Photo of Bo Thao-Urabe

Bo Thao-Urabe

Executive and Network Director

Bo Thao-Urabe is the Executive and Network Director of CAAL. A social entrepreneur, Bo focuses on creating community-centered, asset-based solutions that result in meaningful progress for those who are most impacted. She has extensive leadership experience having led local, national and global efforts.

In addition to CAAL, Bo served as Commissioner to President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She co-founded Building More Philanthropy with Purpose Giving Circle, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Hmong Women Achieving Together, Building Our Future: A Global Community Campaign, and RedGreen Rivers LLC. Bo has received a number of awards recognizing her contributions and leadership.

Fun Fact: Bo is one of the few people in Minnesota with the honor of having the same day named after her in both the City of Saint Paul and the State of Minnesota.

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KaYing Yang

Director of Programs and Partnerships

KaYing is a social justice advocate who has built and led community development efforts in Colorado, Minnesota, Washington, DC, Thailand and Laos. She began her career as a community organizer and executive manager providing social services and advocacy for the protection of refugees and immigrants. In the mid-1990s, she  served as executive director for the only national Southeast Asian American advocacy organization in the US based in Washington, DC. Nationally, KaYing has worked in coalition with Asian American civil rights groups to address alarming gaps in educational achievements, lack of desegregated data, economic and health disparities that plagued large sectors of the Southeast Asian American community. To ensure that these issues were addressed at institutional levels, she co-founded several organizations, such as the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), and worked closely with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI).

KaYing has intensified her work around ending gender-based violence and creating gender equity through movement building among the Southeast Asian refugee and immigrant diaspora. Related to this work, in 2008 she founded the first Hmong woman’s organization in Laos to help women and girls access educational and economic opportunities. She also co-founded and serves as President of RedGreen Rivers, a social enterprise working with women and girls in the Mekong Region to bring their handcrafted products to a global market.

Fun Fact: KaYing returned to help resettle the last wave of Hmong refugees at Wat Thamkrabok, Thailand in 2003 and lived overseas in Thailand and Laos for almost 10 years before returning to the US.

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Kay Moua

Program Coordinator

Kay Moua is a committed and compassionate advocate for multiple social justice and civil rights issues. She is a recent graduate at the University of MN, with a degree in Youth Studies. Her purpose and passion are driven by her belief that everyone deserves to feel included, nurtured, and fearless. As a young person growing up in MN, she has had many experiences of what it feels like to have her voice excluded based solely on her race or gender. At the age of 16, Kay testified at the State Capitol regarding education funding with the encouragement from her mentors. It was a life-changing experience because she realized that many critical decisions are made without the voices of the people who are most impacted. From that moment on, it has been essential for her to be active in advocacy and fighting for justice.

Kay loves to work with people to create spaces of empowerment, resilience and change. Along with CAAL, she is also a New Sector RISE Fellow, a Program Facilitator for the Youth Executive Board at Equity Alliance-MN and a Co-Adviser for the Hmong Minnesota Student Association (HMSA) at the University of MN. During her time at the University, she served as the President for HMSA, a Co-Education Chair for HMSA, and as the Outreaching Coordinator for MAASU’s Spring Conference. Throughout college, she was involved in community and campus organizing. She wholeheartedly believes that everyone’s voice is essential in creating solutions and that we must be proactive in creating the future that we want to see.
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Cameron Yang

Communications and Network Associate

They are a Queer Transgender Second-Generation Hmong American Citizen; and their professions consists of being a secondary education English teacher, visual artist (2D/3D mediums), radio producer, and community organizer. As a Gates Millennium Scholar, Yang recently graduated from Augsburg University with a Secondary Education in Communication Arts and Literature Bachelor of Arts degree. Under their film production company, PY Production, Yang produced their first feature film, Taboo; depicting a groundbreaking love story with a vision to inspire and change the perspective of love in the Hmong community. They are also a co-producer of Nplooj Radio, a Hmong LGBTQIA+ radio show that provides a brave space for marginalized/underrepresented communities through arts, music, culture, and dialogues.

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Mai Ge Lo

Community Organizer

Mai Ge Lo is the Community Organizer at CAAL. She is passionate about community service and has been working with community for over 20 years in different capacities. She was a entrepreneur starting an interpretation service for many years before becoming a mortgage loan officer and eventually working with the Minneapolis Public Schools as a facilitator for their parent programs.

Mai Ge also volunteers with various community organizations. She understands that the community needs more support in order to be sustainably engaged in their children’s education. Her personal experience as a mother of eight children is a testament to her belief and commitment.

