2017 AAJA Gala Scholarship and Awards Banquet


The 2017 AAJA Gala Scholarship and Awards Banquet will take place Saturday, July 29 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel in Philadelphia, PA as part of the 2017 AAJA National Convention.



static1.squarespace.jpgEddie Huang is a chef, writer, TV host, producer, fashion designer, speaker, and social advocate based in New York City and Los Angeles whose work is recognized for bridging food with music, culture, comedy, politics and metropolitan life. He is widely known as the chef and owner of the popular Taiwanese restaurant Baohaus in NYC’s East Village and downtown LA.

Eddie has produced several projects under the moniker Fresh Off the Boat. It became the title of his groundbreaking travelogue web series with VICE Media, a genre-bending venture of subcultures through the lens of food. He is currently hosting, writing and executive producing the series’ upcoming 4th season now rebranded Huang’s World and featured on the innovative television network VICELAND. Huang World is one of the highest rated shows on VICELAND and Eddie remains one of the biggest stars on the network.

Eddie also adopted Fresh Off The Boat for his first book, a New York Times Bestseller. 20th Century Fox optioned the memoir and brought Eddie onboard to produce a sitcom of the same name, which remains one of the highest rated comedies on ABC. The show, in its third season, is the first
Asian-American-family centric sitcom in nearly 20 years and the first of its kind featuring a Chinese or Taiwanese family.

Eddie currently has an exciting development slate in the works which includes a one-hour drama with one of the best premium networks on cable, a weekly sports talk show with the premier sports news network and a screenplay with one of the best up and coming film production companies.


RichCho.jpgRich Cho is in his fifth season as General Manager after joining the Charlotte Hornets franchise on June 14, 2011. The organization’s lead basketball operations executive, Cho manages and oversees all player personnel matters, including professional and collegiate scouting, draft preparations, player acquisitions, salary cap management, training camp, preseason scheduling and the team’s athletic training, equipment and conditioning programs. 

A native of Burma who immigrated to the United States with his family in 1968 when he was three years old, Cho became the first Asian-American general manager in American major league sports when he served as General Manager of the Portland Trail Blazers in 2010-11. 

Prior to his stint in Portland, Cho spent the previous 10 seasons as Assistant General Manager of the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder.  After serving as a part-time consultant for the SuperSonics in 1997, Cho was hired as the team’s Director of Basketball Affairs in 1998 before being promoted to Assistant General Manager in 2000.  A member of the Washington State Bar, Cho also served as Vice President of Legal for the SuperSonics from 2005-07 in addition to his duties as Assistant GM.  Following the team’s move to Oklahoma City, Cho also oversaw the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, the Tulsa 66ers, and their run to the championship game in 2009-10.

Cho earned an engineering degree from Washington State University and worked as an engineer at Boeing in Seattle from 1989-94 before leaving to enroll at Pepperdine University School of Law in order to pursue his passion in professional sports.  (Source: NBA.com)


MichelleYu.jpgMichelle Yu is an Emmy Award-winning sports anchor at SNY, TV home of the New York Mets. She joined the network in 2009 as an anchor/reporter and prior to joining SNY, Yu was a sports reporter at NY1 News.

Yu began her sports journalism career in print, writing for Gannett Newspaper's 'The Journal News and Sports Illustrated For Kids magazine. In 2003, transitioned from print to television when she joined College Sports Television.  A Bronx native, Yu co-authored her first novel, China Dolls, in 2007, and her second novel, Young, Restless and Broke, was published in 2009. Yu graduated from Manhattan College with a degree in communications and currently lives in Manhattan.








Ramy Inocencio is an award-winning anchor and correspondent for Bloomberg Television & Radio and Bloomberg's digital Daybreak global podcast. On Bloomberg Television, he reports and anchors for the Asia-Pacific's flagship weekday morning show Bloomberg Daybreak Asia, bridging the U.S. market close when Asia's market opens.

A global journalist with over 15 years of experience across the U.S. and Asia, Inocencio joined Bloomberg from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network. Prior to the Wall Street Journal, Inocencio served as CNN International's Asia business correspondent in Hong Kong and as CNN’s NASDAQ reporter in the U.S.

Inocencio serves as National Vice President for Journalism Programs for AAJA, Global Co-Lead of Bloomberg's Pan-Asian Community (BPAC) and President of the New York alumni chapter of the Hawaii-based East-West Center (EWC). He is a 2009 fellowship recipient of the EWC's Asia-Pacific Leadership Program and a 2016 recipient of the "50 Best Asian-Americans in Business" Award.


nakano2-1.jpgDenise Nakano is an anchor and reporter for NBC10 News. Nakano is passionate about reporting stories that promote change and raise awareness about issues affecting the community.

“I always tell people that I have the best job in the world because I get to meet new people and learn something new everyday,” she says.

Nakano has been recognized with four Emmy Awards for breaking news and coverage of the heroin epidemic in Philadelphia. She has also been honored with a city proclamation from the city of Philadelphia for her reporting on the heroin crisis.

Prior to working at NBC10, Nakano graduated from the University of the Pacific with a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science. She is an active member of the community and currently serves on the board of Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse. She is also extremely passionate about raising awareness about lung cancer, one of the world’s deadliest cancers, from which her mother passed away.