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ERG/BRG SUMMIT (Session 1): Promoting Growth and Expanding Networks with Leadership Development – As employee resource groups have grown in sophistication and impact, companies’ expectations for ERG have risen and so have the expectations of their leaders. Asian Corporate & Entrepreneur Leaders (ACEL) partnered with White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), U.S. Department of Commerce – Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the Asia/Pacific American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurial (National ACE) this year to promote the growth and competitiveness of minority in the corporate and business world.

Three organizations, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), U.S. Department of Commerce – Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), and the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE), have been working together the last few years on Economic and Business Development advocacy programs the last few year. From 2014 to 2016, they have conducted three National ERG/BRG summit in Washington DC bringing AAPI leaders together to share best practices and discuss leadership development for themselves and their members. The summits allow them to learn how they can support each other and fellow AAPIs in their organizations. In 2018, the program will be expanded to explore how Corporate ERG groups can engage Federal Government ERG groups expanding their network and learning. Finally, the program will include discussion on how to engage the AAPI Entrepreneurship network to enhance the ERGs to support their organizations’ Business Development efforts.

How to Pitch: Lessons Learned from My Appearance on Shark Tank – Being able to pitch is a very important skill for all entrepreneurs. Join Lavanya Jawahalal, founder of STEM Center USA and Shark Tank contestant, in this workshop as she shows us all how to prepare and perform a pitch. Lavanya and her sister successfully received two offers from Lori Greiner and Chris Sacca in the October 30, 2015 episode of Shark Tank for their business, STEM Center USA, which provides fun, experiential learning of robotics and other STEM subjects to kids 5 years old and up.

Strategic Negotiation Skills for a Multicultural World – Scholar Edward T Hall called culture the “Silent Language.” More importantly, he noted, “most of culture is acquired and therefore cannot be taught.” If culture is unspoken and cannot be learned, how do we effectively negotiate with people from different cultures? We tend to take or own culture for granted; we don’t realize our own culture’s impact on our communication or negotiation style. Nor do we fully understand that different cultures have different styles of communicating and negotiating. The first step in creating cultural awareness is recognizing our own cultural preferences. In this presentation, participants will:

– Identify their own cultural preferences with respect to influence and decision making.

– Identify how they communicate those preferences.

– Identify ways they use communication techniques to bridge any cultural gaps.

Once we are aware of the ways in which culture might be impacting our communication and negotiation style, we can develop simple ways to bridge the cultural gap.

The workshop will also provide a brief introduction to interest-based negotiations, including examples of sources of power and leverage, defenses to common plays, offer-counter offer strategies, preparation methodology, and ways to fashion agreements that create value on all sides.

ERG/BRG SUMMIT (Session 2): Transitioning into Executive Leadership – The hot buzzword in corporate governance and diversity is ERG or Employee Resource Group. Developing Leadership skills while leading ERG group and learning from other Asian American Executives can be a very effective approach. This panel brings together senior-level Asian American executives who are in the position to attain higher levels of management along with representatives from their corporations to share their experiences and how to overcome challenges. This panel discussion works specifically to hone the skills associated with executive leadership while incorporating a focus on the relevant influences of their Asian cultural heritage and values.

The 2018 ACEL Conference invites high-achieving Asian-American executives to share their experience as Executive leaders. You’ll have a unique opportunity to build a strong community based on shared experiences, and develop a personal action plan to transform classroom learning into personal and professional success.

Business Expansion Strategy from Me to Us – So you’ve reached a point in running your own business where you either want to pursue other endeavors or want to see your business grow in new and exciting directions. Sometimes, that means letting go of control. But how in the world do you let go of something that you have started and nurtured from the beginning? Join us for this panel of experienced entrepreneurs that watched their businesses grow and realized they needed to make the transition from being the sole operator.

The Economic and Social Power of AAPIs – “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. With more than 20 million consumers, the AAPI population has grown by double-digits in 49 out of 50 states. In less than a few years, the spending clout of AAPIs will be more than $1.1 trillion dollars per annum. The spending power of AAPIs would make it the 19th economic power in the world. The country of Turkey, which is three times larger than the AAPI population in size at 73 million, is the 18th largest economic power in the world! AAPIs are also highly entrepreneurial, owning more than 2 million businesses in the U.S. Learn more about the economic and social power of AAPIs”

Managing and Retaining Millennials in the Workplace – Every successful company and organization goes through change at one point or many. Throughout this change, they must learn to adapt and evolve with the rest of the corporate landscape, and this involves bringing in new talent. Now millennials are being hired into the workforce, and one of the main challenges companies have is how to unleash the potential of this younger, mysterious generation. Join us in this workshop on the best tips and strategies, as well as identifying resources that are particularly important to Ggeneration Y.

