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LOS ANGELES — LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics) will celebrate 36 years with its annual awards gala to recognize honorees at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Los Angeles, California on Thursday, July 19, 2018.

This Awards Celebration brings together over 400 influential leaders, government officials, corporate executives at local, state and national levels to celebrate the leadership and accomplishments of individuals and organizations that exemplify LEAP’s mission in achieving full participation and equality for Asian and Pacific Islanders through leadership, empowerment and policy.

Proceeds from the event are used to develop LEAP’s innovative leadership programs, cutting-edge public policy research, and nationwide community building.

This year’s honorees include:

Thelma Kailiwai, Director on Staff, IDS Engineering Strategic Development, Raytheon Integrated Defense System (Retired)

Jayne Park, Executive Director, Impact Silver Spring (Margaret Ashida Award)

Kaylene Choe, Managing Director of Sales, UPS (David R. Barclay Alumni Leadership Award)

Teach For America Asian American Pacific Islander Alliances (Community Award)

Linda Akutagawa, LEAP President and CEO, expresses, “It is important to recognize the work and achievements of the honorees for their leadership in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. They embody LEAP’s philosophy of Keep Your Values. Develop New Skills.® and show us that we can create our own possibilities and inspire future generations of leadership. We are honored to host this year’s event in Little Tokyo, only steps away from our offices, enabling us to celebrate in a space designed to foster and support Asian and Pacific Islanders.”

For the past 36 years, national nonprofit organization Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) has been and continues to grow leaders within in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities around the world.

LEAP works to meet its mission by: Developing people, because leaders are made, not born; Informing society, because leaders know the issues; and Empowering communities, because leaders are grounded in strong, vibrant communities.

Unmatched in vision and scope, LEAP offers leadership training and programs, publishes leadership research and conducts community education to advance a comprehensive strategy of API empowerment.

With over 30 years of experience, LEAP has delivered over 2,900 leadership development programs, workshops and presentations to over 130,000 participants across the country.

Visit www.leap.org for more information.

To RSVP and purchase tickets to this year’s awards celebration, please contact Nancy Yap, Director of Development at (213) 485-1422 x4119 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .