Headquartered in Washington, DC, OCA is a national membership-driven civil rights organization of community advocates dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs). With 100+ chapters and college affiliates across the country and a membership that reaches 30,000 constituents, OCA seeks to empower the APA community through its national and local presence. Founded in 1973 as the “Organization of Chinese Americans,” the organization has since evolved to become OCA -Asian Pacific American Advocates.
Established in 1979, the OCA-Greater Houston Chapter (OCA-GH) is one of OCA’s 100+ chapters and college affiliates, with a long track record of programs/initiatives that work to advance the 4 main goals of the OCA mission statement:
OCA-Greater Houston Chapter is a volunteer driven organization of community advocates that strives to meet the current and evolving needs of a diverse population through a comprehensive continuum of programs targeting different life stages of AAPIs with a focus on developing advocacy, leadership, and civic engagement participation of AAPIs. The OCA-Greater Houston Chapter board members along with key community volunteer members work to fundraise, implement our programs to empower the AAPI community through leadership training, education workshops, cultural and advocacy awareness, legal clinics, internships, scholarships, mentoring, and civic engagement, and monitor our national and local advocacy, policy positions, and initiatives.
OCA-Greater Houston programs impact the next generation to seek leadership roles and a “Seat at the Table”. We want the AAPI community to have representation at all levels of Business, Corporate, Government and Community leadership. Our overarching goal is to increase the long-term leadership, civic participation, education and engagement of AAPIs in the Greater Houston metropolitan area. OCA-GH seeks to accomplish this in a holistic manner that will include people who may have limited English proficiency and/or are low-income. Asian Americans in Greater Houston face language, cultural, and economic barriers that can limit the AAPI community from attaining its hopes and aspirations. We believe the next generation of AAPI leaders need to understand the needs of the community in order to represent AAPIs well.
Cecil Fong, President
Cecil is the President of Education Rainbow Challenge, which is a non-profit organization geared toward raising interest in math and science for inner city kids via semi-annual math challenges and hands-on science experiments. Cecil also serves as the Executive Director for Diversity Summit which is an annual conference aimed to promote Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. Cecil is the current President of OCA Greater Houston. He is a senior fellow with Leadership Houston and with American Leadership Forum. Cecil retired from Shell Oil in 2011. With a career spanning 34 years, he has held a number technical and management positions in various business segments including Exploration & Production, Chemicals, Lubricants, Pipeline, Supply & Distribution, and Technology. He holds both Bachelor and Master degree in Chemical Engineering from Rice University.
Steven Wu, Vice President
Steven Wu is the Festival Advisor of the Houston Asian American Pacific Islander (HAAPI) Film Festival hosted by OCA-Greater Houston (OCA-GH). Steven first joined OCA-GH as a volunteer for the HAAPI Film Festival when he moved to Houston from Atlanta, but soon discovered love for the cause to take on a larger role and begin new initiatives for the festival (Local Shorts Competition, Student Film Competition, Filmmaker Workshops). Besides the Film Festival, Steven also co-founded and currently advises the TEA (Together Empowering All) Talks program in OCA-GH to facilitate community discussions on issues that affect the AAPI community and promote solidarity among all of our unique groups in Houston. While a Chemical Engineer bydegree and traveler at heart, Steven’s true passions lie in advancing the equality of AAPI’s andminorities through the power of media and discussion.
Elaine F. Chan, PhD, Secretary
Elaine is a Sr. Client Services Manager at Medical Metrics, Inc. (MMI), an imaging core lab for clinical trials. She works with numerous pharmaceutical and medical device companies to analyze and interpret X-ray, CT, and MR data from their clinical trial patients. Elaine is responsible for managing client relationships, developing scientific consulting opportunities, and overseeing successful study completion. Her research interests include imaging and analysis of orthopedic medical devices and treatments, and her professional goal is to foster cross-cultural collaborations and assist Asia-based biotech companies to enter the US market. Elaine received her B.S. in Bioengineering from Rice University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California – San Diego, with a research focus in cartilage tissue engineering and 3- D statistical shape modeling.
