September 27, 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn. (August 18, 2010) – Governor Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday appointed three new Board Members to the State Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans – and also reappointed four other members. The new members include Connie Mei Ledford, Hue Danny Lee, and Tsewang Ngodup, M.D.  The reappointed members include Eleasalo “Salo” Ale, Ikram M. Huq, Ananda S. Liyanapathiranage, and Wilfred Tun Baw.

The Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans advises the Governor and the legislature on issues encountered by Asian-Pacific people in Minnesota. The council consists of 23 members, 19 are appointed by the Governor to represent the Asian-Pacific community.

Ale, who has been a member of the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans since 2003 and currently serves as the Board Chair. He is reappointed as a Samoan member of the Council to another four-year term that expires on January 6, 2014.

“Obviously, I am honored by the Governor’s trust in reappointing me to the Council for another four year term,” said Ale. “I look forward to working with members of the Council and community to advance the goals of the Council.”

A Hopkins resident and partner with the Faegre and Benson law firm in Minneapolis since 1995, Ale earned his law degree from Drake University Law School in Des Moines and his bachelor of arts degree from Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville.

Originally from American Samoa, he is a member of the Samoan Association of Minnesota and the Pacific Islands Center for Educational Development Board of Directors.

Huq, of Apple Valley, has served on the CAPM board since 2006, and is reappointed as its Pakistani member to a second four-year term that expires on January 6, 2014.

Huq is a senior Imam and religious director of the Muslim Community Center in Bloomington. He is also the owner and chief executive officer of Omar Insurance Agency in Burnsville and Minneapolis, and is a co-owner and president of Ramdan Halal Meat Market and Groceries in Burnsville.

His education includes a master’s degrees in economics from Texas Tech University in Lubbock as well as from Bangalore University in Bangalore, India, an associate’s degree in information systems from Amarillo College, in Amarillo, Texas, and a diploma in business administration from Transworld College in the United Kingdom.

Ledford, of St. Paul, is a first term CAPM board member and replaces Lina Jau as the Malaysian member. She is appointed to a four-year term that expires on January 7, 2013.

Ledford was a sales and marketing executive for U.S. and Canadian-based companies in South Asia, including Tiens Health Development (Tianshi), Lifestyle International, Measat Broadcast Network Systems, Avon Malaysia, and Aseania Resorts.  She earned her bachelor of science degree in business administration as well as a bachelor’s degree in general studies in economics from the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Fellow new member, Hue Danny Lee, of Oakdale, replaces Bee Lee as the Hmong member of the council. He is appointed to a four-year term that expires on January 2, 2012.

Hue Danny Lee is a business analyst with Blue Cross Blue Shield in Eagan as well as a realtor with Real Estate Masters in Little Canada. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis after attending California State University in Chico.

He currently chairs the Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Asiancircle (employee resource group), and was president of the Hmong Students Association of California State University.

Liyanapathiranage, of Woodbury, has served as a CAPM board member since 1996, and is reappointed as its Sri Lankan member to another four-year term that expires on January 7, 2013.

Liyanapathiranage co-founded the Minnesota Sri Lanka Friendship Foundation, is a member of the St. Paul Foundation Asian Pacific Endowment, and the Asian Pacific Cultural Center. He is an IT project manager with the Minnesota Department of Human Services and held a variety of positions with the State of Minnesota over the past 21 years.

A Bush Leadership Fellow, Liyanapathiranage earned his master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute, his bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Sri Lanka, and a diploma in accounting from St. Paul Technical College.

Ngodup, of Bloomington, replaces Wangyal Ritzekura as the Tibetan member of the CAPM board. He is appointed to complete a four-year term that expires on January 7, 2013.

Dr. Ngodup is president of the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota. He is also licensed by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, and is a member of numerous professional associations.

Dr. Ngodup is a faculty physician and director of nursing home curriculum with Hennepin County Medical Center, Department of Family Medicine. He is also associate medical director of the Golden Living Chateau Health Care Center in Minneapolis, and the associate medical director with Asera Center Care Hospice in Bloomington.

Tun Baw, of St. Paul, has served on the CAPM board since 2008, and is reappointed as the Burmese member to fulfill a four-year term that expires January 7, 2013.

Tun Baw chairs the Karen Community of Minnesota, and serves as project manager of the Karen Support Project at the Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota. He graduated from the Rangoon Arts and Science University and was an elementary teacher in Burma before immigrating to St. Paul from Thailand.

The Council board meets at bi-monthly public meetings. They work on legislative issues, community education and outreach, and various projects including an annual APIA Heritage Month Banquet and Leadership Awards.

CAPM has full and part time staff, including Kao Ly Ilean Her, executive director and Marc Mersky, special projects manager. Jovita Bjoraker, office manager, and David Zander, research and legislative specialist, both retired earlier this year.

Contact the Council at 651-757-1740 or [email protected]. The office address is Centennial Office Building, 658 Cedar Street Suite 160, St. Paul, MN 55155. Visit online at