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​Ascend NorCal GROWTH
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Events Details

Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2021 & Wednesday, July 21, 2021

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

Venue: Zoom Meeting

Admission: Ascend Members : $75 l Non Members : $100 l Ascend Membership + Growth Program tickets

($200 value) : $125


Wednesday, July 14th

  • Working Session 1 (2 hours) 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM PT

  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM  Determine Routes – Peaks & Valleys Exercise to identify the roles and projects that align with your values and peak experiences

  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM  Evaluate Terrain – Begin to plot how you can move in your identified directions. Identify two ways.

Wednesday, July 21st

  • Working Session 2 (2 hours) 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM PT

  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Understand Aptitude – Layer in context and access to calibrate probability for progress

  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM How to map out your 6-week action plan



GROWTH program challenges you to zoom out and access your surrounding landscape for the various routes and terrain to navigate in order to identify the meaningful peaks to climb that will create a meaningful career journey.


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.


Two tracks:

  • Early career professionals with one to four years of experience (those who are just starting out trying to find their path)

  • Mid-career professionals with five to nine years of experience (those who strive to become a people leader or people leaders who want more.)

Get ready to network, engage during the two working sessions, have fun, and GROW.

Breakout Rooms


Mentor (Early Career)

John Chen
Senior Manager
The Siegfried Group

John is 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. Prior to The Siegfried Group, John was a manager at Grant Thornton for 10 years where he started his career and his primary focus was leading audit teams on global companies mainly concentrated in the technology and manufacturing sectors. He was also involved in various employee engagement-focused roles within their Pan-Asian Pacific and Transplants Employee Resource Groups in promoting various workplace initiatives to advocate support for allies and raise awareness for these groups.


Mentor (Early Career)

Nicola McILwrick
IBM Alliance Manager
Deloitte & Touche LLP

Nicola is an Alliance Manager at Deloitte and is responsible for the IBM cyber / security risk relationship. Prior to this she worked in mergers & acquisitions, primarily advising technology companies. Her community impact work includes being the head of Deloitte’s Women’s Network (Bay Area), an initiative focused on the growth and development of women leaders, a programming lead with Ascend’s NorCal chapter and National office, and a panelist on numerous anti-Asian violence and allyship events.


Mentor (Mid-Career)

Jordan Kang
Sr. Strategic Project Manager - Global Design and Policy
The Clorox Company

Jordan Kang is currently a 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 has previously been involved in various non-profits that provide services to the Korean American community.  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.


Mentor (Mid-Career)

Kai Lai
Senior Director Accounting

Kai currently leads the Corporate Accounting (including EU) and Revenue Accounting functions at Intuitive.  Intuitive Surgical is a global technology leader ($4B revenue) in minimally invasive care and the pioneer of robotic-assisted surgery. Kai joined Intuitive in 2014 as the Sr. Manager, SEC Reporting and Technical Accounting. Prior to Intuitive, Kai was with KPMG from 2006 to 2014, most recently as a Sr. Manager in the audit practice with public clients in the hardware/semiconductor industry.



Roberta Chew
Sr. Manager, COE Leader – Colleagues for Life, Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory
Deloitte & Touche LLP

Roberta leads Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory’s Colleagues for Life Center of Excellence. The mission of the COE is to elevate the employee experience through career development programs that invest in our employees’ success throughout the employee lifecycle. Through on-boarding, performance management, promotions and various individual decision points, the COE’s programs champion sustainable business growth and career flow. Roberta is particularly passionate about designing these programs and helping people advocate for their development and success in the most productive way possible. She has spent the last 16 years with Deloitte in various employee engagement-focused roles, with prior experience as Executive Director of a non-profit organization dedicated to the AAPI technology business network.

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