Thursday, May 3, 2012

Apex Celebrates 20th Anniversary, Honors 2012 Inspiration Award Recipients

Nonprofit organization serving inner-city, underserved Asian American youth in New York City recognizes individuals for their dedicated commitment to the Asian American community

New York, New York, May 04, 2012 - Apex, a New York City-based non-profit dedicated to promoting the development of inner-city Asian American youth, celebrated six inspirational role models and the organization’s 20th anniversary last night at the Inspiration Awards Gala Dinner. Proceeds from the dinner benefit Apex programs that enable underserved children from Asian American communities in New York City to become well-rounded, productive members of society through programs that meet their academic, social and personal needs.

“In New York City, one in four Asian American youth live in poverty and one out of three do not graduate high school on time or at all. The Inspiration Awards Dinner provides us a chance to call attention to this often overlooked population as well as honor the people who have made contributions to advancing the Asian American community,” said Michael Lee, Executive Director at Apex. “Last night was also significant for the milestone we celebrated – 20 years of serving under-resourced Asian American youth; we are so proud of the thousands of Apex alumni who have gone on to college and achieved success in life.”

Additionally, the organization announced a name change at last night’s event. Moving forward it will be known as Apex for Youth.

“We feel Apex for Youth more clearly states our mission to empower youth by connecting them with positive adult role models,” said Lee.

This year’s six honorees have demonstrated their own commitment to serving the Asian American community. The 2012 Inspiration Award honorees include:

Ben and Emily Huh, Co-founders of Cheezburger Network
In 2007, Ben and Emily Huh started Cheezburger, one of the largest online humor publishers in the world where millions of people come every month to get their 5-minutes of happiness. Cheezburger counts a passionate fan base of 25 million people who upload more than 500,000 pictures and videos as well as view 500 million pages and 110 million videos each month.

Aasif Mandvi, Actor, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”
Aasif Mandvi is an Indian-American actor who is currently a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Aasif’s other television credits include “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Sex and the City,” “Sleeper Cell,” “The Sopranos,” and “OZ,” among others. His film credits include “The Proposal,” “Spiderman 2,” “Analyze This,” “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” and M.Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender.” Aasif received the 1999 OBIE award for his critically acclaimed play, “Sakina’s Restaurant,” which was performed and conceived by Aasif as a one man show and inspired his feature film, “Today’s Special,” which he co-wrote and stars.

Chad Troutwine, Co-founder and CEO of Veritas Prep; Producer, “Freakonomics”
Chad Troutwine is a decorated entrepreneur, trained attorney, and education pioneer. He is the co-founder and CEO of Veritas Prep, the largest privately owned GMAT preparation and graduate school admissions consulting company in the world. Chad is also the co-founder of Spectrum Station, one of the Midwest's largest early childhood education centers. Since 2003, Chad has produced ten feature films starring more than a dozen Academy Award winning actors and directors. He is also the co-founder of Freakonomics Media, a digital partnership with author Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt.

Alexander Tsui, DMD, Founder of Apex
Dr. Alexander Tsui served as Founding President of Apex from 1992 through 2007. Along with four others, Alex laid the groundwork to start the organization that would become Apex in 1991. Alex maintains a private practice in New York City with an emphasis on restorative and cosmetic dentistry. His professional career has included teaching positions, extensive continuing education, and published articles. Continuing to dedicate much of his time to the community that he works and lives in, Alex has been recognized over the years for his work by the media and community organizations. He is currently a member of the Multicultural Advisory Committee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Visiting Faculty at Spear Education, a continuing dental education center.

Gwynne Chow Tuan, Fundraiser
Born in Shanghai, Gwynne moved to Washington, D.C., in 1949 with her family. During her 30-year professional career, she was a development executive for Regional Plan Association, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, Asian American Federation and China Institute in America and the development director for the Committee of 100. Additionally, Gwynne volunteered extensively in the Asian American community through the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Renwen Society and helped to raise critical millions that enabled the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), a small, grassroots, community museum in Chinatown that tells the vital story of the Chinese diaspora and more than 160-year history of the Chinese in America.

