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Wisconsin’s Most Influential Asian American Leaders 2022

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Every year since our founding in 2015, we have recognized Wisconsin’s most influential Black and Latino leaders, and we were very proud in 2020 to also begin to recognize Indigenous and Asian American leaders. These lists have become the most anticipated thing we do. Every year, I’ve intended these lists to highlight the beauty of the diversity across our state. I want kids here in Wisconsin to see role models of people who are succeeding, to know that it’s possible for people of color to achieve great things here.

This week we shine a statewide spotlight on the dedicated leaders of Wisconsin’s Hmong, Chinese-American, Japanese-American, Pacific Islander, South Asian, and other communities. These are richly diverse communities with roots that represent a massive geographic area. The people we highlight this week are elected leaders, business leaders and community leaders, doing difficult, important work, often in the face of discrimination and literally generations of oppression.

We are also aware that this list, like every other, is not comprehensive. There are, without a doubt, more than 35 influential Asian American leaders doing good work in Wisconsin. We hope you will let us know about people in your community who we can include on future lists. For now, though, we just want to introduce you to a few of the people doing the work, often behind the scenes and without the accolades, across Wisconsin.

You might know a few of these names, but there’s a good chance that most of them will be new to you. I urge you to get to know them. Reach out to those living and working in your communities. Learn from them, network, create partnerships. And spread the word — let others in your network know that we have people of all ethnicities living and working across Wisconsin to make this state a good and prosperous place for all.

Henry Sanders, Jr
CEO, 365 Media Foundation
Publisher, Madison365

Ae (Alex) Hanesakda is founder and owner of SapSap, a Lao-inspired restaurant in Mount Pleasant, near Racine. Born in a refugee camp in Thailand, Hanesakda started a pop-up restaurant in a rented kitchen, which quickly grew into a full-fledged endeavor. SapSap, which means “delicious, delicious,” started an initiative in 2021 called PengPeng – peng means “to gently care for” – to feed hungry people and veterans. In 2021, the restaurant distributed over $10,000 worth of hot meals to those in need.

E Her Vang is managing director of the Network for School Improvement at City Year Milwaukee. In that role, she leads City Year’s efforts to establish and facilitate a network of schools that will utilize continuous improvement practices to improve the on-track rates for eighth-grade students at local sites. Prior to joining City Year Milwaukee in 2019, she worked in community health with the Milwaukee Consortium for Hmong Health and Independent Care Health Plan. She is vice president of the board of Our Scholarship and served two years on the committee for Hmong Young Professionals, among many other volunteer responsibilities. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from UW-Madison and a master’s degree in public health from UW-Milwaukee. 

Yogesh Chawla represents Madison’s near-east side on the Dane County Board of Supervisors, a position to which he was first elected in 2018. Representing one of the most progressive districts in the state, he sits on the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission Executive Committee, the Election Security Review Committee, the Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, and the Land Conservation Committee. Professionally, he is director of the software and data engineering program at SEARCH, the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. He holds a degree in computer science from Binghamton University.

MaiKou Heu is principal of Johnston Elementary School in Appleton. She and her family migrated to the United States when she was 2 years old and made Appleton their home shortly after arriving in the United States. Her first hand experiences as a dual-language learner, at a time when the school system didn’t have the knowledge and experience to support those learning English, lead to her passion for becoming an educator.  MaiKou graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a Bachelor Degree in Education and Human Services and a minor in Criminal Justice. She also earned her Master Degree in School Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a Master Degree in Administration, Curriculum Development, and Special Education/Pupil Services from National-Louis University. MaiKou has had extensive experience working outside of the public education system providing individual and family counseling services, youth development, career development as well as teaching counseling-related graduate courses.   In the fall of 2005, MaiKou begin her service in the Appleton Area School District as a School Counselor at Highlands Elementary. MaiKou has also served the District as the Dean of Students at Lincoln Elementary, Summer School Coordinator at Foster Elementary, Associate Principal of Huntley Elementary, and AASD School Counseling Program Support. MaiKou was named Principal of Johnston Elementary School beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.  

