Over the years, AAJA Sacramento has been fortunate to be led by dedicated leaders who have worked hard to advance our mission of diversity and inclusion.

AAJA Sacramento was founded in 1985, the fourth chapter to join what is now an organization of more than 1,600 members in 20 chapters across the United States and Asia.

AAJA Sacramento has been recognized with several national AAJA awards, including Chapter of the Year in 2006 and 2010; Sandy Louey named Chapter President of the Year in 2013; and Pamela Wu selected as Member of the Year in 2015.

Chapter history

October 6

How it all began

A photo from the first meeting of AAJA Sacramento.
The first AAJA Sacramento gathering was an informal meeting at Sacramento Bee reporter Judy Tachibana’s home.
October 6

Original board and chapter members

Original board and chapter members
From left to right: Janice Torres, Sandra Gin, unidentified, board member Edd Fong, board member Corrine Fat, Bob Nishizaki, Sharon Ito, board member Lonnie Wong, chapter president Judy Tachibana, Tony Acosta, Barbara Takei, and board member Sydney Kohara.
February 1

First project

Using the media cover.
A media guide first written and edited by Bill Sing with the Los Angeles Times and Karen Lee in 1982 was revised for the Sacramento area by members of AAJA Sacramento and the California Chicano News Media Association. The new guide was printed by The Sacramento Bee.
March 22

First community media workshop

Community media workshop.
The event was held at Sacramento City College.
May 3

First student outreach program

Sydnie Kohara.
The event offered career tips and was held at Sacramento City College.
June 7

First scholarship awards banquet

Lupita Aquino Kashiwahara
The event was held at the Woodlake Inn in Sacramento, and featured Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara, sister of the slain Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr.
June 6

Chapter commended by Sacramento City Council

City council resolution
June 6

Second annual scholarship awards banquet

Second annual scholarship awards banquet
“Actor Sab Shimono is one of Sacramento’s own. A graduate of Sacramento High School, Shimono first studied medicine at UC Berkeley before he realized that acting was in his blood.” (excerpt from event program)
June 16

Third annual scholarship awards banquet

Ben Fong-Torres
The event was held at the Sheraton Sunrise in Rancho Cordova.
June 27

Pat Morita Homecoming Dinner

Pat Morita at Sutter Club
AAJA Sacramento was among the sponsors for “A Sacramento Homecoming” for Pat Morita to mark the release of his film, The Karate Kid, Part III. The first event was a dinner at the Sutter Club. Morita’s family owned the Ariake Chop Suey restaurant in Sacramento.
June 28

The Karate Kid, Part III benefit premiere

Century Theater
On behalf of Columbia Pictures, Sacramento mayor Anne Rudin, presented a surprise birthday gift to Pat Morita at the premiere: keys to a new Ford F250 Lariat truck. Proceeds from the three events went to AAJA Sacramento, Adult Buddhist Association and Sacramento Asian Community Resources/Asian Legal Services Outreach.
June 28

Pat Morita film reception and birthday party

Pat Morita signing an autograph.
The third part of the Pat Morita “Sacramento Homecoming” was a film reception that also served as a celebration for the actor’s 57th birthday — also on June 28.
July 27

Fifth anniversary celebration

Michael Toshiyuki Uno
At the Kyoto Restaurant. Michael Toshiyuki Uno had just finished directing the pilot episode of a new Fox TV series, “Beverly Hills 90210” prior to his appearance in Sacramento.
June 20

Riverboat cruise

Riverboat cruise
The seventh annual Scholarship Awards were held on the paddlewheel river boat, The Matthew McKinley, which plied the Sacramento River. A buffet dinner was served.
September 18

AAJA Sacramento and AAJA San Francisco chapters go rafting

AAJA members rafting.
The two chapters took a whitewater rafting trip on the south fork of the American River in Sacramento.
March 24

Hitting the slopes at Northstar Ski Resort

AAJA members skiing.
Pictured: Lonnie Wong, Cynthia Gouw, Mark Morodomi and Ben Wong.
April 18

Connie Chung benefit luncheon

Jeannie Wong and Connie Chung.
Connie Chung was in Sacramento to anchor the “CBS Evening News” and to promote CBS affiliate KOVR-13 at the time of the luncheon. Chung would leave CBS one month later. The benefit also celebrated the chapter’s 10th anniversary.
June 1

Tribute to pioneers in journalism

Pioneers in journalism
KCBS-TV (Burbank) anchor Tritia Toyota served as the keynote speaker at the event, which celebrated (national) AAJA’s 15th anniversary. Four local pioneers were honored: Lonnie Wong (Fox 40 News), Judy Tachibana (Sacramento Bee), Gay Lum (Sacramento Bee), and K.W. Lee (Sacramento Union).
June 1

