Community in the Capital (CITC)

Over the last decade, we have convened more than 85 AAPI leaders from across our membership through our annual leadership development program.

Community in the Capital (CITC)

The foundation of National CAPACD's advocacy efforts is the grassroots leadership of our membership network. Over the last decade, we have convened more than 85 AAPI leaders from across our membership through an annual leadership development program called Community in the Capital (CITC) to do the following:

  • Support the development of emerging leadership from its base.
  • Provide opportunities to build strategic relationships with other community leaders.
  • Deepen their perspectives on critical issues and concerns impacting AAPI communities at the federal level.
  • Develop a coordinated national and local advocacy strategy around an identified AAPI policy agenda.
  • Study the legislative process, including experiential learning on conducting education and advocacy with congressional representatives, policymakers from federal agencies, and the Administration.
  • Build coalitions with allies and partners

Graduates of our CITC program have been promoted to executive directorships and other leadership roles within their organizations, hold roles as policymakers within federal agencies and the Administration, and continue to serve as key representatives on issues affecting low-income AAPIs.

CITC 2017-2018 Cohort

Jordyn Danner, Program Manager, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (Kapolei, HI)

Jordyn Danner is Native Hawaiian, from Anahola, Kauai, Hawaii.  A graduate of Kapaa High School, she earned her bachelors degree at Midland Lutheran University in Nebraska to honor her grandparents that graduated there more than 50 years prior.  Jordyn is a homesteader living in Waimanalo on the island of Oahu with her son, Kainoa. 

In 2016, Jordyn accepted a position at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) as its Policy Manager.  She leads the CNHA ‘Vote to Rise’ campaign to engage Native Hawaiian organizations in year-round voter registration to impact local, state and national elections.  She also staffs the CNHA Policy Center to engage on public policy priorities of CNHA member organizations in education, small business, affordable housing, land trust practices, healthcare and next generation leadership development.

Lily Hu, Resident Services Manager, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (Oakland, CA)

A native of Los Angeles, Andrea has worked in the nonprofit sector for the past 16 years, 8 of which she has spent at Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE), a Community Development organization dedicated to serving the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and other diverse communities.  As Director of Development and Communications, Andrea is responsible for all fundraising and communication strategies to grow the base of philanthropic support and increase public awareness of PACE.  Between 2006 and 2014, she served as the Health Coordinator and, later, as the Early Head Start Manager for PACE’s Early Childhood Education Program.

Lehua I, Asset Building and Youth Program Coordinator, Hawaiian Community Assets (Honolulu, HI)

Lehua I is the Asset Building and Youth Program Coordinator at Hawaiian Community Assets, a non-profit HUD certified financial education and housing counseling agency with a mission to build the capacity of low- moderate income communities to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians. Lehua supports HCA’s mission by facilitating age appropriate youth financial education workshops within Hawaii’s DOE school system, Hawaiian charter schools and community summer programs. Lehua believes establishing a healthy financial foundation as a child is a key milestone. Lehua has recently been given the opportunity to lead HCA’s asset building program which supports individuals and families to establish positive savings habits, access HUD approved housing/financial counseling and develop personal financial management skills. Lehua hopes to continue to build and strengthen her community utilizing the experience and skills that she has gained through serving Hawaii’s youth and families at Hawaiian Community Assets.

Matthew Ides, Director of Economic and Community Development, Hmong American Partnership (Saint Paul, MN)

Matthew Ides, Director of Economic & Community Development, is an accomplished leader in the field of economic and community development with special emphasis in housing and community economic planning. He has over 15 years of nonprofit and public sector experience managing and leading various staff sizes. He was the former executive director of SPARC, a neighborhood community development nonprofit organization in Saint Paul where he raised over $5 million in lending capital and redevelopment projects totaling more than $15 million. He also served as Executive Director at Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association. He has experience managing a number of government grants and contracts that include CDFI, CDBG, NSP and other nonprofit and public funds. He has worked with policy and legislative officials at the city, county, and state levels to champion legislative changes in community economic development.

Debbie Liu, Community Development Coordinator, Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (Chicago, IL)

Debbie Liu is the Community Development Coordinator for the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, a Chicago-based organization aimed at empowering Chinese Americans through civic engagement and community development in the Chicagoland area. She leads the implementation efforts for the Chinatown Community Vision Plan, a long-term strategic vision plan for Chicago's Greater Chinatown. She co-authored the "Chinatown Anti-Displacement Community Research Project Report". Debbie holds a MPH and BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and always enjoys a good conversation on public policy.

Quynh Pham, Executive Director, Friends of Little Saigon (Seattle, WA)

Quynh Pham is the Executive Director of the Friends of Little Saigon (FLS), a nonprofit organization with a mission to preserve and enhance Little Saigon’s cultural, economic and historic vitality. In this role, she is responsible for organization’s overall strategic direction and sustainability. Before joining as staff, Quynh served on the board of the Friends of Little Saigon leading advocacy efforts, community engagement, and board development. She also leads efforts for the development of the Little Saigon Landmark Project, a mix-use development that includes housing, commercial space, and a Vietnamese American Cultural Center. Prior to FLS, she worked with the Vietnamese Friendship Association doing fundraising and communications.

Will Spisak, Director of Programs, Chhaya CDC (Jackson Heights, NY)

Will Spisak currently serves at the Director of Programs at Chhaya CDC, where he oversees all programs and plays a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s advocacy agenda. He started at Chhaya in January 2016 as the Asset Building Program Manager. Will has spent several years working to empower immigrant New Yorkers and other marginalized communities. 

As the son of working-class immigrants and a life-long resident of Queens, Will is passionate about the economic empowerment of immigrant communities in New York City. Will holds a Master’s Degree from Fordham University in International Political Economy and Development and a Bachelor’s from CUNY-Queens College, where he studied History and Arabic. Will seeks to advance economic and social justice through Chhaya’s programs in housing, community organizing, and asset building in order to keep New York an accessible and affordable place for immigrant and working families like his own.

Vong Thao, Loan and Business Development Manager, Asian Economic Development Association (Saint Paul, MN)

Vong Thao (Business Development and Lending Manager) leads AEDA’s business development and lending initiatives. He leads the Business team in providing TA and lending services to meet the needs of AEDA’s clients. He has worked in combination of Agriculture, Banking and Food industry for over 8 years for entities such as USDA/FSA, Kraft Foods, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Hmong American Partnership and Wells Fargo. He holds a bachelors degree in Society Ethics and Human Behavior from University of Washington and an MBA from City University of Seattle. Fluent in Hmong, he will help build new organizational partnerships with Hmong organizations such as the Hmong Chamber of Commerce to build a pipeline of loan program clients.

Heidi Tso, Program Coordinator, Chinese Community Center (Houston, TX)

As Program Coordinator for the Americorp VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) program with HCA, Lei has been tasked with supporting HCA’s vision to build capacity of other Native Hawaiian serving nonprofits in housing, asset building, and financial literacy sectors that align with HCA’s mission, goals and objectives. By placing VISTAs at organizations such as the Hawaiian Community Development Board and INPEACE, HCA is looking at working collaboratively with other organizations to increase the scope of services available to Native Hawaiian families to encourage stable, affordable housing and build assets within the community to support economic stability toward healthy futures.

Samantha Vang, Community Engagement Coordinator, CAPI USA (Minneapolis, MN)

Samantha Vang holds a B.A in Political Science and Communications along with a concentration in Japanese Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College.  She is the Community Engagement Coordinator at CAPI USA, a nonprofit serving refugees and immigrants in Minnesota. She is a first generation born to refugee parents and the first in her family to graduate from a four year college. She is instrumental in mobilizing the Hmong American voting bloc in Minneapolis. Samantha has been involved in leading voter engagement work for the AAPI community for over 3 years.

2016-2017 Cohort

Aly Arnold, Chinese Community Center (Houston, TX)
Debbie Chen, Asian Community Development Corporation (Boston, MA) 
Yihong Dong, Asian American Community Services (Columbus, OH)
Raúl Fernández-Berriozába, Chinatown Community Development Center (San Francisco, CA)
Erika Gee, Chinatown Community Development Center (San Francisco, CA)
Andrea Giese, Pacific Consortium in Employment (Los Angeles, CA) 
Jagpreet Khakh, Chhaya CDC (Jackson Heights, NY)
Jamie Lee, Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority, (Seattle, WA)
Lei Reidel, Hawaiian Community Assets (Honolulu, HI) 
Yaomee Xiong, CAPI USA (Minneapolis, MN) 

