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Archives: Episodes

Matthew Hui

Matthew Hui is the owner-operator of SKY Smog and Test Only, a small business specializing in performing smog check certifications for vehicles registered in California. As a no stranger to the SGV, Matthew grew up in Monterey Park and is a graduate of Mark Keppel High School. After completing his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley in 2008, he returned back to Monterey Park and worked in Quality Assurance at Activision-Blizzard on the game, “Call of Duty.” In 2011, at 23, along with 2 other friends from high school, Matthew opened his first business “Fluff Ice,” a unique shaved ice concept that now operates as a food truck. In 2016, Matthew took over as owner-operator of “KY Smog”, a business that his dad “Kai Yee” left to him after his passing. In 2019, the business was renamed “SKY Smog” as a way to honor his father but also to think bigger.

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Kamren Curiel

Kamren Curiel is a fourth-gen Angeleno born in East L.A. on March 10, 1979 and raised in Monterey Park and South San Gabriel. She attended Potrero Heights Elementary School, Macy Intermediate, Schurr High and graduated from South Pasadena High School. She got a degree in Journalism from San Francisco State University, lived in the Bay Area for eight years, and moved back to L.A. in 2003. She’s written for the L.A.Times, L.A. Taco, Latina magazine, LAist, KCET, Huffington Post, and was the L.A. Editor for Remezcla.com. She loves writing untold stories about the underdog and unveiling voices that resonate with everyday people.

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Eric Chang

Eric is a coach and an author because he believes everyone should have someone in their corner helping them chase their goals and realize their capabilities. Eric loves coaching because he loves seeing people win the fight for their health, relationships, and goals. His greatest passion is turning unbelief into belief in oneself. There’s nothing more fulfilling to him than setting someone on the path toward the life they always dreamed of but never realized they could actually have.

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Josh Ma

Joshua Ma is from Monterey Park. He always valued his creativity and desire to express himself. He always had to look for a way to make something his own. Having worked in accounting and banking Josh desperately was looking for a way to keep his sanity alive, so he took up photography around 2017. This would lead him to discover a new hobby and allow him to travel and see many live shows. When the pandemic hit, most of the live shows got cancelled, thus he had no more work. At that time Josh was working at his family business, a food distribution service. He had the idea of offering wagyu since most restaurants were closed during that period and many people were left bored at home cooking for themselves. In 2020, Ligma Provisions was born. It was Josh’s way to create his own brand with his spin and creative direction.

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Christine Chow

Christine Chow, a proud native of the San Gabriel Valley, has always had a passion for personal growth and cultural exploration. After graduating from Gabrielino High School’s inaugural class and earning a degree in psychology from UCLA, she embarked on a transformative journey teaching English in Fukushima, Japan for three years through the JET Program. Immersed in the vibrant Japanese culture, she developed a profound appreciation for cross-cultural connections. As a dedicated real estate professional, Christine serves on the Agent Leadership Council and Culture Committee at KW Executive in Alhambra. Recognizing the importance of education and legislation, she actively contributes to multiple committees at the West San Gabriel Valley Realtor Association. Fueled by her love for magic and illusion, Christine joined the prestigious Magic Castle (Academy of Magical Arts) and Women Magicians Association. As an active member, she continually refines her craft, delighting audiences of all ages with mesmerizing close-up performances. In this pursuit, she not only brings joy and wonder but also breaks barriers in a traditionally male-dominated field.

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Alan Chan

Composer and pianist Alan Chan’s music often takes inspiration from his life experiences around the world, with a take of surprising wittiness and humor. Coming from a classical background, he began composing for jazz big band under the mentorship of Gary Lindsay in Miami, then Vince Mendoza and Shelly Berg in Los Angeles, and Jim McNeely who fanned his flame of desire to create works for jazz ensembles.

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Brandon Tsay & Henry Lo

Brandon Tsay demonstrated remarkable courage on January 21, 2023, when he disarmed the Monterey Park, California mass shooter during Lunar New Year celebrations. Brandon’s heroism has since been profiled with NBC News, Good Morning America, The New York Times, among others, and Brandon has been honored by US Representative Judy Chu, California Governor Gavin Newsom, the US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, the US Vice President Kamala Harris, and by the 118th US Congress, and at President Joe Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address. Brandon was awarded a medal of courage from the Alhambra Police Department and now runs the Brandon Tsay Hero Fund in partnership with the Asian Pacific Community Fund.

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Asia Lui Chapa

Asia Lui Chapa is an Author, Recipe Developer, and Video Creator best known for her Instagram account @ac_homecafe. She was born and raised between Temple City and Alhambra and fell in love with the art of making drinks in 2020. She started by posting simple drink videos for fun, and now creates recipes for coffee, tea, and everything in between. Her goal was to create easy, delicious, and eye-catching beverages that anyone can make at home. Her love for drinks was recently documented in her debut book, The Home Café: Creative Recipes for Espresso, Matcha, Tea and Coffee Drinks.

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Denise Williams – Jones

Denise Williams-Jones, RDA is a Customer Service Consultant, Speaker, Founder, and Owner of Next Level to Success. She started in the dental field in 1995, working in some of the top dental offices in Southern California, with roles including chairside assistant, inventory and supply manager, team trainer, scheduling coordinator, financial coordinator, marketing liaison, community outreach, and front office lead.  

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Dave Finstrom

Dave Finstrom has over 30 years of small business experience, providing marketing and creative services. He owns HUTdogs with his business partner and sister, MJ, helping non-profits and businesses with their marketing and promotional campaigns. Dave has a background in marketing and technology. Earlier in his career, he worked as a representative for a quality assurance business, which provided testing of software and hardware. This interest in technology continues and is combined with his passion for marketing and creativity.

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