JENNIFER Q. NGUYEN, FESTIVAL DIRECTOR
Jen began her journey with the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival in 2002 as a patron. Since 2003, she has been involved with the festival in many capacities including: day of volunteer, Volunteer Manager and then a Performing Arts Coordinator for the Main Stage and Band Stage. Jen’s passion for the festival came once she realized how this festival brings people together from different backgrounds to share each others’ culture and build a community. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with her Master’s in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education. Jen also received her Bachelor’s in Psychology with Minors in International Relations, Leadership Studies, and Business. Jen is also part of Mayor Hancock’s Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission where she advocates for Asian American youth and health equity. When she is not working she can be found on the ice curling or cycling throughout Colorado.
NATALIE TA, OPERATIONS MANAGER
Natalie Ta is a Colorado native who attended the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival as a child and volunteered for the event in both 2010 and 2011. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a minor in Leadership Studies from CU Denver. Natalie has been involved with many organizations involved in elevating the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities including: Miss AACO, CU Denver’s VSA, and CU Denver’s AAPI Alumni Board. During her second year as Operations Manager, she hopes to continue CDBF’s mission in showcasing the diversities within Asian culture through “edutainment” and “participAsian.”
ASHLEIGH RAY, INTERN
Ashleigh Ray is a Colorado native attending Emily Griffith earning her Events Planning certificate, June 2017. Which brings her to the CBDF family interning for this summers festival. Having learned a lot in her studies at Emily Griffith, she is very thankful to have the opportunity to join the team and put her new event planning skills to work!
Ding-Wen Hsu is co-owner and President of Pacific Western Technologies Ltd. (PWT), a Colorado company established in 1987. PWT specializes in information management, and environmental management. Currently, PWT employs over 80 employees in Colorado. Ding-Wen, a native of Taiwan, has been very active in the Asian and Chinese American communities in Denver since she moved to Colorado in 1978. She is one of the founders of Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, the largest Asian American festival in the Rocky Mountain region. In addition, she also serves on the Boards of Chinese American Council of Colorado. Ding-Wen is a national fellow of Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute. She is also the co-founder of International Multi-Cultural Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes understanding and interaction among various cultures.
The 2016 Race Committee consists of: Bob Nelson, Marina Nelson, Myron McCallum, Stephanie Padilla, Stan Swartwood, Coby Crowley, Bill Crowley, Lorraine Eloriaga, Jennifer Kellogg, and Mathew Goodwin.
MAIN PERFORMING ARTS STAGE
Jinny was involved in the CDBF operations committee as Performing Arts Chair in 2010-2012 and is returning to the Main Stage this year. Having grown up in various places, Jinny didn’t always have access to the API communities and with CDBF doing just that in the Denver community, she wanted to once again be a part of helping expose and celebrate the diverse API cultures.
With an M.A. in International & Intercultural Communications from University of Denver, Jinny previously worked in the nonprofit world working with API refugee communities doing marketing, fundraising, communication, and program development. Now she is a Project Manager in a tech company that benefits the social sector, managing various projects including Colorado Gives Day. She also volunteers with the Colorado Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families as a speaker/panelist and Mile High Youth Corps as a Marketing Committee member.
GATEWAY TO ASIA
Peter is a recent graduate of Regis University with a degree in Marketing and History. During his time at Regis, Peter created the Moon Festival with Father Hanh Pham S.J. The Moon Festival is now an annual event and upon graduation from Regis, he joined the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. He looks to further enrich the Lion and Dragon Dances for the festival with the Lion Dance Extravaganza, which he started last year. Fun Facts: Peter is a lion dancer himself and has a Wing Chun martial arts background. He loves music, serving his community, graphic design and marketing. His ultimate goal is to one day be a part of a world Lion Dance Competition, as a competitor or organizer.
Ngoc Nguyen moved to the United States from Vietnam in 2007. She is a junior Biology student at Regis University. As an active member of a Vietnamese church and the President of Regis’ Asian Student Alliance, she loves to keep in touch with the Asian culture and wishes to enrich the Asian community. It is her honor to serve the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival in the Operations Committee for the first time this year. She is excited to help bring together many different Asian cultures and share their special aspects to educate the community and maintain important traditions.
Machinez Remainz is a Popping Crew based out of Denver, Colorado that has volunteered to co-chair the Cultural Unity Stage at CDBF 2017. Machinez was established by Ricky AL and Triet Hoang in April 2010. Machinez Remainz’s style is best described as “EB” style (Electric Boogaloos) Poppin, Boog, robotic, and animations. The Machinez family members that are performing today are Ben Thao, Troy Burrell and Kevin O’Keefe, Ricky Al and Triet Hoang. Machinez Remainz have performed all around Colorado and competed out of state in both popping battles and crew performances. Most recently Machinez have competed at Hip Hop International, K.O.D. LA and World of Dance New Jersey. Machinez are also highly involved with the Yearly Dragon Boat Festival being co-chairs of the Cultural Unity Stage and establishing Poppin Mile High, Denver’s first event dedicated to poppers. “We are instrumentally detailed to bring the beat alive.”
