Be Leaders: Collaboration Through the Lens of Diversity 

Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 9.07.29 AM.png

Event Details:

Date: Monday, November 18, 2019
Time: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Venue: 2 Industrial Highway, Ridley Park PA 19078
Admission:  Open to Members Only $20

Attire: Business Casual

Extended deadline for registration until 6pm Tuesday Nov 12th.

Join us for a conversation with Boeing’s senior executives.
5:00 PM: Registration and Networking
6:00 PM: Welcome
6:10 PM: Panel
7:10 PM: Networking & Reception

Special Factory Tour

Have you ever wondered how a helicopter is made or how it is able to fly? Boeing Philadelphia is home to the V22 Osprey Tilt Rotor Aircraft which specializes in search and rescue and combat support. Ascend has partnered with Boeing Philadelphia for a networking and panel night featuring a factory walkthrough where you will see the V-22 Osprey up-close and in person. Sign up for “Be Leaders: Collaboration Through the Lens of Diversity” for this once in a lifetime opportunity.


Head shot Elaine Cheong.jpg

Elaine Cheong

President, Ascend Greater Philadelphia

Senior Vice President, Bank of America N.A.


Elaine Cheong is a Senior Vice President with Bank of America responsible for developing client relationship strategies to drive its domestic and international commercial banking business. With over 25 years in banking, she currently leads a team of product partners who consults with clients on capital market structures, credit, treasury, global supply chain finance and risk management solutions to successfully grow their businesses.  She has held senior client account management roles with large multinational banks in Australia, U.K. and Singapore.  Elaine was born in Malaysia and moved to the United States in 1998.  Through her current role as President of Ascend Greater Philadelphia Chapter she helped to firmly establish the presence of Asian American professionals in Philadelphia by providing an eco-system for people to connect, grow and be inspired.  Elaine chairs the Asian employee resource group at Bank of America.  She also serves on the bank’s Diversity & Inclusion Council.  She graduated from Monash University, Australia with a Bachelor in Economics and holds a graduate diploma in Corporate Finance from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.  She is married with two children and lives in Pennington, New Jersey.

Head shot Diana Sands.jpg

Diana Sands

Sr. VP Program Management, Office of Internal Governance, The Boeing Company, Chicago, IL



2014 - Corporate Achievement Award, OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates


Diana Sands is senior vice president of the Office of Internal Governance and Administration for The Boeing Company and a member of the company’s executive council. She is responsible for the advancement and effective implementation of Boeing’s internal governance policies and plans. Sands also chairs the company’s Enterprise Services council which is responsible for driving cross-functional alignment of all internal services and providing optimized service delivery globally.

As the company’s chief ethics & compliance officer, Sands leads Boeing’s ethics, compliance, corporate audit and trade controls activities. In this governance role, Sands reports to Boeing’s president and chief executive officer and to the audit committee of the board of directors. She also oversees administration for the company, including leadership of the Enterprise Services council and direct oversight for Security & Fire Protection, Global Real Estate, Global Spectrum Management and Information Services.

Previously, Sands was corporate controller and vice president of Finance. As Boeing’s principal interface with the board of directors’ audit committee, she led the company’s accounting function and was responsible for timely and transparent financial disclosures.

Prior to Sands’ appointment as corporate controller, she was vice president of Investor Relations, Financial Planning & Analysis. In that role she promoted understanding of Boeing with investors and analysts, and led business plan development, financial forecasting and financial analysis.

Sands previously worked in Corporate Treasury, where she was responsible for financial modeling and analysis related to capital structure, equity and fixed-income valuation, pensions and cash deployment.

She joined Boeing in 2001 from General Motors Co., where she served as director, corporate financial planning and reporting, and had various brand finance roles. Previous to that she held financial positions at Ameritech Communications, Helene Curtis and Arthur Andersen.

A certified public accountant, Sands has a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a bachelor’s of business administration with an emphasis in accounting from the University of Michigan.

Sands serves on the boards of the Ounce of Prevention Fund and World Business Chicago. She lives in Chicago with her family.

