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Ascend NorCal 2022 GROWTH

Registration for GROWTH program closes on June 1.



Working with a coaching facilitator and mentors over two working sessions, you will be guided through various exercises to draw out the key elements to consider when plotting and prioritizing your career moves.

Event Details




Date: Wednesday, June 8 & June 22, 2022

Time: 11:00AM - 1:00PM PT

Venue: Zoom Meeting

Admission: Ascend members: $75  I  Non-members: $100

                Ascend membership + Growth program tickets ($200 value): $125

Audience:  Driven professionals who are striving to take their careers to the next level.



Mitchell Buyson

Relationship Associate Director – West Region
The Siegfried Group LLP

Canadian-born Mitchell Buyson had his sights set on becoming a doctor throughout all of grade school. It was only until his freshman year college when he realized it was not his true calling. Fortunately, the relationships in his life inspired him to get into the business world, which he then completed his Bachelors of Commerce in Accounting (Co-op) with a Minor in Psychology. Mitchell launched his career at Deloitte and earned his Canadian CPA. He moved to the US in 2017, joining The Siegfried Group LLP, where he has helped clients through divestitures, IPO readiness, and other major transactions. Mitchell currently serves as a Relationship Associate Director and Leadership Advisor, and is actively involved with fostering connection and community as a Board Member for the Ascend NorCal Chapter.

Executive Mentors


Victor Cho

Tech CEO/Board Member/Advisor
Evite, ima and Modo Payments

A passionate consumer advocate, Cho was most recently the CEO at Evite where he led the company back from the brink of COVID19 extinction and returned it to growth, financial health, and a successful corporate extraction. Before that Cho was the CEO during a multi-year turnaround effort at Kodak Gallery (formerly He served as the Vice President and leader of Intuit’s web channel, taking the business from $300 million to $1.3 billion+. Cho also spent seven years at Microsoft, where he launched some of the company's earliest Internet commerce and SaaS initiatives.


Cho has received numerous awards for his work, including being named the Internet Person of the Year by the Internet Marketing Association and receiving an Italian Knighthood from the Royal House of Savoy for his philanthropic efforts--which have raised nearly $30M for charities and non-profits. He earned a BS from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.


Cho currently serves on the boards of Evite and Modo Payments, as well as the advisory boards of the Internet Marketing Association and Wharton Customer Analytics. 

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Dr. Elizabeth Xu

Chairman of the Board and CEO
A2C Leadership Group


Elizabeth is a public company board member and the CEO of A2C Academy.  She became a C-level executive in 2005 at a public company and served in two CTO positions of multi-billion revenue companies: CP Group and BMC Software. Dr. Xu has taught at Stanford University for 6 years about leadership. She is an author, speaker, and coach helping people get into the c-suite. 
Elizabeth received the 2020 US TOP 50 Diversity Leader award, the 2019 Presidential Award, the  2017 WITI Hall of Fame Award, the  Women of Influence in Silicon Valley in 2013, and 10+ other prestigious awards. She is a trailblazer, leading a creative and proven path to the top.
Elizabeth earned an M.S. and B.S. degree from Peking University and a Ph.D. and a Master’s Degree from the University of Nevada, She is a Harvard certified board member and attended the Stanford Executive Program.

Early Career Mentors


John Chen

Senior Manager, Revenue Accounting
Guardant Health

John is the Senior Manager - Revenue Accounting, at Guardant Health, a company dedicated to helping patients at all stages of cancer live longer and healthier, through the power of blood tests and the data they unlock. Prior to Guardant Health, he was a senior manager at The Siegfried Group serving as a Professional Resource for clients and is also on their Accounting Profession Membership Organizations Advisory Committee engaging with various accounting bodies and the community in general. He has been involved in various employee engagement-focused roles within AAPI resource groups and transplants groups throughout his career in promoting various workplace initiatives to advocate support for allies and raise awareness for these groups.


Judy To

Star Therapeutics, Inc.

Judy To is the controller with Star Therapeutics, Inc, a start up biotech company located in South San Francisco. Star Therapeutics focuses on developing life-changing therapies for as many rare diseases as possible for the millions of patients in urgent need.


Judy was previously a senior manager at EY in the audit practice for over 13 years, focused on the emerging growth market particularly in the technology and biotech industries. She is a licensed CPA in California and Michigan and a member of the AICPA. She graduated with a BS in Accounting from Santa Clara University.


Judy was a leader of the EY Pan-Asian Professional Network (PAPN) and the EY Professional Women’s Network (PWN). She was also a member of the Americas PAPN Steering Committee as a regional representative and served as a committee member of the EY Americas inclusion council.


Judy is from Hong Kong and moved to the U.S. to attend college. She is fluent in English and Chinese.

Mid-Career Mentors

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Jordan Kang

Sr. Strategic Project Manager
The Clorox Company

Jordan Kang is a Sr. Strategic Project Manager with the Clorox Company.  He has spent the previous 20+ years in the Consumer Foods and Biotech Industries in various Operational Management and Process Excellence management roles.  He is also a Board member for Ascend and is involved in various non-profits that provide services to the Korean American and adoptee communities.  He attended Emory University for undergrad and the University of South Florida for grad school.  He resides in San Francisco with his wife and four children.


John Wai

Senior Director
The Siegfried Group LLP

John is an active California CPA and MBA with over 20 years of progressive high-profile experience as a financial and accounting leader with diverse experience in public accounting, private industry, and consulting. He is an alumnus of PwC and currently serves as a Senior Director of The Siegfried Group.

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