Jamie is excited to organize this year’s Dragonland activities. Growing up, Jamie had regularly attended Chinese New Year festivities in NYC with her family; she has fond memories of seemingly endless dinner courses, Chinese opera singers, loud firecrackers, and pretty red envelopes. She looks forward to celebrating with the Asian and Asian-American communities in metro Denver, and is honored to do so this summer with CBDF.
Jamie has over 10 years experience working with non-profit organizations in programming, fundraising and development, and events management. Currently, she volunteers with The Blue Bench, First Grade First, NARAL ProChoice Colorado, and several professional theater companies. She enjoys dancing, hiking, rock climbing, running, and eating delicious food (ask her about her dining spreadsheet!).
PUBLIC SAFETY CHAIRS
A long-time Colorado resident, Tarika grew up very involved in Colorado’s Thai community performing with various Thai music and dance troupes around the Denver-Metro area. She’s been involved with CDBF since childhood as a performer, volunteer, Operations Committee member, and then as Operations Manager from 2012 to 2014. Tarika is the Executive Director of the Nathan Yip Foundation and a graduate of the University of Denver with an M.A. in International and Intercultural Communications.
Thuy-Vi (Twee-Vee) Vuong’s earliest memory of the Colorado Dragon Boat festival was when her 2 younger sisters and her huddled underneath a delicately-made paper umbrella to get shade as they watched the teams race by in their dragon boats. As a new member to the operations committee, she is eager to contribute to the annual event so that attendees can also have great memories to share. Thuy-Vi has resided in Colorado for all 22 years of her life. In May of 2017, she will be a Regis University graduate with a B.S. in Honors Neuroscience and a minor in Chemistry. Her family and close friends are those who she values as the most important people in her life. She loves to finish Disney puzzles, play tennis, watch TV shows/dramas, and play board/card games with her loved ones. Fun Fact: She’s ambidextrous. Favorite foods: Pad thai and pho. Favorite drinks: Thai tea, Iced Americano, and hot tea.
Bryan Yee, an engineering geoscience professional, holds a B.S. in Land Use with concentrations in the earth sciences. In the community, he volunteers with the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers (SASE), and as a professional resource for high school and college students in Colorado. He also served as a youth mentor and program coordinator for the Asian Pacific Development Center. New to the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival leadership team, he looks forward to working with an amazing group of leaders and the challenge the festival provides. As a Colorado native, Bryan loves the outdoors. Besides volunteering, his hobbies include camping, tennis, archery, chess, reading, and exploring new places.
DRAGON COMMUNITY PARTNERS PROGRAM
Phi Nguyen was born and raised in Colorado. He is a Navy veteran and currently attending the University of Colorado-Boulder to study Aerospace Engineering. Phi volunteered for the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival last year (2016) and decided to join the Operations Committee this year! He appreciates everything it takes to run this festival and just wanted to be apart of the fun. Phi hikes with his German Shepard – Allie, fixes cars, and snowboards during his free time.
Jeannie Doan is a Colorado native that has been attending the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival ever since she was a little girl. She has been involved with the festival by volunteering with the Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association in 2013 and by volunteering as a festival ambassador in 2015. Jeannie is currently a second-year marketing major attending the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. Her dream and aspiration is to be able to apply her creativity as a future marketer for a cause or firm with a message that she is passionate about. When she’s not studying, Jeannie likes to attend Vietnamese Student Association meetings and events. Jeannie is thrilled to be a part of the operations committee this year for an event that is a staple of summers in Colorado.
Kristy, born and raised in Colorado, is involved with various organizations and committees in her community. As a senior studying Neuroscience at Regis University (graduating in May 2017), she has been active with various extracurriculars, such as co-founding a SASE (Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers) chapter at Regis and being a part of the student honors advisory council. She also participates at her church, whether that is through singing in choir or helping out with other events. Kristy has been a volunteer at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, volunteering from 2010-12. She is excited to help carry the festival to new heights, particularly by working with volunteers, new and old, to assist in making the festival run as smoothly as possible. In her free time, she can be found hanging out with friends, shopping endlessly, reading a good book, eating delicious food, or chasing some kind of outdoor adventure.
Pamelah has a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and is a multifaceted artist: she’s a teacher, dancer, drummer, festival event planner, stage manager who manages CDBF’s production logistic from stages and sound to duct tape and cord ties. She’s also performed with her African drum troupe at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.
As manager of Current Events, LLC, Lora provides event management consulting services specializing in association management, event operations and logistics. Clients include the Foothills Foundation, Summerset Festival, Colorado Irish Festival, Bandimere Speedway, Big Chili Cook-Off and the Academy of Model Aeronautics Annual Expo. Lora is a council member on the Colorado Meetings Industry Council and serves as Contest Director for Warbirds Over Denver, a nationally known event for radio-controlled airplanes. She is a founding member of the Columbine Memorial Foundation, Inc. Hobbies include flying radio-controlled airplanes and collecting antique glassware.
The Operations Committee meets monthly on Wednesday evenings. For more information on this committee, please email: [email protected]