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Asian American Advisory Group

The purpose of the Advisory Group is to ensure that the County Executive is well informed of and able to act effectively to respond to the needs and concerns of Asian Americans living and/or working in Montgomery County. 

asian american advisory group members

Advisory Group Members
Advisory Group Documents
Staff Liaison



Asian American Advisory Group - Member List 2010

Tufail Ahmad
John Cabrera
Man Cho
George Dang
Kamala Edwards
Marita Etcubanez
Helen (Xiaohui) He
Neil Huang
Deepa Iyer
Rosemary Fernandes
Raj Khera (Co-Chair)
Jai Kundu
Rosetta Lai
Wonro Lee (Co-Chair)
Martin Ma
Annie Nguyen
Diane Nguyen-Vu
Chung K. Pak
Asoka Ranaweera
Stan Tsai
Sovan Tun
John Young
Xiaohui Sharon Yu
Jian Zhou 


Tufail Ahmad
Montgomery County Muslim Council
Potomoc, MD

Tufail AhmadTufail Ahmad was born in Allahabad, India. He received his Master in Commerce degree from Allahabad University in 1958 and migrated to Pakistan later the same year to become a Professor in a college in Karachi. In 1961, he was selected for the Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service where he served until 1973. From 1968 to 1971, he was honored to represent the Pakistan audit team at the United Nations in New York. In 1973, he migrated to the USA where he joined a shipping company and worked there until 1978. In 1979, he founded his own international shipping and trading company. He retired from the daily operations of the company in 2000.

Mr. Ahmad serves a founding Board Member of the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation, which is actively engaged in charitable and social work in the County. He also serves as an Advisor to the Montgomery County Muslim Council, which is focused on getting American Muslims involved in the political process at the National, State, and County levels. Mr. Ahmad is also a Board Member of the Asian Advisory Council of Montgomery County.

Mr. Ahmad is involved in enhancing the dialogue among different ethnic and religious communities within the County. He has successfully worked to establish an effective dialogue between the Muslin and Jewish communities as a part of his effort to bring the communities together. Mr. Ahmad is involved with the Democratic Party in Montgomery County and served as Chair of the District 15 Caucus, and has also served as Precinct Chair. In 2004, he received the Dean Peacock Award for Precinct Official of the year.


John Cabrera
Filipino American Chamber of Commerce, Greater DC Area
Germantown, MD


Man Cho
CAPAD
Potomoc, MD


George Dang
Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce
Silver Spring, MD

George DangGeorge Dang, an ethnic Chinese from Vietnam, is a prominent Asian-American entrepreneur and community leader in the Washington Metro Area. George retired after 25 years with AXA Group as an Executive Vice President. Later he and a team of financial professionals formed the company Acacia Financial Advisors, LLC to provide financial services in the areas of investment, insurance, and retirement of which he is the President and CEO. He also is a partner with Meiwah International, an international consulting company promoting trade between US and Asia. George is on the Maryland Governor's Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, the Advisory Board of the Maryland State Attorney General, and the Comptroller's Business Council.

George has made many contributions to non-profit organizations in the Washington area: he is co-founder and Board member of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce and the President of APA Chamber of Commerce Foundation, was Chair of The New Comers Service Center Board, and is a member of the Montgomery College Foundation Board.  George is also a Leadership Montgomery graduate.  Prior to his financial career, George opened several successful restaurants, and was involved with real estate development. George speaks Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese, and Vietnamese, and is involved with a very diverse Asian-American community. He lives in Silver Spring with his wife, Synthia, who is a real estate broker and an adjunct professor at UMBC.


Kamala Edwards
Indian American Leadership Council
Silver Spring, MD


Marita Etcubanez
APA Legal Resource Center
Silver Spring, MD


Helen (Xiaohui) He
Coordination Council of Chinese American Associations
Gaithersburg, MD


Neil Huang
A&C Multimedia
Rockville, MD


Deepa Iyer
South Asian Americans Leading Together
Takoma Park, MD


Rosemary Fernandes
Alumni Association of Indian Institutes of Technology
Elkridge, MD

Rosemary FernandesRosemary Fernandes, President of Phoenix Rose LLC, and previously Vice-President of Ferntech, Inc has over twenty years of multinational experience encompassing years of progressive management, software engineering, business development, marketing, sales and entrepreneurial experience in preventive healthcare, information technology, telecommunications, civil engineering, utilities and mapping industries. She has been instrumental in achieving various technological firsts by nurturing a highly dedicated team giving it a technical edge that set the standards in global software development for the company. She has worked on projects for various government departments in USA, India, Brunei and Malaysia. She has utilized Internet and web technology to improve almost every aspect of business. She is an accomplished engineer and software professional having sourced, captured, developed and executed projects in USA, Europe, Malaysia, India, Brunei, Thailand and South America.

