The Year of the Snake holds big things for MAABA

MAABA is busy planning for a big year.  Things to look forward to this year include the 12th Annual Unity Dinner,  Asian Heritage Month, and NAPABA’s conference in Kansas City.

The annual St. Louis Unity Dinner is expected to be as big as ever. The leadership is looking forward to bringing in people from across the region for a celebration of the culture diversity that is unique to the St. Louis Area. As plans are finalized, look to this website for more details about the location, time, and date.

MAABA also plans to celebrate Asian Heritage Month in May with a number of events aimed at inviting everyone to celebrate and enjoy Asian Culture. Tentative plans include a joint happy hour with the Young Asian Professional Associations (YAPA) and the OCA.

MAABA will also continue its outreach to law students with a focus on the Mentor program that has helped foster bonds between our professional community and the schools that are training our future peers. We are always looking for mentors, and we invite you to apply to our program as either a mentor or a mentee.

Finally, 2013 will also find the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri. MAABA will be partnering with the Asian American Bar Association of Kansas city to help plan this event. Board members from both organizations are working together to make the 40th annual convention a success.

MAABA prepares for 2013 with new leadership

James Robinson will take over as president of MAABA after years of hard work and service to the organization. He will be joined by the following people as the organization enters an exciting year that will not only include the Unity Dinner, but the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s annual conference in the State of Missouri. He will lead and executive board comprised of the following people.

President – James Robinson
Vice-President – Lilian Doan
Secretary – John Mark Hongs
Treasurer – Carol H. Li

Board of Directors:

Johnny Wang
Julie Madsen
Maylin Mahoney
David Kim
Wil Holtz
Sreenu Dandamudi
Daniel Sakaguchi
Hon. Judy Draper
Angela S. Yee
George Wu
Richard Juang
Holly You
Alexander S.Y. Lee


MAABA ends 2012 on a high note and starts planning for a big 2013

MAABA’s 2012 leadership ended the year with a bang. Over the last two months of 2012, the MAABA was involved in various activities. Some of the highlights  include the following:

November 14, 2012– MAABA’s outgoing President Johnny Wang and board member Alex Lee spearheaded the Minority Counsel Program, which matched over diverse local 30 attorneys for “pitch” interviews with general counsel and other representatives of 18 participating St Louis companies.

November 15-18, 2012– MAABA sent several board members and officers to the NAPABA Convention in DC, who worked with AABA-KC members to promote the 2013 Convention in Kansas City and met with members of DC’s 2012 Host Committee to observe the planning and execution of various events.

December 15,2012 – Members of MAABA spent the day volunteering with the St. Louis Food Bank. In the picture from left to right: David Kim, David’s kids, Maylin Mahoney, Jim R, Angela Yee, Alex Yee.

December 16, 2012– This year’s holiday party was held with the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), Young Asian American Professionals Organization (YAPA) and the Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC), with over 80 attendees. The organizations worked with a local Catholic Charity to provide a needy multigenerational Vietnamese family with holiday gifts and monetary contributions.

January 5, 2013– Several members of the 2013 NAPABA Convention Host Committee, including Co-Chair David Kim, MAABA President Jim Robinson, Treasurer Carol Li,
and board members Judge Judy Draper, Holly You, George Wu, Richard Juang and Daniel Sakaguchi traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to meet with AABA-KC members of the Host Committee, Convention Chair Bill Simonitsch, NAPABA Executive Director Tina Matsuoka, and NAPABA’s convention planner to visit event sites and kick off planning.

MAABA’s Inaugural Family Pig Roast A Success!

Scores of MAABA members and friends, many with their children, enjoyed MAABA’s inaugural Pig Roast & Family Fest on Saturday, August 4, despite early morning thunderstorms that threatened to cancel the event. Just in time, the rain quit as a robust, blue sky shone over Clayton’s Shaw Park Pavilion as cooks tabled four roast pigs and a roasted goat with delicious side dishes for the enthusiastic family crowd.

