352. History of Taiwanese American Conference – West Coast (TAC-WC) / 黃東昇 /03/2020

History of Taiwanese American Conference – West Coast (TAC-WC)

     Edward Huang 黃東昇, February 26, 2020

The first TAC-WC was held at Squaw Valley of Lake Tahoe, CA, in July 1975.  The conference was organized by Taiwanese American Federation of Northern California (TAFNC 北加州台灣同鄉聯合會) and Taiwanese Alliance of Inter-culture (TAI 拹志會).  An entire list of past TAC-WC’s is attached at the end of this writing.

Professor Ken Huang (黃根深) of San Diego, an active member of Taiwanese community, devoted his life to all causes for Taiwan.  Unfortunately, he passed away in 2017. He had a conviction to hold TAC-WC every year by different regions of the west coast.  In the 11 years following the 1999 conference, there was only one TAC-WC held in 2003. During that period, Ken Huang tried to revive TAC-WC without success.  Despite the effort to persuade leaders in both San Diego and Los Angeles, the response to hold TAC-WC was lukewarm. Finally, he was very pleased to get support from Dr. Shyu-tu Lee (李學圖), then President of North America Taiwanese Professors’ Association (NATPA), to hold the 31st NATPA Annual Conference jointly with TAC-WC. This conference was held in July 2011 at the University of California, San Diego, coordinated by Ken Huang and Darice Lee (洪珠美). The following year, nobody else came forward to organize TAC-WC, and Ken and Darice again organized the 2012 TAC-WC at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Afterwards, though TAC-WC was held in San Jose (2013), Seattle (2014), Los Angeles (2015) and San Francisco (2016), a lot of effort was required to find a local leader to organize each TAC-WC.

In contrast, Taiwanese American Conference – East Coast (TAC-EC) has been held every year since 1970.  Daniel Ko (柯耀宗), a long-time resident in the East Coast, was active in TAC-EC.  In 2013, he retired and moved to the San Francisco Bay area.  He recognized that TAC-EC has a Board, consisting of five directors from five different regions. The Board has a responsibility of ensuring each of the five regions taking turns to hold the conference every year.  He urged TAC-WC to also establish a Board to guarantee a conference every year.

In 2016, a very successful conference, jointly organized by TAC-WC and NATPA in the San Francisco Bay Area, attracted 500 participants.  The conference was co-chaired by Jan-Yung Lin (林政原 President of TAFNC) and James Hsu (許正餘 President of NATPA), with Ed Huang (黃東昇) as the coordinator.   Happy to see the most successful TAC-WC in the past 6 years, Daniel Ko went on stage after the Saturday Taiwan Night, and asked the audience about their interest in continuing TAC-WC every year. The response from the audience was a resounding “Yes”.  Hence, as soon as the Taiwan Night show was over, Daniel Ko, Steve Lin (林俊提) and Ed Huang called leaders from different regions for a meeting to discuss the creation of the TAC-WC Board.  It was very encouraging to get unanimous votes of the leaders on the issue.  One urgent task at the meeting was to get a commitment from one region to organize the next TAC-WC in 2017. San Diego appeared to be a reasonable choice, since it held TAC-WC five years before. However, Taiwanese organizations in San Diego in general had their hands full with ongoing tasks to serve their community, and had no time to pick up additional project. Luckily, James Hsu of San Diego agreed to accept the job as the coordinator to organize the 2017 TAC-WC.

During the next 6 months, Ko, Lin and Huang worked very hard to form the TAC-WC Board. They consulted with many local leaders to define five regions, namely, Los Angeles, Las Vegas-Salt Lake City, Seattle, San Diego and San Francisco-Sacramento.  They also managed to seek a director from each of the 5 regions: Tony Lee (李賢群), Jim Wang (王進賢), John Chou (周昭亮), Ken Wang (王克雄) and Ed Huang (黃東昇).  And Daniel Ko (柯耀宗) was appointed as an advisor.  Meantime, Steve Lin took the lead in developing the bylaws, and Vivian Fu (傅郁子) of San Diego worked on the non-profit status.

By May 2017, TAC-WC officially announced the founding of TAC-WC Board, with Ken Wang of San Diego as chairman of the board. The board decided that TAC-WC to be held in the following order: San Diego (2017), Seattle (2018), Salt Lake City-Las Vegas (2019), Los Angeles (2020) and San Francisco (2021), and to be continued sequentially in five-year cycle.

In 2018, John Chou of Seattle and Douglass Chiang (江文基) of Vancouver organized a Joint Conference of TAC-WC with Annual Conference of Taiwanese Canadian Association in Vancouver.  In 2019, Jim Wang of the University of Utah organized TAC-WC in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 2020 TAC-WC is being organized by Ken Wu in LA. The establishment of the TAC-WC Board ensures TAC-WC to take place every year. The next challenge is to pass on the baton to the second generation.


Source from Dr. E. Huang 02/2020

Posted in 03/2020