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Our Mission

At The Authentic Asian, we strive to help Asian American Female Leaders feel more connected and less alone through our Exclusive AAPI Female Founder community. We believe that by providing a supportive network, we can empower AAPI Female Founders to achieve their goals and make a difference in their communities. Join us today to connect with like-minded individuals and take your business to the next level.

Our Founding Story

Misa Chien

Founder & CEO

My Story:

"Are you the cute Asian that smiles all the time? Or are you the hard-ass tiger Asian?"

I was raising money in Silicon Valley when my advisor asked me that; yes-- he sat down with me and actually said that.

It shocked me. It's painful to have to put myself into one of those stereotypes as an AAPI woman.

Especially when I feel like I'm both:

I'm cute and nice when I'm with my kids.

​Or when I'm talking about how much I love my software company.

But I'm a tiger when it comes to other situations.

Like when I'm giving a talk.

Or when I'm talking about our sales and quarterly projections.

This story is just one of the many challenges that I've faced, being an AAPI Female Entrepreneur.

There are invisible barriers that limit us, that we need to overcome. And I'm tired of doing it alone.

Frustrated about the lack of support for AAPI female entrepreneurs in most generic female entrepreneur groups, I attended The Women of Color in Leadership program.

The findings about the challenges that Asian American women faced in business shocked me, but also gave me closure.


All of the horrible experiences I had as an Asian American female founder suddenly made sense.

And I wanted to share those findings, with other Asian American Women, and help them feel more supported and less alone.

We're looking to build an exclusive community of Asian American Female Founders and C-Levels that will help address these hurdles, so we can band together to be more connected and feel less alone.

There are many more stories that I have to share.


If you would like to learn more, you can subscribe to my newsletter below.

If you're ready to apply to join our waitlist for our community feel free to do so here.

All the best,

Misa Chien

Founder of The Authentic Asian


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Meet our
board of advisors

Sharon Cho

Sharon is a seasoned DEI practitioner, recently named the LA Business Journal’s DEI Executive of the Year finalist.

She holds credentials in DEI and instructional coaching and is a specialist in learning and development, brand trust, business transformation, and crisis communications. She has supported clients like Microsoft, Starbucks, Microsoft, Chanel, Tencent, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, GSK, McKinsey, Lindt, DIRECTV, Kaiser Permanente, and many more.

Sharon currently serves as VP of DEI Advisory and Multicultural Communications at Edelman, a global PR giant. She also 

serves as the U.S. lead for Boundless, Edelman’s Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander ERG. Prior to Edelman, Sharon worked in Ed Tech and supported local and state education agencies, developing training and curriculum on Unconscious Bias, Cultural Competence, Music-Based Learning, and Social Emotional Learning (SEL). She is also a contributor to several white papers on Cultural Competence, DEI, and SEL and has led national webinars, presented as a clinician and keynote speaker in conferences and organizations across the globe focused on DEI topics like social and emotional competencies in the workplace, Asset-Framed communications, Asian advancement in the workplace, earning trust across multicultural communities, crisis response, fostering belonging, understanding systemic racism and identifying harmful behaviors, and inclusive leadership.Sharon also comes from a diverse performance background, receiving a Grammy recognition for her Background Vocalist role in Tajmo, a collaborative album by Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ that took home Best Contemporary Blues Album of the Year. She's recorded lead vocals for two featured films with LoudMono Productions and sang background vocals during Hans Zimmer Live on Tour, performing scores from the Lion King, Inception, Dark Knight, and Wonder Woman to name a few. Sharon's background work can be seen with artists like Carrie Underwood, Keb’ Mo’, Cody Fry, Jessy Wilson, Mike Hicks, Chantae Cann, and more.

Le Anne Harper


Le Anne is a professional Swiss Army knife with 20+ years' experience as a talent and operations leader, working in-house and consulting to global Fortune 100 companies and startups across multiple industries, as well as the executives and Founders fueling them.


Excellence is the price of admission is a guiding principle that shapes how Le Anne works and lives. It’s reflected in her exceptional standards, deep expertise, growth mindset, integrity, and resourcefulness. She swings for the fences and always either wins or learns. When her clients face critical inflection points in life and business, they want her alongside them,

turning their defining moments into undeniable wins. Personally, Le Anne is a NJ transplant in search of great pizza in SoCal, lifelong learner, adoptee immigrant, and concert junkie (Prince at Madison Square Garden was the first). She loves to build courage by facing her fears including a solo South Africa safari, skydiving from 14,000 feet, singing backup for Barry Manilow, surviving off the grid in Alaska, and swimming with sharks.

