The Asian Pacific American Employees Association (APAEA) was established in 1993 by FS Chief Dale Robertson as an officially-recognized employee group within the Forest Service. It had started as a grassroots effort in California, and grew to include employees from the Regions, Research Stations, State & Private Areas and the WO.
Six Chairs have served APAEA, including Region 2′s Corey Wong, Region 8′s Liz Agpaoa, Region 6′s Dale Hom, Region 6′s Mary Marrs, then-Region 3’s Yewah Lau, and currently WO’s Liz Berger. Throughout the years, the Chairs served with the assistance of an Executive Committee, Advisory Group, members throughout the Agency, and APAEA Champion Jerry Sesco (WO Research and Development). Deputy Chief of National Forest System, Leslie Weldon, now advises APAEA at the national executive level.
Some accomplishments include:
- Championed the selection of the first Asian Pacific American (APA) Forest Supervisor in the Forest Service.
- Partnered with Regions 5 & 6, PSW & PNW Research Stations, and WO to implement the national APA Community Outreach and Program Delivery project to increase participation of Asian publics in Forest Service programs.
- Championed the UC Davis Multicultural Workforce Strategic Initiative for the recruitment of APA students.
- Sponsored educational, cultural, heritage, natural resource, and community events with employees, APA community leaders, scholars, students, & cultural organizations.