Nancy Yao Maasbach

President, Museum of Chinese in America

“Michael Wong, have you eaten yet?”: The journey to knowing ourselves and our members


16 min

In this captivating talk, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) President Nancy Yao shares the unique challenges of her museum to illustrate the importance for all organizations of getting to know their members.

This talk was recorded live at the Tessitura Learning & Community Conference in August, 2017.

"I had come across 12 different Michael Wongs in the first few weeks of my job with MOCA. All unidentifiable, all without clear donor giving, and all without any ounce of relationship management color... And I realized that any good intentions were lost. Anything I could do, at this point, was, at best, superficial."

Do you know Michael Wong? You might know him as John Smith’s Chinese cousin. The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) knows quite a number of Michael Wongs. Yet, as we concentrated efforts to improve member relations and dealt with institutional memory loss with turnover, we could not differentiate one Michael Wong from the other Michael Wong. As a nationally-recognized Museum, MOCA successfully and creatively identifies and preserves the untold stories of the making of America, specifically the journeys of Chinese immigrants. We knew we needed a robust platform to help us know our community and, along the way, ourselves.

Nancy Yao Maasbach

Nancy Yao Maasbach

Museum of Chinese in America


Arts & Culture


Business Strategy




Innovator Series