Self-Pourtraits Series: AAPI Month with Alex Wong
When you have a craving for Caribou Coffee you probably visit one of our coffeehouses or pick up some beans from your local grocery store. But did you know our coffee is also served in office breakrooms, hospital cafeterias and other locations? One of the main people behind this effort to make your workplace more caffeinated is our Senior Manager of Business Development, Alex Wong.
Responsible for growing the food service and office coffee business at Caribou, Alex prides himself in building quality relationships with empathy and compassion. “One of the greatest aspects of my role is that I get to help bring the joy of Caribou Coffee across many areas of consumption. These daily interactions I have with our partners and clients allow me to get to know each of them on a personal level.”
Connection happens over coffee—but it starts with conversation. And during the month of May, that conversation is centered around the celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.
Inspired by our purpose, we launched our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alliance (DEIA) in February 2020. A proud first-generation Chinese American and a member of Caribou Coffee’s DEIA leadership team, Alex is uniquely connected to AAPI month and how it is celebrated here at Caribou.
“AAPI month means a lot to me, especially being a first-generation Chinese American. For me, it’s a time of reflection and celebration of a diverse community that has a long history of contributions in the United States.”
Alex’s pride for his own heritage is reflected in the ways he inspires others to celebrate their own differences. “I’m most proud of the fact that conversations are being had and voices are being heard. It’s been so interesting and educational for me to be a part of such engaging discussions with passionate people.”
Now more than ever, AAPI month is a time to acknowledge and appreciate diverse cultures and how they influence the American landscape. Amidst an increase in anti-Asian discrimination and violence, Alex notes that while these situations are serious, the solution can start with something simple. “This month is a good time to have conversations with folks in the AAPI community. Just learning about their culture and hearing their stories are great ways to show appreciation during this month.”
It’s no surprise that the Caribou Coffee core value that Alex resonates most with is Be Yourself.
“Caribou Coffee has done a phenomenal job of creating a culture and environment for everyone to be themselves in the workplace. I’ve learned throughout my lifetime, that being authentic and staying true to yourself will always lead you in the right direction.”