Meet ACMA Board of Directors

Cathlyn Choi

Founder, CEO and Executive Director

Cathlyn is a multi award winning TV show and producer. Recognized by her fans and media as the celebrity chef and Hansik Korean Food Ambassador, Cathlyn is the host and producer of a popular Korean cooking show, “Cathlyn’s Korean Kitchen,” on national PBS food network and the host and producer of Asian Voices, featuring Asian culture, community, business, lifestyle and entertainment in Southern California.

Cathlyn is the co-owner and producer of Carma Media & Entertainment, specializing in  media marketing and event management. In addition to being the founder and board chair of Asian Culture and Media Alliance. Cathlyn also serves on the board of various non profit organizations such as Korean American Association San Diego and Korean American Coalition and is the past President of Korean Women’s International Network, San Diego Chapter, empowering and supporting the social and business networks of Korean American Women in San Diego. In 2010, Cathlyn received an recognition award from the former First Lady of Korea Kim Yoon Ok for promoting Korean food and culture in the US through Television media. She was recently nominated by the 65th Assembly District of the API Legislative Caucus and receive an award for Excellence in Culinary Arts. In addition to 20 years of international business development and new media marketing background, Cathlyn has over 18 years of experience as a reporter, TV show host and MC in Korea, Brunei and US. She loves cooking, music and playing golf.

Ellen Keaton


Born in Richmond, Kentucky to a Japanese mother and Cherokee Indian and Irish father, Ellen studied art at eastern Kentucky University, where she also worked as a library technician. In addition to 6 years of experience working as an advertising and graphic designer, Ellen has over 10 years of background as a commissions specialist and currently works for the Producers Group, an insurance brokerage in La Jolla. In her spare time, Ellen enjoys playing golf and volunteering at non-profit organizations in San Diego, organizing and distributing toys to families and children such as Toys for Tots and is an active member of Ladies on Course.

Helen Hu


Dr. Helen Hu, originally from Beijing China, has studied Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since the age of 12. A Cardiologist and Practitioner of integrated medicine for 9 years she immigrated to the United States in 1991. Helen went on to study western medicine in Hebei Medical University, P.R.China in order to integrate the two medicines and advance her medical health procedures. She practiced western medicine for 9 years in China while becoming Chairman of the Department of Cardiology before she immigrated to the United Stated 1991.

After immigrating to the United States in 1991, she passed the USMLE (United States Medical License Exams) in 1997. Subsequently she formally studied Chinese Traditional Medicine graduating with a degree in oriental medicine and successfully passing both the National and State of California Boards as licensed acupuncturist and Herbalogist. She earned her Oriental Medical Degree ( O.M.D) at South Baylou University.


Betty Kim Garcia

CPA | Managing Partner, Encore Partners LLP

Betty is a founding partner of Encore Partners LLP and has over 13 years of experience in public accounting working with small, mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies providing tax compliance and consulting services. Prior to forming Encore Partners LLP, Betty was a tax manager at Ernst & Young LLP in San Diego. Betty served in leadership roles at EY, including co-chair of the Pan Asia Affinity Group, chairperson of the Working Mothers Group, served as a member for several process improvement committees, and taught several tax technical classes for National Tax.

At Ernst & Young, Betty specialized in both corporate taxation including FAS 109 provisions and in partnership taxation, working with Real Estate specific pass through entities and joint ventures. Betty was a member of the firm’s highly specialized real estate group. In addition, Betty has significant experience working with property transactions, capital gains, private equity fund investment transactions, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT’s) and state and local tax, including both state income/franchise and sales and use tax.


James Pham

CEO/Chairman of EnlighTea

James is currently the CEO/Chairman of EnlighTea Cafe Corporate & Franchise Brand; Chief Tea Franchise Developer; Real Estate Investor; President & Founding Member of Eastlake Business and Real Estate Network; Best Selling Co-Author of INITIATIVE; and holds a 5th degree black belt which is a Master level in Kajukenbo Self Defense System.

James started his career as a software developer, then business analyst and finally project management consultant for over seven years primarily at Fortune 500 companies.

EnlighTea Café Corporate and Franchise brand and companies are the results of the vision of its founder, James Pham, to establish a chain of Tea Cafes for Meditation, Tea, and Retail as a business for profit. What Starbucks is to coffee, EnlighTea Cafe is to Tea. Mr. Pham’s goal and commitment is to open 1000+ tea cafes throughout the world.

Jason Nunez

Jason Nunez

Retired Naval Officer

Jason B. Nuñez, was born of Philippine immigrants in Oakland and reared in Vallejo, California. He graduated 1996 with a Bachelor of Science from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Then, he completed the Surface Warfare School (SWOSCOLCOM) Indoctrination Course in Newport, Rhode Island.
From 1997 to 1999, he served onboard San Diego-based amphibious warship USS Cleveland (LPD 7) as Weapons/Ammunition Officer and subsequently as Radio Officer.

He graduated in 2005 from SWOSCOLCOM Department Head School where his peers recognized him as the runner up for the Arleigh Burke Leadership Award. An additional year on Staff, he also enrolled in a Joint Professional Military Education Phase I Seminar Course. He concluded his Navy career at Assault Craft Unit One Training Officer in 2016, directing Training Team, PQS, Schools, GMT, Indoctrination, and In-Rate training programs. His personal Navy medals include: Meritorious Service, Navy Commendation (four awards), Joint Service Achievement, Community Service, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement (three awards). Importantly, he was selected Executive Officer Special Mission.

