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First Asian International Leadership Summit to be held in Grand Rapids

Tickets are on sale for West Michigan’s first-ever Asian International Leadership Summit which organizers see as a way to grow business opportunities for the whole region

The Asian International Leadership Summit was created to reach two main goals:

“Raising the visibility and voices of the Asian American community here in West Michigan, and being part of the answer to the challenge that we have of talent attraction and retention.”

Organizer Bing Goei is on the board of directors for the West Michigan Asian American Association. He says local Asian Americans are quiet economic contributors with much to offer.

“We’re not going to create waves. We’re not going to be demanding we’re a part of it. Our culture is more the kind that says, if we’re invited, we certainly want to participate and contribute and if not, we’ll stay in our lane and do what we need to support our families and community.”

Goei says West Michigan’s companies with global aspirations have much to gain facilitating partnerships.

“Many of our business leaders in West Michigan - and across the state of Michigan - have still direct connections to their home countries and there are opportunities.”

They can also address some of the challenges of attracting and retaining intellectual talent.

“What we’re forgetting is many of these Asian students at universities and colleges here in West Michigan, they don’t need H1B visas, they don’t need work permits. They are already here.”

Goei says it’s a matter of seeing themselves staying in a welcoming community. To that end, sponsorship money is available for hundreds of students to attend and network at the Asian International Leadership Summit Friday, April 12. There is more information at https://www.wm-aaa.org/

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