“True leaders don’t create more followers, they create more leaders.” In the final episode of AAPI Leaders Unmuted, I welcome 1Lt Keum Lee and TSgt Ferdy Hooper to the show to discuss their drive to lead quality AAPI Heritage Month events. We discuss the differences and similarities on how they planned and executed their AAPI Heritage events across an entire month, integrating off-base agencies to have an even stronger connection with the local community, and finally come up with a new idea to help build future leaders who will even further advance future AAPI Heritage events. It was an honor to talk to both of them and I look forward to working with them in the future. Here we go!
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1Lt Keum Lee is a deputy flight commander at the 700th Air Support Squadron in Langley AFB, VA. Keum Lee graduated from Baylor University in Waco, TX and was commissioned through the AFROTC program. He is currently attending Purdue University to get his Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity Management.
Technical Sergeant Hooper is an Aircraft Structural Maintenance Craftsman by trade but presently holds a special duty position of Section Chief at Maintenance Operation Center (MOC) with 58th Maintenance Operation Flight, 58th Maintenance Group, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. Our mission is to monitor and coordinate sortie production, maintenance production, and execution of operations and maintenance schedules for MXG and HHQ leadership. TSgt Hooper is 45 years old. He was born in the Philippines on January 19, 1976. He migrated to the US in March 1993 at the age of 17. He went to Pine Forest High-School in Pensacola Florida and graduated in 1995. He then attended Pensacola Junior College and pursued Architectural Computer Aided Drafting and Building Construction degree. Subsequently, he enlisted in the US Air Force in 2002 and arrived at Lackland AFB, Texas in November 2002 for basic military training. Upon graduation, he attended Aircraft Structural Maintenance Technical School and graduated in May of 2003. He then proceeded to his first duty station at Hurlburt Field AFB, Florida where he performed duties as an Aircraft Structural Maintenance Apprentice for 16th Equipment Maintenance Squadron. While assigned at Hurlburt Field, he deployed to Ali-Al Salem, Kuwait in support of OPERATION Iraqi Freedom for 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Group. In May 2006, he received an assignment to Kadena AFB, Okinawa Japan, where he performed Aircraft Structural Maintenance Craftsman with 18th Equipment Maintenance Squadron. He also held a couple special duty positions while stationed at Kadena AFB. In January of 2009, he was selected as team lead for the Pacific Air Force’s largest First Term Airmen Center. In November 2009, he was then selected for 18th Maintenance Group as Quality Assurance inspector. While serving as an inspector, he was deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar with the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Group in January 2011. While serving in Qatar, he was then requested to forward deploy and conduct a Staff Assistance Visit inspection for 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Group at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. In May 2014, he received an assignment to Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea where he performed duties as a shift supervisor for the Sheetmetal shop at 51st Maintenance Squadron. In June 2015, he was assigned at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico as the Non Commissioned Officer In-Charge of Sheetmetal and Corrosion Control work center with 58th Maintenance Squadron. In November 2019, he was initially assigned as Senior Weapon System Controller at MOC then later assumed his current position as the Section Chief of the work center. He attended University of Maryland and achieved Aviation Maintenance Technology Degree in 2009. He is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. He is married to the former Gienne-Sofia T. Abellano of Manila, Philippines and they are blessed with two amazing children together: Derick and Brandon.