As an immigrant from Hong Kong, Mary Wong, EA, has overcome struggles such as language barriers, diligently working her way through college and eventually starting her own accounting firm, Exact Tax, Inc., in 2007. As Exact Tax, Inc. has grown, so has their philanthropic outreach. Last year the company launched free seminars for local community members and small business owners, helping attendees understand everything from navigating audits to filing taxes while waiting for a green card. In 2010, Mary founded Project NEO, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provided after school tutoring and mentoring to at-risk youth in grades 2-8, serving over 250 youth annually. As part of its leadership development program, over 200 young people were trained to provide mentorship and tutoring services, and Project NEO initiated a Student Leaders Board which consisted of 12 bright individuals from local high schools and colleges. In order to expand Project NEO's tutoring outreach to more local schools, Mary explored creative options. The Asian Youth Center reached out to Mary to create a partnership to strengthen the tutoring program for children, and the merger between the two organizations was finalized in November 2016. As difficult as it was for Mary to relinquish herself from Project NEO, she prioritized growing resources to help at-risk youth to become our leaders of tomorrow. Mary joined the AYC Board of Directors in January 2017 to continue her work with at-risk youth in the community.
In 2014, Senator Ed Hernandez awarded Mary the Woman of the Year Award for her work with Project NEO. She was also the recipient of the 2014 Monterey Park Business Woman Award. Her leadership roles have included serving as a board member of the Asian Youth Center, treasurer of the Alhambra Police Foundation and member of the East Los Angeles College Foundation President's Circle.
Mary graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with an undergraduate degree in Computer Information Systems and currently resides in San Gabriel, CA.
Ricky Choi, First Vice President
Ricky Choi is Public Affairs Project Manager at Lee Andrews Group, responsible for managing the community outreach, media and communications and government relations program for a regional infrastructure project in the San Gabriel Valley. Ricky was previously Senior Community Affairs Deputy at the California State Board of Equalization and Field Representative at the California State Assembly for now U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, served as Assistant to Former California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante and worked in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.
Active in civic and community affairs, Ricky currently serves as a Planning Commissioner in the City of Monterey Park and previously served as a Civil Service Commissioner and Parks and Recreation Commissioner in the City of Alhambra. He has also served on the Board of Directors of numerous non-profit and community organizations including OCA-Greater Los Angeles, Asian Professional Exchange (APEX), Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County, Asian Pacific Alumni of UCLA and Asian Pacific American Legislative Staff Network (APALS).
Ricky joined the AYC Board of Directors in 2014 and currently serves as First Vice President, Chair of the Fundraising Committee and Co-Chair of the 30th Anniversary Dinner Committee.
Bryan Chau, Second Vice President
Raymond Ho, Treasurer
Raymond Ho immigrated to the United States in 1990. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine and started his career as a software Engineer at FileNet/IBM concentrating on data optimization to handle large numbers of transactions for businesses such as Wells Fargo, Blue Cross and Hong Kong SAR administration’s Smart ID card data. He also worked in the defense industry at Raytheon, with a focus on an Air Command & Control System NATO project, stationing him in Paris, France for two years. In 2009, Mr. Ho changed direction and completed his Real Estate Broker license, going on to earn a General Contractor License B in 2013 as well.
Today, Mr. Ho is the Director of Investments at GE Properties, where he is responsible for managing a diverse portfolio of residential and commercial real estate properties for high net worth clients.
Because of his experience adapting to a new environment during his youth, Mr. Ho is deeply rooted to the core mission of Asian Youth Center. He joined the Board of Directors in 2014, and served as the Audit Committee Chair in 2015 and 2016 before becoming the Treasurer in 2017.
Eugene Harris, Secretary
Gene Harris is a Southern California native and former United States Marine. During his stint in the Marine Corps, he served as an airborne, forward observer for naval gunfire and close air support before leaving to pursue his career in law enforcement. Gene is a 27-year law enforcement veteran whose career began with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department before a lateral move to the Monterey Park Police Department. He now serves as Police Chief of the San Gabriel Police Department where he oversees all operational, administrative, and management matters for the station.
He is a published author and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management, and a Master’s Degree in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership from the University of San Diego. He is also a graduate of the POST Master Instructor Development Program, the West Point Leadership Program, POST Command College, and the FBI National Academy. Along with his career and educational accolades, Gene has also received numerous honors including awards for his heroism, distinguished service, and numerous volunteer endeavors. He cites the favorite of his achievements as the publishing of his book, “The Zero Stress Zone, A Layman’s Guide to Stress Management." His personal ethos is “enthusiasm is the force that creates momentum" - He plans, lives by, and exemplifies this code in all his endeavors.
In his current assignment, Chief Harris places community engagement at the top of his priority list and ensures that the department interacts with community members at every level. He is committed to serving the needs of community members and believes community partnerships are crucial to all public or private community endeavors.
Helen Romero Shaw, Past-President
As Public Affairs Manager for the Southern California Gas Company, Helen Romero Shaw is responsible for the management of Public Affairs and Government Relations functions for thirteen cities in the West San Gabriel Valley. Prior to joining The Gas Company, Helen was an Agency Relations/Planning Associate with the Los Angeles United Way and assistant to Congressman Edward R. Roybal. Helen is a graduate of California State University, Northridge and received a Certificate in Management Effectiveness from the USC School of Business.
Helen is a county commissioner, appointed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, to the Los Angeles County Commission for Older Adults, where she serves as Fiscal Officer and on the Legislative/Advocacy Committee. She participates as a board member of the San Gabriel Valley Public Affairs Network as well as the boards of East Los Angeles College Foundation and the United Latinx Fund. Helen is a past president of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and is a board member of the Alhambra and Rosemead Chambers.
Helen joined the Board of Directors of the Asian Youth Center in 2006 and served as board Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice-President prior to taking on the Presidency in 2017.