BOARD OF DIRECTORS
GET TO KNOW OUR BOARD
LESLIE MOE KAISER, CO-CHAIR
Leslie Moe-Kaiser is a brand and reputation management professional. For more than a decade, Leslie helped build and strengthen State Farm Insurance Company’s coalitions and relationships with national Asian Pacific American organizations. Building upon this experience - and combined with more than 25 years of business consulting and mentoring students and professionals – Leslie works with organizations and individuals in the areas of fundraising, business acumen, intercultural competency and professional growth. As a result, Leslie is an energetic spokesperson for Asian and Pacific Islander American communities.
Leslie's energy, talents and passion are seen through her volunteer engagements. She serves as Co-Chair of The Center for Asian Pacific American Women, Executive Vice President for the Organization of Chinese Americans, and as an Advisory Council member for Asian Americans Advancing Justice|AAJC. She is a 2003 National Fellow of the Asian Pacific American Women's Leadership Institute.
An entrepreneur at heart, Leslie founded Dynasty Pearls, a consultancy on the cultivation and appreciation of pearls.
Leslie holds a PhD in Educational Administration of Higher Education from Illinois State University; an MPh and MA in Asian Art History from the University of Kansas and a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Hawaii. Her post-graduate studies also took place at Jochi Daigaku (Sophia University) in Tokyo, Japan. Leslie is listed in Who’s Who in the Humanities, 1992-93; and is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). She is a USPTA certified tennis pro.
JOAN YOSHITOMI , CO-CHAIR
State Coordinator of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers for Washington State’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. She has worked in the public sector for more than 26 years.
Prior to working for the state, she managed the agenda and the executive staff of the King County Executive Gary Locke; as well as, coordinated the community outreach activities. She has been actively involved in both local community and political activities and Asian Pacific American community issues.
Tony is Senior Director, Corporate Affairs Constituent Relations for Walmart. He joined the company December 2006. In his position, Tony oversees Walmart’s national external efforts in diverse and multicultural communities. Prior to Walmart, Tony was with State Farm where he served as Assistant Director of Community Alliances in Corporate Communications and External Relations. He was responsible for all external efforts in multicultural communities as well as all efforts in Auto Safety, Disaster Preparedness, Community and Economic Development, and Financial Education.
Besides serving on the Board of Trustees of Center for Asian Pacific American Women, Tony serves as Chair of the NAACP ACT-SO Advisory Council and as a trustee of the Ron Brown Scholars Program.
In 2014 Tony was honored with the Save-A-Student Award presented by the Equal Education Opportunity Group. In 2012 he was presented with the Merge Award by the Merge Summit for his commitment to inspiring, uplifting and empowering others. In 2002 and 2010 Tony was the recipient of the Donald H. McGannon Award, the highest distinction given by the National Urban League to a corporate individual in recognition of community efforts. He is the only corporate individual to have received this award twice.
ROSIE ABRIAM, PRESIDENT/CEO
Rosie became the President/CEO for The Center for Asian Pacific American Women in 2008 to provide opportunities for women and our communities. “The Center” is a non-profit organization dedicated to building leadership capacity within our communities. Previously, her career spanned multiple disciplines across government and corporate entities. Her background is in Biology & Computer Science. She periodically consults on “technical projects of interest”.
Rosie holds multiple patents in manufacturing, software and laser applications. These patents were developed while working for New Focus, Inc., a startup photonics company in Silicon Valley where she led numerous projects in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. Her work focused on laser development and fiber sensing applications in the biomed, oil & gas and civil engineering sectors.
Prior to New Focus, Rosie worked in the Geophysical Division of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) with Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability (ARAC), a DOE national emergency response program. While at LLNL, she received multiple awards including the Distinguished Physics Award from the Director of the Lab.
In 1995, Rosie was invited to join Women’s Investment Partnership (WIP), a small cadre of women in the technology industry interested in financial education. To date, the capital gains achieved under her presidency have been unmatched.
Rosie has taught martial arts for over 25 years and is a Gura Fifth Degree of the Kamatuuran School of Kali. She currently teaches (and is a student) with the Institute of Zen Studies in Honolulu.
