For our July Member of the Month, we interviewed superstar member Martha Hao! Read on to learn more about her.

Tell us about yourself! It can be about anything – where you grew up, your professional background, your hobbies, etc.

I was born in Chicago – but I spent most of my childhood growing up in different places! I lived in Taipei, Bangkok, and San Francisco….I didn’t go back to Chicago again until my college years (then I spent awhile living in Avignon). And now I’m finally settled down in NYC ever since I moved here for grad school (I know – confusing timeline).

I’m an architectural designer in the Retail/Marketing industry. This means I design stores – interior & exterior – to make the stores appealing for the customers as part of a marketing strategy. Outside my 9-5 job, I’m training to be a secret ninja by doing extreme sports – running, rock-climbing, ice-climbing, Krav Maga, and learning Russian. My new puppy is going to be my partner in crime. 

Martha with puppy

Why did you join TAP? What are your favorite events?

I joined TAP a year ago because I wanted to part of a community. I’ve joined other meetup groups in the past, but they didn’t feel the same. I wanted to meet new friends and try new things with a community that I feel I belong to. The LNY party is my favorite event because it reminds me of celebrating in Taiwan. The festivity, eating, lion-dancing…and just sharing the celebration with friends in general.

Tell us something cool that happened to you this past year.

I completed the NYRR 9+1 qualification last year! This means I will be running the New York Marathon this year. I also went outdoor rock-climbing in Red Rock – it was a very surreal experience to climb in the desert. 

Martha running

If we wanted to hang out, where would we find you?

In the city, you can find me at the MET, Central Park, and the climbing gym. Sometimes you can also find me in upstate New York hiking and camping. But I’m definitely at Culture Espresso everyday – their chocolate chip cookies are addictive!

What’s your advice for newer members who want to get more involved?

Taking the first step to join any club is hard. It took me a few weeks before I reached out to a TAP member about starting a running club. I was hesitant, but I’m glad I reached out! Everyone at TAP is very nice and welcoming. There’s a lot of events and different things to do. Once I started doing the activities, I forgot about my shyness and really looked forward to each event!