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Natasha Mara Victa

Program Associate

Natasha Mara Victa is firm believer in the power of communities and grassroots organizations. As a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Urban Studies, much of her studies focused on how to create systematic, equitable change with community-based solutions. Natasha has worked with a variety of community organizations in the Twin Cities and abroad in Thailand in a variety of roles such as outreach coordinator, community organizer, and educational intern to understand different ways that organizations work to create changes in thier communities. As a first-generation Filipino immigrant, she understands the power that Asian-American communities have and is excited to work with CAAL to understand how to organize Asian (American) communities to work for social justice.

In addition to her work with CAAL, Natasha also is a 2019 New Sector RISE Fellow and Student Advisor for Higher Education Consortium of Urban Affairs (HECUA) for the Inequality in America Program which she participated in the fall of 2016.

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Tsuleng Lyfoung

Finance & Operations Manager

Born to a Hmong father and Lao mother, Tsuleng immigrated from France at the age of 17 and went to Central Senior High School in Saint Paul where he thrived in their multiethnic student body from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Neuroscience. Tsuleng has worked at the University of Minnesota Genomics Center where he developed skills in creating efficiencies through process improvement and development while delivering high quality results to the clinical and research community. This newly developed passion pushed him to obtain his Master of Business Administration to better help organizations succeed.

Before joining CAAL, Tsuleng worked as an Operations Manager for Patient Care International managing various business functions including Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology. He recently became a Certified Professional Project Manager and now wants to leverage his academic and professional experience to support CAAL’s mission as its Finance and Operations Manager.

On weekends, Tsuleng tutors first-generation high school students through the Mualayanu Youth Initiative.

Fun Fact: Tsuleng enjoys cooking and the sport of CrossFit.

Board Members


Photo of Margie Andreason

Margie Andreason

Chair

Diversity Equity Inclusion and Special Projects Manager, Northwest Area Foundation

Margie Andreason has worked in the philanthropic sector and with grassroots organizations for the past decade. Currently, she is the Diversity Equity Inclusion and Special Projects Manager at the Northwest Area Foundation. Previously, Margie worked on AAPIP’s (Asian Americans/ Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy) National Gender & Equity Campaign, an initiative designed to strengthen social justice capacity of Asian American nonprofits in California and Minnesota.

 

Margie is actively engaged with her Twin Cities community, serving as: commissioner for District C on the Metropolitan Parks and Open Space Commission, advisory board member of the Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL), co-founder and co-chair of Network of Politicized Adoptees, steering committee member of Pan-Asian Voices for Equity-Minnesota, and a grant selection committee member for Headwaters Foundation for Justice. She has a BA in political science and social work from Concordia College and a master’s in public affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

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Dr. Rose Chu

Member

Senior Policy Fellow, Minnesota Education Equity Partnership

Rose has dedicated her professional life to the tireless pursuit of education equity and excellence.  A former research engineer at Honeywell, Rose was a classroom teacher and later a district teacher leader in Minneapolis Public Schools. Now a faculty member at the Metropolitan State University’ School of Urban Education, Rose has provided tremendous leadership to a teacher preparation program with a mission to increase the number of teachers of color and to prepare all teachers to ensure quality education for urban learners.

 

New for 2016-2017, Rose is honored to serve as the Senior Policy Fellow at Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP) leading the work on the campaign to increase number of teachers of color. Additionally, Rose is a training and technical assistance consultant with Youthprise’s federally funded initiative to invest in opportunity youth of Minnesota.

 

Besides her passion for education, Rose continues her history of service through her volunteerism and leadership in community organizations and initiatives.

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Marcq Sung

Member

Project Manager, City of Saint Paul

Marcq Sung has a varied background from social responsible investing to sustainability to public relations and marketing. Marcq has an MBA from Presidio focused on sustainability and graduate studies in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Marcq currently works for the City of Saint Paul in the Economic Development Department.

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Suzi Kim Scott

Member

Communications Consultant

Suzi leads strategic communications and co-leads investor relations at Capitaline Advisors. In addition to this role, she serves as consultancy to both large non-profits and public companies on communications, employee relations, corporate social responsibility, and brand and product public relations. She has extensive experience in corporate communications, most recently as communication’s director for a subsidiary of one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Prior to opening her consulting practice in 2007, Ms.Kim Scott was the Director of Marketing and Communications for (MEDA) The Metropolitan Economic Development Corporation, in Minneapolis. She is a member of the PRSA, Women in Agriculture and is a nationally awarded speaker. Suzi is also an active volunteer, having served on the Children’s Theatre Company’s Board of Governors, as both the Vice Chair and Governance Chair and The YWCA Boston Board of Directors. 

