Record Attendance at the 8th Annual Ascend National Convention in New York, the Largest Pan-Asian Business Event of the Year

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Over 3,000 Registered Participants celebrate Ascend’s 10-Year Anniversary

Ascend's 10-Year Anniversary

Jeff Chin, the Ascend National President, said: “We are proud to announce that this year's convention was our largest yet with 3,000+ registered participants. From beginning to end, I was impressed with the overall energy and excitement!"

NEW YORK, September 23, 2015 - Ascend, the largest non-profit Pan-Asian membership organization for business professionals in North America celebrated its 10th Anniversary at its Annual National Convention in New York City, August 29th to 31st. This year's Convention was Ascend’s largest yet with 3,000+ registered participants.

The Convention theme this year was “What success looks like – Agile, Innovative, Bold” – a theme that was extensively explored during the convention. Ascend was thrilled to present the inaugural installment of The “Ascend Talk” Series where inspirational senior business executives – Irene Chang Britt, Board Director, Dunkin’ Brands Group; Michael Chen, General Partner & CEO, Chen & Associates and Former President & CEO, GE Capital Media; and Chris Simmons, CEO, Moments LLC and Retired Managing Partner and U.S. Board Member, PwC – shared personal perspectives on the key themes of the convention and explored what it means to be Agile, Innovative, and Bold. The session received rave reviews.

Another session that received praise was “Pan-Asians In The Business World: How Perceptions Impact Our Realities” lead by Anna Mok, Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Executive Vice President, Ascend and moderated by Richard Lui, Journalist and News Anchor, MSNBC and NBC News. Panelists examined how perceptions of Pan-Asians and gender viewed through subjective cultural lens may create barriers to advancements in business as these perceptions impact performance evaluations, perceptions of leadership potential, and advancement opportunities. The session also looked at a breakthrough 2015 Ascend Foundation study, “Hidden in Plain Sight: Asian American Leaders in Silicon Valley,” that analyzed the previously confidential U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data released by five major Silicon Valley companies and found that while Asian men and women are well represented in the non-managerial professional workforce, they are severely under-represented at the executive levels. The study found that although there are nearly as many Asian professionals as white professionals in these companies, white men and women are ~154% more likely to be an executive compared to their Asian counterparts. The “Asian effect” is 3.7x greater than the “gender effect” as a glass ceiling factor.

A key focus of Ascend is to build and expand the network of Pan-Asian senior executives and corporate board directors and this year's convention featured a session focused on this community called “CEI (Corporate Executive Initiative) & Pinnacle (Corporate Board Initiative) session: Agile, Innovative, Bold: Diverse Leadership in Corporate Board Rooms & Executive Ranks”. The session discussed how diversity at the top of corporations helps companies perform better and provide better returns for shareholders with experienced board members and corporate executives sharing their personal experiences and journeys. Ascend’s Pan-Asian Corporate Board Initiative, Pinnacle, was launched to increase the pipeline and placement of qualified Pan-Asian corporate board candidates and educate Pan-Asians to become successful members of corporate boards and executive management. Pinnacle’s network reaches almost 90 Pan-Asian board members and is growing.

This year, Ascend was excited to have two authors and inspirational speakers in attendance: Joe Jordan, Author of “Living a Life of Significance” and Dennis N. T. Perkins, Author of "Leading at The Edge" and CEO of The Syncretics Group. Both speeches were extremely well received and attendees left inspired. In addition, Ascend was pleased to have Betty Liu, Anchor/Editor-at-Large, Bloomberg Market Day, moderate a C-Suite fireside chat in which leaders from global organizations gave tips on how agility can enhance business results in today’s fast-paced workplace. Furthermore, Amna Nawaz, Managing Editor, NBC News Asian America and Kevin Negandhi, SportsCenter Anchor, ESPN appeared as Masters of Ceremonies at Ascend’s 10th Anniversary Benefit and Awards Dinner.

Jeff Chin, the Ascend National President, said: “We are proud to announce that this year's convention was our largest yet with 3,000+ registered participants. From beginning to end, I was impressed with the overall energy and excitement! A big thank you goes to our partners, speakers, members, and supporters! I hope we can continue this momentum into next year at the Disneyland Hotel July 30- August 1, 2016!”

Ascend was honored to have Mike Fucci, Deloitte Chairman of the Board, as the Awards and Benefit Dinner keynote speaker. Ascend continued the tradition of recognizing business leaders who have made significant contributions to the Pan-Asian community. At this year’s convention, Ascend honored Nelson Chai, President, CIT Group Inc. with the Deloitte’s Ascend Leadership Award; Seong Ohm, Senior Vice President, Sam’s Club with the Ascend Inspiring Across Generations (IAG): Inspirational Leader Award; Sara Kumiko Abiusi, Managing Director, Accenture and Yogesh Bahl, Managing Director, AlixPartners with the Ascend Inspiring Across Generations (IAG): High Impact Leader Awards; and Esther Jeong, Manager, Global Diversity & Inclusion, Moody’s and Danny Wang, Senior Manager, Deloitte & Touche LLP with the Ascend Inspiring Across Generations (IAG): Rising Star Awards.

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Ascend (@AscendLeader) is the largest, non-profit Pan-Asian membership organization for business professionals in North America. Established in 2005, Ascend’s network includes 60,000+ senior executives, professionals, and MBA/undergraduate students involved in its 50+ chapters in the United States and Canada. As a career lifecycle organization, it offers robust leadership and professional development programs designed to cultivate Pan-Asian talent by supporting its members in reaching their career potential and by supporting its corporate partners to develop a strong, diverse, and inclusive workforce to achieve

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Sofia Poyhonen
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