2018 Board Member Biographies
Akemi Matsumoto actively volunteers in the API community as she has for the last three decades. She has served on the Boards of the Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, The Washington State Commission on Asian American Affairs, The Asian Community Leadership Foundation and APACE when it was a state-wide coalition from 1998–2000. She believes in self and community empowerment through active involvement and organizing. She retired from Bellevue Community College where she lead institutional efforts in racial justice: Courageous Conversations for students, faculty, staff and administration talking together. She is a national trainer on cultural competency and cross-cultural communication.
Stanley Tsao has many years of community outreach experience working with The Connections Group team. Stanley has managed outreach programs for numerous government initiatives and providing better government access to minority and immigrant communities. He has worked closely with a broad range of community groups, government agencies and non-profitorganizations. He also manages Connections’ production projects from direct mails to media productions. Previously, Stanley had served as a board member with Young Professional International Network at World Affairs Council and as the board chair at Safe Futures YouthCenter in West Seattle. Tsao has an undergraduate degree in economics and political science from Simon Fraser University in Canada.
Christina Shimizu is the Director of Individual Giving at The Wing Luke Museum, connecting everyone to the rich history, dynamic cultures and art of Asian Pacific Americans through vivid storytelling and inspiring experiences. She manages large scale fund development and marketing campaigns, and is committed to supporting work that expands community participation in creating lasting social change. She is an experienced trainer on issues of class and race and uses this analysis to examine the ways in which systems of power impact philanthropic engagement. Christina cut her teeth in grassroots community outreach as a youth intern at The Connections Group in 2004. Her previous work spans human services and National Service. Christina grew up in Seattle and graduated from The Evergreen State College. She is second generation Japanese American.
Derrick A De Vera As a born and raised Seattleite, Derrick De Vera understands and appreciates his community. He proudly represents clients of all sizes in the industries of manufacturing & distribution and real estate & construction as an attorney at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. Because of his strong community ties and experience working with current Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu at the King County Superior Court and for former King County Council Member Larry Phillips, Derrick is dedicated to mentorship and advocacy especially for communities of color. Derrick also loves his local Seattle sports teams, his food, and his coffee.
Sofia Aragon is the Executive Director of the Washington Center for Nursing, a nonprofit corporation focused on solving the state’s nursing shortage. She immigrated to Seattle at the age of three with her parents. She is a registered nurse and an attorney by training, graduating from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Seattle University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Juris Doctor from Loyola University-Chicago. Her previous roles include hospital nurse, community health clinic nurse, legislative liaison for WA State Department of Health and Governmental Affairs Advisor for the WA State Nurses Association. Her passion is supporting aspiring and current nursing and legal professionals as adjunct faculty for the Seattle University College of Nursing and Seattle University School of Law, and developing continuing legal education programs with the WA State Association of Nurse Attorneys. Her hobbies are travel and sports.
Matt Yoo is a seasoned political operative with experience working on campaigns for municipal, judicial, legislative, and federal office. After working in the Washington State Senate for the 2016 legislative session, Matt served as Deputy Finance Director on then-Washington State Senator Pramila Jayapal’s successful campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives for Washington’s 7th congressional district. He is currently the Finance Director for Congresswoman Jayapal’s campaign committee, where he manages the congresswoman’s political fundraising operation. Mattgraduated from Western Washington University in 2013, where he earned B.A. degrees in Philosophy and Political Science.
Aseem Chipalkatti is a Communications and PR Consultant. Previously he was Marketing and Operations Manager for Bandar Foods and was a Fellow at Venture for American, a organization for recent grads to learn about entrepreneurial leadership. He served a two year fellowship with a growing start-up company. Asseem is currently applying for law school.
Rachtha Danh works and lives in Seattle’s Chinatown International District. He works in Property Management and Community Initiative programs of SCIDpda. He serves on the board of Downtown Seattle Association Residents’ Council and Solid Waste Advisory Committee. As a first generation of a refugee family, he understand the importance of giving voice to those often over-looked in American political systems