Colorado Dragon Boat Board of Directors meet on the third Tuesday of each month.
Janet Shih Hajek, Board Chair
Corporate Counsel, Agilent Technologies, Inc.
Janet is an in-house trademark and copyright attorney with Agilent Technologies, Inc. Prior to joining CDB, Janet served on the board of directors for the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC) in Washington, D.C. as well as the boards of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area (APABA-DC, where she was president from 2005 – 2006). Janet is also an active volunteer at the Polaris at Ebert Elementary School in Denver. Janet has a law degree from The George Washington University Law School and an undergraduate degree from The American University in Washington, D.C.
Regional Marketing Director, First Financial Security
Yangmee is a Colorado Native and the first board member of Hmong descent. She is a Life Licensed business owner with First Financial Security helping families, individuals, and organizations attain financial peace of mind. Her passion is in the economic empowerment of women and families. She is also the Co-founder/Executive Director with MAI Speak Life - Give Hope, that is aimed to help build healthier identities in the Hmong community. She created the first intercultural guide for Adams County about the Hmong since Hmong is one of the top five languages spoken in the County. Recently, she completed the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) National Leadership Academy. As a former Emerging Leaders Participant with Colorado Dragon Boat and APAICS alumni, she realized the need for an organization like this one to provide a voice and opportunities for the diverse AAPI community. She is a mom, wife, and the oldest child to a family of 13 children. Yangmee brings her innovative thinking, passion for making a positive impact, and love for her community to her first term as Board member with Colorado Dragon Boat.
Title Clinical Instructor, Section of Hospitalist Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado SOM
David grew up in the Midwest. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts, he moved to South Korea, where he lived and worked for about 15 years. He moved back to the United Stated in 2011 and ended up in Colorado in 2014, where he currently works for the Children’s Hospital Colorado as a pediatric hospitalist. Because of his passion for increasing multicultural awareness -in particular, of Asian culture - David was naturally drawn to the Dragon Boat Festival with its mission to build bridges of awareness, knowledge and understanding between the diverse Asian American Pacific Islander communities and the general public. In addition to his work with CDBF, he serves on the board of the Korean Academy of Colorado, the region’s oldest independent Korean language and cultural institution. David is married with two young children.
Pediatrician, Children's Hospital Colorado
Dr. Debbie Chen-Becker grew up in Cleveland and Columbus, OH. During her 4 years in St. Louis at Washington University School of Medicine, she served as Co-President for the local chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association as well as overseeing mentorship in the local chapter of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association. She and her husband moved to Denver in 2003, where she completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She is currently a community pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Debbie enjoys spending time with her three children and spends countless hours volunteering at their school. She is excited to be apart of the CDB board to help promote increasing cultural awareness in the greater Denver area.
Attorney, Perkins Coie
Alex Garcia first moved to Colorado in 2000 to attend the University of Colorado and received his law degree from the University of Denver. He and his family moved to the West Coast, but returned to Colorado in 2014. Alex is an attorney in Denver and represents clients in intellectual property matters. In addition to his work as an intellectual property attorney, Alex has an active pro bono practice, representing individuals and organizations with limited resources in a variety of business and dispute issues. He and his family live outside of Boulder and actively enjoy all of the outdoor opportunities that Colorado has to offer.
Director of Program Learning, OneGoal
Daranee is an educational researcher, daughter of immigrants, and adventure enthusiast. Her work is centered on advancing equity, racial justice, and opportunities for individuals from historically excluded communities in predominantly white spaces, including postsecondary education, yoga, wellness, and the outdoors. Daranee enjoys traveling, yoga, reading, cooking, and preserving the cultural heritage of her ancestors.
Daranee manages qualitative research and continuous improvement efforts as Director of Program Learning for OneGoal, a national program supporting over 12,000 first-generation students in six regions across the country. Her previous professional experiences include consulting for MAIA Colegio Impacto, a nonprofit school for indigenous Maya girls in Sololá, Guatemala and as a Program Director for the I Have a Dream Foundation, where she worked with a dedicated cohort of students in North Denver over the course of 10 years, from third grade to high school graduation.
She is excited to be a Board Member and steward of Colorado Dragon Boat’s efforts to increase awareness of the diverse AAPI communities in Colorado and to promote intercultural exchange within and beyond the AAPI community.
Ludilyn "Ludi" Sandoval
Golden Malting malthouse, Coors Brewery
Ludi grew up in a military family and has lived in various parts of California, Texas, South Carolina, Okinawa, Alaska, and Germany throughout her childhood.
