2022 OCA National Convention Throwback

OCA Las Vegas National convention - Building our community's heroes

Since 1973, the OCA National Convention has become a yearly gathering of OCA members from across the country, which includes intensive advocacy training for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). The OCA National Convention’s goal is to bring light to the social, political, and economic issues that affect AAPIs and devise plans to strengthen the community. 

In collaboration with the OCA Las Vegas chapter and OCA National team, the 49th convention was held in the Las Vegas community and was a 3-day event consisting of workshops and community events. 

Building A Community of Heroes

With the OCA National Convention returning to in-person attendance after the pandemic restriction was lifted, the OCA Las Vegas and OCA National team focused on a theme to highlight the achievements and advocacy of various individuals building AAPI representation in their own industries. 

Workshops for the convention focused on providing inspiration and knowledge needed for attendees to become a hero in their own communities. 

Workshop Topics

The OCA Las Vegas chapter focused on specific topics tied to the convention theme “Building A Community of Heroes” and focused on bringing various Asian American and Pacific Islander speakers from the Las Vegas community to talk about how Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have changed over the years.

AAPI Heroes from the Table To Worldwide

Many Asian cuisines have become mainstream and culturally accepted in America. We travel back in time as we discuss an age when Asian American cuisine first started and the road to cultural acceptance in America. This workshop’s main speaker was led by world renowned chef and big supporter of various OCA chapters, Chef Martin Yan. 

The workshop was moderated by Dr. Mark Padoongpatt from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). He serves as the Associate Professor of Asian American Studies and Director of Asian and Asian American Studies Program. 

Sparking Creativity and Risks

The creative industry for AAPI is often a challenging and “risky” journey. Attendees heard from industry professionals that have pioneered into creative careers, and challenged the status quo of achieving success.

This workshop was led by a panel of industry experts listed below and moderated by Jeremy Chen, reporter of KTNV Channel 13 Action News.

  • Daniel Luu, Founder and CEO of Akrew
  • Victoria Caña, Initiative Lead Producer – R&D at Riot Games
  • Ted Hase, Senior Vice President of Game Development, Light & Wonder

Quest to Greatness

Choosing a career is often influenced by the “ideal” choices your family and culture propose. This workshop held a panel of Asian American and Pacific Islander industry professionals who have found success in “unconventional” careers. Their stories provide a look beyond the stereotypical careers associated with Asian Americans.

This workshop was led by Kris Lingle, VP of Marketing at EG Presents and moderated by Jane Cha-Lee, SVP, Talent & Development at Nielsen. 

AAPI Heroes in Action

This workshop challenged attendees with the question – What does it mean to be a hero in your community? Industry professionals in the workshop discussed the importance of not just volunteering your time, but tackling the biggest challenges to our AAPI community wich is representation, policy, and data desegregation.

This workshop was a panel led by Minja Yan (Associate at Millenium Commercial Properties), Courtnhi Vo (Senior Manager of Civic Engagement at Asian Community Development Council), and moderated by Sou Thammavongsa (Business Office Manager at United Surgical Partners International, Inc)

AAPI Heroes From Small Beginnings

#StopAsianHate has made national headlines through traditional media, but that’s the only time you may have seen media exposure about the AAPI community. Industry media leaders discussed about the changes with AAPI Representation in the United States and how utilizing non-traditional media platforms (i.e. Tiktok, Instagram, Podcasts, etc.) have opened opportunities to connect and be informed about the AAPI community outside of mainstream media. 

This workshop was a panel of Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders in the media industry that consisted of the following individuals. 

  • Esther Lee, Founder of Asian Founded
  • Benny Luo, Founder & CEO of NextShark
  • Bryan Pham, Founder & CEO of Asian Hustle Network
  • Moderator: Patranya Bhoolsuwan, Owner & Founder of Patranya Media LLC

This workshop had a surprise guest, Chris Pang  (Actor from Crazy Rich Asians).

Attending OCA National Convention

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national membership-driven organization of community advocates dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the United States.

To fulfill its mission, OCA has adopted the following goals:

  • Advocate for social justice, equal opportunity, and fair treatment;
  • Promote civic participation, education and leadership;
  • Advance coalitions and community building; and
  • Foster cultural heritage

Since 1996, OCA Las Vegas has been focused on community building in the Las Vegas Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Become an OCA member by purchasing your membership. Annual membership pricing starts as low as $10/year.