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The hot buzzword in corporate governance and diversity is Employee Resource Group (ERG).  Targeting senior-level Asian managers who are in the position to attain higher levels of management, 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 2019 ACEL Conference invites high-achieving Asian-American executives to share their experience as executive leaders. You’ll have an 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. Get questions answered such as:

  • How do you find ways within your organization to spend time with senior executives?
  • What other opportunities can a new employee use to show their skillset to the leaders at the top of the house?
  • How can employees balance what they are passionate about with developing a career?

ERGs are a great way to connect with leaders who do not always see you in the day-to-day, and provide employees with new ways to demonstrate the value they provide. Often, movement into a leadership or executive role is aided by who you know within the organization and how you network. Join this session to hear from Senior Executives across the business spectrum as they share their 30+ years of experience in the corporate world and how they worked with their senior leaders to grow into the roles they hold today.

Speakers for this session include:

Michael Min, Senior Business Development Lead at Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) – Michael Min is responsible for international market assessments, customer engagement, and strategy development promoting increased global sales of the SM-3 missile system. He joined Raytheon in 1999 and has held positions in Systems Engineering, Program Management, International business capture, and Business development roles. Michael earned an MBA in Global Management from Thunderbird University, M.S. Electrical Engineering from National Technological University, and B.S. Electrical Engineering from University of California, Riverside. He is a second generation Korean American and the current Vice President for the Raytheon Asian Pacific Association. He is devoted to addressing the specific needs of employees identifying as Asian American and Pacific Islander. This year’s focus has been on professional development, improving communication and networking skills, and employee recruiting and retention.

Lexi Hernandez, Director of Diversity and Inclusion of Human Resources at Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) – Lexi Hernandez is responsible for determining strategies to achieve the Raytheon diversity and inclusion (D&I) objectives, strategic focus areas and high impact initiatives. Working closely with leaders at all levels, Lexi identifies systemic D&I issues and improvements to enable cultural advancements that align with business priorities, growth roadmaps and environmental factors. Hernandez joined Raytheon in 2008 and has held a variety of learning, talent development and organizational effectiveness roles. Prior to joining RMS, Hernandez worked at PetSmart Inc., where she created a career development program for retail store employees and managers across the United States. Hernandez holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the Alliant International University.

Dr. Stephanie Fujii, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Scottsdale Community College – Dr. Fujii has spent nearly 30 years in higher education working in public, private, community college, and research university settings. Her experience encompasses academic and student affairs having served as a teacher, counselor, and an administrator. She authored a column for the national newsletter of the American College Counseling Association (ACCA) and was recognized for meritorious service for her advocacy of community college counseling. Fuji has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Arizona State University, a Master of Arts in Counseling & Educational Psychology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Christina M. Haines, M.Ed., Interim President, Scottsdale Community College – Christine Haines has been working within the Maricopa County Community Colleges District since 1989. Haines began working at at Mesa Community College and has spent the majority of those years leading and serving at designated Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). She served as Interim President of Phoenix College from 2015-2018. She was selected as Phoenix College’s Dean of Students in 2011, and provided leadership for the new Phoenix College One Stop enrollment center, serving in that role for three years before becoming the successful candidate in a national search for the college’s Vice President of Student Affairs. Haines attended Black Hills State University, becoming the first in her family to earn a college degree. She majored in political science and education. Haines went on to receive a master’s degree in Educational Counseling from Northern Arizona University and is currently working on her doctoral dissertation in Educational Leadership/Higher Education at Northern Arizona University. In her free time, she likes to hike, travel and spend time with friends and family, including her rescue Boston Terriers.

Ritta Yee, Director of Operations at WHYFOR Agency & Ventures – As the Director of Operations at WHYFOR, Yee’s responsibilities start with ensuring WHYFOR runs smoothly day-to-day, but they extend far beyond that. She’s got an outstanding talent for business planning and strategy and she’s always able to see two or three moves ahead — often recognizing a client’s pain points before they do. Add to that her ability to connect and build relationships, and Yee creates external and internal synergies for WHYFOR and all its clients and network. Yee is adept in reading situations and individuals, a skill that was most likely perfected having spent 20 years overseas in half a dozen different countries, cultures, and business environments where English may, or may not, have been spoken. She naturally loves the uniqueness and complexities of people and relationships, so it’s no surprise that she earned degrees in Psychology and Sociology from University of California, Irvine.

Rob Nicoletti, Founder & CEO of WHYFOR – Rob Nicoletti brings technical insight and skill to his passion for marketing, advertising and design. A strong believer in the mantra, ‘Design with Purpose’, Rob believes that research and strategy are the key aspects behind real marketing results. Prior to founding WHYFOR, Nicoletti was the Art Director for Boelts-Stratford, a Tucson-based design studio where he accumulated numerous Addy™ awards for creative excellence. Prior to that, Rob worked in New York for Curran & Connors, Inc., the nation’s largest firm specializing in the design and production of annual reports, corporate literature and new media. 

Joe Pabustan, Manager of Reporting and Analysis at Discover Financial Services – Joe Pabustan began his career with Discover in Marketing Services in 2000. For the past 19 years, he has managed teams in several functions across service and collections. Most recently, he has spent the last three years in the Financial Crimes Detection Unit as a project manager. Joe is a member of the Asian Professionals at Discover Employee Resource Group and is actively involved in his community by supporting volunteerism efforts.

Steve Bayans, Vice President at Discover Financial Services – Steve Bayans began his career with Discover as a part-time employee in 1987. Over the years, Steve has had the opportunity to gain experience in every function associated with Discover’s credit card business and has the unique distinction of leading teams in all of Discover’s U.S.-based call centers. As Vice President, Customer Service and Engagement, he is responsible for leading and engaging the award-winning customer service efforts of Discover’s employees in Phoenix and Columbus, Ohio. Steve also is actively involved in regional activities associated with Discover’s diversity and inclusion program and volunteerism efforts aimed at influencing financial education in schools.

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.

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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