David Lee is the Chief Executive Officer at Imagine MKE, where he works to harness the power of our region’s arts community and culture creators. David is a nationally and locally recognized leader, including “Notable Minority Executives” from The Milwaukee BizTimes, and brings nearly 20 years of experience in non-profit government relations, advocacy, and legislative affairs. He previously worked as founding executive director of Feeding Wisconsin after several years working at Feeding America. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Ex Fabula and Outpost Natural Foods. 

Dr. Soyeon Shim assumed her current position as the Dean of the School of Human Ecology (SoHE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012. She has led SoHE’s All Ways Forward campaign and exceeded its campaign goal by 150% by raising $72 million, including 13 endowed chairs and professorships, a deanship, and 10 new graduate fellowship endowments. Dr. Shim’s scholarly research focuses on consumer decision-making and has won competitive grants totaling more than $1.5 million from federal agencies and private foundations. Dr. Shim has received numerous teaching, research, development, and leadership awards, both at the university and state/national level. She has authored or co-authored over 120 scholarly articles in refereed journals. Born and raised in Seoul, Dr. Shim obtained two degrees (B.S. ‘81 and M.S. ’83) from the College of Human Ecology at Yonsei University, followed by a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1986. After a short stint as an assistant professor at Colorado State University, she was recruited to the University of Arizona, where she spent 22 years. In her previous role as the director of the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the UA, she led a $25 million capital campaign to build a new facility, McClelland Park. She also raised more than $30 million to create an endowment fund and name the School in honor of John and Doris Norton, and established several named centers and institutes in partnership with private sectors and individual donors.

Joshua Kaul is Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin, a position he was elected to in 2018, when he defeated incumbent Brad Schimel. He is the son of Indian immigrant Raj Kaul and former Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager. Raised in Oshkosh and Fond du Lac, he graduated from Yale and went on to Stanford Law School. Kaul clerked for Michael Boudin in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. From 2007 through 2010, he worked for the law firm Jenner & Block, and worked as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Baltimore through 2014. In 2014, Kaul moved back to Wisconsin and joined the law firm Perkins Coie’s Madison office.

Adam Clausen serves as the Senior Leader of Life Center Madison, a non-denominational, multi-cultural church. He co-founded a grassroots community organizing effort of service providers, the Southeast Community Network, that serves the southeast side of Madison, which collaborates with one of Madison’s NRTs. He currently serves out of the Office of the Superintendent for MMSD, in addition to a number of boards, committees, and councils that advocate for justice, youth engagement and empowerment, and community collaboration, including the Foundation Board for One City Schools. 

Lisa Imhoff is associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy. She is also a licensed therapist and social worker providing services through Evolve Wellness and Consulting. Prior to taking on the D&I role at the School of Pharmacy in 2019, she was a mental health clinician and substance abuse services coordinator at the university and spent 10 years as an evaluator and therapist at UW Health. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and women’s studies at UW-Madison, as well as a master’s degree in social work.

Maneesh Arora is founder and CEO of Elephas, a Madison-based company that is developing an imaging platform technology to assess how live tumor fragments respond to cancer therapies. Prior to founding Elephas in 2020, Maneesh was CEO of Farcast Biosciences, a venture-backed cancer diagnostics company focused on improving treatment outcomes for cancer patients. Before joining Farcast, Maneesh served as Chief Operating Officer of Exact Sciences Corporation for ten years where he helped lead the growth of the company from 3 employees to over 3,000 at the end of his tenure there. Exact Sciences’ focus is the early detection and prevention of colon cancer. Exact’s lead product, Cologuard, was developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic and is now widely available in the US as a front-line screening method for colorectal cancer, reimbursed by both Medicare and all major insurers. Prior to joining Exact, Maneesh worked for Third Wave Technologies, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company, from 2003 until its acquisition by Hologic, Inc. in July 2008. During his time at Third Wave, he was responsible for business strategy and commercial operations before being promoted to Chief Financial Officer in January 2006. Maneesh earned a BA in economics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Crystal Potts is the Director of State Relations for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her role, she serves as the point-of-contact for state government relations, including the governor’s office, state legislature, and state agencies. She also assists in the creation and implementation of a statewide advocacy effort on behalf of the university. Crystal previously served as the chief of staff to Wisconsin State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green). In this capacity, she also supported the legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee as the senate staff lead on tax and local government issues. She also served as the research assistant and staff clerk to the Committee on Ways & Means in the State Assembly early in her career at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Originally from the Twin Cities, Crystal is a proud graduate of UW-Madison with a BA in political science and Chinese. She lives in Fitchburg with her husband, two sons, dog, and two cats.

