The Cleveland Asian Festival has a history of partnering with local TV personalities to help emcee the stage performances. In 2017 we have returning guest emcee Lynna Lai, news anchor and reporter for WKYC-TV Channel 3. New this year as emcees are Chris Tanaka, anchor for Cleveland 19 News and CLE43, and Jennifer Auh, reporter for WEWS Channel 5 News. Also, returning as Head Emcee at the raised Lantern Stage is Wayne Wong, who has coordinated the emcee teams since the first CAF.
Lynna Lai. Lynna Lai joined WKYC-TV Channel 3 News in April 2012, anchoring the weekend evening newscasts and reporting on weeknights. She can now be seen anchoring Channel 3 News Today, weekday mornings from 4:30-7:00AM. Lynna brings to the job, her years of broadcasting experience in major markets across the country. She was the first Asian-American television reporter in Cleveland at WJW-TV, but left to pursue TV anchoring and reporting jobs in Tampa, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. Lynna returned to Cleveland television in 2001 as an anchor for WOIO-TV. Recognized for her energetic personality and storytelling abilities, Lynna has won 4 Emmy Awards for Best Spot News Reporting, and for her anchoring and reporting roles on Channel 3 News. Lynna can be found on Facebook and Twitter @Lynna_Lai.
Chris Tanaka. Chris Tanaka anchors the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts on Cleveland 19 as well as the 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on CLE43. Chris joined the Cleveland 19 news team in July of 2016, after a five year stint as anchor and reporter in Honolulu, Hawaii. While Chris moved to Cleveland to further his career, the move is also an opportunity to discover his roots as Chris’ father was born and raised in Lakewood, OH. Chris is half Japanese, was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and lived in Amman, Jordan until he was seven. An award-winning journalist, Chris’ early career was spent in the Denver, Colorado and Great Falls, Montana markets. Chris earned an undergraduate degree from Boston College and an MBA from Regis University in Denver. He’s happily married with two young boys. Chris can be found on Facebook and Twitter @Chris_Tanaka.
Jennifer Auh. Jennifer Auh recently moved to Cleveland in March 2017, to continue her career as a reporter, joining WEWS News 5, the local ABC affiliate. She is eager to explore the city and see what it has to offer! Jennifer is a versatile, accomplished reporter and anchor. Previously, she was one of the main weekday dayside reporters at KVUE News in Austin, Texas where she covered major stories that made national headlines, and reported on issues unique to Austin. She also reported stories that gained enormous traction online, include stories about the Christian and Muslim community during the tumultuous presidential election. Her exclusive interview with an Austin pastor has over 20,000 views on social media. She also worked as the Weekend Morning Anchor/Reporter at TWC News in Buffalo, New York. Jennifer has established herself as an award-winning storyteller out in the field and a versatile talent on the anchor desk. Hard work, compassion, perseverance and integrity — Jennifer Auh says she holds these four words dear to her heart, as a journalist. Outside of work, Jennifer loves to hike, listen to music, read, write, go shopping and try new restaurants. She is also a member of the Asian-American Journalism Association. Jennifer can be found on Facebook and Twitter @JenniferAuh.
Wayne Wong. In addition to being our Head MC, Wayne is the recipient of the Asian American Engineer of the Year Award. Wayne is the Chief of the Thermal Energy Conversion Branch, Power Division, at the NASA Glenn Research Center where he is helping to develop future high efficiency space power systems and was awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for his work. Wayne was born in Hong Kong and raised in Cleveland and is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University. Wayne is also an artist, actor, and scriptwriter, having pursued comic book illustration in the past and more recently is featured in several short films. He is the OCA Cleveland Asian American Advocates, V.P. of Administration, and leads the OCA Cleveland Dragon Dance Team. He enthusiastically volunteers his time and energy to further the goals of the Cleveland Asian Festival as Executive Committee member, Activities Chair, and Head MC.