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1A. Strategies for Navigating Office Politics – Office politics exist in virtually all organizations. Sometimes they are driven by individuals who are motivated by the need to advance his or her status and personal agenda. These self-serving actions are informal or unofficial and could be the reason why politics in the workplace comes with a negative connotation. The reality is, you must learn how to effectively maneuver around the politics in order to advance your career. Being knowledgeable about your sector and working hard simply isn’t enough. This session will provide some insights and tangible ways to help you navigate office politics, while gaining benefits such as networking and strengthening stakeholder relationships to help get you get noticed in positive ways. We will focus on strategies that help develop soft skills, such as relationship building and managing up, while providing additional tactics to apply in a virtual work environment as well.

1B. Communicating with Confidence & Presence: How to Speak with Power, Strength & Grace, Given Cultural BiasWe all grow up with a cultural bias that affects how we communicate. It can affect our confidence, our presence, our career and our relationships. It can lead us to overthink every interaction and opportunity, as well as lead us to play small and diminish ourselves, all in the name of modesty and humility.. Join Jenn Kaye, Master Coach & Communication Expert on a journey to explore how to leverage that bias with practical techniques and specific language that will give you the ability to play to your strengths and speak with greater confidence, influence and impact. 

1C. Civic Engagement, Corporate Social Responsibility, and What It Means for You – Learn how civic engagement and corporate social responsibility can drive Arizona forward.  Find out about what matters most to Arizonans, creating a shared vision of success for The Arizona We Want through the Center for the Future of Arizona 2020 Gallup Arizona Survey. Considering this data, determine your role as an Arizonan, an employer/employee, and a community member.  Reflect on what you are willing to do around 7 shared public values and 42 action items.

2A. Building a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion – Diversity is more than just a buzzword; it is a recipe for corporate success. Multiple studies have shown that a more diverse workforce in terms of age, gender and ethnicity can bolster innovation and provide companies with a competitive advantage. But what exactly is a “culture of diversity and inclusion” and how do you build and sustain it in the workplace? Hear from established executives across multiple industries discuss cultures of inclusion and speak directly to how they’ve fostered D&I within their organizations.

2B. Agile for Leaders: Are you the last one to know? – People often talk about how agile is being used in software projects, and over time the real understanding comes to light: agile is everywhere in everything! Agile value-driven delivery and its 12 principles have been used by famous firms like Spotify,  Saab, ING Bank, etc.  Further, Agile approach has been applied in many industries including engineering, construction, education, financial services, etc.  Agile product visioning has been proven to be extremely effective in designing the “new future” which is filled with many unknowns.  Also, frameworks that support agile values and principles such as Scrum and Kanban are gaining popularity with their information radiator – Scrum board and Kanban board to accelerate productivity and innovation in the spirit of transparency.

Critics of Agile frequently ask why Agile can’t be as predictable as civil engineering.   The reality of today’s pandemic condition requires an adaptive approach to deal with the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world.  This agile approach is best suited for dealing with change, including the Black Swan! In this session, we will demystify what is agile and what is NOT.  We will share some stories related to the application of agile in management and personal development.  You will learn new knowledge that was once belong to the IT community.

2C. Networking with Authenticity – Networking is not just a mere exchange of business cards at a cocktail party nor is it bragging about yourself or begging for help from people you barely know. According to most experts, networking is building relationships on the basis of trust that involves a give and take. This session, you will learn the basics of networking, which is about teaching and giving. Teaching people who you are and what kind of opportunities to send your way. And it is about giving, listening so generously that can also help people accomplish their goals. Networking is not optional anymore; it is a crucial skill to master. We will go over skills building practices for an engaging session on how to check our own perceptions as well.

3A. Using Cultural Identity to Hone Leadership Skills – A leader’s personal culture and background extend to every aspect of their work, including how they align with the company’s mission and values. Leaders in middle management positions often need to navigate the company culture along with the direction set by those in executive leadership roles. This panel discussion will help mid-level managers explore how their Asian cultural heritage and values can be channeled as strengths and assets in leadership roles.

3B. Scaling Your Business for Optimization – Building a successful company isn’t just about growth, its about scale. Scaling a business means setting the stage to enable and support growth in your company. It means having the ability to grow without being hampered. It requires planning, some funding and right systems, staff, processes, technology and partners. In this workshop, learn about what it takes to have a scalable business while also balancing your well-being. David will talk about various scalability factors and how to manage your health and wellness along the way. Elements of his presentation include productivity tools and strategies, hiring standards and protocols, how to set financial goals, investor alignment, how to recognize Superman syndrome and more!

