Erin Yoshimura brings past experience, passion for Asian American Pacific Islander community to the festival’s 10th year celebration
The Board of Directors of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is excited to announce that Erin Yoshimura has accepted the position of Executive Director. “It is my great pleasure to announce that Erin Yoshimura has accepted the position of Executive Director,” says Kit Williams, the incoming Board Chair. “Having been both a small business owner and a corporate manager, she brings extensive experience in project management, media relations, strategic planning and working with multi-cultural teams.”
Yoshimura, a 4th generation Japanese American, is no stranger to the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.
“Erin was one of the original members of the Operating Committee during CDBF’s first seven years,” notes outgoing CDBF Board Chair Ding Wen Hsu. “Even though her official role was chair of the Performing Arts Committee, she contributed in many other areas. Her project management and organizational skills set an excellent foundation for the festival, and many process and procedures she created are still being used today.
Yoshimura is the founder and principal of Empowerful Changes™, and a coach and trainer who specializes in empowering Asian American Pacific Islanders with Emotional Intelligence and Personal Branding workshops. Her previous experience was in the corporate technology sector.
Her commitment to the AAPI community led Yoshimura to join the Operating Committee of CDBF in 2001 for its very first year, and to continue as a volunteer on the Operating Committee. In addition to managing performing arts, she also directed marketing and media relations for the festival.
Yoshimura serves as a member of the Denver Asian Pacific American Commission, which reports to the Mayor’s office on the state of the AAPI communities, and sits as DAPAC representative on the city’s Human Rights Community Relations Advisory Board. Her non-profit affiliations in the AAPI community also include the Asian Pacific Development Center, Japanese American Citizens League, Asian American Journalists Association and National Association for Asian American Professionals.
In 2009, she launched visualizAsian.com with her partner Gil Asakawa, a project in which the couple interviews notable Asian American Pacific Islanders live via teleconference and webcast to inspire and empower other AAPIs.
Specializing in AAPIs and other people of color, Yoshimura has created training programs, workshops and keynotes for clients including KUSA (Gannett), Raytheon, Making Connections-Denver, National Association of Asian American Professionals, MillerCoors, Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, National Unification Advisory Council, and La Plata County.
Erin brings this wide range of people skills and her passion for and knowledge of Asian cultures and Asian American identity to the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival to help the event celebrate its tenth year as one of the premiere Asian cultural and athletic events in the United States.
Kit Williams is President of Catalyst Resources Inc, a multi-cultural project design and management team that helps corporations, government agencies and foundations carry out community and business development projects that target diverse populations. Four years ago, Kit decided to follow a long-time dream and started Kit Williams Photography.
Before starting Catalyst Resources, Kit, who is Chinese American, was the State Director of the Minority Business Office. The purpose of the Minority Business Office is to promote economic development for minority businesses and communities throughout Colorado.
Williams was also the President of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, an organization that has helped thousands of women start and build their own businesses. She holds Master degrees in both Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Colorado. Williams is also the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Asian Chamber of Commerce.
Roger Armstrong, Hawaiian/Chinese American, is the Executive Director of Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN), and the Capitol Hill People’s Fair. In its 39th year, the People’s Fair is one of the largest ongoing arts and crafts and entertainment festivals in the country and draws over 250,000 people each year. He is also a consultant specializing in event planning and production, non-profit management and organizational development, and is involved in many civic, community and non-profit groups and organizations.