Ascend November Inspiring Across Generations
Empowering Leadership: Connect - Inspire - Ascend
Lisa Akahoshi is a highly accomplished professional with a wealth of experience in leadership roles at Fortune 50 companies. With over 20 years of expertise in corporate strategy, risk management, retail banking, finance, operations, continuous improvement (Lean Six Sigma), business development, brand/marketing, product, and payments, Lisa has demonstrated her versatility and proficiency across various domains.
Currently a Senior Director at Visa, Lisa manages relationships with the largest merchants in the Telco Industry. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Faster Payments Council, an industry-led member organization dedicated to advancing faster payment adoption in the United States. Prior to her tenure at Visa, Lisa led RTP product strategy at The Clearing House where she played a pivotal role in shaping the organization’s strategy and roadmap. Her career also includes diverse roles at Bank of America and Verizon driving innovation and delivering results in dynamic and competitive industries.
Lisa holds a Master’s Degree from The University of California, Irvine. Her life passions include travel, concerts, spending time with friends, family, and her dog, and finding fun and unique restaurants and cafes.
Director, Brand Creative / Marketing
Lloyd embarked on an inspiring journey, starting as an Illustrator crafting key art for Disney and Warner Brothers animated films. This ignited his passion for visual storytelling. Transitioning into graphic and package design, his creative talents evolved. Now a seasoned Creative Director and Brand Strategist, Lloyd's dynamic work spans renowned brands like Mattel, Disney, Power Rangers, Hot Wheels, and Razor USA, where he's orchestrated unforgettable campaigns. Passionate about helping companies elevate their brands, Lloyd excels at crafting creative narratives.
As a mentor at Otis College of Art and Design and Artisan Social Club, he embraces the mission of empowering artists and designers from diverse backgrounds. Lloyd fosters a supportive community valuing creativity, growth, and well-being. His motto, "Elevating Design, Inspiring Purpose," defines his leadership style. With a career founded on passion and creativity, Lloyd is committed to leaving a lasting impact, one innovative idea at a time.
Arlene has practiced public accounting since 1993 and is a member of the firm’s Technology, Communications, and Life Sciences Practice. Arlene primarily works with public and private life sciences companies in the computer hardware, software as a service, pharmaceutical drug discovery, medical devices, and diagnostics areas. She consults clients in the application and implementation of new accounting policies and technical guidance in compliance with SEC, SOX 404, PCAOB and US GAAP requirements, and has led numerous initial and subsequent public offerings.
Before joining Moss Adams, Arlene spent 14 years with a Big Four firm, including two years in Singapore.
Arlene is the Northern California regional executive sponsor for the firm’s Asian business resource group, and the recipient of the firm’s 2023 Inclusion & Diversity Leadership Award.
Arlene is on the Board of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley and serves as the not-for-profit organization’s treasurer. She was honored as one of 100 Women of Influence 2022 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Global Program Manager - Employee Referrals, Talent Management, and Diversity Recruiting Strategy
Tina Cheung (she/her) is a first-generation college graduate and professional from an immigrant family in the SF Bay Area. She has worked at the intersection of community development, affordable housing, social impact, DEI, and technology.
Before tech and corporate life, Tina spent many years as a community organizer and manager of housing and leadership development programs from conception through delivery serving low-income communities in San Francisco and built diverse coalitions to advocate for equitable access to social safety net programs, economic and social opportunities, and civic engagement for marginalized, grassroots communities while partnering closely with local leaders in government, the community, and nonprofits.
Tina is passionate about paying it forward, leveling the playing field, building community, addressing systemic inequities, and work that leads to a more just, inclusive, and equitable workplace and world. She loves yoga, volunteering, continuous learning, traveling, cooking, and good coffee.
Aj is a Vice President at Visa and has ownership of super regional banks in the US. Before taking on the current responsibility, Aj was the Vice President in Visa Consulting & Analytics organization and led advisory relationship with some of the top banks in the US. He has supported over 30 banks with growth strategy, product innovation and analytics capabilities. Previously, AJ was at Accenture Strategy, where he focused on helping clients in the B2B space with their analytics strategy. Prior to that, AJ was at Capital One in the Enterprise Digital team and led several key initiatives on digital acquisition, customer engagement and Artificial Intelligence. AJ holds an MBA, with highest honors, from Duke University. AJ also has a M.S. in IE-Operations Research from Penn State University. With over 20 years of diverse experience in analytics, AJ has represented Visa at various industry conferences (American Bankers Association, AI & Big Data Expo, Data Innovation Summit). Currently, he also serves as an instructor for Business Analysis at University of California, Berkeley extension program.
