AABANY’s Membership Committee Hosts Inter-Bar Association Summer Family Day

On June 4, 2022, AABANY’s Membership Committee hosted an Inter-Bar Association Summer Family Day with the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY) and the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY). Over fifty members and their friends and families gathered at the Major R. Owens Health & Wellness Community Center in Brooklyn to participate in spirited sports games and enjoy snacks and refreshments. 

Three full courts were available for AABANY, KALAGNY, and SABANY to utilize, as well as many seating areas on the courts, and an upstairs conference room overlooking the courts. With the AC on high, it was a great way to escape the heat and socialize with other members.

The teams kicked off the afternoon of fun with an engaging game of half-court basketball, before some members pivoted to a lively game of volleyball. In both sports, new alliances were formed, and very quickly, the games went from competitive in nature to collaborative and centered in team building for all those involved, even spectators. Following volleyball, a rallying game of dodgeball ensued, before the afternoon wrapped up with prizes and raffles. Throughout the afternoon, AABANY, KALAGNY, and SABANY members also enjoyed sandwiches, chips, and beverages while networking in the upstairs conference room featuring a full-glass wall overlooking the exciting sports games below. What a truly spectacular way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Shoutout to the Membership Committee for organizing such a fun social event and to our sister bar associations KALAGNY and SABANY for co-sponsoring. Make sure to sign up for upcoming AABANY events at aabany.org/events.

AABANY #RestaurantSeries Celebrates at Louie’s Pizza in Queens to Honor a Hero and Wish Happy Birthday to Beatrice

On May 28, 2022, the Membership Committee hosted a #RestaurantSeries lunch at Louie’s Pizza. AABANY is trying to support small Asian owned businesses and restaurants through our Restaurant Series, which will be held twice a month. In this case, we wanted to recognize the father and son duo, Cazim and Louie, for coming to the aid of an AAPI woman being robbed and attacked in front of their pizza store. The father and son stepped in for the woman, chased her assailants, and detained two of the suspects until the police arrived. Cazim and Louie received a combined ten stab wounds and each suffered collapsed lungs

AABANY members enjoyed many pizza pies, from plain cheese to a variety of toppings. AABANY President William Ng came by with his son Justin. When co-owner Louie Suljovic came by to our tables to drop off a pie, he asked Will what high school he went to and mentioned that he looked “very familiar.” Will then thought about it for a minute and it dawned on him that he and Louie played basketball together in middle school in Queens. Small world! Karen Lin, AABANY member and candidate for Judge of the Civil Court in Queens also joined us with her husband and three sons. They spent their morning handing out campaign literature to help Karen become the first East Asian woman elected to be a judge in Queens. Read more about Karen in this profile: https://blog.aabany.org/2022/05/17/aabany-member-profile-karen-lin-runs-for-queens-civil-court-judge/.

We concluded the lunch by celebrating AABANY Vice President of Programming and Operations Beatrice Leong’s birthday with a cake from Martha’s Country Bakery in Bayside. We kicked off Beatrice’s birthday weekend with a rousing round of “Happy Birthday!”

Thank you to those who came out! Our next #RestaurantSeries will be at Lil Chef Mama. Enjoy a delicious Thai-fusion dinner with the Membership and Solo and Small Firm Practice Committees while supporting a local Asian-owned business. Dinner includes shared appetizers and an individual entree.

We hope you will join us on June 9 at 7pm at Lil Chef Mama (27 Cliff Street, Manhattan).

For more information and to register, please visit https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1643025

For more information, please email Membership Director Christopher Bae at ChristopherSBae@gmail.com 

AABANY Membership and Women’s Committees Host #RestaurantSeries Dinner at Basta Pasta

On Friday, April 22, 2022, the AABANY Membership Committee partnered with the Women’s Committee to host a #RestaurantSeries dinner at Basta Pasta. Originally founded in Tokyo, Japan, in 1985, Chef Takada’s establishment has been a staple in the New York City pasta scene for many years. Click here to learn more about Basta Pasta.

Twelve AABANY members attended the intimate the dinner and enjoyed an incredible eight course meal. And despite the good food and even better conversations, the highlight of the night may have been when the server served their “Fusilli con Prosciuttto e Parmigiano” dish straight from a parmesan cheese wheel! Shout-out to everyone who attended the dinner, including the Women’s Committee Co-Chairs Jennifer Wu, Wen Zhang and Renee Yao, and Co-Vice Chair, Cheryl Chan. 

