Right when nearly everything in his life was firing on all cylinders, Toby suffered a major stroke. Almost three years later, I invited him to share with me how he and his family are coping with the persistent challenges that the stroke has brought to their family. Intro: A New Symbol of White Supremacy?
Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, Frank “Toby” Chi immigrated to the States in 1984 just in time to start high school in Orange. He worked in a computer service and retail shop while earning a computer science degree at Cal Poly Pomona. After graduation, Chi worked as a technical supervisor at AST Research for one year before making a career change to the advertising industry as a graphic designer for two years. He decided to be a freelancer, designing packaging artwork for musicians such as Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand under the direction of art directors from Columbia Music, Warner Bros., Griffin, Giant, and Sony Music. Chi then went on to opening his own advertising agency (“Defy”) to provide creative services for corporate and entertainment clients such as Disney, Nakamichi, Memorex, FX Networks, Skydance, and Yamaha.
Storytelling has always been a passion for Chi. After hiring on as the special effects supervisor and co-producer for sports documentary LINSANITY, Chi was given opportunities to direct the documentary CALL TO EVEREST – a web-based series that follows a mountaineer’s dream to be the first vegan to summit Everest. Chi then was hired by SEMA to direct and produce a documentary PROJECT UNDERDOG with the Fast and Furious franchise actor Sung Kang – a web series that follows the journey of 3 students from Alhambra High School spending 4 months together rebuilding a 1972 Ford Maverick under the mentorship of leaders in the automotive industry. The finished build won the coveted Ford Design Award at the 2017 SEMA show in Las Vegas. That customized Maverick was sold the following year at The Barrett Jackson Auction for $110,000. All proceeds went to a scholarship to help the students pursue a career in the automotive industry.
Chi currently resides with his wife Monica and two teenage children in Culver City, California.