Ron Suzuki was the 2nd President of ABAHR. He previously served as one of the founding Board of Directors of the organization. He is a Professional Photographer and owns RYMS Photography in Richmond, Virginia. He is also a Circuit Board Technology Manager at a Richmond based Power and Technology Corporation.
Ron was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii and is of Japanese, Chinese and Irish decent. He has a diverse professional and educational background. He is a graduate of Coastline Community College in Fountain Valley, California and iscurrently studying Organizational Leadership at Penn State University’s World Campus program. He honorably served for 15 years in the US Navy and earned three Navy Achievement Medals and the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal with one service star. He also served the public as a Financial Services Professional at a large financial planning firm for 5 years as an Associate Partner and assisted in the founding of their Richmond, Virginia branch.
In his community service with the Hampton Roads Community has been recognized by his work with the American Red Cross, the Norfolk Army Corps of Engineers, the Asian Pacific American Heritage Organization, Operation Blessing International and many other corporations, associations and non-profit causes. He was the director of the Hampton Roads based “United for Japan” disaster relief project that collectively raised many thousands of dollars for the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami disaster victims in Japan.
His diverse experience places him in a prime position of leadership in the many arenas’ of Business, Veteran’s Support, Technology, Finance, and in the support of the Arts. He is also a member of the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce (VACC) in Richmond, Virginia and is pleased to be a representative voice for ABAHR in the capital.
Frances Knight Thompson
Frances Knight Thompson was educated in the Chesapeake Public Schools andis a graduate of Hampton University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. In 1989, she was awarded a Master of Science in Education degree in Guidance and Counseling from Old Dominion University. In 2005, Mrs. Thompson earned an Endorsement in Gifted Education from the University of Virginia.
Mrs. Thompson began her career as an elementary school music teacher with Virginia Beach City Public Schools and taught for 15 years. She continued her career with VBCPS as an Elementary School Counselor for another 15 years. In December 2010, Mrs. Thompson retired from VBCPS after 37 years of service. At retirement, she was assigned as Guidance Department Chair for Kemps Landing Magnet School, a middle school for intellectually gifted students. Following retirement, Mrs. Thompson worked part-time in the VBCPS Office of Equity Affairs as Project Manager, coordinating professional development for teachers and staff, managing the planning for the VBCPS African American Male Summit, facilitating Candid Conversations about Race, and assisting the Director of Equity Affairs in the daily operations of the office. She most recently was a candidate for a seat on the Virginia Beach School Board in the November 2014 elections.
Mrs. Thompson was awarded Kemps Landing Magnet School’s 2007 Teacher of The Year, has received the 2009 Humanitarian Award by the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission, and also received the 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders Award presented by the Urban League of Hampton Roads. Her passion in education is increasing the identification of students in underrepresented populations for gifted programs as well as addressing the issue of the disparity in the achievement of African American males and their counterparts, a local, state, and national concern for all educators.
Mrs. Thompson is involved in the Hampton Roads community as a Director on the Board of Directors of Virginia Beach Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Vice-President and Program Director of ChainBreakers, Incorporated, a Community Development Corporation located in Portsmouth, Virginia. ChainBreakers, Inc. is dedicated to helping low-income families in the city of Portsmouth become self sufficient and better their quality of life. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Hampton Roads Diversity and Inclusion Consortium, a newly formed agency created to engage businesses and organizations in the process of examining best practices in the areas of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Mrs. Thompson is also a member of the Executive Advisory Council of Teens with a Purpose, a local youth organization focused on providing a forum for youth to use their voices, talents and abilities to positively impact the lives of their peers.
Mrs. Thompson is married, a mother of three, and resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Dr. Juan Montero
Dr. Juan M. Montero,II came to America in 1966 to pursue post graduate training in general surgery at De Paul hospital in Norfolk Virginia and a fellowship in thoracic surgery at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. One of his biggest breaks in life was when he was offered to practice surgery with his attending surgeon and mentor, the late Dr. William Hotchkiss, who became president of the American Medical Association in 1987-88.
Following his induction into the fellowship of the American College of Surgeons in 1977, he felt that it was time to give back to Uncle Sam after the realization of his American Dream. This he did through volunteerism in three settings: 1st RURAL, by helping the migrant workers during summertime in Eastern, Virginia through a mobile clinic from 1979-1984; 2nd URBAN, through his leadership in founding the Chesapeake Care Free Clinic in 1992 to help the uninsured. 3rd INTERNATIONAL through medical mission work since 1981. To mention some of his numerous achievements, recognition, and awards:
- He coached his four sons in basketball and baseball from 1977-1990 at the height of his surgical practice
- First Citizen of Chesapeake, 1991
- Governor's Award for Volunteering Excellence[G.A.V.E.],gold level, 1992
- Outstanding Physician by Medical Society of Virginia, 1978
- Nomination for U.S. Surgeon General in 1995 by the late Congressman Norman Sisisky
- Philippine Presidential 'Linkapil' Award for volunteering excellence in 2000
- Doctor of Humane Letters conferred by Old Dominion University, 1997
- Humanism in Medicine award by the Association of American Medical Colleges,2002
- Co-recipient of the inaugural Surgical Volunteerism award by the American College of Surgeons, 2003
- Founding director-signatory of Towne Bank, 1999
- Founding President of Asian Business Association of Hampton Roads, 2010
Dr. Montero is busier than ever now, conducting humanitarian efforts here and abroad through Montero Medical Missions founded in July, 2011. He always counts his blessings of a wonderful wife and mother to their four well accomplished sons: a chef restaurateur, a lawyer and two doctors of medicine with their heavenly eleven grandchildren, as he calls them.
Jagdish Singh, Advisory Board
Director, Jul 2012 - Jun 2013
Director, Jul 2011 - Jun 2012
Mrs. Singh is a community activist. She promotes what for her are a very realizable goals ranging from the non-violence and peace espoused by her heroes, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., to the universal ideals of human rights, diversity and justice for all. She is recipient of numerous public service awards including significantly the Mary Helen Thomas “Award for Racial Justice” and the “Martin Luther King, Jr. Implementing the Dream Award” for her lifelong pursuit of peace and non-violence.
In addition, Mrs. Singh was commended for her long years in community service by a joint resolution of the Senate and the Legislative Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Finally, Meyera Oberndorf, Mayor of the City of Virginia Beach signed a proclamation declaring May 16, 2003 as Dr. Amarjit Singh, Mrs. Jagdish A. Singh and Ms. Tuni Singh Day.
Mrs. Singh currently serves on the Human Rights Council of the Commonwealth of Virginia as an appointment of Governor Mark Warner as well as on the Cox Cable Committee for Non-Profit Organizations of Hampton Roads (Virginia). In 2009, Mrs. Singh was recognized by the Rumi Forum for promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding and was one of the recipients of the 2009 Rumi Peace and Dialogue Award.
Mrs. Singh represents the Asian Indians of Hampton Roads (AIHR) and the Asian Pacific American Heritago Organization (APAHO) on the ABAHR Board.
Advisory Board, May 2013 - Present
Membership Chair, Jul 2011 - Present
Director, Jul 2012 - Jun 2013
Director, Jul 2011 - Jun 2012
Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater