DSCC celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander month; engineer wins annual award

By Michael Molinaro DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Columbus’ military installation celebrated the country’s fastest growing demographic and honored a federal employee for his commitment to achieving excellence in the community.

Defense Supply Center Columbus held its annual Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month celebration May 25 inside DLA Land and Maritime’s headquarters building auditorium and handed out the 2016 Shoong Yin Award.

Milton Lewis, Land and Maritime’s acquisition executive, welcomed everyone to the commemoration, saying “Generation after generation, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have forged a proud legacy that reflects the spirit of our Nation–a country that values the contributions of everyone who calls America home.” 

Focusing on the theme of “Walk together, embrace differences, build legacies” guest speaker Nancy Pyon spoke about the contributions Asian-Americans here in Columbus make to address the critical needs of their community, including organizations such as Columbus Community Relations Commission, Organization of Chinese Americans, and International Entrepreneur Ohio, where she is the executive director.

“I’ve observed these groups work well together in the AAPI community by walking together,” she said. “AAPI spans over 30 countries and 100 languages, and we’re all working on improving employment discrimination and high rates of poverty within the AAPI community.”

Pyon said that the AAPI community is the fastest growing group in the U.S. with a growth rate four-times that of the total U.S. population and projected to have a population of 16.6 million by 2050, which would make up 9.7 percent of the country.

Following Ms. Pyon was the Shoong Yin Award presentation to Yong Woong Lee, a civil engineer with DLA Installation Support-Columbus. Lewis said Lee was chosen “because he emulates Shoong’s dedication and commitment to the AAPI community and promoted equal opportunity employment for all Asian Pacific Americans on this installation.”

Yin was a dedicated associate who proudly represented his Asian American heritage throughout his career.  His efforts helped to establish and promote DSCC, and consequently DLA Land and Maritime’s strong AAPI Special Emphasis Program. 

In addition to the award presentations, two groups provided entertainment during the program. The Lao Volunteer Culture Dance Group performed the “Sane Sal Lao” dance while Michelle Marioth and the Defense Federal Community Choir performed “Found in You,” with portions of the song sung in Japanese.

The celebration was co-sponsored by the DLA Land and Maritime and Defense Finance Accounting Service Columbus AAPI Employment Programs.