Women Entrepreneurs: The Challenges and Rewards – Join us for an in-depth discussion centered around women entrepreneurs and women considering starting their own business. What are the challenges women face in the workforce, the hurdles to overcome as an entrepreneur, and the determination required to be a successful business woman. Through examples, sharing, and a guided dialogue, this workshop will explore the intricate entrepreneurship lifestyle from the perspective of women.

Becoming a Majority in a Minority Environment through Voting and Community Engagement– With the ongoing turmoil in any political climate, one may ask “how can we change course”? Increasing voter participation and community engagement is perhaps the most straightforward way to do this. Asian Americans historically have one of the most dismal voter turnout rates—47 percent—compared to 66 percent for black voters and 64 percent for non-Hispanic white voters. Asian Americans’ economic success is often attributed to a strong stereotype: their emphasis on hard work, self-sufficiency, and keeping to themselves. Our first-generation families spent their time surviving and thinking about how to influence the greater community was secondary and not usually a priority. But, we all know that we have strong opinions on relevant issues. Today’s generation has evolved and surviving and thriving really does include increasing community engagement and showing up to vote on relevant issues. How do we create a feeling of belonging to increase engagement and voter participation? This workshop will discuss this dilemma how we can all make an impact.

The Perfect Elevator Pitch in 15, 30 or 60 seconds – It’s your big moment. Your chance to present your big idea. The catch? You’re on the clock. You have to give an elevator pitch. No worries. Even if you have sophisticated research, a pioneering product, or new-to-the-world approach, you can create a clear, compelling pitch in just a few sentences. In this 60 minute workshop, you get to walk through a step by step process to pitch any idea, with or without slides, in whatever time frame you’re given.

Effective Marketing For Your Business – The key to the initial success and growth of your business is getting the word out. But the cost associated, particularly with limited resources, can be constraining. With an oversaturation of social media and consumers constantly be bombarded with advertising, how do you stand out from the crowd? Join us for this workshop on learning innovative, effective, and (economical!) ways to jump start marketing your business. We’ll discuss unique marketing strategies and utilizing a fresh perspective.

Cross Generational Interactions: Gaining Insight on Different Perspectives – For the first time in history, four generations are working side by side for and with each other. Numerous studies have documented the different expectations each generation has regarding “work” and the “workplace.” This interactive panel discussion takes an in-depth look at the experiences of successful Asian Americans in corporate America at various career stages. Panelists representing a wide variety of perspectives from new college hires to senior level executives will share generational perspectives on career, work, and the workplace. Additionally, this session will explore the intersection of immigration and age generation and the workplace expectations of 1st generation immigrant employees to 2nd and 3rd generation US born employees. Small group discussions will allow audience members to share their own experiences with one another.

Four Strategies to Overcome Objections Have you ever presented to a room full of skeptics? Or tried to sell a new-to-the-world solution to people who didn’t understand you? You can spend a lot of time arguing your points if your audience “doesn’t get it”. This is a 60-minute workshop where you’ll learn 4 strategies to tailor your proposal to maximize engagement and minimize objections. Whether you need to turn skeptics into supporters, prove a point, or pitch an idea, you’ll be ready with the right message for every audience.

How to become an Entrepreneur when You’re used to the Corporate World – When’s the right time to become an entrepreneur? What do I need to know? There are lots of things that we need to “unlearn” that we’ve learned from the corporate world to become an entrepreneur. Join us as we tell you the myths of entrepreneurship and the different mindset we need to have if we want to become successful entrepreneurs!

Moving Asian Americans Into the Corner Office – Statistics show that Asian Americans are “least unhappy” as employees. Our retention rate is the highest, and yet, we don’t seem to be making major advancement in the executive ranks. ACEL is leading the Arizona Asian American community by bringing Asian American professionals together. Our cultures might have differences but our values are the same. Just as African-American and Hispanic communities have done, it is time for the Asian-American community to subsume regional and geographical differences to find strength in commonality. Let’s not lose our individual cultures but join together to speak about Asian American issues with one voice. There is power in numbers. Let’s leverage our power!

Effective Methods to Managing Change in the Workplace – Change is never something easy to deal with no matter who you are. It affects everyone from the individual level, through the team level, and sometimes the entire enterprise. Being able to effectively deal with change can aid in the professional and personal development and provide points of view that may not be understood yet. How do you survive a change in the corporate environment you ask? Join us in this workshop to learn about the tools, expertise and available resources you could use to excel in adapting to change.

What You Need to Know about Financing Your Business – There are many ways to finance your business at various stages and sizes, from start-up to established, small-to-medium size companies. Most start-ups tend to borrow from friends/families equity lines/loans from real property, private lenders and traditional banks. In this section we’ll discuss some of the key things to consider when financing your business.