She started her career with MolsonCoors in the Irwindale Brewery in Southern California and moved to Colorado in 2016 to be the Quality Manager in the Golden Malting malthouse at the Coors Brewery.
Ludi has a passion for learning about cultures through their food and performing arts, and she is excited to be a part of the Colorado Dragon Boat board to help get others passionate about learning about the diverse AAPI cultures. Outside of her professional life, Ludi is an avid gardener (and former Denver Botanic Garden Ambassador) and runner (with her proudest moment being completing two Dopey Challenges at Walt Disneyworld two years in a row).
Ludi has a B.S. in Chemistry from St. Mary’s College of CA, professional certifications in brewing and malting from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in the UK, and is earning her MBA from University of Denver’s Daniels School of Business.
Co-Founder and COO of Nikola Power
Evan is a serial-entrepreneur with extensive experience in strategic leadership, business operations, product management, marketing, and building impactful teams. Most recently, he was the Co-Founder and COO of Nikola Power, a venture-backed energy tech startup — and was also the Co-Founder and CEO of Zipskee, a travel tech startup. Evan has led various verticals for multiple startups as well as Fortune 500 companies, including teams that generated over $180M in annual revenue. He is deeply involved with Conscious Leadership and is a mentor at Techstars, EforAll Longmont, and Greenhouse Scholars in Boulder.
Evan is a Techstars alum, received his B.A. and M.S. from Wake Forest University, and is earning his M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business..
Auditor, Crowe LLP
Jeff grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to Colorado in 2001 with his family. He is a certified public account and received a master of accountancy degree from the University of West Florida. Jeff provides audit and consulting services to organizations throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Over the past several years, Jeff has lived and worked in Australia for Crowe Horwath International and worked on numerous international projects in South America, Asia, Japan and Canada. He and his family live in Denver, love the outdoors and try at any opportunity to travel to a new country.
April Greene Apking is an attorney with 3i Law. She works in the firm’s immigration and corporate practice areas. Prior to joining CBDF, April served on the Board of Directors for Youth on Record in Denver, Colorado. April also was a member of the Executive Committee for the Minoru Yasui Inn of Court, as well as a past member of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association. Recently, April has devoted time to judging various law school moot court competitions and elementary and middle school science competitions. April currently is co-chair for the Pomona High School Marching Band Festival and mentor to an undergraduate student through the program Law School Yes We Can.
Global C-level Executive & Business Leader
Asha comes from a family with a long history of successful business, and is currently part of a third-generation business house. After completing her studies in India and gaining significant work experience, she moved to Colorado. Currently, Asha is as an advisor and aids clients over a broad range of business enterprises, including start-ups. Asha is passionate about serving the community and society. Empowerment of women in the workplace is an issue close to her heart, and she works with several organizations who are active on this issue. She has been recently recognized by the Governor Hickenlooper for her contribution of bringing the Colorado and Indian community together. Last year she was recognized by the International Women Leadership Association for her outstanding leadership. She is also a member of the American Society of Women Accountants and the Women’s Vision Foundation.
Director of Marketing, Frndly TV
Chris has over 11 years of experience building brands and the marketing teams to shout about them. His marketing experience spans a wide range of industries including telecom, travel-tech, fashion, and healthcare. Currently, he manages marketing for Frndly TV, a family-friendly subscription digital TV service. Previously, he led corporate marketing for The Apparel Group, a vertically integrated apparel manufacturing conglomerate, and launched their in-house label menswear brand. Chris also leads the volunteer keg-management operations program for the Great American Beer Festival.
Chris earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia and is currently working towards his M.B.A at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
José R. Gómez
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
PCL Construction Enterprises
José has over twenty years of equity, inclusion and diversity consulting expertise with an array of public and private global organizations. He has held several corporate diversity and inclusion leadership positions with FORTUNE 500 organizations including Walmart Stores, Inc., Northwestern Mutual, and Brinker International among other leadership roles.
He previously served on the national board of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) for several years, and worked with more than 10 state, local OCA Chapters around the U.S. José was also a corporate representative for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA.) Currently, he is on the board of the Mile High Red Cross, and is an honorary board member of the Arkansas United Community Coalition, an immigrant rights organization he founded, supporting AAPI, African and Latino immigrant communities in Arkansas.
José is a graduate of the Cornell University, Diversity and Inclusion for HR Leadership Executive Program, and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a Guatemala native, and resides in South Denver with his wife Vera, who is a Colorado native.
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