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Executive Board

Executive Board

Patricia Kinaga
Chair & Co-Founder

Patricia is an attorney at the national law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine where she specializes in employment law. In addition to representing employers in litigation, she provides advice and training on numerous topics in the workplace, including disability accommodation and how to conduct investigations.  A former member on the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, she is a past president of the Japanese American Bar Association, and has served as an appointed member of the American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights.

Johnna Cho
Vice Chair

Johnna is a former Senior Vice President, Legal & Business Affairs for Warner Bros., where she handled a broad range of legal matters relating to the home video, digital distribution, and game businesses in the Asia-Pacific region. While at Warner Bros. she also served for several years as the Executive Sponsor for the Network for Asian Pacific Americans (NAPA), the business resource group for Asian American and Pacific Islander employees. Ms. Cho started her legal career as an attorney with Graham & James, developing an expertise in corporate transactions. She received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her J.D. from UCLA. Ms. Cho is a yoga enthusiast and certified yoga instructor (RYT-500) and currently in training to be a yoga therapist.

Nicole Williams

Nicole is the Account Director for Exact Tax Inc. She has been involved with nonprofits and philanthropy for over 15 years with 5 of those years at California Institute of Technology (Caltech). She also serves as a committee member of Pasadena City College’s Asian American and Pacific Islander President’s Advisory Council, co-founded Asian Pacific Americans at Caltech, the campus’s first employee resource group, and is currently a Leadership Institute Fellow with Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE). She received her undergraduate degree at UC Irvine and her Masters of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University.

Mark Matsui

Mark is the former Director of Disabled Students Programs and Services at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California. He worked in programs serving students with disabilities in the California Community Colleges and the California State University system for over 35 years. He established the “GO Project” and co-created the “College to Career” program at Long Beach City College. Mr. Matsui is also a Past-President of the California Association for Post-secondary Education and Disability (CAPED), the oldest professional organization of post-secondary educators of students with disabilities in the nation.

Phuong Nguyen

Phuong is Senior Vice President, Business Development Officer, at Bank of America, where she is responsible for sourcing new financing opportunities, while leading deal teams through the screening, approval and execution phases of a transaction. She previously served as vice president at Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, City National Bank, and People's Bank of America.

Linda Wah

LInda is an alum of Cal State University Los Angeles (CSULA) with a BS and MBA  in Information Systems.  She is a  retired technology manager for the City of Los Angeles, and is a former elected Trustee for Pasadena City College, where she served in leadership on a number of community college boards and committees, including President for the California Community College Trustees (CCCT), Director on the national Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), and Chair of Community College League of California (CCLC) Financial Reform Task Force.  She is a co-founder of two caucuses for California Community Colleges (Asian American Pacific Islander Trustees & Administrators (APITA)) and the Women's Caucus (CCCWC).  Linda also serves on the CSULA President's Caucus, and is a co-sponsor for the CSULA Alumni Mentoring Program. Linda volunteers as an executive coach for the Executive Services Corp for non-profit organizations, and is the Chair of the National Women's Political Caucus/Los Angeles County Council.

Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Mario Galdamez

Mario has 12 years of experience providing direct service and administrative oversight of Independent Living and Employment Services. Most recently, he was Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL), a nonprofit organization that assists individuals with disabilities with a wide range of services. For over three years, he led SCRS-IL’s Workforce Department, providing oversight of training, development, advocacy, and placement services for qualified individuals with disabilities into competitive employment in five southern California counties. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science & Latin American and Latino Studies from UC Santa Cruz and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA).

Stewart Kwoh

Stewart Kwoh is founding President and Executive Director of the legal and civil rights organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles, and served on APIDC’s Board of Directors from its inception. Stewart is a nationally recognized leader on civil rights, race relations, human relations, and legal services. Stewart has served on numerous nonprofit boards of directors and as Chair of the California Endowment. Through his leadership, Advancing Justice acts a fiscal sponsor and provides capacity training for nonprofit organizations.

Alice Wong

Alice, a research associate at the Community Living Policy Center at the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing, has received numerous prestigious awards, including the American Association of People with Disabilities Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, for her pioneering advocacy work. Alice created and manages the Disability Visibility Project, an on line community research dedicated to documenting stories of people with disabilities. A former board member of APIDC, Alice was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Council on Disability.



Chester Hashizume

Mr. Hashizume has served in leadership roles for many Asian American non-profit organizations, with experience in event planning and execution, organizational development, fundraising, and financial management. He is President of the non-profit Pacific Film Currents, which creates, distributes, and promotes educational media addressing issues in the Asian American community. Mr. Hashizume is an information technology project manager with expertise in managing enterprise projects.

Renee Te

Renee Te is a Master’s graduate student at San Jose State University studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She received her dual Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Religious Studies from California State University, Long Beach. She has worked with multiple DSP&S offices and is passionate about working with college students that have intersectional identities. Her professional goals include becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist as well as working in post-secondary schools advocating for students with disabilities.

Peter Wong, Ph.D.

Research Director

Dr. Wong received master’s degrees in public policy from the University of Michigan and economics and planning from the London School of Economics, and Ph.D. in public policy and urban planning from UCLA.  His dissertation topic from UCLA focused on employment challenges and successes for Asian Americans with disabilities. As APIDC’s Research Director, he conducts research on employment barriers facing Asians and Pacific Islanders with disabilities. Dr. Wong is an Adjunct Professor at California State University Long Beach and works part-time for Special Services for Groups. Previously, he served as a senior advisor at the White House National Economic Council to President Clinton, where he specialized in income maintenance and poverty statistics.

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