OCAW National Conference

2022 OCAW’s 45th Anniversary Celebration was held in the Washington, D.C. and Virginia area Oct. 21-23, 2022. Participants included OCAW members from all five chapters (Maryland, Virginia, New Orleans, Silicon Valley, Hawaii. 

Friday, October 21
The Hop-on, Hop-off bus showed us the Jefferson Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Washington Monument, and so on. We got off for our tour of the Capitol, a guided tour with our guide, Chris. Afterward, Sandy took the initiative to inquire about seeing the Senate Chamber, which usually requires extra arrangements, and we were able to go inside it, sit in the gallery at our leisure, and ask questions of the staff member on duty.  He told us what it was like during the January 6th insurrection, and it was interesting to hear his perspective.

Click on gallery photo to widen.

Meet-and-Greet Reception.
A nice buffet array.  We were appreciative that the Hawaii Chapter delegation, led by President Edwina Lee, had brought with them some Kalua pig to share. New Orleans Chapter President Pat Ellzey brought some wonderful Pralines to share, a special ‘taste of New Orleans’ at the reception. Silicon Valley Chapter Immediate Past President Anne Hu flew in numerous bottles of California wines for guests, and Maryland Chapter President Karina Hou also contributed wine, along with Francis Pan, Glen Schwartz, and Jean Lorentzen. Barbara York, Jane Pan, and Pu-Chin Waide brought delicious dishes to share, and Noreen Hom and Mimi Hom also contributed items. 

There was certainly no shortage of food or drink!  

Saturday, October 22
Tour of the Chinese American Museum DC
From the very beginning of the planning for our celebration, the Chinese American Museum DC (CAMDC) had been a priority sight for OCAW members intending to come to Washington.
Maryland Chapter President Karina Hou, an Advisor to the museum, introduced CAMDC Vice President Jenny Liu and Senior Advisor David Yao to the group.
David then proceeded to inform the audience of the detailed history of the museum and how it came into being only a few years ago. Christina Poy, OCAW Maryland Past President, added comments about her personal involvement with the museum from early on, and through this history indicated OCAW’s ties to the museum from the beginning.

Visits to Smithsonian Museums
The consensus was first to visit the National Museum of Natural History.  Since there were so many exhibits to see, we went either as individuals or in small groups to our particular areas of interest.  Areas visited included the always popular Gems and Minerals Collection, the relatively new Ocean Hall, and the most recently renovated Deep Time Hall, formerly the popular Dinosaur Hall. The newest techniques in museum curating (including interactive exhibits) are on full display in the fabulous, new Deep Time Hall, which makes it one of the most well-visited attractions on the National Mall.
In front of the Natural History Museum’s well-known, iconic elephant.

We enjoyed the nice weather and took a brief tour of the nearby National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. The outdoor exhibit had attracted the attention of some of our group, and they wanted to explore it further.
Among the various modern art sculptures, we laughed and had a big debate about one piece in particular: Roy Lichtenstein’s “House 1.” A couple members of our group absolutely *insisted* that depending upon where you viewed this ‘house,’ IT MOVED! The rest of us tried for the life of us to see this movement, but no go!
We made our way to the National Museum of Asian Art. This is the name for the two connected galleries that constitute it: the Freer Gallery of Art, and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. 

Saturday night dinner
Museum-goers were joined by other chapter members for dinner at the Lotus Garden restaurant in Vienna, VA. Two tables of attendees enjoyed a nice meal and conversation.

Sunday, October 23                     OCAW Conference
Attendees began to gather early Sunday morning at the Alexandria House in Alexandria, VA for the all-day occasion.
Handouts on the OCAW history, were available for participants to take. Thank you to Puanani Woo, former Hawaii Chapter President and Kohala Hawaii Chapter Advisor, who donated the money for the printing, and to Christina and Steve Chang who had the handouts printed and assembled.

