Project LEAD: Leaders Empowering Action Day

On Saturday, October 24th, 2018, a crowd of 80 professionals gathered for a day of learning, strategy brainstorming, friendly competition and cross industry collaboration at General Assembly in Downtown Los Angeles, who generously provided the venue. Hosted by the Los Angeles Chapter of Project by Project, Leaders Empowering Action Day, is an inaugural project organized by an internal task force of volunteers within the Los Angeles chapter of Project by Project, a 503c non-profit, and made possible through key corporate and community supporters: Accenture, General Assembly, Asian Professional Exchange, Asian American Professional Association, and Cafe Dulce.

The event featured 3 speakers, 4 judges, and 6 strategy advisors whose backgrounds ranged from academia, management consultants,and political campaign strategist. The main keynote delivered by Dean Jenny Darroch of the Drucker-Ito School of Management, part of the Claremont Graduate University, was centered around, Father of Management, Peter F. Drucker’s concept of a functioning society. The two lighting talk delivered by Julie Truong from Envision Consulting and Mariko Lochridge from Little Tokyo Small Business Incubator brought applicable knowledge that volunteer consultants were able to incorporate into their brainstorming sessions. Julie spoke about collective impact from an API perspective and Mariko shared about digital marketing strategic tactics. All three speakers were in unison to urge all attendees to take an active role when it comes to civic and social engagement.

A total of 8 local non-profits, AAPI Data, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles,South Asian Network, L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Run Committee, Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program, and Thai CDC partnered by providing current challenge statements which they are currently grappling with for a solution. The Project LEAD team gathered 8 teams of 4-7 cross-industry professionals for the key portion of this event: a 3-hour strategy brainstorming session concluding with a 3 minute solutions pitch in front of a panel of judges. Each team worked extensively with their respective non-profit representatives for in-depth understanding of the challenge statement, current resource realities, and the desired outcome vision. Strategic advisors guided each team during the event to facilitate solutions that were not only innovative but applicable and comprehensive.

The 4 judges deliberated extensively about each team’s solution and presentation. After careful discussion about each team’s presentation delivery, applicability of recommended solution, budget consideration, likelihood of post-event execution, and taking into consideration that many of the volunteers are not consultants by trade...the winning team stood out clearly amongst the rest. The volunteer consultant team for Changing Tides, a program at the Little Tokyo Service Center working on API community’s mental health awareness campaign, won the solution pitch competition with their clear delivery as well as comprehensive and unique solution.

Both the winning non-profit organization and the volunteer consultants walked away with prizes that the event host and sponsors generously gathered. A lucky volunteer won the raffle prize of a free course credit applicable towards an upcoming General Assembly class. All winning members received a non-transferable General Admission ticket to Project by Project 2019 flagship event, the Plate by Plate Annual Tasting Benefit. More specifically the volunteer consultants were also awarded special access towards a future Asian Professional Exchange networking mixer, while the non-profit organization received a board-member leadership development opportunity with Asian American Professional Association.

Thank you again to our supporters, the volunteers, PbP-LA Steering Committee Members and the PbP-LA Project LEAD Taskforce for coordinating this event, including Jenelle Yee, Director of CASES Eileen Ung, President Stefanie Cheng Fuong Huynh Lisa Inouye Angela Law Tina Lee Sandra Nguyen Ver Andrew Starr, Project LEAD Coordinator. Event Photography Coverage provided by Steven Lam Photo.