May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Many like Ann Poonkasem are taking this special time to be proud of claiming her Asian heritage and being American, too. “Ann P” is well-known to many in the Tampa Bay area for her beautiful voice and warm gracious personality. She has sung at many Tampa Bay area events, including those at the University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Storm games, Phil Fest and at Asia Fest, the annual local celebration to kick-off Asian Pacific American Heritage month. Poonkasem is Thai-American and grew up in Plant City, Florida.
Poonkasem says she was teased a lot about her Asian looks while growing up. With the support of a loving family and friends, she blossomed into the confident, vibrant young woman she is today. The very-gifted “Ann P” excelled in school and graduated from Plant City High School and the University of South Florida. While pursuing a BA in Mass Communications, Poonkasem was crowned Miss Tampa 2001 at the Miss Tampa Scholarship Pageant.
When not wowing the crowds with her lovely voice, Poonkasem is the Territory Account Manager for Renew Life in Palm Harbor, Florida. She also is a model, actress, television host and voice-over artist. Poonkasem has appeared on FOX 13 in Tampa and was a contestant on the NBC reality show, “I want to be a Hilton.”
Poonkasem also emcees and sings at the Thai Buddhist Temple and participates in community and breast cancer awareness events to represent Asian-Americans. Poonkasem proudly wears her Beauties for the Cure title as Queen and was named it’s “Most Outstanding Volunteer” in 2014.