OCAW National Board Meeting
Board members congregated for the 4th quarterly board meeting of 2022. 
the Hawaii Chapter would be making a donation to the New Orleans Chapter, to be used for repairs to the Chinese Presbyterian Church which was severely damaged in 2021 by hurricanes. The church has been the venue for Chapter meetings and events for many years, and funds are still needed for renovation work. 
Linda Devine, as National Communications VP, publicly commended that the OCAW website is up to date and transformed. 
As hard-working President Christina Chang is retiring after many years of service to OCAW, elections were planned for a new President. The next President does not have to reside in the DC area, as has been the case in the past. With internet and other modern communications easily available, the next President can live anywhere.
Upon the occasion of Christina Chang’s retirement, Linda Devine, on behalf of the entire OCAW membership, presented an appreciation plaque to Christina, noting her 12 long years of invaluable service as National President.

12 years of service
Helping our sister chapter

Conference Speakers Session

Some individuals who were not able to attend the conference in person had been very interested in listening to the talks, and Maria Yang had arranged for the session to be broadcast via Zoom to accommodate them.  Working on Zoom participants.

We had four presentations and a brief, light talk by Lily Tan, a former President of the Silicon Valley Chapter. She had all of us laughing, as she demonstrated her innovative hair-curling technique. While she was waiting for her hair to ‘set,’ she seriously discussed a book she had written entitled, Fire Scar: The Untold Story of the 1887 Burning of San Jose’s Chinatown. Written under the name of Lily K. Lee, it is a work of fiction but was based on a true account of the shameful burning. After her brief book description, she removed the socks to reveal her new curls!

Our final presentation was entitled, “The Chinese in Hawaii,” and it was given by Dr. Sandy Young.  Economist, school principal, and educational consultant are careers that have nourished Sandy’s love of international travel.  She and the other members of the Hawaii delegation performed a wonderful hula dance for us, to the well-known and beloved “The Hukilau Song.” Sandy asked us to pay strict attention to the dancers’ hand and foot movements, as we were going to be asked to join them subsequently. After their dance, we audience members got up and followed their lead – or tried to! – and had immense fun! 

Large trays of sliced brisket, pulled pork, cucumber salad, cole slaw, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and cornbread were set out for the hungry crowd. 
Wine that had been provided by Anne Hu and others, so attendees were able to enjoy more fine wine with their meals. Raffle tickets offered many door prizes. 
Musical entertainment, Steve Hom, guitarist teamed with Karla Chisholm. When Steve introduced the song “Sway,” he invited the audience to “sway” with the music, and indeed, several OCAW members took him up on his offer! Former Virginia Chapter President ChiHua Yang immediately moved to the back of the room, grabbed Cathy Roberts, and began dancing. Camilla Ng, Pat Ellzey, and others showed off their “moves” as well. Yuling Khorsandi also danced her way to the group in the back, and then truly enjoyed “swaying” to the music. The audience laughed along and snapped pictures, and thoroughly enjoyed the moment. All enjoyed cake before saying their goodbyes to one another.

Monday, October 24
Virginia countryside sightseeing
In addition to the famous sights of Washington, D.C., Christina Chang liked the idea of showing our out-of-town visitors some of the lovely sights and scenery outside of the city. A day trip was planned for Monday, which would take our visitors to the Virginia countryside. The planned destinations were Skyline Drive and Luray Caverns.
Hawaii, being of tropical climate, does not experience the “fall colors.” It was hoped that the Hawaii delegation especially would be able to enjoy these beautiful fall colors with the leaves turning their reds, yellows, and oranges.

Tuesday, October 25
More Virginia sightseeing was planned for Tuesday, although to sites closer to home.
This time,  Great Falls Park (a National Park Service site), where they enjoyed the waterfalls of the Potomac River. 
After a return home for lunch, the group headed out once more. Their destination was Manassas National Battlefield Park, the site of the first major battle of the Civil War (Battle of Bull Run). Today’s drivers were much appreciated.
That evening, Christina prepared a fabulous dinner for our visitors, the final one of their trip. They practiced Lily’s hair-curling technique, and had much fun singing karaoke! It was a wonderful way to end their visit, before their flights back home the following day.

All in all, OCAW’s 45th anniversary celebration was a big success. All of the planned events went off well, everyone had a great time, friends happily reunited with one another, and many new friendships were made. It is virtually impossible to thank everyone by name for all they did to make this celebration the great success that it was. Dozens of people pitched in, and helped in various ways, large and small. To all of our out-of-town members who flew in from various parts of the country and ensured that all five OCAW Chapters were represented at our milestone event. It was so nice to meet you and get to know you! 

