EVENTS

OCT 23, 2014

Privy Summit Royal Salute Whisky Dinner with Keith Ferrazzi

By Deron Quon


There was no better, or rather fitting, place for the first Privy Summit than at the home of Keith Ferrazzi, nestled high atop the Hollywood Hills with a spectacular view of the LA city lights below. The Privy Summit, held on September 13th, was hosted by Stephen Liu, CEO and Founder of Privy Groupe, Tim Chang, Managing Director of venture capital firm Mayfield, Chris Chen, Executive Vice President of Endgame Entertainment, and Mike Kim, Managing Director of Ferrazzi Greenlight and generously sponsored by Chivas Regal. A select group of Los Angeles’ influential Asian American leaders were brought together for a special evening of camaraderie highlighted by expert relationship wisdom from Keith Ferrazzi, a four course private chef dinner, and Royal Salute tastings.

Ferrazzi house


This Privy Summit was as much a meeting of the minds as it was the start of a more meaningful movement. Both Stephen Liu and Keith Ferrazzi, author of New York Times Best Selling books Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back, spoke to the group about the importance of forging new relationships to improve the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community and to collectively break the “bamboo ceiling.” Stephen started the evening by welcoming the group assembled and sharing the core missions of Privy and of the Privy Summits, which are “to empower our members to connect with like-minded peers and to bring together the Asian American community’s brightest business, creative, and philanthropic minds to learn from one another, share experiences, spawn new ventures and raise awareness for various social initiatives.”


  Ferrazzi house


Next, Keith Ferrazzi spoke poignantly about the importance of groups like Privy and of creating relationships where candor and vulnerability are the foundations of trust and intimacy. As an icebreaker, he asked each person “what’s your word?”— the word that best personifies their ethos, spirit, or priority in their life now. Keith personally shared that his word is “worthy” and how that even today he sometimes struggles to feel worthy relative to others; a deep reflection of the dichotomy between his humble, blue collar upbringing and the elite individuals and experiences that has now regularly been part of his life. Keith’s “what’s your word” sharing exercise served not only to bring the guests closer together at that moment, but also served as a natural conversation starter later in the evening between the newly acquainted. Keith’s message was simply to be open and to lead with depth to generate more meaning between people than that of the typical networking small-talk. Before the group adjourned for dinner, Keith challenged the group to think about what “we, as API leaders can accomplish in two years having met together tonight.”


Ferrazzi house

Ferrazzi house

Ferrazzi house

Following the group discussions was an exquisite dinner prepared by Chef Israel and drink pairings by Chivas Royal. Starters included appetizers and a signature cocktail, Blood and Sand. This cocktail, a blend of cherry brandy, vermouth, orange juice and Chivas18, was inspired by a 1922 film starring Rudolf Valentino. The first course was gazpacho soup and a quinoa kale salad with a raspberry vinaigrette, followed by a second course of oven roasted filet of beef and salmon pesto with quinoa stir-fry veggies and garlic finger potatoes. For dessert, brownies with ice cream, chocolate sauce, and berry sauce were served.

Ferrazzi house

Ferrazzi house

Master of Scotch Richard Varga of Chivas Regal introduced two superb Scotch whisky pairings; The Chivas Royal Salute 21 Years Old was paired with dinner and The Chivas Royal Salute 38 Years Old was paired with dessert. The Chivas Royal Salute brand pays homage to Queen Elizabeth II on the day of her coronation in 1953 and the traditional 21 gun salute, the ultimate mark of respect reserved for dignitaries. Each Royal Salute Scotch whisky is aged for an apropos minimum of 21 years, which allows the whisky to develop rich and complex flavors and aromas. Advanced Malt Advocate magazine had this to say about the $700 bottle of Chivas Royal Salute Stone of Destiny 38: it “has lush, rich, sweet sherry notes that is quite fruity with toffee, apple, date nut cake, fig, molasses, and golden raisin up front, evolving to dried fruit, pencil shavings, tobacco, and polished leather, with subtle cinnamon and cocoa on the finish.” The Scotch whiskies were sublime and there were many cheers to be had, including a toast from John Chiang, the State Controller of California, the highest ranking API elected official in the state of California.

Ferrazzi house

Ferrazzi house

Ferrazzi house

Some others in attendance were: David Cho, publisher of Bill Simmon’s Grantland blog; Roy Choi, CEO of Kollaboration; Clinton Foy, Partner at CrossCut Ventures; Hieu Ho, Partner at Jon Chu Productions; Brent Imai, Head of Branded Content at AT&T; Eriko Katayama, Miss Korea for Miss Asia USA; Elijah Kim, CEO and Founder of Kageh; Mike Kim, Managing Director at Ferrazzi Greenlight and author of Escaping North Korea; David Lee, Publisher of Destination Luxury; Jeannie Lee, Owner of Satine; Stan Lim, Creative Director at the Hub Network; Richard Ling, Founding Partner at Rembrandt Ventures; Ying Fu and Pangfua Her, Partners at UX Talent Agency; David Ou, Agent at CAA Ventures; Peter Pham, Managing Partner of Science; Deron Quon, Executive Chairman of Collective Solution and Datassential; Jon Teo, Managing Director of Binary Capital; Ben Tran, Partner at Plan C Agency; Yimei Wong, former Vice President of renewable energy at BYD America; Sophia Yen, entertainment attorney at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; and Teddy Zee, digital media executive and movie producer.

Ferrazzi house

Ferrazzi house

The success of the evening and the momentum it created was evident immediately from those who attended. Sophia Yen, attorney at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips shared, “The venue was superb, the dinner delicious, and the drinks fantastic... [There was] open and honest dialogue among the group, something hard to come by these days..” Brent Imai of AT&T was equally enthusiastic; “I love where the group is going and want to be involved in any way possible. Great to see successful people in such an open organic environment.“

Ferrazzi house

The outcome of the evening was just one part of the global movement to unite and to empower Asian professionals everywhere. Co-host Tim Chang best summarized the purpose and outcome of the evening when he said, "The current generation of rising Asian-American stars and role models seem much more collaborative and generous—and I think it's because this generation has had to figure out how to forge their own paths and write their own stories versus simply jumping through pre-assigned hoops… Because we each have our own stories figured out, our gatherings become celebrations and the merging of these stories become a unique shared experience." And as the evening came to an end, the group indeed left with new connections and new shared stories.

Here's to the next Privy Summit to forge networks, inspire leaders, and find more meaningful connections!

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