Where does your story begin? What brought you to the place you are today?
I was born in Taiwan and my family immigrated to California during my senior year of high school. While things were a bit of a struggle initially, I was able to successfully graduate from UCLA. I came to Michigan to be with my husband of 36 years, and childhood sweetheart, Eric. Then, I earned my MBA from Eastern Michigan University. I am now proud to celebrate over 20 years of experience in corporate/public accounting, human resources, business Strategy and risk management.
Who was your single biggest influence in your career?
I would have to say my father was my inspiration. He taught me the value of being responsible, meticulous, and well-respected. I learned to conduct myself with the same integrity and consciousness that he did.
With a strong work ethic ingrained into her by the influence of her father, Grace became a co-founder and CFO of Logic Solutions, Inc, a global web technology company that provides technology solutions and services. What do they do and what made you proud of that endeavor?
As CFO of Logic Solutions, I oversaw Logic accounting/finance, human resources, compliances, and legal functions. I was also responsible for Logic’s staffing and business process operations (BPO) strategy, business development and delivery for 25 years. In addition, I have extensive experience in domestic and cross border talent acquisition and benefit analysis.
Without any entrepreneur experience and connection, I am very proud of Logic has over 200 employees globally and was one of the winners of State of Michigan’s Top 20 Companies to Watch in 2010.
You have been very active in the community services for a long time, can you tell us some of the organizations and initiatives you have been involved?
Yes, I have been actively involved in many community and organization services. I am a strong believer of “Get Involved”, “Pay Forward” and “Make A Difference”.
I recently stepped down from serving as a Commissioner for the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islander. Currently, I am serving as a Commissioner at Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission and the board of Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE). I have also served as Chair of the Board of Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC), Board of Directors on Michigan Minority of Supplier Development Council, Accounting/Finance Advisory Board, College of Business, Eastern Michigan University, and as the Treasurer for MIT Enterprise Forum of the Great Lakes Chapter, Vice President/Treasurer of Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE).
I was very fortunate to receive the MIT Enterprise Forum Excellence Award in 2012 as well as the Diversity award from Corp! Magazine in 2008, Alumni of the Year for College of Business, Eastern Michigan University, 2017.
What was your motivation for starting Ashford Connex?
I started Ashford Connex after so many years in business as I developed a passion for mentoring and helping others. Through staffing I am able to provide a vital service to the community by expertly placing people in good jobs.
I have seen many people just pigeonholed their careers without any help in developing career path and leadership skills. At Ashford, my vision is to continue to grow and build a foundation where everyone can excel. With that comes a relationship beyond placement. I am working hard to build a family of Ashford graduates that make a difference in the community through excellent work and impeccable reliability.
Do you have any final thoughts to share?
Many people face hardships and challenges in their lives, especially in the past 14 months. Sometimes, we do not understand why we are presented with all the obstacles and adversities. I believe in perseverance and the obstacles make us stronger.
When my family first moved to the U. S., we struggled financially. I had to work at a fast-food place at 6am in the morning, before I took a bus to school, and worked two jobs during the semester break. Never did I imagine when I was flipping burgers for Jack-In-The-Box, that I would be meeting the President of the U. S. and serving on a White House Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Affairs. My goal is to help others to never give up and never be discouraged. Helping others is my mission and teaching other to give that back is why I do what I do.