May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month – an observance which celebrates the cultures and contributions of people of Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry in the United States.
To pay tribute to all the incredible cultures recognized by AAPI Heritage Month, we reached out to some of our AAPI teammates to learn more about their careers, inspirations, and community involvement. Keep reading to get to know them!
What do you think about when you hear “Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month”?
Chris Dong, Reporter, The Points Guy: May is a big time of reflection for me with Asian Pacific American Heritage month, as well as it being my birthday month. Specifically, I think a lot about how my upbringing and family have shaped who I am today, as a Chinese-American. At times, that is a feeling of joy and pride, especially as I have grown older. But also, there is this tinge of regret and longing to be better connected with the culture in which I was raised. For so long in my childhood, there was this desire to assimilate and shun the feeling of being “too Asian.” It wasn’t until full-grown adulthood that I didn’t want to feel that way anymore. Now, it almost feels like trying to make up for lost time. This month is especially important to celebrate and advocate for ourselves the past year, in particular, has been such a challenging and turbulent time for many in the AAPI community. This month is about uplifting all our voices, collectively.
What’s been your proudest moment, biggest accomplishment, or most impactful contribution at RV so far?
Jacqueline Ma, Outreach Strategist, Higher Education: My most impactful contribution to RV was when myself and three others from the Education team kickstarted a grassroots campaign to raise money for Black Lives Matter in March of 2020.
Chris Dong, Reporter, The Points Guy: At TPG and RV, I love how I’m able to share my in-depth knowledge and passion for travel and loyalty. There are so many moments during my tenure at RV that I’m really proud of. I would say one of my most impactful contributions was being able to spotlight the importance of personal narratives when it comes to editorial content at TPG. Personal stories resonate with TPG readers. After all, our edit staff lives and breathes travel each and every day. Using data, I was able to showcase to senior leadership that these personal accounts of how we use our travel credit cards, or how we travel and utilize points and miles also drive the bottom line and have a revenue impact. I also love when readers email in with a note about how a certain story or tip that I wrote helped them. Those small acts of acknowledgement go a really long way.
Stella Shon, Credit Cards Writer, The Points Guy: Although I only started about a month ago, I just worked on my first hotel review of the iconic Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan. I’ve never stayed in a five-star hotel before, but it was nothing short of incredible. I’m excited for these editorial and social assets to share with our readers at TPG.
Why is it important for companies to nurture and celebrate diverse workforces?
Jacqueline Ma, Outreach Strategist, Higher Education Without diversity of thought, there wouldn’t be innovation. Without innovation, there wouldn’t be advances in society, such as technology! When companies nurture and celebrate diverse workforces, there’s opportunity to innovate and succeed as a business.
What is your favorite inspirational quote or mantra?
Stella Shon, Credit Cards Writer, The Points Guy: “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.” – Maya Angelou. I think for many Asian Pacific Americans (especially as women), we are afraid to speak up – especially in the workplace. We may shy away from job advancement opportunities in fear of saying the wrong thing. During my time at RV, my team listens and encourages me to share my ideas. This is the first work environment where I feel 100% comfortable to be myself, because we celebrate and support each other in ways that I have never fully experienced.
Who are some of the Asian Pacific American role models in your life?
Jacqueline Ma, Outreach Strategist, Higher Education: I really look up to Yuri Kochiyama (an activist who had ties to Malcolm X) and Dave Chang (Chef, Author and TV Personality).
Did you catch Part 1 of our AAPI Heritage Month celebration? Check it out here!