Kabby Hong is an English teacher at Verona High School, and was named Wisconsin’s Teacher of the Year for 2022. With over 20 years teaching experience, he has given several presentations for The New York Times on argumentative writing. He has received awards from Stanford University and the University of Chicago for his effectiveness as a teacher. Over the past two years, he has used his platform as a prominent educator to speak out about the sharp increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans. The sone of Korean immigrants and born in Los Angeles, he received his bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri – Columbia and went on to get a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Colorado – Boulder.

Tina Chang is the Chair and CEO of SysLogic, Inc, serving clients for over 26 years in the areas of Technology Strategy & Digital Transformation, Information Management & Business Intelligence, Cybersecurity/Enterprise Risk and Software Development. SysLogic is dedicated to driving clients’ growth by leveraging leading-edge technology and sound business processes. During SysLogic’s 26 years, she has leveraged the company to spin off two technology start-ups (SysSpark, LLC, and Cyberspect, LLC). Tina serves on the boards of several non-profit and community organizations including: Alverno College, Children’s – Wisconsin, Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce, Midwest Cybersecurity Alliance, Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation, Wisconsin Policy Forum, Teach for America, Waukesha County Business Alliance, and the YMCA-Metro Milwaukee. Tina previously served in board leadership positions at Ascension-WI, United Performing Arts Fund and United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha.

Mai Yang Krenzke is a program manager at Oshkosh Corporation, a job she was promoted to two and a half years ago after more than four years as a senior principal engineer in the company’s quality and continuous improvement area and another eight years in various roles rapidly ascending the corporate ladder. She has also been a real estate investor as co-owner of Prime Properties for more than five years. She has volunteered as a Continuous Improvement Coach with Poverty Outcomes Improvement Network Team and a teacher with Junior Achievement. She earned a degree in finance from UW-Oshkosh in 2005.

Emily Tau, a Chinese American professional in Milwaukee, is marketing and communications officer at the City of Milwaukee’s Health Department, managing public information, media relations and community relations for the state’s largest public health department. She stepped into that role in the spring of 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, as the latest chapter in a career in strategic communications that goes back over 10 years. Most recently, she spent more than four years doing communications for VISIT Milwaukee and several other years working for marketing agencies. She earned a degree in public relations and theatre arts from Marquette University in 2010.

Ron Kuramoto has served as Executive Director of Peace Learning Center of Milwaukee since June 2021. For four decades, he has served in numerous nonprofit organizations in both the Southern California and greater Milwaukee areas. In the greater Milwaukee area, Ron has served as National Senior Vice President of Public Allies, Inc., as Director/Facilitator of the Future Milwaukee Community Leadership Programs of Marquette University, as a Founding Board Director of the Wisconsin Nonprofits Association, as a Board Director of Leadership Wisconsin, First Stage, Life Navigators, IndependenceFirst, and as a member of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee.  Ron also currently serves as President of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) – Wisconsin Chapter as well as an Executive Committee member of the Asian American Pacific Islander Coalition of Wisconsin.

