This month, we are saying goodbye to four TAP-NY board members. We asked them to reflect on some of their favorite TAP memories and experiences – check below for their thoughts and a farewell letter from the outgoing president.

Jessica Chen, Outgoing Vice President

Jessica Yeung, Outgoing Design Chair

Victor Wang, Outgoing Vice President

Alex Shih, Outgoing President

Jessica Chen – Outgoing Vice President (TAP-NY Board 2015 – 2017)

1) What was your favorite TAP memory and why?

Oh geez, this is hard. I’ve accumulated countless memories over the past few years, making it pretty much impossible to name just one, so I’ll just go with my most recent favorite, which was our first-ever speed dating event in May. We wanted to do something different that TAP has never done before. Moreover, we wanted to challenge ourselves and elevate the event by incorporating an interactive love-themed trivia component as well. Overall, it was a smashing success if I do say so myself. A huge part of that was our quality group of speed daters — plucked right out of our own TAP talent pool. Everyone seemed to have a grand ol’ time, and perhaps even made a connection (or two or three?). It was fun playing matchmaker for one night. We’ve already done a 2nd event since the inaugural one, and hopefully there will be more to come in 2018. Stay tuned!

2) How has TAP helped you grow as a person and as a member of this community?

Some of my closest friends today are people I’ve met through TAP. These friends have galvanized me to become a better person — showing me how to be a kinder and more thoughtful human being.

I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to contribute to the rich and hearty TAP-NY community by strengthening and expanding our sports programs. Winning championships and taking names is great and all, but the best part is when teammates bond outside of games, whether it’s over a gluttonous hot pot feast or a night of debauchery in K-town.

I will cherish the memories I’ve shared with every single person I’ve met through TAP (albeit many of those are hazy TAPpy Hour or Lunar New Year Banquet memories, but hey, it still counts).

3) What are some words of advice you would give to incoming board members?

Attitude determines your altitude

Jessica Yeung – Outgoing Design Chair (TAP-NY Board 2015 – 2017)

1) What was your favorite TAP memory and why?

One of my top memories was attending board alum Jacqui Wu’s wedding to Jeff Hsieh. Weddings are a once in a lifetime event for a couple, but it’s also a once in a lifetime event for their friends. We witnessed two longtime TAP members getting married, officiated by another board alum, no less. Afterwards, we stood around reminiscing about past memories and excitedly anticipating new ones. The night topped off with us dancing unapologetically to classic wedding beats. The whole evening was bathed in a warm TAP glow that none of us wanted to dissolve. Their wedding was a true testament to TAP’s power to connect people for a lifetime.

2) How has TAP helped you grow as a person and as a member of this community?

I’ve had so many firsts because of TAP —  first time cleaning up trash from a river, first time going to Circle, first time reading a book by a TA author, first time attending a wedding in New York! Of all of these firsts, the volunteer events have been some of my favorites. Our daily lives are fast-paced and isolated, so when there’s an opportunity to do something for someone else, it put everything into perspective. Not only did I try some new activities, but I also explored some personal ambitions with the encouragement of my fellow board members. I would have never tried these things or made so many new friends along the way had I not joined the board.

3) What are some words of advice you would give to incoming board members?

Try to talk to five new people at every event. This was a huge challenge for me because I’m not an inherently outgoing person with strangers. But, if you follow this piece of advice, you’ll be surprised how many interesting people you’ll meet! The first time I did that, I ended up with a new friend, a new job, and a position on a prestigious young professionals club 😉

Victor Wang – Outgoing Vice President (TAP-NY Board 2014 – 2017)

1) What was your favorite TAP memory and why?

 Too many to count! But I’ll try..

I could go on and on..

2) How has TAP helped you grow as a person and as a member of this community?

The best thing about TAP is undoubtedly the people.

I’ve made friends with those in industries very different from mine. For example, I got to play volleyball with Jesse who became my dentist and work alongside Joanne who started her own fashion line. While we might share the same culture, it was fascinating to learn about the day-to-day lives of others and also hear differences in perspectives.

Another unexpected benefit was I got was making friends with folks in other TAP chapters geographically located all over the country. I went to visit Atlanta, Austin, LA, and Seattle, all for the first time because of Convention. I even spent a New Year’s Eve in Taipei with officers from Boards. Now, whenever I travel to another city, there’s always somebody in TAP to go see.