Head shot Clifford Ozaki.jpg

Clifford Ozaki

VP Sales Contracts, Commercial Airplanes, The Boeing Company, Renton, WA


Cliff Ozaki serves as the Vice President of Contracts for Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA). In this role Cliff is responsible for formulating, negotiating and administering all contractual agreements between Boeing and its customers for the sale or lease and delivery of commercial products and services. He also handles all contractual agreements with Boeing’s commercial engine manufacturers, and BCA Cash Management. Cliff is a member of the Supply Chain Management, Finance & Business Operations leadership team. 


Prior to his current assignment, Cliff served as Managing Director of Contracts, Operations and Strategy. In this role he was responsible for Engine Contracts, Boeing Business Jets Contracts, Derivative Airplane Programs Contracts, Airplane Warranty Contracts, Contracts Operations, BCA Compliance and Cash Management. 

Before that, Cliff was director in Contracts Negotiation Support, a role he held for more than seven years.

Cliff began his Boeing career in 1989 in the Corporate Tax Group where he served in a number of technical specialist and management positions culminating in his promotion to Director of Tax for BCA and Boeing Capital Corporation. 

Cliff is married to Angela and resides in Washington State with their twin boys. He has a bachelor of arts in business as well as a master in business administration from the University of Washington. 

Cliff also serves as the Boeing executive sponsor for Ascend, a national non-profit organization dedicated to the development of current and future Pan-Asian business leaders.

Head shot  Gerding.jpg

Ed Gerding

VP & Sr. Chief Engineer, Defense, Space & Security, The Boeing Company, Berkeley, MO



2018 - Asian American Engineer of the Year, Chinese Institute of Engineers-USA

2018 - Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics


Ed Gerding is the vice president and senior chief engineer of Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS) Engineering Structures and Mechanical Systems, where he is responsible for driving engineering excellence in BDS Systems and ensuring the technical integrity and success of BDS development and production programs. His focus is on proactive risk identification and mitigation, and rapid resolution of the top BDS structural/mechanical technical risk/issues/opportunities and key technical decisions through his personal engagement and that of Boeing's technical fellows and subject matter experts. Gerding also has the role of the BDS Structures and Build engineering capability leader, where he has assigned and/or enrolled responsibility for all Structures Engineers and Production Engineers across BDS.

Prior to this position, Gerding was on special assignment to Boeing-South Carolina (BSC) as part of the enterprise Productivity Leadership Development Program (PLDP). As the BSC PLDP leader, he was responsible for identifying and executing affordability and flow reduction projects, safety initiatives and instilling Program Management best practices to enable the site and the 787 program to reach its Long Range Business Plan commitments.

Gerding began his career with McDonnell Douglas in 1984 as an associate structural design engineer on the AV-8B Harrier II program. He has worked a variety of other programs, including the C-17, F-15, F/A-18, A-10, and 787, as well as assignments on proprietary programs. Included in this was a long-term assignment on-site at Israel Aircraft Industries in support of F-15 co-production.

Gerding holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla, a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University (St. Louis), and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Maryville University. In 2011, he was inducted into the Academy of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineers (AMAE) for the Missouri University of Science & Technology and is a member of the AMAE board of directors. In addition, Gerding is the Boeing executive focal for Tennessee State University. Gerding is a registered professional engineer in the State of Missouri, and an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Head shot Jason Hatakeyama.jpg

Jason Hatakeyama

Chief Architect & Sr. Director, Defense, Space & Security, The Boeing Company, El Segundo, CA



2007 - Asian American Engineer of the Year, Chinese Institute of Engineers-USA

2010 - Corporate Achievement Award, OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates

2017 - Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Jason Hatakeyama is the Chief Architect and Senior Director of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) for Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS). He is responsible for the digital transformation of BDS through the implementation of modern systems, updated business architecture and industry data standards. He also is leading the development of model-based engineering across the product lifecycle.

Previously, Hatakeyama led BDS Design and Manufacturing Engineering where he was responsible for the functional leadership of 6,000 mechanical, structural and production engineers supporting all BDS divisions and programs.

Jason joined Boeing in 1983 as a structural design engineer on the AV-8B Harrier II program. His previous assignments included Director of Structures Technology and Director of Mechanical and Structural Engineering. He also served as program manager for high temperature materials and structures technology programs and system studies of hypersonic and reusable access-to-space programs.

Hatakeyama has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), serves as Boeing executive focal for the University of California, Los Angeles and is actively involved in K-12 robotics leagues.