Speakers

Each year we gather some of the world's top thinkers and doers for a one-day exploration into the new innovations to come. The Imagine Talks event was started in 2014 and focuses on women empowerment, entrepreneurship, and social impact. The success of Imagine Talks is based on bringing together some of the world's most amazing speakers spanning many different fields of expertise converging into unique connections, ideas, and opportunities - limited only by imagination.

Jim Kwik

Author, Limitless

Jim Kwik is the founder of Kwik Learning and a widely recognized world expert in speed-reading, memory improvement, brain performance, and accelerated learning. For two decades, he has served as the mental coach to students, seniors, entrepreneurs, and educators, and as advisor to many of the world’s leading CEOs and celebrities. Jim is the Host of the podcast Kwik Brain which has over 2 million downloads and is consistently a Top 10 Podcast in the world in the Education category.

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Tom Chi

Investor and Inventor

Tom Chi has worked in a wide range of roles from astrophysical researcher to Fortune 500 consultant to corporate executive developing new hardware/software products and services. He has pioneered and practiced a unique approach to rapid prototyping, visioning, and leadership that can jumpstart innovative new ideas as well as move large organizations at unprecedented speeds. These approaches have benefitted over a dozen industry-leading companies. He most recently served as head of product experience at Google X developing technology such as Google Glass and Google's self-driving cars.

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Cynthia Gouw

Actor and Journalist

Cynthia Gouw is a modern-day polymath: an Emmy-award winning journalist, top model, actress, spokesperson, lawyer, entrepreneur, community activist, and rising social media star. from starring in Star Trek to walking the Paris and New York catwalks to reporting from around the globe, Cynthia's life is one of perseverance and breaking boundaries.  In her deeply personal talk, Cynthia reveals how she turned rejection into reinvention and ultimately, found her own unique voice.

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Linda Park

Actor and Activist

Linda Park was born in Seoul, South Korea. Immediately after graduating Boston University's BFA Acting program she booked her first movie role in Jurassic Park III alongside Laura Dern and then landed her first series regular role on Star Trek Enterprise shortly after . She continued on to series regular roles on Raines, Women's Murder Club and Starz' Crash. She is currently recurring on Amazon's Bosch and Apple TV's For All Mankind (2020). 

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Tim Hwang

Founder, FiscalNote

Tim Hwang is the founder and CEO of FiscalNote, a global technology and media company focused on delivering timely and relevant policy information in a complex and evolving world. FiscalNote’s core technology sustains products and services that power more than 4,000 clients -- from small nonprofits to government agencies to large corporations (including half of the Fortune 100) -- with software tools, AI-driven insights, comprehensive domestic and international data sets, as well human-authored news and analysis. 

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Alicia Zhou

Chief Science Officer, Color

Dr. Zhou leads Color’s research and scientific affairs team. She is responsible for leading research collaborations with academic institutions, biopharmaceutical companies, and large population initiatives. She is also responsible for managing a team that initiates, executes, and publishes peer-reviewed manuscripts and posters by Color’s scientists and engineers. In addition, Dr. Zhou is an active part of Color’s market development team for population genomics and population research. Dr. Zhou received her Ph.D. at Harvard and performed her postdoctoral work at UCSF with an emphasis on cancer genetics.

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Jennifer Tzeng

Violinist and Instructor

Jennifer Tzeng is owner of Tzeng Violin Studio located in Palo Alto. She began her private violin studies at age five and was the youngest member of the Strolling Strings, a performance group by age six.  Her previous violin instructors include Anne Crowden, Dan Kobialka, Zak Grafilo, James Greening-Valenzuela, and Leon Igudesman. Jennifer has had extensive performing experiences in orchestras, beginning her orchestral training at age of seven, being the youngest member of the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra.

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Eric Basu

Sentek Global, Founder & CEO

Eric Basu is the CEO of Sentek Global. He’s a former U.S. Navy SEAL Commander who graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and holds an MBA from Anderson Graduate School of Management (UCLA). He launched Sentek Global out of his home in 2001 with the goal of founding a firm committed to making a significant and long-standing positive difference for it's clients. He was a finalist for Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year and San Diego Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO.

