Asian American Business Leaders & Entrepreneurs

Date(s) - 02/15/18
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

1871 - Merchandise Mart 12th floor

Hosted by

Asian American Business Leaders & Entrepreneurs sponsored by McDonalds AMOA

On Thursday, February 15, 2018 join A4P, AABA, AAEN, CMAA, Columbia Club, FALA, GFCBW, Harvard Club, IAC, IE Chicago, IPA, KACC, TAP-Chicago, TJCCC, UCA, and UChicago OBD in the 1871 Auditorium at the Merchandise Mart as we hear from prominent Chicagoland Asian American leaders and entrepreneurs. The panelists will discuss their journeys to success and offer advice to those seeking to advance their careers or start new businesses. There will be a networking reception following the discussion and Q&A. Light food and beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, will be served.

Brian Lee, Partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Diana Sands, Senior Vice President, Office of Internal Governance and Administration, The Boeing Company
Dr. Karen Eng, CEO & President, CSMI (Moderator)
Justin Choi, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Anixter International
Roger Liew, Operating Partner, Impact Engine & former CTO, Shoprunner & Orbitz
Tommy Choi, Co-Founder, Weinberg Choi Residential

This event is organized by TAP-Chicago’s Leadership & Professional Development committee and sponsored by the Asian McDonald’s Owner Operators Association and 1871.

5:30 pm – Registration
6:00 pm – Panel Discussion and Q&A
7:00 pm – Reception and Networking

Community Partners Asian American Alumni Association of Princeton, Asian American Bar Association, Asian American Executive Network, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Columbia Club of Chicago, Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago, Global Federation of Chinese Business Women, Harvard Club of Chicago, IE Business School Alumni of the Midwest, Indo-American Center, Korean American Coalition Chicago, TAP-Chicago, Taiwanese Junior Chamber of Commerce Chicago, United Chinese Americans, University of Chicago Office of Business Diversity.

For more information, please contact Connie Yip at connie (at) tapchicago (dot) org. For more information on TAP-Chicago, please visit

About Our Panelists

Brian Lee, FAIA, is a Design Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), an architectural, urban planning, and engineering firm. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and his Master of Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. After practicing in the SOM San Francisco office for 28 years, he joined the Chicago office in 2007. Brian’s portfolio encompasses an array of award-winning projects, including the Chicago Public Library, Chinatown Branch, UC San Diego Medical Education Center, the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, the China World Trade Center in Beijing, and the Kia Motors Research and Development Center in Irvine, CA. His work has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Urban Land Institute, American Library Association, the Chicago Athenaeum, MIPIM, and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Mr. Lee is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the Economic Club of Chicago, and the Boards of the Chicago Architectural Foundation and the Chinese American Service League of Chicago and is Director Emeritus of On Lok Inc. Brian is a member of the AIA and was named to its College of Fellows in 2008.​

Diana L. Sands is Senior Vice President of the Office of Internal Governance and Administration at The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) and a member of the company’s executive council. She is responsible for the advancement and effective implementation of Boeing’s internal governance policies and plans. As the company’s chief ethics & compliance officer, Ms. Sands leads Boeing’s ethics, compliance, corporate audit and trade controls activities. She also oversees administration for the company, including leadership of the Enterprise Services council and direct oversight for Security & Fire Protection, Planning & Real Estate, Frequency Management and Information Services. Ms. Sands previously worked in Corporate Treasury, where she was responsible for financial modeling and analysis related to capital structure, equity and fixed-income valuation, pensions and cash deployment. She joined Boeing in 2001 from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), where she served as director, corporate financial planning and reporting, and had various brand finance roles. A certified public accountant, Ms. Sands has a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of Michigan.

Justin Choi is Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Anixter International (NYSE: AXE), a Fortune 500 global distributor of network, security and utility power solutions. In these roles, he oversees Anixter’s global legal activities and chairs Anixter’s corporate compliance program. Prior to joining Anixter, he served as the Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Trustwave, a leading global provider of on-demand data security and payment card industry compliance management solutions and was responsible for all aspects of the company’s legal and corporate security matters. He has also previously served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Andrew Corporation, an S&P 500 global manufacturer of infrastructure equipment for the wireless industry. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law

Dr. Karen Eng (Moderator) is the President & CEO of CSMI, which specializes in engineering consulting for packaging & process automation to the FDA & USDA regulated industries. She is also the founder of Crush2Press, Inc., a wine branding and marketing firm. She currently chairs the Board of Trustees for the Illinois College of Optometry & sits on Board of Directors of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and the National Asian American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE). Dr. Eng is a graduate of University of California, San Diego with a Biochemistry and Biology degree, and a Doctorate from the New England College of Optometry.

Roger Liew is an Operating Partner of Impact Engine, a venture fund that invests in early-stage, technology businesses that are improving economic empowerment, education, health, and resource efficiency. Roger serves as an advisor to ShopRunner, where he was most recently Chief Technology Officer. He is also an advisor to Relativity, MediaMath and Journera. Roger spent 15 years in the travel industry, serving as Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Orbitz from 2010 until its acquisition by Expedia (NSDQ: EXPE) in 2015. As CTO, he led global engineering and customer service. Previously, as Group Manager of the Intelligent Marketplace, he established the machine learning and big data teams. From 2004 to 2008, Mr. Liew was a co-founder and CTO of G2 SwitchWorks, a travel technology company that provided the first alternative distribution network for airline tickets. He was the first software developer at Orbitz and co-led the development team of 90 software engineers from 2000 to 2004. His early career experience ranged from developing software for cell phones at Motorola (SEHK: 992) to leading development of the first web presences for (NYSE: CARS) and Victoria’s Secret (NYSE: LB). Mr. Liew studied Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Chicago. Roger is a founding member of the Illinois Tech Computer Science Advisory Committee, a Trustee of the Catherine Cook School, and a Director of the Chicago Public Library Foundation.

Tommy Choi is the Co-Founder of Weinberg Choi Residential. Mr. Choi grew up in the Mayfair, North Shore, and Lakeview neighborhoods of Chicago. Prior to starting his own company in 2007, Mr. Choi had a successful career with CDW. Currently, he serves as the President-Elect of Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR) and he sits on the Advisory Board of Young Professionals Network (YPN) and National Association of Realtors (NAR). Mr. Choi is an ambassador for the Chicago Community Trust’s “On the Table” program. He is also on the Development Board for the Academy for Global Citizenship, and is actively involved with the Asian Real Estate Association of America and the Women’s Council of Realtors, which awarded him Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013. Previously, he was the Chairman of the Board for YPN, and he is the former Associate Board VP of Chicago Gateway Green. Mr. Choi is the recipient of the CAR Community Service Award in 2014. Mr. Choi has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Bradley University.
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