yucca Tap Room in Tempe and also manages several commercial retail and residential rental properties. He is a founding member of the Arizona Distilling Company, a Tempe-based micro-distillery that produced the first locally distilled spirits in the Phoenix metro area since prohibition. Over the past 10 years, Rodney has been working in the cannabis industry and is involved in several cannabis startups and licensed partnerships in Arizona. He also helped launch popular brands such as Vital Infusions and Grand Daddy Genetics and worked with state and local regulators to allow extractions in the state. Rodney was also named one of the top 100 tastemakers by the Phoenix New Times and serves on several boards including the Tempe Sports Authority Foundation.

Director of Marketing - Daehee Park

Daehee Park is a first generation Korean American and the co-founder of Tuft & Needle (www.TN.com), a direct-to-consumer mattress company that has disrupted a $16 billion traditional industry.

In 2012, Park and his co-founder JT Marino quit their jobs in Silicon Valley to start Tuft & Needle, and decided to do so with no venture funding.

In just under five years, Tuft & Needle hit $170 million in annual revenue, selling functionally-designed and fairly-priced “bed-in-a-box” mattresses, sheets, and pillows. Along the way, the company’s success has spawned more than 150 copycats. Tuft & Needle is now reimagining how mattresses are sold, showcasing its award-winning retail concept in Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Seattle.

Park also serves as an advisor to Populum, a full-stack wellness company providing the purest-quality CBD products extracted from non-psychoactive hemp harvested in Colorado.

Park’s work has been profiled in New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Along the way, Park was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 and part of The Recode 100.

Park launched his very first business out of his dorm room at Penn State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity with a focus on digital privacy and operations security. He resides in Phoenix with his wife, three children, and pet corgi.

Director of Communications – Ritta Yee Fagain

BIO COMING SOON

Frequently Asked Questions

I'd like to join a committee. How do I do this?
We are always looking for passionate volunteers who are interested in contributing their time, talent, and skills to our organization. In exchange for your contribution, we offer vast opportunities for leadership development and exclusive networking. Contact us to find out more about opportunities with our committees.
When was ACELeaders - Phoenix founded
ACEL-Phoenix was founded in 2006.
Where are ACEL Chapters located?

Professional Chapters:

  • Phoenix
  • Southern California 

Collegiate Chapters:

  • Arizona State University
  • Thunderbird School of Global Management (Phoenix)
  • University of California – Irvine
  • University of Arizona
How much does it cost to be a member? Are there different types of memberships?
Currently, we offer Individual and Business memberships. For more information about our fees and benefits, visit our Membership page.
How can I find out about the different ACEL-Phoenix events?
We organize and host numerous events throughout the year. Our programs include professional development, cultural awareness, social networking, community service, and mentorship. To find out about our upcoming events and programs, visit the Events page.
I would like to inquire about offering ACEL-Phoenix a corporate sponsorship. Who do I talk to about this?

We are proud to have a number of corporate sponsors supporting our efforts, and we always welcome new opportunities to continue developing beneficial relationships with new corporations and professional organizations. Please contact [email protected] if you are looking to support the ACEL-Phoenix organization through your corporation.

Do I have to be a certain age to join ACEL-Phoenix?

You need to be at least 18 years of age to join ACEL-Phoenix. We are working hard to develop our ACEL Youth Program, so our next generation of talented professionals can take part in our organization. Please continue to visit our website for the most up-to-date information about our programs and events.

Do I have to be a “professional” to join ACEL?

We welcome entrepreneurs and college students as well as corporate professionals. For more information, please contact our membership team at [email protected].

What is the mission of ACEL?

ACEL’s mission is to be the proving ground for Greater Phoenix Asian American Professionals, forging leaders of tomorrow through professional development, cultural awareness, community service, and mentorship.

What does ACEL stand for?

Asian Corporate .

Professional Connections

Learn life skills,  find professional business advice from your peers, and meet great and interesting people. These are just some of the benefits of becoming a member.