Have any suggestions for a future #RestaurantSeries dinner? Email your recommendations to ChristopherSBae@gmail.com

AABANY Celebrates AAPI Heritage Night at Brooklyn Nets Game

On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, AABANY members attended AAPI Heritage Night at the Barclays Center to watch the Brooklyn Nets take on the Detroit Pistons. During this inaugural event by the Nets to celebrate AAPI cultural heritage, female South Asian acapella group New York Masti performed the national anthem, Chinese-American rapper Bohan Phoenix performed during halftime, and AAPI pioneers were honored during the game.  As for the game itself, fans enjoyed an exciting game where the Nets overcame an early deficit to win by a final score of 130-123 with Kevin Durant leading the way with 41 points. Thank you to those who came out and stay tuned for future AABANY Membership Committee events!

To learn more about the Membership Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/130.

AABANY Membership Committee’s #RestaurantSeries Continues at Nowon, March 31

On Thursday, March 31, 2022, AABANY’s Membership Committee hosted their last event of the fiscal year, supporting Asian-owned restaurant, Nowon. The #RestaurantSeries was created to support Asian-owned restaurants recovering from the impact of the pandemic.  Twelve members were in attendance enjoying Korean-fusion cuisine.  We ordered the “Mixtape” menu, Classic – Vol. 1, which included Korean Fried Chicken, their Legendary Burger, Crispy Tater Tots, and Yuja Donut Holes for dessert. Chef-owner Jae Lee came out during dessert to say ‘hello’ to our group. Everyone was excited to be back in-person, dining comfortably with others and learning about the diverse membership body.  Thank you to those who came out and stay tuned for future AABANY Membership Committee events!

AABANY Membership Committee Hosts Welcome Back Happy Hour

On March 10, the Membership Committee hosted a “Welcome Back” Happy Hour, after months of postponed events due to the Omnicron variant of the pandemic. 

Approximately 35 members convened at the Winslow, a bar in Union Square, to connect and reconnect in person. Many in attendance were new members and interested in learning more about what AABANY can offer. Thank you to everyone who attended. 

Keep an eye out on the AABANY newsletter and calendar for more exciting future events! To learn more about the Membership Committee, please visit https://www.aabany.org/page/130

AABANY Hosts 2022 Annual Meeting of Members

On Tuesday, February 8, 2022, AABANY held its Annual Meeting of Members for the second time on Remo. President Terrence Shen called the meeting to order and established quorum. The main order of business was conducting the election for the 2022 Board of Directors and Officers.

President Terrence Shen presented the Annual Report of the Board and thanked the Board members for their service during the past year. Treasurer William Hao and Membership Director Beatrice Leong presented the reports for their respective offices. 

Executive Director Yang Chen presented highlights from the Committee Reports. Following the reports, awards were presented to honor AABANY leaders and committees for their dedication to AABANY over the past year. While these presentations were occurring, Immediate Past President Sapna Palla and President-Elect William Ng tallied the votes.

The following awards were presented:

Committee of the Year: The Membership Committee

The Membership Committee received the Committee of the Year Award for its outstanding contributions in promoting AABANY’s membership engagement and in recruiting new members. The Committee successfully transitioned from virtual mixers to in-person events. The most popular events include a visit to Little Island (New York’s newest public park attraction), live stand-up comedy as part of the Asian American International Film Festival, and a screening of “Shang Chi – Legend of the Ten Rings” in a private theater in Times Square. 

Program of the Year: Turning the Tide (T3) Project

The Program of the Year Award was given to the Turning the Tide (T3) Project, a joint project of AABANY and AALFNY, for providing a holistic and practicable action plan to address anti-Asian hate and violence. AABANY established an Anti-Asian Violence Task Force, composed of leadership from several AABANY committees, to leverage diverse skills and talents towards turning back the rising tide of hate and violence against AAPIs. 

Member of the Year: May Wong

The Member of the Year Award was presented to May Wong, for her prodigious contributions, not just but especially, this past year to further the mission of AABANY through the Pro-Bono and Community Service Committee as well as her collaboration with other AABANY Committees. At a time when committees were unable to plan regular events due to the COVID surge, May was forging ahead to come up with new ways for the PBCS Committee to successfully continue to serve and assist the AAPI community with their legal needs. As Vice-Chair of the Committee, she initiated many projects, liaised with law students and firms, led planning meetings, and often was the first to show up and the last to leave. 

Congratulations to all the honorees for the recognition of their achievements and hard work during the 2022 fiscal year.