Kuan Zhao, Treasurer
Kuan Zhao is the CEO and founder of Dim Sum Bento (www.dimsumbento.com), a company that specializes in healthy but flavorful, portion-sized and customizable Dim Sum bento boxes just under 600 calories and MSG FREE. Its dim sum are available on 3rd party delivery platforms like UberEats, catering events and wholesale channels. Aside from Dim Sum Bento, Kuan is a CPA in the State of Texas and current treasurer of OCA-Greater Houston. He’s also a former seniorfinancial analyst at Shell and Motiva Enterprises for 6 years. Kuan is born in Shanghai and a
University of Houston alum with a passion for healthy eating, food manufacturing,
backpacking/travelling, Houston sports and last but not least, all things dim sum"
Cecilia Pham, Immediate Past President
Cecilia Pham is the Volunteer Manager for Interfaith Ministries. Cecilia was formerly the Regional Volunteer Services Officer for the American Red Cross - Texas Gulf Coast Region, where she managed volunteers from the border of Louisiana to the border of Mexico and was also the former Individual Giving and Special Events Manager at Project Row Houses, an African American Arts organization, located in the Third Ward. She has also held positions of Executive Director for the Liberty Legacy Foundation, and worked for Congressman Nick Lampson. In addition, Cecilia is the immediate past president of OCA Greater Houston Chapter, and has served as Secretary for the Youth Leadership Council. Cecilia holds several BAs and an MA from the University of
Rogene Gee Calvert
Rogene Gee Calvert has been involved in the non-profit field for over 30 years. She began her career with the Community Welfare Planning Association, then the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast and served as the first executive director of the Child Abuse Prevention Network. She was a founder and interim executive director of the Inter-Ethnic Forum, followed by the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association. She has served as the chief of staff for Houston City Council Member Gordon Quan, director of personnel and volunteer initiatives program under Mayor Bill White, and as President of Asian Chamber of Commerce. Rogene is currently a director for Outreach Strategists, LLC, a certified 8(a),MBE, SDB public affairs, political and communications messaging firm based in Houston. She has worked as an organizational consultant, specializing in non-profit board and management issues and starting up new projects and organizations. Among her startup programs and organizations are the COST Coalition, which stands for Children’s Outof School Time, a Diabetes Awareness and Education Project (DAEC) in the Asian American community, the Asian American Family Counseling Center and the Asian American Health Coalition/HOPE Clinic.
H.C. Chang, Esq.
H.C. Chang is an attorney who practices civil litigation law, concentrating in medical, personal injury, and other fields of civil litigation. He is licensed in Texas and New Mexico. H.C. also serves on the board of the Houston 80-20 – an Asian American political action organization that promotes Asian American interests through participation in the political process. H.C. is a member of the Houston Asian American Bar Association, and volunteers his time to various community organizations and events that are aimed to promote and preserve Asian American heritage, art, and culture.
Stephen Chao, MD
Stephen Chao, MD is currently a staff physician at Legacy Community Health Services, a federally qualified health center in Houston Texas. He was previously a staff physician at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and also previously an Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, he attended Rice University, graduating with degrees in Biochemistry and Health Policy. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and is the
immediate past president of the Chinese American Doctors Association of Houston. Dr. Chao completed his family medicine residency training at UT San Antonio and is committed caring for the underserved residents of Houston and Harris County. His interests include care for immigrant and refugee populations, community health, and public policy. He believes in providing quality health care for all.
John Y. Chen
John Y. Chen has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the University of Houston Clear Lake. He currently runs an AV Services/Mobile DJ/IT Consulting business. After graduation from UT Austin, he served on the board of several Asian American non-profits including: OCA-Greater Houston Chapter, Youth Leadership Council, National Association of Asian American Professionals Houston, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association, and Pride of Houston Toastmasters. John considers himself to be a progressive and his hobbies include anything dealing with the uses of technology in the entertainment field, amusement parks, art, and anime.
