Governor Moore Announces Appointments to the Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs

Published: 12/26/2023

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Wes Moore today announced appointments to the Governor's Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, which advises the governor on issues that affect Maryland's Asian-Pacific Americans. Yang Yu will serve as chair.

The new appointees bring direct ties to a range of Asian Pacific countries, deep track records of leadership and engagement in local Asian Pacific American communities, and a range of professional expertise–from business ownership to education and community nonprofit leadership.

The appointees include:

Yang Yu, PhD, (Chinese), chair, is acting associate dean and associate professor at Howard Community College, where she also chairs the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences. She also serves as a commissioner on the Asian American Pacific Islander Commission of Howard County and is an active member of the Rotary Club.

Isabelle Balakit, (Filipino), is a former board member of the Department of Justice Asian Pacific American Employees Association. She also served as an outreach coordinator for the Center for Abused Persons for Charles County, providing interviews with victims of domestic violence.

Julia Chang, (South Korean), is the founder and business development director of the U.S. Taekwondo Academy, as well as Mrs. Maryland America 2021 and 2023. She is a health and fitness mindset coach, speaker, and writer who helps women grow their motivation through pro bono Taekwondo classes, cooking classes and motivational talks.

Tim Chng, (Taiwanese), is a principal software developer at Yahoo Inc. He received bachelor's degrees in computer science and political science from Purdue University and is active in Maryland’s Taiwanese American community.

Amy Jean Chung Fry, (South Korean), is the chief of staff for Prince George’s County Council member Jolene Ivey. She also serves as the Ward 6 council member and vice mayor of Cheverly and is the first East Asian American to fill an elected seat in Cheverly.

Brian Gerardo, (Filipino), is senior associate of learning and capacity building at The Annie E. Casey Foundation. He is founder and president of the Baltimore chapter of the National Association of Asian American Professionals, a founding member of the Baltimore City Mayor’s AAPI Advisory Committee and is a Teach for America alumnus.

Dr. Eugenia Henry, (Taiwanese), is the founder and president of H2O Clinical, LLC, a company that performs data management for clinical trials. She is also the founder of the Global Federation of Chinese Business Women Baltimore Chapter and a former commissioner on the Maryland Commission for Women.

Larry La, (Vietnamese), is the founder and chief executive officer of Meiwah Restaurant Group, a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce for the Capital City Area, as well as the founder and vice president of Business Development of the U.S.-Asia Links, LLC, an international trading company that promotes trade between the U.S., China and Vietnam.

Alanna Lee, (South Korean), is vice president of The Peaceful Unification Advisory Council Washington chapter, treasurer of Korean American Association of USA, chief of staff of the Federation of Korean Association USA, and former president of the Montgomery County Korean American Association. She is also the office manager of Champion Martial Arts Academy.

Kuan Lee, JD, (Taiwanese), is a senior attorney advisor in the Office of Appellate Operations at the U.S. Social Security Administration. He is a member of Leadership Anne Arundel, former president and founding member of Taiwan Sister Cities, and chair of the Rockville Yilan Sister City Committee.

Dr. Ping Lu, (Chinese), is a retired cardiologist with long ties to Maryland’s Asian American community. She is the first female president of the Chinese Alumni Associations of Greater Washington, founding advisor of the Capital Youth Outreach Club and president of the Zhejiang University Alumni Association of Greater Washington, DC.

Thai Nguyen, (Vietnamese), is a former social worker at the Department of Health and Human Services and is now the president of New Hampshire Car Wash. He serves as a senior advisor for the Vietnamese Senior Association of Maryland.

Sirikarn “Sarah” Prammawat, (Thai), is a former high school counselor in Montgomery County and a college access program specialist. She currently runs her own clinic focused on academic improvement, helping families understand 504s and the IEP process. Her community activities include organizing the annual Thai Water (Songkran) Festival in Frederick.

Siu Cheung Rossmark, (Chinese), is a residential and commercial real estate broker with a long career as an entrepreneur and restaurateur in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. She currently chairs the Asian American Youth Leadership Empowerment and Development Board of Directors, and is active in other AAPI organizations, including the Asian American Real Estate Association and Organization of Chinese Americans - NOVA.

Young Ran Smith, (South Korean), oversees the daily operations of the Greenmount Senior Center in Baltimore as its executive director. Since retiring as an IT professional, she has served as president of the League of Korean Americans, as the advisory board chair for the Howard County Consumer Protection Office and as a committee member of AAPI of Baltimore.

Jarrett Stoltzfus, (Chinese, from Hong Kong), was vice mayor of Mt. Rainier and has served as a city council member of Ward 2 since 2021. He is the co-founder of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Clean Energy, a professional group to support Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and allies that work in clean energy, clean transportation and climate solutions; and is one of the founding members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Democratic Club of Prince George's County.

Jessie Su, (Chinese), is assistant director for student engagement at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. She also serves on the Baltimore Xiamen Sister City Committee board, is president of the Towson University Asian American Alumni Association and is active with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Asian American/Pacific Islander Advisory Committee to support AAPI initiatives in Baltimore.

Tho Tran, (Vietnamese), is the founder and executive director of Vietnamese American Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps Vietnamese immigrants with advocacy, health care, senior programs, English as a Second Language and workforce training.

Cecilia Vergara, (Filipino), is chief financial officer at both the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation. She attended management and executive training courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, the University of North Carolina Kenan Flagler Business School and Harvard University.

Roxanne Yamashita, PhD, (Polynesian), is a bioinformatics scientist with the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Institutes of Health. She is the executive director of the non-profit Small Things Matter, which provides supplemental food to more than 5,000 food insecure individuals in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.

Lili Zhang, (Chinese), is senior advisor of the U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce and has served as a commissioner of the Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs in Maryland, as president of America Mazu Cultural Exchange Association, as president of American Li Yun Foundation and as president of The Union of Chinese American Professional Organization.