2017 OCAW’s 40th Anniversary Celebration: National Conference and Reunion was held in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area from March 31 to April 2, 2017. Participants included OCAW members from all six chapters (Maryland, Virginia, New Orleans, Silicon Valley, Hawaii, and Kohala Hawaii). Friday morning began with a tour of the U.S. Capitol, courtesy of U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA). This was followed by a tour of Twin Oaks, the lovely estate of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. A third event was a tour of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, a relatively new, large, beautiful building designed by I.M. Pei. The day was capped off by the Welcome Reception at the new Tysons Silverline Center in McLean, VA.
Saturday featured the all-day national conference at the Silverline Center. All participants took turns introducing themselves to the group, and presentations by each chapter followed. Then speakers gave talks on such subjects as elder care, health, and Asian American history. The day culminated in a celebratory reunion dinner. The convivial event included remarks by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and entertainment by OCAW members, featuring a taiji demonstration and individual and group dance and vocal performances.

Sunday was occupied by a comprehensive sightseeing tour of Washington, D.C., with the first stop at the Iwo Jima Memorial. En route, Arlington National Cemetery, the White House, monuments, and museums were pointed out. The group toured the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, followed by visits to the Jefferson, FDR, Lincoln, Vietnam Veterans, and World War II Memorials. The perfect weather and excellent camaraderie were a wonderful way to end the three-day anniversary celebration.

2004 OCAW National Conference: “Empowering Women of the 21st Century” was hosted by the
OCAW Silicon Valley Chapter on August 7-8, 2004 in Milpitas, CA. The conference aimed at
getting the participants excited by the possibilities of empowerment and to be better equipped to
accept leadership challenges in his/her daily life. The morning programs were leadership workshops
and panel discussions. In the evening, besides the award ceremonies, there was a gala performance
of entertainment and talent shows presented by the youth groups of the Silicon Valley Chapter. The
event was a huge success thanks to the work and enthusiasm of the Silicon Valley Chapter.

2002 OCAW’s 25th Anniversary National Conference: “Smart Women: Path to Success” and
Silver Jubilee. The Conference was held in the historic Reid Foundation Mansion in Washington,
D.C. Speakers and panelists included Hon. Chiling Tong, Dr. Faith Lee Breen, Dr. Jane E. Smith,
Tina Sung, Linda K. Bolliger, Hon. Edmund C. Moy, Hon. Joel Szabat, Hon. Benjamin H. Wu, Dr.
Dianne Yan, Lucie Chen, Dr. Fu-lin Lee, Marianne Brackney, Muriel Hom, Dora Fugh Lee, and
Teresa Buczaki.

1999 OCAW National Conference in Hawaii, coinciding with the OCAW Hawaii Chapter’s Tenth
Anniversary celebration. OCAW National also celebrated its 1999 Biennial National Conference
honoring U.S. Senator and Mrs. Hiram Leong Fong, Sau Ung Loo Chan, and Ah Quon McElrath in
Oahu, Hawaii.

Dr. Rosie Wong, 1990 Hawaii Chapter President, with Jeannie Jew, U.S. Senator and Mrs. Hiram Fong, and Pauline Tsui

Senator and Mrs. Fong treated OCAW members to a tour of their plantation and
gardens in Kaneohe, and an authentic Hawaiian lunch. Mrs. Vicky Cayaetano and Governor
Benjamin Cayaetano hosted the anniversary event in their home, Washington Place. OCAW
National President, Jeanie F. Jew, moderated “Politics, Prose, and the Press” with three distinguished panelists: Sondra Seba, White House Office for Women’s Initiative and Outreach; The Honorable Ruby Moy, Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; and Sandra Oshiro, New Media Director, Honolulu Advertiser.

1997 OCAW’s 20th Anniversary National Conference and Gala Banquet and Salute to Mothers. The three-day event began with a White House tour. The Conference was held at the Rayburn House Office Building. Speakers and workshops addressed the topics of Financial Independence through Entrepreneurship, Managing Career Success, Business and Government, Legal Rights of Women/Domestic Violence, and Women’s Health.