Vivian Huang

Goodbye, Vivian!

EDI alum, Jeff Tan, poses with the staff at 2017 Inclusion Fusion.

“Hello, EDI. Vivian speaking.”

Three years. I can’t believe time has flown by so quickly. It feels like yesterday when I walked into the EDI Office for my interview with Al and Marci.

In these past three years, I think I’ve been really lucky. I had not one, but two great bosses who have mentored and supported me. I have met and worked with many amazing people, including staff, Program Chairs, alums, board members, facilitators, and more. Though I’ve never “officially” graduated from EDI’s programs, I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to attend the class sessions, learning alongside and from participants.

I've known how it feels. I’ve struggled with speaking up at meetings. I didn't necessarily enjoy networking or working on team projects. I lacked confidence and second-guessed myself all the time. Though it was an accumulation of many factors, I came to EDI, asking myself, “What am I doing here?” Out of my comfort zone. Terrified of the unknown and averse to change.

Pha Mom, Marci Nakano, Al Sugiyama, Chan Lo, Colleen Yamaguchi, and Vanna Novak celebrated Vivian's college graduation. Vivian graduated from University of Washington, Class of 2016, majoring in Creative Writing & Communication.

Here I was, a junior in college who spent her time creating monthly newsletters for her friends, landing her first job and real work experience. I thought it was unbelievable that I would be paid to create newsletters among other things that I did as a hobby. But looking back, it wasn’t such a far-fetched idea. It didn’t come as a surprise for me or anyone who knows me that I decided to work for a non-profit organization.

Throughout high school and college, I volunteered with many non-profits. I was the lead volunteer for the summer youth program at the Chinese Information Service Center (CISC) for many years. Similar to EDI Program Chairs, I wanted to give back to the program that supported and nurtured me. I also helped coach soccer at my elementary school with Seattle Scores and worked as an office admin at International Community Health Services (ICHS). I was even a participating member of an academic club, which focused on community service.

People always ask me, “Why?” Why non-profit? Why volunteer? The answer is, “Why not?” Of my school friends, I might be the only one active in the community. But for me, there has always been a connection. With CISC, I saw myself in the children who participated in the program. I still remember the volunteers during my time, who made me feel valued and helped me.

If I'm capable and can do it, why not? Why not donate my time as a volunteer? Why not work for a non-profit? I always feel happy knowing, I'm helping someone in need. With EDI, I strongly believe in our mission and know as an organization, we are helping to develop the next generation of multi-cultural leaders like myself.

Three years. It hasn’t been that long. During my time with EDI, I've spent it telling our story and now that I’ve been asked to share my own thoughts, it’s highly uncomfortable. It’s probably cultural and most likely because I don’t enjoy talking about myself, but that’s what EDI is all about – getting out of your comfort zone. All the things I don't like and feel uncomfortable doing, is more reason for me to do it.

Now, I speak up at meetings, sharing my ideas and taking ownership of projects. For the past two years, I've been serving as a committee member for the Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration. After attending many community and social events, I always recognize a face and feel comfortable approaching people.

Change is scary, yet inevitable and necessary. I've enjoyed my comfort zone at EDI, but I believe it's time for new challenges and experiences. It's time for this sprout to grow further. So as I leave EDI, I'm packing up my toolbox. I'm ready to rotate my iceberg and seek new opportunities. I don't know what my next steps are, but I know EDI has paved the way. I'll always be grateful. Thank you, EDI.

This is goodbye, but it won't be the last you'll see of me. I guarantee. EDI is family and I know I'll always be welcomed.

“Hello, EDI. Vivian speaking." 

Marci's Column - January 2018

Save-the-Date_ EDI 25th Anniversary.png

This year, we celebrate 25 years of EDI!  Mark your calendars now for our 25th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, October 6, 2018. It will be an event you won’t want to miss.

You’ll see in this newsletter that 2018 is starting off with lots of changes for EDI. Our first major announcement is that we are moving our office from Bellevue into Seattle. Our lease ends this month and we spent the last year, exploring spaces and evaluating what options would be best for taking EDI in the direction we want. We decided on WeWork in South Lake Union. WeWork is a co-sharing space, located all around the world, and as a member, we become part of a broader network. A focus of ours has always been to build brand awareness and expand our reach of individuals and companies that know about EDI’s programs. Being in an environment that fosters creativity and networking, is something that we are looking forward to. We’d love the chance to show you the new space.  Stop by and say hello, especially all of our South Lake Union alums!!!

Our next announcement is Vivian Huang, our Marketing & Communications Coordinator, is leaving. Vivian was hired in October 2014 when she was a junior at the University of Washington. EDI has grown in so many ways because of her commitment, dedication and task-oriented mindset! Much of the social media posts, newsletter and website have been managed by Vivian and our online presence is stronger because of all that she has contributed. I want to keep her forever, but she is ready to take on a full-time position and share her talents with the rest of the world. Thank you, Vivian! We wish you the best of luck and we maybe we’ll see you as a Leadership Discovery participant in the near future.

With that being said, we are currently looking to fill a part-time Office Coordinator position.  We ask for your help in referring candidates to us.

And finally, thank you to everyone who has helped in our recruitment efforts. All of our programs will run this year.  We are 11 participants away from reaching our goal, so keep the applications coming, we’re so close!!  

We have more announcements to come in the next few months, stay tuned.