She is a 2002 Fellow of the Asian Pacific American Women's Leadership Institute (APAWLI). As a result of her APAWLI project, she co-founded Rosemary Pai, Inc., a small business focused on marketing and distributing products from artists and startup businesses. She is a recipient of the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in America award.
DONNA FUJIMOTO COLE
At the age of 27, divorced and with a four-year old daughter, Donna Fujimoto Cole founded Cole Chemical in 1980 with $5,000 from savings. In 2014, the company’s sales exceeded $87 million selling chemicals and providing chemical supply chain management solutions to a wide range of customers and industries. Customers include: Bayer, BP, ExxonMobil, Lockheed Martin, Phillips66, Procter & Gamble, Shell and Toyota. Ranked in the top 135 distributors globally by ICIS magazine, Cole Chemical has received numerous quality awards from Fortune 500 companies and the Small Business Administration.
Donna was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 by Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement as a Laureate. Her honors include:
· 2015 Houston Chronicle named Donna Cole in the top ten most distinguished women in Houston.
· 2014 Center for Houston’s Future Entrepreneur of the Year.
· 2012 American Leadership Forum Joseph Jaworski Leadership Awardee.
· 2010 recognized as a Breakfast of Champions by the Harris County Education Department.
· 2010 one of the Most Influential Women in Houston by Houston Woman Magazine.
· Consistently in the Top 10 Minority owned businesses in Houston by the Houston Business Journal.
She has served on many national and regional advisory boards, and currently serves on the Center for Asian Pacific American Women Board, Advisory board of the University of St. Thomas, Rice University’s Chao Center for Asian Studies, The Women’s Home, Gus Wortham Golf Restoration, Asia Society Texas Center Women’s Leadership Series and Board member of the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council, the National Veterans Network, US Japan Council and the Urasenke Kai. She also served on President George H. Bush President’s Export Council in 1991-93.
An Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute Fellow in 1996, her contributions include: the Center for Houston’s Future class of 2005, A US Japan Council, Japanese American Leadership Delegate in 2006, Asian Leadership Delegation to Israel in 2007 by the Jewish American Committee, American Leadership Forum Class of XXV.
Her involvement in community projects include: Building a Pipeline for the Sciences, The All Earth Ecobot Challenge, Dismantling the Cradle to Prison Pipeline, and Building a Leadership Pipeline for Asian Women. Working on the Congressional Gold Medal Exhibit at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum in recognition of the Japanese American soldiers serving in the 100th, 442nd, MIS during WWII.
Eva joined Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children, Inc. (CSAAC) in 2014 and brings with her 20+ years of experience in a Fortune 50 company. Her experience has been concentrated in the Human Resources field with varied responsibilities and leadership positions in several HR fields including Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, Diversity and Inclusion, Performance Improvement and Coaching. Eva holds an MS in Organizational Development and Strategic Human Resources. She has also been involved with several non-profit organizations in the DC metro area, and has served as a Board Member and Officer for Korean American Coalition DC from 2001-2006.
Eva is a 2010 APAWLI National Leadership Fellow, MBTI Qualified Facilitator, Coaching Clinic- Certified Coach, Diversity Trainer, Society of Human Resources Management member and part of the HR Network at Maryland Association of Community Services to Persons with Developmental Disabilities (MACS).
COLLEEN FUKUI SKETCHLEY
As the Diversity Affairs Director for Nordstrom, Inc., Colleen Fukui-Sketchley focuses on developing and executing a comprehensive approach to diversity and inclusion through initiatives that support the entire company. Her work enhances the company’s commitment to diversity by weaving strategic elements into people, product and service initiatives. Colleen has been with the company since she graduated from the University of Washington in 1994.
In addition to her service on the Board of the Center for Asian Pacific American Women, she serves on the Board and the Corporate Advisory Board of the US Business Leadership Network, is a member of the Governor’s Taskforce for Disability Employment serving a 4-year term for the Governor of the State of Washington and is a Past-President of the University of Washington Alumni Association.
