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ABOUT US

AAPI of East Brunswick is a grass roots 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our core pillars are cultural awareness, education, mental wellness, activism, and inclusivity. Our mission is to foster community outreach initiatives to heighten the Asian American and Pacific Islander experience through immersive and impactful enrichment activities, while serving as a strong platform for AAPI culture and visibility. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Maria Katrina Eng
President

Co-Founder Maria Katrina is a proud Filipina-American. She was born in Manila and raised in East Brunswick, New Jersey. She met her husband at East Brunswick High School and they are now blessed with 3 young daughters. Maria Katrina has worked in healthcare for 15 years, starting as a bedside nurse and currently focuses on hospital quality and operations at NewYork-Presbyterian. She is passionate about mental health advocacy and youth mentorship in the AAPI community. Maria Katrina also loves to travel, go on food adventures, and most of all, spend quality time with her family and friends. After living in New York City and Baltimore, Maria Katrina came back home and is excited to make a difference in Central NJ!

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Dave Chan
Vice President

Proudly hailing from Chinatown, Dave was born and raised in NYC to an immigrant family. He enjoyed growing up in a tight knit community fully immersed in the Chinese American experience. Dave graduated from Stuyvesant HS and studied Economics and Chinese at NYU. He now lives in East Brunswick with his two young children and his dear wife, Melissa.

Dave has over 15 years experience in the commercial property management industry. He has been an active participant of employee resource groups, mentoring programs and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives throughout his career. An avid sports lover, Dave enjoys coaching in the EB community through local youth sports leagues which has been an amazing platform to build diverse teams. He is also a Boardmember of the Fast Break Basketball Association.

He is passionate about promoting diverse representation in politics. He enjoys learning about AAPI history and celebrating the diversity that is intricately woven into the fabric of America.

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Melissa Yan
Treasurer

Melissa is second generation Chinese American who grew up in New York City and New Jersey. Melissa studied international relations and comparative politics at NYU and completed her MPH in health policy at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She and her husband Dave, and their 2 children moved to East Brunswick, NJ in 2020 and have been so happy with the community they are now part of.

 

Melissa has worked in the private sector healthcare industry for over 15 years and has a background in public relations and marketing. Her experience is in new product commercialization, focusing on social-economic health disparities and multicultural marketing. In working with organizations like CAIPA (Coalition of Asian-American IPA) and CAMS (Chinese American Medical Society), she helped to form public-private partnerships around accountable care organizations, built education programs and culturally specific resources in the communities of Manhattan Chinatown and Brooklyn.

 

Her interest areas include patient advocacy, women’s rights and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and beyond- in communities, in our schools, and within families.

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Sheryl Wan
Secretary & Webmaster

Sheryl Wan has been an East Brunswick native throughout her life. Her experience lies in retail and supply chain management for the fashion industry, marketing for consumer product goods, and influencer relations in advertising. She graduated from Rutgers Business School with a double major in Marketing and Supply Chain Management. Sheryl is very close with her family and enjoys trying new places to eat. She is a supporter of the arts and enjoys drawing and painting in her free time. She looks forward to promoting a stronger sense of community among residents around AAPI matters.

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Shital Mani
Board Director

Shital Mani emigrated to the United States in the 1980s from India.  When she and her family made Jersey City, NJ their home, they were surrounded by many different cultures within the Heights section of the city and felt a sense of belonging.  Despite that, racism and lack of cultural awareness were still very prevalent.  As a young high school student, she worked diligently to bring awareness to the public about the ever-growing Indian population and their contributions to society, as a junior reporter for the local newspaper, The Jersey Journal.    Her passion to continue bringing communities together through outreach and awareness has been her catalyst to join as a board member for AAPI of EB.  Shital practices as an Optometrist in Monmouth County and is also an Associate Professor of Optometry at Salus University in PA.  As an eye care professional for over 20 years, Shital has always been an advocate of equitable and culturally competent healthcare for the medically underserved population.  She has lectured nationally on the social determinants of health and their impact on health equity and equality, in the poor, uninsured, and vulnerable populations.  She currently lives in East Brunswick with her college sweetheart, Dr. Ram Mani, and her two beautiful daughters.

Kimberly Conetta
Board Director

Kim Conetta is a third generation Chinese American, raised in East Brunswick.  A mother of three, she has continued to make East Brunswick her home and is an active community builder.  Kim attended New York University where she studied Journalism and was an active member of the Chinese Student Society and mentored junior high school students in Chinatown.  She also taught English as a second language as part of a corporate exchange program with Mayanmar young professionals for many years. Kim has served as the President of the East Brunswick Arts Coalition from 2020-present where she established the town-wide Lunar New Year Celebration and is a founding Board Member of AAPI of East Brunswick.  Kim will work to build greater organizational capacity for AAPI of East Brunswick connecting the organization with community leaders around the state.

ADVISORY COUNCIL

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Ronnie Li
Senior Advisor

Brian Eng
Creative Director

Ronnie Hsieh Li, MS CCC, champions healthcare, education, sports, nonprofit business, civil service advocating for community collaboration. She is the recipient of Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce Community Leaders of Distinction 2024, Volunteer of the Year is also the first Mandarin speaking Taiwanese immigrant Executive Officer, Chair Ambassador Membership Committee and recipient of Member of the Year 2022 + 2023 for East Brunswick Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Ronnie actively volunteers in her community, serving the East Brunswick Recreation and Park Advisory Board, EB Youth Council Advisory Board, DAISY Association and EB Sustainability as recipient of EB Proclamation and Resolutions for her impact to EB Community investment as certified coach PTR/PPR advocating upgrades to Tennis courts, Youth Tennis and recycling balls while implementing LOVE Serving Daisy adaptive tennis, pickleball and cricket programs. Further national recognition as USTA EASTERN Volunteer of the Year and international recognition of US OPEN CHAMPION to CHAMPION were awarded.

Professionally, upon completion of Masters of Science from Teachers College, Columbia University, she provided Bilingual Speech Language Pathology/Rehabilitation Medicine and Special Education with Administrative Leadership at NYU Downtown Hospital, NYC Health + Hospitals, VNS Homecare, NYC Board of Education and East Brunswick Center for Speech and Hearing Sciences. Inc. NYU Downtown Hospital recognized Ronnie as recipient of Friend of Nursing Excellence Award!

East Brunswick has been the home of her family and her husband, Dr. Kenneth M. Li, DDS, PA’s private practice since 1985. Their sons graduated from Blue Ribbon EB Public Schools and Rutgers University. Notably, her philanthropic legacy includes Michigan State University College of Human Medicine scholarships for 3rd/4th year Medical Students with exemplary Community Service in honor of her parents, Jonathan YS and Jane Hsieh Endowment. Thank YOU for your ACE LEADERSHIP strengthening our EB Community of CHAMPIONS!

COMMITTEES

EDUCATION 

Kimberly Conetta

Melissa Yan

FINANCE

Dave Chan

Kimberly Conetta

Shital Mani

Melissa Yan

SOCIAL MEDIA

Mahima Arceno

Kimberly Conetta

Maria Katrina Eng

Sheryl Wan

ADVOCACY

Mahima Arceno

Dave Chan

Maria Katrina Eng

MENTAL WELLNESS

Maria Katrina Eng

Sheryl Wan

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS

Interested in joining a committee or volunteer opportunities?

We invite you to share your strengths, continuously learn, and make a difference. 

Click on the button below to send us an email inquiry. 

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