Atkinson started his community involvement while studying mechanical engineering at UCSD. During his college career, he volunteered with the Vietnamese American Youth Association (VAYA). Life later brought Atkinson to Houston where he worked with the Hope Initiative, a charity that fundraised to help children in Vietnam. The Bay Area called him back home where he got involved with VAR, VietAYA/ MAYS, Tet, and Golden Hearts which are all organizations he still supports. As VAR President and Boardmember, his focus is growing a strong foundation for VAR’s future. Professionally, Atkinson is an Account Manager at NMB.
Christina was raised by a single mother in east San Jose and this is where her passion for community advocacy developed. As a child of Vietnamese refugees, she saw first hand how inequities impacted families in her community including her own, this motivated her to dedicate her life to social services. After graduating from UC Davis with a BA in Women & Gender Studies and Asian American Studies, Christina came back to San Jose to start her career in fundraising and development for various nonprofits in Silicon Valley. She currently works for Assemblymember Ash Kalra and lives in San Jose with her husband, son, mother and dog.
Thousands of years ago, during the reign of King Kinh Dương Vương, the Xích Quỷ kingdom was an unknown stretch of a vast land on the far East, leaning its back on a range of high mountains while looking out facing the oceans from a long shoreline. He married princess Long Nữ, the daughter of Động Đình Vương – sovereign of the Động Đình Lake. They were then blessed with one child, a boy whom they called Sung Lam, popularly known in the kingdom as Lạc Long Quân, the “Dragon Lord of Lạc”. Because of Long Nữ’s origin, their son was believed to be a descendant from the line of the Dragons. And indeed, Lạc Long Quân had extraordinary strength and supreme intelligence. But his succession from his mother’s underwater world developed in him a strong fascination for the ocean, and the young man is often seen along the shorelines enjoying the waves and exploring the many sea creatures in sight.
Amy is one of VAR’s founding Board members. She has been actively involved in her community, currently serving as a Board Aide to President of the Board Supervisor Cindy Chavez to support access to County services for underserved communities and specifically the establishment of the Vietnamese American Service Center. Amy previously served as the Development Director at the Asian Law Alliance to support low-income community members and as Congressional liaison, human rights advocate, and refugee attorney for an international human rights organization focusing on resettling stateless Vietnamese refugees in Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. Amy received her J.D. from Santa Clara Law, M.A. in Economics at the University of South Carolina, B.A. in Ethnic Studies and B.A. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego.
Anthony Lê is a driven leadership consultant, coach, and trainer with over 15 years of transforming how people show up in their leadership during their pivotal moments. His mission is to guide others to become more effective strategically while championing diversity, inclusion, and equity building. He has managed, directed, facilitated multiple leadership programs over the years, and is currently leading an immersive leadership class for participants showing passion to transform their work ranging from private, public, nonprofit, higher education, and tech sectors. During his downtime, Anthony can be found creating and planning events for the Silicon Valley and SF Bay Areas or immersing in photography as part of his mindfulness practice.
Christine serves as lead of the commercial law team for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at Ames Research Center, where she advises on agreements and contracts for aerospace technologies. She is the agency lead for the unmanned aerial systems law team, working to balance risks while supporting the development of future UAS/drone technology. Christine has previously served at NASA Headquarters as the Directorate Lead Counsel for the Human Exploration and Operations mission directorate, which supports the nation’s human spaceflight programs, including the commercial development of low-Earth orbit, the International Space Station, and Moon to Mars. She received the NASA Exceptional Early Career Medal and the Service Medal, in addition to being recognized as a Rising Star in the legal community. She was recognized by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a 40 Under 40 recipient in 2017. Since starting her career, she has been active in a number of community organizations and non-profit organizations, such as the Vietnamese American Roundtable, PIVOT, and the VABANC Law Foundation. Christine grew up in San Jose and is an alum of East Side Union High School District and Mission Community College before transferring to Santa Clara University for her bachelor degree in political science and J.D. She and her husband recently welcomed their first-born daughter during Summer 2020.
Huy Tran is a partner with Justice at Work Law Group, a law firm he co-founded in 2013 which focuses on social justice and worker’s rights. In that capacity, Huy is also a Steering Committee member for the Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition, which seeks to eliminate wage theft in Santa Clara County, and has pushed wage theft ordinances all across the South Bay. Huy’s firm was awarded the Small Business of the Year Award in 2016 by California State Senator Jim Beall, and Huy was awarded the Community Hero Award by Assemblyman Kansen Chu in 2018. He also served as an appointed member of the Housing and Community Development Commission for the City of San José from 2017 to 2019. Huy is one of VAR’s founding board members and former President as well. His favorite VAR project was VARoween, a family-oriented Halloween event that brought public safety and public health resources to the Vietnamese community. The best part of VARoween was the Haunted House, which was planned and put together completely by volunteers and donations who dedicated hours of creativity and work to create an immersive experience that children and adults could enjoy.
Soon, he succeeded his father’s throne and governed the Lac-Viet tribe. Meanwhile, another kingdom rules the highlands in the north. Their king, Đế Lai, has a beautiful daughter named Âu Cơ. Wanting to unite his northern tribe with Lạc Long Quân’s kingdom; he agreed to give his daughter’s hand for marriage with the young man. And a lavish feast was prepared as princess Âu Cơ was wed with Lạc Long Quân. The two kingdoms then celebrated their unity. Time went by, Âu Cơ gave birth to a pouch filled with one hundred eggs, which soon hatched into one hundred beautiful children. The children grew up strong and smart like their father, and as kind-hearted and skilful like their mother. They were taught well how to cultivate their lands and live nobly. But soon after, the couple started to grow unhappy. Lạc Long Quân always finds his heart longing for the coasts while Âu Cơ constantly yearns for the highlands.
Mimi Nguyen is a San Jose native, born and raised by Vietnamese immigrant parents. As a product of the East Side Union High School District, she went off to the University of California, Davis to receive her B.A. in Economics and Communications and a Minors in Managerial Economics. She then received her J.D. from Golden Gate University. Mimi has dedicated her career to public interest work. She is currently an immigration attorney with Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and she was previously at Step Forward Foundation and Asian Law Alliance. Her immigration work includes: affirmative cases; defending immigrants in removal proceedings; and humanitarian cases assisting victims of human trafficking and crimes. She was involved with human trafficking operations with law enforcement and she has assisted women and children in detention centers with asylum claims. As one of the founding members of VAR, Mimi has served two terms as secretary and one term as president. She also serves as the President of the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California and a Board Member of Step Forward Foundation. Through her plethora of community work, she received a Community Hero by Assemblyman Kansen Chu in 2019. In 2020, Mimi and her husband, Vietnam Nguyen, welcomed a beautiful baby girl named Sophia. In her free time, she enjoys calligraphing, weightlifting, traveling, and spending time with her two Shiba Inu dogs.
Oscar joined VAR in 2017, where he has assisted as a volunteer in various VAR programs and projects including: Black April, SEEDS Summer Program, VAR Civic Engagement Program, and VARoween. He was elected to the Board of the Directors August 2019. In his spare time, he enjoys studying Classical Indian dance, traditional Vietnamese music, and singing in a choir.