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Asian Chamber of Commerce (ACC) celebrates International Women’s Day

(L-R) ACC President, Milton Young, Charlene Gilbert, Vivienne Kwon, May Wang ACC Secretary, Judy Lee and Wes Weaver, ACC Board Chair. Photo credit: ACC Facebook.

(L-R) ACC President, Milton Young, Charlene Gilbert, Vivienne Kwon, May Wang ACC Secretary, Judy Lee and Wes Weaver, ACC Board Chair. Photo credit: ACC Facebook.

by Susan Pothanikat
HOUSTON—On Thursday, March 8th, the Asian Chamber of Commerce held their monthly luncheon in celebration of International Women’s Day. A panel discussion with 3 prominent Asian women leaders, Charlene Gilbert of NASA, Judy Lee of Foster LLP and Vivienne Kwon of ykcreative all shared their stories of challenges and success in today’s business world.
Charlene Gilbert, is the Technology Transfer Officer at the NASA JSC. She has 30+ years of experience in aerospace project management and technology transfer with a proven track record of effective leadership, management of complex programs and working with diverse teams. She mentioned how when she first moved to Houston from the Michigan area, she surprised how diverse Houston was. She felt at home being surrounded by many Asians with similar educational backgrounds. It was refreshing to be in an environment where people could relate to the same religious and cultural backgrounds.
Judy Lee is a partner with Foster LLP. She is a native Houstonian and received her law degree from the University of Houston Law School. She is board certified in the area of Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Like many Asian parents’, hers were conservative in their thinking and expected Judy to choose a career in 1 of 4 professions—Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer or Accountant. Math was not a strong subject for her and medicine was not something she wanted to handle so she focused on law. It took some time for her to find a law specialty that sparked her interest. She even took a 10 year break to help her family business thrive. After a break from the industry, Gordon Quan invited her to work for him in Immigration. Ever since then, she has never looked back.
She mentioned it’s never too late to make a change in your career. If you feel you are not in the right industry, make the change to work in an environment that you love. Find your passion and go after it, even if it takes 10 years. She mentioned that life has its challenges with setbacks but the one thing someone can do is share information freely, help others achieve their goals and that will come back tenfold.

COMM_ACC_GroupVivienne Kwon is the founder and CEO of ykcreative. Her career in branding and technology started at Compaq Computers (now Hewlett-Packard). Representing the US headquarters, she worked with the brand team world-wide, implementing the rollout of the Compaq “Q”. ykcreative was launched in 2003. With grit, determination and vision, she’s continued her endeavors, helping businesses build better brands and implement online solutions. She mentioned that being a woman has been one of the biggest challenges as most people think men dominate the tech space. She has proven her expertise in the industry and has won many Addy Awards from the American Advertising Federation both locally and nationally. Her work has been published in Logo Lounge, a prestigious collection of logos from designers around the world.
Moderator, May Wang, thanked the panelist for sharing their experiences and words of wisdom with the members and for being great inspirers for women today.


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