July 17, 2017

Inaugural NAAAP Detroit Learn & Grow Series Launched on July 15

DETROIT, MI – July 15th marked the first installment of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) Detroit Chapter’s new Learn & Grow (L&G) event series for members. The goal of the L&G Series is to share insights and critical skills from different industries and to help the members of NAAAP Detroit develop professionally. The July 15th meeting included breakfast and lunch, featuring a moderator driven panel discussion that fielded many questions from the audience.

The first session focused on Communication Skills. Five panelists were chosen with a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences to share their wisdom and advice for communicating with the 30 plus members in attendance:

  • Arianna Quan, Miss Michigan 2016
  • Asim Alavi, Director of Technology at AT&T
  • David Kwon, Medical Director for the Center for Cancer Surgery in the Henry Ford Health System
  • Henry Tanaka, Academic Dean for the Division of Art, Design and Humanities at Oakland Community College
  • Tom Watkins, President and CEO of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority

Some of the topics discussed were how to move beyond stereotypes and surface level impressions to communicate more effectively, how to communicate at different levels including managing up, and how to handle difficult situations without succumbing to negative emotions on either side. Just a few of the key insights were the importance of putting yourself in your audience’s shoes, and recognizing that communication is a two way street. As a leader, it is dangerous to outright reject disagreement, but openly addressing it can help achieve a mutual understanding. Finally, always be aware of the many nonverbal cues that you are displaying.

NAAAP Detroit would like to express its gratitude to the panelists and members who made the first L&G session such a success. We hope that more members will be able to join us for the second L&G event. More details will be available soon at

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