New England Chinese Professionals Coming Together for the Lunar New Year Gala as Blizzard Nemo Leaves Town

By David Li and Na Ma,

February 10, 2013 is the New Year Day for the Lunar New Year of the snake, when Boston just began to clean up the piles of snow brought by blizzard Nemo. More than 500 Chinese professionals and guests in the New England region still converged on Newtow Marriotte hotel as scheduled, to participate in the Lunar New Year Gala and Community Enrichment Forum. Zhiyong Yang, one of the co-chairs of the event, said people’s enthusiasm melted away the ice and snow.
(from third on left)Ling Huang, Boston City Council candidate Michelle Wu, Treasurer Steve Grossman, Jeff Yang and other attendees post for a picture. (photo by Jie Yan of Boston Chinese Photographers Association, BCPA)

The Lunar Chinese New Year Gala is one of the largest local New Year celebrations and is co-sponsored by twelve Chinese professional associations and the Boston Chinese Alumni Federation. The whole event consisted of several stages starting at 2 PM and going until the end of the dinner and cultural performances, up to nine hours in total.

Introduced by Johnny Ip of East West Bank, Steve Grossman, Treasurer of the state of Massachusetts, highly praised the outstanding contributions to Massachusetts’ economy by Chinese professionals and encouraged more professionals to give back to their communities with their extraordinary talents during his keynote speech at the evening banquet. Treasurer Grossman bought quite a few roses at the banquet. About $1000 was raised for the Zigen Fund from the sale of over 200 roses at the banquet according to John Zhu.

In the afternoon community forum, the Chinese-American BioMedical Association (CABA), Chinese-American Intellectual Property Law Association (CAIPLA), 128 Chinese Union of Technology Enterprises (128CUTE), BayHelix Association (BayHelix), and The Chinese Finance Association (TCFA) jointly launched a Chinese American Biotechnology Exchange Forum. A number of medical, legal and financial experts communicated in details on the investment in the Chinese-American pharmaceutical industry. The discussions about the IT business and MBA education between The New England Chinese Information Network Association (NECINA) and Overseas Chinese-American Entrepreneurs Association (OCEAN) also attracted many listeners.

The Boston Asian Health Forum was in another conference hall. Doctors from the North American Chinese Medical Association (ACMA) addressed themes of diet, obesity and metabolic diseases, cancer prevention, the Asian spirit and mental health, and the prevention of myocardial infarction and stroke. In the next free health consultation sessions, nearly 20 doctors provided health counseling help participants to understand the changing U.S. health care system and answered questions about health care issues.

Banquet started at 7 PM, when several co-chairs, such as Ru Zheng, Zhiyong Yang, Bill Lian and Yihan Wang, read congratulatory letters from dignitaries like Mr. Sun Guoxiang, Consulate General of Chinese Consulate in New York, Gov. Patrick, Mayor Menino and etc. In the next speech, Grossman recalled that he launched the loan scheme for small business and appointed up to four officials from ethnic minorities in his two-year tenure.

Another keynote speaker during the evening banquet was Dr. Chiang J. Li, CEO of Boston BioMedical Inc. He recalled that the rapid development of China in the past 20 years have brought huge opportunities to Chinese in the United States, especially Chinese professionals in the Boston area. He said China’s per capita GDP was half that of India 20 years ago and now is three times of India’s. Dr. Li, who owns 50 patents, using “turning stone into gold” as a metaphor, stressed that innovation was the key to personal and even national development.

There were wonderful cultural performances after the banquet. Director Zhenhua Lai mentioned that planning for the performances began in November last year. He expressed his thanks to musicians such as Zhantao Lin and Zhengshan Zhang from the Boston Chinese Musicians Association and Jie Wang from Berklee College of Music, who overcame difficulties to attend the performances. “It’s particularly worth mentioning the chorus at the end of the Gala. Representatives from various associations starred the chorus. Under direction of conductor Tian Qian from Boston Conservatory, they performed very well after several rehearsals over past couple month. This reflects the unity and high spirit of Chinese professionals,” Zhenhua Lai said.

Please check out more pictures below by Mr. Jinliang Sui of BCPA.

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