Cover image for Distinguished Asian American business leaders
Distinguished Asian American business leaders
Hirahara, Naomi, 1962-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
viii, 242 pages : portraits ; 26 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HC102.5.A2 H56 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference

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Although there are other reference books about Asian Americans, no other book focuses solely on businesspeople. This collection of engagingly written biographies gives the details on the lives of 96 Asian men and women who have had successful business careers, giving information on their education, training, and career highlights and histories. The book provides valuable information as well as inspiration to students, from high school through university. Each biography concludes with references for further reading, and an appendix lists the people profiled by field of business, from fashion to restaurant franchises, from high technology to the movie industry.

Each biography in IDistinguished Asian American Business Leaders R tells the story of an individual who has worked hard and often surmounted such obstacles as prejudice, learning the English language and American customs, attaining higher education, and working long hours to start a business or succeed in a company. These life stories not only reflect individual triumphs but also the trials of families and ethnic groups who applied their skills and passions for economic prosperity. Included in the biographies are an Internet entrepreneur who successfully negotiated a $400 million deal from Microsoft Corporation and another who, along with his partner, gave away $100 million in bonuses to their employees after the lucrative sale of their company. Some of the people profiled are highly educated with law and doctorate degrees, while others never completed college. Some have experienced extreme poverty, including those who came to this country as boat people after the Vietnam War; others were born to wealth but have had to fight to achieve their business goals. Each biography ends with a bibliography for further reading. The book is aimed not only at high school and college students but any person interested in how some Asian Americans, from recent immigrant to fourth generation, labored to realize their entrepreneurial and corporate dreams. The stories show that business is rich in creative opportunities that cannot be easily limited to a single management theory.

Author Notes

NAOMI HIRAHARA is an independent writer and editor./eA past recipient of a California Community Foundation's Brody Arts Award, she was the English section editor of The Rafu Shimpo , a Japanese American daily newspaper in Los Angeles and a Milton Center Fellow in creative writing at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas. Hirahara is the author of An American Son: The Story of George Aratani, Founder of Mikasa and Kenwood . Her unpublished novel Summer of the Big Bachi was a finalist for Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize in 2000. She received her degree in international relations from Stanford University and studied at the Inter-University Center for Advanced Language Studies in Tokyo.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This is the second book in Greenwood's Distinguished Asian Americans series, joining Distinguished Asian American Political and Governmental Leaders RBB S 1 03. Although The Asian American Almanac (Gale, 1995) includes biographical sketches of 19 Asian Americans who gained prominence in the business field, this work is the first reference source to focus entirely on business leaders from the Asian American community. Business leader, according to the author, is defined broadly to include those who showed determination and perseverance while overcoming prejudices, learning the English language, and succeeding in the world of commerce. Other factors in her selection of the subjects include philanthropic activities, differing personal philosophies, and ethnic and regional diversity. Nautica Apparel cofounder David Chu, Toys "R" Us CEO Robert Naksone, and PepsiCo president Indra Nooyi are among the individuals included. The 96 profiles are arranged alphabetically by surname and include information compiled from secondary sources between 1999 and 2001. Many include photographs, and all point the reader to other sources for additional reading. The sketches are simply written and organized to provide full name at birth, education, positions held, honors and awards, and career highlights. The appendix lists subjects by field, such as "Cosmetics," "Financial Services/Insurence," and "Tourism." An index helps the reader find articles by a key term (Charley's Steakery, daisy-wheel printer, andapan Society, for example). A finding aid to locate subjects by country of origin would be useful. Although readers will need to do additional research to analyze why these individuals have been so successful, this will be a useful source for identifying American entrepreneurs with Asian backgrounds. Recommmended for high-school, public, and academic libraries. --Ray Olson Copyright 2003 Booklist

