LEADERSHIP TEAM

ADVISORY BOARD

Lily Chan

Founder and Former President 2009 - 2019

Lily Chan

Lily Chan is a forward-thinking service leader who has started popular programs both nationally and locally. Lily has a strong background in sales and business development. Lily's previous experience includes: work at ILGWU as business agent and worker's advocacy representative, overseeing more than 140 manufacture and contract firms and over 3,000 workers. Her responsibility includes negotiation, conflict and dispute settlements, contract, OHSA and fair labor practice enforcement. Lily’s experience also includes ownership and executive management of a high volume sportswear production company.


As the founder of the Asian Focus Corporation, Lily brings more than 30 years of non-profit and management experience to the organization. She has served in numerous community programs; including service as the Vice President and President of the Triangle Area Chinese American Society.

Jenny Chen

CEO, Grand Asia Market

Jenny Chen

Gerald Fralick

Chief Security Officer, Product Security Office - Lenovo

Gerald Fralick

Bill Opal

CEO & Head of Recruitment at Sails-Up, Recruitment On Demand for Corporate Talent Acquisition

Bill Opal

Steve Greene

Vice President, Wacom

Steve Greene

Tim Flood

Associate Professor of Management and Corporate Communication

Tim Flood

Hayden J. Silver III

Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson, Raleigh NC

Hayden J. Silver III

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Benjamin Uysmith

President

Benjamin Uysmith

Benjamin UySmith is a passionate, big hearted, critical thinker. He joined Asian Focus in 2013 as a project manager and day-of-operations for Asia Fest. Over the last seven years, he mentored under Lily Chan (founder) and Yun-Lieh Chuu (Vice President) to prepare for being the leader of Asian Focus. He has an extensive background in project management and a deep understanding of personal and business finance and taxes.


He calls Durham his home with his wife and their two daughters. His family doesn’t stop there! They also have quite the “menagerie” of animals including dogs, fish and several chickens. A partner in Prestige Financial Group, he enjoys working in our local community. When he isn’t volunteering or working, he enjoys traveling with his family and rolling up his sleeves on DIY home and old car projects.


Yun-Lieh Chuu

Vice President

Yun-Lieh Chuu

Yun is a Taiwanese immigrant. From young age, she developed a deep passion for charitable work which she continued while pursuing both a B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering. Yun worked at IBM for 20 years before switching her career path to dedicate her personal and professional life to helping people and servicing the community. She became a well trusted LPL independent financial consultant who always places clients’ interests first.


Yun has served on the Asian Focus core team with Lily since its founding in 2009. Together they worked hard to create a great team to further the goals and mission of Asian Focus. The core team members each contribute their special talents, and through mentorship and collaboration, they create an even more sustainable future for Asian Focus.


Christin Lai

Co-Treasurer | Director, Program Management & Performing Arts

Christin Lai

Christin joined Asian Focus as the program coordinator in 2016, primarily organizing the performance program for the Annual Dragon Boat Festival. She enjoys working with local artists and performers, and promoting all types of culture.Over the years, Christin has been involved in a variety of community service organizations in the Triangle area including Raleigh Chinese School, TACAS, Food bank and Habitat for Humanity.


YuPei Chooi

Co-Treasurer | Director, Program & Project Management

YuPei Chooi

YuPei is a Peranakan American immigrant. She was an associate member of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (ARICS) and worked as a quantity surveyor in Singapore and Malaysia on multi millions residential projects. YuPei currently owns a real estate practice and continues helping others navigate the unpredictable tides of a real estate transaction. Her international work experience and multilingual skill has further earned her a certification from NAR as an international property specialist.  Currently residing in Cary, YuPei and her family  have been actively advocating the community in Asian identity and culture.


Tho H. Nguyen

Director of Marketing

Tho H. Nguyen

Tho Nguyen grew up in Greensboro, NC and is an avid foodie, traveler and blogger. Tho holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA in International Business from England as an Ambassadorial Scholar from the Rotary Club. Tho works in the data and analytics industry for over 18 years and has recently published a book Leaders and Innovators: How Data-Driven Organizations Are Winning with Analytics with all proceeds going to charity. Tho and his wife live in Raleigh for over 20 years and have been very active in the community to preserve the Asian culture and values for their daughter and the future generation.

Rajesh Yarlagadda

Director of Corporate and Community Relations

Rajesh Yarlagadda

Rajesh is originally from India but moved to US with his family in 2013 from Singapore. Has more than 15 years of experience in information technology field and currently works in Swiss financial organization. Beside regular technology job, Rajesh is an active volunteer in local community organizations. Currently live in Cary, NC with family, he loves spending time with family and friends as well as gardening.


Education: Master of computer Applications, India.


Gregoria Smith

Secretary General

Gregoria Smith

A professor at the University of Guam (UOG) College of Arts & Sciences, Gregoria taught health & dance, did research on Coping with Illness, and directed Dance Theatre Guam, performing in the South Pacific Festival of Arts held in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Australia & New Zealand. Appointed Chair of the Commission on Status of Women, she gave papers on women’s health in Asia.


After UOG, she managed QI at the Guam Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse. Following her passion for peacemaking, she founded the International Women’s Club of Guam. In 1998, she moved to Houston where she tracked and trended quality performance for Blue Cross Blue Shield, working with Price Waterhouse Cooper Consultants in getting accreditation after merger & acquisition.


Education: Gregoria attended the University of the Philippines, came to the USA as an H2 Contract worker to teach on Guam in 1967. She holds an MA in Behavioral Sciences, MA in Community Psychology (New York University) and a PhD in Human & Organizational Systems (Fielding). Her goal is to help improve the

adaptive capacity of groups or individuals to cope with internal & external challenges. She also served as a Stephen Minister for 18 years in Houston. Gregoria is a member of the Midtown Rotary Club, the AAUW, and a parishioner at the St Michael’s Episcopal Church of Raleigh.


Angela Hicks

Outreach Liaison | Grant Writer

Angela Hicks

Angela Hicks, Ed.D. is a grant writer and trainer. She is CEO of Grant Professional, a $500K national Grant Technical Assistance company providing business development services to Nonprofit and Emerging Community Healthcare Centers. She has written successful grants with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), Housing Urban Development (HUD), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and National Science Foundation (NSF) securing over $20 million in grant funding.


TEAM OFFICERS

Eileen Culliney

Finance Advisor

Eileen Culliney

Graduate from UNC Greensboro, Eileen Culliney is a financial auditor with concentration in non-profit organizations and insurance industry. She also prepares tax returns for individual, corporate and partnership. In her free time, Eileen loves reading, watching online soap operas, travel, spend time with family, friends and her two cats.


Marko Fong

Publication Manager

Marko Fong

Marko Fong is a writer, teacher, and attorney who moved to Durham in 2014 with his wife June, their two dogs and a cat.  For the last several years, he has been helping students to improve their writing and working with adult English language learners on sharpening their interview skills. Prior to that, he represented Northern California Public School Districts in Special Education matters and election matters, worked as a national advocate for urban high school reform, worked as a researcher/writer for the George Lucas Educational Foundation, and taught middle school and high school.


Gowri Goli

Film and Video Manager

Gowri Goli

Gowri Goli is a resident of RTP Area for about 20 years and contributes to the community through video and photography. Gowri works as an IT consultant helping organizations to establish self-organizing teams consisting of motivated people to take ownership and deliver.


Michael Hwang

Race Team Manager

Michael Hwang

Fernando Guevarra

Community Relations & Project Manager

Fernando Guevarra

Marissa Guevarra

Performing Arts & Program Manager

Marissa Guevarra

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