Los Angeles’ Power Elite

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Today I was greeted in my mailbox with the annual Los Angeles Business Journal Book of Lists 2014. The cover of the book had a full-page picture of Los Angeles’ “Power Players.” To my surprise, 3 of the 4 people pictured on the cover were Asian Americans — Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, and Andrew and Peggy Cherng. The only non-APA on the cover was Ed Roski. Furthermore, the cover opened to a full page spread and included the pictures of Eli Broad, former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, Dominic Ng and Rick Caruso. Now, for any marginally informed Los Angelenos, the portrait depicted Los Angeles’ wealthiest and best known billionaire business leaders – the power elite.

While Eli Broad, Richard Riordan, Ed Roski and Rick Caruso are well-known business and civic leaders, the fact that a portrait of Los Angeles’ power elite contains 4 out of 8 Asian Americans is a statement to be noted. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Los Angeles’ wealthiest individual, with an estimated net worth of $8.9 billion, and is ranked by Forbes as the wealthiest American in the healthcare industry. Recently, the Asian Business Association of Los Angeles awarded Dr. Soon-Shiong with the Lifetime Award. Andrew and Peggy Cherng are the owners of Panda Express and have an estimated net worth of $2.75 billion. Other Asian Americans to make the list of 50 Wealthiest Angelenos include Don & Jin Sook Chang ($5.35 billion), and John Tu ($2.4 billion).

Asian Americans are a driving force in Southern California’s economy and are making significant contributions in all sectors and facets of American life. As biotech entrepreneurs, bankers, cutting-edge fashion designers, leaders in developing new technology and even culinary innovators Asian Americans will continue to lead and shape our collective future.

2014 is off to a great start indeed.

*Los Angeles Business Journal Book of Lists 2014 Cover.