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Benny Luo

Founder, NextShark

Benny Luo is an internet marketer and the Founder of web publications NextShark.com, NewMediaRockstars.com, and TheOtherAsians.com. In 2013, Luo built NextShark, an online publication targeting Asian Youth, with just $3,000 of his own money. Four years later, the site has a full-time staff of 12 and brings in nearly three million monthly unique visitors. His expertise lies in social media marketing & strategy, search engine marketing and pay-per-click advertising. 

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Minita Gandhi

Actor and Writer

Minita Gandhi represents a new voice in American theater who takes us on an epic journey of a coming of age first-generation Indian-American female. The “dark comedy” inspired by true stories takes us on a magical but tragic trip to India. Minita was honored to perform Muthaland  as a selected participant of the CAATA CONFEST hosted by Oregon Shakespeare Festival in October 2016. And she had the privilege to perform at the Statera Foundation for Women in the Arts Conference hosted by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts as well.

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Michelle Hanabusa

Founder, Uprisers

After a career ending injury, Michelle dived into a design background where she worked for companies such as BCBGMAXAZRIA & AEG. After her time in corporate life & some venture backed trial & errors- Michelle K. Hanabusa bootstrapped a new brand called WEAREUPRISERS. The brand is described as a community-driven streetwear brand focused on story-telling for activists, trendsetters, and warriors of change. Her goal is to inspire change by partnering with like-minded partners to give voice to the underrepresented.

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Tony Lam

Co-founder, Omni Bev

Tony earned his chops in the food and beverage space through sweat, long hours, and a visceral desire to succeed. He owns and operates five Wingstop restaurants with a staff of more than 100. Through his success, he discovered another rising gem in the industry: Mavens Creamery, a disruptor in the frozen desserts that has doubled sales year over year for the past 3 years. They’ve gone from a humble in-home enterprise to now working with more than 300 retail grocery chains and food services. And, recently, they were featured on Shark Tank.

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Kieu-Linh Valverde

Professor, UC Davis

Dr. Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde is an Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She was a Fulbright, Rockefeller, and Luce scholar. Her teaching, research, and organizing interests include Southeast Asian American history and contemporary issues, mixed-race and gender theories, higher education, social movements, fashionology, national aesthetics, spirit realm, diaspora, and transnationalism studies.

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Afia Ofori-Mensa

Director, Princeton University

Afia Ofori-Mensa joined the Office of the Dean of the College in 2019 as the inaugural Director of the Presidential Scholars Program (PSP). The PSP is a three-year PhD resource and readiness program for undergraduates from underrepresented and underserved populations in all fields and disciplines of academia. The program is a regional partnership that hosts cohorts at Princeton University, The College of New Jersey, and Rutgers University campuses at Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark.

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Bryan Pham & Maggie Chui

Co-Founders, Asian Hustle Network

Bryan and Maggie created the Asian Hustle Network to bring the Asian community together and to inspire and uplift Asian hustlers who go against the norm. To promote a vision of the future in which Asian hustlers feel supported and empowered to pursue their dreams and goals and to create a global impact by connecting Asians around the world and providing an inclusive platform that fosters growth and collaboration.

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Mindy & Megan Park

Co-Founders, MCourse

Mindy and Megan share their love of food through their selections of desserts. Located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, they are able to serve and cater to the Bay Area! They realized that a lot of the cakes and other desserts are overly too sweet and didn't want that in their products. Their desserts are proportioned to have just the right amount of sweetness with strong influences from different cuisines. They named their bakery ‘MCourse’ because it represents the letters of both their names, Mindy and Megan. 

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Cary Hokama

Author, Own Your Self

Cary Hokama is a Certified Executive Coach, Certified Holistic Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, Best-selling Author, and Motivational Speaker who teaches entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, and executives how to become crystal clear about their life’s mission and how to reach their fullest potential. Cary also serves as a global ambassador for the National College of Exercise Professionals and the Center for Advanced Coaching. A graduate from Cal State Long Beach, Cary majored in Speech Communications with an emphasis in Public Speaking and Interpersonal Relationships. 

