Know someone that would make a great Honorary Chair?

Each year, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival’s Board of Directors names an Honorary Chair to represent the festival and serves as an inspiration for the area’s Asian and Asian American communities. The nominees are submitted by community members and the Chair is chosen by the Board.

The Honorary Chair is a role model not only for her or his level of success and leadership, but also for a proven and lifelong commitment to serving the Asian Pacific American communities. The Honorary Chair is a Colorado resident (of any race) who is a strong, outspoken advocate for APA organizations and events, and a proven champion or advocate of the Asian community.

Please nominate a 2017 candidate here:





Here’s the 2016 CDBF Honorary Chair: Byeongsook Seo!


Byeongsook Seo is a Partner with Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP, a national law firm, who emigrated from South Korea to New Hampshire in 1975. He arrived in Colorado to attend the United States Air Force Academy in 1988. After serving as an Officer, Byeongsook began his career as a Denver business litigation attorney in 1999. He received the highest lawyer rating from Martindale-Hubbell and was named a Super Lawyer in the field of business litigation by Thomson Reuters.

Throughout his adult life, Byeongsook has sought to serve the community, whether it is as a public servant, attorney or volunteer.

Among other positions he has held, Byeongsook is a Past-President of the Asian Pacific Bar Association of Colorado (APABA). As President, he helped create APABA Foundation’s Board of Directors, which is tasked with annually donating thousands of dollars to worthy causes designed to foster educational opportunities for the advancement and welfare of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in Colorado. He currently serves as its President. He served on the board of the Asian Pacific Development Center, which promotes the well-being and health of Colorado’s AAPI community. He was a founding Board Member of Theatre Esprit Asia, the first-ever AAPI theatre company in the Rocky Mountain Region. He also served on the board for the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival (and even competed in our first-ever race).

For these and other efforts, Byeongsook received the 2014 APABA Minoru Yasui Community Service Award. He also received a Special Recognition Award in 2013 from the Board of the Colorado Lawyers Committed for his advocacy and contributions to Colorado’s underserved.

If you know someone that would be suited for our 2017 Honorary Chair, please be sure to nominate them here:


Past Honorary Chairs

2016 Byeongsook Seo, for his selfless leadership and passion to support the AAPI community with his professional (Korean American)


2015 Gloria Williams, for her tireless support and volunteerism not only in the Filipino community, but across the area’s pan-Asian community. (Filipino)

2014 Paul & Kate Tauer, former Mayor and First Lady of Aurora for their tireless support for the Asian American Pacific Islander communities. (Honorary pan-Asians)
2013 Kimiko Side, Volunteer, teacher of traditional Japanese arts, crafts and culture (Japanese American)
2012 Aya Mariagnes Medrud, educator, activist and founding member of Boulder Asian Pacific Alliance (Japanese American)
2011 Dr. Rudie Lie, founder of Asian Pacific Development Center (Indonesian American)
2010 Daniel Oh, entrepreneur and community leader (Korean American)
2009 Kerry Hada, Denver County Judge (Japanese American)
2008 Ved Nanda, professor (Indian American)
2007 Susanna Choi, physician and community leader (Korean American)
2006 George and Helen Yoshida, community volunteers (George is a retired social worker) (Japanese Hawaiian)
2005 Donna LaVigne, entrepreneur and Asian community leader (Filipino American)
2004 John Yee, veteran and educator (Chinese American)
2003 Jaime Yrastorza, doctor and humanitarian (Filipino American)
2002 Bill Hosokawa, journalist and longtime Denver Post editor (Japanese American)
2001 Stan Matsunaka, former Colorado State Senate President (Japanese American)



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