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A Message from APANA's President, Pat Basu

Greetings and Happy New Year:

I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your votes during the recent Asian Pacific American Network in Agriculture (APANA) election. I am overwhelmed by the unanimous support for my candidacy. In turn, I request your continued support for the next two years. With your support, I believe APANA will be able to serve as the unified voice for all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in USDA.

Over 13 million Americans and U.S. residents proudly trace their ancestry to the many nations that make up Asia and the Pacific islands. For generations, Americans of Asian and Pacific heritage have strengthened our Nation through their achievements in all walks of life, including business, politics, government, education, community service, the arts and science. In USDA, we are fortunate to have over 2000 AAPI employees, mostly in professional and technology series.

While we may have different roots and may speak different languages, the AAPI group is known for their high values in family welfare, education, dedication and sincere service to the nation and abroad. We are like a bundle of sticks tied together; each of the individual fragile stick gets strength through the power of the entire bundle of sticks; and this bundle of sticks become stronger with greater unity and increased volume of the sticks. This Eastern wisdom demonstrates why membership in APANA is so important.

I am very fortunate to have a fantastic team of elected officials:

  • Dr. Marjorie Medina, Vice-President, is the first person to join the APANA elected body from one of the APANA Chapters located outside of the Washington, DC Headquarters area. Majorie has been an active leader for the USDA AAPI community through our Philadelphia Chapter. She was recently recognized for all her charitable work for the Katrina flood relief victims from the USDA-NFC in New Orleans.
  • The Secretary is Dr. Bharat Patel. Bharat is well known to many of the USDA employees through his former role as an elected official of APANA, the SEPM (2001-2004) for AAPI activities and his various roles in coordinating the AAPI Heritage Month Celebration in USDA.
  • The Treasurer is Ms. Lily Thienard. Lily is a young Information Technology professional. Lily is trained in multiple Web site technologies and will also serve as the APANA Webmaster.

As the President of APANA, with my very competent team, our first and foremost task is to enhance unity and strength of APANA with increased membership and outreach to all AAPI employees in USDA. With your active support, cooperation and dialogue, we plan to develop and implement an Action Plan for the next two years.

With the blessing of key members of the APANA Executive Committee, one initiative we have already started is our goal to start new APANA Chapters or re-invigorate existing Chapters throughout the United States. Because of her experience with the Philadeplhia Chapter, I have asked Marjorie to take the lead in this effort. Marjorie will work with any and all the other Chapters, helping them create their Chapter Constitution and By-Laws and membership drives.

The parent APANA body in the DC headquarters will not seek any monitory gain from these Chapters. However, they will be governed by our basic Mission, Vision, etc (see below). We will try to assist these Chapters through whatever means available, so that every USDA-AAPI employee can maximize their career potential and increase job satisfaction. Through the local Chapters and from the Headquarters, we want to target future potential USDA employees from the AAPI population at top American universities.

I have requested Bharat to set up monthly meetings. We will try to hook up all interested employees through a conference line. I will be on vacation in India from January 3rd to 23rd, 2006. Marjorie will be vacationing in the Philippines from January 10th to 28th, 2006. Therefore, our first official meeting will be in February, 2006.

We will try to set up a meeting with the APANA Executive Committee in early 2006, to seek guidance as to our future plans and to create a strategic plan, operating principles, goals and objectives. The existing Vision, Mission and Objectives of APANA are attached below. Your comments and guidance are needed and are always welcome.

Thank you again. I look forward to working with all of you for the next two years.

Pat Basu
Asian Pacific American Network in Agriculture

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A Message from APANA's President
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