Why did you become involved in assisting in the formation of CAPA?
As a proud Asian and long-standing resident of Southeastern Michigan, I always had a desire to bring an awareness of the diversity within the APA community. My interest was to highlight the multiplicity and complexity of the various sub-groups, languages, faiths, customs, and cultural tastes.
When I began working at DTE Energy as a Market Executive nearly 18 years ago, I had significant responsibility in my assigned communities to build relationships with business and community leaders within APA populations.
Early on, I recognized the need for the APA community to come together to form an organization that would be representative of the collective opinions of the broader community to promote business, civic, cultural, and educational ideas. I could readily see that the formation of an organization like CAPA could help unify the concerns of APA businesses for the overall benefit of its members and the APA community at-large. I believed that formation of this APA umbrella organization would not only enhance growth and prosperity in the business and individual member communities, but it would also benefit DTE in its mission to effectively reach out to our customer base. It was then, as it is now, a mutually beneficial opportunity.
My goal as a CAPA founding member was to give back to the broader community where we live and work. For almost a year, I shared my vision of forming an APA organization with my contacts during my daily job responsibilities and networking events. As a result, I had the opportunity to connect with several APA business leaders who equally shared my vision. Empowered by our vision, I presented the business case for CAPA’s formation to the management team at DTE and was granted seed money in the amount of $5000. Thus, CAPA was born.
How has DTE’s initial aid and continued support of CAPA helped the APA community as it has grown into the viable and independent non-profit organization it is today?
DTE Energy has long been interested in and involved with, the broad culturally diverse communities it serves. The mission to understand and partner with ethnic communities in order to provide cultural awareness and fully satisfactory services has been part of the way we do business for many years.
At DTE, we are committed to being a force for growth and prosperity in our service areas. We strive to continually provide excellent customer service by investing in our communities, building relationships, and promoting education that leads to economic advancement for the businesses we serve.
We have been involved in CAPA since its formation, and have played an important role in the initial launch of the organization. Since its establishment, CAPA has clearly been a positive and unifying voice for the community it serves; as well as a continuing and mutually committed partner with DTE in supporting a thriving business climate in Michigan.
Through my work at DTE Energy, I am honored to be included in the list of founders of CAPA. We are proud to have lent our support to the growth and enrichment of the many CAPA business members over the years, and we congratulate CAPA on this milestone anniversary.