MAABA President Johnny S. Wang says, “We offer a big thank you to everyone who was able to attend and help with MAABA’s Inaugural Pig Roast! We hope this will become an annual event for us! Despite early rain, we had great food, great music, and a good turnout. For those who could not attend, you missed a great event that everyone enjoyed!

Approximately 70 people attended, representing the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, the Mound City Bar Association and the Hispanic Bar Association of St. Louis in addition to MAABA. Many guests from the community-at-large attended.  Starting at 11 a.m., MAABA’s inaugural pig roast picnic offered good-time amusements with all-you-can-eat and drink, with kid-friendly activities featuring a bouncy house, games, live folk and roots country music, plus juice, soft drinks, plenty of water and more. MAABA ordered the roast pigs and goat, plus all the side dishes from Super Smokers, Filipino Lechon and Mandarin House, whose cooks staffed the event. The folk and country roots music lilted softly through the Shaw Park Pavilion and the surrounding trees as kids danced and laughed until the picnic ended about 2 p.m.

Alex Lee, a MAABA Past President and attorney at Gonnerman Reinert, said, “This event was outstanding. The pig roast idea is a good one, and having all the meat and food spread out on long tables added to the family style and camaraderie of the experience. It was a relaxing, fun time. The music was great and kids there along with everybody had a fantastic time!”  Lilian Doan, of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, added, “I hope MAABA does this again next year. The networking was really great.”  Johnny Wang concluded, “Hopefully, we will continue to build on this inaugural event and further spread the joy of MAABA throughout our community!

MAABA 2012 Inaugural Pig Roast!

MAABA will be having its inaugural 2012 MAABA Pig Roast on August 4, 2012 at the Shaw Park Pavilion in Clayton. We will start at 11:00 AM and go until we run out of pork or drinks. This will be a family fun event with plenty of activities for the kids. We will have an inflatable bounce house, face painting, balloon folk, and if we’re lucky, carnies.

The picnic will include pigs from Super Smokers, Filipino Lechon and Mandarin house, along with a roasted goat!!

The price of admission for all the food and beverage you care to consume is $15/person or $30/nuclear family. Uncles, aunts, grandparents, etc. are on their own!  We will have beer, juice, soft drinks and plenty of water.

We will be accepting payment at the door, and will accept cash, check or credit card. Please, please, however, RSVP in advance to me, Lilian Doan, at so we have a general head count. So, in summary:

MAABA 2012 Pig Roast

Shaw Park Pavilion, 27 S. Brentwood Blvd., Clayton MO 63105
August 4, 2012 11:00 AM – ?
Cost – $15/individuals, $30/families

MAABA’s 2012 Unity Dinner Attracts Over 400 Attendees!

On April 26, 2012, the Missouri Asian-American Bar Association, the Mound City Bar Association, the Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater St. Louis, Lawyers for Equality, the Hispanic Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar co-hosted the 12th Annual Unity Dinner. Held in the atrium of the HoteLumiere, the dinner featured Asian-inspired cuisine from various countries, starting with a cocktail hour of Chinese Dim Sum and Japanese Yakitori Chicken (among other tasty treats), along with an open bar for the nearly 350 guests. The evening progressed to dinner, which featured a “Tour of Asia” buffet station, which provided guests with selections such as, sushi and sashimi, a seafood bar, and delicacies from China, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia.

The evening’s program began with introductions by MAABA president Johnny Wang and recognition of the five co-hosting organization’s respective leaders. MAABA Board of Director Angela Yee presented two law students, Deanna L. Tran (Washington University) and Huihong Qiao (Saint Louis University) with a summer stipend for their contribution to public interest efforts. Ronda Williams of the MCBA presented the Joint Initiative Diversity Award to both individual recipient Bruce Hobson and law firm winner, Greensfeld, for their dedication to promoting and supporting diversity in the legal profession in St. Louis. James Robinson, MAABA Board of Director, presented St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge the Hon. Judy Preddy Draper with the 2012 MAABA Torch Bearer Award. Remarks were also given by Lynn Vogel, Missouri Bar President and Chris Koster, the Missouri Attorney General.

