Yearly report: 2017 United Chinese Americans UCA Illinois Chapter Year End Report


“United Chinese Americans” (UCA) is a nationwide nonprofit 501 (C) (3) and nonpartisan federation of organizations and individuals dedicated to empowering Chinese American communities through civic participation, political engagement, heritage sharing, and youth development for the wellbeing of all Americans. 


                     WE VOLUNTEER

                                WE SERVE

                                         WE GIVE

                                                  WE VOTE

                                                            WE CARE

                                                                     WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever had!"

- Margaret Mead







Lily Chen is a nurse educator and taught at University of Iowa, University of Illinois in Chicago, and currently is a full time instructor at Northern Illinois University School of Nursing. She has diverse nursing and administrative background as Assistant Director of Nursing at Home Health Agencies, and worked at acute care, community care settings including schools with various roles. As a social entrepreneur, Lily has passionately promoted elder care exchanges and training between China and US since 2012 by leading US delegations to and hosting delegations from China. She spoke at the state and international elder care conferences including the third China International Senior Service Expo’s (CISSE) 2014, and invited as a panelist for the Inaugural Columbia-Fudan Global Summit on Population Aging in Shanghai in 2016. For nearly two decades, Lily has volunteered at local schools and community organizations at various capacities from girl scout leader to vice presidents for two non for profit organizations, as well as at local and state aging committees.  As a volunteer community organizer, she has been a site coordinator for senior health insurance counseling past five years, and conducted multiple community education programs for elderly. In March 2016, through the incredible leadership of a core team that Lily was major part of, the team helped mobilize Chinese community in Chinatown and elect the first Chinese American state representative Theresa Mah.  Lily contributed significantly to United Chinese American UCA inaugural convention 2016 in fundraising, youth programming, and outreach. Working with other dedicated volunteers, besides being instrumental in organizing multiple community service projects (2017 UCA Illinois Jiaozhi fest , and UCA Chinese parents American Children conference in April, 2017), Lily participated in Marine tutoring project piloted by American Youth for Services, a local high school juniors/seniors self operating program in the summer of 2016.  


Lily received her master’s degree in nursing administration from University of Iowa, is married and blessed with five wonderful children age 14-24 with one son-in-law. She enjoys bible study and yoga, and is a tri athlete.





Steven C. Hugh is the founder and president of All Trans International, an International Transportation and Logistics company that has provided international logistical needs of many successful U.S.A. corporations, including several Fortune 500 companies.  A few years after starting All Trans International, Steven Hugh successfully established another company, Superior Brands Corporation, a wholesale company that focuses on importing and exporting products between North America and Asia.  Superior Brands Corporation is a well-known supplier to many successful American retailers, such as Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Menards and other big box stores in the United States. Steven Hugh also is chairman of Hugh Real Estate Corporation, a real estate investment company. In 2015, Steven led a very successful trade mission of many American fashion brands to China.  The endeavor was notable as a first pioneer of its kind of trade mission to be led by a Chinese American. Steven has also been invited to the White House and the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide counsel to President Obama’s economic team.


Steven has been a very active member and a strong voice for the Chinese American community for more than 20 years. He has been promoting the civil rights and civil engagements of Chinese Americans in the main stream America. As his family has immigrated to U.S. from almost one hundred years ago, and experienced the painful discrimination against the Asian Americans for a long time, he feels strongly and takes actions to make sure that the Chinese Americans unite together to protect their own rights. He has given his time and money generously to the Chinese American community to make sure our community to prosper together. He was awarded the "Successful Immigrant Award" by CMAA - Chinese Mutual Aid Association in 2016.


Steven and his wife, Elizabeth, have been happily married for 23 years and are the proud parents of two wonderful children, Stanley and Tiffany.


dr holton pic


Vice Chair


Dr. John K. Holton is an educator and public servant trained in understanding the life course of human development. Dr. Holton comes to Concordia University Chicago most recently from Illinois state government where he served as Director of the Department on Aging and cabinet member for Governors Patrick Quinn and Bruce Rauner. Under his leadership, the Department on Aging grew to become the state’s third largest funded human services department with resource capacities to support a statewide network of private organizations and faith-based institutions providing home and community-based services, protective services, housing, meal, transportation, and counseling services for hundreds of thousands of senior Illinoisans and their caregivers.  

