Conference Speakers

Tackey Chan, State Representative for Second Norfolk District of MA (Opening Keynote)

Tackey Chan is currently the State Representative for the Second Norfolk District, including thirteen of the thirty precincts in Quincy, Massachusetts. Tackey is a current and lifelong resident of Quincy. He was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2010 and is currently serving his third term in office.  He is the Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses, a member of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, a member of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, and a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means.  


In 2010, Tackey was one of the three first State Representatives of Asian American descent elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and is the first Asian American and minority elected to office in the City of Quincy. Tackey Chan worked as an Assistant Attorney General in Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office of Ratepayer Advocacy from 2007 to 2010. Prior to the Attorney General’s office, he worked as General Counsel and Legislative Director for State Senator Michael W. Morrissey from 1995 to 2007. Tackey is licensed to appear in the Federal District Courts of Massachusetts and United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, possesses a Massachusetts real estate broker’s license, and is a Notary Public and Justice of the Peace.   He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Boston Bar Association, Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts and Norfolk County Bar Association.  He is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild. In the private sector, Tackey worked as an information systems administrator at Onsett International for four years, founded his own part-time, private law practice and has appeared as an actor in local television commercials. In 2003, Tackey received his Juris Doctorate from New England School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.  He graduated from Brandeis University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and from Boston College High School in 1991.  


Tackey has an extensive record of volunteer service in the local community, which includes work for numerous collaboratives, commissions and non-profit organizations over the past 13 years.  Currently, he continues his work with Quincy Asian Resources, Inc., a multi-service organization that he helped found and which he served as a board president (2001-2004) and board treasurer (2006-2007). In addition, he serves as a board member of both Work, Inc., a company dedicated to the empowerment of people with disabilities, and Quincy Community Action Programs (QCAP), the South Shore’s anti-poverty agency. 

Georgianna Meléndez, Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator at UMass Boston (Luncheon Facilitator)

Georgianna Meléndez serves as the Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator at the University of Massachusetts Boston, as well as the Executive Director of Commonwealth Compact, an initiative to establish Massachusetts as a leader in diversity and inclusion in the workforce space. In addition to her role at UMass Boston, Melendez’s other public service roles include: current board member for APLU’s Commission on Access Diversity and Excellence; current member of the City of Peabody Board of Appeals; previously appointed to Governor’s anti-crime council; and has served on a number of non-profit boards.  She has held a variety of leadership positions such as assistant commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance; the executive director at Casa Myrna Vazquez, New England’s largest domestic violence services agency; the executive director at RESPOND in Somerville, a domestic violence agency serving Metro-Boston. Meléndez is a doctoral candidate at UMass Boston’s College of Management Business Administration program with a focus on Organization and Social Change and this year received the Doctoral Award for Academic Excellence.  Her dissertation focus connects Critical Race Theory, Sensemaking and hiring practices in institutions of higher education.   Meléndez earned a master’s degree in public affairs from UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies where she also was recognized for Distinguished Public Service.  She earned her bachelor’s degree at Bentley University.

Suzanne Sobol Case, Senior Vice President at State Street (Welcome Remarks)

Suzanne has held management roles of increasing scope and complexity during her career at State Street. Today, she runs ABTMS - a global organization 850 people strong with presence in Quincy, Boston, Toronto, Edinburgh, Pune, Sydney and Sacramento. Their mission is to deliver high quality asset servicing, custody, banking and treasury management services to our internal and external clients. Her group is responsible for Securities Settlement, Income Processing and Collection, Tax Services, Corporate Actions, Class Actions, traditional Banking services, intraday credit and liquidity monitoring. Additionally, her team also provides product management, marketing and product management support for our suite of Treasury Management services, including other regulatory and risk responsibilities such as managing the Volcker Office and Identity and Access Management Program for the firm.

Tamil Chellaiah, Senior Manager, Risk Advisory Services at EY (Panelist)

Tamil is a senior manager in our Risk Advisory Services practice with focused experience in delivering consulting services to health care organizations (provider, payor biotechnology and pharmaceuticals) of varying size and composition ranging from start-ups to multinational corporations. Her experience includes evaluating strategy and operations, acquisition integration, internal control environments, information systems, financial processes, governance and enterprise risk management, and regulatory preparedness and response. Tamil is effective at managing and training multidisciplinary teams to arrive at data-driven, fact-based results within time and budgetary constraints.  Tamil is actively involved in the Ascend community and is a leader in EY’s Diversity & Inclusiveness initiatives in the metro DC areas.

David Dreher, Partner, Risk Advisory Services at EY (Panelist)

Dave is a Partner in our Risk Advisory Services practice with more than 20 years of experience with internal audit, internal controls, enterprise risk assessment and risk management. Dave is the coordinating partner on several large risk advisory engagements overseeing the delivery of internal audit and risk management services for our clients. Dave also works with other companies across the Northeast Region providing risk, information technology and performance improvement services.

Marc Schulman, Executive Director, Advisory Services at EY (Panelist)

Marc Schulman is an Executive Director in the Advisory Services practice of EY.  He has over 28 years of healthcare specific experience working directly for managed care organizations, hospitals and as an industry business advisor.  His experience includes managing large internal audit teaming engagements, enterprise risk management engagement, compliance and process and controls assessments within healthcare organizations including managed care organizations, Medicare Advantage plans and specialty benefit companies.

Diana Solash, Director, Global & Americas Diversity and Inclusiveness at EY (Panelist)

Diana Cruz Solash works closely with senior leaders, EY member firm partners and all EY people so that EY values are reflected across the organization. She helps member firms leverage the diversity that each person brings to the organization -  e.g., generations, cultural background, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, experiences, and education. She also co-chaired the Northeast Inclusiveness & Diversity Council and served as the Northeast Community Engagement Champion for Ernst & Young LLP. Diana serves as a board member and a past President of the Metro NY Chapter of Ascend, as well as a member of the New York Women’s Foundation Corporate Leadership Committee. Previously, she served as a member of Jumpstart’s Advisory Board and she is a past member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Minority Initiatives Committee. 

Julianne Woo, Partner Principal, Business Innovation and Digital Enterprise Strategy at EY (Panelist)

Julianne Woo is an EY Advisory Principal with a primary focus on Business Innovation and Digital Enterprise Strategy. Julianne works with clients across industries to help them embrace digital disruption, delight their customers and deliver superior digital business performance.  Julianne is based in EY’s Boston office and is an active participant in local non-profits and Asian American professional organizations.  She lives in the suburbs of Boston with her husband and two children and in her spare time, enjoys cooking, running and cheering on her kids at all of their sporting events.

Ariel Kuo, Manager, Risk Advisory Services at EY (EY Panel Moderator)

Ariel Kuo is a Manager in the Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young LLP. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds a Master of Accountancy from Arizona State University. She has five years of varied advisory services experience, particularly focuses on internal audits in the Healthcare industry.  She co-develops and manages a 7,000 hour internal audit plan for a Northeast Academic Medical Center and its affiliated payor, with a focus on helping clients evaluating and addressing operational, compliance, and strategic risk. Ariel is heavily involved in EY’s PAPN community and currently serves as the VP of Professional Development of the New England Chapter of Ascend. 

Lisa Ong, Director, National Talent Management, Office of Diversity at PwC

Lisa M. Ong, CPA, ACC, serves as a national talent management director for PwC’s U.S. Office of Diversity. She is based in Dallas and specializes in diversity and leadership development, coaching and facilitation. She has over 25 years with PwC as a senior manager in financial audit and several human capital roles.  Lisa earned her BBA in Accounting from UT Austin and Masters in Management with a concentration in executive and professional coaching from UTD. She is a member of AICPAs National Commission on Diversity and serves on the boards of the Community Council of Greater Dallas, Dallas Society of CPAs & Texas Society of CPA's and is a  lifetime member of Ascend.  She also  serves as an executive advisor to the North Texas Ascend chapter. 

