It is finally here! We now present to you the lineup for this year’s Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) Red Party and Asian American Men’s Fashion Show.
1 Bart Moy
Bart Moy served the City of Chicago beginning 1989, when he was appointed by Mayor Daley to serve as the Director of the Advisory Council on Asian Affairs. He later moved over to the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program and served as an Area Coordinator for the past fifteen years, retiring in 2022. He is currently one of CMAA’s Board of Directors and in his roles, Bart has built strong relationships between community and city government by bringing necessary city services to the community, facilitating meetings between the two sectors to solve local issues, and ensuring city representation at community events and forums, where issues are brought forth. He is also currently the Chief Marketing Officer/Producer in Zatori Films.
2 Bhargav Kode
Bhargav Kode is a Senior Product Manager at Zoom responsible for global messaging product strategy for the Zoom Contact Center platform. Bhargav also currently serves on the board of "Friends of Peirce", a non-profit fundraising organization focused on improving the student experience and arts programming for all students at Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies, a neighborhood Chicago public school.
An engineering graduate with an advanced degree in business from Duke University, Bhargav grew up in India in his home state of Kerala before moving to the U.S to further his career. He lives in the Far North side with his wife and five-year-old daughter. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, watching the Chicago Bears, and mentoring aspiring Product Managers in the tech space.
3 David Lee
Born and raised in Aurora, Illinois, David Lee found himself as the only Asian in school until he went to college. As a result, he developed a strong drive to represent Asians in the best light through his career, sports, and social settings. David founded LinkedIn's Asian Employee Resource Group (LIAA) and currently works in sales at Gartner. Golf is his current obsession and you can count him as a late bloomer to the EDM scene (“fulfilling my Asian stereotypes”).
4 Dennis Cha
A Mechanical Engineering graduate from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, Dennis Cha has been a McDonald’s owner/operator since 2009. He is currently operating seven (7) restaurants in the western suburbs of Chicago and also serves in various leadership positions throughout the McDonald’s system as a Co-president of Chicago Chapter of Asian McDonald’s Operator Association (AMOA) and as a Board member of National AMOA.
Prior to becoming a McDonald’s owner/operator, Dennis co-founded Switchcraft GmbH and managed global licensing and business development until he decided to become McDonald’s franchisee. Dennis had worked for 15 years as Vice President/International Business Development for G&W Electric Co., responsible for managing over 30 countries in Asia Pacific and the Middle East region.
5 Doug Julian
Doug Julian is a digital entrepreneur with a passion for building successful businesses in various tech sectors. With a diverse background, he co-founded and led ventures in consumer technology, CPG, finance, legal services, and education. Some of these ventures are HelloPrenup, an online platform that revolutionizes the prenuptial agreement process which gained recognition as the first legal tech platform featured on the popular TV show Shark Tank, and Boba, a pioneering brand that combines the deliciousness of boba with premium ice cream.
6 Gene Honda
He may not be a familiar face, but you definitely have heard his energetic voice from every Chicago White Sox game. Gene Honda is the Public Address (PA) Announcer for the Chicago White sox for more than 3 decades, and is one of the only Asian American PA announcers in all of professional sports. He is also the voice of the Stanley Cup Chicago Blackhawks, Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, DePaul Basketball, and Illinois Football, as well as the Maui Invitational and the NCAA “Final Four." He also appears on WTTW and PBS stations around the country as a pledge drive host. He is the only person to have announced at the MLB World Series and All-Star Game, the NHL Playoffs, and the NCAA Frozen and Final Fours.
7 Greg Lamorena
Greg Lamorena is a senior trial attorney at Malman Law. He has dedicated his entire career advocating for victims of personal injury and medical malpractice. Greg has successfully obtained millions of dollars for his clients in settlements and verdicts.
Born and raised in Downers Grove, Illinois, he is a proud son of Filipino immigrants who taught him the value of hard work and helping others. Greg is the past president of the Filipino American Lawyers Association (FALA) of Chicago and the Central Regional Governor for the National Filipino Lawyers Association. In his free time, Greg volunteers at FALA Chicago’s Pro Bono Legal Clinic and serves as a mentor at a charter school in Chicago’s south side.
