Phi Pham was born in Saigon, South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. While still an infant, Phi’s family decided to steal a C-130 cargo plane and flee to safety less than one month before the fall of Saigon. Given the religious heritage of the family, the events that led up to the escape were nothing less than a miracle. The history of the family’s escape caught the notice of the curator of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum who decided to add the plane to their collection. Currently negotiations are ongoing to display the plane at another location and the family hope it will be relocated to Wright Patterson Air Force Museum.
Phi’s family had a strong desire to preserve the native tongue and cultural heritage. The family connected with other Vietnamese immigrants and the Vietnamese Association of Greater Dayton was formed. From a very early age Phi was involved with the association and his strong desire to maintain the purpose of the group led to leadership positions within the organization. He was involved in the annual planning of “Tet” (Vietnamese New Year). In addition he pushed towards ideas that would generate additional revenue for a fairly small organization. Soon he was asked to serve as a delegate to the Dayton International Festival, Inc.
This was during a very crucial time for the DIFI organization, when major changes were being considered. After serving as a delegate for just one year, he was asked to run for a position on the Executive Committee. He was elected to serve as Sergeant At Arms, overseeing the Ethics, Scheduling and Food/Beverage committees. He also served as 1st Vice President, where he oversaw the Marketing Committee. Working with newly elected president, Jose Davila, he felt DIFI needed an upgrade. Some of the changes Phi led the rest of the officers in making included changing the non-profit status of the organization in order to solicit and accept corporate and private sponsorship, grants, etc.
Family illness led Phi not to run for a third office, but the innovations he started continue.
Phi has been married for almost ten years to his lovely and understanding wife, Lisa. Together they have three young children. Phi is very popular among the Facebook world sharing his almost unbelievable stories of his kids. The family currently resides south of Dayton.
Professionally, Phi is a financial consultant, currently working towards his CFP designation. Some say that his professional experience has helped contribute to transforming the organization.
DIFI is pleased and honored to have Phi Pham serving as the Honorary Chairperson for the 2012 festival.