2011 Executive Summary

2011 was a great year for AAJA-Philadelphia! The chapter doubled its membership, hosted more events — including a successful “Interviewing Techniques” workshop with two Pulitzer Prize winners – as well as helped to send three members to the national convention in Detroit, and re-launched its Mentorship Program.

Major accomplishments in 2011
–> Our Oct. 22 “Interviewing Techniques” workshop, which featured Philadelphia Daily News reporters Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker, winners of a 2010 Pulitzer Prize in the investigative-reporting category for their “Tainted Justice” series, attracted about 30 people to the discussion at the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News building, including students from Temple, Penn, LaSalle, Wilkes University and Atlantic Cape Community College, and from the NY and DC AAJA chapters.

Afterward, we had a mini-karaoke fundraising event at SangKee Noodle House in University City.

–> Re-launch of our Mentorship Program
Thanks to Yowei Shaw for initiating this locally! And thanks to Murali Balaji, who worked with Yowei to pair up mentors and mentees, and get this program off to a good start. As of year-end 2011, there were 10 pairs. Yowei hosted a potluck brunch for mentors and mentees at her house on Nov. 5.

–> Membership
AAJA-Philadelphia had 42 official members in 2011, doubling our membership from 21 people in 2010.
Please remember to renew your membership for 2012 and support our chapter!: https://www.aaja.org/membership/register/

–> Detroit Convention
AAJA-Philadelphia helped to send three members to the national convention in Detroit in August.
Yowei Shaw was the winner of our $1,000 John Curley Scholarship Fund.
The chapter also provided two $500 scholarships from its past funds to two runner-ups: Katarina Mayers and Phat Nguyen.
Another member, Cathy Li, now a freshman at Columbia University, was the winner of AAJA National’s prestigious Anna Chennault Scholarship, which paid her way to go to the convention.
As a whole, our chapter had a great showing at the convention: 10 of our members attended!

–> Chapter elections
We are happy to add three new members to the board for 2012-2013 from our fall elections this year: Yowei Shaw as secretary and Mentorship Program co-chair; Juliana Reyes as national advisory board representative; and Quan Nguyen as student outreach coordinator.
Three members remained in their positions: Julie Shaw as president, Michelle Lee as treasurer, and Michelle T. Shinseki as social media director.
Steve Bien-Aime resigned at the end of the year as national advisory board representative.

The board also decided to add two advisers: Murali Balaji, past chapter president, and Porus Cooper, assistant editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer’s South Jersey bureau.

–> Other events this year:
In addition to the “Interviewing Techniques” workshop, the chapter was active in the following events this year:
a) We had a brunch get-together at the chapter president’s house in February to kick off the year.

b) Our chapter had a mixer on July 16 with General Motors, a major sponsor of the AAJA national convention in Detroit, at GM’s auto show in Philadelphia. Our members had fun test-driving some cars!

c) We re-united with our colleagues or met new friends at a June 7 mixer with the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania at SangKee Noodle House in University City.

d) A few of us traveled to New York for a joint AAJA-New York / AAJA-Philadelphia pre-convention mixer on May 21 at the Motor City Bar. (Earlier in the day, there was a digital-training event at CNN’s NY office.)

e) We had three chapter meetings this year: April 23 at Su Xing House in Center City; Aug. 6, also at Su Xing, where we met up with AAJA National President Doris Truong; and on Sept. 24 at the Cube Café in Chinatown.

f) We created a video for AAJA-LA’s Trivial Bowl. Not much was used in the final version put together by the Los Angeles chapter, but, hey, we had fun making it! Thanks to Philly member Quan Nguyen for shooting, editing and producing the video on our end!

g) Our broadcast members continue to proudly represent us at c0mmunity functions.
Denise Nakano, weekend anchor/reporter for NBC10, continues to be a frequent speaker at events across the city. She also had the honor of emceeing the Japanese American Citizens League’s National Gala in D.C. on Sept. 29. Former emcees have included Joie Chen (formerly of CNN).
Also, Nydia Han, reporter /weekend anchor at 6 ABC, often emcees community events, including the 2011 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival banquet, for which our members bought a table.

g) We (well, only two of us!) participated in the April 10 Cherry Blossom 5K run in Fairmount Park.

We want to thank the following people, who provided financial resources
that helped our members with scholarship and other training resources:
– John Curley, former president, chairman and CEO of Gannett Co. Inc., who has taught at Penn State University, has been an invaluable supporter of our chapter.
– Michael Days, former editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, and now managing editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Happy holidays,
Julie Shaw, AAJA-Philly president
Steve Bien-Aime, national advisory board representative
Michelle Lee, treasurer
Michelle T. Shinseki, social media director