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2023 YES Kick-Off Meeting

By Michael Liu & Iris Lee

Sunday, August 13, 2023, marked the long-anticipated kick-off of the 2023 YES chapter at the Verona Villa in Frisco, Texas, which featured an empowering blend of networking opportunities, keynote presentations, and interactive sessions. This vibrant event experienced an unprecedented turnout of over 300 attendees, ranging from accomplished professionals to the aspiring young generation. Overall, with the help of YES’s generous sponsors and all of those involved, this event truly set the tone for a prosperous year to come and emphasized YES’s commitment to involve, serve, lead and impact.

(USCCC President Weiwen Xie & Chair Helen Du, with Keynote Speakers ILF Founders Chiling Tong & Joel Szabat and USCCC Board Steve Chen)

The program commenced with a warm welcome from former president and current senior advisor Kevin Su and president Jeannette Yang who emphasized the basis of the event and YES’s goals: to empower the youth to embrace leadership roles and contribute to the community. They further highlighted the variety offered at YES through its community outreach events, first-hand tours of the business world, and the YES Launch program. They then introduced a series of VIPs such as State Representative Matt Shaheen and local council members who shared their experience and encouragement on leadership and community engagement. This was followed by a series of remarks by the VPs who further reiterated YES’s commitment and introduced keynote speakers Joel Szabat and Chiling Tong to the stage. Their addresses centered around the significance of taking opportunities, community involvement, and embracing leadership through ILF’s various programs, public services, and internship experiences. Mrs. Tong also emphasized the importance of being positive, maintaining high energy levels, careful financial planning, building alliances and continued engagement with communities. Ultimately, such moving speeches truly affirmed YES’s values in terms of cultivating next generation leaders through community engagement and learning from leaders in the society.

Keynote Speakers ILF Founders Chiling Tong & Joel Szabat, USCCC Chair Helen Du, President Weiwen Xie, State Representative Matt Shaheen, Frisco City Council Laura Rummel, Plano City Council Maria Tu, FriscoISD Trustee Gopal Ponangi, Junior Achievement Dallas Ms.Cannon, ,and Leaders from GDTCC, USCCC, Frisco Education Foundation

(ILF Dallas Chapter Chair Ivy Sun with ILF Founders Chiling Tong & Joel Szabat, and YES Founders Macy Su & Fiona Chen)

The meeting culminated in an introduction of all present members of the YES Leadership team, icebreaker activities, and engaging networking sessions that facilitated interactions among YES’s Alumni, community members, and current and past YES leaders. Ultimately, the YES Kick-off Event achieved its objectives of inspiring the youth, promoting leadership, and fostering a sense of community.

In conclusion, the event’s resounding enthusiasm demonstrated the YES community’s unwavering dedication to nurturing the next generation of leaders and providing a tangible platform to navigate through the business world in a promising year to come.

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