CASPAF : The Chinese American Scholars & Professionals Association of Florida
CASPAF : The Chinese American Scholars & Professionals Association of Florida

"The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today."
- Chinese Proverb

The Chinese American Scholars & Professionals Association of Florida (CASPAF) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2009. We are deeply grateful to those colleagues who founded our organization. Their vision and wisdom has benefited countless Chinese American scholars and professionals in Florida and the communities they serve.

As we honor the early contributions of our founders, our collective achievements and this very important milestone, we also recognize that today is "the second best time" for CASPAF to grow. The ground is exceedingly fertile for the seeds of an ever stronger CASPAF to thrive; rich with the three components that Chinese tradition believes are essential to success: the right timing, the right place and the right people.

Last November, your CASPAF Board engaged in a comprehensive assessment and brainstorming exercise that culminated in a vision for a more nimble, more connected, more responsive and more inclusive CASPAF going forward. Accordingly, we revised our vision statement, amended our bylaws and launched a new website. We also embarked on what is perhaps the most ambitious conferences CASPAF has organized to-date.
This year's conference will take place on September 9-12, 2009 in Orlando, Fla. The theme "From Innovation to Entrepreneurship" aims to leverage the aforementioned three "right stuff" components for optimum effectiveness and inspiration:
  • The Right Timing. Best-selling author Fareed Zakaria describes the present as a "post American world" where the U.S. no longer dominates the global economy and the "rise of the rest" will become "the great story of our time." Today, Taiwan, China and the U.S. are moving forward under new presidents; each deliberately focused on change with regard to political direction and expanded levels of discourse, conciliation and partnership. This mutual vision and commitment will likely lead to new socioeconomic opportunities between the U.S. and Taiwan/China and their regional neighbors. It will also open up a new frontier for research and development.
  • The Right Place. Taiwan has the potential to serve as the world's gateway to China. Florida is in a position to serve as China and Asia's gateway to the Americas and Europe. The prospects are rich with commercial and entrepreneurial opportunity worthy of further investigation at the conference. As an added bonus, we will be treated to Orlando's renowned "best of all worlds" pampering: the amenities of a world-class conference center and the countless recreational and entertainment options of the "tourism capitol of the world." It is important to note that because the conference will occur "off -season", many meeting amenities as well as lodging and entertainment options will be available to attendees at discounted prices.
  • The Right People. Florida is home to one of the nation's burgeoning life sciences and high-tech clusters, including the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in Port St. Lucie, the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, SRI International in St. Petersburg, and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research's East Coast facility in Orlando. The life sciences market is highly collaborative and fosters the exchange of ideas among scientists, such as featured conference speaker David D. Ho, MD, Scientific Director, CEO and Professor of the Aaron Diamond Research Center at Rockefeller University. Like the high-tech entertainment market that will be addressed at the conference by Steven Chiang, GM and Senior VP of EA Tiburon in Orlando, the life sciences market spurs continuous economic development in corridors or communities of supportive and spin-off companies. For example, the Burnham Institute will be the focal point of a medical city that will also feature the new medical school of the University of Central Florida, a Veterans Administration Hospital and Nemours Children's Hospital. Thus, Florida has become an incredibly powerful magnet for top-notch talent not just from Taiwan and China, but also from around the world.

CASPAF's 09-09-09 conference in Orlando also will showcase nationally recognized Chinese American pioneers of "Innovation to Entrepreneurship" to provide us all with an exquisite opportunity to listen, learn, network and grow. The conference will be limited to 500 attendees, so please make your plans to join us early. And do feel free to spread the word.