Photo of Fei Wong McKhann

Fei Wong McKhann

Secretary

Director of Performance Excellence, Volunteers of America MN and WI

Fei Wong McKhann is a seasoned professional with over twenty years of retail marketing, management consulting, financial services and hands-on non-profit leadership experience.  Fei was born and lived in Singapore before coming to the United States to attend Stanford University.  She holds an AB in International Relations, as well as a MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  She has held various roles over the years with JPMorgan, Boston Consulting Group, Target Corporation and currently at Volunteers of America MN and WI.

 

Since moving to the Twin Cities almost ten years ago, she has been passionately engaged in addressing the opportunity gap that persists for minority populations and recent migrants.  Besides having served as Senior Warden at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Edina, she is currently the Treasurer and Stewardship Chair for Sheltering Arms Foundation, based in Minneapolis. After attending and volunteering at CAAL events, she is thrilled to join and help lead this community of passionate, engaged and committed Asian-American/ Pacific Islander leaders.

 

Fei lives in the Western metro with her husband and two teenage children (and their lovable mutt).

Photo of Boua Xiong

Boua Xiong

Member

Best Buy

Boua Xiong has made a career out of storytelling. She spent six years reporting for KARE TV in Minneapolis where she covered education, underrepresented communities, and breaking news. Her work earned her multiple awards, including an Upper Midwest Emmy Award and Eric Sevareid honor. Boua now leads west coast public relations for Best Buy.

Photo of Bilal Alkatout

Bilal Alkatout

Treasurer

Senior Program Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN Foundation

Bilal Alkatout serves as senior program officer at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN Foundation. Bilal promotes cross-sector connectivity, collaboration and creative problem solving among organizations and systems to advance equity and well-being in our communities. He started his career in philanthropy as a Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellow, and before joining the Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN Foundation, served as community innovation program manager at the Bush Foundation.

Bilal earned a degree in chemistry and neuroscience from St. Olaf College and worked in the biotech industry for several years before earning a master’s in public health, with a focus on global health, at Emory University. He discovered his passion for community-driven initiatives while working to promote health and social equity among communities in Ghana, South Sudan and in the U.S. — in Georgia and Minnesota. As a first-generation immigrant, Bilal is happy to share his family stories, customs and recipes for Palestinian sweets. Having lived most of his life in Minnesota, Bilal has developed a great affinity for the outdoors and the environment. An admirer of the arts, he spends his spare time creating pottery, gardening, baking and hiking.

Photo of Sousada Manchanthasouk

Sousada Manchanthasouk

Member

Owner of Satsana

Sousada Manchanthasouk is an entrepreneur running a tech consulting business, Satsana, which means “to exist in truth.” Her tech biz delivers project management, mobile app design, and web development solutions to Fortune 500 and small businesses in the Twin Cities. Prior to Sousada’s entrepreneurial journey, she had an expansive career working for Fortune 200 companies to build mobile and web applications across 5 different industries ranging from the world’s top medical device company to AgTech (agriculture technology). As a resilient Lao woman, she brings a fierce passion to find ways of leveraging technology to achieve social change by addressing disparities in education, health, and gender equity in communities of color. While completing her studies in Computer Science at the University of St. Thomas, she declared to her advisor, “While Technology is always on my mind, Social Justice will always be in my blood. With that combination, no matter where I am, fighting to achieve parity will be a natural part of my work.” Predominately raised by her Mae Tao and mom, Sousada inherited their love for cooking vegetarian Lao food while rocking flamboyant fashion.

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Michelle Tran Maryns

Member

Founder & CEO of We Sparkle LLC

Michelle Tran Maryns is an inaugural FINNOVATION Fellow and the Founder & CEO of We Sparkle LLC, a social enterprise focused on making our communities shine by leveraging technology to engage people in doing good. Prior to We Sparkle LLC, Michelle was the Chief of Strategic Initiatives and Director of Marketing at Meda, a nonprofit aimed at helping minority entrepreneurs succeed. Before Meda, she led the digital team at the American Academy of Neurology, served as a Strategy Consultant at Rêve Consulting, conducted community outreach for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and represented the United States as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State. She is also co-founder of the Service Design Network chapter in Minneapolis-St. Paul and board co-chair of The SEAD (Southeast Asian Diaspora Development) Project.