Peter Tan is chief design officer at Strang, Inc and an architect with more than 30 years of experience designing award-winning commercial, civic and urban design projects. He grew up in Malaysia and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from Cornell University. He joined Smith Blackburn Shauffer Architects in 1987 and relocated to Madison in 1991, joining Strang in 1993. Over the years, he has volunteered with the Boy Scouts and West Madison Senior Coalition and served on the Madison Urban Design Commission, the board of Madison Region Economic Partnership and Advisory Council of Upper House.

Mayhoua Moua is the Executive Director of Southeast Asian Educational Development of Wisconsin, Inc (SAED). The organization reaches out to Southeast Asian refugees in the Milwaukee area and helps them adapt to life in the United States. The organization also assists refugees in finding access to health care, education, and employment. Moua was born in Laos during the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Her dad and uncle worked for the United States to rescue prisoners of war in Vietnam, so when communism came into the country in 1975 the family had to flee. The family fled to Thailand, lived there for a year in the refugee camps, and came to the United States in 1976 when she was 7 years old. As a child, she helped her parents adapt to the United States by getting an education and being their translator. She grew up in the Twin Cities, got married in her late teens, then moved to Appleton before settling in Milwaukee in 1991. At Milwaukee, she started working for the Lao Family Community, Inc. as a housing specialist. Then, she worked as an employment specialist helping Southeast Asians join the workforce. In 1993, Moua helped establish HAWA, Hmong American Women’s Association, Inc. 

Yasir Kamal began as an American Family agency owner in 2009, working his way up to vice president of inclusive excellence, where he and his team lead efforts to develop and support the company’s strategy to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.. He is a Certified Diversity Executive and Accredited Small Business Consultant. He is a board member of the D214 Charity Committee, which supports treatment of childhood cancer, and Disability:IN Wisconsin.

Sae Yang is equity and inclusion coordinator for the Neenah Joint School District, a role she assumed in 2021 after six years as an educator in the Appleton Area School District. While at Appleton, she served as adviser to Appleton West’s Hmong Club and on the state’s English Language Arts Academic Standards Committee. She earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from UW-Oshkosh in 2020 and her bachelor’s from the same university in 2014. 

Goodson Vue is associate director of the University of Wisconsin PEOPLE program, which has enrolled more than 1,000 students on scholarships to UW-Madison. Vue, who is Hmong, coordinates the College Scholar program, supporting students through their time at the university. He was promoted to this role after eight years as assistant director and four years as an adviser. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s degree in communications from UW-Whitewater.

Yoshihiro Kawaoka is a virologist in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences in the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, and one of the world’s leading authorities on influenza and Ebola viruses. Born in Kobe, Japan, he also holds a professorship at the University of Tokyo. Following the West African Ebola virus epidemic of 2014, Kawaoka began development of an Ebola vaccine. He has been honored with numerous awards and recognitions, including the Robert Koch Prize, Japan’s Medal of Honor, Membership in the United States National Academy of Sciences, Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award, Carlos J. Finlay Prize for Microbiology, Japan Academy Prize and Sir Michael Stoker Prize.

Kevin J. Miyazaki is a graphic designer, photographer, and educator based in Milwaukee. Born and raised in Milwaukee, he traces his heritage to Japan and Hawaii. His work has been published in several nationally circulated magazines. Miyazaki began his career as a staff photographer at The Cincinnati Enquirer in 1997 and 1998 he became the photo editor at Cincinnati Magazine. He has been a regular contributor to Milwaukee Magazine since the early 2000s. Other publication credits include Time, Newsweek, Forbes, Fortune, National Geographic Traveler, GQ, The New York Times, Food & Wine, and numerous others. Miyazaki’s art photos have been featured in galleries all over the United States, including Seattle, San Francisco, New Jersey, and New York City. He has also received several honors for his work, including being a recipient of the Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowship, and being hosted as an artist in residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock. He attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1990.

