The Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce: Ovation

Honors bestowed, selfies shot, business and social might celebrated

Paul Kim, Chairman of the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce
Paul Kim, Chairman of the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce

Fact: May, the month just passed, was Asian-Pacific American Heritage month.

Which is why it made perfect sense for the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce to hold their annual awards banquet last Friday, filling the Zilker Ballroom at the riverside Hyatt with all manner of business types and community boosters and various movers-and-shakers of Asian/Pacific heritage. Not to mention a posh phalanx of other-heritaged associates and political allies – and a few grizzled journos in the thick of it all, taking notes and knocking back the Chardonnay.

Fancy dress, open bar, a bright crowd of mingling citizens engaged in spirited palaver, the satin of tuxedos as black as the ledgers of the more successful enterprises shimmering in the spotlights. Those spotlights revealing, first, the emcees for the night – Dallas TV newswoman Elizabeth Dinh and comedian Danny Cho – then shining proudly upon the guests being honored for their hard-won economic and social triumphs.

For example:

The Lifetime Achievement Award this year went to William Wang, CEO of successful flatscreen TV company Vizio.

Jamie Amelio of Caring for Cambodia received recognition as Community Leader, for all the good works her educational nonprofit has brought to that country.

The Global Entrepreneur honors went to Jialiang Wang, whose Jialiang K-9 Kennels are the largest trainer and provider of working and companion dogs in China.

Business of the Year was Silicon Labs.

And – closest to this reporter's heart (or, perhaps, his gastrointestinal tract) – Jae Kim's Chi'lantro brand of food trucks and restaurants was chosen as Emerging Business of the Year.

And a few other honors, too, which we'll leave for the GAACC website to better inform you of … but we won't end this business-y burst of information before noting that Paul Kim, Ying McGuire, and LD&C's Robert Lee of that Chamber did a fine job of wrangling this event to celebrate Asian-Pacific American achievements in Central Texas.

Which is, of course, a win for all of us of any heritage.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle