2014 About Us

The Ao Dai Festival is produced by the following organizations:

Friends of Hue Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable, non-profit, tax-exempt, non-governmental organization, whose primary mission is to provide assistance to impoverished people and victims of natural disasters in Thua Thien Hue province of Central Vietnam.

Under the principles of empowerment and self-reliance, FHF has partnered with Fashion for Freedom, a social enterprise, to launch the Mending Communities Initiative. We recognize that, although poor and lacking in many resources, the Vietnamese people do not lack talent or skills. This initiative with harness local skills in embroidery, needle craft, and other artisanship; furthermore, we will connect village artisans to markets of the world by promoting and selling their creations through an e-commerce platform. With the help of a large network of volunteers, interns and staff, FHF is committed to providing a sustainable solution to alleviate poverty, by empowering the poor with the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.

GreenRice Foundation is a successor of GreenRice Gallery, established by Jenny Do in 2006 to provide a home for Vietnamese-American contemporary arts, with exhibitions focused on promoting positive social change, fostering intellectual dialogues, and empowering communities.  Ms. Do curated many well received exhibitions at GreenRice, among which Calls of the Mountains, Twin Sides of Temptations, Women, Insistence on Hope, We’re Here, Poetry Gate, Metamorphosis, Palimpsest of the Essence, and the national traveling show Humans For Sale.  With the intent to expand its operations and to address the need of sustainability for several nonprofit organizations, GreenRice Gallery was incorporated into GreenRice Foundation (“GF”) in 2011.  GF is committed to produce high quality art shows and festivals.  Its goal is dual: to raise funds to support nonprofit organizations that serve disadvantaged children and women and to promote Asian American arts and culture.

GG Connections Designer Debbie Nghiem is known for her avant garde and fusion of styles in her design. She was born in Saigon, Vietnam and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan before making San Jose, California her permanent home. She studied Business Finance with an interest in real estate and demographics at San Jose State University. Prior to design and fashion, she has worked as a worldwide purchasing/logistic planner, marketing,contract negotiations, and manufacturing in several high tech companies including JDSU, Schlumberger/LTX, Network PCB and received several awards. In 2008-2009, she involved in business fashion as an exclusive account representative in Vietnam for Sourcing Magic. This experience helped her to learn more about the fashion industry and to pursue her career. In December 2010, she received an award as ‘The Best Designer in the Bay Area’ from Be That Kid Productions. In 2010, She joined San Jose Fashion Week & Uomo Vogue Apparel Group as VP Director and Buyer, Easter Asia for Men’s Wear, Women’s Wear, Accessories, Textiles, in Vietnam, China, and South Korea.

Also, she is an entrepreneur for few other projects such as Oil/Energy Company-Providence Energy Group, Music/Movie for Northern Five Entertainment. She raised over a million dollars for Oil/Energy company and hundred thousand dollars for the movie projects. Her background also was a real estate agent.

In October 2011, Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame Award has selected her for Women and Service. She has been invited as a key note, and guess speaker for many Universities, Colleges and Non -Profit Organizations – Her topics mostly were about fundraising, and Leadership such as “How to do a successful fundraising” at Yale University, San Diego University, “Leadership” at National Congress of Vietnamese Americans and You Live You Learn Organization.

Debbie’s passion also devoted in charity works &loves promoting young generation, talented artists&building a Modeling Agency for Young Ladies in the U.S and especially for the Vietnamese-American community.

She has helping the less fortunate, and creating opportunities to bring together the Vietnamese people through social and professional events to promote a supportive network of associates, friends, and resources. She has been a key contributor in charity organizations such as Vietnamese American Professionals Alliance (VAPA), Aid to Children without Parents (ACWP), Asian Pacific in San Francisco, Mid Autumn Festival (MAF), VNhelp, Vietnamese Silicon Valley Network and now it calls Vietnamese Strategic Venture Network(VSVN), Friends of Hue, C & Y Club.

From 2003-2007 she created a non-profit organization call United Vietnamese Americans(UVA) www.uvaus.com. Since she was a founder and Vice President of United Vietnamese Americans, then later she became the President of this organization. She has formed strong relationships with many organizations in the Bay Area. UVA helped out with many activities such as raising money for disaster relieves and forming a scholarship program.

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We are looking for volunteers and sponsors to plan and fund for the next California Áo Dài Festival V. There are 2 big changes: First, ADF will need to be on its own and will no longer serve as a vehicle to raise fund for FHF. Áo Dài Festival will eventually be its own entity to be the culture component of the City of San Jose. As such, we will need to apply for grants and sponsorships to start our next ADF. Second, the current plan is to have a competition for the Best Áo Dàis in town in many different categories. The focus is no longer about the designers but about the áo dài lovers who know how to adorn the dress that elevates his/her character. The sponsors will pick which prize they would like to sponsor. For the venue, we are contemplating a big parade on Story Road or at the San Jose History Park. Please share your thoughts and get involved! ... See MoreSee Less

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