AsianWeek Foundation Board
It could be said that Debbie Larkin is nationwide: born and raised on the East Coast, college educated in the Mid-west and raised a family on the West Coast. For almost a quarter of a century, Larkin served in a marketing communications capacity for a hospitality industry leader. It was at the largest hotel on the West Coast that Larkin honed her skills of reaching out not only to the media, guests and City Hall, but also to a disenfranchised community that eventually came to love her. Schooled and trained in fine arts, Larkin explored teaching art when it was an elective in public schools before venturing into government and private sector positions. One of her most memorable projects was painting footballs with the names of the San Francisco 49ers used to decorate cable cars for the Super Bowl parade. Either that or the parade the US Army held in her honor at the Presidio.
In addition to raising a family of three daughters and supporting the political pursuits of a spouse, Larkin serves as Chair of the Southeast Asian Community Center, on the Advisory Committee of the Bay Area Women’s and Children’s Center, Marketing Committee of the University Mound Ladies Home, and Board of the Asian Week Foundation. Larkin also volunteers with her youngest daughter at KEEN, an organization that provides sports activities for disabled youth.
Larkin resides in the Outer Richmond District of San Francisco, California.
Steve Liu moved to the Silicon Valley to be in the heart of the most technologically innovative community after receiving a Bachelors of Science in Human Centered Design & Engineering from University of Washington, Seattle. He has spent the first five years of his professional career as a UX lead at the virtualization and cloud software giant VMware where he worked on various enterprise level management software including infrastructure management tools, analytic dashboards, and an integrated development environment application. He is an entrepreneur at heart with over a decade of experience developing state of the art custom websites for small businesses and organizations, and is currently consulting as a user experience, SEO, and social media specialist and business strategist for various start-ups and non-profits.
Steve is on the board of directors at AsianWeek Foundation. He is the founder of viveSF, which was recognized in 2011 as a community leader by the city of San Francisco and is actively involved in the entertainment industry as a part time event planner, DJ, and promoter.
The Honorable Judge Donald S. Mitchell is a native San Franciscan who has served on the San Francisco Superior Court for nearly three decades. He was admitted to practice law in California in 1974 and began his career as a Trial Attorney with the California United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He has also served as Referee, Principal Referee, and Review Department Member conducting hearings and reviewing decisions for over ten years with the State Bar Court of California. He also served as Director of the Office of Administrative Hearings for California. He earned his Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Arts degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
Judge Mitchell is a founding committee member for the Asian Heritage Street Celebration. He has also served on the St. Mary’s Medical Center Community Board, was Presiding Judge of the Court’s Juvenile Division, and a founder of what is now the Willie Brown, Jr. College Preparatory Academy.
Janet Zola, MPH, has worked at the San Francisco Department of Public Health since 1987. She is currently the Health Promotion Specialist for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, a position she has held since 1993. She is responsible for developing and implementing special projects directed at vaccine-preventable diseases across the life span, as well as providing related training and education, building public- private partnerships, fundraising, and managing collaborations within the Health Department as related to immunizations. Ms. Zola has had a special focus on hepatitis B prevention in the adult population since 2001. She is a co-founder (2006-present) and lead for the San Francisco Hep B Free initiative. Earlier work with hepatitis B prevention included the creation of the 3 For Life (in partnership with the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University), a one year pilot project providing testing and vaccination two Saturday mornings a month at a local YMCA; implementing StopHep, and ongoing program offering free vaccinations at the gay summer street fairs; and participating in CDC funded Hepatitis B Universal Infant Immunization Demonstration Project (1993- 1996) which led to the recommendation that a birth dose of hep B vaccine be universally implanted nation wide. In 1996 she founded the San Francisco Immunization Coalition (where she continues to serves on the Board), whose mission is to achieve full immunization protection for each child and adult in San Francisco. She served as the director of SRx: Medication Education for Seniors (1987-1993), a collaboration with the UCSF School of Pharmacy and SFDPH, and produced the Senior Theatre Education Project (STEP). Prior to her employment with he Health Department she was an instructor in the Health Education Department of San Francisco State University; health educator for a CA Office of Family Planning funded project entitled “Parenthood After Thirty”.
She has been published in the Journal of Community Health, the American Journal of Health Promotion, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 2010 she was the recipient of the first annual Rock in the Pond Award presented by the Campaign for Public Health Foundation in recognition of her leadership in the Hep B Free Campaign. She has led workshops on such diverse topics as “Parenthood After 30,” “Women’s Health Issues,” “Contemporary Sexuality,” “Positive Health”, and presented at dozens of national conferences.
Ms. Zola received her Masters of Public Health in Community Health Education from San Jose State University (1978) and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin in Madison (1968).
Jenny Yu has resided in the heart of San Francisco for over 20 years. She moved here from the suburbs in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota when she was nine years old with her family. It was right before the huge 7.1 earthquake the city had in 1989! Hoewever, the Quake of ’89 did not drive Jenny and her family back to the winter coldness of Minnesota.
In this beautifully diverse city, it is here that she calls home and where her passion for the community around her developed. In the beginning it started out small ; she started the first Animal Awareness Club at Lowell High School reaching out to educate the students and the community about rights for animals and the role animals play in our daily lives. From there it progressed to volunteering for the Chinatown Day Care Center, tutoring for the Chinatown youth center, and participating in the annual Avon Breast Cancer Two Day Walks during the beginning of her college years. She has always had an interest and connection to young children. She is still currently involved in the day care center and studying in the Child Development department at San Francisco State. Yet, her volunteer efforts have progressed to focus on advocacy around being Hepatitis B free for the Asian community and also building up a foundation for children in the Philippines, called Fields of Dreams where fundraising efforts locally here provides back staple educational tools, supplies and resources to a chosen elementary or middle school back in the Phillippines.
By day, Jenny has a financial planning practice with her business partner and work with their clients in areas of investment, retirement, tax, estate and insurance planning. Her team focuses on working with young professionals, families, and pre retirees plan for “what is important tomorrow today!” Jenny particularly enjoys helping young families and professionals in the Asian community and see it as a way to give back to her own community by offering herself as a financial resource.
Jenny’s calendar tend to full with an event to help a friend/family or time devoted to a cause. Her belief is: “There is always time to help someone or a cause – great or small.” She feels lucky that she is able to do that from a personal and professional level.
Ted Fang is a news media pioneer, businessman and community activist. He was the first Asian American to serve as Editor and Publisher of a major metropolitan daily newspaper in the United States. Prior to that, he also ran the largest publications printing company in San Francisco and the largest non-daily newspaper in the country. Fang has a degree in Ethnic Studies and is passionate about community and diversity. He served as chairperson for Mobilization Against AIDS, and as director for the Chinese American Democratic Club and the Bay to Breakers Foundation.
Fang has led The San Francisco Examiner, AsianWeek and the Independent Newspaper Group. He sat on the executive committee of the California Newspaper Publisher’s Association and was a founding director of the California Free Press Association. He was a founding member of the Asian American Journalists Association and New American Media.