3C. One Size Doesn’t Fit All – Community Service is one of the best ways to help benefit the public or give back to your community. It does not only have positive effects on society, but it will bring benefits to your life and personal development. Many people who want to engage in community service don’t know where to start and aren’t sure what kind of impact they can make. By attending this session, participants will learn 10 simple ways to get involved in the community. This interactive session will allow attendees to determine what type of community service best fits their personality, learn from case studies, and bring home key action steps so that they can start their community service right away.

4A. Great Leaders are Great Speakers: Leadership Through Public Speaking – Asians are often stereotyped as being shy, passive, and submissive. These misconceptions may lead to perceptions of them being followers and not leaders. Becoming a powerful and persuasive public speaker is one of the best and most fulfilling ways to triumph as a leader despite this stereotype. In this workshop, you will receive speaking secrets that you can use immediately to become an inspiring and powerful leader who others will want to follow. We look at how your mind and subconscious thoughts, including negative stereotypes, affect your ability to speak at your best. Insecurities, such as the feeling of being judged and not wanting to look bad, are just some of the most common constraints we will address.

4B. The Essentials of Starting and Growing a Successful Small Business – Starting a business entails understanding and dealing with many issues – legal, financing, sales and marketing, intellectual property protection, liability protection, human resources, and more. Because interest in entrepreneurship is at an all-time high, there have been spectacular success stories of early-stage startups growing to be multi-billion-dollar companies, such as Uber, Facebook, WhatsApp, Airbnb, and many others. In this session, Asad Khan will explain how to start and maintain a small business with a small investment so you can travel the world and make money while you sleep! Be your own boss and live your dreams.

4C. Uniting Asian Communities– Despite being the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the US with a population of over 23 million, Asian Americans lack visibility in American politics, corporations, media/culture, arts, sports, and other communities. On top of that we are alarmed by the record number of hate crimes directed against Asian Americans as a result of COVID-19, geopolitical issues or any other factors. In this session, you will be taught how racism can occur within Asian communities and ways to unite conflicted Asian communities to overcome stereotypes and discrimination. Discussion will also focus on how to avoid playing into good or bad stereotypes of Asian groups, and how to have courageous conversations when microaggressions or stereotyping occur. We will go over skills building practices for an engaging session on how to check our own perceptions as well.

5A. Importance of Supporting Asians in Leadership Positions – When the coronavirus swept America, there also came an increase in Asian discrimination. As the United States continues to battle discrimination and racism, it becomes clear action is needed to support Asian communities. This includes discussing how to support Asians in leadership positions. You will feel empowered as Asian leaders and will be taught how to cultivate your professional influence and maximize your career path while overcoming challenges like discrimination and stereotyping.

5B. Ready for Primetime: Sharing the Power of Your Personal StoryA great story to tell is no guarantee journalists will tell it. Coverage requires a bit of timing and luck and, oftentimes, a good measure of planning and courtship. Learn how to take ownership of your personal narratives and define your message. Hear from newsroom decision-makers on how both elements can be shaped into effective story pitches. As they share their newsroom experiences, these Arizona journalists can trace the path from story pitches to reporter assignments to publication and broadcast.

5C. Fireside Chat – Challenging Asian Stereotypes – Asian Americans report less discrimination in employment, housing and criminal justice compared with other racial minorities in the United States. But they often fall victim to a unique set of stereotypes including false belief that all Asian Americans are successful and well adapted – that render them invisible in discussions of race and prejudice in America. Evidence also suggests that Asian Americans, who represent about 6% of the US population, are frequently denied leadership opportunities and overlooked in research, clinical outreach and advocacy efforts. In this fireside chat, our panelist will challenge the typical Asian stereotyping by sharing their personal experience and ways to combat discrimination. They will also share their journey on the leadership field as well as share resources available for Asian Americans who wants to belong.

6A. Overcoming the Bamboo Ceiling – AAPIs are considered a “Model Minority” in America, yet only 1% are in senior corporate leadership roles. Is this 1% of AAPIs are in leadership roles? Or 1% of leadership roles are filled by AAPIs? What are the common challenges and barriers that AAPI Americans face in maximizing their achievements and advancement? Discuss how to overcome challenges in a multicultural workplace and how AAPI employees can leverage their strengths to break through the Bamboo Ceiling.

