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41st Annual Lunar New Year Banquet e-Journal

Apr 08, 2016





    41st Annual Lunar New Year BanquetThursdayMarch 12, 20156:30 pm

    Jing Fong Restaurant20 Elizabeth StreetManhattan


    41st Annual Lunar New Year BanquetThursday, March 12, 2015

    WelcomeAAFE President, Wendy Takahisa

    AAFE Board Member, John Leo

    Acknowledgments and IntroductionPresenting underwriters Cathay Bank, and New York Community Bank

    Dream of Equality AwardsRobert A. Annibale

    The Honorable Marcos A. CrespoThe Honorable Letitia James

    Kwang S. Kim

    Closing RemarksAAFE President, Wendy Takahisa

    and AAFE Executive Director, Christopher Kui

    CELEBRATING DREAMERSEach year, AAFE honors individuals and organizations that have made exceptional contributions in the struggle for equality. Working towards the dream of equality is no small task. It requires ideals, vision, commitment, hard work and an unshakable determination to succeed. It requires a desire for transformational change, a willingness to confront adversity, and the audacity to find creative solutions. Join us tonight in celebrating those with the courage and conviction to act on their dreams.

  • In 2014, we celebrated our 40th Anniversary and paid tribute to the original group of founders who had the singular vision of achieving equality for all. While we recognized the early advocates and organizers for jobs and housing; the dedicated board, staff, and volunteers at AAFE have been following their example by taking their dreams to new levels. AAFE has gone from protesting discrimination and police brutality in the streets to empowering disenfranchised communities through our work in community economic and affordable housing development. Last year, AAFE was named Non-Profit of the Year by New York Housing Conference and National Housing Conference. The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD) also recognized AAFE for our role in developing the first Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit project in New York City.

    In our early years, we began to register voters and advocated for new City Council districts; today we are full participants in Community Boards, on task forces and advisory councils, and other city and state planning processes. From our first efforts to relocate victims of tenement fires, we are now building multifamily housing and helping those who once lived in substandard housing become homeowners.

    In the next decade, as AAFE approaches 50 years of service, we will continue to grow leaders who can carry on the work of our founders. We are committed to developing high school students who need a support network to get into college or find a career path, we are identifying the emerging immigrant voices who will benefit from speaking out at hearings and lobby days, and we will make the critical connections that join lending resources and experts with the budding entrepreneurs who have the motivation and ideas to become thriving business owners and job creators. We are very proud that our lending affiliate, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as one of the top 6 producers of micro-loans out of 160 micro-lenders in the country. In addition, Renaissance initiated two new lending programs for U.S. veterans to start and expand their businesses.

    This years honorees are outstanding examples of the types of leaders who share AAFEs principles and mission:

    Robert A. Annibale, Global Director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development, for bringing together financial inclusion, education, and neighborhood revitalization;

    Marcos Crespo, NYS Assemblymember, whose passion for social justice and immigrant rights have allowed him to make a difference for many New Yorkers;

    Letitia James, NYC Public Advocate, because she speaks for the powerless, providing a voice for tenants, youthful offenders, victims of violence, and others.

    Kwang S. Kim, President of the Korean Community Services of NYC, whose leadership of the most prominent Korean language service programs strengthens the entire Asian American community.

    The annual Lunar New Year banquet is always a special time to thank our partners, sponsors, family, and friends for supporting our work and making a difference. We could not do any of our work without our exceptional staff and volunteers, so on behalf of the Board and staff, we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation and wish you all a Happy New Year!

    Wendy Takahisa Christopher KuiPresident Executive Director

    Onward to the Next 40 Years

  • Bob Annibale leads Citis initiatives and partnerships supporting community development and microfinance through financial inclusion, education and asset building, neighborhood revitalization, and small business and microenterprise development. He leads Citis global commercial relationships with microfinance and community institutions, to expand access to financial services, with particular focus on developing innovative platforms for scaling access to finance and savings through partnerships and correspondents.

    Currently based in London, since joining Citi, Mr. Annibale has held a number of senior treasury, risk, and corporate positions in Athens, Bahrain, Kenya, London, and New York. He is currently a member of the Policy Committee of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford and he represents Citi on the Boards of the Microfinance Information Exchange, the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), the US FDIC Chairmans Committee on Economic Empowerment, the Citi Foundation, and the Executive Committee of CGAP (World Bank).

    Robert A. AnnibaleGlobal DirectorCiti Microfinance and Community Development

    Dream of Equality Honoree

    Kwang S. Kim is the President of the Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc. Mr. Kim joined KCS in 1988 as Executive Director and since then has worked to enhance the quality of life for Korean Americans. Mr. Kim has been the driving force behind KCS growth by initiating critical programs such as senior centers in Flushing and Corona, Meals on Wheels, job training, and ESOL classes. As a leader for many years in the Korean community, he continues to advocate on important issues that affect Asian Americans in New York City. He has built many partnerships with other agencies, both in the public and private sector, with the goal of strengthening KCS and its services.

    In addition, he currently serves on the Board of Elmhurst Hospital and the Queens Interagency Council on Aging. Mr. Kim received his Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.

    Dream of Equality Honoree

    Kwang S. KimPresidentthe Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc.

  • Assemblymember Marcos A. Crespo was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City and Lima, Peru, before graduating from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

    Elected at 28 years old to the New York State Assembly to represent Soundview, Hunts Point, and nearby communities, his hard work allowed him to quickly move into the new position of Chair of the Assembly Task Force on New Americans, in April 2013. In this post, he has addressed health, education and legal issues facing the 4.3 million immigrants in New York by holding statewide forums and has fought to increase funding and reverse cuts to vital services aimed at integrating our newest residents. He has authored comprehensive anti-fraud legislation to protect immigrants, and spearheaded the permanent creation of the State Office for New Americans, a first of any state in the nation. Most recently, Mr. Crespo became the Chair of the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force.

    He has translated his personal experiences and concerns into a dynamic list of legislative priorities focused on community and economic development based on social justice principles, such as reducing traffic congestion and fighting the transportation of garbage to the South Bronx. Other bills he has produced protect children from carbon monoxide poisoning, mandate financial literacy instruction in the Summer Jobs Program, increase protection for victims of domestic violence, reduce underage drinking, increase state and nonprofit organizations abilities to respond to natural disasters, expand anti-obesity and wellness programs, increase landlord access to loans to improve substandard housing conditions, and implement new technologies to increase energy monitoring efficiencies.

    The Honorable Marcos A. CrespoNYS Assembly, 85th AD

    Dream of Equality Honoree

  • We are proud to support

    Asian Americans for Equality

    At their 41st Annual Lunar New Year Banquet


    Congratulate this years Honorees

    Robert A. Annibale

    Hon. Marcos A. Crespo

    Hon. Letitia James


    Kwang S. Kim

    Wendy K. Neu

    Steve Nislick

    Hugo Neu Corporation

  • On January 1, 2014, Letitia James was sworn in as the Public Advocate for the City of New York, the first woman of color to hold a citywide position in the citys history. Her ongoing priorities include housing advocacy, womens rights, job development, environmental issues, and healthcare access.

    As a member of the New York City Council representing the 35th Council District (Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, and parts of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and Bed-Stuy), Ms. James introduced the Safe Housing Act, a groundbreaking bill that ensures that thousands of families in rental buildings receive prompt repairs to their apartments. With a $50 million investment in housing code reform, this was a major victory for all New Yorkers living in substandard buildings.