Mark Takai Award
This award is presented to a staffer who has gone above and beyond to support AAPI Hill staffers and leaders on the Hill. Whether furthering professional development of their own staff, or volunteering their time outside of the office, this person has shown dedication to mentoring the next generation of AAPI leaders.
Congressman Takai was elected to Congress in 2014 after serving two decades in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. He was a proud soldier, serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Army National Guard; faithful public servant; and tireless advocate for the people of Hawaii and the broader AAPI community. As a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressman Takai worked to enact public policies to address disparities and improve the quality of life for AAPIs and all Americans across the country.
Linda Shim - Chief of Staff, Congresswoman Judy Chu
Cathy Yu - Democratic Staff Director, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Jose M. Montano, Jr. Award
This award is presented to a Hill alum who has gone above and beyond to sustain a pipeline of AAPI Hill staffers and leaders on the Hill.
Jose M. Montano, Jr., also known as Joe Montano, was the Northern Virginia regional director for Senator Tim Kaine and a champion of the Filipino American community. He was known for his positive energy, tireless work ethic, and infectious smile. Joe Montano worked to improve diversity not only through his outreach to AAPIs and other communities, but also by his encouragement to others to also do the same. He previously served as national vice chairman of the Filipino Civil Rights Advocates group and executive director of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations.
Laura Efurd - Former Legislative Director, Congresswoman Patsy Mink and Office Manager, Senator Mazie Hirono
Ricky Le - Senior Director of Government Affairs, Information Technology Industry Council