In November 2003 the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) recognized MAABA’s Founding Member and First President, Diane Yu, with its Trail Blazer Award.  NAPABA awarded MAABA member Yabo Lin with its Trail Blazer Award in 2006.  The NAPABA Trail Blazer Award “recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of NAPABA lawyers who have paved the way for advancement of other APA [Asian Pacific America] attorneys.”  Award recipients have “demonstrated vision, courage, and tenacity in their careers, and has made substantial and lasting contributions to both the legal community and the broader APA community.”

In 2007 MAABA President, Angela Yee, formed a committee and charged it with the task of creating an award to recognize a Missouri attorney as a Trail Blazer.  The result was the MAABA Torch Bearer Award to recognize attorneys for dedicated leadership and service as a guiding light to the Missouri Asian American Bar Association and the Asian Community.  The committee chose the Wisdom Dragon, a venerated symbol in the Asian community, as the seal for the Torch Bearer Award.  Leadership is the most important criteria for this award.  The guiding light leads the way, is innovative, creative, and inspires us with dedication and service.

2007: Maylin Wong Mahoney

2008: Ignatius Yuan

2009:  Edgar Lim

2010:  James Robinson

2011:  Ari Bai

2012: Hon. Judy Draper

2013: Hon. Richard B. Teitelman

2014: Tony Gao

2015: Daniel Sakaguchi

2016: Angela Yee

2017: Danielle Carr

2018: Johnny Wang

2019: Alex Lee