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2018 Year In Review



This group of organizations supported our efforts in 2017.



Number of people served in 2018 through leadership programs, workshops and presentations.


Number of states represented among 2018 participants: ARIZONA, California, Colorado, CONNECTICUT, FLORIDA, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, INDIANA, KENTUCKY, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, MISSOURI, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, Pennsylvania, Texas, UTAH, Washington AND WISCONSIN - PLUS AMERICA SAMOA, CANADA AND WASHINGTON, D.C.


Number of workshops provided in 2018.


Developing People and Empowering Communities


Increase in LEAP participants over time.


In addition to 8 multi-day programs, LEAP conducted 115 workshops and presentations to 3,472 participants. Of these, 47y workshops were delivered to 3,472 participants through community based organizations such as: Florida Asian Service Center (Miami, FL), National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (San Francisco, CA), Society of Asian Scientist and Engineers (Chicago, IL), Midwest Asian American Student Union (St. Paul, MN) and California State University, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA).

LEAP also provided leadership training for mid-career corporate managers, senior staff of nonprofit organizations, higher education professionals, and college and high school students. These programs included:

  • LEAP Pathways: Leadership Development for Business (formerly Path to Professional Success), a three-day leadership development program designed to promote the professional development of API employees within corporations. LEAP delivered five programs to 111 participants. Each participant spent 28 hours in leadership training.

  • LEAP Exceed: The Executive Leadership Program (formerly the Asian and Pacific Islander Executive Leadership Program), a customized program designed for a corporation to prepare individuals for executive level leadership. 29 participants spent 48 hours in leadership training and 9 hours in executive coaching with certified coaches.

  • LEAP Advance: Leadership Development Program for Higher Education in partnership with Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education, is a leadership development program for API higher education administrative staff and faculty. The 31 participants in this program engaged in 33 hours of leadership training over four days.

  • LEAP Impact: Leadership Development for Nonprofit Staff (formerly the Emerging Leaders Program), a three-part, six-month program designed to develop API staff for leadership and management roles in nonprofit organizations. This program was sponsored by American Express Foundation, Coca-Cola Foundation, Southwest Airlines – The Official Airline of the Emerging Leaders Program, and the 2016 Bid for Empowerment Donors. 17 participants gained 79 hours of leadership development training and 6 hours of executive coaching.

  • LEAP Emerge: Summer Internship Program (formerly Leadership in Action), an eight-week paid summer internship program that provides college students with practical leadership skills and experience working in an API-serving nonprofit organization in Southern California. In 2017, this program was sponsored by Nissan, Southern California Edison, Southwest Airlines – The Official Airline of Leadership In Action, and the 2016 Bid for Empowerment Donors. The seven (7) LIA interns spent 99.5 hours over eight weeks in leadership training. Additionally, they worked on a group project. The LIA interns created a mixed media art website, sharing art pieces about their multifaceted Asian or Pacific Islander identities and what they’ve learned about their assigned nonprofit organizations. The project can be viewed at:

  • Career and Leadership Seminars, a combination of leadership development workshops and panel discussions for college-age audiences. LEAP delivered 5 workshops and panels to 136 participants in California, Michigan, and North Carolina. Sponsored by Nissan.

  • High School Leadership Initiative (HSLI), a series of workshops tailored to API high school students between the ages of 15-18 to increase self-awareness as well as think critically about leadership and cultural values. LEAP delivered 23 workshops to 1,068 high school students in California and Texas. In addition, LEAP ran five Train-the-Trainer workshops to 15 nonprofit staff and youth program facilitators. Sponsored by General Motors Foundation and Southern California Edison.


Informing Society

LEAP is one of four leading organizations (with Catalyst, Inc., the Executive Leadership Council, and the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility) that make up the Alliance for Board Diversity.

In January of 2019, the Alliance for Board Diversity, in collaboration with Deloitte, released its multi-year study on board representation of women and minorities. The report, Missing Pieces Report: The 2018 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards, provides powerful metrics on the slow change of diversity in the boardroom.

As Chair of the ABD, Linda Akutagawa was invited to testify before the full House Financial Services Committee in Washington, D.C. on the topic of “Diversity in the Boardroom: Examining Proposals to Increase the Diversity of America’s Boards” in June 2019.


LEAP’s 35th Anniversary Celebration

LEAP's 35th Anniversary Celebration was held on July 20, 2017 at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Los Angeles, CA. The celebration raised approximately $505,000 and an additional $36,000 during the Bid for Empowerment, a live donation pledge. Over 500 guests attended the event, enjoying an evening that included a silent auction, dinner, and networking opportunities.  The celebration program began with welcoming speeches from LEAP Board Chair, Brad Cooper, and LEAP President and CEO, Linda Akutagawa. On this festive evening, LEAP honored the following leaders:


Individual Leadership Award Recipients

  • Fatima Bustos-Choy, PhD, Founder, Gaia Flow Consulting / Center Owner, Body & Brain Holistic Wellness

  • Kenneth Kasamatsu, Advisor to the CEO, E-Central Credit / The Pacific Bridge Companies / Founder, Pacific Commerce Bank

  • Geri Mannion, Program Director, U.S. Democracy and Special Opportunities Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York

  • Paul Ong, PhD, Director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, University of California, Los Angeles

David R. Barclay Alumni Leadership Award Recipients

  • Scott Chan, Program Director, Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement

  • Patricia A. Neilson, EdD, Director, Asian American Student Success Program, University of Massachusetts, Boston