The evening continued with guests enjoying the dinner’s selections and networking with new friend. MAABA would like to thank the various sponsors of the dinner, the Missouri Bar and the various co-hosting organizations for their hard work, dedication and commitment to promoting diversity in the legal profession in St. Louis.

2012 Unity Dinner

Registration is now open! Register here.
View the Menu
View Sponsor Sheet


Jade Sponsorship – $1,500
10 Unity Dinner tickets
Table Sponsorship Recognition
Full page advertisement in the Unity Dinner Program
Full page advertisement in MAABA’s Inaugural Jade Directory of Legal Service Providers
Logo displayed on projector throughout dinner
Logo displayed on sponsors board at dinner entrance
Logo will be displayed on MAABA’s website

Pearl Sponsorship – $750
4 Unity Dinner tickets
Full page advertisement the Unity Dinner Program
Half page advertisement in MAABA’s Inaugural Jade Directory of Legal Service Providers
Logo displayed on projector throughout dinner
Logo displayed on sponsors board at dinner entrance

Advertisements in Dinner Program Only

$250 – Full page ad
$200 – Half page ad

For more information, contact:

Johnny Wang, MAABA President:, (314) 615-6000
Lilian Doan, MAABA Secretary:, (314) 241-2600.

MAABA Hosts 2012 Leadership Retreat

January 31, 2012: Organized by President Johnny Wang, MAABA’s board kicked-off the start of 2012 with a retreat at the Moonrise Hotel in the Delmar Loop for a weekend of programming, team-building and brainstormng for the upcoming year.  The Board extended an invitation to the Asian-American Bar Association of Kansas City, and the board was delighted to welcome Peter Chung and Christopher Javillonar. Peter Chung is NAPABA’s Central Regional Governor and Christopher Javillonar is on the NAPABA Board of Directors.  The Board was also joined by local law students and Asian Law Student Association representatives, Sarah Aslam of Washington University and Ed Kolkebeck Saint Louis University.
On Friday night, the group met together for dinner at the Moonrise Hotel’s Eclipse Restaurant for introductions. group bonding time and informal brain-storming about social events for MAABA.  On Saturday morning, the group discussed the past year’s success, including hosting a sold-out Unity Dinner in 2011, hosting the 2011 Central Regional Conference for the National Asian-Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and being honored  and selected as the 2011 NAPABA Affilitate of the Year.  The group also shared upcoming programming ideas for 2012, including publishing a directory of Asian-American attorneys in the St. Louis-area, discussed the 2012 Unity Dinner, and proposed networking opportunities for our members. New event ideas were also introduced, and the board looks forward to an exciting and dynamic year!
MAABA is proud to welcome the 2012 Executive Board and looks forward to a great year of programming.

MAABA Elects New Leadership Team for 2012!

JANAURY 15, 2012

MAABA will focus 2012 on promoting the talents and abilities of its members, community service efforts, and further increase its ties with the local Asian community and abroad.

MAABA recently held their leadership elections for 2012.  The officers for 2012 are:

 *President – Johnny S. Wang, Gallop Johnson & Neuman, L.C.

Vice-President – David Kim, Armstrong Teasdale

Secretary – Lilian Doan, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Treasurer – Ignatius “Iggy” Yuan, Vice-President and General Counsel of First National Bank of St. Louis.

Historian – Honorable Judy M. Draper – Associate Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of St. Louis County.