Chris Simmons, CEO and Diversity Expert at Moments LLC

At PwC, Chris achieved numerous career distinctions, including: only African-American elected to the firm’s Governing Board since the merger creating PwC in 1998; Managing Partner in charge of the Washington DC/VA/MD region; Partner-in-Charge, U.S. Corporate Development (mergers/acquisitions); President, PwC Charitable Foundation; and Chief Diversity Officer, reporting to CEO. As diversity leader, Chris highlighted Asian and Asian-American issues and was an early Ascend supporter. Currently, as CEO of Moments LLC, he coaches executives on getting promoted; speaks to audiences on leadership, success, sales and diversity strategies; and coaches leaders and young executives on overcoming diversity challenges. Chris earned his undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard University.

Joseph Chow, Board Trustee/Director at Delaware Investments Family of Funds

Joe Chow is an experienced board director and senior executive in the financial services industry.  He has deep expertise in enterprise risk management, business strategy, investments, governance, and corporate sustainability.  He currently serves as a Board Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at Delaware Investments Funds, a $45+ billion mutual fund complex affiliated with the Macquarie Banking Group of Australia.  Previously, Joe was Executive Vice President and Chief Risk and Corporate Administration Officer and a member of the senior-most management committee at State Street Corporation (NYSE:STT).  He also served on the board of Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. (NYSE:HTGC), State Street Zhejiang Ltd., and China Universal Asset Management. Joe has been active in civic affairs for many years, currently serving on the board of the Boston Children’s Museum and the External Advisory Committee on Diversity at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; he was a board director of the Asian Community Development Corporation in Boston and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Joe received a Master of Science from the MIT Sloan School of Management, a Master in City Planning from MIT, and a BA in Economics from Brandeis University.  He was born in Hong Kong, immigrated to the U.S. in 1967, graduated high school in Mississippi, and attended a college prep program for minority students at Yale in 1970.  Joe and his wife, Selina, live in Brookline, MA and they have three children.

Philip Wong, Partner; Technology, Media & Telecom at KPMG

Phil Wong is a member of KPMG Strategy, specializing in business and operational strategy formulation for software / SaaS providers, electronic equipment companies, and service providers. He brings over two decades of experience working with marquee clients across the entire high-tech value chain (software, electronic/telecom equipment, and service providers) solving critical strategic and operations issues. Clients acknowledge Phil for his strategic insights and his unique ability to connect strategy to execution, and value the versatility and experience Phil brings across a multitude of business issues such as product innovation, profitability improvement, customer experience innovation, go-to-market/sales effectiveness, and business / operating model transitions. More recently, Phil has developed a strong interest in understanding and guiding how high-tech companies transition from traditional product-based  business and operating models to service-based (e.g., value-added services) and consumption-driven models (e.g., XaaS). Having lived and worked in different countries, including a 15-month stint working in China, Phil, a global citizen enjoys learning about the cultural subtleties that make lasting change difficult. Phil speaks two languages fluently and has worked in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan, India, Pakistan, Egypt, and China. 

Pauline Mak, Partner, Federal Tax at KPMG (KPMG Moderator)

Pauline Mak is a partner in KPMG LLP's Boston federal tax practice.  Pauline has 27 years of experience serving technology, life sciences, and manufacturing clients in Massachusetts and California. She is experienced in both transactional and operational tax issues relating to publicly and privately held companies with multistate and international operations. Pauline has extensive experience with ASC 740, Accounting for Income Taxes, including tax accounting issues related to uncertainty in income taxes, business combinations, and share based payments. She also assists clients in income tax accounting issues under IFRS and in conversion from US GAAP to IFRS. Pauline serves as a national instructor for KPMG and a frequent speaker on accounting for income tax topics. Pauline’s experience has also included a rotational assignment to KPMG’s Washington National Tax Practice in the Accounting Methods Group where she advised on technical tax matters and wrote technical memoranda on new developments for firmwide distribution. Pauline is also the past president of the New England chapter of Ascend, a professional organization dedicated to enabling its members, business partners and the community to leverage the leadership and global business potential of Pan-Asians and the Treasurer for the Hong Kong Association of Massachusetts.  Pauline is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.  She is a graduate of California State University at Long Beach with a degree in finance and accounting.  She earned her master’s degree in business taxation from the University of Southern California.  

