DEI In Action Series

In 2021, we initiated the virtual DEI in Action Series to highlight leaders of all different backgrounds that are elevating DEI awareness around the globe in their own unique ways across industries. The series was a HUGE success, garnering 700+ viewers from all over the world! We host five-yearly events to celebrate Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Pride Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month.

Honoring Outstanding Asian American and Pacific Islander Leaders in the Workforce

May 27th, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EST

The impact of Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders is so deeply embedded in our daily lives that most of us tend to overpass its importance. In fact, one of the reasons why May was chosen to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month is because the Transcontinental Railroad, built almost entirely by Chinese immigrants, was completed on May 10, 1869. This railroad connected the east coast to the west and played a major role in the development of the western United States. This is only one of the infinite cases in which AAPIs have played a major role in shaping today’s America. In this episode, we will spotlight prominent AAPI leaders who continue making a mark on our culture, society, and politics, and learn about the challenges they have faced in doing so.

Speakers

Johnny Park

 Global Head of Executive Search and Human Resources

Yardstick Management

Reena Patel

President, International

PLBY Group, Inc.

John Yang

President & Executive Director

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Christie Sithiphone

Global Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Omnicom Public Relations Group

Kim Bui

VP

CNN, Special Projects

Register for this event

Johnny Park

Global Head of Executive Search and Human Resources

Yardstick Management

Johnny serves as the Global Head of Executive Search and Human Resources for Yardstick Management, where he is responsible for leading Human Resources and the Executive Search team. He is a seasoned HR practitioner with over 15 years of international experience in policies and strategies, including workforce management consultancy and people development.

Prior to joining Yardstick Management, Johnny was based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, living and working in Southeast Asia and specializing in HR for emerging markets, international conglomerates, and large companies. Some of his employers included Fortune 500 and global organizations such as Hong Leong Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Right Management/Manpower Group, and Franklin Covey.

Johnny holds a BA in Management with a minor in Marketing from Loyola University in Chicago and currently resides in Metro Detroit, Michigan along with his wife, Betsye, and their two young children, Jackson, and Lucy Mai. Besides spending time with his family, Johnny is committed to serving his community through volunteering with youth groups.

Reena Patel​

President, International

PLBY Group, Inc.

Reena Patel is leader of the PLBY Group Playboy International business. With a focus on business operations excellence, partner integration optimization and overall international strategic planning, Dr. Patel is responsible for Playboy’s brand monetization across licensing, digital commerce and services, and third-party retail. Previously, Dr. Patel served as Vice President, Licensing at IGT, and brings with her experience from roles at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, Scotiabank, and Sun Life Investments.

John Yang

President & Executive Director

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

John C. Yang is the President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. He leads the organization’s efforts to fight for civil rights and empower Asian Americans to create a more just America for all through public policy advocacy, education, and litigation. His extensive legal background enables Advancing Justice | AAJC to address systemic policies, programs, and legislative attempts to discriminate against and marginalize Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other minority communities. Because of his expertise, John is regularly asked to speak to media on issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Mr. Yang served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor for Trade and Strategic Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he was the principal advisor to Secretary Penny Pritzker on issues related to Asia. Previously, Mr. Yang was a partner with a major Washington, D.C. law firm, and also worked in Shanghai, China as the legal director for the Asia-Pacific operations of a U.S. Fortune 200 company. Mr. Yang was the 2003-04 President of NAPABA. Mr. Yang’s other leadership positions have included: Member, National Advisory Committee for Race, Ethnicity & Other Populations, U.S. Census Bureau (2017-2019); Co-Chair, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (2019-present); Member, American Bar Association House of Delegates (2008-18; Minority Caucus Chair, 2014–16); General Counsel, D.C. Bar (2000-02); General Counsel, OCA National (2000-03). In 1998, Mr. Yang co-founded the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the direct service legal needs of Asian Pacific Americans in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Christie Sithiphone

Global Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Omnicom Public Relations Group

Christie is the Global Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Omnicom Public Relations Group and Omnicom Brand Consulting Group. In her role, she will support the company’s initiative, OPEN 2.0, to advance systemic equity across the organizations. Her responsibilities include developing and executing DEI programming and learning opportunities, advancing talent advocacy and recruitment strategies, and working closely with the organization’s employee resource groups.

Previously, Christie worked at CNN Digital as a Manager on the Strategic Initiatives team, where she led initiatives focused on new hire onboarding, employee experience, and culture-building across the global organization. Before CNN Digital, she served as the Director of Programs & Communications at Leadership Atlanta, one of the nation’s most outstanding community leadership programs. In this role, Christie developed and executed programming focused on equity and inclusion, and leadership development for high-potential professionals. She worked closely with program alumni, corporate sponsors, and nonprofit partners. Her previous experience also includes talent recruitment and talent management.

Outside of work, Christie is passionate about community service. In 2021, Christie was inducted into Outstanding Atlanta, the City’s premier honor for community involvement. In 2020, she founded The Collective for Community Empowerment, a coalition of six influential young professional organizations creating impact and building valuable alliances. These organizations include American Jewish Committee (AJC) Access, Emerging 100 of Atlanta (the young professionals auxiliary of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta), Hispanic Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs (HYPE), Metro Atlanta Association of Professionals (MAAP, supporting the LGBTQ+ community), National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) – Atlanta, and the Urban League of Greater Atlanta Young Professionals (ULGA-YP). Christie currently serves as the President for NAAAP Atlanta. She also serves on the board of the Asian American Advocacy Fund.

Christie is a proud daughter of Laotian refugees. She attended The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and received her Bachelor of Science in Communications. Her hometown is Nashville, TN.

Kim Bui

VP

CNN, Special Projects

Kim Bui Barnett is Vice President of CNN Special Projects, the team behind acclaimed human-interest stories on the network’s television and digital platforms. Among the long-form franchises Barnett oversees, “Impact Your World” and 2021 Gold Anthem Award winning “Champions For Change” both tap the power of storytelling to empower and inspire CNN’s audience.

The short-form segments Barnett’s group produces cover a broad scope of topics: health & wellness, innovation, small business, travel. With solid reporting, strong characters and sharp prose, the series have garnered multiple awards including the Gracie Allen Award, the National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Award, and the New York Festivals International TV & Film Award.

Barnett has held many leadership roles that focus on diversity awareness both within and outside CNN. In her effort to improve the quality and substance of inclusion, Barnett is a founding member of the TurnerAsia Business Resource Group and a mentor with the Imerman Angels. She also served as board president of Refugee Family Services (now New American Pathways) as well as leadership roles with the Atlanta Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. In 2015, Barnett was one of the inaugural CNN Diversity Ovation Award honorees, recognized for her commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Prior to joining CNN, Barnett worked as a reporter for the Marietta Daily Journal Neighbor Newspapers in Georgia and graduated with a degree in Communication from Kennesaw State University.