Angela Jenkins is an accomplished DEI leader and strategist with experience building sustainable and innovative programs focused on aligning equity and business priorities. She is currently a Technology Project Manager at American Family Insurance with oversight on the recruitment and placement of top tech talent into the Data Science and Analytics Lab. Angela has worked with community, nonprofit organizations, and large corporations across diverse industries and sectors such as technology and pharmacology research and development. Angela is a proud University of Washington Husky with diversity and inclusion certifications from Cornell University and the Institute for Diversity. She holds various leadership positions on several non-profits such as The River Food Pantry, The Sessions At McPike Park, and Collaboration for Good. She is a commissioner on City of Madison’s Zoning Board of Appeal and is a member of the AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin, a statewide organization that amplifies AAPI voices and leads advocacy projects that stand against hate and racism. 

Bryan Cayabyab is human resources director at food and beverage manufacturer JBS USA in Green Bay, where he manages the human resources needs for a staff of more than 1,200 employees. He’s worked his way up to that position since he joined the company as a training and development manager in 2014. Cayabyab began his career in nursing, volunteering at the Dagupan Doctor’s Veterans Memorial Hospital in the Philippines and working in memory care at Tender Rose Home Care in San Francisco, before transitioning to human resources there in 2013. He holds a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Springfield College.

Dr. Nhi Lê is an accelerator catalyst at Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. Born in Vietnam and raised in Georgia, she earned a PhD in material science from UW-Madison with a research focus on stem cell engineering and biomanufacturing. She is also a deep tech investor at Paeonia Capital, based in Singapore, and founding partner of the venture firm Mariton Partners. She has her name on six patents.

Dr. Jay Balachandran is a physician with Ascension Medical Group in Brookfield, specializing in critical care, pulmonary medicine and sleep medicine. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in 2003. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, during which time he was named Chief Resident. He has completed fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Harvard Medical School and fellowship training in Sleep Medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He is the Chair for Hospital Specialty Medicine at Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s and is one of Milwaukee’s Top Doctors in Pulmonary/ Critical Care Medicine and Sleep Medicine. He is also a Village of Wh
itefish Bay Trustee and a member of the Whitefish Bay Public Library Board.

Sarah Chitharanjan Jacobs is diversity, equity and inclusion manager at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, where she manages DEI efforts for the organization’s 3,200 employees, about 13 percent of whom identify as people of color. Before joining Meriter in December of 2020, she worked in audience services, fundraising and membership for Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio for more than 10 years. She is also a strategic consultant for The Book Deal, a family-owned, mission-driven bookstore. A Stevens Point native of Indian and Polish heritage, she earned a degree in communication arts and Spanish from UW-Madison in 2006 and a certification as a Professional Co-Active Coach in 2018.

Sachin Chheda is a partner at Nation Consulting and a communications, government relations, advocacy and nonprofit management professional. He is a frequently utilized source for political and business reporters, and was named a “Behind the Scenes Power Player” by Gannett Media and one of the nation’s 500 top “Influencers” by Campaigns & Elections magazine. He currently serves as director of the Fair Elections Project, as campaigns advisor to the Economic Security Project, as a strategic communications advisor to the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, and as senior advisor to Community Shares of Greater Milwaukee. Sachin also oversaw winning campaigns for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Rebecca Dallet and Jill Karofsky, Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly, and then-Superintendent Tony Evers, as well as dozens of local judges, aldermen, school board members and others. He previously served as a consultant to SEIU, as director of the Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition and Wisconsin Stem Cell Now, as deputy director for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and as Outreach Director for the film As Goes Janesville, among many other clients. Prior to coming to Nation Consulting in 2006, Sachin spent five years as an aide to Governor Jim Doyle.  Sachin is active in nonprofit leadership, having served two terms as Chair of the Board of Directors for NARAL Pro-Choice America. He currently serves as a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, and as Wisconsin State Director for South Asians for America. He previously served as an officer of the Wisconsin Coalition of Asian Indian Organizations and is Chairman Emeritus of the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County. Sachin attended both the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and UW-Madison.