Abhijit Chakraverty, Senior Manager, Strategy and Operations at Deloitte (Panelist)

Abhijit is a leader in Deloitte’s Strategy & Operations practice focusing on Strategic Cost Transformations for life sciences and consumer product clients. Abhijit has more than 10 years of experience advising Fortune 500 clients on global G&A cost reduction strategies that include global multi-function shared services and outsourcing strategies, service delivery transformations, benchmarking and overall finance function transformations. Abhijit started his career in Deloitte USI (India Strategy & Operations) practice in 2006 after graduating from Indian Institute of Management and moved to the US practice in 2010. He lives in Needham, MA with his wife and a 5 year old son. 

Trinidad Grange-Kyner, Senior Manager, Technology Consulting at Deloitte (Panelist)

Trinidad is a Senior Manager in Deloitte Consulting’s Technology practice and has more than 20 years of experience in leading technology projects. Trinidad specializes in leading business transformations through technology innovation. Trinidad’s experience spans multiple industries and she current advises state agencies on technology implementations and program innovation. She is also involved in Smart City initiatives. She holds an M.Sc in System Design and Management from MIT and a B.Sc in Electrical Engineering. She is a mother of two boys and is passionate about diversity, inclusion and mentoring.

Ranjani Narayanan, Senior Manager, Advisory Services at Deloitte (Panelist)

Ranjani is a  Senior Manager in the Deloitte Advisory practice.  She has over fifteen years of experience in audit, technology and operations. Over the years, Ranjani has serviced a range of small to large retail and consumer products clients in addressing their internal audit needs ranging between operational and Information Technology (IT) audits.  Most recently she has been responsible for managing a large project providing outsourcing services to an internal audit department of a large global retail company augmenting their needs with subject matter and/or just in time resources.  She is also experienced in performing risk assessments, developing the annual audit plan, and executing against the plan

Amber Salatto, Tax Manager, Global Employer Services at Deloitte (Panelist)

Amber is licensed attorney and currently serves as a Tax Manager with the Global Employer Services group at Deloitte Tax LLP. With nearly seven years of experience at Deloitte, her work focuses on a broad range of compensation and benefits topics, including qualified benefits plan consulting, including executive compensation matters, qualified retirement plan consulting and compliance with relevant IRS and DOL regulations.



Mon Chau, Senior Manager, Investment Management at Deloitte (Deloitte Panel Moderator)

Mon Chau is a senior manager at Deloitte & Touche LLP in the Investment Management practice.  Mon serves some of the firm’s largest investment management clients. Previously, Mon served as the chief of staff for our U.S. Investment Management Sector Leader. In that role, she supported a variety of strategic growth and eminence activities. Outside of the firm, Mon serves as the executive vice president for the New England Chapter of Ascend, a non-profit Pan-Asian organization for business professionals. During her tenure with the organization she has developed and facilitated several trainings on leadership and development topics. Mon was recently honored by the Boston Business Journal by being recognized in the 2015 class of 40 under 40 for her community involvement.

Bartholomew Jae (B. Jae), Senior Manager, Accenture Strategy
Bartholomew has over 22 years of professional experience working with organizations to enable their business performance and employee engagement through talent development. He is currently a Senior Manager at Accenture Strategy. Bartholomew’s career includes leadership positions at PwC, Acadient Inc., and Scudder Kemper Investments. He is also the current APA ERG Leader for Accenture's Boston and Hartford locations, President of Ascend New England, and a proud father of two toddlers.