Born in Kerala, India, Ms. Fernandes completed two masters' degrees, one in Computer Science and the other in Structural Engineering since completing a B.Tech in Civil Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and her schooling at the Good Shepherd Convent in Madras. She has also completed several courses at George Washington University in Information Retrieval and Artificial Intelligence.

Ms. Fernandes has volunteered her time to various non-profit organizations including IIT Team for ITI as the outreach chair, PaniIIT2005 conference Outreach Chair, ASEIO, IITMAANA, IITMAA, IACA, MOM, and CNI.


Raj Khera (Co-Chair)
Universities at Shady Grove Board of Directors
Rockville, MD

Raj Khera is a co-founder of MailerMailer, an award-winning email marketing service to easily create, send and track email newsletters and marketing campaigns. The company serves thousands of customers worldwide, including many politicians, non-profits, businesses and government agencies.

Prior to MailerMailer, he co-founded GovCon in 1995, which he and his partners helped grow to be the largest business-to-government web portal, before selling it in 1999 to a publicly trade company. His company also runs MoreBusiness.com, a portal for small business owners, which is regularly lauded as one of the best web sites for entrepreneurs. Before Mr. Khera entered the entrepreneurial world, he worked as a semiconductor electronics engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology for nearly nine years.

Mr. Khera holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Visitors for the University of Maryland College of Computer, Math and Physical Sciences.


Jai Kundu
Potomoc, MD


Rosetta Lai
Asian American LEAD
Washington, DC


Wonro Lee (Co-Chair)
Korean American Chamber of Commerce
Gaithersburg, MD

Wonro LeeWonro Lee is the President & CEO of JG Merchant Sales & Services and JG Telecommunications, Inc. JG Merchant Sales & Services is one of the largest ATM distributing companies in the nation, and has been a leader in EFT distribution for the past ten years. JG Merchant Sales & Services' footprint covers the Eastern Region of the United States. JG Merchant Sales & Services is also in all Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration branches and in the Maryland Transit Administration Metro locations in Baltimore. JG Telecommunications, Inc. provides fiber optic access and LAN design for the state & federal government and medium to large communities. Wonro Lee serves a board member of the Korean-American Chamber of Commerce, USA, and on the board of the Korean American Foundation - Maryland branch, which promotes Korea and American cultural diversity and trade. He is also serving as the current president of the Foundation for Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce and as a board member of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce.


Martin Ma
Governor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs
Rockville, MD

Dr. Martin Ma is a Dynamic Executive with a rare combination of Executive Management, academics, and operational experience in several technology areas. He currently is President & CEO of InfoTech & Telecom Engineering Institute (ITTECOM), inc. Prior to operating ITTECOM, he was Principal Engineer I and project Chief Scientist at Hughes Network System from 2000-2003 and one of key technical leaders of SpaceWay project. He was Senior Principal Engineer (Multiple Disciplines) at Raytheon and led Raytheon team to participate NASA NPOSES Project and NASA EOS Project from 1997 - 2000. Before joining Raytheon, Dr. Ma served as Chief Scientist at CROPCAST of Earth Satellite Corporation from 1993 to 1996.

Dr. Ma has been being a Board Director and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Information Technology at University of Northern Virginia since 1998. He also is Visiting Professor at Peking University, Northwest University and Shaanxi Normal University since 1992.

A state resident for more than 20 years, Martin received his Master degree from the University of Northern Iowa, Ph.Ds from Denver University and University of Oklahoma.


Annie NguyenAnnie Nguyen
Boat People SOS (BPSOS)
Rockville, MD

Since March 2008, Ms. Annie Nguyen has served as Maryland Branch Manager for Boat People SOS (BPSOS), a national community-based non-profit serving the needs of Vietnamese Americans.  She has more than ten years of experience in direct services, fundraising, and program management for various local, national, and international nonprofits including the Peace Corps, Americorps, the National 4-H Council, and the National Forest Foundation.

In her current position, Ms. Nguyen oversees the mission and direction of the Maryland office and has spearheaded community outreach efforts. She has helped secure local partnerships and funding that have developed the Maryland's office ESL and youth development programs while furthering the office's current work in financial literacy and business development, support services for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, and health awareness and cancer prevention.

Ms. Nguyen graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana and earned her bachelor's in Political Communication from the George Washington University. Her graduate thesis was a travel narrative that recounted her year as a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam in 2001.


