I’m Filipina. I was born in the Philippines and moved to California with my family when I was three. My parents worked in the restaurant industry since I could remember, and when I was twelve my dad had the opportunity to open a branch of a restuarant in Vegas and I’ve been here ever since. I went to middle school, high school and college in the city. Graduated from UNLV with a hospitality degree and I’m now the Co-owner and Creative Director of Evergreen Coffee in Henderson.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in leadership, and how have you overcome them?
Being a woman and an Asian woman at that, I struggled with both cultural and gender differences in my 9-5. It was hard to find the confidence to express my ideas especially when you may be the only minority in an environment that wasn’t particularly supportive in those aspects. The Asian culture is very collaborative, thoughtful and respects hierarchy whereas American culture focuses on individuality, boldness and assertiveness.
What I’ve come to realize is that I am both Asian and American, and there are times where I have to be bold and other times where I need to be more mindful of things. And my confidence came after I learned to accept who I am and realized that I had the power to choose who I surrounded myself with, where I worked and who I can be.
Can you share a success story or project that you are particularly proud of and why?
I’m really proud of my team. Building a business from the ground up is only possible because I have an amazing group of people surrounding me. I come up with crazy ideas all the time and they’re the ones who really breathe life into them, and it’s fulfilling to see each person grow and spread their wings. One of my baristas came up with a menu item entirely on her own and now we not only sell it at Evergreen but she also earns commission from it.
Can you share some of the key skills and qualities that have contributed to your success as a leader?
I’m really grateful to have inherited my dad’s stubbornness (love you dad!). When I set my eyes on something, I won’t stop till I get it no matter how long it takes or how many times people tell me I’m crazy.
What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be leaders in their respective fields?
Live life and thrive on your terms. It’s easy to get caught up in comparing our journey to others and feeling like we need to fit a certain narrative. But when you sacrifice your values, your boundaries and who you are for something that doesn’t serve you, you are diminishing the light within yourself that the world needs.
How can we get involved with or support your organization?
You can visit us in our shop or check out our website www.EvergreenCoffeeLV.com and Instagram (@evergreencoffeelv) to learn more about the work we do.
> Do you know an amazing woman leader in the community who has a great story NAAAP LV should amplify? Please fill out the nomination form.