Jason C. Wong - Board Chair
Jason founded Asian Corporate and Entrepreneur Leaders in 2006, because he saw a need for a support system to develop leadership and professional growth in the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Mentoring is a key component of ACEL. These higher level mentoring relationships close the generation gap and strengthen the AAPI community as a whole.
As the founder and Chairman of the Board, Jason is leading ACEL to become the premier professional organization for AAPI. His goals include encouraging more active participation from members and promoting more collaborative projects and activities with other national AAPI community organizations. He aims to create stronger brand recognition for ACEL through opportunities for increased leadership & professional development, cultural awareness, mentorship and community participation.
National and local organizations have recognized Jason’s commitment to leadership and community, awarding him the National Asian/Pacific American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship Business Leader Award, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award, and the University of Arizona Alumni Association Chapter President Award.
Jason has served on multiple national and local boards and committees. He currently serves as Trustee for the Vitalyst Health Foundation and member of the Chancellor Advisory Council for Maricopa Community Colleges.
Born and raised in Hong Kong. Jason moved to the United States when he was 13. He attended the University of Arizona and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. While a student at the U of A, Jason founded the Asian Pacific American Student Affairs. Professionally, Jason is a financial consultant. He establishes partnerships with his clients to help them achieve their financial aspirations.
Teresa Hayashi Wales - 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 - Board Secretary & Director of Conference
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.
Kim Ho - Director of Social & Networking
There’s no one more passionate about and adept at building community than Kim Ho. A servant leader committed to change, Ms. Ho has built a career rooted in leveraging experience and expertise to make a large-scale, needle-moving impact.
As evolvedMD’s Director of Sales, Ms. Ho helms business development, sales, and outreach to a national portfolio of current and prospective customers while also overseeing program implementation, efficacy, and commercial excellence.
With over 15 years of B2B consultative experience including over nine years in medical sales, Ms. Ho’s considerable expertise draws from roles as a Corporate Development Officer for Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, Enterprise Development Manager for WebPT, Regional Medical Sales Executive for TeleVox Software, and Western Regional Sales Manager for TP Orthodontics.
Born and raised in Phoenix, Ms. Ho attended University of Arizona and graduated with a degree in Business Marketing. Passionate about serving the community that shaped her, she is a Board Member for the Phoenix Public Library and ACEL (Asian Corporate & Entrepreneur Leaders).
Accomplishments and accolades aplenty, Ms. Ho has been honored and recognized as one of Phoenix Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 Business and Community Leaders, featured in 2019 Phoenix 100+Women to KNOW Book + Tribe, as well as ACEL’s (Asian Corporate & Entrepreneur Leaders), and is Member of the Year and a Class 37 Graduate of Valley Leadership Institute.
An ardent lover of fashion, food, craft cocktails and coffee, you would be hard pressed to find someone more enthusiastic about self-care and supporting local businesses than her.
Nicole Lei - Director of Communications
Nicole is born and raised in Macau. She currently serves as the Sales and Marketing, Hotel Information System Manager at GreenTree Hospitality Group after graduating from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She manages 20 of the group’s hotels in their sales & marketing efforts and supports the new hotel chain to adapt and adjust from the great success story from GreenTree China. Being raised in the “Las Vegas of Asia,” Nicole’s passion in hospitality brought her to Las Vegas to learn and experience from the city that originated modern opulence and high-end customer service.
In the past seven years, she rotated in different fields, including Hotel Operation, Sales, Food & Beverage, and Casino Marketing. Nicole’s greatest passion is to “Build Things”, just like her father, who started a construction business from nothing. With her exceptional execution and interpersonal skills, she was selected to be part of the Casino opening team to establish casino marketing plans and operation procedures. In 2017, aside from working in a major hotel chain, she participated in a restaurant startup project and successfully grew the business as the Top Korean Restaurants in Las Vegas.
Not only is Nicole hardworking at work, but she also dedicates her time volunteering with local communities and organizations. Nicole first joined ACEL through the ACEL – Thunderbird chapter as a board member. During her free time, she enjoys cooking and trying new recipes.
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.
Matt Hum - Director of Technology
Matthew Mihaylo Hum was born and raised in the Gilbert/Chandler area. He obtained his Finance degree from ASU and later went on to U of A for law school. He started his own law firm in 2011 and grew the firm to 10 attorneys before exiting the law field. While practicing law he focused on complex commercial litigation and corporate transactional law. Matt exited the law field in order to pursue other passions involving technology and other business-related activities. As a result, he partnered with a longtime friend to form Shot Ventures. Shot Ventures is a VC firm focused on raising capital for startups of all sectors as well as providing advisement to founders so they can reach their aspirations without giving up all their leverage.
Outside of helping other founders and startups, Matt himself is a focused serial entrepreneur that takes golfing breaks. His current entrepreneurial pursuit is his data/cloud infrastructure startup. His entrepreneurial goal is to close the financial gap between community members and the businesses that exist exploiting the community members. He is driven to bring collective capitalism back into the technology world.
When he is not building his business, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. They enjoy going to the beach, camping, and any other water related activity.
Matt joined ACEL in 2019. Since joining, he has immersed himself as much as possible in helping ACEL put on events and hopes to continue to help ACEL’s evolution into the future. Seeing ACEL growing in Phoenix and nationwide reminds him of how exciting it is to see Phoenix itself growing into a technological hub and receiving nationwide recognition as such.
Mahes Prasad - Director of Corporate Relations
Mahes Prasad is a wealth management leader with over 25 years of financial services experience. He is an employee-focused leader who applies a consultative and collaborative approach to coaching, recruiting, and mentoring others to achieve success both individually and as a team. He has effectively led multidisciplinary wealth management and sales teams, consistently achieving enterprise sales results, double-digit year-over-year revenue, and asset growth goals.
Since 2021, he has served as Managing Director for US Bank Private Wealth Management. In his role he leads a team of Private Wealth Advisors in Arizona and Nevada. Prior to his time at US Bank, he served as Regional Brokerage Manager at Wells Fargo Advisors in Scottsdale, AZ where he also directly supported The Private Bank from 2007 to 2018. He also supported Juncture Wealth Strategies, a boutique investment advisory firm, from 2019 to 2021.
Actively engaging in the community and serving on multiple non-profit boards, Mahes is currently trustee on the Chandler Chamber of Commerce and sits on the Professional Advisory Board of the Arizona Community Foundation.
Mahes was born and raised in Oakland, NJ. He later moved to the great state of Arizona and earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The University of Arizona. He resides in Ahwatukee, a community in Phoenix, Arizona, with his two daughters and wife, Shelly.
Away from the office you can find Mahes trail running or hiking on one of the many trails in Arizona, and spending time with his family.