TAP-Chicago is not and has never been a part of the California organization TACL. And the new “TAP-Chicago” group started by TACL in early 2012 is not affiliated with TAP-Chicago in any way. TAP-Chicago was founded by local Taiwanese Americans in 2008 with the mission of strengthening and unifying the community and providing social networking, cultural, professional development, community service, and leadership opportunities to the community.
Seeing the success of TAP-Chicago, representatives of the organization TACL approached us in early 2010 and proposed we merge our organization into theirs. At the time, they were also attempting to acquire Taiwanese American professional groups in other cities. We discussed an affiliation because we believed there may be benefits from national collaboration. However, an agreement was never reached because TACL was not able to address our concerns which included governance and blue-green neutrality, which we discussed with our members at http://www.facebook.com/events/148957961889926.
In February 2012, we learned that a certain person had been working with a member of the TACL national board to secretly plan the formation of a competing Taiwanese American organization in Chicago while this person simultaneously served as an organizer for TAP-Chicago. We shared this information with our members via this email.
We discussed the conflict of interest with the person on February 17th, and among other things, we asked and this person agreed to refrain from using TAP-Chicago member information, recruiting TAP-Chicago volunteers, and from using a name identical to or similar to TAP-Chicago. This person has subsequently attempted to create a competing group in Chicago with the support of the California organization TACL. This new TACL sponsored group has been using our name TAP-Chicago. And the new group’s leadership has been contacting our members and community partners claiming we are a “rogue chapter” of TACL, saying negative things about our organization and leadership, and discouraging them from working with us.
We have handled this situation as diplomatically as possible to try to avoid discord and disunity in the Taiwanese American community (our community is small enough already!). However, we believe the other group is acting aggressively and causing widespread confusion and harm to the Chicago Taiwanese American community and to TAP-Chicago. We have explained to the organizer of the imposter “TAP-Chicago” group and to the leadership of TACL our rights to the trademark TAP-Chicago and have asked them to cease using our name TAP-Chicago and to stop interfering with our organization.
Please know that regardless of how they respond, we will continue to focus on our efforts to build a stronger, more active Taiwanese American community in Chicago. Thank you for your support and please let us know if you have any questions.