One of the reasons why I started the Asian Community Development Council (ACDC) was 28 years ago when I moved to Las Vegas; I noticed that we didn’t have any place for the Asian American community to get help and support. Asian families were running into difficulties, they didn’t have places they could go. So that’s why this community center or area is very important for them.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in leadership, and how have you overcome them?
Being an Asian woman and in Las Vegas for 28 years, there are many challenges. And I remember in the past, when I used to work for this large insurance company, they told me that I would not be qualified to be a leader or go to a management position. There has always been this glass ceiling for women, and especially Asian women, that [says] we aren’t strong enough to lead. So what I did was I eventually opened up my own insurance agency, and built a business where all my agents were either chinese speakers or other language speakers to make sure we can serve our community.
Can you share a success story or project that you are particularly proud of and why?
I noticed that everyone is asking to talk about your success right? Well for me, I should talk about the unsuccessful businesses I have or unsuccessful things that happened in my life. Or things that didn’t go smoothly. And how do you overcome those issues or problems, right? In 2011, during the housing crisis, I was affected where I lost everything, including my job, so I had to build again. There are times when you hit rock bottom, you have to decide what you want to do next. You can say, “Ok, I give up,” or you can do something and turn around and see what’s your next step. And that step was for me to start the Asian Community Development Council.
Can you share some of the key skills and qualities that have contributed to your success as a leader?
I think one of the things that I feel makes people call me a leader is that I’m very in tune with people, I love people, I care about people, and I know that everyone needs help at one time or another. I’m not talking about a handout, but just help [to] lift them up and I feel great about being a part of that where I can help others. When we do that, we notice that we also help ourselves.
What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be leaders in their respective fields, and what resources have been helpful for you in your own journey?
My advice is to never give up. My advice is when they say you can’t do something, you show them that you can. You have to prove them wrong, but you also have to prove yourself. In life, there’s a lot of issues and problems that we have to face. In each of these problems, we are strong enough to face it, we are strong enough to be better. Don’t give up, we are all great leaders.
My resources are also looking for other mentors, other women and men that can help you. If I wanted to get into the insurance business, I went to large companies to learn from them. If I wanted to start this nonprofit, I would travel to Seattle, California, or other states where they have very successful models and model from them.
How can we get involved with or support your organization?
You can look at our website ACDCNV.org, you can see what we do, you can sign up to volunteer and we’d love to have you. Because the more you know what we do, the more you can help the community.