AAJA leaders celebrate 15th anniversary

15th anniversary photo
Back row: Lisa Chung, former AAJA executive director, Lonnie Wong, Jeannie Wong, Randall Yip, Kimberly Moy, Cynthia Gouw. Front row: David Ono, Tritia Toyota, AAJA executive director Sandra Michioku, and Sharon Ito.
June 2

AAJA member of the year

Kimberly Moy
Kimberly Moy, a reporter at the Sacramento Bee, was named AAJA member of the year at the national convention in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.
August 7

AAJA member of the year

Sandy Louey
Sandy Louey, a senior reporter at the Sacramento Bee, was named AAJA member of the year at the Dallas convention in 2002.
October 24

20th anniversary celebration

20th anniversary program
The chapter’s 20th anniversary celebration was held at KVIE’s studios.
June 21

AAJA chapter of the year

Chapter of the year 2006
The Sacramento chapter was awarded chapter of the year at the national convention in Honolulu.
August 7

Talk with photojournalist Laura Pohl

Laura Pohl program
The talk was held at the Eleanor McClatchy Center.
October 16

First chefs showcase

2006 chefs showcase program
The fundraiser featured chefs Wei Ming Deng of Frank Fat’s Restaurant, Mai Pham of Lemongrass Restaurant, and Brandon Sakamoto of Mikuni Japanese Restaurant Group. It was held at the KVIE studios.
October 22

First photo showcase and silent auction

Silent auction 2007
A total of 27 photos were featured in the first auction, with 13 from The Sacramento Bee. The fundraiser was held at the 20th St. Art Gallery.
June 1

First AAJA Sacramento-sponsored intern at the Sacramento Bee

Matt Kawahara
Matt Kawahara, a Sacramento native and UC Berkeley graduate, would later join the paper’s staff as a full time sports writer, covering baseball.
August 5

AAJA chapter of the year

Judy Lin and Pamela Wu, 2010
  Chapter co-presidents Judy Lin and Pamela Wu were presented with the award at the national convention in Hollywood. The chapter donated $25,000 to AAJA that year to help reduce the national organization’s budget deficit. AAJA Sacramento also challenged other chapters to match its gift.
October 4

25th anniversary celebration

2010 fundraiser program
The chapter benefit, a photo showcase and silent auction, was held at the 20th Street Art Gallery.
August 22

Chapter President of the year

Sandy Louey accepts the chapter president of the year award in 2013.
Sandy Louey, Information Officer at the California Energy Commission.
June 5

Data journalism workshop

2014 workshop
AAJA Sacramento teamed up with ONA (Online News Association) Sacramento to hold a data analysis workshop with Phillip Reese, a computer–assisted reporting specialist at The Sacramento Bee. The workshop was held at the Bee‘s office.
April 6

Student outreach at UC Davis

Student outreach at UC Davis
The luncheon featured Naomi Lee, a producer at KCRA, Judy Lin, a reporter with the Associated Press, and Ryan Yamamoto, a sports reporter and anchor with News10.
April 30

Student outreach at Sacramento State

Student outreach at Sacramento State
The luncheon focused on transitioning from college into the journalism workforce and featured News10 multimedia Web producer Maneez Iqbal, Sacramento Bee city editor Kevin Yamamura, and KCRA anchor/reporter Kathy Park.
August 13

AAJA Member of the Year

Pamela Wu
Pamela Wu, Director of Marketing and Communications at the UC Davis School of Law, was awarded member of the year at the AAJA national convention in San Francisco.
October 6

30th anniversary celebration

30th anniversary celebration
The fundraiser was held at the Elliott Fouts Gallery and featured Kevin O’Connor, chef at Saddle Rock, and Billy Ngo, chef and owner of Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine and Fish Face.
October 6

Lonnie Wong presented with service award

Sandy Louey and Lonnie Wong
Lonnie Wong, FOX40 reporter, was recognized for three decades of service to the Asian Pacific Islander community at the celebration.
October 6

Chapter presidents honored

Chapter presidents honored
Chapter presidents of AAJA Sacramento were recognized in the program book for the 30th anniversary celebration.
July 26

Chapter members debut documentary

Longtime AAJA Sacramento members Ryan Yamamoto and Suzanne Phan were on hand for the premiere of their documentary, “Arnold Knows Me — The Tommy Kono Story” at KVIE. Kono was a Sacramento weightlifting Olympian who learned the sport while he was at the Tule Lake Internment Camp.