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Our Team

Conrad Lee

conrad portrait croppedConrad Lee, Bellevue City Councilmember and Mayor (2011-2013), has served as an elected member of the Bellevue City Council since 1993, one of the few Chinese-Americans in elected politics. Born in Kunming, Yunnan, in 1939, the son of a personal aide to warlord Long Yun, Conrad lost his father at age 8. He moved with his mother to Hong Kong at age ten and stayed there through high school. He came to the U.S. to attend Seattle Pacific College, then got his degree from University of Michigan in electrical engineering. After working for Boeing and then as a stockbroker, he was first elected to Bellevue City Council in 1993 and has been re-elected seven times, most recently in November 2017 and Deputy Mayor in January, 2010.

Steve Chen

Steve Chen is a partner of Skyline Investment Fund LP, which manages $200 million in commercial real-estate investments in America. He also co-founded the Pathway Foundation, as well as serves as its director, which promotes civic engagement within the Chinese-American community. Steve started his career as an IT consultant and founded a consulting firm conducting business with China for 15 years before becoming involved in commercial real-estate investment. Steve attained a Master’s Degree of Engineering from Utah State University in 1992 and a Master’s Degree of Science in Economics from Tsinghua University in 1989, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from Tsinghua University in 1986.

John Spady

Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants family board member and President of the Forum Foundation

While John has recently retired from Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants he is still considered the curator of the extensive civic legacy of his father, Richard Spady (namesake of the family owned business.) John is a member of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation ( and is a lifetime member of the International Association for Public Participation  (US Chapter: Alongside the Honorable Conrad Lee, Councilmember for the City of Bellevue, John created the American Immigration Forums in 2011 — a way for students to study important issues and engage diverse community in dialogue and values discernment on national policy using his foundation’s in-kind resources. John is also president of the Forum Foundation in Seattle — created by his father for research and continued development of the Opinionnaire® Survey system — the foundation’s board seeks to enhance the practical opportunities for improved civic discourse among diverse communities of people. The Foundation helped establish the Countywide Community Forums (of King County) which ran from 2007-2011 and involved thousands of county residents in large scale “symbolic dialogue” on timely issues. John received his undergraduate degree from Seattle Pacific University and his graduate degree from the University of Oregon.

Sam Lai

Sam is a vice president at the JAS Group, a Seattle-based real estate development and investment firm specializing in value-driven investment of projects in the Puget Sound region. Prior to the real estate industry, Sam worked extensively in consulting, helping global firms in their enterprise and technology planning to meet the demands of the highly competitive modern business environment. Sam is deeply committed to civic engagement and giving back to the community, and previously was involved with community groups educating underprivileged youth in the South Side of Chicago about the concepts and benefits of philanthropy. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Seattle, Sam earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Chicago. In his free time, Sam is an avid skier, reader, and pianist.

Yi Ping Chan

Picture-YPChan-20110927-Good-cropMr. Yi Ping Chan is a principal at Chanden Inc. which is focusing on investment and business advisory services primarily in Greater China and the United States. Y.P. has over 20 years of experience in business turnaround and restructuring, entrepreneurship, venture capital, JV and acquisitions in USA and East Asia. He has management experience in running companies that range from start-ups to a small public company listed on the American Stock Exchange. He obtained both his MBA and MSEE degrees from Columbia University. He was a member of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization, serving as a board member of the Hong Kong chapter in 2002 and 2003. He also served as a development advisor and associate for the Global Chinese Business Initiative at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania from 1998 to 2001. As an new immigrant coming to New York City in 1980’s, Y.P. has first-hand experience in the struggling at the bottom of the society to achieving the American dream. It took him 23 years from selling Dim Sum in a Chinese restaurant to being a CEO of a public-listed company in the USA.