Martha Lee has been intrinsically involved in leadership development throughout her 35-year career supporting emerging and seasoned leaders in finding and following their passions. For the past 12 years, Martha has been the founding executive director of the Kellogg Fellows Leadership alliance (KFLA), a diverse network of 1600 leaders from 53 countries selected by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation over the span of 30 years because they all had a passion to make a difference. This network of Kellogg Fellows is committed to positive change and giving back to their communities.
KFLA works to provide opportunities to the Fellows to join resources with others to take action on issues of growing importance that make lasting differences in communities. It also serves as a gathering place for incubation and innovation of ideas, providing a space to renew Fellows’ capacity to be present, strengthen their ability to be fearless, gain greater clarity, and bring them together to discover their combined capacity for service, a service that ripples outward through collaborative partnerships.
Since 2002, KFLA has held numerous forums and conferences, produced leadership publications, and seeded leadership efforts across the globe resulting in an internationally recognized network known for its keen ability of connecting Fellows’ leadership and technical expertise with others in an effort to expand their capacity to serve those in need.
During her Kellogg fellowship, Martha founded and held the position of President & CEO of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute (APAWLI). She founded APAWLI because of the belief that Asian American and Pacific Islander women should be at leadership tables; enhancing and enriching their skills and their understanding of leading in a culturally centered way, owning their power as AAPI women. During her 10-year tenure with the organization, she worked with the Gallup Organization to publish a study with data collected by Gallup on the strengths and talents of AAPI women leaders.
Opportunities to serve as a program officer and manager for the Denver Community Foundation, program director for the National Hispana Leadership Institute, project manager for the Mile High United Way, and executive director of the Asian American Foundation of Colorado prepared her path to serve as a change agent.
Michele Russo, CPCU, is Vice President of Operations at State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Michele joined the Company in 1989 after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Psychology. She has operational experience in Auto Claims, Human Resources and Corporate Learning and Development. In her current position, she has regional responsibility for Auto Claims.
Michele is the 2003 recipient of the Sonoma County Commission on the status of Women’s Women and Industry award and a 2002 Fellow of the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute (APAWLI). As an Alumni, Michele has benefited directly from The Center’s programs. She shares the same passion for development and has a strong focus on growing the next generation of community and business leaders.
Michele and her husband, Ted, have two daughters.
PHYLLIS LEUNG KIM
Phyllis Leung Kim has nearly thirty years of global experience in non-profit management and leading public-private initiatives. Her professional career includes serving as the Sr. Vice President for Resource Development at NeighborWorks America, Sr. Vice President for the Office of Grants Administration at the AARP Foundation, Deputy Executive Director and Interim Executive Director at the PBS Foundation and a Vice President at Fleishman-Hillard Inc. In these positions, she worked with leading Fortune 100 companies to further their corporate mission. Much of her career also involved public service media, holding senior level positions at public broadcasting stations in New York and Missouri, and at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
In 2004, she was approached by Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, to develop the curriculum for a course on international public relations as well as to teach the course. She became an adjunct professor at Washington University for three years, teaching international and general public relations.
Phyllis has served on numerous boards, and has been recognized with awards from PBS, the Missouri-Illinois Telecourse Consortium for advancing distance learning and Sidwell Friends School for service to the school, students and parents. She has a passion for the performing and visual arts, and has participated on review panels at the National Endowment for the Arts.
Phyllis received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in Journalism and Communications, and a minor in computer science. It was also at the University of Florida where she learned to love football.
Linda recently retired after a career of nearly 30 years at Southern California Gas Company and Southern California Edison (SCE). For 12 years, Linda was SCE’s Manager of Consumer Affairs, where her team resolved escalated customer issues from the Public Utilities Commission and SCE executives. She was SCE’s media spokesperson for customer related issues, and responsible for outreach to SCE’s elderly and special needs customers.
Linda continues to be active in the community as an appointed commissioner and president of the LA County Commission for Older Adults. She is a member of the Environmental Committee for the city of Alhambra and serves on the executive boards of the Center for APA Women and the Little Tokyo Service Center. Linda is past president of the Mary Magdalene Project, an organization that provides programs and resources to victims of domestic trafficking and prostitution.
Linda resides in Alhambra with her husband of 49 years, Gary, who is currently serving his third term as Council member for the City of Alhambra. They have three sons: