NODE: Empowering AAPI Change Makers

The mission of Node is to connect and educate Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) non-profit leaders and community organizers through digital platforms including LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and email, and our Node Institute, a relationship, fundraising, and education accelerator.

We exist to unify and advance our community by better connecting our community leaders and then empowering them with innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.

Node Digital Network

In 2021, Node reached over 38,000 people via webinars, educational social media posts, emails, and podcasts in over 30 states. Speakers included:

  • Bing Chen – Co-Founder of Gold House
  • Bryan Pham & Maggie Chui – Co-Founders of Asian Hustle Network and more!

Node Institute members consist of organizations from across the nation:

  • Cambodian Community Association of Maine and the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
  • Boat People S.O.S., Inc.
  • Kundiman, Inc
  • Xīn Shēng | 心声 Project
  • Asian Media Access, Inc.
  • Center for Asian Americans United For Self Empowerment
  • Asian American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI)
  • Austin Asian American Film Festival
  • Kua’aina Ulu Auamo
  • North Carolina Asian Americans Together
  • The Legal Clinic- “Justice For Our Neighbors-Hawai‘i”
  • UTOPIA (United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance) Washington
  • Asian Creative Network
  • They Can’t Burn Us All
  • ACE NextGen
  • Laotian American National Alliance

Node Institute

The Node Institute was founded in 2021 to build financial, leadership, operational, and marketing capacity in non-profits/social enterprises so they can make more impact.


The program runs for 90 days tarting with a 3-day retreat, followed by coaching and masterminds with the participants. 

In addition to the retreat and meeting (2 to 3 hour commitment a month), the participants will have access to optional 1 on 1 meetings with knowledgable experts around:

  •  Accounting and Taxes for Non-Profits
  • Fundraising
  • Grant Writing
  • Marketing: Brand/Social Media
  • Matchmaking (finding specific relationships/resources)
  • Team/Culture Building
  • Operations
  • Legal


After the retreat, each organization will have a plan to execute for the next 90 days. Each organization will have 30 minutes a week to do a check-in on goals and process any issues in an efficient, reusable, set-meeting format around updates, issues, and to-do items. Based on their capacity, organizations can decide whether to meet weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

Each month, the cohort will meet in a group of 5 (groups will be organized by organization age/size) to mastermind for one organization on their most complex, challenging issue or opportunity they are facing. The mastermind will last 90 minutes and be facilitated by a moderator. The format will be introduced at the retreat, and is reusable post program. 


  • AAPI Nonprofit/causes under 3-5 years old working to accelerate the AAPI success around politics, entertainment, community, small business/entrepreneurship, social causes, and/or corporate.

2022 Retreat at Winter Park, Colorado

The retreat will take place November 10 – 13, 2022. Attendance is required. Meals and lodging will be provided. The goal of the retreat is to come away with an annual plan for 2023, new relationships, a few new skills that can help your organization, and a chance to restore and relax.


Day 2 – Friday, November 11, 2022

  • 9:00 am Aerobics, Yoga, and Meditation (optional)
  • 10:00 am Group Breakfast
  • 11:00 am Organizational Journaling: Highs & Lows, Challenges, Opportunities
  • 12:00 pm 10-Year Vision, 3-Year Vision, 1-Year Vision & Organizational Values (working lunch)
  • 2:00 pm Break
  • 3:00 pm People Capacity Workshop
  • 4:00 pm People Capacity Building
  • 5:00 pm Break / Sound Healing (optional)
  • 6:00 pm Dinner

Node Institute Speakers & Advisors

Serial Entrepreneur

Ian So is personally recognized as a Boston business leaders by winning awards including Boston’s Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Mayor Walsh’s Spark Impact Award, Smart CEO’s Future 50 Award, and GetKonnected 25 Most Influential Millennials of Greater Boston. 

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 thousands 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 non-profits focused on helping low-income and underprivileged communities. 

Ian is also the founder of ACE NextGen, a nation wide young entrepreneur organization for AAPIs, and served as the youngest board member of National ACE, the parent organization for ACE NextGen, Collectively, the two organizations represent thousands of AAPI businesses across America, and have awarded millions of dollars to the AAPI business community. 

Communications + Fundraising Whiz

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 Associates’s Degree in Design and Marketing. 

Since 2015, Lauren has served as Vice President of Communications and Membership for the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce and CalAsian Chamber of Commerce, combined of which they are the largest minority chamber in California, where she words collaboratively with the senior staff of Domestic and Global Programs, Public Policy, and executive leadership to support all communications and ensure positive brand messaging. Annually, Lauren fundraises and oversees programming in excess of $1M across the CalAsian non-profits. 

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 words closely with community leaders and local elected officials developing strong ties to state leadership and government officials helping to drive the mission of the chambers and foundation. 

Marketing Guru

With his core team, Minh Pham brings together 25+ years of experience in both traditional and digital marketing to help clients develop and implement stronger communications strategies. His broad skill set and unique experience as an immigrant, small business owner, community organizer, and civic leader allows him to offer creative, forward-thinking solutions that solve long-term communications challenges in the most innovative, impactful, and cost-effective ways. 

Minh earned his Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a minor in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and he enjoys sharing inspiring stories, positive messages, and best practices to connect people with diverse world views and experiences. 

Minh strongly believes in paying it forward by investing in students and young professionals as one of the key strategies to solve complex and social challenges. One of Minh’s vision for PSK Creative is to provide young, social entrepreneurs with opportunity to crate their own impact in the world through technical training in conjunction with leadership development and life skills — especially to those with disadvantaged backgrounds.

LAKHI SIAP  |  Program Advisor  |  1:1 Mentor
International Community Collaborator

Lakhi Mangharam Siap was born and raised inCebu City, Philippines to an Indian mother and a Filipino-Chinese father. Being raised with multiple cultures in his home was never a boring moment in his upbringing. He graduate at Philippine High School for the Arts on a 4-year theater scholarship. He immigrated to Chicago in 2006 and immediately became involved with the AAPI community and began volunteering and taking on leadership positions for various non-profit organizations. 

From his community work, he saw a lack of representation and collaboration within the AAPI community that in 2010, he founded the Chicago Asian Network (CAN), a community focused full-service multicultural marketing agency dedicated to collaborating, connecting, and representing Chicago’s AAPI community. 

In 2016, Lakhi was awarded President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award for Community Service and given the Distinguished Young Asian Professional ward by Asian Chronicle USA Cable Access TV, and was awarded the community service award by AT&T’s Asian Pacific Islanders for Professional and Community Advancement. He was also chosen by the former Philippine Ambassador to the U.S., Jose Cuisia Jr., to be part of the Filipino American Young Leadership Program (FYLPRO) in 2015. 

After begin part of the program, Lakhi took on the role as the Immersion Program Director of FYLPRO and spent part of his team in the Philippines expanding his business to providing other services. He was part of the 2015 APECSME Summit Delegation in Manila, Philippines with the U.S. Department of Commerce and was a guest speaker at the 2019 U.S. Philippine Dialogue hosted by the U.S. Embassy of Manila and the Ateneo School of Government at the Manila Penensula Hotel. He regularly collaborates with the U.S. State Department and the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs on U.S. Philippine leadership initiatives. 


Frances Luong  |  Advisor  |  1:1 Mentor
Social Media + Branding Expert

Frances is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Joieful, an integrated branding and growth Marketing company that supports small to medium sized businesses across American in expanding to new markets. She has helped multi-million dollar brands and groups double revenue. Clients span across food and beverage, non-profit, and wellness. 

Prior to starting Joieful, Frances was a marketing director in the food and beverage space, driving growth initiatives. In her free time, Frances services as a natural board member of ACE NextGen, supporting AAPI entrepreneurs across the US and advising on marketing and branding topics.

In her actual free-time, she enjoys hosting friends in Houston, plating with her dog, doing pilates, and spending time in mountain towns. 


Wells Fargo Logo-01
Sacramento State Logo
Siemens Logo