Who's Who
Andy Nguyen

Andy was born in Vung Tau, Vietnam. After South Vietnam fell to the communists in 1975, fourteen-year old Andy and his family fled aboard a small fishing boat and began the harrowing journey which would bring them eventually to the United States in 1981. While learning another language and culture was challenging, Andy quickly assimilated and embraced his new American home.

Upon finishing high school, Andy enrolled at the University of Kentucky. Working his way through college, Andy served in the Kentucky National Guard, completed training in the Army's Reserve Officer Training Corp and was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Army.  Andy graduated with a Bachelor of Business Arts in Management while continuing to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve reaching the rank of First Lieutenant.

In 1992, Andy relocated to Tarrant County. He worked as a manager for a telecommunications company in Fort Worth before starting his own company, AIT Technologies, a business communications and IT solutions provider, in 1998.

Wanting to give back and serve his adopted country, Andy served in a number of roles and with several community organizations including serving from 2002 - 2009 as Chairman and President of the Vietnamese-American Community of Tarrant County; Executive Member of the Board of Directors at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce; Member of the Board of Directors of United Way of Tarrant County; member of the Fort Worth, Arlington, the Grand Prairie Chambers of Commerce, and the Rotary Club. In 2005, he received the Tarrant County Asian American Chamber of Commerce’s Community & Leadership Award in 2005.

Elected onto the Tarrant County’s Commissioners Court on January 1, 2011, Andy is the first Asian American to serve as a Commissioner of Tarrant County.  A devout Catholic and resident of Arlington, Andy has been married to Julie Vu for over 14 years, and they have three young children.


 

 
Bao Thien Ngo

Working under the title of Vietnamese American designer, Bao is a professional jack-of-all-trades like Nathan Myhrvold, engaging in graphic and web design, writing, web programming, marketing, filmmaking, event management, research, and social entrepreneurship. Currently he is the co-founder and boardmember of the CayDa Foundation, an organization based in San Jose devoted to researching innovative ways to improve the Vietnamese American community. He, along with Tam Phan, co-founded Vietlicious, an online Vietnamese American apparel store.

He was formerly the Co-Executive Director of the Children Moon Festival of Northern California. He was a founding member of UVSA Northern California, a coalition of Vietnamese Student Associations, and served as its Arts Commissioner Chair (2008–2010). He served as Webmaster-Historian (2002–2003) of UCLA Vietnamese Student Union. He was the co-editor of the film Things I'll Never Say (2005) and co-producer of La Petite Salon (2009).

Motivated by the need to free himself from the office cubicle, he enjoys studying leadership theory and organizational studies, lifestyle design, and web technology. He also takes interest in post-classical science, and Vietnamese history and philosophy. His dream is to see his future daughter be married at a Vietnamese community center built along the beautiful coastline of California, headquarters of a future Lantern Moon Festival Society.

 
Mindy Chu

Mindy Chu hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, CA and is a recent May 2011 graduate of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and minor in Asian Pacific American Studies. Passionate about social justice, civil rights and public service, Mindy has been active in the community and has interned for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the U.S. Department of Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Asian American Justice Center. During her undergraduate career, Mindy was active on and off campus. She was a residential adviser for 3 years, a peer outreach leader with the Center for Women and Financial Independence for 2 years, and in 2008-2009, she was the co-conference chair for the 5 College Pan Asian Network, an intercollegiate APA organization that seeks to raise awareness and mobilize students around social/political issues affecting the APA student community. Off campus, Mindy served for two years as the Northeast Regional Representative for the Union of North American Vietnamese Students Associations (uNAVSA), helping to unite the Northeast region. Mindy is the recipient of the 2009 Vietnamese American National Gala (VANG) Student Leadership Award as well as the Kawazoe & Tao Scholarship for Community Activism in the Asian Pacific American Community.

Mindy recently obtained her SCUBA diving certification after taking a semester-long scuba diving course at Smith. She looks forward to taking a tropical vacation soon so that she can use her recently acquired skills to explore underwater sea life. In her spare time, she is an avid tennis player and enjoys hiking frequently.

Mindy is in the midst of finalizing her career plans for the near future, but once that is completed in a few years, she plans to eventually attend law school to pursue public interest law. She is looking forward to meeting and networking with inspirational community leaders at the Summit.

 
Tom Ha

Tom Ha is married to Thuy Ha; they are residents of Colleyville, Texas. They have 2 sons, Chris, 18 and Oliver, 16. Tom came to the United States as a political refugee in 1975 with nothing but one shirt, a pair of pants and a pair of shoes. Currently he is the Owner of Tom Ha Insurance Agency, an affiliate of Allstate Insurance Company from 2001 to present. He has been in insurance and financial services industry with various companies from 1982 after graduating from UT Arlington with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering.

In the past, Tom has served as Cabinet member of United Way, Fort Worth, Texas. He was the co-founder and vice chairman of the Vietnamese American Community and an executive for the Asian American Chamber of Commerce in Tarrant County. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Tom has helped raise $232,000 in relief efforts

 
Tim Le

Tim Le is the founder and CEO Ideal Ventures, LLC, a profitable real estate investment and business development company located in Norcross, GA.

Tim began his career as a mechanical engineer for NEC Electronics specializing in semiconductor manufacturing. After 5 years as a senior equipment engineer, he decided to become a full time entrepreneur with his main focus on real estate development and project management. As part of his career development, Tim formed the L.T. Investment Group LLC, established L.N.L Investment Group LLC, and developed Exit Realty Platinum.

Tim is also involved with multiple professional boards and community organizations including Asian Real Estate Association of America, Atlanta Chapter of which he is the current President; Vietnamese American Community of Georgia, Vice President of External Affairs; Vietnamese Merchant Association, Event Co-Chair; Gwinnett Village Community Alliance, Board member; and Asian Pacific American Council, member.

 
Van Tran

Attorney Van Tran served three full terms as a member of the California State Assembly, from 2004 to 2010.  He represented the 68th Assembly District in Orange County, including the cities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Newport Beach, Stanton, Santa Ana, and Westminster, comprising approximately 500,000 residents.

From 2000 to 2004, Van was a councilman and vice-mayor of the City of Garden Grove, having garnered the highest number of votes in the history of the city’s council election.  Van was also a Garden Grove planning commissioner from 1999-2000.  He is a charter member of the prestigious American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), and a Delegate to the 2002 Young Leaders Conference, hosted by the American-Swiss Foundation.  Van has received numerous awards for his civic leadership and and over 20 years of community service.

While in the Legislature, Van was "of counsel" to Snell & Wilmer, a nationally-based law firm of 500 attorneys, prior to taking a leave of absence for a Congressional run in 2010.  At Snell, he assisted the partners with client development strategies, organized seminars on pending legislation affecting current legal practices, and provided oversight with cases retained by the firm.

Currently, Van is an equity partner with the Irvine law firm of Baric, Tran & Minesinger, specializing in government relations and corporate law.  He was recently retained as "of counsel" to Newmeyer & Dillion, a Newport Beach law firm, to help with the firm's client development strategy and international trade outreach issues.

Van completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, and went on to earn both a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Juris Doctorate from Hamline University School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

 

 


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