Jason C. Wong - Board Chair
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.
Teresa Hayashi Wales - Board Vice Chair & Director of Mentorship
Teresa Hayashi Wales is Of Counsel with the Welsh Law Group, PLC. in Phoenix, Arizona. Over the course of Teresa’s 25+ year career, she has successfully represented 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, Sandra Day O’Connor 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, and the Construction law section of the Arizona Bar Association. Teresa also serves on the board of directors for various non-profit organizations, as well as a Judge Pro Tem for the Maricopa County Superior Court.
Faye Ferguson - Director and Board Secretary
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.
Wynn Payackapan - Director of Finance
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.
Kim Ho - Director of Events
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.
Rodney Hu - Director of Community Outreach
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.
Ritta Yee Fagain - Director of Communications
Ritta’s responsibilities start with ensuring WHYFOR runs smoothly day-to-day but they extend far beyond that. She’s got an outstanding talent for business planning and strategy and she’s always able to see two or three moves ahead — often recognizing a client’s pain points before they do. Add that with her ability to connect and build relationships, Ritta creates external and internal synergies for WHYFOR and all its clients and network.
Ritta is adept in reading situations and individuals, a skill that was most likely perfected having spent 20 years overseas in half a dozen different countries, cultures, and business environments. She naturally loves the uniqueness and complexities of people and relationships, so it’s no surprise that she earned degrees in Psychology and Sociology from University of California, Irvine.
Outside the office, Ritta’s commitment to community includes serving on the Board of Directors for the Asian Corporate & Entrepreneur Leaders as their Director of Communications. She also serves on the Governing Board of St. Joseph the Worker, a nonprofit that assists homeless, low-income and other disadvantaged individuals in their efforts to become self-sufficient through quality employment. She finds time to act as a Liaison between Boys’ Team Charity and St Vincent de Paul Society, introducing young people to the opportunities of volunteerism. As a native Los Angelino, Ritta has put down roots in Central Phoenix with her husband of 23 years, 2 boys and 2 dogs.