Vice President and CISO
Vasu is a people-first leader and is currently Vice President and CISO at Iterable leading both the Security and Information Technology organizations. Before Iterable, led risk management and compliance as Sr.Director, Information Security, and GRC Leader, at Palo Alto Networks.
Over 15 years of experience in security, risk management, and information technology. BS in Mathematics from San Jose State University
Fun Fact: I have been making my own wine since 2018.
MPH, Guest Speaker, MPH Epidemiology
Aaditi Kumbhar is a recent MPH graduate from New York University with a concentration in Epidemiology. She is interested in addressing health care disparities in mental health, particularly around the impact stigma and culture play in the role of accessible healthcare. Aaditi is interested in pursuing psychiatric epidemiology and looks forward to using her degree to address public health burden in marginalized communities.
Speak In Flow, LLC
Melinda Lee is a Presentation Skills Expert, Speaking Coach, and nationally renowned Motivational Speaker. She holds an M.A. in Organizational Psychology and is an Insights Practitioner, Certified Professional in Talent Development, as well as Certified in Conflict Resolution. For over a decade, Melinda has researched and studied the state of "flow" and used it as a proven technique to help corporate leaders and business owners amplify their voices, access flow, and present their mission in a more powerful way to achieve results.
She has been the Tedx Berkeley Speaker Coach and worked with thousands of executives and teams from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Caltrans, BART, Army Corp of Engineers, and more. Currently, she resides in San Francisco, California, and is dedicated to breaking the ancestral lineage of silence.
Executive Director, COO and Co-Founder
Jeremy is the Executive Director, COO, and Co-Founder of Gold House, the leading cultural ecosystem that unites, invests in, and champions Asian Pacific creators and companies. At Gold House, Jeremy oversees all narrative change initiatives, including partnerships with the world’s biggest entertainment, media, and research companies. He’s been featured across cultural events and media – such as the Golden Globe Awards, TIME, and the Today Show – and helped lead Gold House to receive recognition from the White House to the Shorty Awards to a Fast Company Brand that Matters. Prior to Gold House, Jeremy was a counsel at O'Melveny & Myers working on high-stakes entertainment litigation, including the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial and AT&T and Time Warner merger trial. He was born and raised in Southern California and went to college and law school at Harvard.
Head of Growth
Angel Wang is the Head of Growth at Anise Health, a culturally-responsive mental health platform for the Asian community, where she leads partnerships and community engagement. Prior to Anise Health, Angel worked in Tech Trust & Safety, including on Meta's Elections Integrity Team, Twitter's Counsel Org, TikTok's Integrity Institute, and the UNDP's Chief Digital Office. She has her MBA from Harvard Business School and BA from Columbia University. She is passionate about advocating for underrepresented groups, and is particularly focused on empowering individuals of Asian descent.
Brian has practiced public accounting since 2010. He provides tax and consulting services related to ASC 740; income tax compliance; research and development tax credits; international tax planning; state and local tax planning; tax accounting methods; M&A transactions, and reorganizations.
Brian has spent most of his career working with companies ranging from venture-backed start-ups to large multinational corporations. He serves a wide range of public and private clients in various industries, including technology, internet, software-as-a-service, life sciences, and medical devices.
Brian works closely with his clients so that he can understand the business issues they face and proactively address their needs. Prior to joining Moss Adams, he spent six years with a Big Four firm and two years in the corporate tax department of an internet technology company headquartered in San Francisco.
Brian co-founded the Asian Business Resource Group at Moss Adams and currently serves as the firm’s National Asian BRG learning leader. Brian is on the accounting advisory board at his alma mater, San Francisco State University.
Global Head of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs
Vivian Young is the global head of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs for JPMorgan Chase, focused on developing a global, unified strategy to advance equity and inclusion for the Asian and Pacific Islander community. Key focus areas include driving opportunity and progress through cultural understanding and collaboration; raising awareness about cultural identity and challenges faced by underserved individuals and communities; supporting communities globally through public advocacy, economic inclusion and community development.
Vivian Joined JPMorgan in 2012 leading strategic initiatives in the Private Bank. She was responsible for product management, development and expansion of Trusts & Estates services, donor advised fund, and financial planning tools. She most recently was global head of Bank Product Marketing, developing strategies to deepen client relationships and drive business growth. Working in partnership with Product leadership in banking, annuities, trusts and estates, and cyber and fraud, Vivian lead content development and implementation of strategic marketing programs.