Diane Nguyen-VuDiane Nguyen-Vu
Maryland Vietnamese Mutual Association
Montgomery Village, MD

Diane Vu is the Executive Director at the Maryland Vietnamese Mutual Association (MVMA), a nonprofit that provides direct services to Vietnamese Americans.  Diane, a former Americorps Dan Than Fellow, holds a B.A in psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and is also an accredited representative through the Board of Immigration Appeals, entitled to legally represent individuals in immigration matters.  Her goals are to advocate for minority and immigrant communities, and to strengthen the nonprofit sector through collaborative efforts.  Diane also serves as a member of the Montgomery County Commission on Aging and on the steering committee of Nonprofit Montgomery!


Chung K. Pak
Community Activist and Liaison
Gaithersburg, MD


Asoka Ranaweera
Sri Lankan Community of Greater WDC
Derwood, MD

Mr. Asoka Ranaweera is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Grid2Grid Networks Powered by People. Grid2Grid provides customized market entry and project development solutions for clients in emerging markets with a focus on Africa. Asoka leads all client initiatives for Grid2Grid providing strategic counsel and in person representation. He worked as head of research and analysis for a company that provided political-risk advice to the board of Lucent Technologies. Asoka was also the head of business research and development for a global investment group that worked in numerous countries including China, Brazil, Russia and Turkey. He has more than ten years of experience in developing complex international investment projects. His practical business experience is augmented by significant public affairs and public relations experience in Washington, DC, where he was responsible for promoting bilateral relations between the US and a number of countries.

Asoka holds a bachelor's degree in Development Economics (University of East Anglia, UK), a Masters degree in International Relations (University of East Anglia, UK) and a Masters in Investment and Trade (George Mason University, USA).


Stan Tsai
OCA-DC
Rockville, MD


Sovan TunSovan Tun
Cambodian Buddhist Society
Silver Spring, MD

Dr. Sovan Tun is presently working at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal agency in charge of investigating discrimination in employment. Previously, he has worked at the U.S. Department of Treasury, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, at the American Chemical Society, and at the University of Maryland. Before he left Cambodia, he was a member of the National Economic Advisory Council of President Lon Nol of Cambodia. Dr. Sovan Tun received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Tennessee. In Cambodia, he received his Licence-en-Droit (Law degree) from the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences in Phnom Penh.

As a volunteer, Dr. Sovan Tun is President of the Cambodian Buddhist Society, Inc. at a Temple in Silver Spring, Maryland. He teaches Buddhism and chanting to the Cambodian youth in the Temple's Sunday School. He is Advisor to the International Buddhist Committee of Washington DC area. He is also Vice President of the Washington DC Buddhist Network. Dr. Tun is active in working with leaders of other religious faiths. He is a member and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the InterFaith Conference (IFC) of metropolitan Washington. He is a member of the Pastoral Care of Washington Adventist Hospital in Montgomery County. Recently, he joined the Board of Global Peace Services USA.


John YouongJohn Young
Montgomery County Medical Society
Potomac, MD

John Young, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., a Montgomery County physician and businessman for more than 25 years, is a member of the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents. He was nominated by Governor Martin O'Malley and confirmed by the Maryland State Senate.

Young is also president of the Montgomery County Medical Society and chair of the board of directors of the Asian Pacific American (APA) Chamber of Commerce, Inc. He also serves as an APA advisor to Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and is a member of the board of visitors for the University of Maryland College of Chemical and Life Sciences.

A state resident for more than 40 years, Young received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and earned his M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He completed his medical residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

YYoung's leadership activities have included a term on the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (June 2007-June 2009). Since 1995, he has been a delegate for the Medical and Chirurgical Society of Maryland.


Xiaohui Sharon YuXiaohui Sharon Yu
Yu & Associates
Rockville, MD

Xiaohui Sharon Yu, graduate of New York University School of Law and East China University of Politics and Law, is an international lawyer qualified in both U.S. and China. Ms. Yu served at the People's Bank of China, White & Case, and Herbert Smith in China, the U.S., and the U.K. before establishing her own law firm, Yu & Associates, which specializes in international business transaction and immigration. Ms. Yu's area of practice includes foreign direct investment, cross-border M&A work, private offering of securities, international trade, customs, and technology transfer, as well as business immigration. Ms. Yu has represented many international companies, small startup companies, and individual clients in the corporate and immigration fields. Her working languages are Chinese and English. She has published several legal articles and book chapters, including the "International Law Dictionary". Ms. Yu has been invited to deliver speeches at international conferences and has also been interviewed by both American and Chinese television networks.


Jian Zhou
Hope Chinese School
Rockville, MD

 


Asian Advisory Group Documents

  • Purpose and Tasks of the Asian and Pacific American Advisory Group (DOC)
  • APAAG Recommendations to the County Executive - Fiscal Year 2011 (DOC)
  • Meeting Summary of the Asian Advisory Group Retreat (DOC)