With over 750 in attendance, last week’s Annual Dinner, held again at Cipriani Wall Street, shattered previous records. We thank everyone who attended, especially all the sponsors who came out to celebrate with us and to support AABANY’s mission. Thanks also to all the volunteers who helped to keep everything running smoothly. We thank Richard Lui of MSNBC for doing a great job as MC of the event. Congratulations to President Mike Huang and the entire Dinner Planning Committee for a job well done. What a way to kick off the Year of the Snake. To read the press release go to http://blog.aabany.org/post/44552241384/aabanys-annual-dinner-attracts-more-than-750-guests

From the TwitterVerse: Marriage Proposal at AABANY Annual Dinner

The Newark mayor plays cupid. “You know, I’m a romantic guy and I love to help with surprises,” Booker tells BuzzFeed.posted on February 27, 2013 at 7:50pm EST

Israel Burns proposed to his girlfriend, Misha Wright, in New York City Wednesday evening after some surprise help from Newark mayor Cory Booker. Image by Israel Burns

Israel Burns proposed Wednesday evening to his girlfriend of one year, Misha Wright, with a surprise assist from Cory Booker. Burns asked the Newark mayor on Twitter to “lend a hand with a marriage proposal idea,” and less than 24 hours later, Booker helped pop the question.

Known for engaging directly with constituents and admirers over the social media platform — he rescued a dog left out in the cold last month after a local television reporter tweeted at him for help — Booker saw Burns’ tweet late Tuesday night and responded in the affirmative: “I am a romantic,” he said. “Please DM me. Sounds fun.”

I am a romantic. Please DM me. Sounds fun RT @israelburns Is it possible for you to lend a hand with a marriage proposal idea?

Burns, 26, lives and works in New York City at the law firm, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, but says he became a fan of the mayor when he went to law school in Newark from 2009 to 2011.

“I was trying to think of the most creative way to do the proposal,” Burns told BuzzFeed. “Misha is also a huge supporter and fan of Cory Booker’s, and so I wanted to incorporate him somehow.”

“Ten minutes after I posted it on Twitter, he responded. I was like, ‘Wait is he serious about this? Is it actually possible?’” Burns said.

Burns was planning on taking Wright, 35, and also a lawyer, to the Asian American Bar Association of New York’s annual dinner at Cipriani Wall — where the couple met this time last year — and he wanted the proposal to take place at the event.

He asked Booker over Twitter if he’d be in New York Wednesday night. No, said Booker, but he still wanted to help.

After connecting by phone — “his vibe was excited to help out,” Burns said of the call — he and the mayor came up with a game plan. Booker wouldn’t appear in person at the event, but would make a cameo, by phone.

“At the event, I’m going to tell her I’m going to the bathroom and have her hold my cell phone,” said Burns. “At 6:50 p.m., Cory is gonna call and tell her that he found me at the event and that she should come upstairs to the second floor, at the VIP section.”

Speaking to BuzzFeed before the proposal, Burns said, “She is gonna freak out, and sprint upstairs,” he said. “We personally admire the work that he’s done in Newark in terms of revitalizing the political youth, so we are big fans.”

But instead of Booker waiting upstairs, it would be Burns, with two glasses of champagne, a ring, and a poem he wrote for the occasion, he said.

Wright, it turned out, said yes.

Booker told BuzzFeed after the proposal that “it seemed to go really well,” he said. “She was excited and almost dubious at the beginning that I was there.”

Asked why he decided to respond to Burns, Booker said, “You know, I’m a romantic guy and I love to help with surprises. It’s the first time I’ve conspired with somebody on a marriage proposal,” he said.

“Taking a few minutes out of my hectic day to be a small part of that was a gift to me,” said the mayor.

The couple is headed to the Dominican Republic early Thursday morning for a vacation together.

Israel! Congrats on ur engagement. Thanks 4letting me play a small part in the proposal. May ur love 4 each other ever increase @israelburns


NEW YORK – February 28, 2013 – On Wednesday, February 27, 2013, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) held its 24th annual dinner at Cipriani Wall Street.  The annual dinner has consistently attracted more than 500 attendees from the New York legal community and guests have included prominent federal and state judges, elected officials and dignitaries, and attorneys from large and small law firms, corporate law departments, prosecutors’ offices and government agencies. This year’s annual dinner was the largest in AABANY’s history, attracting more than 750 attendees and sponsorships from more than 60 law firms and corporations to celebrate the occasion.

This year AABANY was pleased to honor: Gary Lynch, Global General Counsel and Head of Compliance and Regulatory Relations of Bank of America, who received the 2013 Diversity Leadership Award and delivered the keynote speech; Stuart Alderoty, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel of HSBC North America Holdings Inc., who received the 2013 Corporate Counsel Leadership Award; and Pamela Chen, Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York, Chief of the Civil Rights Section of the Criminal Division, who received the 2013 Women’s Leadership Award. Richard Lui, of MSNBC, was the Master of Ceremonies.  AABANY’s event featured a premium silent auction and a festive post-party in the venue’s mezzanine.

For more information about AABANY, or this event, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, or direct any inquiries to [email protected].

The Asian American Bar Association of New York was formed in 1989 as a not-for-profit corporation to represent the interests of New York Asian-American attorneys, judges, law professors, legal professionals, paralegals and law students.  The mission of AABANY is to improve the study and practice of law, and the fair administration of justice for all by ensuring the meaningful participation of Asian Americans in the legal profession.

Collecting Eyeglasses for EYEsee

AABANY and the Prosecutors’ Committee is lending a hand to both Asian Women In Business (AWIB) and EYEsee to collect old eyeglasses for distribution to visually impaired persons in the Third World.

EYEsee describes what donations are being sought –  any pair of old eyeglasses, prescription or non-prescription, sunglasses or not, even clip-ons!  There is a special need for children’s eyeglasses.

There will be a box the Annual Dinner registration table where eyeglasses can be simply dropped off, so if you are attending, please bring your donation to the Dinner or give your donation to a colleague or friend who is attending so that he/she can drop it off on your behalf.  Here’s hoping that we can help out this worthy cause!