2015-2016 Cohort

Christina Baggao, Pacific Consortium in Employment (Los Angeles, CA)
Ching Chan, Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (Seattle, WA)
Wai-Ling Chin, Pacific Consortium in Employment (Los Angeles, CA)
Rosalyn Epstein, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (Oakland, CA)
Sarah Fajardo, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (New York, NY)
Duncan Hwang, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (Portland, Oregon)
Theresa Imperial, Veteran's Equity Center (San Francisco, CA)
Lucy Pyeatt, Chinese Community Center (Houston, TX)
Alisi Tulua, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (Los Angeles, CA)
Choua Vang, Hmong American Partnership (St. Paul, MN)
Lahela Williams, Hawaiian Community Assets (Honolulu, HI)
Sarah Yeung, Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (Philadelphia, PA)

2013-2014 Cohort

Desiree Vea, Hawaiian Community Assets (Honolulu, HI)
Grace Shim, Minkwon Center for Community Action (New York, NY)
Imtiaz Hossain, Chhaya CDC (Jackson Heights, NY)
Kim Train, Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (Los Angeles, CA)
Kimberly Tang, Chinese Community Center (Houston, TX)
Michael Yee, Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (Seattle, WA) 
Mike Murase, Little Tokyo Service Center (Los Angeles, CA)
Mindy Au InterIm Community Development Association (Seattle, WA)
Sarah Teater, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (Oakland, CA)
Stephen Lee, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. (Atlanta, GA)
Yunie Hong, Hmong National Development, Inc. (Washington, D.C.)

2011 Cohort

Richard Chang, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (Los Angeles, CA)
Carol Wu, Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (Los Angeles, CA)
Linda Yang, Lao Family Community of Stockton (Stockton, CA)
Hieu Lam, Union of Pan Asian Communities (San Diego, CA)
Michael Byun, Asian Service in Action (Akron, OH)
Chi Mei Lin, Chinese Community Center (Houston, TX)
Rosalee Puaoi, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (Kapolei, HI)
Geraldine Mendiola, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (Kapolei, HI)
Jun Yang, Faith Action for Community Equity (Honolulu, HI)
Nam Pham, Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Dorchester, MA)
Charles Vang, Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce (Milwaukee, WI)
Theresa Mah, Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (Chicago, IL)
Noelle Desaki, Hawaiian Community Assets (Honolulu, HI)
Tony Chung, Center for Pan Asian Community Services (Chamblee, GA)
Mamta Gurung, Chhaya CDC (Jackson Heights, NY)
Riamsalio Kao Phetchareun, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (Washington, DC)
Nancy Pomplun, Asian Economic Development Association (St. Paul, MN)
Dae Joong Yoon, Korean Resource Center (Los Angeles, CA)

2010 Cohort

Genna Byrd, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (Kapolei, HI)
Janelle Chan, Asian Community Development Corportation (Boston, MA)
John Chin, Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (Philadelphia, PA)
Phuong Do, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (Washington, D.C.)
Karoleen Feng, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (Oakland, CA)
Jeff Gilbreath, Hawaiian Community Assets (Honolulu, HI)
Hyeok Kim, InterIm Community Development Association (Seattle, WA)
Jeremy Liu, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (Oakland, CA)
Kei Nagao, Little Tokyo Services Center (Los Angeles, CA) 
Rosalee Puaoi, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (Kapolei, HI) 
Shan Rehman, Chhaya CDC (Jackson Heights, NY)
Nenick Vu, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (Washington, D.C.) 
Malcolm Yeung, Chinatown Community Development Center (San Francisco, CA)
Cindy Wu, Chinatown Community Development Center (San Francisco, CA)

2009 Cohort

Evelyn Bruce, National Alliance to Nurture the Aged and the Youth (North Miami, FL)
Shannon Toriki, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (Kapolei, HI)
Lilia Kapuniai, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (Kapolei, HI)
Laura Matsuoka, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (Kapolei, HI)
Shan Rehman, Chhaya CDC (Jackson Heights, NY)
Margaret Iwanaga-Penrose, Union of Pan Asian Communities (San Diego, CA)
Pany Siharath, Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
Mark Masaoka, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (Los Angeles, CA)
Sheng Lee, Hmong Asian Partnership (Saint Paul, MN)
Jeong Yeon Hong, National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (Annandale, VA)
Keh Rachanit Trikandha, Thai Community Development Corporation (Los Angeles, CA)
Bruce Blaisdell, VietAID (Boston, MA)
Richard Lee, Asian Americans for Equality (New York, NY)
Joel Jacinto, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (Los Angeles, CA)