“Women inspire women and when it comes to philanthropy, women hold a major role. We can think very broadly, and we can think very dynamically. We can envision and feel the intangible, and this is really our strength.”
Emily Lo - Humanitarian and community leader committed to sharing equity, understanding and solidarity.
We are thrilled to honor Tiffany Circle member and community leader, Emily Lo, in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month coming up in May.
The Tiffany Circle is a community of women leaders who advance the American Red Cross mission through a focused investment of time, talent and treasure by engaging women locally, nationally and internationally.
Growing up in Hong Kong while it was still a British colony, Emily attended a high school run by American missionaries. Experiencing a melting pot of eastern and western cultures instilled a deep sense of understanding and value for cultural diversity in her. When Emily moved to Japan with her husband and two young children, she experienced a gender gap in the culture, which fueled her passion for gender equality. Ultimately, Emily and her family moved to Saratoga, California, where her passion for diversity, equality, and humanity grew even more.
Although Emily was first introduced to the Red Cross in Hong Kong, her true involvement started later in life when she began contributing to support those affected by disasters, both in America and across the globe. Emily said “there is no geographic boundary when it comes to disasters, they can hit anywhere and affect anyone. I just can’t imagine being in such a helpless situation with such grief and loss, so I really feel for people who are affected by disasters.” Emily believes that there are so many organizations out there, but when you only have so much time in the day, you want to choose the one that is going to make the biggest difference, she feels Red Cross is that organization.
Emily feels that America has demonstrated strong leadership globally in volunteerism and philanthropy, a culture which she truly appreciates. “When I came to America and saw a well-established structure of volunteerism…that was something that was very fascinating to me and something I hope to pass on to the next generation.” This sentiment inspired Emily to dedicate much of her time to making her community a better and brighter place to live.
When her family moved to Saratoga in 1995, Emily began her community work as the principal of a Chinese Language School, an institution that was mostly run by volunteers. She then went on to serve as Co-President of the PTA, while also starting her own promotional products business. After her kids graduated, Emily decided to commit her time to the broader community and was elected as the President of the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce. In 2010 she was elected to city council and served for eight years, two terms as the Mayor of Saratoga. After completing her term on City Council in late 2018, Emily continued to get involved in her community, serving as Vice Chair of Hakone Foundation and Board Member of a grassroots organization called “WIRE for Women” which helps promote gender equity in politics by recruiting more women for elected and appointed positions.
Emily is honored to be part of the Tiffany Circle. She believes that “women inspire women and when it comes to philanthropy, women hold a major role. We can think very broadly, and we can think very dynamically. We can envision and feel the intangible, and this is really our strength.” Emily deeply values each of the Red Cross’ fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. She is committed to highlighting these values and believes that the Red Cross needs to continue sharing strong “messages of equity, understanding, and solidarity.”
Thank you, Emily, for your unwavering dedication to the Red Cross and humanity as a whole – we are truly fortunate to have you standing by our side.