Austin Business Journal November 26-December 2, 2021 pp10 |Profile|”Finding freedom in salsa” “Travel, Dance Among The Loves of This Busy Chamber CEO” “Fang Fang” Interview by Kathryn Hardison
Read the Austin Business Journal for the full interview of Fang Fang President and CEO of the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce
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“The more that you travel, the more culture you experience. I identify more similarities than differences.” Fang's interest in culture is “how she picked up on salsa dancing” while studying for her MBA at Baylor with other international students. “The music and dance allow me to … almost change into another person. You can be a different person and release whatever conscious or unconscious limitations you’ve adopted.” Fang took on the CEO role in September 2020, has a diverse background and has lived in NYC and DC “but found herself drawn to central Texas. It’s the energy, it’s the spot of development where Austin is in the nation and the world that’s exciting… The Asian population...is the fastest growing and it’s at the sweet spot where our voices matter. ABJ notes that “Austin’s Asian American population has increased nearly 75% to 85,853 in the past decade…”
Q: What destinations or cultures have you fallen in love with while traveling?
“Columbia...the past 100 years, they’ve been through extreme left and right government turmoil-and the cartel…[yet they are not]...hardened or less trustworthy, but the passion that they have about the community there is heartwarming. That’s very inspiring to me.”
Q: What motivates you?
“Learning. What’s out there that I haven’t experienced yet.”
Q: How did you earn your first dollar?
“I got my first job in Shanghai at a telecommunications company and we have clients in Japan. That gave me my first opportunity ever to get out of China. Japanese cosmetics have higher health regulations-so you can’t put toxic stuff in-and because of that, it’s highly demanded all over Asia. I would buy a lot of cosmetics and haul them back to Shanghai and sell them online.”
Q: What has been one of the first significant thing that you’ve been able to do since starting this job”
“It was a foundation-building year on top of being a crisis management year....[due to COVID] we could not have any events to facilitate connections to our members and lead the anti-Asian hate efforts-and the storm that hit Austin….I worked 996…[9AM-9PM, 6 Days a Week]...what we did was repair the foundation we have internally...and build the system and tools for us to grow after COVID.”