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Samantha Mui

Author, Melting Pot

Memoir meets cookbook in this unique collection of traditional comfort foods. Coming of age as a second-generation Chinese American, Samantha Mui had a distinct upbringing that has shaped this variety of popular Eastern and Western dishes. As a young woman balancing two cultures, Mui found her identity in the kitchen. Influenced by the women in her life and her own travels, her dishes are simple and nostalgic, imbued with both her cultural and personal flair.

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Olivia Wong

Senior Partner, Prototype Thinking, Miss Asian Global 2020

Olivia Wong is a Chinese-American entrepreneur, award-winning humanitarian, and Miss Asian Global 2020-2022. She is the Senior Partner at Prototype Thinking Labs, a business design and innovation lab focused on solving new business models 10x faster. Using a unique approach born at GoogleX, Olivia trains companies to confidently run experiments and build new solutions with a fraction of the effort, cost, and time. Previously, she served as a humanitarian aid worker at Zaatari, the world's largest Syrian refugee camp, and in Fukushima, Japan, after the nuclear disaster. 

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Vy Vo

Physician Assistant, Miss Asian America 2020

Vy Vo is a physician assistant, former Miss Vietnam Florida 2015, and Miss Asian America 2020. She currently works at urgent care providing care for the uninsured and underserved populations. Vy’s passion for helping the underserved populations stemmed from her family’s struggle to obtain healthcare when they first immigrated to the US. She has volunteered over 2,000 hours towards non-profit organizations, such as Shepherd’s Hope, helping provide free healthcare for uninsured patients.

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Diamond Rypka

Founder, Asian Tales

Diamond Rypka created the podcast Asian Tales to create a conversation to share life's journey with the Asian American experience and insights that have made that community unique along the way. The podcast represents a beacon for individuals to look towards for inspiration and connection to identify and share knowledge and culture. Its mission is to break through barriers that others and, more importantly, the individuals have created in their mind.

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Lan Ho

Founder, Fat Miilk, Miss Asian 1st Princess 2020

Lan Ho is a Vietnamese-American entrepreneur, board-certified pharmacist, and Miss Asian Global 1st Princess 2020. As an accomplished formulator, she is the creator behind a sustainable personal care brand launching later this year and the founder of Fat Miilk; a direct-trade Vietnamese coffee company sourced ethically from Vietnam. You can find Lan in Daily Coffee News, Gazelle Magazine, Trillest, Fodor’s, and most recently Bon Appétit. She is a proud daughter of immigrants and currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.

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Daisy Chung

Field Account Executive, Orum, Miss Asian California 2020

Daisy Chung is a First-Generation Chinese American Sales Executive, World Traveler and Miss Asian California 2020. Born and raised in San Francisco, her tech sales career led her first to New York City to lead a high performing team and now to Los Angeles where she partners with C-Level Executives. She became “rep of the year” in her first year in tech sales, a manager at age 26 and broke company records 5 years in a row. 

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Michelle Duong

Director of Operations, Operation Be Kind

Michelle is the Operations Director of Operation Be Kind. Through their monthly missions, they have provided much needed essential items such as food, clothing, sleeping bags, school supplies. The operation works with youth volunteers from various highschools. What sets Operation Be Kinda apart from other nonprofits is the ability to focus on different causes throughout the year depending on the needs of the community at that time. 

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Noelani Dacascos

Actor & Student

Noelani Dacascos made her professional acting debut in director Atsuko Hirayanagi’s movie, OH LUCY! starring Josh Hartnett, Shinobu Terajima, and Kaho Minami. She stars in the film THE DRIVER, directed by Wych Kaosayananda, currently streaming on VOD. She’s performed in school and
summer-stock productions of Aladdin, Mary Poppins, and The Lion King, and when she’s not doing homework, she takes hip-hop, tap, and ballet classes, and performs in Improvisational Acting workshops. Noe is 13 years old and in 7th grade. She’s the daughter of Julie Condra-Dacascos and Mark Dacascos.

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Tara Nash

Clinical Lab Researcher, Miss Asian San Francisco 2020

At the young age of 22, Tara Nash recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Biology through a full-ride academic scholarship. Her current days consist of working at 6 am as a qualifying Clinical Lab Associate for a frontline COVID-19 testing lab followed by working as the program coordinator for a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Special Needs Aquatics Program (SNAP). In her spare time, she is working in collaboration with an organization named FemHealth to shed light on healing women's health.

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