For several months, our organization has privately defended our organization from the disparaging remarks made by the other TAP-Chicago organization that Hauwei (Howard) Lien is president of. We have taken measures to avoid any public exchange, however, we would like to share a few indisputable facts in response to claims on their website:
- The other organization claims that they have rights to the name “Taiwanese American Professionals” or “TAP”. By THEIR OWN public account, they state that they were founded in 2008. 2008 is well AFTER when TACL formed TAP in the 1990s and more recently, in 2002, embarked on a national effort to create various chapters in major cities, which were established well before 2008. The true Taiwanese American Professionals (our organization) substantially pre-dates Hauwei (Howard) Lien’s 2008 group, and we currently have Taiwanese American Professionals (“TAP”) chapters in Austin, Chicago, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Diego, and San Francisco.
- The other organization published on their website “TAP-Chicago (their group) is not and never was affiliated with TACL”. This is factually untrue. Hauwei (Howard) Lien, president and founder of this group, attended several TACL national conventions/retreats in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles (pictures and minutes as evidence), gave chapter reports at such events, occasionally attended monthly board meetings, and operated as a “provisional chapter.” At meetings, conventions, and retreats, he was identified as the president of a “provisional chapter”, and through the years, he never disputed that recognition until his provisional chapter was recently revoked in February 2012. Hauwei (Howard) Lien attended our best practice workshops and leveraged such information to assist in his organization. As recently as January of 2012, Hauwei (Howard) Lien attended the TACL/TAP retreat in San Francisco. Their claim that they have never been affiliated with TACL is FALSE.
- Hauwei (Howard) Lien was in fact voted by the TACL national board to have his group’s status as a provisional chapter revoked in February 2012, again after he attended the January San Francisco retreat. Reasons for his provisional chapter status to be revoked included:
- Lack of assembling a board after nearly four years of existence
- Lack of opening a bank account, which TACL/TAP requires to protect our federal 501(c)(3) status
- Inconsistent attendance at national meetings
- As documented in their group’s Facebook, Hauwei (Howard) Lien created a board in March 2012, coincidentally and subsequently AFTER being removed from TACL and TAP. The organization proudly boasts its founding in 2008, yet did not assemble a board until March 2012. Furthermore, this group did not register “Taiwanese American Professionals” with the Illinois Secretary of State until 3/15/2012, well after their group’s status as a provisional chapter had been revoked.
- Their group claims that “TACL could not address our concerns, one of which was our desire for blue-green neutrality”. In fact, TACL and TAP is a 501(c)(3) federally recognized nonprofit. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we are prohibited from specific acts of partisanship. Our organization is bipartisan by law, and furthermore, both TACL and TAP focus entirely on improving the lives of domestic Taiwanese Americans and not overseas politics. Since 1985, TACL has been the recognized voice for civil rights of Taiwanese Americans in America. TACL is completely non-partisan and neutral, so such claims that TACL is not neutral is merely public propaganda, and such claims are FALSE.
- Their group claims “a person had been working with a member of the TACL national board to secretly plan the formation of a competing Taiwanese American organization in Chicago while simultaneously serving as an organizer for TAP-Chicago.” There was no “secret plan”; in fact in September 2011, the TACL national president had informed Hauwei (Howard) Lien that if he did not comply with provisional chapter requirements and make progress by the January 2012 SF retreat, TACL would establish a different organization without him, essentially serving an ultimatum. The concept of a “secret plan” is completely untrue, and TACL gave him until January 2012. TACL/TAP held off from taking action to revoke provisional status from Hauwei (Howard) Lien until after he attended the January 2012 national retreat. His status was officially revoked in February 2012. In fact, Edward Chen, current President of TAP (Chicago) attended the January retreat so the accusation of a “secret plan” or conspiracy is FALSE as he was adequately warned beforehand.
- TAP has chapters in a plethora of cities, including Austin, Chicago, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Diego, and San Francisco. All chapters cooperate in harmony, attend national events, and provide value to the national network of Taiwanese Americans. The situation in Chicago is the first and only of such controversy we have ever had in 10+ years.
After Hauwei (Howard) Lien’s group’s status was revoked in February, he assembled a board, held several events, and embarked on a public campaign to spread factually untrue tales. We respect their right to be an organization, under a different name. We have asked to co-exist in harmony. We have asked them to cease circulating factually untrue stories to further confuse the public. Our desire is to allow the Taiwanese American community to choose from a variety of options of organizations to be involved in, like on many college campuses where there might be multiple TA organizations. We feel that two or more organizations can serve the booming Taiwanese American community in the Chicago area without further publicly inaccurate remarks.