Marci's Column - July 2016

Left to Right : Marci Nakano, Brittany Ryerson, Poe Wongpa (Class of 2015), Tomo Nakano, Vivian Huang, & Kelly Verbicky (Class of 2016) enjoy tasty Thai food at Poe's restaurant in Auburn, Gor Gai Thai.

Left to Right: Marci Nakano, Brittany Ryerson, Poe Wongpa (Class of 2015), Tomo Nakano, Vivian Huang, & Kelly Verbicky (Class of 2016) enjoy tasty Thai food at Poe's restaurant in Auburn, Gor Gai Thai.

July is the time of year for EDI where everything intersects. We have our current programs starting to wind down; we are actively recruiting for our 2017 programs; we are in the midst of preparing for Inclusion Fusion; and starting to plan for graduation. Although it’s the busiest time of year for us, it’s also the most exciting.  

So much has happened since I last wrote in April, I wanted to highlight some of the significant things we have going on right now at EDI. 

FUNDRAISING

INCLUSION FUSION – It’s just around the corner. This year’s event will be like no other as the alumni will be the focus throughout the evening. We’ll have alumni stations where alums will be sampling some of their own products and sharing with you their leadership stories.   There are several new twists that we will have that will incorporate our theme, “Let Your Leadership Fly” so you’ll have to attend to find out what they are! You don’t want to miss this.

STAFF

In last month’s newsletter, we introduced you to Tomo, our new intern from Bellevue College.  He’s on a one year exchange program from Japan and is spending 10 weeks with us. Thank you to EDI Alum, Mark Watanabe, for referring Tomo to us. He’s eager to build his leadership skills and has been attending our program sessions. As someone new to EDI, he’s been providing us valuable feedback that we will use to improve the quality of our programs and the participant experience. 

I’d also like to congratulate our Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Vivian Huang, on her graduation from UW in June. Vivian has been with EDI since October 2014 working part-time. After a month long vacation to Europe, Vivian is now back and transitioning into a more full-time role.  We’re grateful she decided to stay on at EDI as she’s the hub of all the communication points for us.    

ALUMNI

Be sure to watch this month’s Alumni on the Move video with Poe Wongpa. Our alums are constantly inspiring and amazing us with all they do in their careers and in the community.  Poe just opened his very own Thai restaurant, Gor Gai Thai, in Auburn. He made his dream a reality and we are so proud and excited for him. I admire his courage, ambition and energy. I’ve already been to his restaurant three times, plus he’s catered lunch for all our program sessions in the last month. It’s the best Thai food you’ll find in the area (and I’m not just saying that because he’s an alum).

For those alumni who want to stay connected and/or help out with EDI – here’s an opportunity for YOU!  We have a new initiative that’s in its beginning stages called the EDI Ambassador Board. This is a board of EDI alums that has been formed to help put strategies in place for alumni engagement, fundraising and recruitment. We have a core group of alums already enlisted and soon they will be reaching out to recruit more members.  If you are interested in being part of this initiative, please email me at marci@ediorg.org                       

RECRUITMENT

We are recruiting for our 2017 programs and our goal is to have 90 participants enrolled before the end of the year. If you know of anyone that has interest in the program, please send them our way. If you want us to come to your company to do an information session or need us to meet with someone one on one, let us know.  

Hope to see all of you at Inclusion Fusion!  #DiverseGlobalLeaders

Marci's Column - May 2015

Above : Over 100 people attended Marci's Meet & Greet in Seattle last month.

Above: Over 100 people attended Marci's Meet & Greet in Seattle last month.

CELEBRATE!!  That’s the word that comes to mind when thinking about all that has happened in the last few months. 

We CELEBRATE the successes of all our alumni who are out there influencing and making a positive impact in their companies and in the community. The “Alumni on the Move” section of our newsletters showcase promotions, career successes, awards and also highlight how alumni stay connected and engage in the community. We have lots of photos to share this month and we hope to highlight much more throughout the year. Thank you to our alums who have shared photos and stories with us.  Please keep them coming, we love to hear from you!

We had the opportunity to CELEBRATE leadership & diversity at the Portland General Electric Diversity Summit on April 7th. Thanks to Navigation alum, Lorena Juarez, for inviting EDI to participate. There were close to a 1000 attendees and it was great to connect with leaders in the Portland community and reunite with some of our Portland alumni. Special thanks to 2010 alum, Natasha Siores, for helping staff our EDI booth.

On May 3rd we CELEBRATED Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the annual event led by the Asian Pacific Director’s Coalition at Seattle Center. Special thanks to EDI Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Vivian Huang, and Class of 2013 alum, May de los Reyes for staffing the EDI booth. The spotlight was on Class of 2014 alums Joe Darza and Winny Chao who MC’d the event and Kyle Theptee who MC’d the Hum Bow eating competition. Michael Liam and May de los Reyes were the judges. It was great to see alums in the crowd and was a fun way to kick-off API Heritage month.

May 5th was The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG day. In the office this week we CELEBRATED our GiveBIG success with cupcakes! Thanks to your support we were able to raise over $4,700 which is the most we’ve raised since we started participating in this event.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who attended the meet & greet event on April 20th at Four Seas.   We had about 100 attendees and it was great to see so many Executive Directors, community leaders, EDI Board members, alumni and future participants coming together to CELEBRATE EDI. I’m looking forward to the Portland meet & greet on May 18th!