CLICK HERE to Download 2019 Conference Booklet


Is work-life balance a myth? Or is it something that we can achieve for ourselves in our careers? As hard as it sometimes is to keep a good balance in our lives, it is entirely achievable and valuable for our personal wellness, as well as our ambitions. Join us in this panel discussion with leaders from various industries as we explore the different ways each panelist achieves this balance in their own lives and sheds light on what can often be an elusive goal for ambitious professionals. Learn from accomplished men and women about their candid stories of climbing the corporate ladder and working in environments all while developing relationships, getting married, starting families, and dealing with the psychological and financial cost of exiting/entering the workforce. If you’re looking for a way to have it all, this panel will be the right place for you!

Thomas W. Chiang is a Deputy Public Defender at the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office.  For over 10 years, Tom has passionately and zealously represented his clients, furthering his goal of providing robust representation to enhance the image of public defenders and indigent defendants.  At the third largest public defender office in the country, Tom has represented over thousands of clients in the valley and has had the opportunity to serve as faculty by training and mentoring many new attorneys and externs. Tom is a proud graduate of the Bar Leadership Institute from the State Bar and went on to serve on the State Bar’s Professionalism Committee for two terms. Tom is the Immediate Past President of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association (AAABA). When not at work, Tom enjoys competitive mountain biking (placing 5th in his last race), drinking Third Wave coffee, and spending time with his wife, Sheena, and their two daughters, Calla and Emilia.

Dr. Jed Maddela serves as the Chief Health Informatics Officer for the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System where he leads a talented team of data experts whose mission is to improve Veterans’ health outcomes by optimizing health information system practices. Prior to his current role, he practiced outpatient family medicine by providing comprehensive, patient-centered primary care for a panel of over 1600 patients. In 2017, he completed an ACGME-Accredited Clinical Informatics Fellowship at the University of Arizona. Dr. Maddela is double board certified in Family Medicine and the relatively new medical subspecialty of Clinical Informatics under the American Board of Preventive Medicine. Outside of his career in medicine and community service, Jed finds the most joy in spending valuable time with his radiant wife Rachel & magnetic son Benjamin.

Denise Tanigawa, a business owner & entrepreneur, was born in Vietnam and grew up in poverty until her family moved to Arizona in 1995. Her dad fought in the Vietnam war as an ally of the US as a pilot and was a POW for 5 years. Once Denise graduated high school, she decided to attend Cosmetology school and began her career as a hairstylist at age 19. She started out assisting for 3 months and quickly gained her own book of clientele then began renting a booth shortly thereafter. After being self-employed in the industry for 10 years, she came across an opportunity to open her own salon and Vidogi Salon was born. Denise has been the owner and operator of this salon for over 5 years, along with her husband, and they now have a staff of 11 people and offer a full selection of beauty services from hair, makeup, facials, and bridal work. Denise is married with one daughter, Paisley, who is almost 3, and a baby boy on the way! In her journey, she has successfully managed a business while balancing quality time with her family.

Sophie Williams is the President & Founder of World Image Consulting. After completing her studies in Psychology and International Relations, Sophie has dedicated more than 10 years working for several Fortune 500 multinational companies – leading global teams in Public Relations & Communications. Especially skilled in navigating complex corporate relationships and processes, Sophie has provided oversight to projects for internationally recognized brands such as American Airlines, Olay, Prudential, Akzo Nobel, Coca-Cola, Shiseido, and Hilton Worldwide. Besides taking up the role of Consulting Admissions Director for one of the leading performing arts academies, Sophie has also co-owned a successful retail fashion boutique back in Asia, sourcing mainly from Italy. Despite a grueling travel schedule due to her domestic and international coaching and speaking engagements, Sophie’s strong sense of community and deeply held convictions to give back to the less fortunate make her an active supporter of several local and international humanitarian organizations like Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Action Against Hunger (AAH) and Anti-Cruelty Society.

Marian M. Yim, the panel moderator, helps individuals and organizations manage small personal estates and business assets through her firm, Yim Law Office, PLLC.  Her clients include nonprofits and minority-owned businesses.  She has been a prosecutor, appellate attorney, adjunct law professor, counsel to the Mayor of Phoenix, clemency board member and partner in the law firm of Wong Fujii Carter, PC. She earned her B.A. degree at Vassar College and her J.D. degree from Cornell Law School. Marian co-founded the Arizona Asian American Bar Association (AAABA). She has been recognized by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), and by the State Bar of Arizona, for her work on diversity, inclusion and legal education.  She volunteers on the ACEL Advisory Board, the ASU President’s Minority Advisory Council at Arizona, and the Phoenix Civic Improvement Corporation.  She is married and has two adult children.

For more information about the event, please email or visit


Early Bird Rate Before 6/14/2019
General Registration After 6/14/2019
COMMUNITY RECEPTION: (Fri, 7/12, 5:30-7:30pm) | Keynote Speaker: Harry Lee)  $25.00  $40.00
LEADERSHIP AWARDS GALA: (Sat., 7/13, 5:30-8:30pm | Keynote Speaker: Hamilton Chang) $95.00 $145.00
DAY PASS: Friday Conference (Fri., 7/12) Access to 12 Workshops/Seminars, Lunch & Reception $175.00 $275.00
DAY PASS: Sat. Conference (Sat., 7/13) Access to 10 Workshops/Seminars & Lunch & Awards Gala $199.00 $299.00
ALL-INCLUSIVE PASS: Best Deal!** (Friday, July 12 – Saturday, July, 13)   Full Access to Reception, Conference and Gala Event $299.00 $399.00
**WHIAAPI REGIONAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT (Fri., 7/12) In Partnership with the White House Initiative on AAPI (WHIAAPI), US Dept. of Commerce-Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) & National ACE | Access to 5 Workshops, Lunch & Reception $175.00 $275.00

Group Discounts are 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 purchases are non-refundable. All payments must receive by 4 p.m. on July 8, 2019 to guarantee your seat.


Attending our ‪#‎ACEL2019 Conference, but need a hotel?

We have you covered when you reserve a room with Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains.

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

Reserve your room by June 28th 2019 to guarantee the special pricing.

We have locked in that special pricing at $89/night!! This link will be available until June 28th, 2019. Make sure to book your room today!!!

Use this direct link provided by Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains:

Room Reservations Link

Or call 1-800-288-6127 and mention ACEL Conference special pricing.

Click here to become a member today!

For more information, please contact


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. To learn more about our member benefits or if you would like to join the ACEL family, you can visit