8 Rep. Hoan Huynh
Representative Hoan Huynh is a trailblazer in Illinois politics, serving as the first Vietnamese American and first refugee to be elected in state history. Rep. Huynh is from the Uptown community and is a former Associate Board volunteer of CMAA. He is currently serving as the State Representative for the 13th District of Illinois, and formerly was the investments and innovation lead at a social impact investments firm in Chicago. He led social innovation initiatives at several technology startups and conducted public policy research.
9 Huy Nguyen
Huy Nguyen is a transactional attorney, advising clients on corporate and commercial matters in the life sciences, banking, and renewable energy industries. He is currently the treasurer of the Asian American Bar Association of Illinois and a board member of the Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago. Outside of work, Huy enjoys volunteering with Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, Erie Neighborhood House, Celebrate Argyle, and the Chinatown Pro Bono Legal Clinic, and running and cycling with Family Style RC, an AANHPI-centric run community. He received his BBAs in Marketing and International Business from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and his JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
10 Jireh Louie
Jireh Louie is a Chicago-based designer and artist who graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2017 with a degree in Industrial Design. Launched in 2021, his clothing line Tono was a first solo foray into the apparel design world. The initial intent, captured in the wordplay of the brand’s name/logo (雷 = Thunder, tono = I Thunder), was to explore the potential of his design voice. This continues to be the underlying theme for Tono, with an expanding focus on capturing emotional expression through clothing, symbolism, and exposition.
As society trends towards rapid superficial consumption of media and goods, Jireh seeks to create work steeped in deep meaning and individuality while maintaining aesthetic interest and wearability. His Salience Series investigated questions of seen-ness, validation, and self-importance symbolized through eye motifs.
His upcoming series will be a collection of custom work focused on imbuing clothing with the client’s qualities through his design lens. You can also see some of his collection as some of our models will be wearing his design on the runway on June 15!
11 John Michael Narcise
If you are looking for a guy with a bubbly personality, then John Narcise is the one you are looking for. He is the System Administrator for Fresenius Kabi where he manages the laboratory systems that make Medicines, Injectable drugs, cancer drugs, aids, HIV, pain killers, and antibiotics as well as Covid-19 vaccines.
According to him, he has three claim-to-fame: (1) Working on the VA hospital Captain James A. Powell to help our Veterans with their mental health problems by working on epic Cerner systems; (2) He had a one-year project with NASA and worked on robotic arms for the space station; and (3) He created Asian Bubble Chicago for fun meetups and to help people find connections or network.
12 Rep. Kevin Olickal
Kevin Olickal is the State Representative for the 16th District of Illinois and is currently working towards obtaining his JD from Loyola. He is a progressive Democrat committed to fighting for middle-class and working families, ensuring that every community has a voice in government. Kevin is a lifelong resident and active community member of Skokie where he was raised by immigrant parents. Kevin’s experience working with government representatives and his success in growing community engagement make him the leader who will advance the 16th District forward.
13 Naweed Bayani
Naweed Bayani is an accomplished professional originally from Kabul, Afghanistan. He is an adept Development Coordinator at CMAA where he works tirelessly to provide a bevy of services for the Chicago community.
After completing earning a bachelor's degree in Pharmacy from Kabul University in Kabul, Afghanistan, Naweed embarked on a professional journey that took him to the United States Embassy in Kabul where he played an integral role in providing essential support and services.
Currently residing in Chicago, Illinois, Naweed has shifted his focus to the field of international development. He continues to leverage his knowledge and experiences to drive meaningful change. His dedication, adaptability, and passion for growth exemplify his relentless pursuit of excellence and his unwavering desire to contribute to a better world.
14 Norris Liu
Norris Liu is the President & CEO of EHLP (pronounced “e-help”), a technology-focused healthcare company that aims to reduce barriers of access to quality healthcare services and products. Born in Shanghai, China and raised in Toronto, Canada, Norris is passionate about connecting the East (land of birth) with the West (land of growth) and finding ways to bring value and benefit to its people. Off-hours, Norris loves to cook for friends, travel frequently, and try not to qualify for the world’s worst golfer tour.
15 Pushkar Sharma
Pushkar Sharma is the Founder and Executive Director of SACRED (the South Asian American Coalition to Renew Democracy) as well as a founding member of the Chicago Coalition for Human Rights in India. He has worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and with the United Nations in South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and South America.
16 Randy Tu
Born and raised in Houston, Texas to Vietnamese immigrant parents, worked several jobs to pay for his Bachelors of Administration in Accounting and made the move to Chicago where he is now a staff accountant for ITW and participates in various philanthropic work for his Chicagoland communities.