6B. When and How to Pivot your Business Model – A pivot means fundamentally changing the direction of a business when you realize the current products or services are not meeting the needs of the market. The main goal of a pivot is to help a company improve revenue or survive in the market, but the way your business pivots can make all the difference. Learn about how to pivot your small business model during an economic crisis, including one involving anti-Asian hate crimes. Asad Khan will explain ways to not only to survive, but also thrive!

6C. The Impact of an Effective Business Leader in PoliticsLeadership is a frequent topic in the world of politics and the public sphere. Join us to hear from Albert Shen, who served the Obama Administration in 2014 and other political groups such as the Board of Directors for the Asian American Action Fund (AAAFund). Learn how he navigated his career to become an even more engaging and effective business leader. Shen will share best practices on how to move forward in your career, whether you are in the political sphere or not. In 2012 he was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration Region 10 Minority Champion of the Year. Shen has provided support to educational institutions, community organizations, business organizations and political advocacy groups.

7A. Owning your Brand for Your Career Advancement – According to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2020, the median average of how long employees stay with one company is 4.1 years. Oftentimes, employees recognize that in order to obtain executive leadership positions they must be willing to look outside their current employer. During this panel discussion, you will hear from business leaders who have learned how to create and communicate their personal brand during interviews to stand out and show how they can add value to a company. This workshop will discuss the four pillars of establishing your personal brand and how owning your brand can help position yourself for senior leadership opportunities.

7B. Initializing You Start-Up – Join us for the panel discussion on the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur, from all stages of career lifecycle, such as just starting out, just beginning to expand, and well established. The panelists will discuss everything from the fears they had starting their business, the strategies to get the business off the ground, maintaining some semblance of balance, dealing with failure, and ultimately facing that fear of the unknown. Ultimately, they’ll address how to initialize a start-up and get it off the ground or onto the next plateau.

7C. Effective Fundraising Techniques and Cultivating Professional Relationships – Building relationships with other organizations, media outlets, and individuals can provide limitless opportunities for your nonprofit to grow and thrive. As organizations, especially non-profits begin to grow, it becomes clearer that fundraising activities and campaigns can increase a company’s sphere of influence. You don’t need to be a total extrovert to be good networker. In this workshop you will learn to utilize your personality and your passion for your cause to build a network of synergetic professionals around you. You will learn why fundraising campaigns add to an organization’s success as well stay informed of effective fundraising strategies. Information such as how to cultivate professional relationships with new and current donors will be spotlighted as well.

8ABC. Final Jeopardy: Unleash the Power – Master the powerful skills of rapport and influence to maximize as a leader, partner, business person and community leader. Let’s put our knowledge to the test. We will be hosting a game show featuring one contestant from each conference tract engaging in a friendly competition to demonstrate what they have learned over the past two days and how we can contribute developing our leadership skills. This session gives attendees a chance to come together, reflect on key learnings and takeaways, and win some fabulous prizes!

For more information about the event, please email to or visit


Early Bird Rate Before 9/24/2021
General Registration After 9/24/2021
WELCOME RECEPTION: (Fri, 10/22, 5:00-8:00pm | Keynote Speaker: Albert Shen, Verizon) $30.00 $45.00
LEADERSHIP AWARDS GALA: (Sat., 10/23, 5:00-8:30pm | Keynote Speaker: Sue Ann Hong, CAPAW) $125.00 $175.00
DAY PASS: Friday Conference (Fri., 10/22) Access to 12 Workshops/Seminars, Lunch & Reception $225.00 $325.00
DAY PASS: Sat. Conference (Sat., 7/23) Access to 10 Workshops/Seminars & Lunch & Conference Gala $275.00 $375.00
ALL-INCLUSIVE PASS: Best Deal!** (Friday, October 22 – Saturday, October, 23)   Full Access to Reception, Conference and Gala Event $399.00 $499.00
Diversity Career Expo (Friday, October 22 – Saturday, October, 23) Register for our career expo. to meet with many inclusive companies in Arizona

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 purchase your ticket you will receive a confirmation from 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 October, 18 2021 to guarantee your seat.


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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