21st Annual Historymakers Awards Gala (2017)


Since its inception in 1997, the Chinese American Museum’s Annual Historymakers Awards Gala embodies the vision of pioneers, dedication of volunteers, and continuous community collaboration in celebrating the Chinese American spirit and stories. Prominently recognized as one of the premiere Chinese American events in Southern California, the Gala honors the achievements of extraordinary individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact or lasting contributions towards the advancement of the Chinese American community in Southern California and beyond.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

4:00pm Press Conference
4:30pm President’s Reception
5:00pm Registration Begins
5:00pm Silent Auction Opens
6:30pm Program and Dinner

The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles
404 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071


State Assemblymember Ed Chau, District 49
Judge Ronald S.W. Lew Visionary Award

State Assemblymember Ed Chau represents California’s 49th Assembly District, which includes many cities in the western San Gabriel Valley. Born in Hong Kong, Assemblymember Chau grew up in Los Angeles and attended the University of Southern California and Southwestern University School of Law. Assemblymember Chau worked as an engineer for IBM and a programmer for Unisys Corporation, as well as a general law practitioner and small business owner, before his election in November 2012. He currently serves as Chair of both the Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection and the Select Committee on Emerging Technologies and Innovation, as well as a member of several additional Committees and Select Committees. Assemblymember Chau has championed legislation to more effectively punish those who commit elder abuse and to enhance privacy protections. He also recently authored Assembly Bill No. 2864, a piece of legislation that ensures California school curriculum recognizes the hardships and contributions of Chinese-Americans.

Dunson K. Cheng
Dr. Dan S. Louie Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award

Dunson K. Cheng is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cathay General Bancorp—the holding company for Cathay Bank and Far East National Bank. Cheng emigrated from Hong Kong to the United States in 1963 and obtained dual degrees in Applied Math and Physics before earning his Ph.D. in Physics. His intuition for business, combined with his passion for serving the growing Chinese American community, led him to Cathay Bank. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1982 and become President just three years later. Under his leadership, the company experienced significant growth, including its 1990 reorganization to what is now Cathay General Bancorp. After over 30 years of leadership, Cheng retired as C.E.O. and President of Cathay General Bancorp and as C.E.O. of Cathay Bank. Today, he remains Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cathay General Bancorp and Cathay Bank, as well as Executive Chairman of Far East National Bank. In addition to his role as a banker, Cheng is a community leader and a strong advocate for higher education.

T.G. Wing Chow, M.D.
Excellence in Medicine and Community Service

Dr. T.G. Chow is a Los Angeles-based physician with over 50 years of experience in the medical field. Born in Canton, China, Chow came to the United States at the age of nine to escape the turmoil of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Despite the discrimination he faced during his upbringing in the South, Chow attended the University of Mississippi and obtained his M.D. from the University of California, Irvine. Chow worked as a staff member at the historic French Hospital in Chinatown for several years before joining other local Chinese doctors and community members in purchasing the historic building, renaming it the Pacific Alliance Medical Center. During the course of his career, Chow served as the President of the Chinese Physicians Society of Southern California and as a member of several medical boards of directors. He was also the first Chinese member of the Medical Board of California with 0 claims of No Win No Fee Claims medical charges on his record. Chow has a medical general practice office in Los Angeles and his past patients include former Mayor Tom Bradley.

  Leo Chu
Excellence in Leadership & Philanthropy

Leo Chu is a Chinese-American entrepreneur with decades of experience owning and operating businesses in Los Angeles. Born in Shanghai and raised in Hong Kong, Chu immigrated to the United States with his wife in 1975. They started an apparel company called California Ivy, Inc. that grew to become one of Los Angeles’ largest private clothing companies. After selling the company, Chu decided to become the owner of Hollywood Park Casino and Crystal Park Casino & Hotel in Los Angeles, as well as a co-owner of Lucky Derby Casino near Sacramento. These endeavors earned him distinction as the first and only Asian-American to own casinos in California. Today, Chu remains a partner at Crystal Park Casino & Hotel and the Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Bell Gardens. In addition to sitting on many gaming boards and serving as a member of various Chinese Charitable and Benevolent Associations, Chu is Chairman of the Morning Light Foundation, a non-profit organization in China that builds elementary schools and provides scholarships to students in China.


Nissan North America, Inc.
Excellence in Corporate Leadership

Nissan North America, Inc. engages in operations that include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, and the distribution and manufacturing of Nissan vehicles in North America. Nearly 80 percent of all Nissan and INFINITI vehicles sold in the United States—including those sold at one of the country’s 1,081 Nissan dealers and 212 INFINITI retailers—are built in North America. Nissan supports many organizations and causes in the communities where it has operations, while also focusing on diversity and inclusion within the company and culture. In 2017, Nissan was named one of DiversityInc magazine’s “Noteworthy Companies” for diversity for the fourth year in a row, as well as the “Best Environmental Performance Brand” by the Automotive Science Group. Nissan has also been recognized annually by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010.

  Milton Quon
Excellence in the Arts

Milton Quon is a renowned Los Angeles-based artist and animator whose dynamic and extensive career spans nearly 80 years. In 1936, he won a scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute—now known as the California Institute of the Arts. Since his graduation in 1939, he has continued to create art. As a young freelance artist, Quon designed menus and signs for New Chinatown restaurants, including an outdoor lantern sign that is now a historic landmark. As the third Chinese American to be hired at Walt Disney Studios, he worked on the films Fantasia, Dumbo, Song of the South, and Make Mine Music. Quon would later become the first Chinese-American Art Director at a national advertising agency, work as a Senior Design Artist for a large packaging firm, and teach courses at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. Since his professional retirement, Quon has remained an active artist. His work has been proudly displayed at Los Angeles-area museums, among others, and he has received honors that include the Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California.

Honorary Dinner Chair

Dr. Evans Lam
Managing Director – Wealth Management Senior Portfolio Manager


Event Chair

Paula Madison
Author of Finding Samuel Lowe




We are fortunate to welcome PAMC Health Foundation as our event sponsor.






Leo & Ivy Chu

Robert & Esther
Louie Henry
Alex and Lilly Hung
Jim and Lily Jang

Lai Y. Lillian Lee Jang

Susanna and Evans Lam Madison Media Mgmt Charles W. Wong, AIA

In Memory of
Kathleen Kam-Mui Wong


Wah Lam Wong Gay Q. Yuen, Ph.D.


Chung King Properties Milton Quan Al & Bibiana Y. Soo-Hoo