After the presentation of awards, Terry announced the election results. The following officers were elected and will begin their term one-year terms on April 1, 2022:

Karen Kim

President-Elect

Joseph Eng

Vice President, Programs and Operations

Beatrice Leong

Vice President, Programs and Operations

Evelyn Gong

Treasurer

Shirley Bi

Secretary

Christopher Bae

Membership Director

Anna Mercado Clark

Development Director

The following candidates were elected as Directors to serve two-year terms starting on April 1, 2022:

Grace Fu

William Hao

Gigio Ninan

Won Shin

Kazuko Wachter

Lawrence Wee

After the election results were announced, all the attendees were invited to stay and network in Remo. We thank everyone who came and participated in the Annual Meeting and the election. Congratulations to all the Officers and Directors who were elected to the Board to serve in the 2023 fiscal year that begins on April 1, 2022.

AABANY Goes to Broadway: “To Kill a Mockingbird”

On December 1, AABANY members got together for a theater outing to see “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Shubert Theater on Broadway. The event was organized by the Membership Committee and co-sponsored by the following Committees: Asia Practice, Immigration, and Real Estate. Nearly 30 members attended.

We had initially planned to have a mixer inside the theater once we got our tickets, but theater management wanted all ticket holders to line up outside the entrance to get checked for vaccine status first. Once we were all checked in, we found our seats in the packed theater and by then it was nearly curtain time so there was not much time left for a pre-show mixer.

We took up three rows of the orchestra section, in the rear right part of the theater, and had a good view of the stage. This theatrical version of the acclaimed novel by Harper Lee was written by Aaron Sorkin, no stranger to plays about trials and legal proceedings. You may have caught “The Trial of the Chicago 7” on Netflix, from 2020, which he wrote and directed. Or you may have seen “A Few Good Men” (1992), based on his play, which seems to be a staple on cable tv movie channels these days.

Many people are familiar with the classic novel or the acclaimed film version made of it in 1962, starring Gregory Peck, for which he received the best actor Oscar in 1963. The play is different from both. The basic story is the same: the young children of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in Alabama in the 1930s, recounts his defense of Tom Robinson, a black man wrongly accused of rape. However, Sorkin adds details and characters that bring a more 21st century perspective, informed by our contemporary struggles with race, with nods to the Black Lives Matter movement.

After the show, a group of us gathered at Junior’s in Shubert Alley, diagonally across from the theater, for some food and their world-famous cheesecake. Most expressed that they loved or liked the play. As a group of lawyers we could not help but point out the aspects about the trial that were not quite accurate or sensationalized. Those of us who were familiar with the book or the movie talked about the parts that were changed. No one had read the book or seen the movie in some time and mostly we wondered about various details that departed from the novel or the film. It made us think that we should go back and read the book.

Thanks to all the members who made it out for “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It was a treat to be able to catch Jeff Daniels playing Atticus Finch live on Broadway, along with a talented cast of excellent actors. Thanks to the Membership Committee for organizing yet another fun and memorable event. We hope to see everyone at the Membership Committee’s next event, the Holiday Party on Dec. 17. Sign up for it now at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1578998.

AABANY Goes to the Opera: “Turandot” at the Met

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On Tuesday, November 16, AABANY went to the Met Opera at Lincoln Center, an elegant night out co-sponsored by the Membership and Young Lawyers Committees.  “Turandot” proved to be a spectacular feast for the eyes, dappled with humor, tragedy, and an age-old story of unrequited love, sacrifice, and pursuit.  

More than 45 members and guests enjoyed some lighthearted networking on the Family Circle level before the start of the show, and photos were taken against the famous chandeliers of the Opera House.  The experience was enhanced with each person having their own personal subtitles, dimly lit on the backs of the seats in front of them.  Some played with various language settings, to see if in fact, they retained their Italian lessons from high school.  

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The sets were stunning and the score by Puccini was exquisite.  Not a soul wasn’t moved during Act III when the famous “Nessun Dorma” tenor aria vibrated throughout the theater. 

Thanks to everyone who came, and thanks especially to Membership Director Beatrice Leong for organizing the event.  Fun fact: Daphne Chen Matthews, Membership Committee Co-Chair, met both the left and right stage managers on her way home, who confirmed that Turandot “is a perfect introduction to Opera.”  We hope to host more opera nights in the future.

To learn more about the Membership Committee go to http://www.aabany.org/?page=130. To learn more about the Young Lawyers Committee go to http://www.aabany.org/?page=123.

Membership Committee Hosts Improv Class on Sept. 16

On September 16, 2021, Membership Committee hosted an Improv Class at the Magnet Theater on West 29th Street. Members took an Introduction Class led by a seasoned comedian and were able to learn and practice basic Improv Skills. Members starred and acted in hilarious scenes, learning to think on their feet and tapping into their inner performers. Afterwards, the group enjoyed camaraderie over delicious food in Korea Town. 

We hope you will all come out for the Membership Committee Happy Hour on Oct. 14 at Sagaponack on W. 22nd Street. Come for the oysters, stay for the networking! More details at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1558819.