Carolyn Lai, 25, works as the marketing manager of a cake company, but it isn’t any ordinary cake company. Satura Cakes makes cakes Japanese style. That means that instead of having the overly sweet taste of mass-produced American cakes, Japanese-style Satura cakes boast the tremendous flavors of ingredients other than sugar. High-quality fruits, nuts, chocolate, and other ingredients are the highlights when it comes to taste, while sugar takes a supporting role. Carolyn’s role in the company, which has two stores in California’s Silicon Valley and two in Hawaii, is to manage all marketing projects, including branding, store promotions, advertising, and merchandising. The first store opened in January 2006 and was an instant success. The company has received plentiful interest from venture capitalists, and it plans to open about 50 stores across the United States over the next five years. To learn more about Carolyn Lai and how she found her own delectable slice of sweet success in the world of Japanese-style cakes, check out this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
Archive for June, 2007
After a close friend died in the early 1980s, during the dawn of AIDS, Paul Kawata became involved in HIV/AIDS issues. Today, as Executive Director since 1989 of the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), he is the longest serving and surviving AIDS-organization Executive Director in the United States. NMAC is the only national nonprofit that focuses on HIV/AIDS among racial and ethnic minorities. It provides support to community-based organizations through trainings, on-site technical assistance, conferences, publications, and other services. Paul oversees the general operation of NMAC, works to raise funds from major donors, and serves as the public face of the organization during events such as its annual United States Conference on AIDS. More than 70 percent of U.S. HIV/AIDS cases are among minorities; thus, Paul says his organization’s work is greatly needed. Read more about Paul Kawata and the National Minority AIDS Council in this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight.
For Dr. Juan-Antonio Carballo, the fear of launching his own venture capital firm lasted all of three seconds. At age 36 and as a General Partner of Argon Venture Partners, Juan-Antonio saw the tech market of Western Canada as almost entirely untapped, and as such, jumped into what he knew would be a guaranteed business success. Based out of Silicon Valley, California and Alberta, Canada, he and two other General Partners found that the greatest profits were reaped through early investments in technology start-ups. Guiding new projects through the full line of development to marketing allows Juan-Antonio to ensure a project’s stability and ultimate market value. If this weren’t successful enough, can we just add that he has three advanced degrees up his sleeve as well? Learn more about his never-ending drive and the company’s upcoming projects as we feature Dr. Carballo in this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
While many people are staunch supporters of the “bootstrap” motto, few could say that a helping hand, an inspiring mentor, or a friend with encouraging words didn’t lead to ultimate professional success. The Hispanic College Fund (HCF), based in Washington, DC, offers this support through a variety of ways, be it college preparation seminars for teens, university scholarships, internships, mentorships, and so much more. When HCF founders launched their innovative program 14 years ago, it was out of frustration at how few Latino students could afford to pursue the college degree that would eventually lead toward upward mobility. Program Manager, Jeanne Barrueta, tells us that this non-profit sees itself helping mold future leaders by supporting those pursuing degrees in business, science, engineering, technology and math. What she has found in response is that HCF alumni turn right around once those degrees are in-hand to donate what they can to further the Hispanic academic and professional cause, thus supporting the next generation of leaders. Learn more about the Hispanic College Fund in this week’s Non-Profit Spotlight and how your mentorship or financial contributions will be able to help thousands more achieve their dreams.
What do John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, and Somdev Devvarman have in common?
All three have won NCAA men’s singles tennis championships.
On May 28th, 2007, the 2nd-seeded Devvarman, of the University of Virginia tennis team, defeated the University of Georgia’s John Isner (the top seed) 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 to win the 2007 NCAA men’s tennis singles championship.
The 22-year-old champion is from Chennai, and is the first person of Indian descent to win the NCAA men’s singles tennis title (this history dates back to 1883.) A sociology major, Somdev will enter his senior year in the fall of 2007. We caught up with Somdev a few days after he’d won the title.
Singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Ajai, 21, isn’t constrained by boundaries. Genre, instrument choice and language pose no limits for him when it comes to making music. Ajai has studied both ancient Indian ragas and modern-day rock, and from engrossing himself in these two disparate musical worlds, he has found a creative freedom. His boundary-crossing songs, which reflect his American and Indian roots, will be available on iTunes later this year, and he’s in talks with major labels in India to get his debut disc on sale across the entire subcontinent. Ajai learned to play the piano before he could even read, and from that starting point, he has matured today into an artist whose music was featured in the movie “Offshore.” Read more about this young musician’s rise to success as we feature him in this week’s Young & Professional profile
Jainism is a minority religion in the United States, and adherents are geographically dispersed throughout the country. Amit Jain, 25, is part of an organization that is keeping young Jains connected. As Director of Project Development of Young Jains of America (YJA), he manages various projects pertaining to Jains in the 14-to-29 age group. The mission is to create a network of young members of the faith and establish a forum for sharing Jain heritage and religion. For example, YJA is working to keep Jain youth connected online by building a social networking site called Jainster.com. The organization doesn’t just put on its own activities and projects, though. It has also supported other organizations with which it shares a common cause, such as Habitat for Humanity and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. To learn more about Amit Jain and his organization, check out this week’s Non-Profit Spotlight.
What first started out as a photojournalism project by two high school students documenting the stark similarities between Judaism and Islam has now evolved into a successful global non-profit that fosters important dialogues between Muslim and Jewish youth via the Internet. Mostafa Aghrib, 32, Director of Children of Abraham in Morocco, tells us that 160 students from 43 countries have graduated from its online program and have gone on to provide important interfaith awareness and connections. Learn more about Children of Abraham, its online program and how to get involved as we feature it in this week’s Non-Profit Spotlight