As an educator, Dr. Holton began his career in public education in Hartford, Connecticut and before leaving the area, opened the first alternative high school for high-risk adolescents living in group homes.  He later taught as an adjunct professor at the School for New Learning at DePaul University, the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, and the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.  He was the founding site director for the Project on Human Behavior in Chicago Neighborhoods, a ground-breaking longitudinal study by the Harvard TA Chan School of Public Health.  In the field of human development, Dr. Holton directed the first Chicago Chapter of the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse (now, Prevent Child Abuse America) and received recognitions for its innovations to reduce child maltreatment by the Children’s Bureau (U.S. Department of Human Services) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  His other human development initiatives include infant mortality reduction in low-income communities and community based strategies aimed at preventing juvenile delinquency and school failure.

Dr. Holton is a social psychologist who continues to teach, advise, and consult for a widening body of consumers. He is in demand as a speaker and consultant worldwide on topics addressing aging services.  His education includes a PhD from The Pennsylvania State University, a MEd from the University of Hartford, and BA in Political Science from Howard University. He is the author of several articles, a presenter in five continents, and the father of two sons, two daughters, and two granddaughters and one grandson.  





Mrs. Ren Li, received her MBA degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000 and worked for 14 years at a top marketing research company based in Chicago. Before that, she earned her MA degree in English Literature focusing on teaching pedagogy from Wuhan University in 1996 and her BA in English from Capital Normal University in 1990. She taught English in university and then later at the Foreign Affair Office for 10 years in China before she came to the United States.

Mrs. Ren Li, received her MBA degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000 and worked for 14 years at a top marketing research company based in Chicago. Before that, she earned her MA degree in English Literature focusing on teaching pedagogy from Wuhan University in 1996 and her BA in English from Capital Normal University in 1990. She taught English in university and then later at the Foreign Affair Office for 10 years in China before she came to the United States.





Dr. Steven Wang, the chairman of Wells Plumbing & Heating Supplies, has more than 17 years of experience in entrepreneurship, real estate development and investment, hotel and property management.  Not only in business management and leadership, Mr. Wang has also been devoting his time to community services that focus on the wellbeing and prosperity of all the neighbourhoods. He has shown great supports that were instrumental in the campaign activities for Theresa Mah’s who now serves as the State Representative forth 2nd district in Illinois. He has also been supporting Hanul Family Alliance, a Non-profit Organization that provides social services to the Korean-American community, and became a major donor to the organization’s Annual Benefit Event.  Mr. Wang strongly advocates the UCA’s mission and will continue participating in social events and put in efforts to unify and develop social organizations, civic leadership, and Chinese American business communities in the US. Mr. Wang holds the Ph.D degree in Economics from University of Chicago and Master degree in Economics from Beijing University.



Communication Chair

Prof/Dr. Grace Wu Lavitt is the founder and president of Enhanced Profile Image (Enhanced Pi), a design and market promotion company that is aiming to build impactful public images for it's clients. She is an imaging expert who conducted her Postdoc Fellowship on Image Processing at the Harvard Medical School. Before establishing her company, Dr. Lavitt was an accomplished Imaging Laboratory Director for ten years,  and an expert on computerized Image Processing and achieved academic top rank as an associate professor at one of the world's top 10 universities, the University of Chicago.


Katherine Wang

Chair for young professional leadership council

Katherine is a senior equity research associate with a Chicago-based multi-strategy investment management company covering the U.S energy sector. In her day-to-day work, she develops an intimate knowledge on public company business models and corporate strategies, performs investment valuation and monitors macroeconomics trends. She also supports the company’s Special Situations strategy on private financing and leveraged buyouts.

Katherine has been an active student leader since high school. She was involved in several non-for-profit school projects during college that aimed to increase the welfare of local communities. As a founding member of the Chinese Business Student and Alumni Association, she frequently mentors students at University of Illinois and attends career coaching conferences.

Katherine holds a M.S degree in Finance from University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign and a B.S degree in Math and Economics from Stony Brook University, where she graduated Cum Laude. As an avid reader of history and a baking enthusiast, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs.



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