On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, AABANY hosted its 2023 Annual Dinner with the theme “Embracing Wellness and Well-Being: Strengthening the Legal Profession by Investing in Ourselves” at Cipriani Wall Street. Celebrating AABANY’s 34th anniversary, this was our first Annual Dinner during Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Month! The dinner attracted over 900 attorneys, judges, prosecutors, in-house counsel, government officials, and dignitaries and sponsorships from more than 50 law firms and corporations.
The event commenced with the Pre-Dinner General Counsel Reception, a gathering of GCs from companies representing a wide variety of industries, including biotechnology research, e-commerce, entertainment, fashion, financial services, insurance, internet privacy and security, medical, real estate, and more.
Attendance at the reception was exclusive to sponsors and invited guests, with a successful turnout of more than 55 GC attendees. We thank our Reception sponsor, Kirkland & Ellis, for helping us kick off the night with this well-attended program. For the full list of general counsels who accepted AABANY’s invitation, please click here.
AABANY was proud to honor:
- Michael Wu, Chief Legal Officer, Bath & Body Works, Inc. with AABANY’s Corporate Leadership Award
- Prisca Bae, Chief Partnerships Officer, The Asian American Foundation with AABANY’s Women’s Leadership Award
- Hon. Charles Ellis Schumer, U.S. Senator of New York with AABANY’s Impact Leadership Award
AABANY Corporate Leadership Award honoree Michael Wu delivered a powerful speech on the importance of resilience. He shared the inspiring story of his mother, a Hong Kong orphan and homeless refugee who overcame adversity to achieve the American dream. If she could do it, Michael declared, then “anyone in America can become a success.”
Prisca Bae, AABANY’s Women’s Leadership Award honoree, shared her initiatives aimed to uplift our AANHPI community. She emphasized the importance of collective improvement, motivating the audience to “[aspire] to be better” and to “aim to [become] CEOs.” Her heartfelt sentiments served not only as a beacon of encouragement, hope and optimism but also an affirmation of the possibility that our aspirations are attainable.
We were joined by New York Senator Charles Ellis Schumer, AABANY’s Impact Leadership Award recipient, who delivered remarks on the strength of the AANHPI community as we “[embody] what the American dream has always been about, coming to this country, working hard building a better life for yourself and your children.” His speech resonated with those who are paving the way for our families and fellow community members. We thank Senator Schumer for his continuous efforts in providing opportunities and resources for the AANHPI community so we can keep pursuing the American dream.
This year, we had the privilege of having Kate Siahaan-Rigg, a remarkable actress, comedian, and activist, as our Master of Ceremonies (MC). She was our MC during our 2022 Annual Dinner, and we were delighted to have her host this year’s event. To read a post-Annual Dinner letter from our MC, read the blog post here.
We were proud to honor Debevoise & Plimpton with the Law Firm Diversity Award for its commitment to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion within the legal profession. To read more about the award, read the press release here.
In addition, we presented the 2023 class of Don H. Liu Scholars: Samuel S. Kim, Kristie-Valerie Hoang, and Emily Yan. Read more about the program here.
We extend our sincere gratitude to all those who contributed to our cause and helped us raise more than $20,000 for AABANY-AALFNY’s Turn the Tide (T3) Project to fight anti-Asian hate and violence. Special thanks to MC Kate Siahaan-Rigg for her unwavering humor and compassion in helping us reach our fundraising goal. We also acknowledge the survivors of anti-Asian hate and violence for sharing their stories in the AABANY Anti-Asian Violence Task Force’s “Voices Against Anti-Asian Hate” video, produced by Peter Chin. We were privileged to host survivors of anti-Asian violence, their families and friends at the Annual Dinner.
We thank all of the AABANY 2023 Annual Dinner Planning Committee members and volunteers for their hard work in making this year’s celebration a huge success. Thanks to President Karen Kim for her leadership of the 2023 Annual Dinner Planning Committee which started during her year as President-Elect in the prior fiscal year. In support of AABANY’s theme, Karen announced AABANY’s inaugural Wellness Day, to take place in July, during Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
We gratefully acknowledge all our sponsors, whose generous contributions allow us to actively pursue our mission of advancing the interests of the AANHPI legal community, as well as the communities we serve. A special thank you to our premier sponsors: After-Party: Morrow Sodali; Diamond: Broadridge; Pre-Dinner GC Reception: Kirkland & Ellis LLP; Platinum: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Groombridge, Wu, Baughman & Stone LLP, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, Levine Lee LLP, Littler Mendelson P.C., Mayer Brown LLP, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Through their support, our sponsors continue to sustain AABANY’s many activities and signature events held throughout the year.
Lastly, we thank everyone who attended the 2023 Annual Dinner and for helping make it a memorable and momentous celebration. Please save the date for the 2024 Annual Dinner: it will take place on May 22 at Cipriani Wall Street! For now, look back at these photos to reminisce, captured by Karen Zhou and Victor Suwatcharapinun. Videos from the 2023 Annual Dinner can be viewed on the event’s webpage here.