Our Mission

The CalAsian Foundation is dedicated to accelerating the success of the local, state, and national AAPI community through leadership empowerment.

Our Vision

We empower AAPI leadership through relationship building, workforce development, civic engagement, and political participation.

Our Values


As an outgrowth of the Cal Asian Chamber of Commerce, the largest ethnic chamber in California, we understand and know the importance of being entrepreneurial to make the most impact for our constituents.


AAPI success does not happen in a vacuum. Success requires ally ship and relationship building. We pride ourselves in being open minded and open armed in working with diverse people, community and organizations.


We believe longevity and development of our staff and leadership leads to ever growing and maturing institutional knowledge and know-how that compounds like interest.


We focus on maximizing tangible and measurable outcomes for the constituents.

Work Ethic

Hard work is a root trait of Asian culture, and so too at the CalAsian Foundation, we know hard work leads to great outcomes.

Our Board Officers

Rob Fong

Board Chair

RKF Consulting

“I am excited to be part of the CalAsian Foundation at a time when the Foundation has a renewed focus on empowering the AAPI community through its leadership and education programs!”

“As an Asian American who has been a partner in a law firm and held elected office, I continue to believe that AAPI are under-represented in both public and private leadership. We should not have to abandon our heritage and values in order to be recognized as leaders so I am very interested in any work the Foundation does to educate ourselves as well as others about who we are and what we have to offer.”

Ian So

Board Chair Elect

Chicken and Rice Guys

“I am excited to be part of the board because I have had the pleasure to work with Pat Fung Kushida through National ACE, as well as Lauren Oto and Matt Sumida through Node. It has been a great experience to work with such a large chamber, and coming from more grassroots organizations, I am learning more and more on what it takes to run a large non-profit organization.”

“I hope my entrepreneurial background will be an asset to the Foundation to help the Foundation think more innovatively, be more nimble, and make the most out of their resources! I believe my entrepreneurial background will also give me intimate knowledge to identify with the needs of small, diverse, millennial business owners, and develop the right solutions for them.”

Rosie Dauz


Community Outreach Program Manager,
Golden 1 Credit Union

“I’m very excited to be a part of the CalAsian Foundation! For many years, I have stayed very local – Sacramento based towards my volunteerism and community service. I’m happy to have found an organization that serves statewide to the API and small business community. The foundation really makes a point to strengthen underserved and diverse communities through leadership and professional development.”

“Since Golden 1 Credit Union was founded in Sacramento in 1933, giving back to our communities has been a central part of our mission. We are proud to support our communities, but it would not be possible without the CalAsian Foundation, who works hard every day to improve the lives of the AAPI community.”

Michelle Picard


Director of
Business Governance &
Risk Management,
DBE Liaison Officer,
Siemens Mobility, Inc.

“Siemens Mobility strives to represent the communities in which we operate, creating a more equitable and supportive culture for our employees and suppliers. In our daily business we are proud to give businesses owned by minorities, women, the disadvantaged, the disabled, veterans and other diverse suppliers maximum opportunity. We know that the more diverse our workforce and supply chain, the stronger the representation of ideas that drive innovation, the more inclusive the workplace and the stronger our commitment to the Sacramento community. As a member of the Sacramento and California Asian Pacific Chambers of Commerce, we work closely with the chambers to further both our organizational goals and those of the Foundation – growing and strengthening the Asian community in California.”

Our Board Members

John Gutierrez

Senior Director of
Government Affairs,

“I am honored to be on the CalAsian Foundation Board of Directors because of the Foundation’s commitment to developing AAPI leaders. This AAPI leadership development is critical to the future of California. Over the last 20 years, I have given my time, talent, and treasure personally and professionally to foster the next generation of AAPI leaders. I am looking forward to engaging with my fellow Board Members to enhance the Foundation’s long standing Catalyst Leadership Program as well as bring new initiatives such as AAPI Strong CA and the California Dream Fund to AAPI leaders, businesses, and the broader AAPI community.”

“Comcast has a deep and longstanding commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, and leveraging our numerous platforms to tell the story of the incredible impact that AAPI communities have on our company and country. As one of the nation’s largest distributors of multicultural programming, Comcast is passionate about leveraging our Xfinity TV platforms to celebrate AAPI communities year-round through our Asian American Film & TV collection. As part of an ongoing partnership with Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, Comcast NBCUniversal is supporting the Mis/Disinformation Project, an effort to address how misinformation and disinformation campaigns across social media are harmful to AAPI communities. Comcast is also committed to expanding the resources available to Asian-owned small businesses through our Comcast RISE program, where Asian entrepreneurs can receive support ranging from complimentary creative production for a TV commercial to technology makeovers and other support from Comcast Business. We are also deeply proud to have been a founding member of the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, with which we share a vision, mission and purpose to recognize excellence and celebrate the contributions of AAPIs.”

Kathy McKim

Senior Vice President, Hawksbill Group

“I’m excited to be a part of the CalAsian Foundation board to collectively grow leadership capacity and engagement within the AAPI community in California.  Together we can support the success and impact of current and future leaders across the state.”

“The Hawksbill Group’s mission is to assist corporations and organizations to grow revenue, solve complex problems and develop effective strategies. Empowering AAPI leadership is in alignment with our priorities through effective workforce development, empowerment through collaboration as well as civic and political engagement.”

Lakhi Siap

Chief Community Connector,
Chicago Asian Network

I am excited and deeply honored to join the CalAsian Foundation’s Board because it provides a platform for me to further the causes and initiatives that are dear to my heart.  I have had the amazing opportunity to be a program advisor to Node, an initiative of the foundation to help budding AAPI nonprofits organizations with training and capacity building. As an Asian American community builder, I have witnessed the resilience, strength, and incredible potential within our community. I believe that by collaborating with the Foundation, we can harness this potential to effect meaningful change, not only for Asian Americans but for the broader society as well. I am eager to contribute my skills, experiences, and passion to help shape and implement programs and initiatives that will empower Asian Americans, promote inclusivity, and foster unity within our diverse community.”

Carol Zheng

Academics Program Coordinator,
Highlands Community Charter School

“Highlands Community Charter School (Highlands) is excited to be part of the CalAsian Foundation board because our mission and vision align with the focus of the Foundation which is to create equity in a diverse community. We focus on empowering our adult students through teaching English, providing opportunities to earn a high school diploma, and equipping students with career technical education. Being part of the board allows us to take our mission and vision to the next level.”

“Equity is an important part of the CalAsian Foundation’s mission and the way the Foundation achieves the mission is through strategic partnerships. Similarly, Highlands’ vision is to eradicate educational inequality. Highlands represents a diverse community for social justice, serving the unserved, providing access to education, technology, communication, and employment for 21st century achievers. Through community partnerships, we are hoping to build new legacies leading to self-sufficiency and generational change which get the society closer to true equity.”

Leonor Dicdican

Attorney at Law, Kronick Moskovitz

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Our Team

Lauren Oto

Executive Director

Lauren Oto is a well-respected communications professional with more than 13 years of progressive experience in Marketing Communications, Economic Development, Community Impact and Fundraising. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication from California State University, Sacramento and an Associate’s Degree in Design and Marketing.

Since 2015 Lauren has served as VP of Communications and Membership for the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce and CalAsian Chamber of Commerce where she works collaboratively with the Senior Staff of Domestic and Global Programs, Public Policy and Executive Leadership to support all communications and ensure positive brand messaging. In 2021 Lauren was named Executive Director of the CalAsian Foundation overseeing the Workforce Development and Community initiatives to help create a pipeline for a diverse workforce, understanding the role diversity, inclusion and advocacy play in advancing our regions forward.  Lauren works closely with community leaders and local elected officials developing strong ties to state leadership and government officials helping to drive the mission of the chamber and Foundation.

Amy Hunter

Foundation Programs Manager

Bio coming soon!

Cassandra Pye

Program Director,
Catalyst Leadership Program

For 35 years, Cassandra Walker Pye has enjoyed a successful career in communications, government, politics and advocacy for corporate interests in global, national, state and local arenas. She has served in a variety of leadership roles including being appointed Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Schwarzenegger, launching her own communication consultancy firm 3.14 Communications, and currently serves as the Executive VP and Chief Strategy Officer for Lucas Public Affairs.

As Program Director, Cassandra is the class mentor and facilitator, offering a wealth of wisdom and guidance from her years of leadership experience.

Ian So

Node Program Director

Upon graduating from Babson College, a top global entrepreneurship school in Boston, MA, with a Diversity Leadership Scholarship, Ian gained experience in the entrepreneurship world working at several startups. In 2012, eager to apply his entrepreneurial studies and work experience to real life, he bought a food truck on eBay for $19,000 and launched his food business, Chicken & Rice Guys. From that initial investment, his business grew into an annual multi-million dollar revenue company with 6 food trucks, 3 restaurants, a 10,000 sf full service food truck commissary and a full-service catering/popup division. In the first 4 years of business, Chicken & Rice Guys was the 9th fastest growing private company in Massachusetts and the 206th fastest growing private company in the USA.

In addition to being a business leader, Ian values being a community leader. He is extremely passionate about using his resources, knowledge, and experience to help others. In 2019, he founded the Chicken & Rice Guys foundation to expand on his company’s mission to “Do Good With Food.” The foundation expands upon the charitable efforts of Chicken & Rice Guys, which through the years, has donated hundreds of thousand of dollars of in-kind donations and tens of thousands of pounds of food to various local Boston charities including homeless shelters, food pantries, and nonprofits focused helping low-income and underprivileged communities.

Jim Tabuchi

Program Director,
NextGen Empower U

Jim Tabuchi has an extensive background that includes high tech corporate management, non-profit leadership and program development. He is educated in electrical engineering and applied that to become a Senior Manager in Hewlett-Packard. He then applied his management experience to grow the Sacramento Mandarins to become a leading arts non-profit organization, providing music education programs for over a thousand youth every year. He provides consulting services and leadership coaching to numerous organizations. His impact can be seen in numerous industries including high tech, education, banking, utilities, health care, government and more.

Lucy Sengvanpheng

Foundation Program Coordinator

Lucy is an educator with over 13 years of experience, teaching abroad and in Sacramento. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and a multiple teaching credential from California State University, Sacramento.  Throughout her career, she spent years working as a classroom teacher in various grade levels and content areas. Lucy has worked as part of the leadership team to help engage staff, students, and the community with the school’s mission and vision. As the lead teacher within her department and grade level, she helps assist and implement curriculum and programs to impact growth and academic achievement. She is also a mentor teacher who guides and supports new teachers. She is passionate about educating and helping those who are in underserved and underrepresented communities. With her experience, she will help the foundation with the development of programs to foster impact in the community.

Mandy Tang

Marketing and Social Media Intern

Mandy Tang is a junior undergraduate at UCLA, majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Accounting. She supports AAPI businesses and advocates for AAPI leadership within the CalAsian Foundation. In her role, Mandy is committed to advancing the foundation’s initiatives and enhancing inclusivity and equity for AAPI communities. At UCLA, Mandy serves as the Chief Outreach Coordinator for the UCLA Undergraduate Humanities Journal and hosts a series of alumni discussion panels for the Philosophy Department.

Lily Ren

Stop the Hate - Program Coordinator

Lily Ren is a community advocate and organizer who is dedicated to centering the voices of minoritized communities. At Dartmouth College, where she earned a B.A. in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Lily co-founded a student-led collective advocating for the establishment of an Asian American Studies Program, co-authoring a petition which garnered 1200+ signatures nationwide and appearing on the New York Times. Lily is passionate about disseminating knowledge from the academy into the communities she serves, specifically around structural issues of racism, education inequity, and poverty. She has experience in event planning and outreach, and hopes to strengthen the CalAsian Foundation’s AAPI Strong initiatives through webinar-building, educational resources, and mental health outreach and support. In her free time, Lily enjoys singing, connecting with friends, and appreciating the humors and beauties of life.

I have the pleasure of working with the CalAsian Foundation for over a decade. The people in the organization have a passion for developing and running programs that truly make a positive impact on the participant's lives. The programs provide skills, tools and resources to help the participants and their organizations to be more successful.
Jim Tabuchi
NextGen Program Director