Apex was founded in 1992, and through its various academic and social programs, each year its robust network of volunteers donate more than 6,000 hours of service to reach more than 200 Asian American youth from almost 50 public schools throughout New York City. Now 20 years later, Apex boasts a 99 percent college attendance rate and thousands of youth alumni.

For more information about the Inspiration Awards Gala Dinner or Apex’s work with undeserved Asian American youth, visit

About Apex for Youth
Founded in 1992, Apex for Youth is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit that seeks to empower youth to be well-rounded, productive members of society by recruiting professionals to volunteer as their mentors and teachers. Through year-round one-on-one mentoring, affordable test preparation classes and culturally sensitive afterschool programming that provides sustained engagement for students from fourth to twelfth grade, Apex connects youth with positive role models who inspire them to create and achieve their goals. In the past two decades, through Apex, thousands of volunteers have served thousands of youth, many returning to volunteer themselves. For more information visit

Lindsey Mikal
Communications Strategy Group
3225 East 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 433-7020

Sharon Lechter to serve as Keynote Speaker for Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) Annual Meeting at the Arizona Biltmore

Internationally acclaimed co-author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, member of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy and a current national spokesperson for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

Scottsdale, AZ, May 04, 2012 - Internationally acclaimed co-author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, member of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy and a current national spokesperson for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Sharon Lechter, will serve as keynote speaker at the ASCPA Annual Meeting presented at the Arizona Biltmore on May 22, 2012.

Registration for the event begins at 11:00 a.m. The program runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fees are $65 for members, $75 for non-members. To register for the event or for more information, visit

During the meeting, Lechter will speak to the audience about financial literacy. The meeting will also include an awards presentation honoring the newest Life Member, Randy Roberts, CPA, state of Arizona Auditor General’s Office; Excellence in Teaching Award recipient, Harriet Maccracken, ASU; and the Elijah Watt Sells Award recipient, Trevor Goss, Ernst & Young. Special thanks to event Gold Sponsor, ADP and Silver Sponsors CAMICO, Robert Half and SCF Arizona.

Cindie Hubiak, CPA and President & CEO of the Arizona Society of CPAs noted, “Financial literacy benefits everyone. As CPAs, we know the importance of CPAs educating others about budgeting and saving money. CPAs recognize their role and volunteer their expertise in the community. Sharon’s leadership is key. We appreciate her membership in the ASCPA and value her role as a national financial literacy leader.”

"I am thrilled to participate. There is no greater honor than that bestowed by your peers. The Arizona Society of CPAs is a fabulous organization that provides leadership and cutting edge training to its membership,” said Lechter.

The ASCPA is the leading professional association for CPAs in Arizona. Membership includes more than 6,000 CPAs and business professionals, including CPAs in business and industry, public practice, government, nonprofit and education. The mission of the Society is to enhance the success of members and lead the profession.

For information, contact:
Traci Baker Thompson
Senior Manager of Member Activities
Arizona Society of CPAs
4801 E. Washington St., Suite 225-B
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Best selling author, entrepreneur, international speaker, CPA, and philanthropist, Sharon Lechter passionately promotes financial education and literacy for families. A national spokesperson for the AICPA, she proudly served as a member of the first President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. Founder of Pay Your Family First and YOUTHpreneur, Lechter continues to innovate tools and resources to teach financial empowerment. Lechter has received the coveted Mom’s Choice Awards® for her board game, ThriveTime for Teens, and for the Youthpreneur BIZkit. Most recently, she released Three Feet from Gold and Outwitting the Devil in cooperation with the Napoleon Hill Foundation. Co-author of the international best selling book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Lechter continues to travel the globe inspiring others to achieve prosperity.

Scott Kelly
Black Dog Promotions
9920 S. Rural Rd., Ste 108
Tempe, AZ 85284

The Country First High End Tour Operator to Promote authenticity coupled with Luxury in Vietnam

Vietnam is renowned for being a backpacker destination, a place for those on a budget to get maximum beauty for their buck.

Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi, May 04, 2012 - Vietnam is renowned for being a backpacker destination ( ), a place for those on a budget to get maximum beauty for their buck. But the country has quickly established a contemporary luxury sector that offers the best of Vietnam’s culture and an incredibly high-end experience, boasting gourmet restaurant and luxury resorts.

Vietnam offers a magical mix of tropical beaches, post-colonial charm, a string of world heritage sites, stunning inland scenery, world-renowned cuisine and a home-grown flair for impeccable hospitality.

With new luxury hotels and worlds class golf courses luxury trains, exclusive cruises and upscale private tours spanning the length of the country, Vietnam is fast emerging as the world’s latest luxury destination.

“Vietnam has many attractions, including beautiful resorts, spas, majestic scenery, a rich traditional culture, easy going and welcoming locals, great cuisine and an improving tourist infrastructure. This makes Vietnam a more attractive destination for travelers seeking the best value for their money.”, say Pham Ha, founder and CEO of Luxury Travel Ltd. “Today upscale tours must offer “around off the beaten path” experiences, efficiency, seamless travel, value for money and a return on personal values. It is these qualities that lead many luxury travelers to opt for short trips, which offer a slice of local culture, a splash of adventure, and authentic experiences.”

Luxury Travel Ltd ( is Vietnam’s first luxury tour operator, a privately-owned Vietnamese company with vast local knowledge, offering local insight and a true flavor of Vietnam’s culture.

Offering luxury privately guided and fully bespoke holidays through its knowledgeable and passionate tour guides and local travel experts, the company provides travel agents with training, sales support, selling points, top sales tips as well as hosting regular educational FAM trips.

Luxury travelers can now enjoy VIP arrival services at the country’s main airports as well as choose from a large and growing selection of luxury hotels & resorts, whilst still enjoying a program that gets them off the tourist trail and into the real Vietnam.

“Discerning travelers look for an authentic luxury travel experience and focus on the whole experience and tend to be cash-rich and time-poor, and are happy to pay luxury travel advisors to take the time putting travel experiences together for them – it’s authenticity coupled with luxury,” Ha adds.

David Nguyen
Luxury Travel Ltd
05 Nguyen Truong To Str.,
Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi 84444

Shepherd Controls becomes latest Dunkermotor Motion control channel partner

Established industrial automation distributor augments Dunkermotor linear motors with complete line of intelligent servo motors, brushed DC motors and gearmotor solutions for southwestern U.S. machinery OEMs.

Elgin, IL, May 03, 2012 - Texas-based automation and motion controls distributor, Shepherd Controls & Associates has expanded beyond the Dunkermotor linear motor line to become a full line authorized channel partner for the Dunkermotor fractional horsepower brushed and brushless DC motors and intelligent servo motors. With offices located in the Dallas - Ft. Worth, Houston and El Paso areas Shepherd Controls covers Texas, including the maquiladoras, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas. 

"Shepherd Controls is very excited about joining forces with Dunkermotor to provide quality automation solutions to our marketing area" said Bill Benko, partner in Shepherd Controls. "As a value-added distributor, Shepherd Controls is dedicated to providing not only high-quality service, but also the finest products in the automation industry to our customers."

Founded in 1985, Shepherd Controls & Associates covers the southwestern market with nine strategically located sales engineers.

"Shepherd's sales engineers undergo rigorous training on all products they represent, and they are qualified to assist customers in choosing cost-effective solutions that meet their application needs," said Don Gallaway, Dunkermotor central regional sales manager. "In addition, our Dunkermotor TechCenter stands ready to work with the Shepherd team on particularly challenging applications."