Additionally, Jason earned a Master’s Degree in Managerial Science (MSM) from the University of Maryland University College and licensure in Professional Management Professional (PMP).

Paul Lim

Board Affairs

In addition to his role as the San Diego Chapter President of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP – San Diego), Paul has been recognized for his contributions to the local community by various publications and state legislators including CA State Senator Joel Anderson, San Diego Magazine, AOL/ and the San Diego Business Journal.  He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professional with MetLife – New England Financial working with families and businesses to help them efficiently achieve financial success.


Shaghel Mohammed

Corporate Partnership

As a Wireless Industry Professional with extensive International on the ground experience, Shaghel has held multifunctional roles in Engineering, including Customer Integration, testing, commercialization etc. He worked at Qualcomm since 1997 and is currently the Principal Engineer at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. Prior to joining Qualcomm, he worked as a wireless consultant for Intel, Silicon Systems and Trend Micro in Washington and Silicon Valley.


Catherine Luib

Licensed Chiropractor and Acupuncture Physician

Dr. Luib promotes optimal health and well being for her patients through integrated and functional medicine. She is also the Public relations chairwoman of the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce and Board member of operation samahan, representing the Holistic Health sector/services. She provides cooking classes, workshops on health and stem cell therapy Host Annual Philanthropic medical mission to the Philippines Facilitator of The Wow Talks, San Diego.

Genevieve Suzuki

Genevieve Suzuki

Attorney & Partner, Suzuki, Zndovskis & Yip, LLC

Genevieve is a partner with family law firm Suzuki, Zandovskis & Yip, LLP. She has been nominated as one of San Diego’s top young attorneys by the San Diego Daily Transcript and a Rising Star by Super Lawyers. Her firms participates in San Diego County Bar Association’s Modest Means program for low-income applicants and often offers the same low rates to its clients.

In addition to ACMA, Suzuki sits on the board of directors for La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation and the San Diego chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, and serves as a commissioner for the City of La Mesa’s Community Services Commission.  She is also on the board at St. Martin of Tours Academy.  She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in speech from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and continues to contribute as a columnist to La Mesa Courier.


Kaanchan S Farkiya

Ms. Asian North America

Kaanchan is an Indian Television actress, model and beauty queen who was crowned Ms. Asian North America 2016 in Las Vegas. Born and brought up in India, worked in showbiz as a television actress and performed in several video, print commercials, and TV serials. In the same year, she earned subtitles such as Mrs. Role Model of the Year, Mrs. People Choice, Mrs. Congeniality, Mrs. Elegance, and Mrs. Cultural of the Year. Kaanchan has been serving community as event Judge, and special guest for cultural shows.

Kaanchan received State of California the Senate Certificate, recognized as Social Media Ambassador, received a proclamation from Council Member Chris Cate’s office, featured on Mira Mesa Living Magazine Cover Nov – Dec, 2016 issue, Her interview has published in headlines of Indian Eagle Travel Beats magazine regarding socio-cultural difference in USA, child trafficking in India, objectification of women in showbiz industry and women empowerment.

Additionally Kaanchan works as a Senior Supplement Instruction Coach in a community college and volunteers for many non-profit organizations in the community. She has represented voice of students as being a member of College Executive Committee, Marketing & Outreach, and Diversity & International Committee. She was also member of Facilities, Technology, Website and Student Services Committee. To learn more about Kaanchan, visit


Leilani Vidal

Clinic Director of the Better Health & Wellness Center

Dr. Vidal is a Board Certified Chiropractor in the State of California. She received her doctorate studies at the prestigious Southern California College of Chiropractic in Los Angeles, California.  She also holds certifications as a Qualified Medical Examiner in the state of California, and is also a Board Eligible Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician. Dr. Vidal prides herself on providing a loving, compassionate, supportive environment to help her patients not only regain their health, vitality and youth, but also maintain their health once regained.  Aside from her doctorate training, she also hold a license as an Aesthetician and is the president of GlitzNow, L.L.C., which provides training in advanced beauty procedures to cosmetic and skin professionals all over the country including Hollywood’s elite makeup artist to the stars. Dr. Vidal is also the founder and member of ladies saxophonist group called the Saxations.

Ron Luong

Ron Luong

Event Planner, Southern Indian Health Council

Ron is the managing principal of XO Signature Experience, boasting an extensive network of associates and contacts in the Asian American community, successfully orchestrating over 200 events for various clients in San Diego.

Ron is a multi lingual outreach consultant and previously worked as an event marketing specialist at Sempra Energy. He is a highly motivated, ambitious and committed marketing professional credited with crafting and instituting revolutionary, non-traditional, creative ideas and marketing programs that have leads to quick and effective market expansion.  As a community activist, Ron is well recognized for his efforts within the Vietnamese community especially involving Lunar New Year Tet Festival, Taste of Asia, Inaugural Mid-Autumn Moon Festival and San Diego Night Market.

Tommy Le

Tommy Le

Director, Beauty Pageant and Fashion Designer

Tommy is a well known fashion designer and is no stranger in pageantry. Tommy is the Production Manager-Pageant Coaching at Virgelia Productions, inc. and Pageant Director at Miss Asia San Diego Pageant as well as coaches many pageants network in Southern California. Tommy’s passion is in strengthening the Vietnamese and Asian culture, combining  art, entertainment and show with confidence and willingness to go beyond our comfort zone into a much bigger world. He is well recognized in the community for bringing pride, glory and honors to Asian and Vietnamese communities through beauty, art and fashion.