Awww…a new ED says his first words

To our wonderful friends and community,

I have a confession to make. My 2015 New Year’s resolution was to relax more by focusing on my work/life balance. I was off to a great start too! My mom gave me a $50 gift card to Olive Garden and I spent a weekend by the ocean. Then five days into the month, VFA’s board president, Mary, offered me the Executive Director position. “Well…there goes my resolution,” I thought. But hey, at least I made it five full days this year; a personal best! I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as VFA’s next Executive Director.

I have held many different positions, and worked in many capacities, at VFA over the past five years. During this time, VFA has significantly increased the numbers youth we serve; grew our operating budget by 40%; brought on amazing staff and volunteers; and expanded our advocacy in education and community development. It has been a wonderful journey and we couldn’t have done it without the continued trust and support from our community, board and staff, donors, volunteers, funders, families and more.

As we look toward the future, I’m very excited about some of the changes coming to VFA. Some. Very. Big. Changes. For example, VFA’s fabled mascot, the Unicorn, is now being retired (with distinction) to make way for the legendary Griffin; who possesses the strength of a lion and the wisdom of an eagle. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. In many ways, this reflects VFA’s role in the Vietnamese community. As an organization committed to social justice and equity, our work focuses on guarding our most priceless treasure– our culture, language and heritage– so that current and future generations can enjoy its riches. Worth it.

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But there’s still a lot to accomplish and VFA has many things in the pipeline that I’m excited about. We are breaking ground in early learning, mobilizing our community to vote, and working with our partners to advocate for vibrant neighborhoods where all families have the opportunity to succeed. And we’re just getting warmed up.

I’m looking forward to connecting and reconnecting with everyone who has been, and continues to be, involved in VFA’s growth and success. Thank you for your ongoing trust and support.

In solidarity,

James Hong
Executive Director