Leona Chen
Former Organizer, Tokyo & Former Head Organizer, Toronto

Some twenty years ago, Leona's parents moved to Los Angeles from China in search of a better life. Growing up in the land of hamburger and fries, Leona was quite content. At the tender age of eleven her parents decided to move to Perth, Australia where Leona spent the year running barefoot on white sandy beaches. In Australia, she discovered kangaroos were actually vicious animals when one tried to attack her.

A year later, the family moved back to North America. Only this time to Toronto, Canada, a place with very different weather from Los Angeles and Perth. But despite the weather, Leona survived, and even thrived. It was during this time in Canada when she rediscovered her Chinese roots. Spending her summer breaks in Hong Kong and China, Leona picked up both Mandarin and Cantonese and hungrily soaked up the Chinese culture.

Leona attended the University of Toronto, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Japanese in 2000. After graduation, she started working for IBM Canada. Thinking this was the ideal time for her to explore and "find herself", after six months at IBM, Leona packed her bags and headed for Japan on her own.

In Japan, Leona has quickly mastered some of Japan's unique cultural idiosyncracies, like bowing. However, refining and mastering the Japanese language has taken longer than anticipated. She spent the next three years living in Tokyo, working for a Japanese telecommunica-
tions company - JENS Corporation, in the Finance and Accounting department. Leona also joined the ORIENTED network at that time and helped to run the Happy Hours there.

In 2004, Leona decided to move back to the Toronto in pursue of a Master's Degree in Asian Pacific Studies at the University of Toronto. Most of her time is currently spent in the library, behind books, coming up briefly for air at the ORIENTED Happy Hours.