Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Grace Park, Daisuke Nakazawa & Alessandro Borgognone, and Ming Chen Hsu Honored with Apex for Youth 2014 Inspiration Awards

Grace Park, Actress, Daisuke Nakazawa, Chef and Owner & Alessandro Borgognone, Restaurateur and Owner, Sushi Nakazawa, and Ming Chen Hsu, Former Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission; J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation, Trustee; Committee of 100 Member, were presented with Apex for Youth 2014 Inspiration Awards at the Annual Gala Benefit Black Tie Dinner on April 23, 2014 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

Apex Inspiration Awards celebrate outstanding leaders who model the values we seek to instill in our youth, who come from underserved Asian and immigrant communities throughout New York City’s Lower East Side.

Over 90% of the 500 children Apex works with live in poverty and have a high school dropout rate of almost 30%. On top of that, only 1% of public and foundation funding goes to causes focusing on the Asian community. Founded in 1992, Apex for Youth delivers possibilities to underserved Asian and immigrant youth in New York City by recruiting volunteers to mentor and inspire. Through its mentoring and educationsal programs for students from 1st to 12th grade, Apex volunteers give these children the tools to build their self-confidence, explore academic and career goals, develop a sense of community and service, and gain leadership skills to help them overcome the many challenges they face.



Grace Park currently stars as Officer Kono Kalakaua in the CBS television series “Hawaii Five-O,” and is best known to audiences for her starring role on the critically acclaimed series, “Battlestar Galactica,” in which she played not one but two leading roles. Her performance in the season one cliffhanger garnered her a place in TV Guide’s “100 Most Memorable Moments in TV History.” The series received a Peabody Award in 2006 and has been named one of television’s best shows by Rolling Stone, TV Guide, The New York Times Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Newsday.

 Alessandro Borgognone and Daisuke Nakazawa

Alessandro Borgognone and Daisuke Nakazawa

Daisuke Nakazawa is the chef and co-owner, along with Alessandro Borgognone, of Sushi Nakazawa in New York City, which opened in August 2013 to rave reviews including a perfect four stars from the New York Times. For 11 years, Nakazawa trained at the three Michelin-starred restaurant Jiro under the guidance of the world famous Jiro Ono, subject of the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011). After watching the documentary, Alessandro Borgognone lured then-apprentice Daisuke Nakazawa to New York with what would eventually become his eponymous restaurant. Borgognone, also the founder of Little Cupcake Bakeshop, is the youngest restaurateur to receive a four star review from The New York Times.

Ming Chen Hsu

Ming Chen Hsu

Ming Chen Hsu is a former Commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission, appointed by former President George H.W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate in 1990. She served for ten years until January 2000. In this capacity, she worked on government-related issues, in particular legislative and regulatory actions affecting carriers, shippers, NVOs and U.S. Ports. Prior to her service as Federal Maritime Commissioner she served as New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean’s Special Trade Representative and Director of the Division of International Trade and led over twenty missions overseas to promote U.S. exports and attract foreign investments to New Jersey cities and counties. Ming Hsu is now a consultant on international business.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
Apr. 29-May 17: Gordana Rashovich, Mia Dillon and Brian Murray Lead Cast of Westport Country Playhouse’s A SONG AT TWILIGHT
May 19: The Orphan of Zhao’s BD Wong and A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff in Conversation at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater
May 1-30: Eating Cultures, A Multidisciplinary Art Exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center, Features Christine Toy Johnson, Cathy Lu, Genevieve Erin O’Brien, Kate Hers Rhee and More
Jun. 4-29: Tony Award–winner BD Wong Leads Cast of A.C.T.’s U.S. Premiere of Orphan of Zhao, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Leads 2014 Tony Award Nominations; Bryan Cranston, LaTanya Richardson, Neil Patrick Harris, Mark Rylance, Audra McDonald, Leigh Silverman among nominees
Signature Theatre to Be Honored with the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award
Photos: Late Night with Holy Land’s Jojo Gonzalez
Apr. 26: Garth Kravits, Suzzanne Douglas, Erin Dilly, Gavin Lee and More Set for “From Carousel to Kinky Boots”, Bickford Theatre Guild’s annual fundraiser
Photos: André Braugher, Ami Brabson, Christine Toy Johnson, Antoinette LaVecchia, Richard Topol, Victor Williams, Nikkole Salter, Elizabeth Van Dyke at Oni Faida Lampley’s Tough Titty at the Paradise Factory
Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang Receives $275,000 Doris Duke Artist Award
Miss Saigon’s Francis Jue Receives Elliot Norton Award Nomination for Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actor
Photos: On the Town with Rome Neal, Jazz Vocalist and Star of Laurence Holder’s MONK
Apr. 22 – May 18: Working Theater Presents The off-Broadway Premiere of James McManus’ CHERRY SMOKE at Urban Stages
André De Shields, Mary Zimmerman, Among 4 Elliot Norton Award Nominations for Huntington’s World Premiere of The Jungle Book, a co-production with The Goodman
Photos: Bryan Cranston, Peter Jay Fernandez, Roslyn Ruff, Tamara Tunie, Leslie Uggams, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Celebrate All The Way Opening Night
Photos: AALDEF Honors Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi, and John Chou in 2014 at 40th Anniversary Celebration
Apr. 23-27: Joel de la Fuente Stars in Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths at PlayMaker’s Repertory Company
Jun. 22 – July 27: Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Set for Old Globe Debut in OTHELLO
Apr. 17-May 18: Tonya Pinkins and Roscoe Orman Lead the Cast of New Federal Theatre’s Off-Broadway Production of The Fabulous Miss Marie
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz Presents “LADY” Featuring Lia Chang, Monica Garrido, Carolyn Holmes, Noel Simon’ Wippler, Linda Hudson, Adi Meyerson and Kathleen Doran
Photos: Harriet Harris, John Tartaglia, Christine Toy Johnson, Alan Muraoka, James Saito and More celebrate Ann Harada’s Debut at Lincoln Center in the American Songbook Series
Photos: Steve Rosen, David Rossmer, Hannah Elless, Vadim Feichtner, Cathryn Salamone, Ken Triwush and Kate Wetherhead Celebrate The Other Josh Cohen Opening Night
Q & A with Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play’s Garth Kravits
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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