A tale of two of Orange County’s member-driven nonprofits
Orange County is the third most populous county in California with its more than three million people. It is the sixth most populous in the United States and the second most densely populated in the U.S., second only to San Francisco. Of the 34 cities comprising the county, four largest cities- Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, and Huntington Beach, have populations exceeding 200,000.
Of the 34 incorporated cities Anaheim was the first to be incorporated in 1870.
Orange County is home of attractions to world-class tourist magnets like Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and several beaches along its more than 40 miles coastline.
Orange County was at one time in U.S. history “the largest county to have declared bankruptcy in 1994” but has since recovered from the unfavorable image.
Orange County is one of the most diverse in terms population with over 50 ethnicities represented in its diversified demographic and serves as a microcosm of California’s increasingly diversifying make up.
ABAOC Connects: A panel of experts shares their experiences with the members of the Asian Business Association of Orange County at one of the events sponsored by the organization in Orange County. ABAOC President Tom Nguyen is at the podium moderating the exchange.
Asians make up 3 percent of the total population. Of the total Asian population, the Vietnamese at 6.1 percent, Koreans (2.9%), Chinese (2.7%), Filipinos (2.4%) Indians (1.4%), Japanese (1.1%), Cambodians (0.2%), Pakistanis (0.2%), Thais (0.1%), Indonesians (0.1%) and Laotians (0.1%).
Orange County has also the largest proportion of Asian Americans in Southern California where one in five residents are Asian American.
Orange County is also home to two of the most active nonprofit organizations which serve the needs of its members in the lucrative and thriving business community- the Asian Business Association of Orange County (ABAOC) and the Filipino American Chamber of Orange County (FACCOC).
FACCOC Courtesy Call: Officers of the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange pays a courtesy to Consul General Leo M. Herrera-Lim in this file photo to apprise the Consul General of the Chamber’s projects for Fil-Am entrepreneurs and professional in Orange County.
ABAOC was founded in 1992 “to meet the needs of the growing Asian businesses in Orange County” and envisions “to build an organization that would provide all Asian Americans the opportunity to gain access to economic advancement through networking, education and community representation”
For the last 24 years, ABAOC has been able to organize major events, networking mixers, procurement events and outreach programs with support coming from its members and other sectors.
ABAOC is one of the most diversified organizations in the county with its membership culled from various cultural and ethnic communities which enabled it to successfully implement projects that include Small Business Development Day, Business Matchmaking Workshops, Business Universities, Procurement Conference and Export Opportunities, Awards and Recognition Galas and monthly mixers.
FACCOC on the other hand, was organized in 1994, a crucial era in Orange County when the need arose for an organization to represent and highlight the Filipino entrepreneurs’ presence in the county. The birth came at a time when Orange County was experiencing the exodus of many Filipinos from the neighboring Los Angeles County who were increasingly wary of its congestion and were attracted to Orange County’s wide and healthy spaces.
FACCOC has provided the venue for Fil-Am entrepreneurs and professionals to network and establish camaraderie with people of similar inclinations.
The collaborative nature of FACCOC has enabled it to implement far-reaching programs for its members and the communities which it serves and has been successful in eliciting support from its pool of volunteers, the political community, and other organizations.
Both ABAOC and FACCOC concluded 2015 with impacts their implemented projects that will permeate 2016 and with both organizations’ memberships endowed with strong spirit of volunteerism a definite feature for the next level of community involvement.
Tom Nguyen serving serving his second term as President of ABAOC,while Edwin Baloloy is this year’s FACCOC president.