In Memoriam (1981 - 2022)




The Judge Alvin T. Wong Pioneer Award

Hemanth Digumarthi (1981 - 2002) | Posthumous

Past President, Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (2015 - 2016)

Associate | Cruz & Associates


Hemanth Digumarthi was a well-respected and broadly experienced litigator. Hemanth began his legal career as a prosecutor with the DeKalb County Solicitor General’s Office. During his time at the Solicitor’s Office, he tried a record number of jury trials to verdict. His colleagues honored him by creating and naming a trial award after him - The Diggy Award. He went on to serve as a trial attorney with both State Farm and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Additionally, he practiced labor and employment law at the Georgia Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He also briefly worked at a boutique criminal defense firm dedicated to representing individuals with mental health challenges. Most recently, he joined Cruz & Associates as a personal injury attorney.


Hemanth was a leader in our community and had a long and rich history of service with the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA). Hemanth had been part of the GAPABA family since he began his legal career. While attending Georgia State University College of Law, he served as President of the Asian American Law Student Association and acted as GSU's student liaison to GAPABA. Hemanth was proud and honored to serve as GAPABA’s President in 2015, which he proclaimed to be a “Year of Service” for the organization. During his tenure as President, the organization was awarded the prestigious National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Affiliate of the Year Award.


He was involved in developing GAPABA’s Annual Gala event since its inception, and watched with pride at its success and growth over the years. Hemanth was also a long-standing board member of the GAPABA Law Foundation (GLF). In 2022, he served on the inaugural GLF committee to select the first Award Recipients of the Law Student Public Interest Summer Scholarships. He was dedicated to mentoring law students and served as the co-director of NAPABA Law Foundation’s Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition, a national appellate competition. Hemanth traveled to Japan in 2015 as one of six Asian American leaders participating in a delegation organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan. Additionally, he was actively involved with the Atlanta Bar Association’s Wellness Committee where he led hikes in the metro area.


Most importantly, Hemanth was brimming with compassion and made an impact on all those who knew him. He will be remembered for his empathy and strong passion for helping others in our community.



GAPABA Outstanding Leadership Award

Michael C. Wu

Chief Legal Officer & Corp. Secretary

Bath & Body Works


Michael C. Wu serves as chief legal officer and corporate secretary of Bath & Body Works having joined the business in May 2021. Wu oversees the legal, ethics and compliance, regulatory compliance and trade compliance teams.


Wu is a four-time public company general counsel and corporate secretary with nearly 30 years of experience in growth companies and retail. He has deep expertise in corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, compliance and risk management, as well as in securities, merger and acquisition and international expansion.


Prior to joining Bath & Body Works, Wu served as chief legal officer and corporate secretary for Madewell, a division of J. Crew, where he drove the company’s preparation for an initial public offering and spin-off. He previously served as general counsel at Carter’s, a leading children’s apparel brand; Rosetta Stone, an education technology software company; and Teleglobe, an international telecommunications company.


Wu earned his undergraduate degree from Emory University and his juris doctorate degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Wu serves on the advisory boards of the Georgetown Law Corporate Counsel Institute and the Asian American Bar Association of New York. He is also a member of the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association board of directors.





General Counsel Diversity Champion

Tony West

Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, & Corp. Secretary

Uber


Tony West is Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary at Uber, where he leads a global team of more than 600 in the company’s Legal, Compliance and Ethics, and Security functions.


Previously, Tony was Executive Vice President Public Policy and Government Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at PepsiCo, a Fortune 50 corporation with net revenues of more than $63 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands like Gatorade, Tropicana, and Frito-Lay.


Tony has more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Tony was twice confirmed by the Senate to serve as a senior official in the Obama administration. From 2012 to 2014, Tony was the Associate Attorney General of the United States, the US Department of Justice’s third­‐ranking official, where he supervised many of the department’s divisions, including the Civil Rights, Antitrust, Tax, Environment and Natural Resources, and Civil Divisions, as well as the Office of Justice Programs, the Office on Violence Against Women, and the Community Oriented Policing Services Office. As Associate Attorney General, Tony pursued several financial institutions for their roles in precipitating the 2009 financial crisis, securing nearly $37 billion in fines and restitution for Americans who were harmed.


From 2009 to 2012, Tony was the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division, the largest litigating division of the Justice Department. As Assistant Attorney General, Tony led the Justice Department's review of the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), advocating strongly and successfully that the department abandon its long­‐standing defense of the statute because the law was unconstitutional.


When Tony left the Obama administration in 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder presented him with the Edmund J. Randolph Award, the Department of Justice's highest honor.

Earlier in his career, Tony was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of California, where he prosecuted a variety of federal crimes. He also served as Special Assistant Attorney General at the California Department of Justice and was a litigation partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco.


Tony graduated with honors from Harvard College, where he served as publisher of the Harvard Political Review, and received his law degree from Stanford Law School, where he was President of the Stanford Law Review.