Choice Review

Hirahara's addition to Oryx's "Distinguished Asian Americans" series profiles 96 men and women of Asian descent who have made significant contributions to the business profession and to the larger Asian American community in the US. The book offers substantial entries (two to three pages) about a wide variety of entrepreneurs and businesspersons, from the 1880s to the early 21st century. The profiles, based largely on secondary sources, were written by four California-based freelance writers. The biographical sketches are organized alphabetically and include information on birth and death, education, positions held, awards and honors, early years, career highlights, a list of sources for further reading, and for most, black-and-white photos. An appendix arranges leaders by field. Selection criteria are somewhat unclear and omissions are noticeable; for example, David Sun, who with his partner John Tu made labor history by giving generous bonuses to their employees when they sold their company (Kingston Technology Corporation) in 1996, was not selected, but Tu was. Nevertheless, this good introduction to Asian American business leaders deserves space in academic and large public libraries. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General and academic collections. K. T. Wei University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Profilesp. 1
C.K. Aip. 3
Pauline Lo Alkerp. 4
Rioichiro (Ryoichiro) Araip. 7
George Aratanip. 9
Larry Aserap. 13
Ramani Ayerp. 15
Kavelle R. Bajajp. 18
Dado Banataop. 20
Sabeer Bhatiap. 23
Amar Bosep. 26
Phyllis Campbellp. 30
F. Chow Chanp. 32
Roger H. Chenp. 33
Andrew Cherngp. 36
David Chup. 38
James Chup. 40
Ellery J. Chunp. 42
Lilia Clementep. 44
Donna Fujimoto Colep. 47
Yen Ngoc Dop. 50
Kanetaro Domotop. 52
Eddie Flores Jr.p. 54
Pedro Floresp. 56
Fritz Friedmanp. 58
Sue Ling Ginp. 62
Rajat Guptap. 64
Vinita Guptap. 67
Supenn Harrisonp. 70
Helen Young Hayesp. 72
Chinn Hop. 73
Benjamin B. Hongp. 76
Mercedes del Rosario Huangp. 78
Rose Hwangp. 79
Paul Isakip. 83
Robert Iwamoto Jr.p. 86
Frank Jaop. 89
Josephine Jimenezp. 91
Andrea Jungp. 93
Charles Kimp. 95
James J. Kimp. 96
Jeong H. Kimp. 98
Kija Kimp. 101
Steve Y. Kimp. 102
Gennosuke Kodanip. 104
Lata Krishnanp. 106
Tri Lap. 110
David K. Lamp. 111
Joanna Laup. 113
Chris Leep. 116
David S. Leep. 118
Lilly V. Leep. 121
Noel Leep. 123
Loida Nicolas Lewisp. 125
Christine Liangp. 128
Chin Lungp. 130
Sonny Mehtap. 132
Ismail Merchantp. 134
William Mowp. 137
Shoji Nagumop. 140
Robert C. Nakasonep. 142
Josie Natorip. 144
Kim Ngp. 147
Win Chuai Nganp. 149
Ted Ngoyp. 150
Sean Nguyenp. 152
Ko Nishimurap. 155
Indra K. Nooyip. 157
Scott D. Okip. 161
George Ow Jr.p. 164
Cecilia Pagkalinawanp. 166
Doan Lien Phungp. 168
Safi U. Quresheyp. 171
Scott M. Sassap. 174
Leslie Tang Schillingp. 177
Charley Shinp. 179
Joe Shoongp. 180
John J. Siep. 182
Kay Sugaharap. 185
George Tanimurap. 187
Cora M. Tellezp. 189
Masayuki Tokiokap. 192
David Tranp. 194
David Du Tranp. 195
Gerald Tsaip. 196
John Tup. 198
An Wangp. 202
Don J. Wangp. 205
Vera Wangp. 207
Yick Wop. 209
Charles Woop. 211
Elaine Yamagatap. 214
Tsuru Yamauchip. 216
Janet Yangp. 219
Jerry Yangp. 221
Shirley Youngp. 223
Henry C. Yuenp. 226
Appendix Distinguished Asian American Business Leaders Arranged by Fieldp. 231
Indexp. 235
About the Author and Contributorsp. 243