Grace Huang has worked at the Harris County Tax Office Auto Division since 2002. She was transferred to voter registration division to provide Chinese language services in year 2012, where she became aware of the importance of voting. She started to actively encourage Asian Americans to register to vote via media tools and community events. Grace earned herBachelor’s degree in China in 1982 before she came to the USA in 1983. She is currently a boardmember of the OCA-Greater Houston Chapter.
Elizabeth Hwong - Director, Volunteer
Elizabeth Hwong retired from ExxonMobil in 2006. With a career of 36 years, she had held a number positions in various business segments including Credit card Center, Employee Benefits, Payroll accounting and Payroll tax. Elizabeth Hwong has been involved in the non-profit sector for over 35 years. Elizabeth is currently Executive Director for Chinese Health Service Center of Houston. Also, she is the President of Chinese Welfare Counsel. Her volunteer works included the Chairperson of The Institute of Chinese Culture, the President of APAHA, The President of Global Federation of Chinese Business Women in Southern USA, the Co-Chair for The Association of Chinese- American Organization of Houston, Texas.
Jan Lang Kish
Jan Lang Kish is a retired aerospace software engineer and now serves as a Real Estate Broker Associate of Tiger Team at Re/Max Top Realty. Jan is the co-founder and board member of AAREA (Asian American Real Estate Association) as well as YLC (Youth Leadership Council), a program that has allowed 5,000 young adults to experience leadership training through an annual Youth Leadership Conference. Jan has also served in various directorial and advisory roles for organizations including: TAR (Texas Association of Realtors), the City of Houston, Clear Creek ISD, BARW (Bay Area Republican Women), Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) and NASA JSC Asian Pacific American Council from whom she received an Equal Opportunity Award. As Past Executive Director and President for the TARC (Texas Asian Republican Caucus), she helps to promote political awareness among Asian Americans. She has helped to organize public forums for Harris County elected officials, the Asian Gala for GOP National Convention and various voter
awareness training programs. Jan has also served as the Chairperson of the Board for the National Management Association Unisys Chapter where she helped to organize professional development programs, social events, youth mentoring programs, Junior Achievement economic programming and an aerospace career program for high schools students. She is a board member of the OCA,Greater Houston Chapter and has served as VP of Greater Houston Chinese Lion’s Club andPresident of Space City Professionals Association.
Catherine A. Le
Catherine Le is a solo practitioner and founder at the Law Firm of Catherine Le PLLC in Houston. She received her Juris Doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law and undergraduate degrees at Tulane University. Catherine devotes her practice to business law, real estate matters and commercial litigation. Catherine is also General Counsel of Greatland Investment, Inc. and SCL Realty Investment, Inc., handling all aspects of litigation in the field of residential and commercial real estate. With an affinity for community and non-profit work, Catherine serves as Past Chair and Board Member of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, former Board Member of Asian American Family Services, Board Member of OCA-Greater Houston, and Legal Advisor to the Kids’ Reading Room.
Victor Lee is the Director of Business Development for STOA Architects- Houston. As the Business Development Director, Victor has been involved with the development and implementation of the firm's various marketing strategies. Victor earned his B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and his B.S. in Political Science from the University of Houston. Victor is very involved in the Houston community. He currently serves on: President, Lee Family Association Houston, Texas Secretary, US-China Peoples Friendship Association Board Member, OCA-Greater Houston Board Member, Southwest Management Environmental and Urban Design Committee Member, HISD Asian Advisory Committee Member, Houston Community College Asian American Roundtable Committee Member, Asian Chamber of Commerce Member, Chinese Chamber of Commerce Member, Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce
Jean W. Lin, PT
, PT, has 40+ years of experience practicing physical therapy and has been practicing in
the Houston area since May 1980 and started her own practice in 1998. Prior to 1998, she worked as Director of Physical Therapy Dept. at Angleton Hospital, West Houston Physical Therapy Clinic and Doctors On Wilcrest. Mrs. Lin specializes in sports and dance medicine, NeuroRehab and Orthopedic areas. She is a member of American Physical Therapy Association and licensed by the State of Texas. An active member of the Houston Asian American Community, she is theimmediate past president of the Global Chinese Business Women’s Association of Houston and
serves on the boards of the Chinese Community Center and OCA-Greater Houston.
