As a young kid, Adam Khafif was already developing a sense for business, working in his off-school hours for the family's cookie business. In high school, he launched a streetwear company, completing his first sale – to his aunt! With the dauntless spirit of an entrepreneur, Adam sharpened his focus, majoring in business at Babson College and cementing his vision for his LSNP clothing line. Today, he sells hip clothing, all the while incorporating his core values that set LisnUp apart in a very competitive industry.
David Castro understands hard work. Arriving in the United States, the Mexican native spoke little English but knew he had to work. Luckily, the manager of the Sears men's department was kind and gave him a job stocking clothing. And helped him learn English. Moving from retail to the catering business, David maintained that same work ethic, moving from Server to Supervisor to Manager. Today, he is the President and Partner of Applause Catering, the largest catering company in Grand Rapids, MI.
Kaushik Nag knows a thing or two about global workforce development. Working for Amway Corporation, Nag leads Talent Acquisition, Employee Benefits and Global Change Management functions in the multinational arena. He is also actively involved in building regional talent strategies for West Michigan. What's one critical element of that development? After seeking out highly qualified professionals from around the world, a major challenge is how to retain them. From Calcutta, India to Grand Rapids, Michigan, this human resources leader shares his observations on creating a sense of belonging.
An immigrant child, Ana Ramirez-Saenz was raised in West Michigan by a single mom who worked long hours in a pickle factory. During her days at MBA school and at work in the banking industry, she saw first hand the lack of diversity in leadership and its cost on morale and the bottom line. Today, as President of La Fuente Consulting, she guides companies towards more inclusive practices and more powerful decision making. An exclusive chat with an insightful leader.
Metta Anongdeth knew something was wrong when her grandmother came to bathe and dress her and her young siblings with tears in her eyes. It turned out to be the day her parents would smuggle their family out of Communist Laos, leaving extended family behind--perhaps forever. Don't miss this inspiring story of danger, courage, and embracing a new life in a distant land.
What would you do if you were a farmer thrown out of your native land? Listen as Kharka Turung tells of losing both his birth country and his ethnic homeland. With the aid of Bethany Christian Services, Kharka finds friendship through Hope Farms manager Scott Townley and meaningful work as he regains his agrarian past in the midst of a bewildering new language and culture.
A timid teenager when he came to the U.S., Raymond Trujillo sought solace in his lifelong refuge of drawing and painting. With the mentoring of a teacher, he honed his skills and grew in confidence. Today, this intrepid immigrant from Mexico works as an artist, floral designer, party planner, clown, graphic designer, dance instructor, and emcee. Don't miss our chat with jack-of-all-trades, Raymond Trujillo.
Mach Makuei, former Lost Boy of Sudan, talks of his childhood days in a refugee camp in Kenya and coming of age in the home of a generous foster parent in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Now a graduate of Albion College, he dreams of taking his entrepreneur visions into the U.S. marketplace.
Lana Lie, her husband, and children flee Indonesia after the Communist government is installed during the Cold War. Leaving a beautiful home and familiar lifestyle behind, they move to West Michigan to be near cousins who emigrated there earlier. With Alan, she talks about learning a new language, dealing with racial discrimination, and finding meaningful work in a new land.
Maria Erazo tells of her life of poverty in Mexico and how she and her mom sneaked into the U.S. to look for work and a father who had left years earlier for the United States and then disappeared. She talks about the fear of living undocumented in the U.S. and how she eventually became a citizen, business owner, and community volunteer in the Latino community.
Antoine Dubeauclard, Renaissance man, moved in his childhood with his family to the United States. There, he learned to speak fluently his third language (English), graduated from college (University of Michigan), and started a thriving business (Media Genesis) in Metro Detroit. In his spare time, Antoine brews craft beer in his home, does paintings on wood, and creates photography in black and white. He shares with Alan his thoughts on creativity and culture.
Field advocate Lillie Wolff talks about creating "receiving communities" and how we integrate newcomers into the fabric of Michigan life. A program of the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, Welcoming Michigan is affiliated with the grassroots Welcoming America collaborative.
From behind the Iron Curtain, a Polish boy dreams of mastering English and creating wonder in the world. Hear the story of mail, miles, and Maciek's magic!
Coming to America: Richard Yidana, son of a Ghanaian political prisoner, talks of life on both sides of the Atlantic, the faces of race and ethnicity, and what creates "home" for him.
Immigration attorney Susan Im joins us in studio to talk about the complexities of U.S. immigration law and the need for immediate reform. Businesses are suffering from overly restrictive quotas. Families are separated for decades because of immigration laws that were last revised decades ago. Hear the personal and economic reasons compelling the U.S. Congress toward action on this long-neglected and contentious issue.
Alan and the FLYB crew travel to Comerica Park to interview Cuban-born Brayan Peña, catcher for the Detroit Tigers. This new American tells how he escaped his native land to fulfill his boyhood dream of playing Major League Baseball in the U.S.
Premiering its first show on September 30, Feel Like You Belong welcomed Bing Goei, immigrant from Indonesia and now CEO of Eastern Floral in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We also talked about the AP revising its use of word "illegal" and cautions on using ethnic humor.