Justice Ming Chin, Last year, Justice Chin received the Jurist of the Year award from the Judicial Council of California, and he has also received awards from the San Francisco Bay Chapter of the American Jewish Committee and his alma mater, the University of San Francisco. He was the first Asian American to serve as president of the Alameda County Bar Association, and has been a member of the USF Law School Board of Counselors and Adjunct Professor of Law.a descendant of Angel Island detainees, was born in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He attended high school in San Jose and received his BA and JD degrees from the University of San Francisco. After graduation, he served two years as a captain in the US Army, where he received a United States Army Commendation and a Bronze Star for his service in the Vietnam War. Justice Chin served three years as a Deputy District Attorney for Alameda County, then joined an Oakland law firm. Next he was appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court, then to the First District Court of Appeals. In 1996, Governor Pete Wilson appointed Justice Chin to the California Supreme Court, the first Chinese American to be appointed, and he was retained by the voters of California in 1998.
“Head Monster” Noel Lee was born in San Francisco soon after his parents emigrated from China. He grew up in the Richmond District of San Francisco and attended San Francisco City College and Cal Poly, earning a degree in mechanical engineering. His first jobs were with the Lawrence Livermore and Berkeley labs, with a stint on the road with an all-Asian rock band in between! He quit Lawrence Berkeley Lab and developed a speaker wire that he felt produced superior sound. Between demonstrations at trade shows and at dealerships, Lee began to build his business, Monster Cable. Today the privately-held company is estimated to have annual sales of over $100 million and around 550 employees throughout the world.
Monster has supported a number of nonprofit organizations that address issues including the elimination of AIDS in Africa and wounded military veterans and has helped low income children in the Bay Area through many different programs. Mr. Lee earned the Los Angeles Unified School District Humanitarian Award for a generous contribution to the district’s Employment Preparation Program, which provides essential job training services to local high-school students.
Focusing on the diverse Asian American community, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI)’s mission is to improve the health, mental health, and well-being of individuals and their families by providing an array of human services. AACI empowers the Asian American community by working collaboratively for equality and social justice. Founded in 1973, AACI is now the largest community-based organization serving the Asian American community in Santa Clara County. Most of its clients are low-income Asian immigrants and refugees. Current programs include mental health and primary care health services, HIV/AIDS prevention and education, breast cancer education, substance abuse treatment, a center for survivors of torture, programs and shelter for women and children who are domestic violence victims, a senior center, after-school youth programs, English and citizenship classes, and advocacy. AACI has over 100 staff members and 14 members of its board of directors.
Kay Winer, newly-elected chair of AACI, accepted the award. As the Chief Deputy City Manager for the City of San Jose until the end of 2007, she developed an appreciation for the contributions of AACI to the community and its reputation as a well-run non-profit organization.