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.
Director – 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 – Kim Hamby
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 – Maryanne Riodique
Born in the Philippines, and raised on various military bases around the Pacific Rim, MaryAnne Riodique learned from an early age how to navigate the differences between different cultures and languages. Her family settled in Arizona once her father retired from the US Navy, where she went on to complete a BA in History from Arizona State University, concentrating on Asian history and Japanese language.
MaryAnne currently acts as a global recruiter with Thunderbird School of Global Management, a Valley institution first founded in 1946 as an Army Air Corps Training field, eventually converted into world-renown college focused on training global business leaders. Her international upbringing, love for travel, and passion for cross-cultural exchange and diversity drew her to the school, where she works with graduate students focused on international career paths. This past May, she completed her Thunderbird MBA, and walked across the stage to accept her diploma, with her 7-year-old son.
MaryAnne brings to ACEL over 16 years of varied experience and business acumen in retail operations, consumer products, sales & marketing, and higher education. She’s looking forward to spreading ACEL’s mission to other college campuses, and promoting the importance of diversity in our community. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking for friends and family, hiking, and traveling. She lives in Surprise, with her husband, Thomas, and their son, Calvin.
Director of Marketing – Janene Wong
Janene is a multidisciplinary designer and natural leader who appreciates architecture, music, education, good food, and culture. Janene was born in Hong Kong and arrived in the U.S. at age four. She learned to balance both Chinese and American ethics, and believes she’s obtained the best of both worlds. Janene cares deeply about animal rights, the environment, and sustainability and finds her strength in her family, friends, and companion animals. She loves to travel, as it is one of her greatest sources of design inspiration. And she loves to dine, as it is her favorite way to learn about different cultures, share in great conversations, and forge strong communities.
After a successful career in advertising in Los Angeles, Janene relocated to Phoenix and earned a Master of Science in Design Research at Arizona State University. As a part of her thesis, she was awarded a travel grant to China for ethnography research and environmental design in wayfinding at the Beijing Capital International Airport. (Another highlight of her studies was meeting her husband Matt, an architect, at the international architecture firm where they both worked!) Currently, Janene works at RSP Architects where she utilizes her talent, skills and leadership to help promote the company and win projects for notable clients. Her creativity and boundless curiosity keep the ideas flowing, while her authenticity keeps her grounded. Amongst her busy schedule she is also an active advocate on a newly formed committee that promotes equality and diversity within the firm.