Director Hasegawa talks with Project Coordinator Sam Le about his service with CAPAA over the past two years.

After nine years of service on behalf of the Commission, Chair Tyati Tufono-Chaussee will conclude her time as a CAPAA appointee at the end of the month.

“Chair Tufono-Chaussee has been a steadfast advocate on behalf of Asian and Pacific Islanders in Washington State,” said 1st Vice Chair Lisa Dickinson, who served with Tyati for eight years, and will take over the duties of Chair effective July 1. “Over the years, Tyati inspired CAPAA staff and commissioners with her passionate commitment to the API community and fearlessness in standing for justice.”

Tyati was first appointed in 2019 by Governor Christine Gregoire, and has served alongside three Executive Directors at the Commission: Kendee Yamaguchi, Michael Itti, and Toshiko Grace Hasegawa. She served as a member of CAPAA’s economic development committee, the Business Diversity Roundtable, and was also the Commission’s representative upon the APA Heritage Month Celebration Committee. She was also instrumental in the passage of the COFA Health Care Program.

“From the moment I was appointed, Tyati generously offered me support and afforded me the benefit of her institutional knowledge, sound insights, and her honesty,” said Director Hasegawa. “I am grateful to Chair Tufono Chaussee for the leadership she showed the Commission, the compassion she showed to the public, and the kindness that she showed to me.”

A new Chair of the Commission will be formally elected by Commissioners at the September board meeting in Vancouver, WA.

After two full terms totaling six years of service on behalf of the Commission, Lynette Finau will also be concluding her term at CAPAA, effective at the end of the month. Lynette served as a valued member of CAPAA’s Education Committee, where she provided voice and perspective as an educator – and as a student! Lynette has worked diligently on her Doctoral dissertation over the past several years. We are grateful to Lynette for her distinguished service and meaningful contributions over the course of her tenure at the Commission.

Additionally, CAPAA’s Project Coordinator Sam Le will conclude his time with CAPAA at the end of the month. Sam joined CAPAA in August, 2017 under former Director Michael Itti and played an integral role in supporting the Commission during the interim. He helped assisted Director Hasegawa during her onboarding and worked closely with her and Commissioners on numerous projects including CAPAA’s Sapphire Anniversary Celebration, re-branding, the new initiative of video production, and COFA Health Care implementation.

“Sam’s creativity, vision and dedication have been a true asset to the advancement of CAPAA’s work serving APA’s across Washington State,” said Director Hasegawa. “He has a demonstrated commitment to the mission and vision of the Commission and all of us here at the Commission better for it.”


The two vacancies upon the Commission will be filled by appointment by Governor Jay Inslee and announced by CAPAA in the coming weeks.

On June 8, 2019, CAPAA convened to conduct official business at the Fil-Am of Kitsap County.

Enjoy our photo recap, prepared by Project Coordinator, Sam Le