Sean Liu is the Senior Vice President and Regional Counsel for Brookfield Property Partners, a diversified global real estate company that owns, operates and develops one of the largest portfolios of office, retail, multifamily and industrial assets. Sean works on complex corporate and commercial real estate transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, financing and leasing. He is also responsible for handling litigation matters, as well as day-to-day asset management and
operations issues. Sean received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently working on his Masters in Real Estate from Georgetown University.
Jimmy is an advocate for OCA-Greater Houston, supporting fundraising and hosting events. He is President of the CARE Coalition (Chinese American Relief Effort) and serves on the board of Houston 80/20 PAC –Asian American Political Action Committee. The Taiwanese-born Houston native holds a Wealth Portfolio Management position at Investment Banking firm Morgan Stanley. Jimmy is a Special Correspondent for ESPN China for the Houston Rockets, as well as a Television Host for a number of local television channels such as Houston Asian Forum’s “Who’s Who of Asian Americans” on ITV Channel 15.3, and “Point to Point” for CIN Network.
Tengah Nguyen is a Houston based entrepreneurial creative production artist. Her company Brilliart Films strives to promote film, photography, video production, visual media projects, creative marketing video campaigns and much more. She is actively involved in the AAPI community and is Co-Director of OCA-GH's Houston AAPI Film Festival to promote AAPI film and arts in Houston. She believes fueling a passion in youth for leadership and volunteerism is the key to our successful future. In her free time she rock climbs, goes bowling and loves to practice yoga.
Christy Panis Poisot, CISSP, CGEIT, PMP, MBA
Christy Poisot has worked for Shell Oil Company since 1997. Her current role is in Strategy, Planning and Appraisal IT Information Risk Management. She has an MBA in Finance from the University of St. Thomas, a BBA in CIS from the UH-Downtown, and Associates from the Art Institute of Houston in Multimedia and Web Design. Community activities: Sr. Fellow, ALF Class XXXVII, board member for the Rice University Chao Center for Asian Studies, President of the Filipino American National Historical Society-Houston, Region 7 Director Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project, Asian Pacific American Women Leadership Institute Fellow,OCA board Member, 2007 President of Shell’s network for women.
Anne Sung is a product of Houston Independent School District and serves as the 1st Asian
American School Board Trustee and Secretary for District VII. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics. She also earned master’s degrees in physics and public policy, also from Harvard. While a physics undergraduateat Harvard, Sung co-founded the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament, now one of the most prestigious high school math contests in the country. She fell in love with education as a young Teach for
America corps member in the Rio Grande Valley. As a Physics Teacher Resource Agent with the
American Association of Physics Teachers, she provided professional development to physics teachers in south and central Texas. Returning to her hometown of Houston, Sung then taught at Lee (now Wisdom) High School, where she taught physics and chaired the science department, and was named 2011 Teacher of the Year. Sung co-founded the group Community Voices for Public Education to give Houston students, parents, educators, and community members greater voice in strengthening public education. Her many other active community roles include serving as founding convener of the Capital One Northside Education Coalition; board member of OCA-
Greater Houston; and coach of the Texas American Regions Math League team. Sung was previously Director of Strategic Planning and Public Policy at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.She currently serves as Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Project GRAD Houston, which helps students in low-income neighborhoods develop and achieve their educational aspirations for college and career.