The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and NBCUniversal are launching a new Hollywood initiative aimed at the next generation of Asian and Pacific Islander associate and coordinator-level associates.
The CAPE Emerging Executives Committee (CEEC) will serve as an accelerated pathway for a select group of assistants and coordinators as part of a one-year program. Participants will work together within the initiative – help them build a community – and have opportunities for growth and mentorship.
“As both a member of the AAPI community and someone whose first job in the industry was as a
assistant, I can personally attest to the value of this opportunity to these individuals,” Craig
Robinson, executive vp and chief diversity officer at NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “We are grateful to our partners at the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment for working with us on this opportunity and we look forward to seeing the inaugural committee excel.”
“The assistant and coordinator levels are the gateway to much of the industry. Without proper guidance and support, careers at this stage can languish and stagnate longer than necessary,” said Michelle K. Sugihara, executive director of CAPE. “CAPE is excited to launch this unique assistant-by-assistant program and we are excited to have it supported by two of our CAPE Leaders Fellowship alumni.”
CEEC is co-chaired by Mohan Mandali, VP, Development and Production, Fabel Entertainment, and Duane Luu, Director, Drama Development, NBCUniversal. Both are graduates of the 2020 CAPE Leaders Fellowship, upon which the Executive Committee initiative builds. In its seventh year, the leading accelerator equips emerging senior creative executives with the skills and professional network to break into the VP ranks and beyond.
“As we progressed through the ranks of assistants and coordinators, we very rarely had organic opportunities to meet other API individuals at our level who were going through the same experiences as us,” Mandali and Luu said in a joint statement. “We hope that this program, with CAPE as a channel, will open doors for emerging people in the industry to connect with the larger API community in film and television.”
The committee’s first public event, held at All Season Brewing in LA, was open to all Asia Pacific entertainment industry assistants and coordinators.
CEEC is just the latest opportunity from CAPE, a premier non-profit organization founded more than 30 years ago to provide opportunity and drive success among Asian and Pacific Islanders in Hollywood. The initiative joins the organization’s other programs such as the CAPE New Writers Fellowship, the CAPE Leaders Fellowship, the CAPE Animation Directors Accelerator and the Julia S. Gouw Short Film Challenge, which is run in conjunction with Janet Yang Productions.
Among the nonprofit’s other endeavors is the CAPE Database, a public database for talent, executives, representatives and more from Asia and Pacific Islands, which is in beta.
The inaugural group of committee members includes Angela Fei, coordinator, drama development, NBCUniversal Television & Streaming; Jane Nguyen, Assistant, TV Literature, UTA; Joban Gill, executive assistant, film production and development, 21 rounds; Kristina Cuello, Chaplain Management Coordinator; Rachel Yuan, executive assistant to the president of Imagine Television; and Wai Wing Lau, formerly and executive assistant at Hidden Pictures.
Read more about the Commission 2023 below.
Angela Fei, Coordinator, Drama Development, NBCUniversal Television & Streaming
Born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley to first-generation Chinese immigrants, Angela is currently a coordinator at NBCUniversal, where the drama development team oversees upcoming titles in NBC, USA, SyFy, and Peacock. She first entered the industry as the head of marketing for feature films and has since seen many sides of the entertainment industry, from film festival programming to supporting the costume design team of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Jane Nguyen | Assistant, TV Literature, UTA
Jane Nguyen is a Vietnamese American born and raised in Orange County. She is currently with United Talent Agency where she works in the TV Literary Department. She graduated from UCLA in 2021 with a BA in Sociology and a Film/TV Minor. In her free time, Jane enjoys reading webtoons, playing beach volleyball and tennis.
Joban Gill | Executive Assistant, Film Production and Development, 21 rounds
Joban Gill works at 21 Laps on the production and development of upcoming films and series Crater (Disney+), The boogeyman (20th), All the light we can’t see (Netflix) and Alexander and the terrible, terrible, not good, very bad day (Disney+). She received her BA in economics from UC Berkeley in 2018 and began her career as a rotation trainee at Bad Robot Productions and then as an assistant at Weimaraner Republic Pictures / New Mandate Films, where she worked on King Richard, (Warner Bros.), The survivor (HBO) and Hocus Pocus 2 (Disney+). In her spare time she enjoys writing and playing music.
Kristina Cuello | Coordinator, Curate Management
Originally from Naples, Florida, Kristina works in film, TV, books/IP and internationally at Curate Management. Prior to joining the company, she worked for several New York-based advertising agencies, commercial production house Sanctuary Content, and Sunswept Entertainment, assisting with Amazon’s The summer when I became beautiful and the forthcoming Children of Blood and Bone at Paramount Pictures. She received her BA in economics and film studies from Yale University in 2020 and is currently in post-production on MIDASan indie feature film she produced in 2022.
Rachel Yuan | Executive assistant to president of Imagine Television
Rachel Yuan is an assistant to the president of Imagine Television. Prior to Imagine, Rachel worked in the Book Rights Department at Creative Artists Agency, Assistant at Anonymous Content, and internships in television development at Legendary, Alloy Entertainment, Fabel Entertainment, and Franklin Entertainment. Rachel grew up in Orange County and received her BA and MBA from the University of Georgia.
Wai Wing Lau | Formerly Executive Assistant, Hidden Pictures
Wai Wing Lau was an executive assistant at Hidden Pictures where he helped found and develop feature films and television. Prior to Hidden, he worked at Mandeville Films, RBEL, and NBCUniversal. He was also a mentee of the Women Wednesdays BIPOC Mentorship Program and Hillman Grad Mentorship Labs. Wai Wing is originally from Brooklyn and received his BA in English and Cinema Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.