Public Works honors best Asian employees during Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

Asian Employees Honored

Story and photos courtesy Heather Johnson, Public Works

On May 31, as part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the LA Board of Public Works honored outstanding Asian American employees from each Bureau.

LA’s history would be incomplete without the voices and contributions of the Asian Americans who have called L.A. home since its earliest days. The City and Public Works thrive because of the hard work and dedication of each of our employees. The diversity of experience that these employees bring to the Department is part of what makes this City a vibrant place to live and work. Almost 18 percent of Public Works employees are of Asian American-Pacific Islander descent. People of Asian American Pacific Island heritage participate at every level of the Department, from executive management, Engineering, Street Services, Sanitation and Environment, Street Lighting, inspections, and so much more.

The honorees were:

  • Sophy Tzeng, Contract Administration
  • Hui Huang, Engineering
  • Lisette Orilla, Sanitation and Environment
  • Annie Chau, Street Lighting; and
  • Judy Shum, Street Services.

Congratulations to those honored!

Public Works honorees, from left: Hui Huang, Engineering; Judy Shum, Street Services; Sophy Tzeng, Contract Administration; Commissioner Jessica Caloza; Lisette Orilla, Sanitation; and Annie Chau, Street Lighting.

Honoree Bios

Sophy Tzeng, Contract Administration

Sophy Tzeng began her City career with the Bureau of Contract Administration (BCA), Office of Contract Compliance in February 2006 as a Management Assistant in the Equal Employment Opportunities Enforcement Section.

At that time, BCA was responsible for reviewing contract documents related to four ordinances: EEO/Affirmative Action, Equal Benefits, Slavery Disclosure, and the Living Wage and Service Contract Worker Retention Ordinance. Sophy became an expert in administering all of them.

In August 2007 she was promoted to Management Analyst and soon thereafter was promoted to Management Analyst II in December 2007.

After this promotion she became the special liaison to Airports, deftly administering the ordinances on their contracts. In January 2016, she became the supervisor of the EEOE Section when BCA promoted her to Sr. Management Analyst.

As Supervisor she lead the implementation of the following ordinances: First Source Hiring, Hotel Worker Minimum Wage, City Contractors’ Use of Criminal History for Consideration of Employment Applications/Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring, Disclosure of Boarder Wall Contracting, and, most recently, Disclosure of Contracts and Sponsorship of the National Rifle Association.

Additionally, she developed recommendations and guided several ordinance amendments through Council to streamline and provide clarification to various City contracting ordinances and is responsible for the collection of millions of dollars in wage restitutions.

Over the years Sophy has quietly and adeptly carried out all of these tasks and as well as too many more to name.

Hui Huang, Engineering

Hui Huang is a Chinese immigrant via Mexico who was raised in Los Angeles.

Hui attended Belmont High School in Westlake, earned her bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from UCLA, and has subsequently obtained professional civil engineering and traffic engineering licenses from the State of California.

Hui started with the City in 2004 working for Transportation, where she supported the design, construction and operation of transportation facilities and managed the transportation planning, design and environmental review of private developments in West Los Angeles.

Hui subsequently was promoted to Sanitation and Environment, where she managed green street storm water infrastructure projects.

Currently, Hui works at in Engineering as a Civil Engineer. Hui has been instrumental in the development of key policies while with Engineering, including policies related to Above Ground Facilities and coordination of work in the Public Right of Way.

Hui is a go-to person who customers and City employees are quick to reach out to because she is very knowledgeable and is always friendly and helpful. She has quickly become a key member Engineering Development Services team.

Lisette Orilla, Sanitation and Environment

Lisette Orilla is the Budget Director at Sanitation and Environment, where she successfully oversees the preparation and management of LASAN’s $1 billion annual budget for the last three years. Lisette demonstrates exceptional knowledge of financial management and leadership skills, working with 24 division managers and special fund managers to manage more than 16 funding sources to maintain the financial integrity of LASAN.

Lisette graduated from University of California Irvine with a bachelor of science degree in biology and completed a two-year coursework program in computer science. She has worked in LASAN’s Financial Management and Administration Divisions, where her strong work ethic has garnered her a number of notices of commendation and recognition throughout the years for contributing to the improvement and efficiency of work procedures and processes.

Annie Chau, Street Lighting

Annie Chau joined Street Lighting in June 2014 and is a Sr. Management Analyst I. She has shown great diligence and dedication to her work and is proactive and of vital importance to ensure timely collection of revenues for the Street Lighting fund. She supervises the Billing Section and is responsible for federal billings, co-location billings, budget preparation, monitoring of funds, reserve fund loans, GASB 34, reversion of funds and other financial reports.

When the task of preparing the federal billings was transferred to the Bureau, Annie thoroughly researched the process to ensure that billings were submitted correctly and on time, thus ensuring all eligible reimbursements were received. Furthermore, preparation of the GASB 34 report is a tedious and very time-consuming task that entails reviewing very old records with project engineers. Annie consistently ensures that the GASB 34 report is done accurately and on time. Annie is always there to help and solve problems that others don’t want to tackle. She has a “can-do” personality that is greatly appreciated and helps to foster a positive environment in the office.

Her multiple roles and responsibilities are a testament to her efficiency and dependability.

Judy Shum, Street Services

Judy Shum came to the United States with her family in 1984 from Taiwan and grew up in the San Gabriel Valley.

After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona, she lived in San Jose before returning to Southern California.

She started in the City as a Programmer Analyst working for ITA supporting the Financial Management Information system.

Today, Judy works with Street Services as a Fiscal System Specialist, supervising the Payroll and Cost Accounting sections, as well as supporting the payroll and financial management sections.