17 Dr Rupak Deven Parikh
Dr. Rupak D. Parikh completed his surgical internship at Lenox Hill Hospital (New York City, NY) & his PM&R residency at Northwestern Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital (Wheaton, IL). In 2010, Dr. Parikh founded (ARC) Advanced Rehabilitation Care, a Physiatry led post-acute physician’s group, where he successfully developed an innovative rehabilitation program that improve patient outcomes while simultaneously reducing preventable re-hospitalization rates. Dr Parikh credits his family for a deep-rooted Indian upbringing grounded in service and enriched with cultural diversity. In 2019, Rupak was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Seva Chakra award for community service.
In 2022, Rupak co-founded an entertainment company, Show B, with his brother, Parag Parikh. In 2023, their first project was personal - an investment in South Asian arts; Life of Pi premiered in on Broadway this spring and became the most nominated play of the season including 5 Tony Award Nominations. Show B’s next projects include a Kobe Bryant documentary.
Rupak true loves include his children and beautiful wife, Nancy To.
18 Sean Lee
Sean Lee will not only walk the runway but will also showcase some of his designs on the runway on June 15! Sean is a realtor and founder of fashion brand Plus 82 (a platform promoting multiculturalism). Sean is an active member of both the Korean American and Asian American communities, serving as a board member of the ACE Next Gen Chicago Chapter.
19 Shekar Jayaraman
You may recall seeing Shekar Jayaraman on seasons 1 and 2 of the Netflix original "Indian Matchmaking" where he was a fan favorite. Shekar is a skilled lawyer and the founder of his own legal practice, Jayaraman Law. He has a multi-faceted background of both public and private sector experience. He is passionate, zealous, and detail-oriented.
20 Sufyan Sohel
Sufyan Sohel is a civil rights lawyer, mediator, and facilitator who has dedicated his career to strengthen community organizations and to be an advocate for our most vulnerable. Sufyan currently serves as Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel at Resilience Force, a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of the workforce that rebuilds our communities after climate disasters. Sufyan is also a Cook County Human Rights Commissioner, the co-chair of the DePaul Law Diversity Council, and on the board of directors for the Chicago Access Network Television (CAN-TV), and the ACLU of Illinois where he serves as the organization’s Affiliate Equity Officer. Sufyan also hosts a weekly cable talk show, Change Agents, where he spotlights critical issues impacting Chicagoans and amplifies the voices and efforts of leaders and organizations working to create positive change in Chicago’s communities.
21 Tianyi "Joe" Zhu
Tianyi Joe Zhu is an international entrepreneur and angel investor. He is a 2017 AABDC 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business. Tianyi has served as a board member to several nonprofits, is the past president of the Naperville Jaycees, and was the previous US representative for the Chinese Welfare Population Foundation which reported to the Minister of Civil Affairs. Tianyi was recognized by Hennessy with their “Never Stop, Never Settle” entrepreneurship award and received the honor in 2015 of Mandarin Leader for Entrepreneurship. He has always strongly believed that community service is the rent we pay to be on this earth and while he has been doing a lot in DC as of late, CMAA gives him an opportunity to do things in his local community as well. He is also a part of the Board of Directors in CMAA. You may also recall seeing him in Netflix’s Below Deck Adventure Season 1.
22 Troy Choi (Baikleem Choi)
Troy Choi is a Program Manager at Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI), the flagship international program of World Business Chicago (WBC) that administers the City of Chicago’s 28 international sister city relationships. In addition to his full-time position at WBC, he is an officer in the Army Reserves. Prior to joining WBC, he was an active-duty Army Officer.
Troy grew up in the Chicago suburbs and was heavily involved in Korean Drumming and Taekwondo growing up. He has a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University. In his free time, he enjoys going to the gym, pottery, boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, muay thai, and spending time with his dog, Jaeger.
Catch all these dashing debonairs on June 15 (6PM - 9PM), at the CMAA 2023 Red Party and Asian American Men’s Fashion Show happening at CINECITY STUDIOS CHICAGO, 2429 W 14th St, Chicago, IL 60608.
Tickets are available online at CMAA’s website at https://www.chinesemutualaid.org/2023-red-party. Use our promo code CAN to get a $10.00 off discount.
Proceeds will directly support CMAA's efforts to provide critical resources and services to Chicago's low-income, immigrant, and refugee communities.