By Yuki Nakajima
Northwest Asian Weekly
The Center for Asian Pacific American (APA) Women will hold its National Leadership Summit at the Microsoft Conference Center on Sept. 26 and Sept. 27. Formerly known as the Asian Pacific American Women Leadership Institute (APAWLI), it is the only membership organization in the United States that is dedicated to developing women who come from Asian and Asian Pacific Islander (API) backgrounds.
In addition to biannual National Leadership Summits, the organization offers the National APAWLI Signature Fellowship program, which provides leadership training to select women over the course of several sessions.
Rosie Abriam, president and CEO of The Center for APA Women, initially became involved in the organization through participation in the Signature Fellowship program. She said the experience from the program made a significant impact on her life and inspired her to continue to develop the organization.
“There are many API women who are supporting us in the Pacific Northwest region,” she said. “It is wonderful that we are back in Seattle.”
This year, the number of attendees will exceed 150. Abriam said local attendees will be joined by women nationwide.
“We actually have to increase the number of hotel rooms because the interest around the nation is so great,” she said.
“That’s pretty exciting. We really need to regroup, address the issue, and move forward. The timing couldn’t be any better as far as being able to hold the summit this year.”
During the summit, two panels and 12 different workshops will be held on topics such as career management, communication styles, and strategic thinking. Presenters from various companies and associations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Boeing Company, will attend the summit.
Because she is the president of Speak to Persuade, Vanna Novak will be presenting at the APA summit for the first time.
She graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in speech communications and has been teaching public speaking skills to business workers for 20 years.
“I love my job. For me, it’s about helping people define the power of their own voices. That’s why I think Asian women in particular have a high need for public speaking skills,” she said. “Culturally speaking, our values and beliefs don’t support speaking out. Asian women have to work a little bit harder to help people get over the stereotypes that work against us. It’s largely our responsibility to do that.”
Novak believes that public speaking is the best way to overcome these stereotypes. Her focus is on how to be persuasive and influential in public speech. Her workshop is title to “Speak to Persuade When Being Informative is Not Enough.”
During her workshop, she plans to take a couple of volunteers from the audience and have them speak for a few minutes. She will record the speech and then give feedback. She will also focus on managing how people are perceived through body language.
“It’s important to know how persuasion works, what the key elements are behind being persuasive, and how we need to structure our message,” Novak said.
While Novak’s workshop is directed toward an open audience, the summit will also offer a workshop aimed specifically toward mid-career level Asian Pacific American women. Jane Hyun, founder and president of Hyun & Associates, will present a workshop called “Getting to the Next Level: Lessons in Credibility Building for Mid-Level Asian Pacific American Women.”
She plans to discuss her book and research, as well as apply her Bamboo Ceiling Series leadership coaching programs.
Though the summit is mainly for Asian women, Hyun encourages any woman who wants to achieve professional goals to attend the summit. Tickets, available online through Sept. 24, costs $300 for general registration and $150 for student registration.
“It is a great opportunity to be at the summit,” Hyun said. “The summit is a great place to share skills and tools with other Asian women and learn from each other.” ♦
For more information visit, www.apawomen.org.
Yuki Nakajima can be reached at email@example.com.