LAvanya jawaharlal

Lavanya Jawaharial is an engineer, entrepreneur, and educator. She is keen to understand and address inequities in the STEM education space, particularly as they relate to migrant students and English learners.


Jawaharlal’s main area of work has been the creation of a bilingual STEM curriculum that is taught to more than 20,000 migrant students across the country. With her sister Melissa, she co-founded STEM Center USA, a company that provides accessible and hands-on learning opportunities to K–12 students. Jawaharlal is a two-time TEDx speaker and co-author of The Technical Alphabet. In 2015 her work with STEM Center

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USA was recognized by the Obama Administration and featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank” where they received two investment offers from Lori Greiner and Chris Sacca. A leader within the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) entrepreneurship community, she serves on the national advisory board of ACE NextGen, a nonprofit organization that brings together AAPI entrepreneurs from across the country.


Most recently, Lavanya received the Mark Bingham for Excellence in Achievement by a Young Alum Award from the University of California - Berkeley. This award recognizes one young alumni each year from a pool of 250,000+ Berkeley graduates for the significant contributions they have made to their community. Jawaharlal holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California – Berkeley, and a Master’s in Educational Evaluation and Data Analysis from Claremont Graduate University. She is a PhD candidate in K-12 Education & Equity. 

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Angela Cheng-Cimini


Angela joined Harvard Business Publishing as Senior Vice President, Talent & Chief Human Resources Officer in 2021. In this role, Cheng-Cimini leads the
Human Resources and Facilities & Administration units, spearheading efforts to develop a talent roadmap that supports the business strategy and creates a
deeply engaged and diverse workforce.

Angela brings 30 years of both generalist and specialist Human Resources experience, having worked across consumer product goods, professional services,and high-tech as well as 

nonprofits. She has shepherded businesses through start-up, growth, and maturity with key responsibility for helping organizationsidentify and build the necessary organizational capabilities. Prior to joining Harvard Business Publishing, Angela was at ClearMotion, Inc. an automotive technologystartup where she accelerated the evolution of the HR function from administrative to strategic. She also served as the Global Head of Human Resources for Crabtree & Evelyn, where she led an international team spanning four continents and prepared the brick-and-mortar business to go completely digital. Angela sits on the Alumni Board of Directors for Cornell University; serves as an HR Venture Adviser for SemperVirens, an early-stage venture fund that invests in technologytransforming healthcare, work, and financial wellness; and is Board Director for theT. Howard Foundation, a mission-driven organization dedicated to increasingdiversity in the media industry.

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Tracy Arvin

Tracy is the Founder of TroopHR , an educational platform and professional community for today’s modern People Leaders. She has spent the last 20+ years as an entrepreneur working at the intersection of HR, healthcare, and startups. Over the past decade she’s grown her HR community to become an influencer and trusted resource for People Leaders. 

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Anna baeten


Anna is the Principal & Director of Organizational Training at Failure Lab. 

Areas of Passion: Founders & Organizational Scaling, Organizational & Operational Strategy, Women & BIPOC Leadership Development & Amplification, Justice-Foward Systems Change, Human-Centered Leadership & Organizational Culture, Participatory Curriculum Design, Marketing & Communication.


Anna holds a bachelor of science degree in Biomedical Sciences and a bachelor of arts degree in Professional &

Applied Ethics, both from Western Michigan University and sees her educational journey as evidence of the value of a liberal arts education. 


Anna is the principal of The Human Solution, a consultancy collaborative that focuses on human operations, organizational/operational scaling & founder/principal evolution. She also serves as a Senior Consultant with Ktisis Capital, a progressive philanthropic consultancy dedicated to reframing philanthropy through a justice-forward lens.  


Anna enjoys audiobooks, fine-tipped ink pens, sneaking nutritional relevance into her children’s food, and learning about what motivates people to do better and be better.

Meet our
regional brand ambassadors

Grace foster

Grace Y. Foster (she/her) is the Founder & CEO of The Inclusion Initiative, a tech platform for professionals that is closing the opportunity gap for transracial adoptees and foster care alumni.As an immigrant orphan from Seoul, South Korea, foster care alum, and a transracial adoptee into a family of 21 in a predominantly white community with white parents. Grace left that family at 17-years-old, and her experiences of inequity, marginalization, and lack of access to wealth and opportunity has fueled her ambitions to create change.She realized as she pursued her professional endeavors that she was obtaining opportunities, promotions, salary levels, and leadership opportunities 5 years, sometimes 10 years, later than her peers. While being an Asian American woman certainly was a factor, 