Jilly Gokalgandhi  currently works with the American Family Insurance Institute on the Equity in Education team, focusing on early childhood education, literacy, and high school graduation and was elected to the Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors in April 2021. She attended public schools and then graduated from Marquette University where she studied International Relations, Spanish, and Economics. She started her career at Employ Milwaukee as a youth workforce development policy analyst. From there, she was the Community Schools Coordinator via the United Way for Bradley Technology and Trade High School, which led her to Rockwell Automation’s community relations department where she is entrusted with Girls in STEM programming. She served as the Curator of the Milwaukee Global Shapers, a youth affiliate of the World Economic Forum, and has been involved with the City Year Associate Board, STEM Forward Board, and Acts Housing Board committees. Director Gokalgandhi is the first South Asian woman to serve on the Milwaukee Board of School Directors.

Sumit Rana is senior vice president at Epic, where he has worked for nearly 24 years. One of the minds behind MyChart, the company’s signature product, he began as a software developer in 1998 after graduating from the Delhi College of Engineering in India. He has served on the Board of Trustees at Madison Country Day School.

Nishant Upadhyay is director of data and analytics at UW Credit Union, where he started in June 2021 after nearly 14 years at American Family Insurance, where he most recently served as vice president for information and data management. He earned an undergraduate degree from St Xavier’s College in Mumbai and an MBA from Bhavnagar University, also in India, in 1997.

Karen Hung is CEO and founder of Silver Rock Consulting, which she launched in 2014 where she works with leading institutions and brands to accelerate strategy and alignment through a proprietary co-creation model. Prior to founding Silver Rock Consulting, Karen held officer and executive roles with Lands’ End, GE, Ann Taylor, Citigroup and a privately held healthcare company. She has a background with Fortune 100 enterprises and has held Chief Marketing, Strategy and Innovation Officer roles. In a client-advisory capacity, she held interim C-Suite roles with MetLife and led specialized initiatives, including the rollout of a marketing transformation roadmap for AbbVie’s US Commercial Business Unit and coaching innovation teams at Johnson Controls. With a focus on enterprise and business transformation, Karen’s expertise spans multiple industries, including financial services, retail, pharmaceuticals and CPG. Leveraging her expertise in business development and transformational leadership, Karen has been consistently recognized for her leadership and vision in achieving team success in start-up and turn-around situations. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Washington University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Karen serves on the Boards of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Rotary Club of Milwaukee.  She is an adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Leadership at the University of Wisconsin – Lubar School of Business, and is the founder and chair of Intersect, an innovation symposium.  Karen also serves as the President of the Harvard Business School Club of Wisconsin and is a member of Milwaukee Women Inc.

Sachin Shivaram is chief executive officer of Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, a century-old, family-owned manufacturer in Manitowoc, Wis. Sachin has spent his entire career in the metals industry, holding roles in sales and strategy. Sachin grew up in Milwaukee. He and his wife, Lipi, lived and worked in Mexico for several years, also spending time in Brazil, Texas, Mississippi, Illinois and Michigan before finally moving back home to Wisconsin in 2016. Sachin and his family live in De Pere, just across the river from St. Norbert. He volunteers on the board of directors of IndUS of Fox Valley, Inc., a cultural organization dedicated to spreading local awareness of Indian culture. He also serves on the Council of Trustees of UW-Green Bay. He is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and the South Indian language of Kannada.

Shayna Hetzel is a community builder focused on collective action for greater social impact – with 15+ years of experience in education, equity, and social justice. She currently leads teams at American Family Insurance that are focused on social innovation and community collaboration to close equity gaps in education and for our youth through investments, strategic partnerships, and community programs. Before joining American Family Insurance, Shayna worked for the Wisconsin State Budget Office on education policy and government operations, and for the University of Wisconsin – Madison on community building, capital project management, and stakeholder communications. Shayna holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Masters of Public Affairs both from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Who’d we miss? If you know anyone who should be on our next list of Asian American leaders, email them to news@madison365.org!