3) What are some words of advice you would give to incoming board members?

Be bold and dive right in.

Don’t worry so much about asking for permission or doing things differently than how we’ve done before. You’ll realize that TAP is just a great excuse to make things happen – whether it’s throw a fashion show, or a fancy gala, or even a beef noodle soup contest (hint hint)..

The best part is once you’re set on an idea, the entire Board comes together to help you make it happen, all in. That’s 10+ people who immediately want you to succeed. Even in the worse hypothetical (e.g. your event ends up being a flop), at least you know you’ll have a good time hanging out with your fellow Board members which is incredibly reassuring.

Speaking of Board members, these are some of my favorite people in NYC – smart, motivated, hilarious. Take advantage of this opportunity to work on a team of this caliber on a mission that actually impacts real people in the greatest city in the world.

Finally, it is my hope that you will also be all in. I’m not saying put your life on hold or neglect other important parts of your life. But you’d be surprised at how well TAP can integrate with your other goals. Whether it’s to be more active (join one of our many sports teams or start one of your own), travel (Convention is twice a year at a different major US city), or even start a company (I did this one), I’ll bet that there is somebody in TAP who is also interested and would be willing to join you.

So try to put in as much as you can. I promise you won’t regret it.

Alex Shih – Outgoing President (TAP-NY Board 2012 – 2017)

Dear TAP-NY Community,

I was 21 years old when I attended my first TAP-NY board meeting. Somehow, all of a sudden, I will turn 28 in a couple of days. I have been so privileged to be a part of the TAP-NY board over these past few years, to have the opportunity to bring ideas to life and create experiences for our members that grow and strengthen our community. I’m very proud of what we accomplished together, and wanted to write some words of thanks to those who defined my experience.

First, thank you to the 2012 to 2017 TAP-NY boards (especially the 2015, 2016, and 2017 boards for somehow putting up with me as president). From you guys, I saw how much more we could do together. Maybe it was as simple as optimizing check-in at TAPpy Hour, or maybe it was something more complicated and stress-inducing like planning our Vermont ski trip. I learned about leadership – how we can help each other grow, how I guide others, and how I could disagree with a decision but commit to it anyway. Most importantly, thank you for the memories we made: Sunday meetings, van rides to retreat, cruising on a yacht while eating Grimaldi’s, late nights at the old Kunjip, Legos, scrambling to sell raffle tickets at the gala, rage cage, Fifty Shades, many more.

Next, thank you to our members. Everyone who comes to a TAP-NY event is a member, and seeing the connections form between them has been one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been lucky enough to see. Husbands and wives who met through TAP-NY. Roommates and teammates. Best men and bridesmaids. Business partners. Job referrals. Elementary school classmates reunited. Another person who really likes Jay Chou and Taiwanese dramas. A special shout out to our volunteers who made all of these interactions possible by checking people in at TAPpy Hour, serving food for hours, taking photos incessantly, brainstorming trivia questions, and more. These relationships are what have allowed our community to blossom.

Thank you to the community leaders that I’ve been lucky enough to meet and we’ve been able to collaborate with. Beyond putting on events together and supporting each other, I learned about the causes you support, the small businesses that you’ve opened, and the people you tirelessly serve.

Joan Didion wrote a famous essay about leaving New York City called “Goodbye to All That.” I originally wanted to write something here and title it “Goodbye to all TAP.” But I look at the people I just wrote about: the TAP-NY board, our members, community leaders. And while I’ve segmented these groups for the purposes of this note, I realize I could have just said: thank you to my friends. Because that is what you all are to me. And even though I am rolling off the TAP-NY board at the end of December, I know it’s not goodbye, because these are friendships that will last and continue. Most likely at future TAP-NY events that the amazing 2018 TAP-NY board is putting together (Lunar New Year Banquet, Ski Trip 2018). I will also be continuing my involvement with the Taiwanese American community on the national board of TACL (the parent organization of TAP-NY), hopefully helping to strengthen all 10 TAP chapters around the country.

My final thank you is to TAP-NY, the organization. For you, I stayed up waaaay past my bedtime, woke up early on weekends, stayed out late on weeknights, and made a large number of irrational decisions, knowing very well that I would never be paid for anything. But you taught me about true passion, and it was so worth it. Thank you so much.

With all my love,

Alex