1. What did you do before joining LS&Co.?
I was vice president of programs at The California Wellness Foundation. In that role, I led the foundation’s grantmaking work, including program design, strategic planning, and evaluation. Cal Wellness is a statewide foundation that aims to advance wellness and health for the people of California.
2. What attracted you to LS&Co.?
I’ve long admired LS&Co. and the Levi Strauss Foundation, and there are several reasons for my admiration. Levi Strauss embodies the American dream, and as an immigrant, I am moved and motivated by his example of hard work, perseverance and generosity. Also, the company’s values — originality, integrity, empathy, courage — are aligned with mine.
I am impressed by the legacy of the Levi Strauss Foundation, which has been making bold and transformative investments since the beginning. LSF stands up for what’s right, even if it’s lonely. It was the first corporate foundation to support HIV/AIDS work during a time of significant fear and stigma surrounding the disease. Moreover, LSF’s support is more than just the grant dollars: it leverages the grant with its voice, the company’s brand and its people. I’m excited to join LSF and look forward to working to continue its legacy of courageous and pioneering work.
3. Do you have a favorite personal story about LS&Co. or one of our products?
When I told my late father’s siblings about my new job at LS&Co., my uncle texted me an old photograph that my father took of him and his pals in their home town in the Philippines. The photo was taken in the 1950s and they were teenagers. My uncle is the one standing holding a pineapple, and he’s wearing a pair of Levi’s® jeans (his friends are wearing locally made jeans). He shared that he and my father were the first two people in their hometown to own a pair of Levi’s®, and therefore, immediately became the coolest guys in town. My father learned about Levi’s® jeans and told my grandmother about them. She had a cousin who was visiting San Francisco and had him bring back Levi’s® jeans for her two sons. My uncle treasured that pair of Levi’s® and wore it through college and medical school. When he returned from his residency training in the U.S., my uncle took out his Levi’s® and cut off the legs to make them into shorts. He regrets that decision to this day!
4. What is your secret dream career?
A museum curator.
5. What is your favorite TV show (current or past)?
I am currently obsessed with Korean dramas, and my favorite is Hospital Playlist (Netflix). So good!
6. What is your hidden talent?
I dance hula. In fact, I co-direct a nonprofit Polynesian dance organization in Concord, California.