Having an Effective Board: Pushing the Agenda, providing Oversight to a Non-Profit – Often, motivated professionals want to pursue a more active role within nonprofit organizations to even engage with or to take the next big step and plunge into board membership. Learn the ins and outs of pursuing your passion with a nonprofit organization, howt to approach being a board member of a non-profit, as well as lingering questions you’ve had about what being a board member entails in program.

Leadership and Parenting While Maintaining a Work-Life Balance – Can you have it all? How do you work towards the next promotion while trying to maintain your personal relationships? Are children even possible when your career takes upward trajectory? Join in on this interactive panel as they thoughtfully discuss how to achieve a balance in the work place and in your personal life. Find out how to begin your success while balancing it all.

What is A Business Plan and How to Write an effective one? – A business plan is simply putting your ideas for your start-up company on paper, and they typically include financial projections, related experience and your vision on. There are professional companies that may be able to provide consulting of a start-up company but they do come at a higher price. There are other resources, paid by your tax dollars, that provide consulting services to help you with your business plan, such as the local small business development corporation. In this section, we’ll provide information on where you can obtain a business plan and what to include in them.

Taking Risk: Making Change Happen – Though often feared, taking risks is essential to personal and professional development. Participants will define risk taking, explore why people do or do not take risks and discuss possible cultural influences on risk-taking. Through this practical, cultural-based workshop, Asian Americans will learn the strategies of how and when to use a risk-taking process model to think “out of the box” and go beyond their comfort zone for personal and professional success.

Be Your Own Advocate – Many of us know how to handle formal conversations at work, but what about the informal discussions that arise? Do you know how to recognize and seize opportunities to move into a better role and/or ensure you get credit for the extra work? We all need a strategy for everyday conversations that will allow us to come away not only with a successful impression but also still held in regard by our bosses and colleagues. In this workshop, we will learn about strategies to fully maximize your ability to be your own advocate.

Leading Economic Empowerment: An intimate discussion regarding the life and lessons from entrepreneurs in the community – Minority entrepreneurs and their experiences range based on their unique circumstances within their niche markets but the challenges can be ubiquitous. The panelists will discuss everything from finding a work-life balance, strategies on how to leverage resources to support minority business owners, bringing jobs back to the community, learning from failure and ultimately, how to kick-start and maintain your business. Please join us in a candid dialogue where they share their personal journeys to thrive on their own terms in a rich and diverse professional ecosystem!

The Power of Groups: How a Community Organization Can Create Momentum and Overcome Obstacles Community-based organizations perform important community roles like championing issues and speaking out for those who lack a voice in society. To realize the vision or action, these organizations need to mobilize the community and create momentum. Give your community organization a leg up by learning how to create momentum efficiently and what obstacles to avoid.

*Agenda/Topics are Subject to Change


Early Bird Before 6/10/2018

General Registration After 6/10/2018

Community Reception: (Fri, 7/13, 5:30-7:30pm) | Keynote Speaker: Susan Jin Davis, Comcast)



LEADERSHIP AWARDS GALA: (Sat., 7/14, 5:30-8:30pm)



DAY PASS: Friday Conference (Fri., 7/13) | Access to 12 workshops/seminars, lunch & Reception



DAY PASS: Sat. Conference
(Sat., 7/14) | Access to 12 workshops/seminars & lunch & Awards Gala



ALL-INCLUSIVE PASS: Best Deal!** (Friday, July 13 – Saturday, July, 14) | Full Access to Reception, Conference and Gala Event



Group Discount is Available, please contact us for more information

All conference registrations must be purchased online with a credit or debit card. Once you RSVP through, an email with a PayPal link for payment will be sent to the address that you provide when you RSVP. Your registration will be confirmed by an email sent to the same address after we receive your payment. Please ensure that your email address is correct when registering.

Attire: Business professional/Semi-formal.
All tickets are non-refundable. All payments must receive by 4 p.m. on July 10, 2018 to guarantee your seat.


Attending our ‪#‎ACEL2018 Conference, but need a hotel?

We have you covered when you reserve a room with Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch.

Special pricing is available for our event, $89/night +tax for a Standard 2-bed room.

Reserve your room by June 13th 2018 to guarantee the special pricing.

We have locked in that special pricing at $89/night!! This link will be available until June 13th, 2018. Make sure to book your room today!!!

Use this direct link provided by Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch:

Room Reservations Link

Or call 1-480-596-7517 and mention ACEL special pricing.

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ACEL‘s vision is to be the proving ground for Asian American Professionals, forging leaders of tomorrow through professional development, cultural awareness, community service and mentorship. To learn more about our member benefits or if you would like to join the ACEL family, you can visit