WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 15, 2014) — The Organization of Chinese Americans announced its 2013-2014 OCA Unsung Heroes presented by Buick.
OCA honors four individuals whose time and effort towards advancing equity and equality for Asian Pacific Americans are not often publicly recognized. They will be acknowledged during the 2014 OCA Gala Awards, August 9, 2014 at the OCA National Convention in Los Angeles. OCA will celebrate their spirit of volunteerism and advocacy, and members will learn about the significant contributions each Unsung Hero has made to their communities in 2013.
“The advocates awarded are selfless in their commitment and devotion to advancement of Asian Pacific Americans. Their actions demonstrate the values and mission of OCA. It is because of our chapters and members like them that OCA continues to exist as an organization dedicated to the empowerment of all APAs,” said Clifford Yee, OCA Vice President of Chapter Development. “We thank these individuals for their commitment to strengthening our communities.”
The 2013-2014 Unsung Heroes Awardees are:
• DAVID CHAI was born in 1937 in Nanjing, China, a few months before the Japanese occupation. His family moved to Tokyo in 1948 and he came to America in 1955 with a one-way ticket on a freighter with $100 in his pocket to study Engineering at Purdue University. David Chai retired in 2000 after 30 years with AT&T Bell Laboratories. While at Bell Labs, he encountered the glass ceiling that affects so many Chinese Americans, especially those of the immigrant generation. To help combat this, he became involved with employee affinity groups to improve the promotion prospects of all minority groups. He recognized early on the lack of Asian “role models” to emulate or to serve as mentors at Bell Labs and elsewhere. Moving to Foster City in 2004, he joined OCA San Mateo, and was elected to its Board in 2005.
• JINKY DOLAR is a senior account executive at Crossings TV. She has worked at the Sacramento Bee as an Audience Development Sales Manager in the Circulation Department for over nine years. Jinky has successfully established new business partnerships with the Press Club, utility, cable, phone companies, builders, grocers, retailers, magazines, etc. She is an avid activist on anti-domestic violence, mental health awareness, problematic gambling, human trafficking and other civil rights issues impacting Asian Americans. Her community involvement has helped me build an extensive network build coalitions. In turn, she connected local non-profit organizations to key grant opportunities such as those with philanthropic businesses.
• JERI OKAMOTO FLOYD is the first attorney in her family. Jeri is a third-generation Japanese American who spent her youth in Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana, California, and Oregon. She graduated summa cum laude from UC Santa Barbara and received a full scholarship to Loyola Law School, where she served as Managing Editor of the Law Review. She is a lifetime OCA member and first volunteered with OCA Greater Los Angeles (GLA) during the 1994 convention in Los Angeles. She has served as the OCA GLA Director of Education & Culture, an advisory board member, and volunteers and continues as a liaison to the China adoption community. Jeri’s family underwrites wish lists for the API Community Holiday Toy Drive and annually sponsors OCA GLA summer interns.
• MICHAEL WU joined OCA New York (NY) in 2008 and has been a Board Member since 2010. In 2013 and for the last five years, Michael has served as co-captain of OCA NY’s dragon boat racing teams where he and his co-captain led the team to win divisional 1st place in 2009 and 2012 in the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. After attending the 2013 JACL-OCA Leadership training in Washington, D.C., Michael spearheaded OCA NY’s voting rights work in the summer and fall, where his team of two interns and over 20 volunteers exceeded the committed goals. Michael has also been active with the campaign for justice for Private Danny Chen in 2013 by volunteering his time to drive a vanload of supporters to North Carolina to monitor one of the courts-martial and by helping to collect signatures in support of the successful street co-naming petition for “Private Danny Chen Way” in Chinatown.