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As we reflect on the past year, we are thrilled to present the Year in Review for the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) Chicago Chapter. Atthe heart of our endeavors lies a steadfast commitment to our mission: to cultivate and empower leaders for professional excellence, connect individuals for mutual success, and engage with the community to make a lasting impact.

In this Year in Review, we invite you to journey with us through the milestones, achievements, and stories that encapsulate our collective dedication to these missions and goals. Together, we’ve shaped a year filled with purpose, growth, and community impact.

Join us for a review of our remarkable committees and some of the events they held in 2023!

Women in NAAAP (WiN) Committee

Originally launched in 2004 and now a national program, WiN focuses on advancing Asian American women in the workplace. In 2023, WiN successfully hosted over 27 events! These included monthly brunches for casual and enjoyable networking. WiN’s book club thrived in 2023, collectively reading ‘Crying in H-Mart,’ ‘Minor Feelings,’ ‘Last Night at the Telegraph Club,’ and ‘Pachinko.’ Additionally, WiN organized seminars and events to enhance members’ financial literacy and promote mental health.


Book Club

Shining a light on Asian-American women in literature – WiN honors stories and writers exploring themes of cultural identity, heritage, challenges, and resilience. Every quarter, we come together to share our reflections, emotions, and personal journeys inspired by the book! Our Book Club offers fantastic networking opportunities and a chance to connect with like-minded individuals. Whether you’re a casual reader or a bookworm, everyone is encouraged to participate!


WiN Brunch

Throughout the year, WiN organizes brunch events aimed at fostering connections among Asian professionals. These gatherings typically occur between March and October, providing a casual setting for NAAAP members to engage in informal networking.Join us for a delightful brunch experience where you can indulge in delicious food, have a great time, and mingle with fellow Asian professionals. It’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy good company, savor tasty dishes, and expand your network in a relaxed setting.


Wellness Committee

Introduced in 2020, the Wellness Program places a strong emphasis on the health and resilience of individuals, enabling them to effectively lead in both their professional and personal communities. In 2023, the program successfully hosted 18 events. The Wellness Committee, responsible for organizing these initiatives, conducts ‘Wellness Wednesday’ every month. These sessions feature workshops and events focused on mental and physical health. The 2023 Wellness Wednesday events included yoga classes, spiritual wellness sessions, self-defense classes, and more. NAAAP Chicago Wellness has collaborated with a diverse range of entities, including CAATCH, Sweet Bean, Students for the Art Institute of Chicago, Sunrise Nutrition, and numerous other organizations and individuals. This collaborative effort underscores a commitment to promoting holistic well-being within the Chicago community. To conclude the year, the Wellness Committee organized the Community Wellness with Common Pantry Event.


Wellness Biking Crew

Embracing biking for self-care and wellness is paramount in nurturing both our personal and professional well-being. Furthermore, engaging in biking activities presents opportunities for networking, as connecting with like-minded individuals through biking fosters new relationships and opens doors for professional growth. The places they have biked include Bahai’ Temple, Lake Shore Drive, Skokie Lagoons, and Cal Sag Trails. Dedicated volunteer Dianne Lee was in charge of the biking social event, which has been a great success.


Wellness Yoga

The practice of yoga increases community engagement by providing the opportunity for individuals to share a common experience and build friendships within a supportive environment. In addition to fostering community, yoga provides numerous health benefits for individuals, including physical well-being, mental well-being, and spiritual growth, all of which contribute to a sense of community and personal growth.NAAP regularly offers Wellness Tuesday virtual yoga sessions via Zoom, led by Vanessa De Leon (picture on the left). Vanessa is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist, Life Coach, Registered Yoga Teacher, and a doctoral candidate in Expressive Arts Therapy. Additionally, there was a fun pop-up yoga event in Chinatown led by Eva (picture on the right), a yoga teacher.


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