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Teacher and President

VENERABLE TENZIN CHOESANG

At the age of 16 Venerable Tenzin Choesang became a monk at Namgyal Monastery, the personal monastery of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. There he met his great teacher, His Eminence Lobsang Nyima, the 100th throne holder of Je Rinpoche (the renowned Lama Tsongkhapa). Ven. Choesang studied intensively with this great master for 14 years and continues as his principal student.  After finishing his examination of Master of Buddhist Sutra and Tantra in the year 2000, the Abbot of Namgyal Monastery selected him to teach Namgyal Monastery students. He taught both Sutra and Tantra for five years. From 2002-2005 he held several positions within the monastery including education director. Tenzin Choesang has taught and studied in many places across India and around the world. Venerable Choesang is currently the Board President of the Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca NY and the Buddhist Chaplin at Cornell University.

In 2017, Ven. Choesang developed the idea of the Dalai Library and Museum and approached His Holiness with the initial plans. With His Holiness’ wholehearted support, Ven. Choesang has become the principal champion and organizer of this auspicious project.

VENERABLE SONAM WANGCHUK

Venerable Sonam Wangchuk was born in Bhutan. He completed his primary education at a Tibetan school in India. In 1998 he joined Namgyal Monastery, the personal Monastery of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala. He studied Buddhist philosophy and graduated in 2001 with a Master’s Degree in Sutra and Tantra. Upon graduation, he served as a board member of the monastery. Today, Venerable Sonam resides in Orange County, CA as a resident teacher of Namgyal Monastery OC.

GARY NGUYEN

PHILANTHROPY CHAIR

Gary Nguyen is a seasoned healthcare industry professional with over 15 years of experience providing comprehensive services in the areas of Home Health, Palliative Care and End of Life Care to families living in Southern California. He strives daily to bring this comfort to the homes of his patients while delivering the best of service within agency standards.

He serves as Chairman & Co-Founder of 360 Clinic, Founder of 24/7 Care at Home, CEO of Medical Home Center, and Chairman & Founder of 24/7 Capital. In addition, he is a commercial real estate developer with over 18 years of experience in managing over 100,000 square feet of commercial healthcare developments. He is also a serial investor in post-acute healthcare and tech startups such as Lyft and Airbnb. In 2015, he was awarded Small Business Person of the Year by SBA.

A graduate of California Polytechnic State University, Pomona with a BS in Electrical Engineering, Gary is an entrepreneur with a high sense of urgency in developing many new business ventures that bring value to his community. As a community and business leader, he devotes himself to enriching and empowering community members in their personal and professional development. Nonprofit work includes sitting on the board of Dalai Lama Museum & Library, OC Drive, Vietnamese Golf Alliance of Southern California and Supportive Care Services (SCS) Foundation. He also donated in projects such as Namgyal Monastery Orange County .

Through compassion and sensitivity, Gary practices mindfulness in the way he operates his businesses. He hopes to leave the world a better place than what he found it. He has adopted the personal philosophy that – If you can’t add more day in your life, then add more life in your day.

LINDA NGUYEN

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Linda Nguyen is the COO of SOUPPLY and former VP of Community Relations for 360 Clinic. She strives to cultivate relationships with various organizations and partner agencies to foster collaborative opportunities to serve the community.

Passionate about giving back, Linda supports organizations such as Orange County United Way, Girls Inc., and OC Drive. As Executive Director, she is currently leading the fundraising efforts to complete the building of the Dalai Lama Library and Learning Center in Ithaca, New York. She devotes her community service to support small businesses, serving on the board of National Association of Asian American Professionals Orange County (NAAAP-OC) in addition to serving as Chair of Charitable Giving for Southern California Vietnamese Golf Alliance (SoCal VGA). She is a past Board Member of Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce (VACOC) and Asian Business Association of Orange County (ABAOC) along with serving as past Ambassador for Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County (FACCOC).

Linda thrives on bringing people together and creating long-term relationships that grow networks, expand business opportunities, and increase returns.

Her everyday goal - cultivating meaningful connections and impactful collaborations.

LISETTE BANTEGUI

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Lisette Bantegui is the Community Director of SOUPPLY, part-time Cast Member at Disneyland, and former Executive Assistant at 360 Clinic. Her experience lies in Marketing, Operations, and Guest Relations.

Working at Disneyland for 8 years, Lisette embodies the values of Courtesy, Show, Efficiency, and Safety. She enjoys creating Magical Moments and making Guests’ experience better. Being part of Disney’s effect in bringing happiness to thousands of people around the world, Lisette is passionate to also create a big impact in society.

Lisette has been involved in organizations such as the Vietnamese Student Association and Pilipino American Coalition. She devoted much of her college experience in participating in various cultural events and community outreach.

Spearheading the fundraising at the Dalai Lama Library and Learning Center, Lisette strives to bring awareness to others in promoting a sense of “oneness” of humanity. She hopes that this global movement will bring about a positive change and unite many people around the world.

NANCY LAI

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

Nancy Lai is a self-made digital nomad. Her work experience lies in social media management, nonprofit marketing, and community engagement. She has worked with creative agencies and clients from across the spectrum, including nonprofits like Goodwill of Orange County and American Red Cross Southern California Region and companies like Moxie Marketing Agency, Saigon Broadcasting Television Network, and 360 Clinic.

Nancy's interest in social media and community engagement sprung from her extensive volunteer experience growing up. It was there she recognized the communication gaps nonprofits have with the public. She saw the opportunity to use her skills to help share the good work these organizations do for the community and help better the world around her.

Her passion for utilizing traditional and non-traditional methods to communicate ideas and develop relationships with people drives her commitment to promoting the important message the Dalai Lama Library and Learning Center has to share with the world.

LANA NGUYEN

DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT

Lana Nguyen is experienced in project coordination and possesses graphic and web design skills. In addition to being a vendor at local pop-up events, she has her own "boutique" on third-party platforms such as Instagram, Mercari, and Depop where she sells pre-owned apparel, accessories, and handmade jewelry. She is currently a Development Assistant with the Dalai Lama Library & Learning Center, where she assists with multiple fundraising projects.

Her community involvement includes volunteering with Operation Be Kind and OC Drive. She is a Girl Scouts Cadette with Troop #3635 and has attended Girls, Inc.'s YESS entrepreneurship program at Chapman University in addition to their Eureka program for teens. She is currently in intermediate school and dreams to attend the Orange County School of Arts with a focus in Production & Design.

In her spare time, Lana enjoys creating fan edits using Adobe After Effects, sketching, playing video games, watching her favorite content creators, and playing golf. She is always up to try new hobbies that she finds interesting.

The Dalai Lama

"IF YOU WANT OTHERS TO BE HAPPY, PRACTICE COMPASSION. IF YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY, PRACTICE COMPASSION."

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Dalai Lama Library and Learning Center is a project under Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-exempt.

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