In addition, MAABA also approved the following members to its Board of Directors

 *Honorable Judy M. Draper – Associate Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of St. Louis County

Wil Holtz – Thompson Coburn LLP

*John Mark Hongs – Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Alexander Lee – Gonnerman Reinert LLC

Julie Madsen – Kortenhof McGlynn

Maylin Mahoney – Law Offices of Maylin Mahoney

Monica Patankar – Waltrip & Schmidt

James Robinson – Law Offices of James Robinson

Daniel Sakaguchi – Armstrong Teasdale

*George Wu – Armstrong Teasdale

*Holly You – Armstrong Teasdale

Angela Yee – The Yee Law Firm

* Denotes new board members and officers.

2011 was a banner year for MAABA.  MAABA hosted the 4th Annual National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (“NAPABA”) Central Region Conference in St. Louis and was honored as “Affiliate of the Year” at the 2011 NAPABA Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.  MAABA members also founded the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis and Sua Sponte, a legal clinic partnered with the International Institute to provide legal services to immigrants. MAABA also hosted a number of Chinese trade delegations in furtherance of building relationships abroad.

2012 will focus on business development and career development for its members.

 In addition to MAABA’s annual programming of the Unity Dinner, Mentoring program, community service and networking events, MAABA will establish two new initiatives to help its members market themselves to potential clients and build relationships with Missouri in-house counsel departments, businesses and the Asian community. 

First is the “Jade Directory” – a MAABA directory of Asian legal service providers that will have in-depth bios including photos of MAABA members categorized by their specific practice areas.  The Directory will be printed on high quality paper, and will be distributed to in-house counsels, local businesses, law firms, elected officials, local judiciary and community organizations.  Without a doubt, the Jade Directory will be a powerful marketing tool for all participating MAABA members.

In addition, MAABA will spearhead the “Minority Counsel Program” MAABA will partner with the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Mound City Bar Associationto host a one to two day event in Fall 2012 that will seek to bring diverse attorneys and in-house counsel together.  There will be networking events, golf and spa activities, and CLE programming relevant to diverse attorneys.  In addition, interested attorneys can participate in informational interviews with in-house counsel and business owners to determine whether outside counsel work could be placed with interested attorneys.  The goal is to provide relationship building activities and to showcase the diverse legal professionals in St. Louis.

Now is the time to become a member of MAABA and participate in these exciting new initiatives!  Please click on the membership link above and join!

MAABA Honored as NAPABA Affiliate of the Year

November 19, 2011

The Missouri Asian American Bar Association (MAABA) was honored by the National Asian Pacific Bar Association (NAPABA) as its “Affiliate of the Year” at the 2011 NAPABA National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia on November 19, 2011.  The award recognized MAABA for its “outstanding best practices and accomplishments as a NAPABA affiliate” and was presented to MAABA President Alex Lee at the Convention Gala by NAPABA President Paul Hirose.

In his acceptance remarks, President Alex Lee thanked MAABA’s founders for their role in starting MAABA, including three founders who were in attendance at the Gala: Hon. Judy Draper, Maylin Mahoney, and James Robinson.  He also thanked current MAABA leaders in attendance at the Convention including President-Elect Johnny Wang, Vice President David Kim, Secretary Lilian Doan, Board Member Daniel Sakaguchi, and Board Member Angela Yee for their hard work over the past year which made the award possible.  He closed his remarks by promising that MAABA would continue to work hard to “live up to this award.”

The Convention was attended by over 1,200 Asian Pacific American attorneys, and included keynote speaker US Court of Appeals Judge Denny Chin and speaker Yale Law School Professor and Best Selling Author, Amy Chua.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association(NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students, providing a national network for its members and affiliates. NAPABA advocates for the legal needs and interests of the APA community and represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 62 local APA bar associations, with practice settings ranging from solo practices to large firms, corporations, legal services organizations, non-profit organizations, law schools, and governmental agencies.

The Missouri Asian American Bar Association (MAABA) is an organization of Missouri Asian American attorneys, judges, elected officials, and law students dedicated to advocating on a state and local level on behalf of the Asian American legal and general communities.