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Friday, April 30, 2010

"Thanks and go bears!" Travis Darrow receives the Bradford S. King award -first outside the US

"Thanks and go bears!"

On April 24, 2010, from 6-10pm I was delighted to be one of those honored and awarded at the Charter Gala held at the historic San Francisco Ferry Building.  The Charter Gala is the University of California, Berkeley's signature event commemorating the founding of the University of California in 1868. Hosted by the Cal Alumni Association for nearly 100 years, the Gala celebrates the contributions of the University and its alumni to the State of California and the global community

Along with the 2010 Alumnus of the Year Richard N. Goldman '41, philanthropist and co-founder of the Goldman Environmental Prize and the Goldman Fund, I was among six distinguished alumni honored for incredible professional achievements, dedication and service.

I was awarded the Bradford S. King Award for Excellence in Service by a Young Alumnus.  This award honors young alumni who have made significant contributions of voluntary service to the Cal Alumni Association and/or the University within their first 15 years following graduation. The award pays tribute to Bradford S. King, who died in 1983 at the age of 28. King devoted countless hours to revitalizing University traditions.

Here is the announcement from December. The Cal Alumni Association Announces The 2010 Alumnus Of The Year:, and the nice things they had to say below.

Travis Darrow '98

"In 2001, when Travis Darrow transferred to Hong Kong as a regional sales manager for a Silicon Valley company, he immediately reached out to the Cal community abroad. Now Darrow is the Berkeley Club of Hong Kong's External Liaison Officer, serving as a prominent face and voice for Cal alumni in Hong Kong and the region.

With a community that is 1,000 strong, one of the largest alumni groups in Asia, the Berkeley Club of Hong Kong hosts Cal guests touring the region—Nobel laureate Steven Chu visited before being selected as Secretary of Energy. The club also organizes social and networking events with alumni groups from other universities—the Big Game viewing with the Stanford club is a big draw. Currently Darrow balances his time between his club duties, his job as a client director for a Fortune 500 company, and his last year of earning his MBA."

Cal Alumni Association Awardees 2010, Travis Darrow:

It is great to be among other successful young alumni winners including most recently:
1999 Mike Wondolowski ’86
2000 Steve Chan ’86
2001 Suszi Lurie ’88 and Theresa Ting Forster ‘94
2007 Gloria Diaz Ventura ‘00

I know of some of these fellow leaders including Nicole Harris, Chuck Ng, Mel Ochoa, Michael Foulkes, and Nora Sandoval and their good work over the years.  Chuck Ng of the Berkeley Chinese Alumni International Association is even based in Beijing now.  While Cal is a very globally recognized University with a diverse student body especially in the grad school ranks, I seem to be the first internationally based person to win this award so it's impressive to see Berkeley's famous brand name extend this award internationally.

After I won the award they asked me a few questions on Feb 11, 2010.  Of course not everything made the cut for the magazine and the announcement so I include 2 answers.

"1. Quote regarding my experience at Berkeley and what sets Cal apart for me:
What sets Cal apart for me is the culture of openness and opportunity to show your passion and get involved in the campus. As a student I was involved with the CAA mentorship program, Hermanos Unidos, the Undergraduate Minority Business Association, the Leadership Award Program, EAP in Sweden and of course had season tickets to Cal football and basketball.

After graduation I continued to go to games, was involved with the mentorship program, became a lifetime member of CAA, and went camping at the Liar of the Bear where I met my wife, Haas BS'99 Tricia Tran. I continue to carry this sense of community involvement with me in Hong Kong (where I currently live), so it was natural for me to try to create a similar Cal culture to welcome any alumni or friends of the University living abroad with my involvement in the Berkeley Club of Hong Kong.

5. Anything else you are excited about with your work, with the Club, new developments, on a personal note, etc.
Since I moved to Hong Kong years ago, I am now a Client Director for a Fortune 500 company and manage IT/Telecom/Networking projects across Asia.  I'll also finish my MBA from Hong Kong University (HKU) this year and my first child will be born! : )

I now work with the group in an External Relations role as we look to partner with other elite universities and groups.  I'm delighted to receive this award and even more excited to see how the group here is so well established with a full committee and even a new President to keep things going with events that continue to impress and welcome new alumni coming to Hong Kong."

My goal with the group was simple
1. Improve the group's customer focus by responding to anyone and everyone who contacts me and try to help them along and 
2. Raise the group's profile through new channels. I can relate to David Siver's piece on, "How to start a movement."

There are too many people to thank for their support that contributed to the group's growth and success.

  • Over 1,000 member of the Berkeley club of Hong Kong members especially most recently the executive committee Dave Wong, Clara Lo, Lisa Lum, Jennifer Haigh, and Winson Tai.

  • Amazing leaders on campus Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau, Dean Rich Lyons, Scott Biddy, Amy Ambrose, Tenny Frost, Leslie Kanberg, Kim Cannon, Erin Proudfoot, Christina Sponselli, Erin McDevitt, Julia Hsiao, Maya Goehring-Harris, and Marcy Porus-Gottlieb.

  • Special active friends I've found through the group Jeffrey and Helen Chan, Scott Matlock, George Ho, Rey Espineli, Daniel Yu, Herman Hu, Helena Koo, Peter Tung, Lister Chang, Ernest Ng, Chris Lee, Vicki Chan, Rayfil, Ben Happ, Antonio and Karen Vitti, Dave and Amy Chang, Peter Yu, Albert Chang, Alan and Barbora Seigrist, Terence Yin, Patrick Lee, John Cullen, James Man, Joyce Hsu, Bill Shaw, Winnie Leung, Michelle Segal, Jiffriy Chandra, Michael Scown, Tristan Koo, and Pedro Woo.

  • Visitors to Hong Kong Steve Chu, Nobel laureate (before he became Energy Secretary), David Robinson and his doing business in Asia class, Professor S. Shankar Sastry, Dean Richard Newton, student groups like the Haas China Trek and even the Cal Bears broadcaster Joe Starkey.

  • Inspirational students I've come in contact with Hannah WilsonAndrew BoyceConnie WuFreeman DingViola Tang, Bernie Murphy, Keith and Kenneth Tsang, Carmen Mak, Margaret Rhee, Todd Horwath, Tiffany Cheung, Fred Charles and Carmen Mak. May they all remember me when they are rich and famous. : )

  • So many great friends Xunyoung Wang, Scott Keller, Billy Lee, Min Yoo, Jennie Tung, Roy Ng, Tricia Tran, Paul Cruzan, Vince Hsu, Eddie Chen, Kat Lo, and Amy Lee who used to be the only ones who would come to my events.

    I'm glad this is not my acceptance speech because that is one long list of names above.. I'm not close to that 1,000 membership number so I'm sincerely sorry if I missed you. Let me close with a thanks, xie xie, and go bears!

    Travis Darrow
    Berkeley Club of Hong Kong
    External Relations Officer
    M: +852-6718-1339

    Berkeley Club of Hong Kong (and friends) Facebook:

    My Berkeley club of Hong Kong pix on Flickr:


    California Alumni Association, UC Gala pix: