Member of the Month: Stacey Yang

Tell us about yourself! It can be about anything – where you grew up, your professional background, your hobbies, etc.

Hi _______! (Insert your name in the blank space.) 大家好!

I’m Stacey. I was born in Alabama, and grew up in Missouri where the Asian population is only 2%.

From the Midwest, I headed to the East Coast where I graduated from Brown University, as well as studied abroad at the Stanford Japan Center, and attained an MBA from a top-20 business school in Europe.

With a background in business and entrepreneurship, I’m in the process of launching a start-up, inspired by my experiences caregiving for my father who sadly passed away earlier this year. Prior to his demise, it was heartbreaking to watch his debilitation from a physician in the OR to a bedridden invalid who required total care. Concurrently, I’m also working on an import/export venture.

My interests include reading, baking and cooking, golf, and globe-trotting. All-time favorite places because of their scenic vistas or architectural gems are Bergen and its surrounding fjords in Norway, Santorini and Mykonos in Greece, Prague in the Czech Republic, St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia, Monaco and Nice in France, Venice in Italy, Munich in Germany, Budapest in Hungary, Kyoto in Japan, and Natal and Angra Dos Reis in Brazil.

Ilha Formosa (Portuguese for Beautiful Island, i.e., Taiwan) is also on that list above, of course, with its natural and man-made beauty, such as that found in the Taiwan International Orchid Show. Out of the countless stunning photos I took, I’ve selected a smattering of highlights that really showcase Taiwanese creativity and artistry to share with y’all.

Why did you join TAP? What are your favorite events?

I joined TAP because although I had been involved in the Brown Taiwan Society during college, there was a hiatus afterwards during which I did not belong to any Taiwanese-American organizations and so I felt disconnected from my Taiwanese-American identity. I wish I had known about TAP earlier, so that I could have joined the community sooner.

Favorite TAP events are as follows:

· Cooking workshops and Taiwanese food fairs

· Dance classes (Kristie Kuo is a fantastic teacher!) and fitness activities

· TAP Book Clubs (which are so much more FUN than classroom book discussions)

· Cultural activities, like Taiwanese language class, Escape the Room in Mandarin, and Taiwan Trivia Night

· Unique opportunities, such as Lin Cho-Liang’s violin performance

What is your favorite Taiwanese food?

Taiwanese cuisine is scrumptious, and thus it’s impossible to choose only one.

Among my favorite Taiwanese food items:

虱目魚粥 (Milkfish Congee)
台式炒米粉 (Taiwanese Rice Noodles)
菜脯蛋 (Dried Radish Omelet)
空心菜 (Water Spinach)
絲瓜 (Loofah)
瓠瓜 (Bottle Gourd)
山竹 (Mangosteen)
釋迦 (Sugar/Custard Apple)
棗子 (Jujube)
仙草 (Grass Jelly)
杏仁豆腐 (Almond Tofu)
木瓜牛奶 (Papaya Milk)
還有很多… (and lots more…) 🙂

If we wanted to hang out, where would we find you?

Due to my peripatetic schedule that necessitates my crisscrossing the country or oceans on a plane, train or in an automobile, online is the best way to reach me. Once at my destination, I can be found at the local tea shop or Starbucks, which incidentally has quite a different yet delicious menu selection in Taiwan than here in the U.S.

What’s your advice for newer members who want to get more involved?

Expand your horizons by trying something you normally wouldn’t do:

For those who are introverted or shy, just show up at TAP events. Start by meeting the TAP board members (kudos to them for their dedication and effort), and then the other TAP event attendees.

For those who don’t drink, go to a TAPpy Hour anyways.

For those who don’t read (listen to the audiobook instead), participate in a TAP book club. “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

For those who don’t know how to cook, start learning at the TAP cooking workshops. Gradually you will acquire the cooking skills and culinary repertoire to prepare tasty and healthy meals at home.

For those who don’t like to exercise, try out different activities with TAP until you find something you enjoy or at least can tolerate. Physical fitness is imperative for health, wellness and longevity.

For those who travel around America, there are TAP chapters in other cities besides New York, including Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Seattle. So be sure to check out those TAP groups too if you happen to be visiting one of the aforementioned locales.

In the sage words of Master Shifu, “If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now.”