1979 was one of the most exciting years of my life. A group of good friends and I had just established CASL in Chicago, which took off faster than any of us could imagined. In the same year, I had the great opportunity to form CISANI with Charles Wong from New York City and Po Wong from San Francisco. Po, Charles and I established CISANI for the purposes of networking, participation, and organizational development. It was so thrilling for me to see the movement CASL was starting in Chicago had already been growing in two other great cities.
Since the start of CISANI, we have seen membership grow as more agencies around the world, working for similar causes, have joined the network to learn how their individual agencies can grow. We have seen agencies expand, change directions, and server more diverse client populations. Through it all CISANI proves to be a constant element to our success.
Over the years I have learned that developing friendships with our peers around the world is invaluable. Through these friendships we are able to learn and rely on each other for sound advice, referrals, and guidance. Each year I look forward to the next CISANI Conference, where I renew old friendships, make new ones, and learn new skills and ways to meet community needs.
There are so many questions to be asked, and CISANI helps to provide answers. At annual conferences since CISANI’s inception, we have shared our program ideas, we have learned more about the needs of immigrants across the world, and we have stayed in contact and continued our dailogues. We all have so much to learn from each other, and CISANI give us the platform to do so.
I would like to thank my fellow co-founders, Po Wong and Charles Wang, for sharing a vision with me and lighting CISANI’s torch for so many years. I can speak for all of us when I say I am astonished by how much CISANI has grown. I would also like to thank all the individual agencies who have committed so much to the growth of CISANI and their continued participation.