About Dunkermotor:
Headquartered in Elgin, Illinois, Dunkermotor is the North American sales, technical support and logistics subsidiary of Dunkermotoren GmbH, for 60 years the global quality and value leader in customized, configurable sole-source fractional horsepower motion control solutions composed of BLDC, PMDC and AC electric motors, gearmotors, controls, encoders and brakes, as well as linear motion solutions. With headquarters in the Black Forest in Bonndorf, Germany and production and/or logistics facilities in Europe, Asia and the U.S., Dunkermotoren employs 1000 globally and produced over 3.4 million motors in 2011 for the factory and commercial automation, specialty machinery, medical, solar power, packaging, semiconductor, and mass transportation industries.

John Morehead
Dunkermotoren USA, Inc.
2511 Technology Drive, Suite 105
Elgin, IL 60124

Kasasa Changes The Face of Local Banking in Fairmont

Profinium Financial Introduces Kasasa, a Striking Alternative to the Megabank Rollercoaster

Fairmont, MN, May 03, 2012 - Profinium Financial asks consumers, “Do you Kasasa?” as it becomes the next financial institution in Minnesota to launch the country’s most innovative financial products.

Kasasa® is a new brand of free checking and savings accounts that pays consumers to use their account with what interests them most—high interest or automatic savings. These accounts, combined with the personal service that only community financial institutions can deliver, are offering residents a better checking account option than the megabank experience.

“Consumers deserve to wake up to happier days of banking and leave behind the nightmare of megabank fees and mistreatment. We are pleased to be the first in Truman to offer these unique products,” said Marques Doppler, CEO at Profinium Financial “Kasasa delivers what research shows people really want but believe they can’t have—great financial products with the personal service of a community based financial institution.”

Profinium Financial is offering two Kasasa financial products, Kasasa Cash? and Kasasa Saver?. All Kasasa products are free, reward-based accounts, with no minimum balance to earn the rewards, no monthly service fee, free online banking and nationwide ATM fee refunds.

Kasasa Cash - A free checking account that rewards consumers with high interest for every month they qualify.

Kasasa Saver - A free, high interest saver account linked to a Kasasa Cash checking account. The interest and ATM fee refunds earned in the Kasasa Cash are automatically deposited into the Kasasa Saver account when the account holder qualifies. The balance in the Kasasa Saver account also earns a high rate of interest.

To receive the Kasasa account benefits, each monthly qualification cycle account holders are asked to do a few simple things like, receive an eStatement, use a debit card a minimum number of times, and have an electronic transaction (such as direct deposit) post to and clear their account. If an account holder does not meet the qualifications in a given month, Profinium Financial will alert the individual, who will be eligible the following month for the benefits.

“Extensive research has shown us that consumers would prefer to do business with community financial institutions, but feel they would lose access to products,” continued Doppler “Kasasa is opening people’s eyes to a new banking model where no sacrifices are necessary. It’s a win-win because account holders get innovative products and personalized service.”

In 2009, Kasasa was piloted in six other markets across the U.S. In just the first two months of offering Kasasa, participating community financial institutions reported growth rates upwards of 150% on new account openings and 372% in deposits at institutions focused on deposit growth.

Kasasa is being introduced with an aggressive, highly engaging marketing campaign. It comes to life through a fresh mix of eye-popping advertising, the likes of which exceed the typical megabank’s high-budget programs. The ads feature America’s top slam poets riffing lyrical threads around the theme of “Do you Kasasa?”

Kasasa is distributed to Profinium Financial from BancVue, the leading provider of innovative products, dynamic marketing, and data-driven consulting solutions to community financial institutions nationwide to help them win the war against the megabanks.

For more information on Kasasa accounts, consumers can visit or

Do you Kasasa?
Kasasa® is the first national brand of the most innovative checking accounts available today. The accounts, offered exclusively by the finest community financial institutions, are designed to be the first and only accounts that actually take an interest in their account holders by rewarding them to use their account with what interests them most—high interest, cash back, automatic savings, money to donate to charity or iTunes® or downloads. Kasasa, developed and distributed by BancVue, marries innovative banking products with the personal touch of community financial institutions. For more information, visit

Katie Weathers
3225 East 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
(404) 791-8245