C h e w  C o m m u n i c a t i o n s

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About Ron

Ron Chew is a lifelong Seattleite. His paternal grandfather immigrated to Seattle in 1911 from a rural village in Southeast China, living in a hotel that would later be converted into the new home of the Wing Luke Museum. Ron's grandfather worked in the salmon canneries in Alaska. Ron's parents were also immigrants. His father, who arrived in 1930, worked for over 30 years as a waiter at the old Hong Kong Restaurant in the International District. Ron's mother was a seamstress in many downtown Seattle sewing factories in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Ron is a graduate of Franklin High School and the University of Washington, majoring in editorial journalism. Ron is principal of Chew Communications, where he pursues his lifelong passion for documenting local community history through oral history and multimedia projects.  He served as executive director of the Wing Luke Asian Museum from 1991-2007.  Known as an innovator using cutting-edge presentations with a locally oriented emphasis, Ron helped redefine museums by melding cultural identity, civic participation, and museum programs into a new tool in the fight for social justice.

Through his leadership, Ron was instrumental in turning around the struggling Wing Luke Asian Museum and setting its course to become a culturally thriving and financially viable institution. Ron is a recipient of the
Ford Foundation “Leadership for a Changing World” award and an honoree of the Association of American Museum’s Centennial Honor Roll that recognized the top 100 people who  helped make America’s museums places of discovery, inspiration, joy, and life long learning.

Prior to his career at the Wing Luke Asian Museum, he worked for over 13 years as editor of the International Examiner, an acclaimed newspaper in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. There, he was instrumental in a larger movement to recognize the role of ethnic and neighborhood newspapers in anchoring healthy communities.

From 2008-2010 Ron served as community-scholar-in-residence at the University of Washington, teaching in the graduate program in museology.  Since 2010, Ron has served as director of the ICHS Foundation, helping raise money to support a network of community clinics serving Asian Pacific American immigrants and refugees and other underserved populations. He is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop leader at museum and cultural conferences in the U.S. and Canada.

He is a founding member of the Seattle Chapters of the Asian American Journalists Association and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. He also serves on the board of directors of the Greater Seattle Chapter of  OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates and the International Examiner.