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she realized after 15 years that her lack of an established and inherited network from her lack of family connections, community, and a real lack of belonging both in white spaces and Asian spaces had left her siloed where she had to build her personal and professional networks from scratch.
This is not acceptable. We know the power networks can have, and often critical networks are inaccessible to marginalized communities. She is changing this experience for other transracial adoptees and foster care alumni.
Grace has 15 years of experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors, and recently launched herself into her entrepreneurship journey to build The Inclusion Initiative.
Grace is a proud momma to a 20-month-old, and envisions a future where her Asian American daughter sees the possibilities, not barriers, and sees people like her mom building the places she will strive to work one day.
Grace holds an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business with specializations in Sustainability in Business and Leadership & Change Management. She also holds a BA in Communications from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and an AA in Business Administration.

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Yulee Lee


Dr. Yulee Lee is the Chief Operating Officer at Stuff You Can Use, where her dedication to fostering a positive workplace culture and organizational excellence fuels business growth and societal impact on the next generation. As the Founder and Chief Change Strategist of the Change Leadership Institute, Yulee is committed to helping executives navigate change processes that prioritize positive levers, fostering an environment where people not only adapt but thrive.

Beyond her corporate leadership, Dr. Lee generously imparts her knowledge as a visiting professor of Organizational and change strategy. Driven by a caring ethos, Yulee authored the

transformative book, "Leading Change While Loving People," encapsulating her belief in the power of compassionate leadership to drive meaningful transformations. In every facet of her multifaceted career, Dr. Yulee Lee seeks to integrate a powerful blend of leadership savvy and genuine concern for the well-being of individuals and organizations alike.

Dr. Lee received her BA in Political Science from Tufts University, her Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, and her Ph.D. in Educational Studies / Organizational Leadership from Trinity International University. She also holds multiple certifications from globally recognized institutions and is regularly asked to speak at national conferences and events.

karen park

Karen K. Park, Co-Founder and Partner of Advise RE, has over ten years of working with ultra-high net worth families, C-Suite executives, and investment funds. Karen regularly collaborates with international counterparts in Asia, continuously engaging in multinational business activities. Her career in the international space took off after repeated success in the market providing solutions to high-profile foreign investors. 


Karen is a Certified Public Accountant and earned her B.A. in Business Administration with 1st Division and Second Honors from the University of Derby. Additionally, she holds a Master's degree in Business Taxation from the University of Southern California, where she was awarded the prestigious 

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Hemphill/Redmond Tax Fellowship for her outstanding academic performance during her graduate tax programs. Along with her academic achievements, she also serves on the board of ACE NextGen, SoCal Chapter, a non-profit

organization that provides resources to young Asian American entrepreneurs. She enjoys an active lifestyle and is a bronze medalist for her age group in the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Triathlon as well as Dina La Vigna Breath of Life Triathlon.

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christine sachs


Christine Sachs is the President and Head Coach of Christine Sachs Coaching, a full-service executive coaching firm based in Manhattan and serving clients globally for more than a decade. Our proprietary and customized process supports professional and leadership development and organizational performance improvement. We support clients in a diverse range of industries including financial services, SAAS, media, technology, NGO/non-profits, and advertising.

We are a sought-after partner for coaching and training in the areas of leadership development, manager training, developing women and diverse leaders, general professional advancement, DEIB, and leadership in remote/distributed workforces.

emmelyn kim

Emmelyn is the Vice President, Research Compliance & Privacy Officer at Northwell Health, and has an educational background in behavioral health research, public health, and health law. In her role, Emmelyn oversees a dynamic team of professionals overseeing programs to ensure the ethical and responsible conduct of research. Emmelyn also serves as a mentor for many emerging leaders and helped to launch the Asian Business Employee Resource Group at her organization with other healthcare leaders.
Prior to Northwell she worked at the Asian American Diabetes Initiative at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston where she worked on research and community-based health initiatives to promote diabetes awareness, screening and management using multi-lingual approaches in Asian American communities. She also worked at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine coordinating multi-ethnic research studies with diverse communities in Chicago.

As a result of her experiences, Emmelyn cares deeply about bringing equity, ethics and integrity to the forefront of research and medicine. She is also an advocate for climate action and renewable energy. Emmelyn’s passion is bringing people and communities together to create greater impact and empowerment for a more equitable and sustainable future. She also believes in global economic empowerment for women by investing in and supporting women of color owned start-ups and organizations.

Emmelyn’s multicultural (Chinese, Korean and Filipino American), multilingual and multigenerational family brings her daily joy and humor. She also loves skiing, horseback riding, all things Hawaii and pugs and enjoys talking about (and eating) Asian food!

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