AEDA Staff

ADMINISTRATIVE

Va-Megn Thoj (Executive Director) has been the Executive Director of AEDA since 2009. He helped co-found the organization in 2006 to provide small business development support in the Asian American community. He was a small business owner and has a background in film. Contact Va-Megn at vamegn@aeda-mn.org.

Lisa Khang (Operations Coordinator)

BUSINESS & ASSET DEVELOPMENT

Vong Thao (Business Development and Lending Manager) leads AEDA’s business development and lending initiatives. He leads the Business team in providing TA and lending services to meet the needs of AEDA’s clients.  He has worked in combination of Agriculture, Banking and Food industry for over 8 years for entities such as USDA/FSA, Kraft Foods, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Hmong American Partnership and Wells Fargo. He holds a bachelors degree in Society Ethics and Human Behavior from University of Washington and an MBA from City University of Seattle.  Fluent in Hmong, he will help build new organizational partnerships with Hmong organizations such as the Hmong Chamber of Commerce to build a pipeline of loan program clients. Contact: vong@aeda-mn.org

Tinh Le (Business Counselor) conducts in-language (Vietnamese) outreach, in-take, client business analysis, TA plan development, and data collection activities; provides clients with TA training, financial literacy, and consultation; and assists our Loan Officer package loans for qualified clients. He brings expertise and experience in small business development education and TA and has helped LEP Asian immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs navigate public systems, access private capital, and comply with government regulations (i.e. filing taxes, securing business licenses and public health permits, etc.). Contact: tinh@aeda-mn.org

Tong Thao (Business Development Officer) provides outreach, facilitates training activities and works with entrepreneurs to help start and expand small businesses. He will also lead our financial capability training workshops and one- on one consultation activities.   Mr. Thao graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2012 with a bachelor’s in Geography, spent over five years working as a community organizer, and served as President of the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council and Treasurer of the Hmong American Day Committee. He conducted client intake activities for small business loans while at the Latino Economic Development Center and was a trained financial advisor and licensed insurance agent with Primerica. Contact: tong@aeda-mn.org

ARTS & CULTURE

Katie Ka Vang (Arts & Culture Program Manager), a creative writer and theatre artist, manages AEDA’s place-making initiatives.  She has over 10 years of art program management, artist engagement and development. She has created and led numerous artistic projects in the Twin Cities, such as creative writing residencies for youth, acting in productions like Asiamnesia (Mu) Breaking Ice (Pillsbury House Theatre) and writing the full-length play called WTF (Mu Performing Arts). More recently, she started her production company and produced a full-length production called FINAL ROUND. Katie has two undergraduate degrees in marketing management and a Master’s degree in creative writing. Contact: katie@aeda-mn.org

Zong Yang (Event Coordinator)

ADVOCACY & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Mhonpaj Lee (Lead Community Advocate)