Background and margins can also be set for the layout or for the placeholder within the page template.
Use CSS to fine-tune appearance and behavior. <a href="http://help.wildapricot.com/display/DOC/Gadgets#Gadgets-HTMLandCSSparameters/?utm_source=contexthelp&utm_medium=site&utm_campaign=contexthelp" target="_blank" >Learn more</a
Background and margins can also be set for the layout or for the placeholder within the page template.
Use CSS to fine-tune appearance and behavior. <a href="http://help.wildapricot.com/display/DOC/Gadgets#Gadgets-HTMLandCSSparameters/?utm_source=contexthelp&utm_medium=site&utm_campaign=contexthelp" target="_blank" >Learn more</a>

Women's Leadership Award

Hannah Kim

Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, Corp. Secretary & Chief Compliance Officer

Neiman Marcus Group


Hannah Kim is Chief Legal Officer for Neiman Marcus Group. Prior to joining NMG in July 2021, she served as Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Energizer Holdings, where she oversaw all worldwide legal affairs across functions, including government affairs and corporate compliance and ethics. Previous to that role, Hannah served as Assistant General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Energizer.


Hannah was formerly Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Bank of America from May 2016 to June 2018. She also served as Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Deputy Chief Compliance Officer and Assistant Corporate Secretary for the Lowe’s Companies, Inc. from October 2008 to May 2016.


She began her career as an attorney at Alston & Bird LLP and Parker Poe Adams and Bernstein LLP. Hannah holds a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.



Rising Star Award

Amy B. Cheng

President-Elect of the Atlanta Bar Association

Sr. Associate | Nelson Mullins


Amy B. Cheng is a Senior Associate at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, an Am Law 100 firm, who specializes in labor and employment, contract disputes, and white-collar defense. She assists employers resolve various disputes and advises clients on a range of general corporate issues. She is hailed by her colleagues, clients, and the community as being an excellent litigator with an eye for resolution. In April 2022, she was selected as an "On the Rise" honoree for the 2022 Georgia Legal Awards, recognizing Georgia's most promising lawyers under the age of 40. She is also a 2021 graduate of the LEAD Atlanta Class, and has been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Star for Business Litigation every year since 2019.

 

Outside of work, Amy devotes a considerable amount of time and energy to serving the community. In 2022, she was elected to serve as President-Elect of the Atlanta Bar Association, the largest voluntary legal association in the Southeast, serving more than 6,300 members. She began serving on the Atlanta Bar's Board of Directors in 2018, and by 2020, she was elected Treasurer, joining the Bar's Executive Committee. She also sits on the Board and is a part of the executive committee for the Association’s Litigation Section.

 

In 2022, Amy was appointed Co-Chair of GAPABA's Women's Leadership Network. She is also involved in other professional and community organizations, including Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, the Korean American Bar Association of Georgia, and the Georgia State Bar. 

 

A South Carolina native, Amy moved to Atlanta to attend college. She is a 2015 graduate of Emory University School of Law, where she was Managing Editor of the International Law Review and received the 2015 Best Law Student Award from the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers. She received her Master's of Public Health from the University of South Carolina (2012), and her B.Sc. in Biology from Emory (2009).

 

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, puppy, and friends.



Co-Emcee

Amara Walker

Anchor & Correspondent

CNN


Amara Walker is an anchor and correspondent based at the network's global headquarters in Atlanta.

 

Walker began her career at CNN as an anchor for CNN International in 2012. During her time with CNNI, she distinguished herself as one of the lead breaking news anchors having covered a number of live major international news events, without a script for hours on end.


As a CNN correspondent, Walker reported on the 2021 Atlanta spa massacre and the subsequent outcry from the Asian-American community against the increasing hate and racist incidents due to misplaced blame for the COVID-19 pandemic and Donald Trump’s rhetoric. She also co-hosted a primetime special with Anderson Cooper, Victor Blackwell, and Ana Cabrera, called “Afraid: Fear in America’s Communities of Color.”


During the contentious 2020 Presidential election and the Georgia Senate runoff, Walker was part of the election night team reporting on President Trump’s repeated attacks against the Georgia Secretary of State baselessly claiming fraud. Her subsequent reports focused on the investigations into Trump’s phone call pressuring the Secretary to “find” more votes after his loss to Joe Biden. She also reported on the presidential vote recount in Georgia.


Walker anchored the network’s coverage of the ongoing humanitarian and political crisis in Venezuela; and the large-scale demonstrations against a controversial extradition bill in Hong Kong in June 2019, helming the network’s rolling coverage of protesters storming the city’s Legislative Council building in June 2019. Walker was also live on the air as a fire ripped through Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in April 2019.


Born and raised outside of Los Angeles, Walker graduated Magna Cum Laude with a dual degree in political science and broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California. She speaks conversational Korean and Spanish.





Co-Emcee

Richard Lui

Author and News Anchor

MSNBC | NBC News


Author Richard Lui is a veteran and award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in television, film, technology, and business. Currently at MSNBC/NBC News and previously with CNN Worldwide, he is the first Asian American man to anchor a daily national cable news program, and a team Emmy and Peabody winner. He has just completed an Oscars Qualifying documentary on student caregivers in military families that will hit national broadcast and mainstream streaming in late spring 2021.


In addition, Richard’s 15-year business career involves a fintech patent and launching six tech brands over three business cycles. Richard has lived, worked, and volunteered on every continent. Learn more at www.richardlui.com.


In March 2021, he released his novel Enough About Me: The Unexpected Power of Selflessness, chronicling his decision to become a caregiver for his father who was diagnosed in 2014 with Alzheimer’s.


@2021  GAPABA    |    Established 1993    |    Affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software